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CAT vs CET: Know the Differences Between CAT and CET Syllabus

Author : Lalita Vishwakarma

Updated On : June 25, 2024

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Overview: The CAT is a national-level exam for admission to IIMs, while MAH-CET is a state-level exam for postgraduate admissions in management courses. Read on to know the difference between CAT and CET exams!

CAT, or the Common Admission Test, is a national-level entrance exam conducted by IIMs for admission into management courses in IIMs and other top-tier B-schools.

MAH CET, which stands for Maharashtra Common Entrance Test, is a state-level entrance exam primarily conducted for MBA, MMS, PGDBM, and PGDM courses to gain admission into colleges in Maharashtra.

Get complete insights about the differences between the CAT and CET syllabus, exam pattern, marking scheme and more!


Also Read: Complete Details About CAT exam 2024

CAT vs CET: Highlights 

There are so many factors that make CAT and CET entrance exams different from each other. CAT or the Common Admission Test, is a national-level examination which is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management. 

MAH MBA CET is a state-level entrance exam conducted by the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell for admission to over 300+ B-Schools in Maharashtra. 

Both of the entrance exams are quite popular among MBA aspirants therefore they got often confused between CAT vs CET. Learning the key differences between CAT and CET exams can help to choose the best option.

Particulars MAH MBA CET CAT
Full form  Maharashtra Common Entrance Test  Common Admission Test
Exam conducted by State Common Entrance Test Cell, Maharashtra Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
Sections Asked Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Quantitative Aptitude Logical Reasoning Abstract Reasoning Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) Quantitative Ability (QA)
Total marks 200 198
Duration of MAH MBA CET 2024 150 minutes 120 minutes
Exam marking scheme +1 for the correct answer; No negative marking +3 marks for every correct answer -1 for every incorrect MCQ, and no negative marking for TITA questions
Level of examination State-level MBA entrance test National Level MBA entrance exam 
Number of applications Around 1 lakh  Around 3.28 lakh
Exam Fees INR 1200 for general category INR 1000 for reserved categories (SC, ST, VJ/DT- NT(A), NT(B), NT(C), NT(D), OBC, SBC, SEBC) and PwD GEN - INR 2400 SC/ST/PwD - INR-1200 

Also Read: How to Start MBA Preparation For CAT 2024

Difference Between CAT and CET: Difficulty Level

The difficulty level does matter when comparing the CAT vs CET entrance exam. So you might get stuck with the question, “Is MAH MBA CET easier than CAT’. Well, the MAH MBA CET is generally considered to be easier than the CAT exam. 

The MAH CET MBA paper is usually of moderate difficulty, while the CAT exam is consistently very challenging. The Reading Comprehension section of the CAT exam is notably tougher than that of the MAH MBA CET. 

Additionally, with over 3 lakh applicants, CAT is significantly more competitive than MAH CET, which has over 1 lakh applicants, making it harder to achieve a high percentile in the CAT exam.

Also Read: Is CAT Compulsory for MBA Admissions? Explained in Detail

Difference Between CAT and CET: Conducting Body

Comparing MAH CET and CAT helps candidates understand the difference between CAT and CET. Both exams are for postgraduate admissions, with MAH CET being a state-level exam primarily for MBA, MMS, PGDBM, and PGDM courses in Maharashtra colleges, and CAT is a national-level exam conducted by IIMs for admission into management courses in IIMs and other top B-schools.

  • MAH MBA CET: Conducted by Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell
  • CAT: Conducted by the Indian Institute of Management on a rotation basis

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Also Read: What Are The Benefits of CAT Exam For MBA

Difference Between CAT and CET: Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the MAH MBA CET, you need to have a 3-year Bachelor's Degree from a recognised university with at least 50% marks.

If you belong to certain categories in Maharashtra, the required percentage is 45%. If you are in the final year of your Bachelor's degree, you can also apply.

For the eligibility criteria for CAT exam, candidates need a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks (45% for SC/ST/PwD) from a recognised university. If you are awaiting results or are in the final year of your degree, you can also apply.

Also Read: CAT Exam Syllabus 2024 | Download PDF Subject Wise here

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Syllabus

The syllabus is the most important factor when comparing CAT and CET. The major difference between the CAT and CET syllabuses is the number of sections asked. 

CAT, or the Common Admission Test syllabus, consists of three major sections: verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC), Data interpretation, logical reasoning, and quantitative ability (QA).

