Aiming for a seat in the management college of your choice? If yes, then you might be wondering which one is the easiest path toward your goal. CAT and NMAT both are highly competitive management entrances and which one to go for is a question that definitely strikes one’s mind. Aspirants look for the comparative analysis of the two exams so that he/she can maximize the chances of selection. This goes true with the comparison of CAT vs. NMAT as well.
So, to ease you out a bit and make your task a bit easier we would look at the difficulty level of both the exams in question-based on various parameter say pattern, types of questions asked, colleges expecting the score etc.
About the Exam
Common Admission Test is one of the most prestigious and highly competitive management entrance exams in India. The exam is conducted by IIMs on a rotational basis for admitting students in management courses offered by 20 IIMs and over 100 top B-Schools of the country. The exam is conducted on annual basis and the mode of examination is online/computer based.
NMIMS University Management Admission Test is a national level management entrance exam conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council. The exam is conducted on annual basis to select candidates for admission in management courses offered by NMIMS University and around 25 B-schools across India. The exam is conducted in computer-based online mode during a span of 70 to 75 days covering all the examination centres across the country.
CAT vs. NMAT: Syllabus
On the syllabus front, both the exams have a similar kind of structure in face of the test of English/verbal ability, quantitative aptitude, and reasoning abilities of the candidates.
In CAT, the section of Data Interpretation has a separate set of questions and is tested along with logical reasoning whereas in NMAT data interpretation is subsumed under the logical reasoning part.
Rest two sections that are quantitative aptitude and language/verbal skills have similar kind of syllabus with both exams aiming to test similar kind of abilities in the students. In general syllabus of the two exams overlaps in terms of these two sections
CAT vs. NMAT: Paper Pattern Analysis
CAT is a multi-sectional exam which tests candidates for their ability in handling questions from domains like Verbal & reading comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability in a time-bound manner. CAT requires you to attempt 100 questions in a time span of three hours. Each section has a predefined time limit of 60 minutes after which candidates would not be allowed to view that respective section.
NMAT, on the other hand, is a two-hour duration exam that tests candidates for their ability in tackling questions from Language, Quantitative, and Logical Reasoning. The number of questions asked is 120 (divided among three sections) and the scoring is done out of a maximum of 120 marks. However, unlike CAT there is no sectional time window and candidates can revisit the question from different sections any time during exam duration.
CAT vs. NMAT: Difficulty level of questions asked
CAT as is known to management aspirants tests candidates with some tricky kind of questions under each section. Though certain sections like Reading comprehension and verbal ability are moderate to difficulty, candidate sometime faces difficulty with Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning part which has a tendency to throw some tough questions at candidates as we saw in CAT 2017.
NMAT, on the other hand, has a relatively easier level with questions of moderate to easy level under each section. Though, the time constraints can be an issue that might add to the difficulty of the exam, however, in terms of trickiness the questions are below the level of the questions that are asked in CAT.
CAT vs. NMAT: Competition level
CAT exam witness an annual application rate of over 2 lakh aspirants with sitting for the exam. Thus, making the competition a fierce battle for admission. NMAT, on the other hand, has a competition of around 85,000 to 87,000 candidates fighting it out to outclass others and secure admission in the college of their choice.
In this term of colleges accepting the score of the exam, CAT edges past NMAT quite comfortably with more than 100 top B-schools and 20 IIMs accepting its score in comparison to only 25 B-schools going for the score of NMAT.
CAT vs. NMAT: Cut-offs for Top College
To get a call from the top college of your choice through CAT one has to score somewhere in the range of around 95 to 99 percentile. However, candidates can boost their chances of getting a top private management college with their CAT score in case they miss to get on board with IIMs.
NMAT, on the other hand, offers you a call from top colleges with a percentile score of around 65. Thus, it provides a good back up for those who miss the train in CAT. However, a limited number of takers for NMAT score can be a thing to worry.
CAT vs. NMAT: Sectional cut-off
Both CAT and NMAT don’t have any sectional cut-off and rather present scores of candidates in terms of percentile. Individual colleges determine their own cut-off and sectional cut-off based on the score of NMAT and CAT to decide which candidate is to be called for the interview round.
The cut-off based on CAT is determined by IIMs individually which not only involves score in CAT exam but candidates’ graduation percentage, class 12th and class 10th marks among other factors. Colleges under NMAT also have similar kind of cut-off determining criteria.
CAT vs. NMAT: Which is tougher?
Well, it’s quite evident that on a number of parameters like marking scheme, applicants for the exam, level of the questions asked, colleges accepting score etc. CAT proves to be tough in comparison to NMAT. In that sense, it can be said that a candidate eyeing CAT can keep NMAT as a good back up plan if he/she is determined to get the admission in management course that particular year.