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Difference between CAT and GATE Exam

Author : Aparna

Updated On : August 3, 2023


Summary: CAT and GATE are two entrance tests that are well-known in India. So, what is the difference between CAT and GATE Exam?

CAT and GATE Exams are two of the most popular entrance exams for students to get into business schools and higher engineering courses, respectively, and are often confused with one another due to the reputations that both exams carry. 

Both exams are highly competitive and require lots of planning and hard work to get through. 

Knowing the difference between the two exams is essential in order for a student to make an informed decision when they are choosing what exam to take. 

This article focuses on the differences between the CAT and GATE Exams in order to facilitate making this decision.

What is a CAT exam? 

Common Admission Test or CAT is a national-level management aptitude test that is conducted by the IIM for admission to the MBA courses offered by its campuses and over 1,200 B-schools in India. 

What is the GATE exam?

GATE is an All India Test authorised and managed in several across India.

The GATE committee conducts the exam.

The GATE exam is conducted to assess a student’s knowledge in subjects like Engineering and Science.

Note that the GATE scorecard is also used by multiple PSUs to recruit applicants for distinguished jobs at Indian Oil, GAIL and Hindustan Petroleum, etc.

Difference between CAT and GATE Exam

Here is the difference between CAT and GATE Exam listed in the table below: 

CAT Exam GATE Exam
IIM conducts the CAT Exam IIT conducts the GATE Exam
CAT admissions are for management courses at IIMs.  GATE admissions are for M.E/ M.Tech (from IITs) subjects at IITs and PSU jobs.
Total Marks for CAT are 198 Total Marks for GATE is 100
The mode of the exam is online The mode of the exam is online
Sections - VA, VARC and DIRL General Aptitude and respective subjects selected by candidates
Eligibility - Bachelors degree Eligibility - The minimum requirement for applicants is 10+2+3, meaning that individuals who are in their third year of undergraduate study or higher—or who have already finished it—can also apply for the GATE entrance exam.
CAT scores valid for one year GATE scores valid for three years
MCQs and Short Answers Type of Questions - MCQs, MSQ's and NAT 

Check: How to get good score in CAT exam?

A key difference between GATE and CAT is the scope of exams.

The GATE exam is designed to assess the comprehensive knowledge of the subject, whereas the CAT exam tests your knowledge in specific areas as per the CAT exam pattern such as verbal ability, logical reasoning, and data interpretation.

Students aspiring to pursue a career in the field of management can choose CAT, similarly, students who are aspiring to pursue a career in engineering courses can take the GATE exam. 

Check: How to Improve Vocabulary for CAT Exam?


In conclusion, the CAT and GATE exams are two very different exams in terms of preparation, scope, and difficulty levels. While CAT is an entrance test for management courses, the GATE exam is mainly related to engineering. Due to the unique requirements of each exam, it is important to thoroughly research and understand the differences between the two before finalising the decision to appear in either of them.

Check: How to Calculate Percentage in CAT Exam

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between CAT and GATE?

Which exam do I take for Business Administration?

What is the duration of the CAT and GATE exams?

Is there any age limit to appear for the CAT and GATE exam?

Is there a difference in the scoring pattern of CAT and GATE exams?


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