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:
|Number of Questions
|26 November 2023
|7 January 2024
|NMAT by GMAC
|10 October 2023 to 19 December 2023
|10, 17 and 22 December 2023
|MICAT I & II
|2 December 2023 & 27 January 2024
|MAH MBA CET
|9th & 10th March 2024
|April - May 2024
|9th March 2024
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 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
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 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
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
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
Human Resource Management
Amazon, Apple, Bain & Company, Citigroup, Deloitte, Facebook, Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, JP Morgan and Chase Co, Morgan Stanley, etc.
At least 50% in graduation, final year students can register as well.
Selection of the Entrance exam based on targeted colleges
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.
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
IIMs, IMI, FMS Delhi, JBIMS, SPJIMR, IIT, MDI
XLRI, XIMB, XIME, TAPMI, MICA, IMT
NMIMS, XIMB, ISB Hyderabad, SPJIMR, TAPMI, IBS
Great Lakes, GIM, VIT, BIMTECH
SIBM Pune, SCMHRD Pune +13 other Symbiosis Colleges
MAH MBA CET
JBIMS, SIMSREE, PUMBA
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 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.