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Importance of CAT in MBA Admissions

Nidhi Bahl
Nidhi BahlUpdated On: September 15, 2023 02:12 pm IST | CAT

CAT is a gateway for admission into IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India. Institutes that offer admission through the CAT exam for MBA/PGDM courses have excellent pedagogy, infrastructure, placement, etc. Know the importance of CAT in MBA admissions here!

Importance of CAT in MBA Admissions

Importance of CAT in MBA Admissions: As everyone is aware, the CAT exam is the most difficult to pass in order to enroll in a reputable institution offering an MBA or PGDM in India. It is a crucial competitive exam for academic performance that will be employed to shortlist candidates for different stages of the MBA admissions process. It assesses a student's aptitude as well as aids in the planning and development of a successful academic career. It is also significant for PGDM/MBA admissions since it primarily evaluates candidates' time management skills and their capacity to remain calm under pressure.

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Taking the CAT 2023 exam is beneficial because it is accepted by almost every business school in India; it ensures admission to top B-Schools that help in transforming the students into management professionals; it ensures excellent internship opportunities and placement offers with high salary packages, and it equips the candidates with the skills to cope with the complexity and challenges of the corporate industry.

CAT is just not a gateway to acquiring competency in Management, it is more than that. It helps an individual develop basic Mathematical, Reasoning, Aptitude, Verbal, and Reading skills and instills the capability and confidence to perform under pressure. Taking the CAT exam for MBA prepares candidates to apply those skills and knowledge during the course and become top Management professionals across the globe.

The CAT is the most coveted management entrance exam in India conducted by IIMs for admission into postgraduate Management courses in India. Apart from IIMs, there are over 1000 management colleges in India that accept CAT scores for MBA/PGDM admission. Candidates preparing for the CAT 2023 exam for MBA admission, which is to be held on November 26, 2023, must leave no stone unturned in cracking the exam and securing a seat in premier business schools in the country. The CAT registration 2023 began on August 2, 2023. Having said that, let’s know the importance of CAT in MBA admissions and how it can shape your career. We will also discuss other management entrance exams that can get you seats in top business schools other than IIMs.

Also Read: 

CAT Syllabus 2023

CAT 2023 Preparation Tips

What Can CAT Do to Your MBA Admissions?

The CAT exam is a crucial requirement for students who want to enroll in MBA programs in India. Candidates will be benefited in the following manner by taking the CAT exam:

  • When you decide to take the CAT exam, you will be introduced to a variety of topics, like mathematical ability, which encompasses number systems, asthmatics, and much more, to help you think logically.

  • Your business and management abilities will be strengthened by the CAT Exam, enabling you to succeed both professionally and personally.

  • You will be able to select from among India's top business management schools once you have passed the CAT exam. You will put your practice into action as you begin pursuing MBA and you are presented with actual corporate and business situations.

  • By analyzing the advantages of various corporate resources, the CAT exam may help you obtain extra skills and the appropriate tools for handling challenging projects, get an insight into best practices, and assist you in making the best judgments under any circumstance.

  • After finishing the CAT course, one is equipped with all the abilities required for establishing a solid foundation for pursuing an MBA.

  • Competitive B-schools want intelligent students who can pursue their MBA courses with high cognitive abilities; as a result, the CAT exam will develop the student's analytical thinking and provide them with the skills and abilities.

  • Because the CAT Exam is all about time and stress management, it will assist you in making wise decisions.

  • You will be able to master the art of skill management and be a practical problem solver as you get ready for the CAT exam.

  • Your communication skills also advance since the CAT Exam includes rounds for group discussions and personal interviews.

In conclusion, the CAT Exam is regarded as the perfect gateway to begin your MBA career. It evaluates a candidate's aptitude, analytical ability, and problem-solving capabilities, all of which are highly regarded in the management industry. Students who want to pursue an MBA should thus study diligently for the CAT test and aim for high scores in order to gain admission to some of India's top management schools. Students who enroll in MBA programs at colleges that accept CAT scores benefit from outstanding options for education, exposure to the industry, and job placement opportunities.

Why is CAT Important for MBA Admissions?

If you are aiming to get into IIMs and receive top-class management education, then it is crucial for you to take the CAT exam for MBA admissions. Let’s explore some of the top reasons why CAT is important for MBA admissions in India.

1. Widely Accepted National-Level Exam in India

As mentioned above, over 1000 management colleges in India accept scores of the CAT exam for MBA admissions other than the IIMs. Some of the prestigious names include Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS),Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) - University of Delhi, Xavier School of Management (XLRI) Jamshedpur, Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad, Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon, Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad, DMS IIT Delhi, SJMSOM IIT Bombay, and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT Delhi) among others. These colleges offer the best teaching & educational facilities, industrial exposure, practical training, placement opportunities, and ROIs.

