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GMAT vs CAT Which One Is Difficult? Detailed Analysis, Opportunities


Should I take CAT conducted by the IIMs or the GMAT? GMAT vs CAT, Which One Is Difficult and Important? What is the difference between a GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) exam and a CAT (Common Admission Test) exam? These questions are the biggest dilemma that any Indian MBA student faces now-a–days. Over the last five years, both the CAT and GMAT have shown a consistent rise and become most important exams for those students who are seeking admissions in Masters of Business Administration course.

Common Admission Test or CAT is the national level management entrance exam conducted by Indian Institute of Management for admission to 20 IIMs and more than 100 B-schools across India. Graduate Management Aptitude Test is an International level entrance exam which is organized by the GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) throughout the year in order to provide admission in foreign country’s institutions and Universities.

CAT score is a compulsory requirement for the IIMs and also accepted by several Indian MBA institutes but GMAT score is essential for taking admission in Abroad. Some of the MBA colleges in India accept CAT scores and GMAT score also. But the best international business schools where GMAT is an essential, they would never accept the CAT score. This is the main difference which will blow your mind if you are going to take admission in Abroad.

The major distinction between the CAT exam and the GMAT exam is that the GMAT exam is a computer adaptive test, while the CAT exam is a linear computer based test. Stay tuned with this web portal in order to get more interesting and important facts related to GMAT VS CAT, Which One Is Difficult? Its Detailed Analysis and best Opportunities which you will get after qualifying in GMAT and CAT which is well designed by the team of


  • Verbal Ability:

In both GMAT and CAT exams, verbal ability of candidates is judged on various parameters. The main focus of CAT is on vocabulary and comprehension while GMAT is reasoning-oriented with emphasis on reading a comprehension, understanding and appraising the arguments given therein and lastly, rectifying it with Standard English language.

Read Also: How to Prepare for English

  • AWA or Analytical Writing Assessment:

This section, also known as Essay section, is unique to GMAT. It requires test-takers to analyze a situation based on the content provided and make a critical assessment in the form of essay. It carries a total score of 6. However, there is no such section in CAT.

  • Quantitative Ability:

Quantitative Syllabus in both the tests is similar. Usually, they differ in terms of difficulty level. While quant is lengthy and complex in CAT, it is quite tricky in GMAT. It is obvious that if you study hard for CAT Quantitative, you stand a better chance to do well in GMAT.

Start Practice With: Quantitative Aptitude Quiz

  • Data Interpretation OR Integrated Reasoning:

CAT gives more importance to Data Interpretation rather than Integrated Reasoning or IR in GMAT. CAT covers topics like analysis and interpretation of data on the basis of Venn diagrams, charts, graphs, tables, and text.

Check Here: Data Interpretation Questions With Solutions

GMAT vs CAT Which One Is Difficult?

  1. Exam Pattern and CAT vs GMAT Syllabus:





Sections and General Rules to attempt the examination

Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal Ability.

The test adjusts itself according to your own ability level, which starts from medium difficulty level and goes higher with each correct answer choice.

Your abilities are then measured on the basis of the number of questions you have answered, the level of accuracy and difficulty.

Candidates can reappear after 16 days of the attempt. But no more than 5 attempts are allowed over a stretch of 12 months.

CAT preparation requires proficiency in Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability.


It can be given once every year and the candidate is tested in all the sections.

Sections, Duration and Number of QuestionsAnalytical Writing – 30 minutes. Total Questions – 90 from Integrated reasoning (12), Quantitative (37) and Verbal Section (41).Verbal Ability- 34 Questions
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning- 32 Questions
Quantitative Aptitude- 34 Questions
Total Duration210 Minutes180 minutes

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  1. Other Essential Differences:
Registration Fees$250 (Rs. 15000)Rs. 2000
Average FeesRs. 20,00,000-65,00,000Rs. 12,00,000
Average SalaryRs. 65,00,000 p.aRs. 15,00,000 p.a
Number of applicants every year60,000 1,70,000
Percentage of students getting admission in top B-schools10%1%
Validity of Score5 years1 year
Work experience requiredMinimum 2 yearsNone
Post exam ProceduresSOPs and essays followed by PI (Online or Physical) GD/PI or written assessment followed by Personal Interview

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CAT VS GMAT: Which one is Tougher?

CAT is the first step in highly competitive admission process. Group discussions, essays and personal interviews are the next in line after qualifying in CAT. Each step has a high and arbitrary “cut offs”. You have to fulfill the required sectional cutoffs, 10th marks, 12th marks, Graduation marks before you finally take admission including the competition level which is very high. For about 1000 seats in the top five IIMs, you are competing with 200,000 people with similar aspirations. Only 0.5 percent of the total number of applicants takes admission into the IIMs.

Most b-schools abroad have a streamlined system for admissions which is also very difficult to compel. After qualifying GMAT, Candidates are required to send their essays and recommendation letters, in which they have to explain certain “gaps” in education and experience. In abroad, Management schools don’t even look at your 10th or 12th standard marks! It is all about how you are as a person. The conversion ratio is almost 10 percent for b-schools who consider GMAT.

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Wrapping Up:

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