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GMAT vs CAT Differences: Which is Better?

Published: | August 18, 2018
GMAT vs CAT Differences: Which is Better?

GMAT and CAT are the two popular management entrance exams in India. Check the detailed comparative analysis between GMAT and CAT here.

The admission season for postgraduate management courses such as MBA, PGDM, PGPM etc., is set to begin soon. We assume that those aspirants who are looking forward to seeking admission in management courses for the academic session beginning 2019 have already started preparing for a number of MBA entrance exams in India such as CAT, XAT, GMAT, NMAT, IIFT etc.

It is very often that we find students applying for multiple exams to increase their chances of admissions, enhance their knowledge and to choose the best institute from the options available. Mostly, all the national-level management entrance exams follow the similar kind of syllabus, but the pattern and marking scheme could be different.

In order to mitigate the confusion among the MBA aspirants on different MBA exams, pattern, syllabus, marking scheme etc., CollegeDekho has come up with a detailed comparison between the popular MBA entrance exams. In this article, let us have a look at the comparison between CAT and GMAT - both of which have a large number of takers year after year as per statistical data.

About GMAT or Graduate Management Admission Test:

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) conducts GMAT examination. Recently, GMAC has introduced changes in the exam by reducing its duration by 30 minutes. Top B-Schools in India consider GMAT score for the admission to PG management courses. Apart from Indian institutes, majority of the international B-Schools also consider GMAT score for the admission.

About CAT or Common Admission Test:

IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) conduct CAT exam every year for the admission into PG management courses. Apart from IIMs, top B-Schools in India such as SPJIMR, IMT, FMS, IMI etc., also consider the CAT score for the admission. In all, close to 3,000 B-Schools in India consider CAT score for the admission to MBA/ PGDM courses.

Comparison between GMAT and CAT:

Exam Name


(Graduate Management Admission Test)


(Common Admission Test)

Conducting Body

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management)

Exam Mode

Computer-Adaptive Test

Computer-Based Test

Frequency of Exam

There are no fixed GMAT dates. Students are free to choose any date according to their convenience and availability. Students can take the exam five times a year.

Once a Year


3 ½ Hours (210 Minutes)

3 Hours (180 Minutes)

Number of Sections



Sectional Time Limit

  • Analytical Writing Assessment – 30 Minutes
  • Integrated Reasoning – 30 Minutes
  • Quantitative – 62 Minutes
  • Verbal – 65 Minutes
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) – 60 Minutes
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning – 60 Minutes
  • Quantitative Ability – 60 Minutes

Types of Question Format

The level of difficulty of questions will keep on changing according to your calibre.

72-75 questions are MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions), rest Non-MCQs.

Option to Choose Order of Attempting Sections

Student has the flexibility to choose the section order in which they feel most comfortable taking the exam.

Candidates are not allowed to switch between sections

Total Marks



Marking for Correct Answer



Marking for Incorrect Answer

No Negative Marking


Difficulty Level

Moderate to Difficult

Moderate to Difficult

Syllabus Difference

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Sentence Correction
  • Vocabulary
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Essay Writing
  • Graphic Interpretation
  • Multi-source Reasoning
  • Table Analysis
  • Two-part Analysis
  • Grammar
  • Para Correction
  • Sentence Correction
  • Word Usage
  • Analogies
  • Idioms
  • Para Jumble
  • Pie Chart
  • Graph Tables
  • Data Arrangement
  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Calculus
  • Trigonometry
  • Mensuration
Top Colleges Accepting Exam Score

Exam Date 2018

There are no fixed GMAT dates. Students are free to choose any date according to their convenience and availability. Students can take the exam five times a year.

November 25, 2018

Exam Application Deadline for 2019 Session

Rolling basis

September 19, 2018

Which Entrance Exam Should I Take – GMAT or CAT?

Choosing between the two popular entrance exams like CAT and GMAT could be a challenging task for the students. You can choose both or choose one as per your feasibility, comfort and locality of the institute.

Also Read: MBA in India vs MBA Abroad: Which is More Valuable?

Stay tuned to CollegeDekho for the latest MBA exams news and updates.

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