Is SNAP Tougher Than CAT? - Know Differences and Similarities

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Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content
Updated on Aug 17, 2022 19:11 IST

Is SNAP tougher than CAT? Which exam to appear for in this MBA admission season? Know the differences and similarities between SNAP and CAT to judge which of the two exams is tougher. 


SNAP is not tougher than CAT despite both the MBA entrance exams having same syllabus and standards for candidate selection. SNAP is easier than CAT in terms of the exam structure and difficulty level. SNAP is more student friendly but is valid for admission to only SIU institutes. CAT, on the other hand is accepted by over 1200 MBA colleges across India.

The difficulty level of the SNAP question paper is easy to moderate unlike the CAT question paper, which is of higher difficulty level. In SNAP, candidates are allowed two attempts which makes it a more student friendly exam. Even though, CAT too, in the past two year, has made efforts to become a more student friendly (by reducing number of question, decreasing difficulty level of Quantitative Aptitude, etc.), it is still more difficult than SNAP.

About 50,000 to 60,000 aspirants take SNAP exam as compared to CAT exam which receives over two lakh applications. However, CAT score is accepted for admission to 1,200 MBA colleges. Thus, by appearing for CAT one can be assured that they will be able to pursue MBA in the same session, if not from a top institute then from a Tier-2 college atleast. However, if one appears for SNAP only and fails to meet the cut off requirement of SIU institute they stand to lose an entire year.

So, MBA aspirants must weigh pros and cons of SNAP vs CAT such as which one is tougher and require more preparation. In this article, we will share all all about SNAP and CAT like syllabus, pattern, marking scheme and exam preparation to help you know the differences and similarities between the two. This will help you in deciding whether SNAP is tougher than CAT or not.

Difference Between SNAP and CAT

Given below is the table indicating key differences and similarities between CAT and SNAP. 



CAT Exam

Full form

Symbiosis National Aptitude Test

Common Admission Test

Conducting Body

Symbiosis International (Deemed) University

Indian Institute of Management (on rotational basis)


The candidate must have completed Graduation with minimum 50% aggregate (45 % for SC/ST/PwD candidates)

The candidate must have completed Graduation with minimum 50% aggregate (45 % for SC/ST/PwD candidates)




Exam mode



Exam Duration

60 minutes

120 minutes

Difficulty level

Moderate to Difficult


Exam Fee

INR 1,950 for all candidates

INR 2,300 for General and OBC candidates and INR 1,150 for Reserved category candidates

Registration Process



SNAP VS CAT: Syllabus

The syllabus of both CAT and SNAP is more or less the same having Quant, Verbal Ability and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. Given below are the subjects one needs to study for SNAP and CAT.


CAT Exam

General English (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Quantitative, Data interpretation & Data Sufficiency

Quantitative Aptitude

Analytical and Logical Reasoning

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Check: SNAP syllabus

Check: CAT syllabus

SNAP VS CAT: Exam Pattern

The time duration of CAT exam is more and the number of questions is less than SNAP. However, what makes CAT tougher is the sectional time-limit.

In CAT, the candidates are supposed to complete each section within 40 minutes. As soon as the 40 minutes gets over, the candidate is directed to the next section. Also, in CAT, candidates are bound to solve the question paper in the sequence as given.

SNAP is flexible. In SNAP, there is no sectional time-limit and the candidates can choose the sequence of questions to solve, as per their choice.



CAT Exam

Number of Questions



Total Marks



Negative Marking



Types of Questions


MCQs and non-MCQs


Number of choices in MCQs



Sectional Time limit


Yes (40 minutes per section)

Check: SNAP Exam Pattern

Check: CAT Exam Pattern

SNAP vs CAT: Marking Scheme

There is negative marking in both CAT and SNAP, which makes them both tricky. Thus, in both exams, It is crucial to choose questions which you can answer with 100 per cent accuracy and leave out the ones you are not sure of. Wrong choice of question adversely impacts the score.


CAT Exam

+1 for correct answer

+3 marks for correct answer

-1/4 marks for incorrect answer

-1 mark for incorrect answer

Check: SNAP Exam Analysis 

Check: CAT Exam Analysis

SNAP Preparation 2022

SNAP question paper is divided into three sections. Let’s look at each of them section wise:

General English: This section consists of reading comprehension and verbal ability. As per past years trends, this section of SNAP exam is usually of moderate difficulty with lengthy RC passages. The verbal ability section typically contains questions from grammar and word-power. Just stick to basics and practice mock tests for RC passages.

Also Read: How to ace in General English section of SNAP

Quantitative Ability: This section of SNAP exam includes three subjects, quantitative ability, data interpretation and data sufficiency. To score well in this section, just focus on basic Maths – geometry, mensuration and algebra.

Also Read: How to crack QA, DI-DS section of SNAP

Analytical and Logical Reasoning: In this section, the candidates will be asked questions from puzzles, number, series coding and decoding, blood relations, non-verbal reasoning, etc. Focus on choosing the right questions and solving it faster.

Also Read: 8 key tips to crack Analytical & Logical Reasoning section of SNAP

Try free SNAP Mock Test to check your preparation level and time management ability. Click below to start the free online test now.

