What is the Difference Between MAT and CAT Exam

  • By Christy J. Varghese
  • 19 December 2022
What is the Difference Between MAT and CAT Exam

5800 students unlocked their dream jobs with UG/PG programs in top colleges. Apply Now!

There are several management and MBA entrance exams you can appear for to get admission into the top MBA college of your choice in India. 

Two such popular entrance exams that allow you to pursue an MBA course of your choice are the Common Aptitude Test (CAT) and Management Aptitude Test (MAT). 

Both these entrance exams differ in terms of their difficulty level, frequency, and the number of colleges accepting the CAT and MAT scores. 

In this article, we go through the difference between CAT and MAT entrance exams to help you determine which exam you should appear for to get admission into an MBA university of your choice. 

CAT vs MAT: A Brief Overview 

While the syllabus of the two entrance exams is almost identical, the basic difference between the CAT and MAT exam is their exam frequency and difficulty level. 

The CAT exam is conducted once a year, whereas the MAT entrance exam is conducted four times for MBA aspirants. 

The CAT is more difficult than MAT, and its score is accepted by the top IIMs and B-schools across India. Comparatively, MAT is much easier, and around 600+ management universities in India accept the MAT result score. 

Here are the top highlights of the CAT vs MAT exam


CAT exam

MAT exam

Full Form

Common Aptitude Test

Management Aptitude Test

Conducting Body

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)

All India Management Association (AIMA)


Once a year

Four times a year

Mode of exam

Computer-Based Test (CBT) 

Computer-Based Test (CBT)

Paper-Based Test (PBT)

Internet-Based Test (IBT)

Exam difficulty level



Number of questions 



Exam duration 

2 hours

2.5 hours 

Let’s look at the MAT vs CAT exam comparison concerning different factors, like eligibility, syllabus, application fee, marking scheme, exam pattern, and more. 

CAT vs MAT: Eligibility Criteria 

Here are the eligibility criteria for the MAT and CAT exams. 

CAT Eligibility 

  • Candidates must own a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university or board. 
  • Candidates must score at least 50% aggregate marks or equivalent CGPA in the qualifying exam. The ST, SC, and PwD/DA category candidates must score at least 45% aggregate marks or equivalent CGPA in the qualifying examination. 
  • Final-year bachelor’s degree candidates are also eligible for the CAT exam. 

MAT Eligibility 

  • Any graduate candidate is eligible for the MAT exam. 
  • There’s no minimum percentage requirement or age limit for the MAT exam eligibility. 

CAT vs MAT: Exam Frequency 

  • You can appear for the MAT entrance exam four times a year, conducted in February, May, September, and December each year. 
  • The CAT exam is conducted every last Sunday of November month each year in three different sessions. 
  • To appear for the MAT entrance examination, the CBT, IBT, and PBT exam mode dates differ, and you can choose one or more exam modes.

CAT vs MAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern 

MAT Syllabus 

The MAT exam paper consists of 200 questions divided into four different sections of 40 questions each. 

The five sections in the MAT entrance exam are:

  • Intelligence and Critical Reasoning 
  • Language Comprehension 
  • Mathematical Skills 
  • Indian and Global Environment 
  • Data Analysis and Sufficiency 

CAT Syllabus 

The CAT entrance exam consists of 66 questions divided into three different sections, including 

  • Quantitative Aptitude 
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 

You can check out this CAT sample paper to learn more about the types of questions asked in each section. 

CAT vs MAT Percentile and Marking Scheme 

MAT Marking Scheme 

  • When it comes to the MAT score vs CAT score, MAT has the highest score weightage of 200 marks. 
  • You’ll get +1 for each correct answer and -0.25 for each incorrect answer. 
  • The score from the Indian and Global Environment section is not taken into account when determining your final MAT score. 

CAT Marking Scheme 

  • The total CAT entrance exam score is 198 marks. 
  • You’ll get +3 for each correct answer and -1 for each incorrect answer. 
  • The non-MCQ questions in the CAT exam do not carry negative marks. 

CAT vs MAT Exam Fees

  • The CAT entrance exam registration fee for the general and NC-OBC categories is ₹2000 and for the SC/ST/PwD (DA) categories is ₹1000. 
  • The MAT entrance exam registration fee for one paper (CBT/IBT/PBT) is ₹1650. The fee for both CBT and PBT exam modes is ₹2750. 

Top Colleges Accepting The CAT Score in India 

  • Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), including IIM Mumbai, Bangalore, Indore, and more. 
  • SPJIMR, Mumbai 
  • Christ University, Bangalore 
  • VIT Business School, Vellore 
  • Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi
  • IBS Business School, Hyderabad 
  • AIMS Institutes, Bangalore 
  • Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon 

Top Colleges Accepting The MAT Score in India 

  • Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Institute for Management Development, Mysore 
  • Christ University, Bangalore 
  • Oxbridge Business School, Bangalore
  • SPJIMR, Mumbai 
  • Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata
  • AIMS Institutes, Bangalore
  • Prin LN Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai
  • Chandigarh University, Chandigarh 
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai 
  • MIT School of Management, Pune 
  • ITM Business School, Navi Mumbai 


Both CAT and MAT exams are credible MBA entrance exams, and choosing one depends on your skills, college preference, and interests. While CAT is much more competitive, which can give you admission into the IIMs, MAT is comparatively easier. 

Hope this article helped you learn the difference between the MAT exam and the CAT exam

If you need more help getting into MBA colleges in India, you can contact us at Sunstone. We are a leading education service provider offering our industry-aligned courses and advanced certifications to students across India. Sunstone’s benefits are available at 50+ colleges and universities across India, offering the best placements and career opportunities for MBA graduates. 

Contact us today to learn more. 


Are MAT and CAT the same?

Both CAT and MAT are management entrance exams but differ in the difficulty level, exam frequencies, marks, and the top colleges accepting MAT and CAT scores. 

Can I give both CAT and MAT?

Yes, you can give both the MAT and CAT exams to get admission into the top management college in India. 

Is MAT tougher than CAT?

No, MAT is much easier than the CAT exam. The section-wise time limit in the CAT exam, absent in MAT, makes cracking the CAT exam even more difficult. 

Take the first step towards your dream job.

Enter a world of


Apply for graduate or postgraduate program and shape your career now!

Full Name
Mobile Number
I want to pursue