CAT vs GMAT: Which is Better?

Are you an MBA aspirant? Are you still obscure about which entrance examination to take up? Whether to opt for CAT or GMAT? Well, this is one question that lingers through the mind of every aspirant who wishes to pursue an MBA in India.

However, this is not the only dilemma that students are left with. Other queries that linger on the mind include opting for which exam stands more chances of gaining admission into the top MBA colleges in India.

Well, with the view of clearing your significant doubts and aiding you to select better, herein we offer you a detailed analysis between GMAT by GMAC and CAT.

How Many Aspirants Opt for the Exams?

Over the years, the popularity of GMAT and CAT has risen to a considerable extent. However, as of 2018, the exam witnessed a substantial drop of many aspirants opting for the exams. Even though there has been a drop in many candidates, in comparison to both the exams, CAT still garnered almost three times more students than that of GMAT. The very reason for the choice is quoted to be less pressure and lesser competition thereby rendering more significant opportunity.

Opportunity to Improve Overall Scores

While CAT guarantees lesser pressure among students in comparison to GMAT, still it renders just one chance every year to clear the examination. Thus, much opportunities for qualifying the exam pass them in one go with no additional chance in the same academic year.

GMAT allows five chances to take the test with a gap of 16 days between two attempts. This lays out higher opportunities for candidates to pass the exam and qualify for MBA colleges than that of CAT. On an overall basis, students can attempt the GMAT eight times in one lifetime. Thus, aspirants are offered more opportunity to improve their scores than that rendered for CAT which goes in favour of students.

Thus, in case you find your GMAT exam hasn’t gone well in the first attempt, you can reschedule your GMAT dates online up to a week before the exam.

Score Validity

CAT scores are valid just for a year, whereas GMAT scores are valid for five years. Thus, if you wish to apply for any college, based on the scores acquired in CAT, it can be used for applying for programmes just for 2018 and not the preceding year. For the year 2019, you will have to reattempt the exam. However, some institutions do give leeway to use the previous year scores acquired in CAT though such universities and colleges are very few.

On the other hand, you can use your GMAT scores for five years in a row, after which if you haven’t got admission, you may have to attempt for a recent exam.

Selection of Category

GMAT examination allows candidates to begin their preparation on the basis of various sections selected. This aids students in gaining a better understanding of their weakness and strengths, thereby increasing the chances of cracking the examination in one go. However, in case of CAT, there exists no such selection of sections possible.

The Number of Institutions Covered under GMAT

If you aim to gain admission in top IIMs across the country, then CAT is the ultimate examination that can avail your entry to the institutes. CAT scores are affiliated to admission to IIMs and top B-Schools in the country.

On the other hand, GMAT open gates for gaining admission to institutions not only in India but also in abroad. Some of the top institutes that accept GMAT scores include Harvard Business School, Stanford, Wharton in the USA, INSEAD in Singapore and France, London Business Schools and many other prestigious institutions across the globe. Thus, if you aim at going abroad, your GMAT scores that are valid up to 5 years can pave your way easily for admission to top management programs internationally.

Amongst the Indian Schools that accept GMAT scores include:

  • Great Lakes Institute of Management in Chennai
  • Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad
  • SP Jain in Mumbai and many more.

Thus, while CAT can avail admissions in top Indian B-Schools, GMAT can take you across the globe.

Admission process

Though it is much easier to qualify CAT, paving through the admission process is an arduous task. CAT examination is just an entry-level thing in the overall admission process. This is followed by Group Discussion and Personal Interview which is quite a tenacious path to qualify.

Secondly, with too many aspirants already eyeing seats in IIMs, meandering the cut-off and converting it into admission can be quite a task considering the reservations and over 2 lac aspirants for 1000 seats. Thus, putting it in simple words, only 0.5% of the total applicants make it to IIMs, making others take up the examination once again for the next academic year.

As for GMAT, many B-Schools have eased their process for admission. After the GMAT exam, the next step includes sending your essays and recommendation letters which is a more natural method wherein students can speak about their scope and experience.

Also, unlike India, universities, and colleges abroad do not ask for class 10 and class 12 marks for admission. Thus, the ratio of getting admission to B-Schools rises to over 10% in comparison to CAT admission.

Thus, in short considering all the points, while CAT holds a higher preference in India, GMAT can lend you admission to international universities and colleges. So, herein that the points are listed, you can understand which exam is better for MBA admission to top universities and colleges.