What is the Difference Between GMAT and CAT?
Although both CAT and GMAT test the candidate’s English Language and Quantitative Ability and Logical Reasoning skills, the two are poles apart in many aspects.
Common Admission Test or CAT and Graduate Management Admission Test or GMAT are two of the top most management entrance tests, scores of which are accepted by all the top B-schools, including the IIMs.
The basic difference between the two is that while CAT is a national level entrance exam; GMAT is a global exam, scores of which are accepted by business schools worldwide. Conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council, GMAT scores are acceptable mainly in case of NRI/Foreign students in India. However, some top India institutes like SPJIMR, Mumbai, XLRI Jamshedpur, MDI, Gurgaon accept GMAT scores of domestic candidates too. In India, most of the institutes accept GMAT score for admission to Executive MBA programmes.
Both CAT and GMAT are considered to be tough nuts to crack. Every year over two lakh students in India take CAT exam. About equal number of MBA aspirants take the GMAT as well. Domestic candidates who plan to pursue management studies in the upcoming academic year, can take either both the exams or choose to appear for one of them, depending on the MBA course and institute they shortlist. Although both CAT and GMAT test the candidate’s English Language and Quantitative Ability and Logical Reasoning skills, the two are poles apart in many aspects. This article will tell you what is the difference between GMAT and CAT exam.
GMAT: To appear in GMAT, the aspirant must have abachelor’s degree in any stream or equivalent from a recognized university. Final year graduation candidates are also eligible to apply. There is no minimum marks required to appear in GMAT.
CAT: To appear in CAT, the aspirant must have a bachelor’s degree in any stream with minimum of 50% marks or equivalent from a recognized university. Final year Graduation candidates are also eligible to apply.
Frequency /Mode of Exam
GMAT: GMAT is held throughout the year, the candidate can book an exam slot for self from the given calendar as per their convenience. The aspirant can also re-take the exam five times within 12 months. A maximum of eight attempts are allowed to any candidate in his/her lifetime.
CAT: CAT is conducted by the IIM only once a year. CAT application process begins in August and the exam is held in the last week of November or first week of December.
GMAT: GMAT question paper consists MCQs from Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning and an Analytical Writing. There is sectional time limit for each section but the candidate can choose the order in which they wish to answer each section.
CAT: CAT exam is held in online mode for three hours in two slots on a scheduled date. The candidates are required to follow the chronology of the question paper, i.e. neither they can choose to answer the section of their choice, nor can they go back to incomplete question skipped earlier. The CAT question paper consists of MCQs and a few key-in answer type questions.
GMAT: GMAT assesses a candidate on Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Integrated Reasoning and the Analytical Writing Assessment.
AT: CAT syllabus includes topics from Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC).
GMAT: GMAT is held for 187 minutes.
CAT: CAT is held for 180 minutes.
GMAT: GMAT is the toughest MBA entrance exam. Not only due to the tough questions asked but also due to a peculiar marking scheme.
CAT: CAT is known as a tough MBA exam. The difficulty level of the questions remain on the higher side year on year.
GMAT: GMAT has a peculiar marking scheme. The candidates are marked between 200 and 800. Section wise, candidates are scored 0-6 for Analytical Writing Assessment, 1-8 for Integrated Reasoning, 0-60 for Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
CAT: The CAT exam is of 300 marks. Each of the 100 questions carry three marks for right answer. There is negative marking of one mark for each wrong answer.
GMAT: GMAT exam fee is USD 250 for all countries.
CAT: CAT exam fee isRs 1900 for General and NC-OBC candidates and Rs 950 for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and Physically Disabled candidates.
Validity of Exam Score
GMAT: GMAT score is accepted by more than 2100 management institutes across the globe. GMAT score is valid for admission for up to 5 years.
CAT: CAT score is accepted by all the 20 IIMs and over 1500 management institutes in India. CAT score is valid for admission for only one year.
Exam Conducting Body
GMAT: GMAT is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council.
CAT: CAT is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management on rotation.