CAT: Toughest MBA Exam in India

CAT: Toughest MBA Exam in India

CAT:  Toughest MBA exam in India? Is it really the case.

All students who think about cracking any MBA entrance exam, the first thing which comes to their mind is cracking CAT exam. Everyone dreams of cracking CAT, being the most popular and attractive exam. It is only through CAT that people are able to get into IIM’s which are the top B schools in India. Just like what JEE is for engineers to get into the IIT’s, CAT is for any MBA aspirant to get into the IIM’s.

Also Read: Cracking CAT is Smart Work or Hard Work?

Now, the question is which MBA exam is the toughest in India? Is the most popular exam which is CAT the toughest or it is just the hype. To understand the difficulty level of any exam, we need to consider following factors

  1. Competition
  2. Marking Criteria
  3. Time Duration
  4. Complexity
  5. Reservation

1) Competition: The difficulty of any exam is always relative. It all depends on the quantity and quality of students who participate in the exam. There are about 2.3 lakh students who appeared for CAT 2018 and this number is increasing each year. Talking about exams line SNAP, NMAT and XAT this number is relatively less.

2) Marking Criteria: Accuracy plays a key role in cracking CAT. There is a difference of about 4 marks in a right and a wrong answer. Minus 1 is for those who get the answer wrong and 3 marks is for the one who gets it right. Exam like NMAT has zero negative marking which makes it attractive.

Also Read: Is IIM the only option through CAT? Let’s find out

3) Time Duration: CAT is a an exam which provides you enough time to get the answer. There are in total 100 questions for which you have 180 minutes. Therefore, in total you have approximately 2 minutes average time for a question. A student whose concepts are clear, has a high chance to solve maximum number of questions and score higher marks. NMAT has 120 questions for which you have 120 minutes. SNAP asks about 150 questions and gives you 150 minutes to solve. Compared to these CAT provides enough time to student to solve.

4) Complexity: CAT is not complex, but is more logical. It’s is just like JEE which tests your understanding of the concepts. Questions are designed such that getting an answer is not comprehensive but is more tricky. People generally find the verbal and quant part to be easier than the DI-LR section.

Also Read: How much time is required to prepare for CAT?

5) Reservation: As CAT is mostly for students to get into IIM’s, it becomes very hard for a person with general category to get into one of the IIM’s. There is no such reservation of seats in exams like NMAT, XAT and MICAT, therefore the chances of cracking these exams becomes higher for those who belong to the general background. Sectional and overall cut off’s vary from student with SC, ST, OBC and other categories.

Also ReadHow to manage work along with CAT preparation?

When we consider all these factors, the ranking in terms of difficulty is as follows.


Leaving all this aside, when you have strong foundation, where your concepts are clear, cracking CAT is a cakewalk for you. CAT is more logical and requires smart work rather than mere hard work. You have enough time to solve questions and the questions are not comprehensive but logical.

Interesting Reads: CATking Quora



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