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5 Reasons Why GMAT is Better than CAT

Posted on January 14, 2014

Should I take the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the IIMs or the GMAT? This question is the perennial butter-scotch/ black forest dilemma that any Indian MBA aspirant faces today.
Other major dilemmas students face are, Which exam will I stand a better chance at? Which exam will give me more “bang for the buck”? Which test will give you access to MBA programs that are commensurate at your experience level? And finally which exam will open my gates to the best management programs in the world.

We analyze some important points on the eternal CAT vs GMAT debate, to help you decide:


Factor #1:The Number of Aspirants


Over the last five years, both the CAT and GMAT have shown a consistent rise in the number of applicants but for last year. The number of aspirants for both the exams actually declined last year. However, even after considering the decline the number of test takers for CAT is almost three times as much as the number of test takers for GMAT. Here is a brief illustration


What does this mean for you?
Less competition, less pressure which directly leads to More Opportunities!!


Factor #2: The ability to improve the score:


One of the major factors as far as the CAT is concerned, is that it is like a bullet from a gun, once shot it cannot be recalled. Similarly, you only have one shot at the CAT in a given academic year. You have a bad headache or a fight with your girlfriend on the day of your CAT or suffer from Delhi Belly, CAT will just say BhaagBhaag DK Bose..


However, as far as GMAT is concerned, there is no cap on the number of times that you can take the test. In an academic year, you are allowed to take the GMAT five times, with an interval of one month. These repeat attempts do come at a price, but then that critical option to improve your score exists and is used favorably by many candidates


Target CAT/GMAT Score Number of Attempts




What does this mean for you?


This means if you have a bad day or something crops up at work, you can shift your GMAT date to take it when you are ready. Infact you can reschedule your GMAT dates online up to a week before the test date.


Factor #3:The validity of the Score


Your CAT scores are valid only for that particular year. If you take CAT in 2013, you can use the score to apply for programmes starting in 2014 and not after that. However, some institutions do give you the leeway to use your previous CAT scores when applying, but then they are very few and far in between.
On the other hand, GMAT scores are valid for 5 years.


What does this mean for you?


That means, you take your GMAT now and manage to get an awesome score but for some reason do not apply, you can use the same score to apply to any program even when:


• 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games
• 2014 FIFA World Cup
• 2014 Twenty 20 world Cup
• 2015 Cricket World Cup
• 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics
• 2016 Twenty 20 World Cup
• 2017 Auckland World Masters Games
• 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup


are over 🙂


Factor #4:The institutions covered by GMAT

CAT scores in its current form, can be used only for admissions in the IIM’s and other affiliate Indian b-schools. Though it has been conducted for many years, it is still a very Indian test for Indian MBA programs.
Taking the GMAT opens up the gates to the best institutions,both abroad and in India. Harvard Business School, Wharton and Stanford amongst other schools in the USA, INSEAD in France and Singapore, London Business School are ome of the prestigious institutions that consider GMAT scores for admissions to their management program.
Top Indian B-schools such as the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, Great Lakes Institute of Management (GLIM) in Chennai andSP Jain in Mumbai also have started considering GMAT scores for entry to their programmes.

What does this mean for you?


Well, we are certainly asking you to “Think beyond the IIMs” 🙂 . Not in the ponytail way, but know that GMAT will open up a lot more prestigious doors, than what CAT will.


Factor #5: The relative ease of admissions

Acing the CAT is just the first step in what is an arduous and a highly competitive admission process. Group discussions, essays and personal interviews are the next in line before you bag the coveted admit.
And worsening your already difficult task is the fact that Each step has a high and arbitrary “cut offs”.You will have meet the daunting sectional cutoffs, 10th marks, 12th marks, Graduation marks ……..phew!before you finally convert it.
Also the competition is unbelievably high. For about 1000 seats in the top five IIMs, you are competing with 200,000 people with similar aspirations. And do not forget the ubiquitous reservations!
Simply put, only 0.5 percent of the total number of applicants make it to the IIMs.
Most b-schools abroad have a streamlined system for admissions which is also very subjective. Once you take your GMAT, you would need to send out your essays and recommendation letters, In which there is a lot of scope to explain certain “gaps” in education and experience.
Heck, the schools abroad don’t even look at your 10th or 12th standard marks! It is all about how you are as a person – and not just meeting some arbitrary “cutoffs” which in all probability you don’t even know.

The conversion ratio is almost 10 percent for b-schools who consider GMAT.






