MBA Entrance Exams: India And Abroad

6 minute read
MBA Entrance Exams

MBA aspirants are invariably advised, “The best view comes after the toughest climb” because of the increasingly cut-throat competition they face. To enter senior-level leadership roles in consulting, business and management, it has become nothing less than indispensable to have an extra edge and the MBA degree provides that. With companies preferring candidates who have a sound understanding of business fundamentals and are capable of managing different aspects of the company, the competition for seats at top MBA colleges is only going to get tougher. In order to get into such elite B-schools, aspirants have to appear for one of the popular MBA entrance exams, a few of which are summarised in this blog. 

List of Top MBA Entrance Exams & Important Dates

MBA entrance exams are doorways to numerous Business Administration programs offered around the world. With an array of highly ranked institutes offering this program and even more students wishing admission for the same, the entrance exams have become tougher. The overall MBA admission process is wholly or, at least, partially based on scores of such examinations. The exams are structured to test a student’s problem solving, critical analysis and comprehension abilities amongst others and whether they will be a good fit for the program. Tabulated below are some of the renowned Masters of Business Administration exams in India

Exam Colleges Accepting Application Deadline Exam Date
CAT IIMs, IITs, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon etc. 23rd September, 2020 29th November, 2020
MAT ISBM Pune, IPE Hyderabad, IBA Bangalore  29th November, 2020 6th December, 2020
XAT Xavier Business School, XLRI, Loyola Institute of Business Administration, etc. 30th November, 2020 3rd January, 2021
NMAT Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, VIT University, Chitkara University 20th November, 2020 4th November, 2020- 30th January,2021
SNAP SIBM Pune, 28th November, 20th
  SCMHRD, SIOM etc. 2020 December,2020, 6th January,2021, 9th January, 2021
IIFT IIFT Delhi, IIFT Kolkata Mid November,2020 6th December,2020 (Tentative)

Note: CAT/XAT is increasingly being recognized by international institutes. Refer to our blogs on MBA colleges through CAT score to know more.

MBA Entrance Exams (Indian)

India is home to some of the leading MBA institutes with world-renowned faculty and a curriculum at par with that of top business schools abroad. One of the common prerequisites is that the candidates should hold a graduate degree with a minimum aggregate score of 50%. Additionally, the stages of admission after the entrance test generally involves group discussion and personal interview. Listed below are some of the MBA entrance exams conducted for securing admission into top Indian institutes: 

CAT (Common Admission Test)

CAT, one of the most popular examinations of India is conducted by Indian Institutes of Management. Considered as one of the toughest MBA entrance exams, the CAT is a computer-based test that examines an individual’s reasoning, verbal ability, general knowledge, and mathematics. Apart from the 20 IIMs, CAT score is accepted by a multitude of business schools like MDI Gurgaon, FMS, IMI Delhi, etc. Due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, there are certain changes in the CAT 2020 exam pattern. According to this year pattern, the exam will be conducted in three sessions and the duration has been revised to 120 minutes. For each correct answer +3 marks are given and for each incorrect answer -1 mark is deducted.

MAT (Management Aptitude Test)

Conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA), the scores of the MAT exam are accepted by more than 600 B-Schools across the country. It features generally in the list of national-level MBA entrance exams and aims to test the candidates on the basis of quantitative and critical reasoning, English comprehension, data analysis & sufficiency and Indian & Global Environment. The exam is held four times in a year and it’s up to the candidate to decide. The 150 minutes test has 200 questions and is held in computer-based test, paper-based test and internet-based test. The flexibility of giving the exam in online as well as offline mode is what makes this exam all the way more popular.

XAT (Xavier Admission Test)

Conducted by the XLRI Institute, this exam is considered as one of the oldest MBA entrance exams of the country. More than 70 universities accept the XAT score for admission to their different MBA programs. It has 99 questions assessing quantitative ability, verbal & logical ability, decision making, data interpretation, and general knowledge. Any student with a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline is eligible to sit for the exam.

NMAT (Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test)

The Mumbai based Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies conducts the NMAT every year to grant admission to its highly-rated MBA program. Offered by GMAC, the NMAT is one of the popular MBA entrance exams and comprises 120 questions on logical reasoning, language, and quantitative abilities. The university has provided students the flexibility to attempt the exam in online as well as offline mode, whichever they prefer. Certain changes for the year 2020 are, reduction in number of questions to 108 with the same duration and all the sections have equal weightage without any negative marking.

         SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test)

SNAP is a national level entrance examination for management courses which is conducted by Symbiosis International University. The exam is generally used for admissions in all the institutions under Symbiosis International University. However, many other institutions have also started accepting SNAP scores for admissions in their management programs.SNAP is a computer-based test and measures the critical thinking of the students on the basis of general English, quantitative, data interpretation, data sufficiency, analytical and logical reasoning.

MBA Entrance Exams (Abroad)

The two main primary MBA entrance exams in order to study abroad at top universities include: 


The Graduate Record Examination scores are usually accepted by a number of business schools in the world. It is amongst the commonly accepted MBA entrance exams and has three sections of verbal ability, quantitative ability, and analytical reasoning. A GRE score of 320+ can increase your chances to enter the top 20 colleges. The interesting thing about this exam is this exam happens all throughout the year and it’s up to the candidates to decide, when they opt to give the exam. The exam has different centres in major cities from which you may choose from. The exam provides two kinds of tests i.e. general test which tests the candidate on verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing skills and the other one is a subject test which focuses on specific courses and measures the candidates expertise in specific fields.The exam doesn’t have any eligibility as such, but you need to have a bachelor’s degree as it is a post graduation program.Further, the eligibility criteria may vary from one university to another.


One of the most popular and attempted MBA entrance exams, the GMAT specifically tests the suitability with respect to management courses. A high GMAT score of around 700 is considered above par and significantly elevates chances of getting selected to top B-Schools of the world. The exam is CAT (computer adaptive test) format and assesses the candidates analytical writing, quantitative, verbal and reading skills in standard written english. However, scoring well in these papers alone is surely not enough to get admission abroad. The IELTS/TOEFL scores, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and a host of other materials are also required.

Also Read: GRE vs GMAT

Hopefully, this blog has been a fruitful read for those preparing as well as wishing to move forward with an MBA. With the January 2021 intake nearing, it becomes more than important to start preparing for the MBA entrance exams and keeping all the relevant documents ready. If you need any guidance regarding the same then the experts at Leverage Edu will lend you a helping hand. From completing the admission-related formalities to helping you write an impeccable statement of purpose, the mentors will guide you at every step.

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