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The top management entrance exams and how to ace them


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Management is currently one of the most popularly pursued disciplines among students who wish to opt for the management sector. As the sector continues to grow, so do the opportunities that come along with it. 

Many leading business institutes around the globe offer specialties in various aspects of business management. One of the most crucial eligibility criteria for getting into a management course is to pass PG entrance tests. PG entrance tests are held around the country to secure a place in the management courses. These admission exams are meant to objectively assess your aptitude and general abilities required of a future manager or organizer.

We have put together a list of the most important pg entrance tests and the other details about them.


The Common Admission Test (CAT) is administered by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). For admission, the CAT score is utilized by 20 IIMs and over 1000 other management institutes throughout the nation. More than 2 lakh students take the test annually.

CAT began in 1950 and then changed its course into an online admission exam in the year 2009. The CAT exam comprises 100 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) that the student is supposed to answer within 180 minutes. Due to the pandemic, the CAT exam was held in three sessions instead of two, the duration for which was 120 minutes. CAT registration can be done online, around 400 locations. 


The Xavier Aptitude Test, or XAT, is a computer-based management aptitude test that is another management entrance exam that you can opt for. The Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur is the authority that administers the XAT exam. Around 1 lakh students opt for the exam annually. The XAT takes place on the first Sunday of each year. The XAT scores are accepted by 800 institutes. The XAT tests the students on these levels - 

  • Ability to think quantitatively
  • General Knowledge & English Language 
  • Logical Reasoning 
  • Decision Making


The National Testing Agency supervises the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT). The CMAT is also a National Level exam.

The CMAT exam is administered with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) of the Government of India's directives. The CMAT test is offered in a computer-based online format.


The Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test (NMAT) or NMIMS Management Aptitude Test is a university-level postgraduate admission exam.

This entrance exam is held for students interested in pursuing an MBA or other graduate management degree program at universities that recognize the NMAT results.

The Graduate Management Aptitude Council is the body that administers the NMAT exam.


The Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) administers the pg entrance test known as ATMA four times a year. ATMA stands for AIMS Test for Management Admissions.

This admission test is administered both on paper and on a computer. The test is conducted in December, February, May, and July.


The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is the authority that administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

A student is only eligible to register for the GMAT test once a month. Annually, a student can take up the exam 5 times a month. GMAT is a national-level exam that is held throughout the year.


Symbiosis National Aptitude Test or SNAP, held at a national level, is a management entrance exam administered by Symbiosis International University. 

The SNAP score can be used for admissions to Symbiosis International University and 16 other institutes that hold its relevance. Registration for the SNAP program is available from August to November. The SNAP test is held in December.

The duration of the SNAP test is 2 hours. The candidate's abilities are assessed on the below criteria - 

  • Quantitative English, 
  • Data Interpretation, and 
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Logical & Analytical Reasoning


The MAH-CET, or Maharashtra Common Admission Test, is a state-level MBA entrance test. The test is authorized by the Maharashtra Directorate of Technical Education for admission to multiple management programs such as MBA, MMS, PGDBM, and PGDM at multiple institutes.

MAH CET is held in March. The students are expected to complete 200 questions within 150 minutes. The question is further divided into 3 sections.

  • Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability
  • Quantitative Skills
  • Logical reasoning 


The Management Aptitude Test is yet another management entrance exam. The MAT scores are accepted within 600 institutes. The students can opt for a MAT exam four times a year. The exam is held in February, May, September, and December, and is authorized by the All India Management Association (AIMA). 

The entrance exam is offered in three formats: computer-based testing (CBT), paper-based testing (PBT), and internet-based testing (IBT). The MAT test comprises 200 questions and lasts 150 minutes. The student's capabilities are assessed on the following parameters - 

  • The environment in India and Around the World
  • Language comprehension
  • Data Analysis
  • Mathematical Knowledge
  • Critical Reasoning and Intelligence


The National Testing Agency (NTA) administers the IIFT exam. It takes place in over 200 cities across the world through the internet. The IIFT test is held in December. The test will last two hours, and there will be 110 multiple choice questions on the paper. 

The student is expected to answer 110 multiple-choice questions within 2 hours. The student's abilities are assessed on the following criteria - 

  • English Comprehension
  • General Awareness and Knowledge
  • Logical reasoning
  • Quantitative Evaluation


Management programs are varied and are available in a variety of modes, including regular, online, and distance education. Students can also choose specializations that are tailored to fit their aspirations. When it comes to management courses eligibility requirements, one must meet the following requirements:

  • Graduation in any subject from a recognized institution 
  • You should’ve secured a 50% in your graduate degree
  • Other requirements may be based on the institute that you have opted for

How to ace your PGDM entrance exam

A student will need in-depth knowledge, an analytical mindset, and, most importantly, rigorous planning and preparation in the right direction to pass the exam. The preparations for this exam might not be done in a day and hence candidates need to begin their preparations promptly. Since management studies are a highly competitive space, it is crucial to keep the preparations up to date.

Quantitative aptitude, reasoning, intellect, understanding, case analysis, relationships, synonyms, antonyms, general knowledge/awareness, are other features that are required to ace your PGDM entrance exam preparations along with hard work.

Planning and strategy

To pass any exam, preparation and strategy go hand in hand and are required to achieve the desired result. Students who have decided to take up management studies should implement robust strategies right from the beginning to support their expectations. Students should have a thorough awareness of what these tests are and how to best prepare for them. 

The first thing to keep in mind is to understand them and to use correct planning and methods to assist you to achieve your objectives. This goes from the minute aspects such as managing the hours in a day as well as the entire study routine. 

In these tests, proper tactics should be used to get a hold of various areas such as logical reasoning, quantitative aptitude, and data analysis. Consistent practice is what can help you with efficient time management.

Understand the areas of the test

To pass the test, a student is required to have in-depth knowledge, an analytical mind, a sharp memory, and, most importantly, meticulous planning and preparation. Understanding multiple aspects as well as subjects of the course can help you get the basics and eventually the advanced aspects right.

The syllabus for the CAT, XAT, MAT, SNAP, and other entrance examinations remains the same for each institute. 

Time management

Time management can not only help you to maintain a robust study routine but also to manage the timings of your exam paper well too. An efficient time management framework can set you apart from the crowd and help you with results that stand out. Time management that is effective and efficient will lead to a more productive future. Set aside your priorities and begin working on your goals right now. Preparing for your entrance exams ahead of time can ensure that you receive a high score. Before attempting to hit the target, try to strike a balance between your studies and time.

Taking notes

Taking notes is one of the most effective methods to keep your mind active and referring to them when needed can help too. It is advised to keep your notes handy, especially during the final preparations of your exams to ensure that nothing goes amiss and that everything is done right. Keeping notes handy can also turn out to be a major pro as it can suit your study routine, especially if you find the generally available notes difficult to understand. They can be quite beneficial during the crucial period leading up to the exam. A quick look at your notes can have everything sorted in one go.

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