On the other hand, the MAH MBA CET usually consists of four sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, and Abstract Reasoning. 

Exam Sections  MAH MBA CET Exam CAT Exam
Logical Reasoning/Abstract Reasoning Linear & Circular Arrangement Series Completion Coding Symbol-based Comparison Venn Diagram Blood Relations Arrangements Analogies Critical Reasoning Coding and Decoding Clock and Calendar Sequence and series Blood relations Directions Syllogisms Puzzles
Quantitative Aptitude Number system Work and time pipes, and Cisterns Averages Percentages Compound Interest Arithmetic Progression, Quadratic and Linear equations, Ratio and proportion Simple interest Time, speed and distance Profit and loss Number system Work and time pipes, and Cisterns Averages Percentages Compound Interest Arithmetic Progression, Quadratic and Linear equations, Ratio and proportion Simple interest Time, speed and distance Profit and loss
Verbal Ability / Reading Comprehension Reading Comprehension General grammar Sentence Completion Sentence Correction Synonyms and Antonyms One word substitution Jumbled paragraphs Contextual usage Odd one out Fill In the blanks Idioms Syllogisms Vocabulary Reading Comprehension General grammar Sentence Completion Sentence Correction Synonyms and Antonyms One word substitution Jumbled paragraphs Contextual usage Odd one out Fill In the blanks Idioms Syllogisms Vocabulary

Note*: Although the exam sections are quite similar, the difference between CAT and CET syllabus lies in the question difficulty level.

Also Read: CAT Registration 2024: Dates, Eligibility & Form Fees

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Fees

There is also some major difference between the CAT 2024 exam fees and the MAH MBA CET 2024 exam fees. Both exams provide reservations for different categories, such as SC, ST, NC-OBC, PwD, and EWS candidates. 

Here is a brief description of the CAT vs CET fee structure

Exam Fees  MAH MBA CET 2024 CAT 2024
For General Category  INR 1200/- INR 2400 
For Scheduled Caste (SC) INR 1000/- INR-1200/-
For Scheduled Tribe (ST) INR 1000/- INR-1200/-
For PwD INR 1000/- INR-1200/-

Note*: Read the full CAT 2024 guidelines and MAH MBA CET notification before applying for the exam. 

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Pattern 

Knowing the exam pattern makes it a bit easier to understand the difference between CAT and CET exams. The MAH MBA CET 2024 consists of 4 sections, while the CAT exam consists of 3 major sections.

Analysing the MAH MBA CET exam pattern and comparing it with the CAT exam pattern will help you prepare well in advance. Here is the table comparing CAT vs CET exam patterns that will help you understand better:

Exam Sections  MAH MBA CET Exam CAT Exam
Total Number of Questions  200 66
Types of Questions  Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) MCQs and TITA (Type in the answer) Questions
No. Of Options  5 options  4 options
Total Marks  200 198
Sections  Logical Reasoning Abstract Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude Verbal Ability / Reading Comprehension Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) Quantitative Ability (QA)
Sectional Time limit There is no sectional time limit  40 minutes is provided for each section
Negative marks  There is no negative marking for an incorrect answer -1 for MCQs questions and 0 for TITA questions 
Difficulty Level  Easy to moderate  Moderate to difficult

Also Read: Why CAT Exam is Important?

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Duration 

The MAH MBA CET exam has a duration of 150 minutes (2.5 hours) without any breaks, and it does not have a sectional time limit. This allows candidates to manage their time according to their own preferences while solving the paper.

On the other hand, the CAT Exam lasts for 120 minutes (2 hours) without a break. In this exam, there is a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for each section, requiring candidates to complete each section within the designated time frame.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Difference Between CAT and CET: Marking Scheme

Understanding the marks distribution for exams is important in order to score well and pass them on the first attempt. Different exams, like MAH CET and CAT, have varying mark distributions. Familiarity with the exam pattern and marking scheme is crucial, as this can help you achieve a good score.

Marking Scheme of MAH MBA CET 2024

Sections No. of Questions Marks Per Question Maximum Marks
Logical Reasoning 75 1 75
Abstract Reasoning 25 1 25
Quantitative Aptitude 50 1 50
Verbal Ability / Reading Comprehension 50 1 50
Total Marks  200 marks 
Negative Marking  There is no negative marking for an incorrect answer

Also Read: CAT Preparation Books 2024

Marking Scheme of CAT 2024

Section Number of MCQs Number of Non-MCQs Total Questions
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 21 3 24
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 14 6 20
Quantitative Ability 14 8 22
Marks are given to correct answer +3 marks given to every correct answer 
Negative marking  -1 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer and 0 negative marking for non-MCQ question

Note *: There is no sectional time limit for the MAH MBA CET exam, while the CAT exam has a sectional time of 40 minutes.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

List of Top B-Schools Accepting CAT vs MAH CET Score

Here is the list of top B-schools of India accepting CAT scores and MAH MBA CET scores. 

