Differences in NMAT and CAT

NMAT and CAT are two very different and tough entrance examinations. One needs to work hard to crack these entrance tests. IIMs or NMIMS are certainly two big names in the Management Institutions and certainly “Dream Institutes” for many to do MBA. It is true that preparing for CAT will pretty much prepare you for the other aptitude test. But is that enough? No, because both these institution follows different marking scheme, exam pattern, etc, Hence, after CAT, you need to adapt to a different schedule and you need to change your preparation strategy as per it. Here we have mentioned the striking differences between the NMAT and CAT exam. Read the article below to get more information on this.

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How To Choose Between NMAT and CAT?

Students generally get confused that whether they should appear for CAT or NMAT or both. There is a solution to this. You can appear for both, The best part about the NMAT exam is that it is held over a period of three months from October to December. Hence, you can schedule your exam whether to go for NMAT or CAT.

As far as NMAT is concerned, the students are given the opportunity to schedule their exam on their own. You can select the date, time, and center as per your convenience and if the first choice you select is not available then go for the second one. Another thing, if a student fails in the first attempt due to any reason, then he/she can take the exam again.

Major differences in NMAT and CAT

Here we have listed some of the major differences in both these entrance tests:

Exam Pattern 

The exam pattern for NMAT completely differs from that of CAT. Let us discuss both you so you get an idea of what is being talked about in this section.

NMAT Exam Pattern 

NMAT consists of  3 sections – Quantitative Skills, Logical Reasoning, and Language Skills. The total duration of the entrance test is 120 minutes. There are total 120 questions in the exam. The maximum marks for the exam are 360. For every correct answer, you will get +3 marks and there is no negative making.

Section Number of Questions Time Limit Range of Score
Language Skills 32 22 Minutes 0-96
Quantitative Skills 48 60 Minutes 0-144
Logical Reasoning 40 38 Minutes 0-120

CAT Exam Pattern 

CAT is also a computer-based test like NMAT and it also includes three sections, these are – Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. To complete the test, you will get 180 minutes or 03 hours. There are total 180 questions in CAT exam. IN CAT you will get MCQ and Non-MCQ (Subjective Type) type of questions.

Section Total Number of Questions Number of Non-MCQs Duration Marks
Quantitative Ability 34 7 60 min 102
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 34 10 60 min 102
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32 08 60 min 96
Total 72 28 180 min 300

Marking Scheme: 

  • For every correct answer in MCQ and Non-MCQ type, you will get +3 marks
  • There is a negative marking of -01 marks in case of an incorrect answer in MCQ type questions
  • There is no negative marking for Non-MCQ type questions.

Difficulty Level

The difficulty level of the CAT is higher than that of NMAT. NMAT is held in a testing window of 75 days. You get multiple chances to improve your score. Basically after the first two attempts, the candidate gets familiar with the exam, and usually, the third attempt is a jackpot.

On the other hand, CAT is held once a year and for this, about 02 lakh candidates apply every year. Hence the competition is higher. Furthermore, to add to the competition, there are candidates who will be attempting 3rd or 4th time, there are 100 percentilers who attempt the CAT exam again, then there are teachers, lecturers, etc. So, you are not competing with the fresh graduates but with candidates who already have experience of this entrance test.

Difficulty level in each section

  • The Quant section in NMAT and CAT are said to be of same difficulty level
  • Whereas, the other sections are comparatively easy of NMAT

Participating Institutes of CAT and NMAT

Here is a list of the participating institutes of NMAT and CAT from the table below:

Participating Institutes of CAT

Institutes Programmes
IIM Amritsar PGP
IIM Bodh Gaya PGP
IIM Indore PGP (Indore, Mumbai), EPGP, PGP-HRM
IIM Kashipur PGP, EPGP
IIM Kozhikode PGP
IIM Nagpur PGP
IIM Sambalpur PGP
IIM Sirmaur PGP
IIM Tiruchirappalli PGP, PGPBM
IIM Udaipur PGP
IIM Visakhapatnam PGP

Participating Institutes of NMAT

  1. SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad
  2. Xavier University, Bhubaneswar
  3. MISB Bocconi, Mumbai
  4. ICFAI Business School (IBS), Hyderabad and other locations
  5. Alliance University, Bangalore
  6. BSE Institute Limited
  7. Amity University, Delhi NCR
  8. Thapar School of Management, Chandigarh
  9. SRM University, Chennai, Delhi NCR Sonipat
  10. Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
  11. University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun
  12. Woxsen School of Business Management, Hyderabad
  13. BML Munjal University, Delhi
  14. VIT University, Vellore
  15. ITM Business School, Navi Mumbai
  16. Mody University, Rajasthan
  17. GITAM School of International Business, Visakhapatnam
  18. Hyderabad Business School,
  19. GITAM University, Hyderabad

If you have any question related to this article, let us know in the comment section below. 

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