What is the Difference Between MAT and CAT Exam?

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Vipra
Vipra Shrivastava
Manager - Content
Updated on May 19, 2022 10:54 IST

CAT VS MAT. Confused between which MBA entrance exam to opt for this admission season? Read here the key differences between CAT and MAT.

MAT VS CAT

CAT and MAT both are national level MBA entrance exams and the gateway to some of the most popular MBA colleges in India. Aspirants often get confused in choosing between the two as the option of colleges available on the basis of CAT score include all the top league B-schools whereas none of the top ranked colleges are available on the basis of MAT score. So it is very important to choose between the two exams very carefully. 

About 1,200 MBA colleges in India accept CAT score for admission. These include the IIMs, MDI, SPJIMR, FMS, IITs, IMT, IMI and many more private and government management institutes. On the other hand, MAT is accepted by over 700 popular private B-schools in India. Some of those B-schools include Amity University, Dr. D.Y. Patil B School-Pune, ITM University, GL Bajaj Institute of Management & Research, OP Jindal Global University, Christ University, JIMS Rohini, Jain University among others.

What makes MAT a popular choice is that it offers multiple attempts to candidates to improve their score in the same academic session. In CAT, candidates do not get this option as it is an annual exam. 

Both CAT and MAT are similar in terms of syllabus and question type (MCQs) but very different in other aspects such as subjects, exam pattern, marking scheme, difficulty level, etc. Also, CAT is much tougher than MAT. 

What is the Difference Between CAT and MAT?

There is not one but several differences between CAT and MAT. The major difference between MAT and CAT is the exam frequency. While MAT is conducted multiple times a year in four phases, CAT is conducted only once a year. In this article, we have discussed the difference between CAT exam and MAT exam. Knowing the main differences between CAT exam and MAT exam will help you decide which exam to opt for, in this academic year.

CAT vs MAT: Exam Conducting Body

CAT: The exam is conducted once a year for admissions to MBA/PGDM courses. The exam is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) on rotation basis. Every year, one of the top IIMs is given the responsibility to conduct the exam. CAT 2021 was conducted by IIM Ahmedabad on November 28. Details about CAT 2022 will be announced in July.

CAT is a Computer Based Test (CBT) mode exam, and is considered toughest of all MBA entrance exams.

MAT: The exam is conducted by All India Management Association (AIMA). MAT exam is conducted several times through out the year in three modes - Computer Based Test (CBT), Paper Based Test (PBT) and Internet Based Test (IBT). The benefit of MAT over CAT is that candidate can choose to take the test from home or at the exam centre according to their preference. 

CAT vs MAT: Eligibility Criteria

CAT: Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognised board or university with minimum of 50 per cent aggregate or equivalent CGPA in the qualifying exam. Candidates belonging to SC, ST and PWD/DA categories must have obtained a minimum of 45 per cent aggregate.

Also Read: CAT Eligibility Criteria

MAT: This exam is a boon for candidates who somehow have scored below 50 per cent in graduation. Any graduate with passing marks can appear for MAT exam. There is neither age limit nor minimum percentage required for appearing in the exam.

Also Read: MAT Eligibility Criteria

CAT VS MAT similarities and differences

CAT VS MAT

CAT vs MAT: Frequency of Exam

CAT: CAT is conducted on a single day in three sessions.

MAT: MAT is conducted multiple times in a year in four phases - February, May, September and December. Dates of IBT, PBT and CBT mode exams are different and candidates can choose one or more examination mode. CBT and PBT mode exams are conducted in single slot, while IBT is conducted in two or more slots. Candidates can choose IBT slots as per their preference.

CAT vs MAT: Exam Pattern

CAT: Candidates appearing for CAT need to solve questions from sections like Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC). CAT has 66 questions to be solved in two hours.

Also Read: CAT exam pattern

MAT: MAT exam paper consists of questions from Indian and Global Environment, Language Comprehension, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning. The India and Global Environment section has GK and current affairs questions. MAT comprises a total of 200 questions (40 in each section) to be solved in 2.5 hours.

Also Read: MAT exam pattern

CAT vs MAT: Exam Duration

CAT: The duration of CAT is 120 minutes or two hours. There is a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for each section. Candidates have to follow the given sequence to solve the paper and as soon as 40 minutes of one section gets over, the computer screen jumps to the next section automatically.

Download: CAT Question Papers

MAT: Candidates need to solve the 200 questions in 150 minutes or 2.5 hours. There is no sectional time limit so the candidates can solve the paper in a sequence they prefer. Scores of India and Global Environment section is not considered for MAT percentile calculation so candidates can attempt it in the end or leave it as per availability of time.

Download: MAT Question Papers

CAT vs MAT: Difficulty Level

CAT: CAT is regarded as one of the toughest MBA exams. The question paper is usually of moderate to high difficulty level. Also Read: CAT Exam Analysis

MAT: MAT is an easy exam. The questions in MAT are of easy to moderate difficulty level. Also Read: MAT Exam Analysis

CAT vs MAT: Marking Scheme

CAT: The total marks of CAT is 198. For every correct answer, three marks are awarded and there is a negative marking of minus one for every incorrect attempt. In case a candidate does not attempt a question, no marks shall be deducted. There is no negative marking for non-MCQ.

MAT: The total marks of MAT exam is 200. Every correct answer carries one mark, and 0.25 marks is deducted for every wrong attempt. Tthe score of India and Global Environment section is not taken into consideration for calculating final MAT percentlle.

Also Read:

CAT vs MAT: Exam Fee

CAT: The registration fee is INR 2,200 for General and NC-OBC candidates. For SC/ST/PWD (DA) categories, the fee is INR 1,100.