Management colleges Accepting CAT scores  Management Colleges Accepting MAH MBA CET Scores
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad  N. L. Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore  SIES Graduate School of Technology
Indian Institute of Management Lucknow Indira School of Business Studies
Indian Institute of Management Calcutta  K J Somaiya Institute of Management
SPJIMR Mumbai MET Institute of Management
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) Delhi Pune Institute of Business Management

Note*: There are only a few top B-schools that accept score cards for both exams. CAT scores are generally accepted by 1000+ B-schools nationwide, while MAH MBA CET scores are accepted by more than 300 MBA colleges in Maharashtra.

How To Prepare For CAT And CET?

After gaining a clear understanding of the disparities between the CAT and CET syllabi, exam structures, and grading systems, the optimal selection has become more straightforward. 

However, the question of how to adequately prepare for the CAT and CET exams remains a significant one. A highly effective strategy for achieving good marks and securing a higher percentage involves practising with previous years' CAT question papers and engaging in mock test series. 

These resources provide valuable insight into the actual exam format, ultimately facilitating the attainment of a high score.

Conclusion 

Understanding the difference between CAT and CET syllabus is essential for MBA aspirants. CAT is a national-level exam conducted by IIMs, while CET is a state-level exam primarily conducted for MBA admissions in Maharashtra. 

Being aware of these distinctions can help aspirants make informed decisions about their MBA entrance exam preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better CAT or CET?

Expand Faq Icon

Are the eligibility criteria the same for CAT and MAH MBA CET?

Expand Faq Icon

What is the difference between CAT and CET marking scheme?

Expand Faq Icon

What is the exam duration for CAT vs CET?

Expand Faq Icon

Is CET valid for MBA?

Expand Faq Icon

CAT vs CET: Know the Differences Between CAT and CET Syllabus

Author : Lalita Vishwakarma

June 25, 2024

SHARE

Overview: The CAT is a national-level exam for admission to IIMs, while MAH-CET is a state-level exam for postgraduate admissions in management courses. Read on to know the difference between CAT and CET exams!

CAT, or the Common Admission Test, is a national-level entrance exam conducted by IIMs for admission into management courses in IIMs and other top-tier B-schools.

MAH CET, which stands for Maharashtra Common Entrance Test, is a state-level entrance exam primarily conducted for MBA, MMS, PGDBM, and PGDM courses to gain admission into colleges in Maharashtra.

Get complete insights about the differences between the CAT and CET syllabus, exam pattern, marking scheme and more!


Also Read: Complete Details About CAT exam 2024

CAT vs CET: Highlights 

There are so many factors that make CAT and CET entrance exams different from each other. CAT or the Common Admission Test, is a national-level examination which is conducted by the Indian Institute of Management. 

MAH MBA CET is a state-level entrance exam conducted by the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell for admission to over 300+ B-Schools in Maharashtra. 

Both of the entrance exams are quite popular among MBA aspirants therefore they got often confused between CAT vs CET. Learning the key differences between CAT and CET exams can help to choose the best option.

Particulars MAH MBA CET CAT
Full form  Maharashtra Common Entrance Test  Common Admission Test
Exam conducted by State Common Entrance Test Cell, Maharashtra Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
Sections Asked Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Quantitative Aptitude Logical Reasoning Abstract Reasoning Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) Quantitative Ability (QA)
Total marks 200 198
Duration of MAH MBA CET 2024 150 minutes 120 minutes
Exam marking scheme +1 for the correct answer; No negative marking +3 marks for every correct answer -1 for every incorrect MCQ, and no negative marking for TITA questions
Level of examination State-level MBA entrance test National Level MBA entrance exam 
Number of applications Around 1 lakh  Around 3.28 lakh
Exam Fees INR 1200 for general category INR 1000 for reserved categories (SC, ST, VJ/DT- NT(A), NT(B), NT(C), NT(D), OBC, SBC, SEBC) and PwD GEN - INR 2400 SC/ST/PwD - INR-1200 

Also Read: How to Start MBA Preparation For CAT 2024

Difference Between CAT and CET: Difficulty Level

The difficulty level does matter when comparing the CAT vs CET entrance exam. So you might get stuck with the question, “Is MAH MBA CET easier than CAT’. Well, the MAH MBA CET is generally considered to be easier than the CAT exam. 

