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What Is The Difference Between MAT and CAT? Join The CAT vs MAT Discussion!

Soham RoyUpdated On: November 23, 2021 | MAT

Are you perplexed by the CAT vs. MAT debate? Learn the differences between the MAT and the CAT, as well as the top universities that accept both CAT and MAT scores.

 Difference Between MAT and CAT, CAT vs MAT

If we talk about the two most popular MBA entrance tests in India, Common Admission Test (CAT) along with Management Aptitude Test (MAT) will feature at the top of our conversation. CAT score has a premium value and is accepted by 20 IIMs & 1000+ reputed B-schools across the country. On the other hand, MAT scores are trusted by over 600 management institutes. Even though it might seem like the two tests have an uncanny similarity in their syllabus, they are quite different in other aspects. Here, we will discuss the difference between MAT and CAT.

The biggest distinction as we dive into the MAT vs CAT discussion is the frequency of these exams. While CAT is only conducted once every year, one can appear for the MAT exam 4 times/year. Understanding the distinctions between the MAT & CAT exams can aid you in placing your best foot forward.

MAT vs CAT: Overview

Let's take a quick look at how MAT differs from CAT!





Management Aptitude Test

Common Admission Test

Eligibility Criteria

Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50% mark

Passing marks required in bachelor’s degree

Who Conducts It?




4 times every year [February, May, September, and December]

Once every year [November]

Mode of Exam

  • Paper-Based Test (PBT)

  • Computer-Based Test (CBT)

  • Internet-Based Test (IBT)

  • Only Computer-Based Test (CBT)

Total number of Sections



Sections In Detail

i. Language Comprehension

ii. Intelligence & Critical Reasoning

iii. Indian & Global Environment

iv. Data Analysis & Sufficiency

v. Mathematical Skills

i. Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

ii. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

iii. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Total Questions



Exam Duration

150 minutes (2.5 hrs)

120 minutes (2 hrs)


Easier than CAT


Marking Scheme

+1 for every correct response & -0.25 for every incorrect response

+3 for every correct response & -1 for every incorrect response

Total Marks



Exam Fee

  1. One paper- ₹ 1,650

  2. CBT+ PBT- ₹ 2750

  3. CBT+PBT IBT- ₹ 4,950

  1. General & NC-OBC- ₹ 2,000

  2. SC/ ST/ PwD: ₹ 1,000

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

MAT vs CAT: Who Conducts The Exam? 

Management Aptitude Test(MAT): The All India Management Association popularly known as AIMA conducts the MAT exam. It is the gateway for admission to 600+ Indian B-schools that provide PGDM/ MBA programs. The MAT exam is generally conducted in 3 formats: paper-based test (PBT), computer-based test (CBT), internet-based test (IBT).

Common Admission Test(CAT): For admission to PGDM/ MBA programs in the top-tier management institutions of India like IIMs, the CAT exam is conducted once a year. It is conducted on a rotational basis by the different Indian Institute of Management (IIMs). Each year, one of the best IIMs is tasked with administering the CAT exam. CAT is an entirely computer-based test (CBT) that is widely regarded as the most difficult of all the MBA entrance tests. The CAT score has a premium value over other exams.

MAT vs CAT: Who All Are Eligible To Appear For The Exam?

Management Aptitude Test: The MAT exam is a saviour for people who did not perform well in graduation. The MAT exam is open to any graduate with a passing grade. There is no minimum age or percentage requirement for the MAT exam.

Common Admission Test: To appear for CAT, there are certain requirements. Students must have a bachelor's degree from a recognized university/board. Also, they must have scored at least 50% aggregate or an equal CGPA. ST, SC, and PwD/DA candidates must garner at least 45% aggregate or its equivalent CGPA.

Also Read: List of Non-IIM MBA Colleges to Apply to Before & After CAT Exam

Exam Pattern- How Does It Differ For MAT & CAT?

Management Aptitude Test(MAT): The exam paper for MAT typically includes questions from Indian & Global Environment, Language Comprehension, Data Analysis, Mathematical Skills, Intelligence, along with Critical Reasoning. The India & Global Environment section comes with GK questions and current affairs. The MAT exam paper contains 200 questions segregated into 40-each in various sections.

Common Admission Test:(CAT) Students who are attempting the CAT must answer questions from the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), and the Quantitative Aptitude(QA) segment. Due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, the exam period was shortened to 120 minutes (2 hours) and the number of questions was trimmed to 76 in CAT 2020.

Also Read: How Did The CAT Exam Pattern Change Over The Years? Take A Look!

Top Colleges Accepting MAT scores in India

In India, nearly 600+ MBA colleges recognize MAT scores. A list of universities that recognize MAT scores to enroll in their MBA programs is provided below.

Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Institute for Management Development, Mysore

SPJIMR, Mumbai

School of Business, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun

Christ University, Bangalore

National Institute of Technology Warangal

VIT Business School, Vellore

Prin LN Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai

AIMS Institutes, Bangalore

Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata

Doon Business School, Dehradun

PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore

ITM Business School, Navi Mumbai

New Delhi Institute of Management, Delhi

Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bangalore

Chandigarh University, Chandigarh

GITAM Hyderabad Business School, Hyderabad

Techno India University, Kolkata

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai

MIT School of Management, Pune

Top Colleges In India Accepting CAT Score, Apart From The IIMs

What are the top 20 MBA colleges that accept CAT results in India apart from the IIMs? Well, they are listed below!

School of Business, University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun

SOIL Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Mittal School of Business, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara

SPJIMR, Mumbai

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

Christ University, Bangalore

Department of Management Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune

Institute of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

National Institute of Technology Warangal

VIT Business School, Vellore

Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon

IBS Business School, Hyderabad

K J Somaiya Institute of Management, Mumbai

AIMS Institutes, Bangalore

Prin LN Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai

Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata

 Also Read: MBA Colleges for Low Percentile/ Score in CMAT 2022

Closing Thoughts:

Both the CAT and the MAT are national MBA entrance tests for management aspirants. However, the former has a better value. Aspirants are frequently perplexed when deciding between the two because the management institutions available dependent on CAT scores vary significantly from those available based on MAT scores. As a result, it's critical to choose carefully between the two tests. Let's hope that this article has quenched your thirst of knowing both deeply and the difference between MAT and CAT has been made clear. stay tuned with us for more updates!

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