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Steps to Follow for Admission to Top MBA Colleges

Steps to Follow for Admission to Top MBA Colleges

MBA or Masters of Business Administration is an internationally-recognized post-graduate programme structured to develop business and management skills of an individual. However, the qualification and skills imparted in an MBA programme are not restricted to business administration. There is a growing demand for MBA professionals in various government organizations, public sector organizations, private industry, etc.

Why Pursue an MBA?

  • MBA enables individuals to achieve exponential growth in their careers and makes them eligible to contend for managerial level positions.
  • This programme offers more versatile opportunities as the curriculum provides education about the various functional areas of different industries.
  • MBA programme allows you to meet and interact with professionals and field experts from all over the world that help you broaden your business perspective. It is one of the best education platforms to start networking.
  • An MBA programme is designed to tap the interpersonal skills and decision-making skills of an individual. As a result, an individual gets the opportunity to learn a great deal about the business environment through an MBA programme.
  • Pursuing an MBA also enables individuals to get a good raise in their annual salary packages.

Also Read: Tackle Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) Section in CAT 2016 Smartly

Career Opportunities after pursuing an MBA:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Information System Management
  • Investment Banking
  • Management Consulting
  • Private Equity
  • Data Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship

Entrance Exams to take:

Once you have shortlisted the colleges that you want to apply to, you must start gathering information about the different entrance examinations that are essential to secure seats in the B-Schools that you have selected.

Common Admission Test (CAT)

Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based entrance test conducted every year by one of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admission to the business administration programs offered by the premier Indian B-Schools. Apart from the IIMs, a valid CAT score opens the gate to more than 100 management institutes across India. CAT is a yearly exam which is conducted every year for eligible graduates and students studying in their final year of graduation.


CAT exam comprises of three sections and the distribution of questions is as follows:

Section No. of Questions Duration
Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension 34 60 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude 34 60 minutes
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32 60 minutes

For every correct answer, the candidate is awarded 1 mark and for every incorrect answer, 0.25 marks are deducted.

Performance in CAT exam plays an essential role in getting a seat in one of the IIMs, however, each IIM shortlists candidates for the second stage of selection that may be independently analyzed. The procedure of shortlisting includes Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussions (GD) and Personal Interviews (PI).

Apart from this, IIMs may also consider throughout academic performance of the candidates, their work experience and other similar inputs for selecting candidates. This procedure may vary across different IIMs.

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

The Xavier Aptitude Test is organized by the Xavier Association of Management Institutes (XAMI) for admission to the post graduate management programmes offered by some of India’s best management institutes including XLRI, XIME, GIM and XIMB. It is a paper based aptitude test and general awareness test. The exam also has a subjective writing test for which the candidate has to write an essay.


The XAT entrance test can be segregated into the following four sections:

Section No. of Questions Duration
Decision-Making 23 50 minutes
Verbal and Logical Ability 26 60 minutes
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 29 60 minutes

35 minutes are given for the Essay and General writing awareness as well.

The candidate is awarded 1 mark for every correct answer whereas for every incorrect answer 0.25 marks are deducted.


NMAT is another entrance exam that allows MBA aspirants to contend for business programmes offered in some of the leading B-Schools in India. It is a computer-based test that is conducted by GMAC. A valid score in NMAT is accepted by reputed business schools such as NMIMS University, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad campuses among others.


NMAT is a 2 hours test that has 120 multiple choice questions. There are three sections each of which has a time limit. The candidates can opt for either of the following sections in the order of their preference:

Section No. of Questions Duration
Language Skills 32 22 minutes
Quantitative Skills 48 60 minutes
Logical Reasoning 40 38 minutes

There is no negative marking in NMAT.


Symbiosis National Aptitude (SNAP) is an entrance test conducted in pen-paper mode for the admission to all the Post-Graduate Institutes of Symbiosis International (Deemed) University. Although there is a single application form, the candidate needs to apply separately for each institute within Symbiosis International University, as per the details provided on the respective website of each institute.


There are four sections in SNAP and the duration of the test is two hours. The structure of the exam can be understood with the help of the following table:

Section No. of Questions Duration
English: Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Ability 40 20 minutes
Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency 40 50 minutes
Current Affairs (past 2 years) 30 20 minutes
Analytical & Logical Reasoning 40 30 minutes

Also Read: Know How Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) is Evaluated in CAT

When to Start Preparation?

Ideally, the preparation for entrance exams like CAT and XAT must be started at least two years prior to the date of the exam. This is the amount of time every candidate will need to analyze his or her weaknesses and develop their skills in order to be exam-ready.

Also, two years is sufficient time for candidates who need to work on their English speaking and reading skills. It is essential for the candidates to have a good vocabulary and communications skills in order to crack group discussion and interview rounds of B-Schools.

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Steps to Follow for Admission to Top MBA Colleges | CollegeDekho