MBA Entrance Exam: Read Our Complete Analysis on CAT, GRE, GMAT.

GRE, GMAT and CAT happen to be some of the highly sought-after MBA exams known to aspirants in India and throughout the globe. Each MBA Entrance Exam has its differences and features, which signifies why students manage to distinguish their training programs concerning these exams.

  1. GRE is an MBA Entrance Exam that is accepted by at least 94 countries including the USA. The test is taken by at least 6 Lakhs students all over the world as per the latest reports.
  2. GMAT vs GRE for MBA may get confusing at times as the former is also widely accepted with 2,00,000 – 4,00,000 test-takers on an average every year.
  3. CAT Exam 2021 is an Indian Management Exam for admission to 20 IIMs and more than 1200 MBA colleges.
  4. CAT exam 2020 has concluded on 29th November and GMAT has introduced online home-based test in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic from 23rd September.

This article throws light on explaining which of the exams for MBA offer a more significant challenge for scholars and which serves as a more accurate route to a B-school.

MBA Entrance Exam Dates

1. Graduate Research Examination (GRE)

GRE happens to be a unique MBA Entrance exam because it is considered as a conventional score to study Management Courses, Maths, Biology, and etc. The exam tests a graduate’s all-round skills. GRE has 3 sections, they are – Analytical Reasoning, Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning.

The exam happens in both online and offline mode and is of 3 hours 45 minutes and 3hours 30 minutes respectively. The exam consists of AR, VR & QR. There is no negative marking.

Various top-notch B-schools within the US are still accepting GRE marks for MBA entrance exam as well. It signifies GRE as a matter of great analysis. It is because it draws notable proportions of pupils competing for many postgraduate programs.

GRE Scores happen to be mandatory for almost all graduate institutions within the US. It is primarily for entries to technical programs like ME and MS. ETS, the coordinator of GRE, additionally gives applicants the choice of taking different GRE Subject Examinations.

The Subject Examination option happens to be a chance for MBA aspirants to showcase their prowess within a distinct field of knowledge. On the other hand, most graduate B-schools, nonetheless, do not demand different subject examination records.

GRE MBA Entrance Exam | All About Exam Structure and Application Fee 

GRE is subdivided into six segments, particularly an analytical writing segment, which is clocked and scored independently from the remainder of the parts. The additional sections comprise two quantitative and verbal reasoning sections each and both research or empirical part. The last segment of this MBA Entrance Exam (analysis or experimental) happens to be not included in the ultimate test records. The results under this section are later accepted by ETS when it comes to setting topics in the future.

The pattern of GRE stands unprecedented in a process, not additional Indian exams for MBA are. The initial problem a student attempts while appearing for the GRE happens to be the simplest of the group.

As he/she advances, the difficulty level of problems only intensifies if the registrant can solve the earlier asked problem accurately. It means developing to the next level is solely possible after answering a more straightforward question.

This system is incredibly distinct from the typical MBA exams taken in India, where problems of differing complexity can emerge out of nowhere. Nevertheless, this process has further been scrutinized by people within the States. They are who consider the challenge of the issues happens to be a subjective matter plus it cannot be categorized. The judgment is fair, but, acknowledging question complexity is likewise, at times, rooted in a student’s perceptibility.

For example, a student performing well on his/her GRE abruptly comes over a problem the former finds easy. It can be a controversial topic as per the teacher, but the learner may find it familiar.

On viewing an easy question, the student will be bound to think whether he/she has been solving the previous problems mistakenly. Therefore, rather than just a simple MBA Entrance Exam, GRE can turn out to be a game of irrational warfare among the reviewer and the student.

The application fee required for GRE during registration happens to be $205 – 230/- based on region.

MBA Exam Pattern - GRE

Analytical Writing Section

The writing segment of this MBA Entrance Exam comprises two individual sub-sections – the issue task plus argument task.

  1. The issue task indicates the applicant to compose an essay or article on a chosen topic within 30 minutes.
  2. Furthermore, the essay needs to be keyboarded on the machine on a word supporting document provided by the ETS.
  3. Characteristics like word counter and spell/grammar checker tools are not accessible. Therefore, candidates need to depend on their skill in English to try this section favorably.
  4. The argument task comprises a distributed set of assertions and facts, which point towards a summing-up.
  5. The role of the applicant is to create a debate that critiques the proffered resolution. Similar to the issue job, the student is required to give his argument by writing it within the word processor provided by ETS.

This segment is ranked on a range of 0-6, including a half-point incremental limit parameter. Thus it is quite a critical section for this MBA Entrance Exam.