Encapsulating the five factors mentioned above, I give you a side by side comparison of CAT and GMAT




All I will say is, YOU DECIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got any questions about the CAT vs GMAT dilemma? Leave your comment in the comments section below!
Head over to our E-book library for a more detailed analysis of CAT Vs GMAT!
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  1. How does profile matters in getting GMAT India colleges?
    And if profile matters what are the aspects we need to look to enhance it?

    1. Hi Sourabh,

      For any MBA program, your profile is very important. The Admission committee want to know about your career goals and aspirations, your work experience, your personal experiences.. in short they want to know you completely as person! The advantage of applying to an MBA program with a GMAT score is that you stand a chance to present your profile irrespective of a high / low GMAT score. Unlike CAT, in GMAT your profile does not get rejected on the basis of your score

    1. Hi Rohini,

      Yes! Many foreign universities offer scholarships to those who have score a GMAT score in the 730 to 760 range.

  2. hi

    I have to go into some personal details here. I am currently working with TCS with 1 year experience with excellent academic scores.
    What chances do you see for me landing in top b-schools through GMAT?

    1. Hi Apoorv,

      The main advantage GMAT gives you is that your application gets a chance to reach the eyes of the Adcom committee for review. Unlike CAT, there is no initial cut off that eliminates applications from moving forward.

      Also, most schools that accept GMAT require a professional experience of 2 or more years. So, you may want to wait it out a bit before you apply with your GMAT score. However, if you are targeting Indian schools such as ISB – you have an option to apply through the Early Entry Option.

      Another advantage of applying through the GMAT route is that you have a fair chance to explain your personal and professional achievements through the essay questions at each B-school.

      With a 700+ GMAT score and a strong profile and essay, your chance of getting into a top b-school is definitely bright 🙂

      Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Shivangi,

      Most B-schools have a minimum criteria of 2 years work experience and the maximum can run into any number of years 🙂

  3. I’m prepping for Cat currently, and I’m considering GMAT.
    However I’m in my last year of graduation & have no experience

  4. Hey, I completed my graduation in Business Management in 2014. I am considering GMAT. For the last two and a half years, I have been working with my father at our family owned business. Do most top B-schools in India and abroad consider that as work experience?

    1. Hi Hitesh,

      I think family business is a great story because it shows you have the cross-functional exposure that you otherwise cannot get. I have had a lot of students with family business getting into top schools.

      All the best!


  5. i want to sit for GMAT exam but i haven’t completed my undergraduate. Is work experience a must to get admitted to top indian b schools?

    1. Hi Hiya,

      There are a few programs such as the ISB YLP and HBS 2+2 that lets college students apply to the programs. The condition being – you would join them 2 years AFTER you graduate. You can google for more details about the program.


  6. Hi i have finished bsc statistics with 72% , MCA with 67%, 10th with 69% and 12th with 67%.
    I have work experience of 2.7 yrs in Web Development.
    I am planning to do MBA in Finance in Abroad.
    Can you please tell my best chances.
    Does it require work experience in specified field.
    Can you please help me guys.

    1. I think a huge determinant will be your GMAT scores. Make sure you get a kickass score and rest of it can be taken care of.

      Also if you can build a portfolio of your web development then it will definitely help in your application.


  7. I am planning to Sit for my CAT or GMAT right after my graduation (UG) . I have no work experience. So,is work experience a must for all business schools?

    1. I think you shouldn’t think OR – rather think AND.

      This means give both CAT and GMAT a shot. If you don’t get through CAT then you would’ve used the momentum to prepare for the GMAT – which is valid for 5 years.

      Work experience is preferred but some b-schools such as ISB in India takes students who have no experience as well – just google for ISB EEO.


    1. Hi Shivam,

      A lot of top candidates today are looking at the 1-year executive MBA programs offered by ISB and the IIMs. Also top companies like McKinsey routinely recruit people at these schools – so definitely a good option.

      CAT is a more of a “luck” game IMO.


  8. I want to do job in foreign country at a high post via mba … what should i do…what would be best for me to complete my dream of get settled in foreign ?

    1. Hi Anchal,

      Your best bet would be to take the GMAT and apply to a top B-School in the country of your choice.

      Most schools will give you the edge to compete with local students. So that should be your game plan!


  9. My scores in 10th and 12 are average so my question is can apply for GMAT exam and if I qualified GMAT than the B schools will allow me get addmision in b schools ?

    1. Don’t worry about school marks – once you take the GMAT then everything else is behind you.

      In fact most schools don’t even ask for your school marks in the application form – only college and above.