2. CAT Participating Colleges Offer Excellent Placement Opportunities

All the above-mentioned B-Schools not only offer an excellent range of postgraduate management programmes but they've also witnessed phenomenal placements year after year. If the figures of the past years are anything to go by, some of the IIMs have recorded 100% placements, with salary package offers going up to Rs. 90 lahks per annum. Another advantage of qualifying for the CAT exam for an MBA is that it opens the door to bright internship opportunities in top management institutes which are extremely promising for candidates in terms of receiving pre-placement offers (PPOs).

3. Most CAT-Accepting Colleges Are Brand Names in the Industry

Most of these colleges accepting scores of the CAT exam for MBA admissions have become brand names in the business world where some of the most popular companies come and hire managers year after year. Once shortlisted for admission into an MBA college, candidates should, therefore, study hard to sharpen their managerial skills and gear up to climb up the corporate ladder post the completion of their programs. MBA graduates from these top business schools can find managerial roles in any sector with lucrative salaries and other benefits.

4. CAT Tests Candidates Based on their Knowledge & Skills

Apart from being a passport for entry into these premier business schools, CAT is basically an entrance exam that evaluates candidates on many levels to see how well they can cope with the pressures of the corporate world. The CAT exam for MBA is designed to shortlist highly qualified candidates on the basis of their knowledge and skills related to Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Sufficiency, Data Interpretation (DI), Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Analytical Reasoning.

But are all these reasons enough to take the CAT exam? Can a candidate get admission into MBA courses just on the basis of CAT scores? What are the other criteria for securing a seat in IIMs and other top B-schools in India? Let’s find out below.

How is CAT not the Only Criterion for MBA Admissions?

While all the above reasons may seem enough to take the CAT exam for MBA, a good score in it will not be the only criterion to get admission into IIMs or other top business schools in India. A candidate will be evaluated on various other aspects as well to offer an MBA seat. Their profiles are closely assessed before selecting them for the management courses.

During the selection rounds in MBA admissions, candidates' personal, academic, and work experiences are given equal importance. The Group Discussion (GD), Personal Interview (PI), and Written Ability Test (WAT) rounds, which are usually conducted post the entrance exams for qualified candidates, have enough weightage to make or break the deal.

So, even if you are not being able to crack CAT, it does not mean the end of the world. You can still fulfill your dream of pursuing an MBA degree from premier institutes that accept scores of other national, state, and university-level management entrance exams apart from the CAT. Check out the details about other entrance exams for MBA admissions in India.

Top MBA Entrance Exams in India Other than CAT

CAT is certainly the biggest and the most important MBA entrance exam but this doesn't take away the fact it is not the only option to pursue management education in India. The choices are endless, and all that students need to do is just widen their horizons. Know about other management entrance tests other than the CAT exam for MBA admissions in India.

Top National-Level MBA Entrance Exams in India

Below mentioned are the Top National-level MBA Entrance Exams in India -

Exam Short Name

Exam Full Name

Conducting Body



Graduate Management Aptitude Test

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

All around the year


AIMS Test for Management Admissions

Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS)

4-5 times a year


Management Aptitude Test

All India Management Association (AIMA)

Multiple times a year


Common Management Admission Test

National Testing Agency (NTA)

Once a year


Xavier Aptitude Test

XLRI, Jamshedpur

Once a year


NMIMS Management Aptitude Test

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Once a year (74-day test window)

Top State-Level MBA Entrance Exams in India

Below mentioned are the Top State-level MBA Entrance Exams in India -

Exam Short Name

Exam Full Name

Conducting Body



Maharashtra Common Entrance Test

State Common Entrance Test Cell, Maharashtra

Once a year


Telangana State Integrated Common Entrance Test

Kakatiya University, Warangal

Once a year


Andhra Pradesh Integrated Common Entrance Test

Sri Venkateshwara University, Tirupati

Once a year


Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test

Anna University, Chennai

Once a year


Karnataka Management Aptitude Test

Karnataka Post Graduate Private Colleges' Association (KPPGCA)

Once a year


Odisha Joint Entrance Examination


Once a year

Top University-Level MBA Entrance Exams in India

Below mentioned are the Top University-level MBA Entrance Exams in India -

Exam Short Name

Exam Full Name

Conducting Body



Symbiosis National Aptitude Test

Symbiosis International (Deemed) University (SIU)

Once a year


Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Exam

National Testing Agency (NTA)

Once a year


Tata Institute of Social Sciences National Entrance Test

TISS Mumbai

Once a year


Mudra Institute of Communications Admission Test

MICA, Ahmedabad

Twice a year


Indraprastha University Common Entrance Test

Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University

Once a year

Top MBA Colleges Accepting CAT Scores

Provided below are some colleges students can consider to take admission through the CAT exam for MBA courses.

