MBA Entrance Tests in India – CMAT, CAT, XAT, MAT and Others

Students aspiring to seek admission into premier Business Schools are subject to considerable stress due to the requirement of multiple admission tests they are required to attend. This is because our B-School education has evolved over a period of time and developed its own character. For example the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted for admissions into the IIMs has become a prestigious test and became a benchmark. Similarly Xavier Admission Test (XAT) too became a respectable national level management admission test. Both CAT and XAT have become acceptable to a good number of schools offering management education. Now, AICTE has added CMAT for MBA admissions in AICTE approved colleges across the country.

Effective from 2012 admissions, IITs have done away with Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET) for admission to the Post-Graduate Programmes in Management offered by IISc Bangalore, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras and IIT Roorkee. They are now accepting CAT scores for granting admissions.

Apart from these premier admission tests, there are numerous management admission tests conducted by various institutions listed below:

1) International : Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). The test score is accepted by over 5,000 B-Schools across the world, including some in India.

2) National: Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the IIMs. Xavier Admission Test (XAT) conducted by the XLRI. Management Aptitude Test (MAT) for admission into member institutes of All India Management Association (AIMA) and registered AICTE approved colleges and some private universities. AIMS Test for Management Admissions (ATMA). CAT/MAT/XAT/ATMA test scores are also accepted by many other B-Schools.

3) Regional: Many states conduct Common Entrance Test (CET) primarily for admission into the concerned State Universities and affiliated colleges.

4) Institute based: Institutes such Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMAT), IBS (IBSAT), Symbiosis International University (SNAP), FMS Delhi, IIFT, Tata Institute of Social Science, NIFT, Central Universities, etc. conduct their own admission tests.

It has been long felt by aspiring students for business education that the admission tests should be streamlined and the burden on them reduced. Typically a student seeking admission into a reputed B-School appears for 3 to 4 entrance/admission tests ending up spending Rs.40,000 to Rs.50,000/- on test fee, preparatory material, coaching fee, transport expenses, etc. This is a big burden on parents and often unaffordable. For students, it is a question of making trade offs as the exams are scheduled from November to February, some times conflicting with their regular academic schedules.

Management Aptitude Test (MAT) conducted by All India Management Association (AIMA) and AIMS Test for Management Admissions (ATMA) conducted by Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) tried to address this problem and designed tests which could be accepted by multiple institutes. In the recent past many B-Schools, most of them recognized by AICTE, have started accepting CAT and XAT test scores as these tests meet the standards and are credible. MAT and ATMA have to come a long way to match the stature of CAT and XAT.

5) Common Management Admission Test (CMAT):

All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) is conducting the first National level Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)-2012 for facilitating institutions to select suitable students for admission in all management programs approved by AICTE for the year 2012-13. The testing window for computer based test will be open for nine days i.e. from 20th February, 2012 to 28th February, 2012 in 61 cities. The candidates will have option of selecting date and city for appearing in the test. Hyderabad and Vizag are two test centers in Andhra Pradesh.

According to the notification “the initiative has been taken by AICTE to address the issue of physical, mental and financial burden being imposed on the students through a multitude of entrance examinations being followed by the institutions for admission into all Management Programs in AICTE approved institutions and University Departments.” We have to wait and watch to know how far AICTE will succeed in its efforts to minimise the MBA entrance tests.

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