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CAT vs GMAT? What to take and why?

This comes as a shocker that CAT is accepted at European Schools too (Eg: HEC Paris)

The Common Admission test (CAT) or the Graduate management admission test (GMAT) are the two most sought after exams especially in India.


Let’s talk about the basic difference between these two.


CAT is a national entrance exam which is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, whose scores are only applicable to Indian universities and colleges. The scores are valid for 1 year and an applicant can only take CAT once a year. Questions are majorly asked from these four sections : Quantitative aptitude, Verbal ability, Reading comprehension and Data Interpretation & logical reasoning.


Now talking about GMAT, it is an international exam which is widely accepted all over the world at almost all b-schools. It is governed by the Graduate management admission council or GMAC. The good thing about a GMAT exam, which is also an advantage, is that the scores are valid for 5 years and applicants can retake them as many times they want throughout the year. Here, questions are majorly asked from these four sections : Quantitative reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Analytical writing assessment and Integrated reasoning.


Simply put, if one wants to study management, which is predominantly an MBA in India, one can take the CAT. And if one wants to pursue masters in the management domain abroad, one can take GMAT, although it’s not mandatory depending on the courses in the respective universities.

Exceptions: IIMs accept GMAT for Executive MBAs, ISB accepts GMAT for PGP HEC Paris accepts CAT in certain cases too :) But nothing wrong in going with the flow! For India, take CAT. For abroad, GMAT.