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April 13 2024

First and the foremost thing is you need to find out what is your focus areaCAT and GMAT have almost the same syllabus, the difference between the two is the approach and strategy you apply to crack each one of them. If you are planning to appear for CAT 2019, and have started preparing for it then you can simultaneously prepare for GMAT as well. I’ll try and suggest a plan to proceed with your preparation. Let's get on with the major difference between CAT v/s GMAT.

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The GMAT aptitude test consists of four sections, namely Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal. As per the GMAT pattern , the test duration is three and half hours with specific time allotment for each section.

GMAT test pattern is a Computer Adaptive Test, where the candidates will receive questions one at a time and the difficulty level and score of the GMAT will depend on the accuracy of their previous answer. If you answer the first question correctly in GMAT exam, the next question will be of higher difficulty level. If the answer is wrong, the next question will be of lower difficulty level and will be scored accordingly.

How to prepare for GMAT?

There are 3 sections in CAT-

  1. Quantitative aptitude ( 34 marks)
  2. Data interpretation and logical reasoning ( 32 marks)
  3. Verbal ability ( 34 marks)

As you can compare, the verbal ability section in CAT consists of Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, ParaJumbles etc. In fact 24 marks out of 34 is Reading Comprehension. Moreover, the verbal ability for CAT is comparatively facile as compared with GMAT. For GMAT, you need to hone comprehension skills and that only comes via consistent practice. You need to be very strong in verbal ability if you need to boost scores in GMAT . On the other hand, in CAT Quantitative Aptitude has a higher difficulty level as compared to GMAT.


CAT: The registration fees for the CAT is INR 2000. Average fees across MBA colleges in India comes to around 12 Lakhs. The Average salary that an individual may get after completing its MBA comes to around 12 – 15 lakhs per annum. GMAT:  GMAT is an expensive affair when compared to CAT. Starting with registration fees, which is around 250$, i.e. INR 15,000. Average fees for MBA colleges could range from 20 – 60 lakhs, depending upon the country and university selected. However, the Annual salary package could also be expected to be in a range of 15 – 20 lakhs per annum.

Level of Competition:

In India, there is a huge difference in the number of aspirants that take up these exams every year Around 2 Lakhs applicants apply for CAT every year, out of which only 1-2% of the students manage to get admitted into the premier Business school around the country.  Talking about GMAT, around 60,000 applicants apply for GMAT, out of which 10% of the aspirants manage to get into top business school across the globe. Since, the number of business schools are quite less, as compared to the number of applicants applying, the completion in CAT is quite high as compared to GMAT

In conclusion, since the syllabus for CAT and GMAT is more or less the same and both these exams just differ in strategy depending upon their weight to different areas, you can give both the exams and choose the best that fits your requirement thereafter.

By scoring good in CAT you would be eligible to apply to India’s Best Business Schools, whereas by scoring well in GMAT and stronger applications, The world’s best business schools will open doors for you:)

We have tried to highlight the important key aspects of both the examination. Different candidates may have different requirements and suitability for selection of an examination. In the end, it’s the candidate that has to decide, which is the better option for the candidate. For consultation regarding the same feel free to get connected with Mentor On Call or  Attend our Free Workshops

So choose wisely and nail it. Hope you liked this article on CAT v/s GMAT!

All the best:)

Anisha Mukhija

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