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NMAT vs CAT: Which Management Exam should You Choose?

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Management exams are one of the most competitive national level entrance tests around the country. Such competitive exams are highly-rewarding and change the future of many aspirants. But still, there is confusion about which management entrance exam is the best? There is no perfect answer to this question; it depends on various aspects. NMAT and CAT are the two famous names when it comes to entering into management field. NMAT and CAT are the two different management entrance exams. Are you puzzled whether to choose CAT or NMAT? Let’s further read more about both exams and find the differences among them.

Aspirants who want to appear for CAT or NMAT have to work hard and face sleepless nights to crack the entrance exam in the first attempt. Both CAT and NMAT provide admissions in the well-renowned management institutions known as IIM and NMIMS. Both institutions are a perfect place to change the lifestyle of a student. If you choose to prepare for CAT then, simultaneously it will prepare you for other entrance exams too. But, there are always some common differences in other exams. NMAT exam provides admission to the well-known NMIMS, whereas CAT offers management courses in IIMs around the country. CAT is still considered as the parent of all other management entrance exams. On the other hand, students can consider NMAT as the alternative exam of CAT.

What are the significant differences between CAT and NMAT exam pattern?

The exam pattern is the first major difference between NMAT and CAT. The exam pattern of NMAT is entirely different from CAT. Let’s further read more about NMAT and CAT exam pattern and find the prevailing differences.

NMAT Exam Pattern

There are three sections in the NMAT paper pattern known as Language skills, Logical reasoning, and Quantitative ability. There are 120 questions in the NMAT question paper. The duration of the NMAT exam is 2 hours. Students can maximum score total of 360 marks in the exam. The marking scheme is all pretty similar and straightforward to other entrance exams. There is no negative marking in the NMAT exam. Total three marks are allocated for each right answer.

Total sectionsSectional time limitTotal number of questions
Logical reasoning35 to 38 minutes40 questions
Language skills20 to 22 minutes32 questions
Quantitative skills60 minutes48 questions

CAT Exam Pattern

CAT also consists of three sections known as Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. The time duration of the CAT exam is 3 hours (180 minutes). This exam consists of both Non-MCQs and MCQ type of questions. Let’s learn more about CAT exam pattern.

Number of sectionsSectional duration Total number of marks
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning60 minutes96 marks
Quantitative Ability60 minutes102 marks
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension60 minutes102 marks
Total180 minutes300 marks

Difference between the difficulty level of CAT and NMAT?

As everyone knows, the difficulty level of the CAT exam is more than the NMAT exam. CAT is governed once in a year, and NMAT has the benefit of 75 test window. Students can take countless attempts and clear the exam conveniently. In CAT, the competition level is high, and more than 2 lakh students appear for this exam. Students who score 100 percentile also reappear for the exam, which enhances the competition level. In NMAT and CAT, the difficulty level of the Quantitative section is the same. The other remaining sections of NMAT are more manageable than CAT.

Final Conclusion

Both NMAT and CAT have major differences still, students can apply for both of them. If you find that CAT is difficult, switch to NMAT which acts as a subordinate exam. The difficulty level of CAT and NMAT doesn’t have many differences. But, CAT aspirants have to face fierce competition rather than NMAT. Getting into an NMIMS institute is much easier than IIMs. When it comes to expenses, NMIMS fees can be equal or a little bit higher than IIM. Foreign nationals can also easily appear for the NMAT exam. According to the recent stats, students who study from NMIMS have slightly higher chances to get high salary packages from reputed companies. If you want to appear for CAT, then start preparing for it a couple of months before the exam. So don’t just wait and think, go ahead and choose for your preferred management exam.

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May 28, 2019

Thanks for sharing such a awesome article. that through we know the difference between NMAT and CAT. I like the way of your explaination and readebility. It help me a lot

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May 29, 2019

Was really in need of such a brilliant article. It provides me a great level of knowledge that i want. regarding NMAT and CAT. For which i would like thank Mr. Subhash Sir and hope that they provide us such useful information in near future too.

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