What is the difference between MAT and CAT exams?

You are well aware of MBA Entrance Exams in India such as CAT, MAT, GMAT, XAT. Here is the difference between CAT and MAT?

MBA is a largely accepted Postgraduate option for higher studies. While choosing, which entrance test to prepare for, would depend on a few important parameters like application fee, the application process, and preparation cost, and the minimum percentile scores accepted by various institutes. 

The candidates still struggle with the question that which is the most important exam they must appear for. Although it might seem easy, each of these exams differs based on their parameters for the test.

In fact, there are a few institutes that conduct their own exams to filter candidates. CAT and MAT being the most attempted of all the entrance tests

Also Read:- Get into IIMs without CAT

Here are a key differences between CAT Exam and MAT Exam:-


Conducting bodies of CAT and MAT Exams

Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted by one of the IIMs, while MAT (Management Aptitude Test) is approved by MHRD and conducted by All India Management Association (AIMA).

Considering the reputation, CAT is the most prestigious common entrance exam for MBA. It is conducted by IIMs for admission into the old and new IIMs.  Lakhs of students appear for CAT exam every year to secure a position in the top B-Schools of India.

CAT vs MAT: Eligibility

To appear in a CAT exam candidates need a bachelor’s degree from a recognized board with a minimum 50% aggregate or equivalent CGPA. The cut-off is 45% for SC, ST, and PWD/DA categories.  For MAT exam there are no minimum percentage criteria and no minimum age limit.

Management Aptitude Test, popularly known as MAT is conducted by AIMA (All India Management Association). It is a National Level Entrance Test. As per MAT score, applicants need to score at least 95 percentile for admissions in top second-tier AICTE b-schools, whereas from CAT one needs to score at least 99 percentile for admissions in top IIMs like Calcutta, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad.


CAT EligibilityMAT Eligibility

Level of Difficulty of Management Exams

CAT is the toughest MBA entrance exam but MAT is relatively easier to score. While CAT exam is conducted only once a year, MAT is conducted 4 times a year. MAT entrance score allows entry into many tier-B schools of India.

CAT vs MAT: Exam Format

Common Aptitude Test or CAT scores are accepted not just by the IIMs but the exam scores allow entry into other top MBA institutes also. FMS, MDI, IIT, NITIE, IIT, SP JAIN also accept the CAT scores for admissions. After the entrance further rounds of selections need to be cleared by candidates along with an exceptional percentile score.

Further rounds would include Group Discussions, Essay, and Personal Interviews (GD/PI rounds). Only after successful completion in all of these rounds, candidates stand eligible for admissions.

Exam Format


CAT vs MAT: Marking Scheme

The CAT exam requires candidates to attempt 100 questions in 180 minutes but MAT comprises 200 questions to be completed in 150 minutes. Out of a total of 300 marks, every correct answer fetches you 1 mark and every wrong answer attracts a -1 mark. The MAT exam has 200 questions and every right answer is allotted 1 mark and a negative answer deducts ¼ marks. There is no negative mark allotted if the question is not attempted.

CAT vs MAT: Application Fee

The application form costs Rs 2,000 (General category) and Rs 1,000 (Reserved category) for CAT exams. MAT registration fee is Rs 1650 for either PBT or CBT. For those willing to appear for both exams need to pay Rs 2650. 

Here are some Top Colleges Accepting CAT and MAT Score

With a number of business schools all across India and each one of these having different criteria for admissions, the candidates are advised to take a few tests to be able to get through a good B-School. Among all the entrance exams for MBA, CAT and MAT exam scores have a special placing and are accepted by the Top MBA Colleges for admissions.

However, there are a number of MBA entrance exams conducted by various organizations that helps students enter reputed MBA colleges in India. viz. IIFT, TISSNET, CMAT, MAT, and NMAT by GMAC.

Thousands of Business Schools across the country consider CAT and MAT scores for further rounds.

Here is a small list of top MBA apart from IIMs accepting CAT scores:

  • FMS – Faculty of Management Studies (Delhi University)
  • MDI (Management Development Institute)
  • IIT Delhi – Indian Institute of Technology
  • IIT Madras
  • IIT Kharagpur
  • SPIJMR, Mumbai  (S P Jain Institute of Management and Research )
  • IIFT Delhi-  Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai
  • Taxila Business School, Jaipur
  • IRMA, Anand
  •  Narsee Monjee IMS, Mumbai
  • Symbiosis Institute. of Business Management, Pune
  • Symbiosis Centre for Mgmt. HRD, Pune
  • LBS Institute of Mgmt., New Delhi
  • IMI, Kolkata – International Management Institute

Here is another list of top colleges accepting MAT Scores

  • KIIT School of Management
  • Jaipuria Institute of Management
  • Taxila Business School, Jaipur
  • Institute of Finance and International Management, Bangalore
  • Acharya Institute of Management and Sciences
  • Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad
  • TA Pai Management Institute
  • Apeejay School of Management
  • Xavier Institute of Development Action & Studies
  • IILM Institute for Higher Education
  • Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bangalore, Chennai
  • Jagan Institute of Management Studies, Delhi
  • New Delhi Institute of Management   
  • International Institute of Management Studies


CAT is the most prestigious of all the management entrance exams because admission in the IIMs probably is an immense start to your managerial dreams. CAT is a preferred institute to be in for every prospective manager, so every student wants to try his luck to bag a seat in these MBA programs.

The students here can associate with the brightest of the students with great academic records, intellect and to be a part of such an impressive cluster which molds students in more than just one way.

MAT is the most popular entrance exam taken by MBA aspirants after CAT. By now it must be evident that MAT is easier than CAT. Having a lower difficulty level than CAT, MAT has more students registering for the exam. Also due to the flexibility of being conducted 4 times a year candidates can choose to give the exam at their pace.

However there is nothing like easy or difficult, it is your commitment towards your goals that helps you reach where you want. So choose your B-school wisely and write

For more updates on MBA and CAT entrance exams visit our website

How many Times MAT Exam is Conducted in a Year?

MAT exam is conducted 4 times a year in the month of February, May, September, and December.

How many attempts can I get in CAT exam?

CAT Exam is conducted once every year. There are no limitations in the number of attempts, students can attempt CAT exam as many times they want.

Is MAT easier than CAT?

Yes, the level of CAT exam is high whereas MAT exam comes in the category of Moderate level.

How many months are required for MAT Preparation?

Since MAT Exam is an easy exam, One can prepare MAT in 3 – 6 months if they study with dedication.

What is the Registration fees of CAT and MAT

The application form costs Rs 2,000 (General category) and Rs 1,000 (Reserved category) for CAT exams. MAT registration fee is Rs 1650 for either PBT or CBT. For those willing to appear for both exams need to pay Rs 2650. 

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