Important MBA Entrance Exams Beyond CAT

MBA admission to top B-schools is highly competitive, with CAT being the most popular choice for IIMs. However, with over 2.5 lakh students competing for for a few thousand seats in the top B-schools, exploring alternative MBA exams is essential. Apart from CAT the aspirants also have some other MBA entrance exams that provide a diverse range of opportunities to gain admission into esteemed B-schools.

Deciding as to which MBA exams to consider depends on various factors, including one’s strengths, preferences, and the focus of each exam. To increase the likelihood of admission to a top B-school amidst tough competition, candidates should aim to attempt 5-6 entrance exams. Fortunately, most MBA entrance exams have a similar syllabus structure, allowing for simultaneous preparation. While numerous entrance exams exist for MBA programs nationwide, focusing on top MBA entrance exams provides the best chance of securing admission to reputable institutions known for their strong reputation and high placement records. Here’s a refined list of the top MBA entrance exams in India.

Top MBA Entrance Exams

Numerous entrance exams exist for MBA admissions across India, yet focusing on the top MBA entrance exams ensures candidates access to reputable B-schools with high placements. Here’s a curated list of these prestigious exams –

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is a computer-based management aptitude test. Conducted by Xavier Labor Relations Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur. Taken annually by approximately one lakh candidates, XAT is held on the first Sunday of January. Accepted by XLRI Jamshedpur and over 800 other management institutes, XAT selects candidates nationwide for management education. , XAT is a prestigious examination in the field of management and a detailed information about XAT is provided below –

  • Registration Fee – Rs. 2100 /- INR
  • Exam Time Line – January
  • Exam Duration – 3.5 hours
  • Exam Sections –
    • Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning (VA & LR)
    • Decision Making (DM)
    • Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)
    • Mock Keyboard Testing
    • General Knowledge (GK)
    • Analytical Essay Writing (AEW)
  • Accepting Colleges – XLRI Jamshedpur, XIM University, S P Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Amity University (Noida), Great Lakes Institute of Management (Chennai), GIM (Goa Institute of Management) Goa, International Management Institute (IMI) Delhi, Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad, FORE New Delhi, TAPMI Manipal and 800 more.
  • Official Website –

Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)

The Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), the country’s second-largest management entrance examination, is taken by approximately 1.5 lakh candidates. Conducted by the National Testing Agency, CMAT is highly popular among MBA aspirants following CAT. The exam, initiated in 2012, sees its scores accepted by over 1,300 MBA institutes nationwide.

  • Registration Fee – Male- Rs. 2000 /- INR Female- Rs. 1000 /- INR
  • Exam Time Line – March to April
  • Exam Duration – 3 Hours
  • Exam Sections –
    • Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation
    • Logical Reasoning
    • Language Comprehension
    • General Awareness
    • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Accepting Colleges – JBIMS, SIMSREE, Goa Institute of Management, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Department of Management Sciences, University of Pune, IPE Hyderabad, Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai, IFIM, Welingkar Institute Of Management, NIPM Pune, etc.
  • Official Website –

Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) –

Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP), conducted by Symbiosis International University, is a national-level management entrance examination primarily used for admission to 30+ institutes under Symbiosis International University. Candidates are allowed three attempts, with the best score considered for admission shortlisting. It is mandatory for candidates aspiring to join any Symbiosis MBA program offered by SIU to appear for SNAP.

  • Registration Fee –  Rs. 2250 /- INR
  • Exam Time Line – December
  • Exam Duration – 1 hour
  • Exam Sections –
    • General English
    • Analytical & Logical Reasoning
    • Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
  • Accepting Colleges –Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, LM Thapar School of Management, Symbiosis Institute of International Business, Symbiosis Institute of Digital and Telecom Management, Symbiosis Institute of Operations Management, Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology, etc.
  • Official Website –

Management Aptitude Test (MAT)

Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA) for admissions to MBA and allied programs in over 600 business schools across India. MAT is held four times a year – February, May, September, and December. The exam is conducted in Computer Based Test (CBT), Paper Based Test (PBT), and Internet Based Test (IBT) modes, spanning 150 minutes and comprising 200 questions. Aspirants are tested on various subjects.

