Difference Between MAH CET and CAT: Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Difficulty Level, Colleges

Samiksha Rautela

Updated On: December 19, 2023 03:20 pm IST

Want to know the difference between MAH CET 2024 and CAT 2023? Check out MAH CET Vs CAT including the eligibility criteria, syllabus, exam pattern, counselling process, participating institutes etc.

Difference Between MAH CET and CAT: Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Difficulty Level, Colleges

MAH CET vs CAT: Held by the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell, MAH CET is one of the top MBA entrance exam that offers admission to over 300 Top Management Colleges in Maharashtra. The exam is relatively easier than CAT exam which makes it very popular among MBA aspirants in Maharashtra.

The syllabus and eligibility criteria of MAH CET 2024 and CAT 2023 are mostly the same, but, due to less number of applicants, less competition, and no negative marking, candidates of Maharashtra generally prefer to sit for the former one. Scroll through the page to understand the differences and similarities between MAH CET and CAT. 


A detailed comparison between MAH CET 2024 and CAT 2023 is given in the table below:




Full-formMaharashtra Common Entrance TestCommon Admission Test

Conducting Body

Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell

Indian Institute of Management
Level of ExaminationState LevelNational Level

Application Mode

Online mode

Online mode

Total Applications

Approx. 75,000 to 1 Lakh

Approx. over 2 Lakh

Reserved Category Exam Fee



Unreserved Category Exam Fee



Total Exam Centres



Exam Frequency

Once a year

Once a year

Exam Mode

CBT (Computer Based Test)

CBT (Computer Based Test)

Exam slotsOne slot, two daysTwo-three slots, one day

Exam Duration

150 minutes

120 minutes

Number of Sections

4 sections

3 sections

Type of Questions


MCQs & Non-MCQs

Total Questions

200 questions

66 questions 

Total Marks

200 marks

198 marks

Number of Test Cities48156

Also Read: GMAT vs CAT Differences: Which is Better?

What are Some other Differences Between MAH CET and CAT?

Provided below are a few more differences between MAH CET and CAT. Go through them to get a better idea of both the exams.

Eligibility Criteria of MAH CET and CAT

The eligibility criteria are the same for both MAH CET and CAT. Enlisted below are a few pointers explaining the same:

  • To sit for this exam, it is crucial to have completed a bachelor’s degree in any stream from a recognised institute/ university. 

  • The minimum aggregate marks required in the qualifying exam is 50%. 

  • 5% relaxation is offered to reserved category candidates. 

  • Final year students are also free to apply, provided that they produce required documents at the time of admission.

Detailed MAH CET Eligibility Criteria

Detailed CAT Eligibility Criteria

MAH CET Syllabus vs CAT Syllabus

CAT exam has all the sections just like MAH CET including sections such as Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability and Quantitative Aptitude, However, an Abstract Reasoning section is additional in the MAH CET. 

  • Abstract Reasoning

  • Logical Reasoning

  • Verbal Ability

  • Quantitative Aptitude

  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The detailed study of the MAH CET and CAT Syllabus is given below:

MAH CET Syllabus

CAT Syllabus

MAH CET vs CAT: Exam Pattern

Here is the section-wise weightage for MAH CET and CAT.




Number of Sections4 sections3 sections


  • Logical Reasoning (LR)
  • Analytical Reasoning (AR)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Types of Questions

MCQ and non-MCQ

MCQ and non-MCQ

Total number of questions

200 questions

66 questions

Section-wise number of questions


75 questions


24 questions


25 questions


20 questions


50 questions


22 questions


50 questions



Sectional Time LimitNoYes, 40 minutes per section

Marking Scheme

  • 1 mark is awarded for every correct answer
  • No negative marking
  • 3 marks are awarded for every correct answer
  • Negative marking of -1 for every wrong answer

Total marks

200 marks

198 marks

Click on the links below to get more information about the exam pattern of MAH CET and CAT.

Detailed MAH CET Exam Pattern

Detailed CAT Exam Pattern

Marking Scheme of MAH CET vs CAT

Check the table below for the most recent MAH CET and CAT exam patterns:
                                                                                             ParticularsMAH CETCAT

Marks Per Correct Attempt



Negative Marking



Marks per Incorrect Attempt



Marks per Unattempted Question



Exam Duration of MAH CET vs CAT

The duration of the MAH CET exam is 150 minutes, without any break in between. Additionally, there is no time restriction for attempting any particular section. 