Verbal Section

The verbal section happens to be additionally scored within 130 and 170 toward an incremental range of one, quite similar to the quantitative segment. Every verbal portion has 20 problems that need to be solved within 30 minutes. The difficulty level of problems here signifies the high school level again.

Quantitative Section of GRE MBA Entrance Exam

The GRE Quantitative segment is calculated from 130-170 approaching an incremental range of one. None of the applicants can get under 130. Usually, every quant section involves 20 questions that need to be completed in 35 minutes. The difficulty level of these problems in this MBA Entrance Exam is that of high school mathematics to assist learners from vocational training.


This section may appear anywhere after the Analytical Writing. It is an unidentified section which has no effect on your total score.


A research question may replace the unscored section in the GRE exam pattern. This section is identified and always placed at the end. Again, the research question will have no impact on candidates’ overall score, its purpose is to assist ETS’s research.

Paper – Delivered Test Pattern

  • The paper is divided into six sections – two sections each of Analytical Writing, Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning.
  • The duration of the test is 3 hours 30 minutes with a 10 minutes break after the second section.
  • ETS provides a calculator for candidates to solve QR questions. Candidates are not allowed to bring their own calculators.
  • Candidates can attempt the VR and QR sections in any order they wish while taking GRE paper-delivered test.
  • Analytical writing sections will be first in the sequence of sections while the order of remaining sections is not fixed.

Approximate percentile within verbal and quant scores

The GRE Score Chart here indicates the dropping percentile among the score within 130 and 170.

MBA Entrance Exam- GRE Preparation

ETS offers training software working by the name of ‘PowerPrep’, which follows the paper of previous year questions for MBA Entrance exam. Other than the standard prep tools administered by ETS, there exist several new dedicated GRE preparation institutes. They render specialized education in numerous forms, like an online, classroom, including 1-on-1 sessions. The GRE Format is important.

While in some cases, there is no requirement for individual GRE prep courses. This is as the tremendous level of competition concerning the top academies within the US and throughout the globe prompts numerous students to take specific training concerning this MBA Entrance Exam.

GRE | Eligibility

  1. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree for the exam for which they want to appear in GRE.
  2. Ther is on age limit to appear for this MBA Entrance Exam.

GRE | Number of applicants and attempts

Often students ponder upon GRE or GMAT. But, an expected 6 lakh learners attend for GRE throughout the globe, and they appear for GRE each year. This number is meager related to some applicants concerning relevant Indian B-school exams for MBA like XAT and CAT, which equal above a million candidates each year.

  1. An applicant can sit for GRE concerning a maximum of five times within a calendar year. However, there requires to be a break of at least 21 days within each attempt.
  2. Also, if a student withdraws his/her GRE score; that will be admitted as a particular attempt within the overall summation.
  3. The GRE record validity also differs from university to university. Some B-schools take GRE scores that remain five years old at the most, while others may have no precise time-frame when it comes to accepting marks.

GRE | The test-taking format and duration

While the computer-aided online MBA Entrance Exam is more common, ETS additionally gives the alternative to applicants of providing GRE under a pen-paper based form. The duration of the exam is around 3 hours and 45 minutes. Moreover, it also incorporates one-minute breaks within each section, including a ten-minute break following the third segment.

2. MBA Entrance Exam: Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

If GRE is suitable for B-school entries, what signifies the point of the GMAT exam pattern? Well, in this case, to be precise, the Graduate Management Admission Test happens to be the modern standard concerning B-school entries to foreign colleges, more particularly the colleges within the US. GMAT is an online test. Before how to start preparing for GMAT, one must know some basics about the exam.

  • Higher than 2100 colleges across the globe accept GMAT marks for entrance to fundamentally marketing and management-centric programs.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test Exam Pattern consists of 80 questions and the exam spans for 3 hours and 30 mins.
  • But, GMAT has been for long the foundation of the MBA Entrance Exam for various MBA students across the globe.

GRE only tuned out to be favorable to the maximum of the B-schools a few years before.  Administered with the help of the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), GMAT yields a lot of comparisons with GRE. It is the point where it confuses people about GMAT vs GRE for MBA or Gmat vs Cat. Let me first explain some crucial details regarding the GMAT examination.

GMAT | All About the Exam Structure and Application Fee

Before how to start preparing for GMAT, one must know the exam structure. The GMAT exam includes four segments:

  • Integrated reasoning (IR)
  • Analytical writing assessment (AWA)
  • Quantitative segment
  • Verbal segment

From the description of the divisions itself, you can start noticing the connections between GRE plus GMAT exam patterns.

