Best Alternatives to the CAT Exam for MBA Aspirants


Hello everyone!
Have you ever wondered if there are other exams apart from CAT that can help you secure a seat in a top-notch B-school? Well, you’re in the right place! In today’s blog, we’re going to explore some exciting alternatives to the CAT exam. Stick around to discover which one could be your path to a top B-school!

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XAT – Xaviers Admission Test:
XAT is a super important MBA entrance exam that can get you into some fantastic MBA colleges in India, like XLRI, IMT, XIMB, TAPMI, and many more. It’s organized by XLRI, Jamshedpur. You can start registering from July 15, 2023, with the last day to sign up being November 30, 2023. The big day, XAT 2024, is on January 7, 2023, and the test goes on from 2 PM to 5.10 PM, giving you 3 hours and 10 minutes to tackle 101 questions in the XAT question paper.

XAT 2023 Exam Pattern

Section Questions
Verbal and Logical Ability 26
Decision Making 21
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation 28
Total 75
General Knowledge 25
Essay Writing Test 1


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SNAP – Symbiosis National Aptitude Test:
SNAP is the mandatory MBA Entrance Exam for Admission to 15 Symbiosis Institutes in India. SNAP Test is conducted by Symbiosis International University (SIU) Pune. The registration for SNAP 2023 is open from August 23 to November 23, 2023. The SNAP 2023 Exam will take place on December 10, 17, and 22, 2023. The test duration is 60 minutes, with a total of 60 questions. The expected cut-off is around 98.5 percentile.

SNAP Exam Pattern

Section name questions Marks per correct answer Total marks
General English: Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Ability 15 1 15
Quantitative Ability(QA), Data Interpretation (DI) & Data Sufficiency 20 1 20
Analytical & Logical Reasoning 25 1 25


60 60

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MAT – Management Aptitude Test:
MAT Exam is one of the most popular National level MBA entrance exams in India, held four times a year in February, May, September, and December. It leads to admission opportunities in more than 400 MBA/PGDM Colleges. MAT is conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA). The MAT 2023 Exam Dates are September 16, 22, and 23, with a test duration of 2.5 hours and 200 questions. The expected cut-off ranges from 65 to 95 percentile.

MAT 2023 Exam Pattern

Section Name Number of Questions
Language Comprehension 40
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning 40
Data Analysis and Sufficiency 40
Mathematical Skills 40
Indian and Global Environment 40
Total 200


CMAT – Common Management Admission Test:
CMAT is a government-organized computer-based national level MBA entrance examination that opens doors to 1000 AICTE approved management programs (MBA/PGDM) all over India. CMAT Exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The registration for CMAT 2024 is open from December 15, 2023, to February 15, 2024, with the exam scheduled for March 24, 2024. The exam has 100 questions and a maximum score of 400 marks. The expected cut-off falls between 90 to 95 percentile.

CMAT 2023 Exam Pattern

Sections Questions Maximum Marks
Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretations 20 80
Logical Reasoning 20 80
Language Comprehension 20 80
General Awareness 20 80
Innovation & Entrepreneurship 20 80
Total 100 400


NMAT – Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test:
NMAT is an important national level MBA entrance test leading to admission in top MBA colleges including NMIMS Mumbai, SPJIMR, ISB, VIT, XIMB, and others. NMAT 2023 Exam is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). Registration for NMAT 2023 is open from August 1 to October 10, 2023, with the exam taking place over 75 days from October 10 to December 19, 2023. There are no negative markings, and the expected cut-off is 235 marks.

NMAT Exam Pattern

Section questions Time limit Score range
Language skills 36 28 Mins 12-120
Quantitative skills 36 52 Mins 12-120
Logical Reasoning 36 40 Mins 12-120
Total 108 120 Mins 36-360

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IIFT – MBA Entrance Test:
IIFT Entrance exam is cancelled for MBA (IB) Admission 2024, and IIFT now accepts CAT 2023 score for MBA (IB) admission in 2024. No separate IIFT entrance exam is required, and the admission criteria include CAT 2023 score and other parameters for shortlisting.

MAH CET – Maharashtra Common Entrance Test:
The MHT-CET or Common Entrance Test is an annual entrance exam conducted by the Government of Maharashtra. The MAHCET 2024 Exam is expected to be conducted in the fourth week of March 2024. The exam fee is INR 1,000 for unreserved category candidates and INR 800 for reserved category candidates. The expected cut-off is above the 99 percentile, and there is no negative marking.

MAH-CET Exam Pattern

Section name Questions Maximum Marks
Quantitative Aptitude 50 50
Logical Reasoning 75 75
Abstract Reasoning 25 25
Verbal Ability/ Reading Comprehension 50 50
Total 200 200


IBSAT – ICFAI Business School Aptitude Test:
IBSAT is an important online computer-based MBA entrance test for MBA admission in 9 ICFAI Business Schools (IBS) located across India. IBSAT 2023 Registration is open from July 1 to December 21, 2023, with the exam scheduled for December 24 & 25, 2023. The test duration is 2 hours, and the application fee is Rs. 1800/-. The expected cut-off ranges from 72 to 78, and there is no negative marking.

IBSAT Exam Pattern

IBSAT 2023 Exam Component
Number of Questions
Verbal Ability
50 MCQs
Reading Comprehension
30 MCQs
Quantitative Aptitude
30 MCQs
Data Adequacy & Data Interpretation
30 MCQs


TISSNET – Tata Institute of Social Sciences National Entrance Test:
TISSNET is conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and offers admission opportunities in various TISS campuses. Registration for TISSNET 2024 is open from December 14, 2023, to January 15, 2024, with the exam taking place on February 15, 2024. The test duration is 100 minutes, with 100 questions. The TISSNET Cut Off for TISS MA HRM admission is typically between 70 to 74 marks, and there is no negative marking.

TISSNET Exam Pattern

Sections questions Total marks
General Awareness 30 30
Mathematics and logical reasoning 30 30
English proficiency 40 40
Total 100 100


These exciting alternatives to the CAT exam open up a world of opportunities for MBA aspirants. Depending on your preferences and strengths, one of these exams could be your ticket to a top B-school. So, explore your options, prepare diligently, and chase your dreams in the world of management education!

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