  10. M in college 1 year and I want to do MBA bt m still confused weather to go for CAT or GMat as most of my relative r sayng for CAT as it is more efficient than others MBA course and I don’t have any work experience will it effect in both cat or gmat.. please hlep

  11. I am 25 year old. I am done with my post graduation . And I’m working with my father from last 5 years in my family bussiness so if I apply for gmat will I eligible for b schools .

  12. I want to do a job in foreign country at high post and get settled in foreign.what should i choose…..CAT or GMAT???my scores in 10th and 12th are very good.Can you suggest me which will be the best one for my future??

    1. Hi Keziah,

      If you are looking for a job abroad then you should definitely consider the GMAT.

      With CAT you can only apply to Indian B-schools and opportunity to go abroad post that hugely depends on your luck.

      You could see how to go about your GMAT preparation by checking out our Trial Online Course at

  13. Sir i working with tcs for the past 2 months.i am in a dilemma whether to go for CAT or GMAT. I want to do a MBA from a reputed college and have no geographical constraints.Preparing for both wouldn’t harm but thenbit would only add to the confusion.if i go for GMAT how much time would it take to prepare for it inside out.

  14. Hi,

    I’m thinking about writing GMAT, but I’m struggling to figure how I’m gonna pay for my expenses if I get through to a college. I’ve no idea how the market is like for management folks right now & what are the chances of getting a decent enough job? My 10th & 12th & graduation scores are average at best but that shouldn’t be a problem as per the article but then what about placements? Won’t it affect placements? Lets keep the Harvards & the Stanfords aside for the moment.


    1. Hi Abhishek,

      Most students apply for student loans and scholarships. If you manage to get an admit in to any of the Top 50 B-schools then it should be easy for you to get a good job. Your 10th and 12th scores won’t play much of a role in your job placements post-MBA.

  15. Hello sir, i wanna prepair for GMAT i am a 2nd year delhi university (school of open learning) student. I have some gap in my graduation year and even not score good. So can i apply for GMAT just after my graduation. And even i dont have work experiance. So is this possible for me to get admission in foreign bschool. can give exam of GMAT first or i have to get experianc first. What i have to do after my graduation??? Please guide me

    1. Hi Kamal,

      Right now, You should focus on doing well in your Graduation. Your chances to get an admit into a Foreign B-school improves drastically if you have a few years of work experience and a good score in your graduation.

      You could start your GMAT preparation anytime (earlier the better). GMAT score is typically valid for five years, so you could answer the GMAT even before you start working and then apply to B-schools once you have a work experience of few years under your belt.

  16. Hii,

    I will be working in India after my MBA.Is it easy to study abroad and find jobs in India and is it really worth it?

    1. Hi Akshay,

      If you are planning to work in India post your MBA then we wouldn’t recommend studying abroad as the cost involved is much higher.If you manage to get an admit into a top B-school then getting a job in India wouldn’t be difficult.

  17. hey I am currently doing B.Com(1st year) and I am also doing some internships so my question is that If I have letter of recommendations from internships ,do my that work experience counted or not?

    1. Hi Rishabh,

      Internships are not counted as work experience. Work experience is typically after graduation and you should be on the companies payroll.

    1. Hi Harsh,
      GMAT can be taken anytime during the year. You can check our http://www.mba.com for details. CAT happens only once a year sometime in Oct / Nov timeframe. You can check the IIM websites for info on them.

  18. Hello,

    I am mechanical engineering graduate and have 3 years of experience in TATA group.I target to take admit in ISB situated in hyderabad.I am confused about the courses whether to go for one year full time executive MBA in finance or I should go for normal two year course work.
    Because from my research I think two year programme is better than one year to clear basic concept about finance.
    Do you have any other options related to finance MBA.Please suggest.
    I am planning to give GMAT & Is GMAT will opens gate for top most Indian Buisiness scholls in India.

    Gajanan Kulkarni.

    1. Hi Gajanan,

      Most MBA programs – become a specialisation in the last semester based on the electives you take. Whether it’s a one year or a two year MBA. With your kind of experience you should keep both options open. If you are keen on Finance, you should also do some certification courses on finance which show your interest for the same. Check of CFA. It will help you with your profile too.

  19. Hi,

    I am a senior software engineer with 6 years of experience. I am planning to take an executive MBA, my aim is to study without quitting the job. Firstly I would like to know is there any top B-school that offer executive MBA where we can expect placement also. Also, if I try GMAT, will that help me?

    I am basically from Kerala and working in Cochin now, kindly let me know the possibilities that are in front of me.

    1. If MBA is your goal then definitely GMAT is the test you need to take. All Indian colleges have placement options so you need not worry.