As per the greatest test-takers, GMAT happens to be more difficult than GRE, primarily coming to segments like verbal plus quantitative. Nevertheless, because the number concerning GMAT takers remains significantly more limited than GRE examinees, many applicants prefer sitting for GMAT.

Before you get going with how to start preparing for GMAT, knowing the methodology would do a little help. Similar to GRE, GMAT additionally possesses the same scoring system wherein problems are segregated as per their distinct difficulty.

If a learner can answer the question concerning a specific complexity level, the following question will be one concerning the enhanced complexity. It additionally plays a significant part in shaping the final record of the applicant. This is as the complexity of the last question solved by an applicant provides a feeling of what his/her rate might be.

However, the overall scoring methodology is much more complicated than merely understanding the complexity of the previous question solved. The ultimate scaled GMAT rate remains declared on the subsequent factors:

  • A number of questions answered.
  • A number of questions answered accurately.
  • The complexity level concerning the questions solved.

The primary question which arises during a GMAT exam pattern signifies that of a mid-range complexity. Students wonder about how to start preparing for GMAT. If an applicant answers precisely, his/her rank climbs higher. Contrarily, it falls. Therefore, it happens to be challenging to score correctly in GMAT because the origin point itself imports from a mid-range complexity segment.

A fundamental point to keep in mind is – a GMAT test examinee needs to attempt to begin this MBA Entrance Exampretty well. The consequence of solving the initial few questions weighs much more compared to solving the last problem accurately.

For example, if someone solves the 30th question accurately, the consequence of that right answer is not as high. This is since the scoring algorithm has previously assessed the provided candidate during the earlier 29 problems. Therefore, it is imperative to attempt the initial few questions properly.

Let me now examine each segment:

Integrated Reasoning

The IR segment was included in the GMAT exam pattern during 2012 to gauge a candidate’s capacity to examine and give resolutions based upon an assigned set of information. Though the IR record lays no importance on the ultimate GMAT score of the candidate, the best performance under this section remains a reliable symbol concerning the examinee’s talent in management plus business education.

This segment includes 12 topics dependent on four separate information representations:

  • Two-part analysis
  • Table analysis
  • Graphics interpretation
  • Multi-source reasoning

Scoring is calculated on a range of 1-8, 8 obtaining the highest rate. It is important to know various sections of the exam before how to start preparing for GMAT. This is thus one of the critical section of this MBA Entrance Exam.

MBA Entrance Exam

Analytical Writing Assessment (AWA)

Similar to the analytical writing segment in GRE, the AWA in the GMAT exam pattern indicates the capacity of a competitor. It is to offer a cohesive piece of writing critiquing a presented argument. The reasons can be anything ranging from a human to a business issue.

This segment requires the applicants to apply necessary analytical details to offer a sharp analysis of a presented argument, including a robust founding basis.

The article in AWA is ordered on a range of 0-6, 6 denoting the best rate possible. The rate in AWA does not possess any bearing on the ultimate GMAT score of the candidate.

Quantitative Section in this MBA Entrance Exam

The quantitative segment is usually touted to signify the firmest part of this MBA Entrance exam. There happens to be no established number of problems in this segment, as the number differs from 0-60. But, it is hard to get a rank more than 51 or less than six under this segment due to the GMAT exam pattern algorithm, as explained earlier. The quant score vs percentile review for GMAT has been prepared below.

MBA Entrance Exam

Verbal Section

The verbal segment is additionally scored within 0-60 and includes the following question kinds, particularly critical reasoning, reading comprehension, and sentence reconstruction in the GMAT exam pattern. Within the verbal segments, scores under nine and beyond 44 are rare. This is one of the most critical section in this MBA Entrance Exam.

As per the examiners (GMAC), the verbal segment within the Graduate Management Admission Test intends to evaluate a candidate’s analytical, reasoning, and communication abilities.

The verbal score vs percentile analysis for GMAT has been compiled below. One must have a clear idea about the Verbal section before how to start preparing for GMAT. Please take a look at the GMAT score chart.

The ultimate GMAT estimated score vs percentile report is provided in the illustration here:

The GMAT examination fee is $250/-

GMAT | Eligibility

Before thinking of how to start preparing for GMAT? You must check your eligibility:

  • Candidates must have a valid and basic education qualification from a registered college or university. should have a basic educational qualification from any registered university or college
  • One should be at least 18 years of age. If an examinee is below 18 years then he/she will require a no-objection certificate from their parents.

GMAT | Number of attempts and applicants

An examinee can appear for the GMAT exam pattern five times within one calendar year and 8 times overall, including a break of at least 16 days within each trial. Similar to GRE MBA Entrance Exam, even a dropped score is calculated as an attempt.

