Top MBA Entrance Exams in India 2023

Updated on 4th July 2023 | 9:54 am | #MBAEntranceExams

MBA opens the doors to getting admission to the top B-schools across the country. Out of the top MBA entrance exams in India, CAT is the most popular and sought after as it is the only means to the IIMs. However, every year more than 2 lakh students write CAT, competing for a few thousand seats in the top B-schools including IIMs, FMS Delhi, and MDI Gurgaon. Other top MBA entrance exams include XAT, NMAT, SNAP, IIFT, CMAT, and more. 

XAT Exam, conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur, is accepted by over 800 MBA Colleges in India. The competition to secure a seat in the top B-schools is tough. Hence, to ensure admission to atleast one B-school every student should prepare to attempt 5-6 entrance exams. Most of the MBA entrance exams have a similar syllabus structure and can be prepared simultaneously. In this article learn more about some of the top MBA entrance exams, their exam pattern, and the colleges that accept them.

Get the Eligibility of Top MBA Entrance

Top MBA Entrance Exams 2023-24

There are numerous entrance exams for admissions to MBA programs across the country. However, the top MBA entrance exams ensure candidates an opportunity to get into a top B-school with a good reputation and high placements. Here is a list of the top MBA entrance exams in India:

Entrance Exam

Number of Questions

Time Allotted

Exam Timeline

Official website



120 minutes

Last week of November 2023



210 minutes

First week of January 2024



120 minutes

Third week of December 2023



120 minutes

October 2023 to December 2023



100 minutes

Last week of February 2024



60 minutes

3 dates in December 2023



180 minutes

Last week of March 2024



165 minutes

MICAT I: First week of December 2023

MICAT II: Last week of January 2024



120 minutes

Last week of December 2023

About the Top MBA Entrance Exams


The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most popular MBA entrance exams with over 2 lakh applicants per year. It is a computer-based exam, held across the country in the month of November each year. CAT is the only entrance test for admission to MBA programs in the IIMs and over 150 B-schools accept the CAT score for admission to their programs. Read more


XAT or Xavier Aptitude Test is another popular MBA entrance exam held for admissions to the Xavier member institutes including XLRI Jamshedpur, XIMB and XIME. The exam is given by over 75,000 candidates per year and is held annually in the month of January. Some other top B-schools that accept XAT are Great Lakes Chennai, SPJIMR, TAPMI, etc. Read more


IIFT is held by the National Testing Agency for admission to MBA(IB) by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade. The university-level examination is held annually in online mode with around 60,000 candidates appearing for the exam. The entrance exam is a gateway for admission to all three campuses of IIFT along with other reputed institutes. Read more


NMAT is a national-level examination held by GMAC for admission to top MBA institutes including NMIMS and XIMB among 30 B-schools in India. The exam is held annually over a 70-day period and candidates can attempt the exam three times. Unlike other MBA entrance exams, the exam can be attempted in two modes, i.e online proctored at home, or at a test center. Read more


The Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) is held by Symbiosis International (Deemed University) for admission to 15 member institutes including SIBM, SCMHRD and SICSR. The national-level exam is held annually on three days. Candidates can attempt the exam three times out of which the highest score will be considered the final score and no normalization will take place. Read more


Held by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, TISSNET paves the way for admission to its Master’s programs in management offered at the various campuses. Candidates can apply for any 3 programs at any two TISS campuses. The university-level entrance exam is conducted once annually, usually in the month of March. Read more


MICAT is a computer-based test that is held twice annually. Candidates appear for MICAT to aim for admission to the PGDM programs at MICA Ahmedabad. Ideally, the entrance exam is held in the months of December and January. Read more


Convened by the National Testing Agency, Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a three-hour online, online-held MBA entrance exam. CMAT is accepted by over 1000 AICTE-approved institutes across India. Some of the top management institutes that accept the exam include Great Lakes Chennai, BIMTECH and VIT Vellore. Read more


The PGDBA exam is held for admission to the Post Graduate Diploma in Business Analytics (PGDBA) course offered collectively by IIM Calcutta, IIT Kharagpur and ISI Kolkata. The exam is held once annually, thus candidates can only attempt the paper once. Unlike other MBA entrance exams, PGDBA includes a higher level of mathematics. Read more


ICFAI Foundation For Higher Education conducts the national-level, IBS Aptitude Test. IBSAT is a 2-hour, computer-based test that comprises multiple choice questions. Candidates who give the IBSAT and clear the cutoffs can seek admission to MBA and Ph.D. programs offered across the 9 campuses of IBS. Read more

MBA Entrance Exam 2023: A Closer Look

In recent years, pursuing MBA/PGDM has gained immense popularity based on several factors. The primary concern related to MBA is the amount of time and effort a candidate has to put in before and after MBA admissions. So it is imperative to understand the various MBA entrance exams to identify tier relevance to the goals.