The MAH CET MBA paper is usually of moderate difficulty, while the CAT exam is consistently very challenging. The Reading Comprehension section of the CAT exam is notably tougher than that of the MAH MBA CET. 

Additionally, with over 3 lakh applicants, CAT is significantly more competitive than MAH CET, which has over 1 lakh applicants, making it harder to achieve a high percentile in the CAT exam.

Also Read: Is CAT Compulsory for MBA Admissions? Explained in Detail

Difference Between CAT and CET: Conducting Body

Comparing MAH CET and CAT helps candidates understand the difference between CAT and CET. Both exams are for postgraduate admissions, with MAH CET being a state-level exam primarily for MBA, MMS, PGDBM, and PGDM courses in Maharashtra colleges, and CAT is a national-level exam conducted by IIMs for admission into management courses in IIMs and other top B-schools.

  • MAH MBA CET: Conducted by Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test Cell
  • CAT: Conducted by the Indian Institute of Management on a rotation basis

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Also Read: What Are The Benefits of CAT Exam For MBA

Difference Between CAT and CET: Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the MAH MBA CET, you need to have a 3-year Bachelor's Degree from a recognised university with at least 50% marks.

If you belong to certain categories in Maharashtra, the required percentage is 45%. If you are in the final year of your Bachelor's degree, you can also apply.

For the eligibility criteria for CAT exam, candidates need a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks (45% for SC/ST/PwD) from a recognised university. If you are awaiting results or are in the final year of your degree, you can also apply.

Also Read: CAT Exam Syllabus 2024 | Download PDF Subject Wise here

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Syllabus

The syllabus is the most important factor when comparing CAT and CET. The major difference between the CAT and CET syllabuses is the number of sections asked. 

CAT, or the Common Admission Test syllabus, consists of three major sections: verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC), Data interpretation, logical reasoning, and quantitative ability (QA).

On the other hand, the MAH MBA CET usually consists of four sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, and Abstract Reasoning. 

Exam Sections  MAH MBA CET Exam CAT Exam
Logical Reasoning/Abstract Reasoning Linear & Circular Arrangement Series Completion Coding Symbol-based Comparison Venn Diagram Blood Relations Arrangements Analogies Critical Reasoning Coding and Decoding Clock and Calendar Sequence and series Blood relations Directions Syllogisms Puzzles
Quantitative Aptitude Number system Work and time pipes, and Cisterns Averages Percentages Compound Interest Arithmetic Progression, Quadratic and Linear equations, Ratio and proportion Simple interest Time, speed and distance Profit and loss Number system Work and time pipes, and Cisterns Averages Percentages Compound Interest Arithmetic Progression, Quadratic and Linear equations, Ratio and proportion Simple interest Time, speed and distance Profit and loss
Verbal Ability / Reading Comprehension Reading Comprehension General grammar Sentence Completion Sentence Correction Synonyms and Antonyms One word substitution Jumbled paragraphs Contextual usage Odd one out Fill In the blanks Idioms Syllogisms Vocabulary Reading Comprehension General grammar Sentence Completion Sentence Correction Synonyms and Antonyms One word substitution Jumbled paragraphs Contextual usage Odd one out Fill In the blanks Idioms Syllogisms Vocabulary

Note*: Although the exam sections are quite similar, the difference between CAT and CET syllabus lies in the question difficulty level.

Also Read: CAT Registration 2024: Dates, Eligibility & Form Fees

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Fees

There is also some major difference between the CAT 2024 exam fees and the MAH MBA CET 2024 exam fees. Both exams provide reservations for different categories, such as SC, ST, NC-OBC, PwD, and EWS candidates. 

Here is a brief description of the CAT vs CET fee structure

Exam Fees  MAH MBA CET 2024 CAT 2024
For General Category  INR 1200/- INR 2400 
For Scheduled Caste (SC) INR 1000/- INR-1200/-
For Scheduled Tribe (ST) INR 1000/- INR-1200/-
For PwD INR 1000/- INR-1200/-

Note*: Read the full CAT 2024 guidelines and MAH MBA CET notification before applying for the exam. 