  20. I am a recent graduate . Am planning to join too b school abroad. But my issue is I do not have relevant work experience in analytics or any other MBA related field. Basically no management experience as well. Is my experience in my core field going to help me get into b school? Or do I need to take up some operations or analytics job in order to make my experience count towards getting admission into b school?

    1. Hi Anshul,
      You need to take up a job which will get you to the next job role. Please fill up a profile evaluation form on the website for the same.

  21. Hi! I just want to ask, say a candidate who doesn’t have 2 years of work experience but has good scores. Is there any scope of getting into a reputed b-school?

  22. Hi, ive completed my graduation(B.com) and Im working as C.S tax associate at Amazon.com. its been 1 year with my company. Will my work experience really helps in getting into a top B-school. Thank you for your reply.

  23. Sir. I’m presently pursuing my graduation and I’m planning to look out for GMAT so,my two main dilemmas are is work experience considered a crucial factor for getting into a b Skool abroad? And would I be able to manage the cost of living abroad if I get a chance?

    1. Hi Manisha, Yes to get into a top school atleast 2 years of experience is good.The cost of living depends a lot on you.If the school has dorms or is it in a not so expensive city, you can manage with the student loans provided.

  24. I did my engineering in instrumentation and control and got a core engineering job in a water industry .After a couple of years of experience planning to do MBA in finance and join finance companies like jp Morgan,Goldman Sachs ,Morgan Stanley .
    Is that possible or will I be able to work as a finance guy in the industry in which I had prior experience ?

    1. Chances that you get into a pure finance job without any experience is tough.I would suggest you take some certifications which are finance related to build your profile.You can explore CFA etc

  25. Hello sir, I scored 96% in 10th and 66.7% in 12th both in maharashtra state board. Currently I am in my 3rd year of engineering from Pune university with an average score of 60% with an internship of 1 year. If I prepare for Gmat, what are my chances of landing into best colleges across the globe?

    1. Hi Baba,

      Considering the fact your scores for both engineering and 12th are just about average, to get into a Top B-School You’ll need a high GMAT score and work experience that will separate you from the majority applicants.

      It’s always a good idea to start your GMAT preparation early! You could try our Free online course http://gmatonline.crackverbal.com/

  26. I am in my last year of BBA? What should i pursue further? Thinking of going for GMAT. But no work experience. Any suggestions?will i get admission on the basis of GMAT and good academic scores?

    1. Hi Divya,

      To get into Top MBA program you need atleast 2 years of work experience. If you are planning to get into management course without work experience then you could answer GMAT & consider courses like MIM from top institutes (HEC Paris, ESADE Spain, London Business School) or the YLP program from ISB.

      If you need any more detailed clarification regarding your career path then you can schedule a free call with our Consultant on 9008177800

  27. Hi, I have decided to write GMAT and hope to get into a good B school abroad. I am currently pursuing BCom hon with another course called CIMA. What is the advantage I have on completing CIMA, What is a good GMAT score to get and is it really really required to have work experience to Get into a good B school?

    1. Hi Ritvika,

      You would need atleast 2 years of work experience to get into a top B-school.

      For more detailed clarification regarding your profile & career path kindly get in touch with us for a free profile evaluation on 9008177800

  28. I scored 9.8 CGPA in CBSE board and 94.4% in 12th in Andhra Pradesh board. Currently I am in my 2nd year of engineering with CPI 6.2. I don’t have any work experience. What are the chances of getting into best colleges?

    1. Hi Ravi,

      It depends on What courses are you looking at and which countries you are targeting.

  29. Hi., I have around 5 years experiance and I am a qualified cost accountant(qualified in 2015 Dec) . I am looking for a 1 year MBA Course. Please advice when should i start start studying for GMAT if I want admission for a college in 2018 (India or outside India is fine) ? thank you.

    1. Hi Arathi,

      Ideally you should answer your GMAT by July, so that it leaves you with enough time for the application process.

      A good place to start your GMAT prep would be with our Free online course. You can access your course here http://gmatonline.crackverbal.com/

  30. Hi
    I have completed b.tech in 2014 and then did apprenticship in Bharat Dynamics Limited for a year and then i have been working as an administrator in a coaching institute of one of my friends. So, will this be considered as work experience and also i wanted to know how do the top b-schools expect ones profile to be for admission in to it.

    Also how do you suggest me to build my profile.

  31. Hey My question is if i completely prepare for GMAT exam will that prep will be okay for appearing for cat exams also?

    Seeking admission in b schools does the marks of btech matter i mean CGPI nd all?

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