  • Registration Fee – Rs 2100 /- INR to 3300 /- INR based on the mode of examination, you choose
  • Exam Time Line –  Four times a year in February, May, September, and December
  • Exam Duration – 150 Minutes
  • Exam Sections –
    • Language comprehension 
    • Mathematical skills
    • Data analysis and sufficiency
    • Intelligence and critical reasoning
    • Indian and global environment
  • Accepting Colleges –  Amity University Noida, Jaipuria Noida- Jaipuria Institute of Management, Amrita School of Business, LPU- Lovely Professional University, New Delhi Institute of Management, Christ University, Birla Institute of Management, School of Management, PSGCT Coimbatore, BML Munjal University, LM Thappar Schol of Management, School of Business, UPES
  • Official Website –

NMIMS Management Aptitude Test (NMAT)

NMAT by GMAC, a popular MBA entrance exam, is conducted by GMAC and offers a 75-day testing window from October to December. This computer-based exam requires candidates to attempt 108 MCQs in 120 minutes. With candidate-friendly options, examinees can take the exam thrice, with the best score considered. NMAT serves as a national-level entrance test for admission to MBA and other management programs offered by NMIMS University and other renowned institutions, providing three chances for score improvement.

  • Registration Fee – Rs. 2800 /- INR
  • Exam Time Line – conducted for 3 months between October to December and students can choose any date or time according to the given schedule.
  • Exam Duration – 2 hours
  • Exam Sections –
    • Language Skills
    • Quantitative Skills
    • Logical Reasoning
  • Accepting Colleges – NMIMS Mumbai, XIMB-HR, TAPMI, KJ Somaiya, IFMR, NMIMS Bangalore, ISB- AMPBA, NMIMS Hyderabad, SOIL, SDA, BML, etc.
  • Official Website –

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Exam

The IIFT exam, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), assesses candidates for admission to the MBA International Business course. Additionally, admission to the MBA in Business Analytics program at the Delhi campus, introduced in 2023, relies on the IIFT entrance exam score. The NTA’s role is limited to conducting the exam and preparing results, while the institute manages candidate selection for admission. Similar to other MBA entrance exams in India, the IIFT entrance test evaluates candidates’ aptitude for business studies.

  • Registration Fee – Rs. 3,000 /- INR (General category) Rs. 2,500 /- INR (Reserved category)
  • Exam Time Line – December
  • Exam Duration – 2 hours
  • Exam Sections –
    • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
    • General Knowledge
    • Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
    • Quantitative Analysis
  • Accepting Colleges – Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Delhi, IIFT Kolkata, IIFT Kakinada, IFIM Business School – Bangalore, Adarsh Institute of Management & Information Technology – Karnataka, CII School of Logistics – Amity University – Maharashtra, etc.
  • Official Website –

AIMS Test for Management Admissions (ATMA)

AIMS Test for Management Admissions (ATMA) is a national-level management entrance test conducted online in internet-based mode. ATMA scores are utilized for admission to MBA, PGDM, MMS, MCA, and PGDBA courses in more than 750 management institutes across India. Administered by the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS), the exam assesses candidates’ aptitude for higher management studies through six sections covering Analytical Reasoning, Quantitative, and Verbal Skills. Last year, ATMA was conducted 4-5 times in center-based online mode across various centers nationwide.

  • Registration Fee – Rs. 2,000 /- INR (Applicants belonging to North-Eastern states are eligible to avail of a fee concession of 50%. Women candidates are also eligible to avail of the fee concession of 25%.)
  • Exam Time Line – 4 to 5 times a Year
  • Exam Duration – 3 Hours
  • Exam Sections –
    • Analytical Reasoning Skills – I
    • Verbal Skills – I
    • Quantitative Skills – I
    • Analytical Reasoning Skills – II
    • Verbal Skills –II
    • Quantitative Skills – II
  • Accepting Colleges – MDI Gurgaon, PUMBA, Prin L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research Mumbai, Institute of Public Enterprise Hyderabad, Jaipuria Institute of Management Noida Lucknow, New Delhi Institute of Management Delhi, JIMS Rohini Delhi, etc.
  • Official Website –

ICFAI Business School Aptitude Test (IBSAT)

IBSAT, a national-level entrance exam by ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, is for MBA/PGPM programs. It’s a two-hour Computer-based test (CBT) with multiple-choice questions. The exam is conducted over two days in December. Scores are accepted by more than 15 ICFAI Business Schools (IBS) campuses. Qualified candidates progress to selection briefing, followed by Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI) rounds for final selection.