On the other hand, the duration of the CAT exam is 120 minutes. There is also a sectional time limit for CAT. Candidates are required to complete their exam within the allotted time, which is 40 minutes for each section. 

Difficulty Level of MAH CET vs CAT

It is often asked if the CAT is more difficult than MAH CET. CAT is considered to be more challenging than MAH CET in terms of difficulty. The competitiveness for admission is greater for the CAT exam than the MAH CET because it is administered at the national level. The cutoff for the CAT exam is on the higher side, and obtaining a passing score is difficult. Every year, about 2 lakh individuals register for the CAT exam.

In contrast, the MAH CET test is administered at the state level and between 75,000 and 1 lakh people register for it. Because of this, the cutoff is lower than CAT and it is easier to qualify.

Exam fees for MAH CET vs. CAT

MAH CET: The exam fee is INR 1,000 for students in the General Category and INR 800 for students in the Reserved Category.

CAT: The fee for the CAT exam is INR 2,200 for students in the General Category and INR 1,100 for students in the Reserved Category.

Counselling Process of MAH CET vs CAT

MAH CET and CAT have totally different processes of counselling. 

MAH CET: After passing the MBA CET, candidates must take part in a common counselling session in order to be assigned a seat in one of the MBA programmes provided by many B-Schools of Maharashtra.

CAT: There isn't a standard counselling procedure for all universities that accept CAT. To shortlist candidates for MBA admission, the IIMs hold Personal Interviews (PI) and Written Ability Tests (WAT). There are separate counselling processes for different CAT participating institutes.

Participating Institutes of MAH CET vs CAT

CAT is a national level entrance examination while MAH CET is a state-level exam which implies that the scores of CAT are accepted by top universities from all over the nation and MAH CET scores are accepted by premier colleges situated in the state of Maharashtra.

Participating Institutes of MAH CET

Participating Institutes of CAT

Colleges Accepting MAH CET Scores

Colleges Accepting CAT Scores

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

MAH CET Vs CAT: Detailed Analysis

Given below are a few links related to MAH CET and CAT. Click on them to get a detailed analysis of both the exams. You can compare and contrast the two as per your requirements.



How to Apply for MAH CET

How to Apply for CAT

How to Prepare for MAH CET

How to Prepare for CAT

Best Books for MAH CET Preparation

Best Books for CAT Preparation

Mock Test of MAH CET

Mock Test of CAT

Previous Year’s Question Papers for MAH CET

Previous Year’s Question Papers for CAT

Paper Analysis for MAH CET

Paper Analysis for CAT

Coaching Institutes for MAH CET

Coaching Institutes for CAT

Result of MAH CET

Result of CAT

Cut-offs for MAH CET

Cut-offs for CAT

MAH CET and CAT are two different kinds of MBA exams that open up the door to top management institutes. It solely depends on the requirement of the candidates to choose either of the two. One offers admission in the state of Maharashtra while the other one can provide you admission in any desired state of India.

To weigh your options and explore top MAH CET and CAT colleges, just dial the toll-free helpline number 1800-572-9877 or fill-up the Common Application Form. Our admission experts will be glad to resolve your queries. You can also drop your questions in the QnA zone.

Keep visiting CollegeDekho for more information on MBA exams!

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Is MAH CET easier than CAT?

MAH CET is considered relatively easier than CAT as it is a state level exam while the latter one is a national level exam. More candidates sit for CAT than MAH CET which makes the difficulty level of the exam and admission through CAT a bit more difficult.

Is the eligibility criteria for MAH CET and CAT the same?

Yes, MAH CET and CAT both have the same eligibility criteria where an individual needs to have completed a Bachelor's degree in any stream from a recognised university with a minimum aggregate of 50% marks. 5% relaxation is offered to the unreserved category candidates.

What are the major differences between the marking scheme of MAH CET and CAT?

MAH CET does not follow a negative marking scheme but CAT does as there is deduction of 1 mark for every incorrect attempt. +1 mark is offered for every correct attempt in MAH CET and +3 is awarded for each correct answer in CAT.

What is the exam duration for MAH CET and CAT?

The exam duration for MAH CET is 150 minutes and for CAT, it is 120 minutes.

Is the application fee for MAH CET and CAT same for reserved and unreserved categories?

No, for MAH CET, the reserved category application fee is ?800 while for CAT, it is ?950. For unreserved category, the application fee is ?1,000 and ?2,000 respectively.

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