The representation of candidates appearing for the GMAT every year, on an average, happens to be approximately 2.61 lakhs.

GMAT | Test-taking format and duration

The GMAT MBA Entrance Exam is only carried out within an online computer-based form which represents a stark distinction to GRE, which additionally offers the possibility of composing the test within a paper-based form.

The GMAT exam, according to the GMAT exam pattern, happens to be 3.5 hours long. However, applicants need to prepare concerning a four-hour activity, adding the breaks associated in between.

3. MBA Entrance Exam: Common Admission Test (CAT)

The Common Admission Test (CAT) happens to be an MBA Entrance Exam administered by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Indian CAT is one of the most prestigious exams for MBA.

When it comes to Indian MBA applicants, the CAT Mock Test is unquestionably one concerning the most important exams for MBA. The test is carried out as a provisional admission examination to the IIMs and many different B-schools within India which allow CAT ranks.

CAT Exam 2020

The CAT MBA Entrance Exam happens every year through a contracted IIM, which customarily varies on a yearly base. The CAT exam 2020 is conducted only one time in a year, which stands at odds with GRE vs GMAT for MBA, which can be applied for recurring times during the year.

Similar to most patterned Indian exams for MBA, CAT possesses a meager ultimate selection rate of 1%. To place this into the application, the reservation percentage concerning GMAT happens to be 10%, plus it happens to be the gateway to the most reliable B-schools within the globe.

The idea after the inverted selection rate of the CAT Exam 2020 signifies the massive trial for a few of IIM universities. Out of the 20 IIMs presently operational, just five are recognized as elite universities.

The remainder is ordinarily within the moderate spectrum concerning Tier 1 MBA universities.

CAT | Exam Structure and Application fee

The pattern for CAT Mock Test happens to be famous for giving students a tizzy feeling by creating unexpected adjustments to the MBA Entrance Exam format this year. 

It is repeatedly a notable idea behind the complexity of the CAT examination. CAT Exam 2020 will be of 3 hours in duration with 100 questions and 300 marks.

The examination itself is managed solely in the online form. There persists no underlying algorithm which shows the problems within a particular arrangement as is included in GMAT plus GRE.

Therefore, each expected question can comprise of any seeming complexity level, ranging from very simple to very difficult.

There will be a whole of three segments in a presented CAT Mock Test. They are presented as follows:

  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

The Quantitative Ability (QA) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC) segments consist of 34 problems each, while the DI & LR segments consist of 32 problems. This arrangement was suitable for CAT Exam 2017.

However, everything could be modified for CAT Exam 2020, because there signifies no set guide concerning the MBA Entrance Exam.

Each question bears three marks, plus a wrong answer remains liable concerning a penalty of -1. The CAT Exam 2020 application form costs Rs. 1900/- for General Category. For SC/ST/PwD it is Rs. 950 only.

CAT | Number of applicants and attempts

A survey shows 2.31 lakh students filled up the application form for CAT 2017. While it was put against the cumulative number of positions concerning these students in the 20 IIMs within India, the progress ratio drops at 1%.

Any student can fill up the application form for CAT any given measure of time. Nonetheless, since these MBA exams are carried out every year, the substantive number of trials a candidate ordinarily makes signifies somewhere approximately 2 or 3.

CAT Score vs percentile report has been prepared in the chart below.

CAT Exam 2020 | Eligibility criteria

The CAT MBA Entrance Exam inflicts some stringent rules on who is authorized to appear for the examination in the first place. Here are some of those details that have been provided below.

  1. The candidate has to be a graduate from an acknowledged university with at least 50% in a bachelor’s degree (or CGPA) for this MBA Entrance Exam.
  2. The span of graduation rate needs to be three years, at least.
  3. Candidates in the last year of their bachelor’s degree can likewise apply, given they get a NOC from their corresponding college.

An essential point to keep in mind regarding the IIMs is that, they necessarily, do not offer any MBA programs in reality. As the IIMs happen to be not affiliated under any university, they cannot give an MBA course following the guidelines established by the UGC.

The course proposed instead signifies a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). A PGDM from a reputed IIM means no way any more restricted than an MBA degree awarded at some additional MBA college within the nation.

Most students, educators, and recruiters favor PGDM programs over MBA Entrance Exam as of the former’s direction towards industry-oriented training.

As MBA exams happen to be a term familiarised globally, many usually fail to get the difference between PGDM and MBA.

GRE vs GMAT vs CAT: Final Summary

We finally end with the final report of comparison between the presented exams for MBA; GMAT, GRE, and CAT. The constituents were collected to illustrate some crucial diverging areas within the three MBA Entrance exams.

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