MAT: The registration fee for MAT is INR 1,650 for one paper (either IBT, PBT or CBT). Candidates willing to appear for both CBT and PBT need to pay INR 2,750. 

CAT vs MAT Exam: Key Differences

To conclude, let us have a quick glance at how CAT is different from MAT: 

Parameters

CAT exam

MAT exam

Exam Full Form

Common Admission Test

Management Aptitude Test

Conducting body

IIM

AIMA

Eligibility

Bachelor’s degree with minimum of 50% aggregate

Passing marks required in bachelor’s degree

Frequency

Once a year (November)

Multiple times a year in February, May, September and December

Mode of Exam

Computer Based Test

Internet Based Test (IBT) Computer Based Test (CBT) and Paper Based Test (PBT)

Exam Sections

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Language Comprehension
  • Data Analysis and Sufficiency
  • Mathematical Skills
  • Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
  • Indian and Global Environment

Number of sections

3

5

Number of questions

66 questions

200 questions

Exam Duration

2 hours

2.5 hours

Difficulty level

High

Easy

Marking Scheme

+3 for correct answer

-1 for incorrect answer

+1 for correct answer

-0.25 for every incorrect answer

Exam Fee

General and NC-OBC: INR 2,200

SC/ST/PwD: INR 1,100

One paper: INR 1,650

CBT+ PBT: INR 2,750

CBT+PBT+ IBT: INR 4,950

Top Colleges Accepting CAT Score Apart from IIMs

Given below is the list of top 20 MBA colleges in India accepting CAT score other than IIMs. The list includes IITs offering MBA programme through their management studies departments and schools. 

Top 20 Non-IIMs Accepting CAT Score

FMS, Delhi University

SPJIMR, Mumbai

MDI, Gurgaon

IMT, Ghaziabad

IIT Kanpur-IME

IMI, Delhi

IIT Delhi - DoMs

IIT Bombay-SJMSOM

IIT Madras-DoMs

IIT Roorkee-DoMs

IIT Kharagpur-VGoSM

IIT Dhanbad-ISM

Great Lakes Institute of Management

IMT, Nagpur

IMI, Kolkata

IPE, Hyderabad

ITM, University

Institute of Management, Nirma University

IIITM, Gwalior

Goa Institute of Management (GIM), Goa

Also Read: List of all MBA colleges accepting CAT score

Top Colleges Accepting MAT scores

MAT scores are accepted by over 700 MBA colleges in India. Given below is the list of colleges accepting MAT score for admission to their MBA programmes.

 
Amity University ABBS School of Management
Dr. D.Y. Patil B School, Pune  EIILM
ITM University Unitedworld School of Business
GL Bajaj Institute of Management & Research IILM University
OP Jindal Global University SRM University
Christ University Alliance University
GITAM Institute of Management Jain University
JIMS Rohini Taxila Business School, Jaipur

Also Read: List of all MBA Colleges Accepting MAT Score

Check out free online mock tests for CAT and MAT, created by Shiksha

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

Free CAT Mock Test

Try this MAT Mock Test to assess your preparation level and time-management skill.

Free MAT Mock Test

Read More:

Check MAT Cut offs and predict calls from colleges accepting MAT score for admission. Check Fees, Placement Reviews, Admission, Shortlist Criteria and Eligibility of all MAT participating colleges by clicking the link below:

Predict MAT Admission Calls

Check CAT cut offs and predict calls from IIMs and Non-IIMs accepting CAT score for admission. Check Fees, Placement Reviews, Admission, Shortlist Criteria and Eligibility of all CAT participating colleges by clicking the link below:

Predict CAT Admission Calls

FAQs on CAT and MAT Exams

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

A: MAT exam is conducted several times in year. There are four phases of MAT exam – February, May, September and December. Candidates can appear as many times as they want in MAT.

Q: How many attempts can I get in CAT exam?

A: CAT exam is conducted only once in a year, so a candidate gets single attempt in a particular academic year. However, there is no cap on number of attempts in CAT. Candidates can appear for it as many times as they want.

Q: Is MAT easier than CAT?

A: Yes, MAT exam is much easier that CAT exam. The CAT exam is usually of higher difficulty level and has sectional time limit, which makes it even difficult to crack. On the other hand, MAT is usually of moderate difficulty level and has no sectional time limit.

Q: How many months are required to prepare for MAT?

A: Since MAT is an easy exam one can prepare for it in six months if they study dedicatedly. For MAT preparation, candidates can take help from CAT books as well.

Q: Does CAT have General Awareness section?

A: No, CAT does not have General Awareness section. It only has three sections – Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude.

Q: What is the difficulty level of General Knowledge section of MAT?

A: The General Knowledge or Indian and Global Environment section of MAT is of moderate difficulty. Most of the questions are asked from current affairs. 

Q: What is the weightage of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning in MAT?

A: The weightage of all sections in MAT is equal, i.e. 40 questions carrying one mark each and negative marking of 0.25 for wrong attempts. There is no negative marking for unanswered questions.

Q: Is there sectional time limit in MAT like CAT?

A: No there is no sectional time limit in MAT. Candidates can divide and use the 2.5 hours of exam duration as per their paper solving strategy.

Q: What is the registration fees of CAT and MAT exams?

A: MAT registration fee is INR 1,650 for all candidates. CAT registration fee is INR 2,200 for General category candidates and INR 1,100 for Reserved category candidates.

Q: What are the modes of MAT examination?

A: MAT exam is conducted in Computer Based Test, Paper Based Test and Internet Based Test modes. The candidates can choose the mode of exam in the application form.

Q: What are the modes of CAT examination?

A: CAT exam is conducted in only one mode which is Computer Based Test mode at multiple exam centres in various cities across India. CAT exam is conducted in 156 cities across India.

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About the Author
Vipra Shrivastava
Manager - Content

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

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