MBA Entrance Exam 2023

MBA Program Fees

INR 2 - 30 lakhs

MBA Specializations



International Business

Digital Marketing

Business Analytics, and others 

MBA Average CTC Offered

Tier 1 B-schools: INR 27 - 34 lakhs

Tier 2 B-schools: INR 18 - 27 lakhs

Tier 3 B-schools: INR 15 - 20 lakhs

Top Recruiting Sectors

Banking & Finance

Branding & Advertising

Digital Marketing

Foreign Trade

Human Resource Management

Top Recruiters

Amazon, Apple, Bain & Company, Citigroup, Deloitte, Facebook, Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, JP Morgan and Chase Co, Morgan Stanley, etc.

MBA Admission Procedure through MBA Entrance Exam 2023

Important Parameters


Eligibility Criteria

At least 50% in graduation, final year students can register as well.

Age limit


Selection of the Entrance exam based on targeted colleges

20 IIMs, FMS, IMT, MDI, IMI and IITs accept CAT scores

XLRI accepts only XAT scores

NMIMS accepts only NMAT score

Sixteen symbiosis member institutes accept the SNAP score.

Selection of shortlisted students for further admission rounds (Group Discussion- Written Ability Test-Personal Interview)

Shortlisting is based on weightage given to several parameters including exam score, academic background, professional work experience, and gender diversity.

Top B-schools like IIMs, FMS, IMT, and MDI conduct mandatory batch-wise group discussion sessions for students who are shortlisted.

Declaration of merit lists by the universities

The institutes announce the result of candidates in the form of merit lists. It can be downloaded from the official website of the institute. The list usually contains the name of the selected student, registration number, roll number, entrance exam score, and entrance exam percentile.

Accepting admission letter and payment of acceptance fees

Post declaration of the result, the university/B-school sends an e-offer letter via an official email. A candidate needs to revert to the email by accepting the offer letter and paying the acceptance fees by the given date to confirm the admission.

The data/statistics formulated every year in the form of cut-offs, weightage, batch profile, gender diversity, academic diversity, summer placements, and final placements play a mandatory role in shaping the repute of the institute. When talking about the topmost B-schools in our country, most of the institutes’ admission procedures can be drawn along similar lines.

Institutes Accepting Top MBA Entrance Exams in India

When candidates choose the MBA entrance exams they wish to appear for, it is essential that they identify the B-schools of their choice. Based on the institutes and the entrance exams they accept, candidates should finalize their decision for the MBA entrance exams. Here are the top MBA entrance exams and the list of major universities that accept them for admission.

MBA Entrance Exams

Top B-schools






IIFT Delhi, IIFT Kolkata, IIFT Kakinada, IFIM Business School




All the Schools and Centres of TISS


MICA Ahmedabad


Great Lakes, GIM, VIT, BIMTECH


SIBM Pune, SCMHRD Pune +13 other Symbiosis Colleges


IBS Hyderabad, IBS Gurgaon, IBS Jaipur, IBS Bangalore


Yes, you can pursue an MBA without sitting for the CAT exam. You can opt for other MBA entrance exams such as XAT, NMAT, SNAP, CMAT, etc. However, you will not be able to get admission to top B-schools such as the IIMs without acing CAT.

CAT or Common Admission Test is the most popular MBA entrance exam with over two lakh registrations. CAT provides the opportunity of getting into prestigious institutes such as IIMs, FMS Delhi, SPJIMR, etc.

The best way to decide which entrance exams you should apply for is by deciding the courses and institutes you wish to get admission to. Based on the list, identify the MBA entrance exams required to meet the B-schools' individual requirements.

All the MBA entrance exams have individual registration dates. Ensure that you keep a track of all the entrances you wish to give. Tentatively, registrations for CAT, XAT, SNAP and NMAT will begin in the 1st week of August while IIFT registrations will being in October 2023.

Any exam preparation requires a well-thought strategy. If you are appearing for multiple MBA entrance exams, it is imperative that you begin covering the syllabus for the exam nearest. As topics and syllabi overlap for most entrance exams, you can focus on the nearest exam and cover the remaining topics per exam as the dates come closer.