MBA Entrance Exams in India: Everything You Need to Know

Pursuing an MBA degree has a lot of benefits such as, it provides a solid theoretical foundation in business concepts and helps to develop essential skills such as leadership, management, communication, motivation, & negotiation. 

It also opens up a host of opportunities for career growth; offers practical experiences through internships; individual/group projects, & assignments; and equips students to start their independent businesses after graduation.

In India, over a thousand reputable management institutes/colleges offer specialised MBA programmes in fields such as Finance, Marketing, Operations Management, Consulting, Entrepreneurship, and Human Resources, among others. However, choosing the best MBA course to pursue your career can be challenging due to the plethora of options available.

To gain admission to your preferred B-school, the first step is to clear one of the entrance exams relevant to your choice of course and institute. The following are the entrance exams for MBA that candidates must clear to get a spot in top management institutes across India. 

Top Ten MBA Entrance Exams in India

mba entrance exams in india

Here’s a list of some of the most sought-after entrance exams for an MBA:

CAT (Common Admission Test) Entrance Exam

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is the most popular and challenging MBA entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). While CAT scores are primarily used to admit students to the 20 IIMs, many other B-Schools also accept CAT scores for admission to their respective centres. As a result, more than 2 Lakh students appear for the CAT entrance exam every year.

CAT comprises four main parts: Verbal, Quantitative, Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning. These parts are grouped into three sections – Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VRC), Quantitative Aptitude (QA), and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR).

Examination ModeComputer-Based Test (CBT)
Exam Duration120 Minutes (2 Hours)
Number of Questions:66 Objective-Type Questions
CAT 2023 Registration OpensFirst Week of August 2023 (tentative)
CAT 2023 Exam DateNovember 26, 2023 (tentative)

NMAT (Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test) Entrance Exam

The NMAT (Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test) is a national-level entrance exam organised by the Graduate Management Admission Council. It offers admission to MBA and several other graduate management degree courses offered by different institutes/colleges, such as Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) and various other institutions.

NMAT primarily tests a candidate’s Quantitative skills, Language skills, and Logical Reasoning Abilities.

Examination ModeComputer-Based Test (CBT)
Exam Duration120 Minutes (2 Hours)
Number of Questions:108 (Multiple Choice Questions)
NMAT 2023 Registration OpensTo be Announced
NMAT 2023 Exam DateTo be Announced

CMAT (Common Management Admission Test) Entrance Exam

The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) conducts the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), a national-level MBA entrance exam, to assess candidates’ abilities in various segments such as General Awareness, Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, and Language Comprehension.

The CMAT score is recognised at all AICTE-approved institutes, departments, universities, and colleges. The exam evaluates General Awareness, Language Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative & Data Interpretation skills.

Examination ModeOnline
Exam Duration180 Minutes (3 Hours)
Number of Questions:100
CMAT 2023 Registration OpensFebruary 13, 2023
CMAT 2023 Exam DateTo be announced

GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) Entrance Exam

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) for admission to undergraduate management programmes offered by various foreign institutes and universities. Although registration for the GMAT is open throughout the year, candidates can take the test only up to five times in a single year.

GMAT mainly comprises four sections, including Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment.

Examination ModeOnline
Exam Duration187 Minutes (3 Hours and 7 Minutes)
Number of Questions:80
GMAT 2023 Registration OpensCan be done any time of the year
GMAT 2023 Exam DateCandidates can choose the date

MAT (Management Aptitude Test) Entrance Exam

The Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is a national-level MBA entrance examination administered by the All India Management Association (AIMA) to offer admission to various management programmes. MAT is conducted four times a year (typically in February, May, September, and December) and is available in both online (computer-based test) and offline (written test) formats.

The exam assesses candidates’ abilities in five areas, including Mathematical Skills, Language Comprehension, Indian and Global Environment, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, and Data Analysis and Sufficiency.

Examination ModeComputer-Based Test (Online) and Paper Based Test (Offline)
Exam Duration150 Minutes (2 Hours and 30 Minutes)
Number of Questions:200 Objective-Type Questions
MAT 2023 Registration OpensDecember 28, 2022
MAT 2023 Exam Date (For February MAT)PBT 19th FebruaryCBT 26 FebruaryCBT2 4 March 2023

XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) Entrance Exam

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is another popular MBA entrance exam conducted by the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur. Around one Lakh students appear each year for XAT, typically held on the first Sunday of January. More than 100 management colleges accept students’ admission based on their XAT scores.

XAT mainly consists of four sections: Quantitative Ability, Decision Making, English Language and Logical Reasoning, and General Knowledge and Essay. However, the General Knowledge and Essay tests are conducted only after students are shortlisted for XLRI courses.

Examination ModeOffline Test (Pen and Paper Based)
Exam Duration190 Minutes
Number of Questions:100 Objective Type Questions
XAT 2023 Registration OpensAugust 10 to December 11, 2022
XAT 2023 Exam DateJanuary 8, 2023

ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions) Entrance Exam

ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions) is a national-level MBA entrance exam administered by the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) to offer admission to various Management Programmes such as MBA, PGDBA, PGDM, MCA, MCM, etc. The exam is conducted four times a year.

The ATMA exam aims to analyse the following skills in a candidate:

  • Verbal Skills
  • Analytical Reasoning Skills
  • Quantitative Skills
Examination ModeOnline
Exam Duration180 Minutes (3 Hours)
Number of Questions:180
ATMA 2023 Registration Opens (For February 2023)December 24, 2022
ATMA 2023 Exam DateFebruary 25, 2023

MAH-CET (Maharashtra Common Entrance Test) Entrance Exam

MAH-CET, also known as MAH-MBA and MMS-CET, is an entrance exam conducted by the Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra. Its purpose is to admit students to various management courses offered by different institutes in the state of Maharashtra, such as MBA/MMS, BE/B Tech, B.HMCT, MCA, M.Arch, and M.HMCT.

Admission to courses such as MBA/ PGDM/ PGDMB/ MMS is facilitated by the Competent Authority of the State of Maharashtra through a centralised process known as CAP (Centralised Admission Process). The MAH-CET exam is held in various sessions, and the Competent Authority calculates scores for each session using the standardised equi-percentile method.

The exam tests Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude, and Abstract Reasoning.

Examination ModeComputer-Based Test (CBT Mode)
Exam Duration150 Minutes (2 Hours and 30 Minutes)
Number of Questions:200 (Multiple Choice)
MAH-CET 2023 Registration OpensFebruary 23 to March 4, 2023
MAH-CET 2023 Exam DateMarch 18, March 19, 2023

SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude) Entrance Exam

The Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) is a national-level management entrance exam conducted by Symbiosis International University (SIU) for admission to 15 institutes under SIU and for other MBA or equivalent courses. Since 2017, SNAP has been conducted through an online mode instead of the traditional pen and paper-based exam.

The test comprises three main sections, which include Analytical and Logical Reasoning, General English and Quantitative, Data Interpretation, & Data Sufficiency.

Examination ModeOnline
Exam Duration60 Minutes (1 Hour)
Number of Questions:60
SNAP 2023 Registration Opens1st week Aug 2023 (tentative)
SNAP 2023 Exam Date10, 18, and 23 Dec 2023 (tentative)

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