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Pattern 

Knowing the exam pattern makes it a bit easier to understand the difference between CAT and CET exams. The MAH MBA CET 2024 consists of 4 sections, while the CAT exam consists of 3 major sections.

Analysing the MAH MBA CET exam pattern and comparing it with the CAT exam pattern will help you prepare well in advance. Here is the table comparing CAT vs CET exam patterns that will help you understand better:

Exam Sections  MAH MBA CET Exam CAT Exam
Total Number of Questions  200 66
Types of Questions  Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) MCQs and TITA (Type in the answer) Questions
No. Of Options  5 options  4 options
Total Marks  200 198
Sections  Logical Reasoning Abstract Reasoning Quantitative Aptitude Verbal Ability / Reading Comprehension Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) Quantitative Ability (QA)
Sectional Time limit There is no sectional time limit  40 minutes is provided for each section
Negative marks  There is no negative marking for an incorrect answer -1 for MCQs questions and 0 for TITA questions 
Difficulty Level  Easy to moderate  Moderate to difficult

Also Read: Why CAT Exam is Important?

Difference Between CAT and CET: Exam Duration 

The MAH MBA CET exam has a duration of 150 minutes (2.5 hours) without any breaks, and it does not have a sectional time limit. This allows candidates to manage their time according to their own preferences while solving the paper.

On the other hand, the CAT Exam lasts for 120 minutes (2 hours) without a break. In this exam, there is a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for each section, requiring candidates to complete each section within the designated time frame.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Difference Between CAT and CET: Marking Scheme

Understanding the marks distribution for exams is important in order to score well and pass them on the first attempt. Different exams, like MAH CET and CAT, have varying mark distributions. Familiarity with the exam pattern and marking scheme is crucial, as this can help you achieve a good score.

Marking Scheme of MAH MBA CET 2024

Sections No. of Questions Marks Per Question Maximum Marks
Logical Reasoning 75 1 75
Abstract Reasoning 25 1 25
Quantitative Aptitude 50 1 50
Verbal Ability / Reading Comprehension 50 1 50
Total Marks  200 marks 
Negative Marking  There is no negative marking for an incorrect answer

Also Read: CAT Preparation Books 2024

Marking Scheme of CAT 2024

Section Number of MCQs Number of Non-MCQs Total Questions
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 21 3 24
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 14 6 20
Quantitative Ability 14 8 22
Marks are given to correct answer +3 marks given to every correct answer 
Negative marking  -1 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer and 0 negative marking for non-MCQ question

Note *: There is no sectional time limit for the MAH MBA CET exam, while the CAT exam has a sectional time of 40 minutes.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

List of Top B-Schools Accepting CAT vs MAH CET Score

Here is the list of top B-schools of India accepting CAT scores and MAH MBA CET scores. 

Management colleges Accepting CAT scores  Management Colleges Accepting MAH MBA CET Scores
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad  N. L. Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore  SIES Graduate School of Technology
Indian Institute of Management Lucknow Indira School of Business Studies
Indian Institute of Management Calcutta  K J Somaiya Institute of Management
SPJIMR Mumbai MET Institute of Management
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) Delhi Pune Institute of Business Management

Note*: There are only a few top B-schools that accept score cards for both exams. CAT scores are generally accepted by 1000+ B-schools nationwide, while MAH MBA CET scores are accepted by more than 300 MBA colleges in Maharashtra.

How To Prepare For CAT And CET?

After gaining a clear understanding of the disparities between the CAT and CET syllabi, exam structures, and grading systems, the optimal selection has become more straightforward. 

However, the question of how to adequately prepare for the CAT and CET exams remains a significant one. A highly effective strategy for achieving good marks and securing a higher percentage involves practising with previous years' CAT question papers and engaging in mock test series. 

These resources provide valuable insight into the actual exam format, ultimately facilitating the attainment of a high score.

Conclusion 

Understanding the difference between CAT and CET syllabus is essential for MBA aspirants. CAT is a national-level exam conducted by IIMs, while CET is a state-level exam primarily conducted for MBA admissions in Maharashtra. 

Being aware of these distinctions can help aspirants make informed decisions about their MBA entrance exam preparation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better CAT or CET?

Expand Faq Icon

Are the eligibility criteria the same for CAT and MAH MBA CET?

Expand Faq Icon

What is the difference between CAT and CET marking scheme?

Expand Faq Icon

What is the exam duration for CAT vs CET?

Expand Faq Icon

Is CET valid for MBA?

Expand Faq Icon

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