  • Registration Fee – Rs. 1,800 /- INR
  • Exam Time Line – December
  • Exam Duration – 2 hours
  • Exam Sections –
    • Verbal Ability
    • Quantitative Ability
    • Reading Comprehension
    • Data Adequacy
    • Data Interpretation
  • Accepting Colleges – IBS (ICFAI B-school) – [Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Dehradun, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune], AIMIT Bangalore, GIBS Business School Bangalore, JK Business School Gurgaon, FMS- Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies Faridabad, etc.
  • Official Website –

Mudra Institute of Communications Admissions Test (MICAT)

MICAT, commonly known as MICA Admission Test, is the online entrance exam for MICA’s PGP courses, including PGDM and PGDM-C. To be eligible, candidates must first apply with CAT, XAT, or GMAT scores. Selected applicants are then called for the MICAT entrance test held in December and February. The exam consists of objective and subjective questions across various sections. MICAT serves as the gateway to MICA’s flagship two-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Management – Communications (PGDM-C).

  • Registration Fee – RS. 2,100 /- INR
  • Exam Time Line – 2 times a year [ December (MICAT I) and February (MICAT II)]
  • Exam Duration – 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Exam Sections –
    • Section A: Psychometric Test
    • Section B: Descriptive Test
    • Section C: Aptitude Test
    • – Verbal Ability
    • – Quantitative Ability
    • – General Awareness
    • – Divergent-Convergent Reasoning
  • Accepting Colleges – MICA Ahmedabad, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) Pune, Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research Mumbai, BIMTECH Greater Noida, IMI Delhi, AMITY Noida, etc.
  • Official Website –

Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MAH-CET)

Maharashtra Common Entrance Test or MAH-CET is a state-level MBA entrance exam conducted by the Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra. MAH CET is for admission to various management courses such as MBA, MMS, PGDBM, and PGDM in institutes across Maharashtra. The exam, officially known as MAH MBA/MMS-CET, is valid for Government institutes, university departments, managed institutes, and un-aided institutes. Following the MAH CET MBA exam, candidates undergo a Centralised Admission Process (CAP) or Counselling to secure seats in participating colleges based on their scores.

  • Registration Fee – Rs. 1,000 /- INR (General category) RS.800 /- INR (Reserved category)
  • Exam Time Line – March
  • Exam Duration – 2.5 Hours
  • Exam Sections –
    • Logical Reasoning
    • Abstract Reasoning
    • Quantitative Aptitude
    • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
  • Accepting Colleges – JBIMS, SIMSREE, PUMBA, Prin. LN Welingkar, Balaji Institute of Modern Management, ITM Business School, etc.
  • Official Website –

TISS National Entrance Test (TISSNET)

TISSNET, conducted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, is an institute-level exam for Masters programs across various TISS campuses. It’s a computer-based test lasting 100 minutes. TISSNET serves as the gateway for admission to PG programs like social work, human resource management, and public development studies. The exam, held in CBT mode, consists of multiple-choice questions from English Proficiency, Mathematical Skills & Logical Reasoning, and General Awareness. The PG program in Human Resources Management and Labor Relations at TISS is esteemed akin to management programs in top MBA colleges.

  • Registration Fee – RS. 1030 /- INR per course (for the Unreserved Category) and Rs. 260 \- INR per course (for Reserved Category)
  • Exam Time Line – February
  • Exam Duration – 100 minutes
  • Exam Sections –
    • English Proficiency
    • Mathematics and Logical Reasoning
    • General Awareness
  • Accepting Colleges –  4 TISS Campuses and all Schools under it [TISS Mumbai, TISS Guwahati, TISS Hyderabad, and TISS Tuljapur], Banayan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health (BALM) Chennai, Centre For Studies In Sociology Of Education, Mumbai, etc.
  • Official Website –
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