Difference Between CAT and CMAT

Understand the difference between CAT and CMAT – two top MBA Entrance Exams and streamline your strategy to achieve the dream B – School.

CMAT has been newly introduced and successfully conducted by AICTE with support from Aptech for the MBA aspirants. So if someone wants to get into a B-School in India or abroad- it is mandatory to undergo an online exam- CAT or CMAT or GMAT!!!

The first CMAT was held in February 2012 with an objective to reduce stress of multiple entrance exams for many candidates. The fact that students do not have to give 5-7 entrance exams each year reduces preparation stress, coaching fees, spends on books among other things. It creates an increased focus among students who now have the opportunity to write just one exam for admission into approx. 4000 AICTE approved MBA institutes, providing access to 1.6 lakhs seats,  across the country making it by far the largest coverage for any MBA exam. While the single exam also creates a risk that a student might have to lose a year if he has one bad day, the CMAT has done well to mitigate this to some extent by conducting the exam twice a year. Other prestigious exams such as CAT, XAT have students preparing for over a year and one poor day potentially results in the loss of a year for a number of students.

CMAT, the new kid has come on the block and might push out other MBA entrance exams like IIFT, NMAT, XAT other than the CAT.


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  • CAT: CAT is conducted by the 13 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admission to their management programs. Another more than 100 institutes use the CAT score to shortlist candidates for their admission process.
  • CMAT: CMAT is a national level admission test conducted for selection of to management programs approved by the All India Council for Technical education (AICTE). The first edition of CMAT was conducted in February 2012.


  • CAT: Computer based test, online test and given at test centre
  • CMAT: Computer based test, online test and given at test centre


  • CAT: Once in a year, CAT 2013, 16th oct to 11th nov
  • CMAT: Twice in a year, CMAT 2013, September 26 to 30


  • CAT: 2 sections, Total 60 questions
  • CMAT: 4 sections, Total 100 questions


  • CAT: 2 sections, 30 questions each, 70 min each
  • CMAT: 4 sections, 25 questions each.


  • CAT: 2 hours 20 min ( 140 min)
  • CMAT:    3 hours (180 min)


  • CAT: 2 min 20 sec
  • CMAT: 1 min 48 sec


  • CAT: Correct answer: +4, incorrect answer: -1
  • CMAT: Correct answer: +4, incorrect answer: -1


  • CAT: Around 2 lakh
  • CMAT: Around 4 lakh expected in September 2013


  • CMAT: JBIMS – Mumbai, SIMSREE – Mumbai, GIM – Goa, KJ SOMAIYA – Mumbai, PUMBA – Pune, XISS ( RANCHI ), IMT – Nagpur, Hyderabad, BIT – Mesra, Noida, WELINGKAR – Mumbai, Banglore, ITM – Mumbai, GREAT LAKES – Chennai, IFIM, Banglore, ASIA PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT – New Delhi


  • CAT: Sections are timed individually; each of the sections will be 1 hour and 10 minutes (i.e. 70 minutes). Once a section ends, aspirants can no longer go back to it. Aspirants will be presented with the section on quantitative ability & data interpretation first, followed by verbal ability & logical reasoning.
  • CMAT: “Major difference in the two tests – CMAT has GK section while, CAT does not. The general awareness section for any exam is a tricky proposition as theoretically, the syllabus has not limits! Students need to concentrate on accuracy which in effect will impact the final scores. There will be 25 questions in each section. The duration of test will be 180 minutes, with no break during this time window. Students can move back and forth between sections, unlike CAT & NMAT this year. This would mean that the sections are not timed individually, and that the onus is on the students to manage timing between the sections, while ensuring that they show their competency in all the sections”.





Chaitanya Shahare

I am a MBA from IIM Calcutta and B.Tech from VJTI Mumbai. I have spent last 4 years gathering teaching experience in different coaching institutions like CL, IMS. I have tremendous experience in personality development and hosting moral boosting and confidence building sessions. I have been helping students for CAT/GD-PI/GRE/GMAT preparations. During last 4 years, I have developed my own notes and preparation material for scoring 700+ in GMAT and 320+ in GRE. Many of my students have fared excellent in their CAT as well, with a high percentage going into IIM-A, IIM-B & IIM-C.

Other posts by Chaitanya Shahare

13 thoughts on “Difference Between CAT and CMAT

  1. Hey nice article. Loved reading it (came across it from your post in FB, Jackie Chan pic was funny 😛 ) While CAT is conducted just once a year, CMAT does not have a finite structure and is still evolving.

  2. Sir,
    the info you share is very helpful,
    can u please give us a list of the institutes/colleges/univ. under CMAT as per their rank. The last time I gave CMAT, I got so confused with a number of institutes declaring me an eligible student but I couldn’t make out which one to enter. Don’t want to make any mistake this time.

  3. Hi, very informative article. Thanks for this information
    Please tell me whether to go for CAT/MAT or CMAT.
    Also I want to know which books are good to study for preparation, please if you can mention the books with author name and also tell how to prepare for this.

  4. Thanks for giving all information but please help me in knowing Fee structure, exam pattern, latest date of examination i.e. whether it is subjective or objective of both the CAT and CMAT

  5. How do I start preparing for CAT exam 2015 right from the basics? What are the important aspects I should focus on when preparing for the same?

  6. Sir,
    The information you provided is very helpful but can you please provide me mail for the preparation of CAT examination with notes and also about the GMAT exams too.

  7. Hi..
    I’m a final year fashion technology student ….now m so confused about my future…now m planing to go for MBA in the same field….
    My question is does this cmat exam help us to get seats fr MBA in fashion field..?
    Pls reply me on ma mail I’d…
    bencyjames308 @gmail.com

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