Why Indian B-Schools are turning to GMAT scores over CAT

Looks like 'CAT is out of the bag' for MBA aspirants. CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the toughest exams every MBA applicant in India eyes to crack in order to make way into the country's best B-Schools. However CAT is no longer the most preferred examination to take for MBA aspirants as Indian institutes are increasingly looking at GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) scores over CAT.

CrackVerbal, test preparation training and admissions consulting company, says that in the past few years increasing number of students are exploring the GMAT route to MBA admissions.

Why Indian B-Schools are turning towards GMAT scores:


Every year, several MBA aspirants miss the CAT deadline and must wait for another year to retake the test. GMAT on the other hand offers the test-taker the luxury to take the test anytime of the year. Also GMAT scores are valid for five years, helping B-school open up a fairly large applicant pool for their admissions.

Another reason for the MBA aspirants queuing up for a GMAT test instead of CAT is that most of the candidates come with significant work experience and prefer a 1-year executive MBA program. For such people in their late 20s, and early 30s, GMAT offers the flexibility of taking the test multiple times a year. Also, as it is offered all around the world – there are no geographical constraints.

Third and the most important factor is CAT is not a standardized test whereas GMAT is. This means that your CAT scores can fluctuate a lot while your GMAT scores are pretty stable over a longer period of time. This allows B-Schools to compare students who have taken the GMAT across years – whereas doing the same for CAT is not possible.


Though it is still early to say how much GMAT would impact CAT test-taking population, the signs are there. According to Crackverbal founder Arun Jagannathan, “You may apply with your CAT score or your GMAT score. TA Pai Manipal (TAPMI) is one such institute that offers admissions through both the GMAT and the CAT. Another way to look at it would be to take both the CAT and the GMAT so you can keep your options open. The tests have some similarities so preparing for one could help you in the other.”

Most B-Schools in India are catching up with this trend and are trying to keep both routes open for the MBA aspirants.