Unlimited Access to Online Course Modules at a Click
Learn More

CAT Vs XAT: Is XAT tougher than CAT?

Mahima Gupta
Mahima GuptaUpdated On: May 24, 2022 05:40 pm IST | CAT

CAT and XAT are the two most popular management entrance exams. Let us examine both exams in detail and draw a comparison between XAT and CAT in this article.

CAT Vs XAT: Is XAT tougher than CAT?

CAT and XAT both are important management exams and hold equal importance as far as MBA admissions are concerned. For many aspirants, the question that arises is if XAT is tougher than CAT?  Well, the answer to this question cannot be a clear-cut yes or no. However, this article will take a look at the similarities and differences of both examinations and will also examine the exam pattern, marking scheme, and syllabus for both exams. This will help you understand the nature of CAT and XAT, and help you make an informed decision about which exam you would like to appear for.

Also Read:

CAT 2022 Syllabus

XAT 2023 Syllabus

CAT 2022 Exam Pattern

XAT 2023 Exam Pattern

Students aspiring for their careers in the management domain often appear for various entrance exams such as CAT, IIFT, XAT, MAT, CMAT, etc. The candidate's ultimate aim is to get admission into the top B-schools and for that, a good percentile in the entrance exams is required. Is XAT tough than CAT? To answer this, we will look at the similarities and differences between both.

Also Read: CAT vs CMAT, NMAT, XAT, SNAP, IIFT & Other MBA Entrance Exams

XAT and CAT are both immensely popular but the key difference is that CAT is accepted by the 20 IIMs and over 1220+ B-schools while XAT is accepted by 850+ B-schools. XAT 2023 is expected to be held on January 1 while the CAT exam 2022 is expected to be conducted on November 27, 2022. Unlike CAT, XAT has General knowledge and a Decision-Making section which needs extra effort and preparation. Aspirants must note that both entrance exams require a good strategy and preparation plan. 

CAT vs XAT: Key Differences and Similarities

Check out the major differences and similarities between the two most popular management entrance exams prescribed in the tabular format below.


XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test)

CAT (Common Admission Test)

Conducting Authority

XLRI (Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur)

IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management)

Total Questions



Total Marks



Test Mode



Total Sections

XAT has total 4 sections namely:

  • Quantitative Ability(QA)

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Decision-Making

  • General Knowledge and Awareness (GK)

CAT exam has total 3 sections namely:

  • Quantitative Ability(QA)

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Data Interpretation and Logical

Reasoning (DILR)

Total Duration

3 hours

2 hours

Application Process



Sectional Time Limit

XAT has no sectional limit.

CAT has a sectional limit of 40 minutes for all three sections.

Entrance Test Fee

Rs. 1,800

Rs. 2,000

Marking Scheme

Correct Answer: +1

Incorrect Answer: -0.25

Beyond 8 Un-attempted questions: -0.10

Correct Answer: +3

Incorrect Answer: -1

Test Acceptance

The XAT exam is accepted for admissions to many B-Schools.

The CAT exam is accepted for admissions to IIMs and top B schools. 

Also Read: Colleges in India Accepting XAT Scores

CAT vs XAT: Scope after the Exam

Aspirants must also compare both XAT and CAT in terms of the scope. Here is the tabular comparison of the career scope between both the entrance exams. 


XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test)

CAT (Common Admission Test)

Career Scope

XAT is the prestigious entrance exam taken by aspirants to get admission to the top MBA institutions. The career scope of XAT is a little less as compared to that of CAT. The exam is accepted by over 850 top B-schools in India. 

CAT is the most popular management entrance exam in India. The career scope of CAT is immensely wide. The exam is accepted by the prominent IIMs and B-Schools in our country.

Institutes Accepting the Test

CAT vs XAT: Which is Tough?

Both the management entrance exams have their own sets of complexities and challenges. The syllabus of XAT and CAT differs, as CAT does not include decision-making and the General knowledge section, which makes XAT a bit tougher than CAT. On the other hand, CAT has a sectional limit while the latter doesn't which helps candidates focus more on their strong areas. However, the level of difficulty for both exams is considered to be moderate to difficult.

As per past trends, it has been observed that aspirants appear for various competitive exams simultaneously. One question which is frequently asked by applicants is whether preparation for CAT will be sufficient to crack XAT as well. So mentioned below is the answer to your question. 

  • Aspirant's key concepts and foundation must be strong in both cases.

  • As mentioned above, there are certain differences in terms of the sections and exam pattern. Therefore, XAT requires a different approach and strategy in terms of preparation. 

Related Articles

Top MBA Colleges Accepting XAT 2023 Score and Cut-Off

XAT 2023 Predicted Question Paper: Important Topics, Weightage

CAT 2022 Expected Cut Off - Check the CAT Cutoffs for IIMs

CAT 2022 Preparation Tips for Beginners

Ultimately, it depends on the applicant's choices and preferences. But If you want admission in the IIMs, CAT is a much better option. And if you want to seek admission in other top B-schools then XAT is a good option.

For admission-related details, aspirants can fill the Common Application Form (CAF) and avail free counselling from our experts. For any queries, students can write to us through the Q&A Zone or call on the toll-free student helpline number 1800-5729877.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2


Be the First to Know

Get Access to Latest Updates

View All Questions

Related Questions

How are the MBA placements at Sathyabhama University

-AnonymousUpdated on June 30, 2022 11:30 AM
  • 3 Answers
Yash Dhamija, Student / Alumni

Dear Student

Sathyabhama University has a good record of placing more than 90% of students in top reputed companies. The college offers placement training to students at different stages of their academics. The college also provides training in soft skills, technical and aptitude. Besides this, the university has also collaborated with many industries to offer good training and internship opportunities to the students. Every year many reputed companies visit the college campus for the placement process. Some of the top recruiters of Sathyabhama University are Amazon, HSBC Bank, Federal Bank, Renault Nissan and Hitachi.

If you have queries regarding the …


I want to take admission in MBA in 2022

-mrutyunjaya beheraUpdated on June 28, 2022 11:36 AM
  • 6 Answers
Mahima Gupta, Student / Alumni

Dear Candidate,

You can pursue an MBA degree and can apply for the course now. The Business schools have opened the MBA Admission 2022 process. The application portal to most colleges has been opened. Almost all the other business schools follow a similar pattern of the selection process for MBA courses that involves entrance test scores, GD/ PI/ WAT. Also, If you want direct admission to the MBA program then, start applying now.


How is MBA at Lovely Professional University?

-ParulUpdated on June 28, 2022 11:24 AM
  • 76 Answers
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

Lovely Professional University (LPU), Phagwara is one of the best and largest educational institutions in India. The university boasts stellar infrastructure facilities along with an excellent alumni network and a strong faculty for its MBA course.

While studying MBA from LPU, you would be provided access to world-class resources for learning and gaining practical experience. The university also maintains a good placement record with almost 100% placements for the MBA batch every year. The highest salary package for the course is around Rs. 15 LPA.

If you need help with admission to MBA at LPU, you can apply …


Do you have a question? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

Subscribe to CollegeDekho News

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho terms of use and privacy policy
Apply Now

Latest Updates

Top 10 Management Colleges in India

View All

Know best colleges you can get with your score