The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer-based selection test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for their business administration programmes. The CAT exam is an important prerequisite for admission into more than 100 management institutes across India. It is a management aptitude test conducted by the IIMs primarily to evaluate and shortlist candidates for the post-graduate programme. It is a computer based exam available for eager and eligible candidates to register and take once a year.
However, CAT is increasingly falling out of favour with MBA aspirants seeking admission to Indian B-schools.
CrackVerbal, a test preparation training and admissions consulting company, told Business Insider India that it is seeing a lot more students who want to explore taking the GMAT route to MBA admissions in recent years.
Why is this happening. Why are Indian students turning away from CAT? CrackVerbal points to 3 main reasons:
1. Indian MBA programmes have realised that there are a lot of people who might have missed the CAT bus and cannot wait for another year to retake the test. Compared to CAT, the GMAT offers the convenience of taking the test anytime of the year. In addition, because the scores are valid for five years, the B-school opens up a fairly large applicant pool for their admissions.
2. A lot of executives with significant work experience prefer a 1-year executive MBA programme. For such people in their late 20s, and early 30s, GMAT offers the flexibility of taking the test multiple times a year. Furthermore, as it is offered all around the world, there are no geographical constraints.
3. CAT is not a standardised test, whereas GMAT is. This means that your scores on the CAT can fluctuate a lot while your GMAT scores are pretty stable. This allows B-schools to compare students who have taken the GMAT across years, whereas doing the same for CAT is not possible.
Although it is still early to say how much GMAT would impact CAT test-takers, the signs are there. Many B-schools in India are starting to understand this trend and are keeping both tracks open. You may apply with your CAT score or your GMAT score. TA Pai Manipal (TAPMI) is one such institute that offers admissions through both the GMAT and the CAT.
Another way to look at it would be to take both the CAT and the GMAT so you can keep your options open. The tests have some similarities, so preparing for one could help you in the other.
Source: Business Insider