Name of the Institute

Courses Offered

Entrance Exams Accepted

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad



Indian Institute of Management Bangalore



Indian Institute of Management Calcutta



Indian Institute of Management Indore



Indian Institute Of Management Lucknow



Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT Delhi)

MBA in International Business


Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon



International Management Institute (IMI) New Delhi



S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) Mumbai



Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad



Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB) Bhubaneswar



Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) Chennai



Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi (FMS) New Delhi



XLRI Xavier School of Management

PGDM (Business Management)


JBIMS Mumbai



IIT Bombay – Shailesh J Mehta School of Management Mumbai



MICA Ahmedabad



FORE School of Management



Other top B-Schools accepting CAT scores include:

  1. Jagan Institute of Management Studies (JIMS)

  2. Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) Chennai

  3. IBMR Business School Gurgaon

  4. Future Institute of Engineering & Management Kolkata

  5. Amity University Raipur

  6. Geeta Engineering College Panipat

  7. Hierank Business School Noida

  8. Sanskriti University Mathura

  9. ICFAI Business School Dehradun

  10. Ajeenkya DY Patil University Pune

  11. Ambalika Institute of Management & Technology Lucknow

  12. Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics (DMCDSE) New Delhi

  13. Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai

The tag of IIM grad can get you immense respect in society and bring excellent career opportunities in any sector. And not just IIMs, but graduating from some of the prestigious colleges that accept CAT exam scores for MBA admissions like ISB, FMS, SPJIMR, and MDI Gurgaon can get you high-paying jobs in some of the biggest organizations. You can also fulfill your dream of becoming an entrepreneur and start your own venture.

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CAT 2023: Check Seat Reservation Policy at IIMs

List of MBA Colleges Accepting 80-90 Percentile in CAT 2023

Candidates looking for admission into any of the above-mentioned colleges or any other MBA colleges in India can fill out our Common Application Form. Besides this, if you have any questions related to the CAT examination, feel free to ask them in our Collegedekho QnA zone.


Can CAT scores be the sole deciding factor for MBA admissions?

While CAT scores hold significant weight in MBA admissions, they are typically not the sole determining factor. Business schools consider other components such as academic records, work experience, extracurricular activities, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. These factors help provide a holistic view of the candidate's profile and suitability for the MBA program.

What is the minimum CAT score required for MBA admissions?

The minimum CAT score required for MBA admissions varies from one business school to another. Different institutes have their own cutoff scores based on the number of applicants and the quality of candidates. It is essential to research and understand the specific cutoff requirements of the MBA programs you are interested in.

Are CAT scores valid for multiple years?

CAT scores are typically valid for one year only. Each year, candidates need to appear for the CAT exam to obtain fresh scores for MBA admissions. However, some institutes may consider scores from the previous year if the candidate meets their specific criteria or has a valid reason for not appearing in the current year's exam.

Can a low CAT score hinder MBA admissions?

While a low CAT score may pose challenges, it does not necessarily eliminate the possibility of securing MBA admissions. Other aspects of the candidate's profile, such as academic achievements, work experience, and personal achievements, can compensate for a lower CAT score. It is advisable to research business schools that consider a holistic evaluation approach and focus on building a strong overall profile to increase chances of admission.

How are CAT scores used in the MBA admission process?

CAT scores are used by business schools as a primary screening tool to assess the academic potential and aptitude of MBA aspirants. These scores are often given significant weightage in the overall admission criteria, alongside other factors such as academic performance, work experience, and performance in group discussions and personal interviews.

What is the Importance of CAT in MBA Admissions?

CAT is crucial for MBA admissions as it serves as a common platform for evaluating candidates' aptitude, problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, and data interpretation abilities. Business schools consider CAT scores as a key criterion for shortlisting candidates for further selection rounds, such as group discussions and personal interviews.

Do I have to appear for CAT for MBA admission?

No, appearing for the CAT (Common Admission Test) is not mandatory for all MBA admissions. While CAT is a widely accepted entrance exam for MBA programs in many institutions, there are alternative exams like XAT, MAT, CMAT, and GMAT that are also accepted by various B-schools for admission purposes.

What are the top MBA colleges accepting CAT scores?

Several top MBA colleges in India accept CAT scores for admissions. Some prominent institutions include the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) located in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, and others. Additionally, other prestigious institutions such as FMS Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, and IIFT Delhi are also known for accepting CAT scores.

What percentage of CAT scores are considered for MBA admission?

The percentage of CAT scores considered for MBA admission varies among different institutions. Typically, CAT scores hold significant weight in the admission process and can range from 50% to 75% or more, depending on the specific policies and criteria of each business school or university.

What other factors are considered for MBA admission except the CAT scores?

Colleges also consider the candidates’ performance in the qualifying degree and personal interview while selecting candidates. Some of the colleges also consider the work experience of the candidates during the selection process.

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