An overview on management entrance exams in India

It is mandatory for the MBA or PGDM aspirants to take up a competitive management entrance exam, if one wish to join reputed Business Schools in India. There are several entrance exams national level, state level, University or Institute specific etc. The most important management entrance exams are covered below. Please note that the list is not exhaustive, only selected entrance exams are mentioned below.

ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions)

AIMS Test for Management Admissions (ATMA) is an all India level entrance exam conducted by Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS). ATMA is approved by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for admission in MBA & PGDM courses. The first test was held on 20 February 2000. ATMA can be taken either ONLINE or OFFLINE (paper-pencil test).

ATMA Question Paper Pattern

ATMA is held four times for an academic year MBA or PGDM Admissions, once in December, February, May and August. ATMA consists of 180 questions spanned across six sections in three broad domains namely Quantitative Skills, Verbal Skills and Analytical Reasoning Skills.

Structure of ATMA
Section Domain No. of Questions Allotted Time
I Analytical Reasoning Skills -I 30 30 Min
II Verbal Skills -I 30 30 Min
III Quantitative Skills -I 30 30 Min
IV Verbal Skills -II 30 30 Min
V Analytical Reasoning Skills – II 30 30 Min
VI Quantitative Skills -II 30 30 Min
Total 180 180 Min

Institutes which accept ATMA Score

The website for ATMA is

CAT (Common Admission Test)

Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted by Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), CAT is conducted once a year usually during November. CAT is considered to be one of the toughest management entrance exams in the world. CAT score is also considered for MBA & PGDM admissions in non IIM Business Schools, few reputed Business Schools use only CAT scores for example Institutes like FMS Delhi, SP Jain Mumbai and the IITs. CAT can only be taken as an ONLINE (computer based test CBT) test.

CAT question paper pattern

The CAT will have only two sections (changed to two instead of three from 2011). The first section is Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation; the second section is Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits. CAT will be for 140 minutes and each section has 70 minutes as a maximum duration, after completing the section I and once the candidate chooses to move to section 2, he or she will no longer be allowed to move back to Section I.

CAT official website is

CMAT (Common Management Aptitude Test)

Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT) is a new edition to the list of MBA entrance exams, CMAT is held twice a year during September and February and is conducted by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education). CMAT is a computer based test, the 180 minute test will comprise of four sections as show below.

CMAT question paper pattern

Type of Questions No. of Questions Max. Marks
1) Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation 25 100
2) Logical Reasoning 25 100
3) Language Comprehension 25 100
4) General Awareness 25 100
There shall be negative marking for wrong answers, for each wrong answer 1 mark shall be deducted.

CMAT official website is

MAT (Management Aptitude Test)

Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA), MAT is held four times year during September, December, February and May. MAT can be taken as an ONLINE or an OFFLINE (paper-pencil test).

MAT Question Paper Pattern

MAT will have 200 questions to be answered in 150 minutes, there is no sectional cutoff in MAT. There is 1/4th negative marking, MAT is considered to be slightly easier and hence MAT is preferred by many MBA aspirants.

No. Section No of Questions Time Suggested (Minutes)
1. Language Comprehension 40 30
2. Mathematical Skills 40 40
3. Data Analysis and Sufficiency 40 35
4. Intelligence and Critical Reasoning 40 30
5. Indian and Global Environment 40 15
Total 200 150

MAT official website is

XAT (Xavier’s Aptitude Test)

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) is conducted by XLRI on behalf of XAMI – XAT Associate Institutes. XAT is a conducted once a year, the test is accepted by more than 100+ MBA colleges across India.

XAT Question Paper Pattern

XAT is a three hour paper pencil test with Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), the exam will be divided into 2 parts. Part A will be of 2:20 hrs which consists of Quantitative Ability, English Language Ability & Logical Reasoning and Decision Making. Part B of the exam comprises of Essay writing and General Awareness. Duration of this section is of 40 minutes. Questions in General Awareness will be from Business, Economics and Politics related to Business Environment. Candidates have to attempt both essay as well as General Awareness.

XAT official website is

SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test)

SNAP is a national level management entrance exam used by 13 Institutions under the Symbiosis International University.

About the SNAP Test

SNAP is a 2 hour management entrance test held in objective format (4 responses of which one will be a correct answer). There will be negative marking 25% mark will be deducted for each wrong answer.

Sr.No. Sections Total Marks
1 General English: Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Ability 40
2 Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency 40
3 General Awareness: General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Business Scenario 40
4 Analytical & Logical Reasoning 60
Total 180

SNAP official website:

NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test)

NMAT is a management entrance exam used by Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS, Mumbai) one of the reputed business schools in India.

NMIMS is declared to be a deemed to be university hence NMIMS offers MBA Programme, the admissions are based on NMAT.

NMAT™ is conducted in a time frame of 3 months, allowing choice of two retakes to the students should any of them wish to. In such cases, the best of three scores will be considered.

NMAT is an objective based test comprising of three sections Language Skills, Quantitative Skills & Logical Reasoning. There will be 120 questions to be answered in 120 minutes.

NMAT official website:

IBSAT (ICFAI Business School Aptitude Test)

IBSAT is used by ICFAI University & affiliated colleges, IBSAT is a national level management entrance exam. IBSAT is an online aptitude test which consists of 125 questions to be answered in 2 hours.

IBSAT official website:

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10 comments on “An overview on management entrance exams in India

  1. navn says:

    Lovely Professional University is conducting National Entrance and Scholarship Test (LPUNEST-2017) for MBA aspirants. Students studying in Graduation can apply for LPUNEST-2017.
    This test will have twofold advantage as it will act as Entrance Test as well as Scholarship Test.
    Entrance Test: LPUNEST-2017 will provide a gateway to all MBA programmes in LPU and will act as Entrance test for admission in MBA Programmes at LPU.
    Extensive Scholarship: LPU envisages to usher an era of accessible and affordable quality higher education to the youth of our country, as on the basis of LPUNEST-2017 score, the university intends to award extensive Scholarship upto `2.8 Lac per student.

  2. Deepti says:

    Is anyone know the exact date for filling online application form for all these management entrance exams. As i am interested to participate in ATMA, CAT & CMAT to get admission in my regional college..!

  3. gseb says:

    After complating B.Com under Gujarat University, I am planing to pursuit MBA. So Thanks for sharing list of 5 most common management entrance exams through i can get admission in top B-Schools in India…! And also share starting date of online application form for for all management entrance exam..!

  4. Thank you for sharing such a valuable piece of information about MBA which is of great importance for me as well as everyone.

  5. Thanks Dear for the their any change in pattern of 2016

  6. tnresults says:

    i am writing 12th exam now. =which course is best BBA & MBA or BE & MBA or integrated MBA ?. which is best option ?

  7. A well -researched and nicely written article. students who are planning to apply for an MBA program can find all the information regarding various entrance exams at one place. The detailed information of number of questions in a particular exam, time and marks would help students to prepare accordingly.

  8. sarkari says:

    This Article helpful for all MBA Students. Nice

  9. Shyam says:

    thanks a lottt!!!!

  10. Thanks for sharing this valuable information. Students regularly looks for opportunities to face so that they can get admission in MBA. This information surely will help them.

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