Free SNAP Mock Test

CAT Preparation 2022

The CAT question paper is divided into three sections. Let’s look at each of them section-wise:

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: This section of CAT exam consists of RC passages and General English - fill in the blanks, parajumbles, missing word, one-word substitution and generic grammar. This is the first section the CAT question paper hence opportunity to perform well is immense.

Also Read: CAT Preparation Plan for Verbal Ability

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: This section includes questions from number series, puzzles, blood-relations, tables, graphs, caselets, etc. This section, generally turns out to be the toughest in the exam each year. The key to crack DILR section is practicing mock questions. The more puzzles you’ll solve, the better you’ll get.

Also Read: CAT Preparation Plan for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude: This section of CAT exam is usually moderate to difficult. Most of the questions are asked from mensuration, algebra and geometry. Since this section is the last section of the paper and calculation heavy, the key here is to not only know all the formula and concepts but also to build stamina to last two hours.

Also Read: CAT Preparation Plan for Quantitative Aptitude

Try this CAT Mock Test, Powered by IMS, to assess your preparation level and time-management skill.

Free CAT Mock Test 1

Try second CAT Mock Test, Powered by IMS, to assess your preparation level and time-management skill.

Free CAT Mock Test 2

Admission Process Through CAT

The IIMs and other top ranked MBA colleges in India select candidates for admission on the basis of CAT score. The selection criteria includes Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI). The IIMs conduct WAT and PI, while other B-schools conduct GD and PI.

Final admission list is prepared on the basis of the candidate’s performance on several criteria. Given below is the table indicating parameters taken into consideration for admission to MBA/PGP programmes of IIMs:

IIM Selection Parameters

CAT score

Class10 and 12 marks


Graduation marks


Weighted Work Experience

Also Read: IIM Admission Criteria and Selection Process

Admission Process Through SNAP

Admission Process of SIU constituent institutes for MBA/PGDM courses includes Group Exercise (GE), Writing Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI). The GE-WAT-PI round is conducted by each constituent institute individually. However, the parameters of final selection is common for all of them. Given below is the table indicating parameters taken into consideration for admission to MBA/PGDM programmes of SIU:

IIM Selection Parameters

SNAP exam score




Also Read: How to Prepare for SNAP GE-WAT-PI

Colleges Accepting CAT Score

The CAT exam score is accepted by all IIMs and top B-Schools including SPJIMR-Mumbai, MDI-Gurgaon, IMT-Ghaziabad, FMS-Delhi and over 1,200 B-schools in India.

Check: List of Colleges Accepting CAT score for Admission

Colleges Accepting SNAP Score

The SNAP exam score is accepted by all the constituent instates of Symbiosis International (Deemed) University and some other B-Schools.

Check: List of Colleges Accepting SNAP score for Admission

Read More:


Q: Which exam is easier, CAT or SNAP?

A: Compared to CAT, SNAP is an easier exam. It is of shorter duration and has less number of questions than CAT. Since the last two years, SNAP also doesn’t have DI sets and RC passages.

Q: What is the difficulty level of SNAP exam?

A: SNAP is an easy exam. The sectional as well as overall difficulty levels are usually easy to moderate.

Q: How many MBA colleges accept SNAP score for admission?

A: SNAP exam score is accepted by all 15 SIU affiliated institutes. The SIU admission process includes Group Exercise (GE), Writing Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI).

Q: How many MBA colleges accept CAT score for admission?

A: There are about 1,300 MBA colleges that accept CAT score for admission. These include all 20 IIMs, SPJIMR, MDI, IMT, FMS, IITs (DoMS), IMI, GLIM, LIBA, etc.

Q: What are the benefits of SNAP over CAT?

A: One of the main benefits of SNAP over CAT is that, in SNAP, one gets the chance to improve their score in the same academic session whereas in CAT, there is no provision of second attempt in the same academic session.

Q: Is the syllabus of SNAP different from CAT?

A: No, the syllabus of SNAP and CAT are same. Both the exams have questions from Reasoning, Data Interpretation, Data Sufficiency, Quantitative Aptitude and English.

Q: How many times is SNAP conducted in a year?

A: SNAP exam is conducted on three days between December and January. Candidate can register for two attempts and appear for the second attempt in case they want to improve their score.

Q: What is the difference between CAT and SNAP?

A: CAT is an annual exam, conducted only once a year. SNAP is also an annual exam but it allows candidates two attempts. Those who want to improve their score can take the test again. Best of the two score is considered for admission.  

Q: How much time is needed to prepare for SNAP?

A: SNAP is an easy exam so it doesn’t require a lot of time for preparation. One can prepare for it within six months if they have a strong base in Mathematics and English.

Q: Is the eligibility criteria for SNAP different from CAT?

A: No, the eligibility criteria for SNAP is not different from CAT. For appearing in both exams, candidates need to have completed graduation with minimum 50 per cent aggregate (45 per cent for reserved category) or should be final year student.

Q: Is giving SNAP worth it?

A: Yes. SNAP is one of the popular MBA entrance exams in India as it is a gateway to the prestigious Symbiosis International (Deemed) University and its 15 affiliated colleges. SNAP is also worth appearing for because SIU institutes offer some of the niche MBA specialisations in India and admission is possible only through SNAP.

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About the Author
Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content

Vipra is a binge TV watcher and a massive Breaking Bad fan. When not watching TV, she spends time in updating the list of places she wants to visit and people she wants to meet, but she is happiest in the company of... Read Full Bio


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