Top MBA Entrance Exams in India

Updated on 29th March 2024 | 10:54 am | #MBAEntranceExams

MBA opens the doors to getting admission to the top B-schools across the country. To get admission to these MBA colleges students have to prepare for their entrance exams. 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, 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 at least 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.

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Top MBA Entrance Exams 2024-25

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 (Tentative) Official website
CAT 66 120 minutes November 2024
XAT 102 210 minutes January 2025
NMAT 108 120 minutes October 2024 to December 2024
SNAP 60 60 minutes December 2024
MICAT 234 165 minutes December 2024 & January 2025
MAH MBA CET 200 150 minutes March 2024
CMAT 100 180 minutes April - May 2024
TANCET 100 120 minutes March 2024
CUET PG 75 105 minutes March 2024

Conducted through CUET PG

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


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 70 days 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 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 over 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


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, the 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 MAH MBA CET is an entrance exam that paves the way to MBA programs in Maharashtra. Held by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE), the government body responsible for technical education in Maharashtra, the exam is 2.5 hours long. The exam has 200 multiple-choice questions divided into 4 sections. Read more


The Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test (TANCET) is an annual state-level MBA entrance examination conducted by Anna University every year. The exam is divided into 5 sections of 20 questions each. It measures a candidate's aptitude for management studies and their ability to handle the rigors of an MBA program. Read more


The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) PG is a national-level entrance examination conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in India for admission to postgraduate programs offered by central universities, participating state universities, and deemed universities. Read More

MBA Entrance Exams: A Closer Look

In recent years, pursuing an 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.

Features MBA Entrance Exam
MBA Program Fees INR 2 - 30 lakhs
MBA Specializations
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • International Business
  • Digital Marketing
  • Business Analytics

Read More

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 Exams

Important Parameters Description
Eligibility Criteria At least 50% in graduation, final year students can register as well.
Age limit none
Selection of the Entrance exam based on targeted colleges CAT scores: 20 IIMs, FMS, IMT, MDI, IMI, and IITs


NMAT score: NMIMS, SP Jain, Great Lakes, KJ Sumaiya

SNAP score: 16 Symbiosis member institutes

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 results 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 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, they must 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
MICAT MICA Ahmedabad
SNAP SIBM Pune, SCMHRD Pune +13 other Symbiosis Colleges
TANCET Anna University, PPG Business School


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 .

Any exam preparation requires a well-thought-out strategy. If you are appearing for multiple MBA entrance exams, you must 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.

Suggested Readings

CAT Online Classes MBA Beginner’s Guide Prepare for MBA List of B-schools