MBA Admissions in India: Is CAT compulsory for MBA?

Author : Aparna

Updated On : November 23, 2023


Summary: Discover "Is CAT compulsory for MBA?" admissions in India, and explore alternative pathways to top-notch business education in this informative article. Uncover the role of CAT and its significance in the competitive world of MBA admissions.

The pursuit of a Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a significant decision in one's academic and professional journey.

As aspiring students embark on this path to elevate their careers and acquire essential business acumen, they often encounter a pivotal question: "Is CAT compulsory for MBA?"

Whether you're considering the hallowed halls of the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) or other esteemed business schools, join us on a journey to understand the role of CAT entrance exam and its alternatives in shaping your MBA aspirations.

Is CAT compulsory for MBA?: Admissions to Top universities through CAT

CAT is a highly competitive and standardized entrance exam conducted by the IIMs for MBA and related programs. Top universities and B-schools in India, including IIMs, often use CAT scores as a crucial criterion for admitting students into their MBA programs.

Is CAT compulsory for IIM? or  Is t compulsory to clear CAT exam for joining MBA?


  • The CAT is conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and is accepted by most top-tier management institutions in India. 
  • A high CAT score can significantly improve your chances of getting into prestigious institutions like IIMs, FMS, MDI, and many more.

So is CAT exam compulsory for MBA?

The answer, in brief, is no! CAT is not compulsory for every MBA program, but it is indeed one of the most recognised and widely accepted entrance exams for MBA admissions in India.

Why CAT Exam Is Important?

CAT 2023 Exam is just around the corner! Get an insight into difficulty level, questions asked and (BONUS!) percentile predictions from experts LIVE on November 26 here.👇

Is CAT compulsory for MBA?: IIMs and CAT

For IIMs, CAT is typically a mandatory requirement.

As top-tier management institutions, IIMs place a significant emphasis on CAT scores in their admission process.

A high CAT score can significantly enhance a candidate's chances of securing a seat in an IIM.

Check: How to calculate Percentage in CAT exam 2024

Is CAT compulsory for MBA?: Other Management Colleges and CAT

While CAT is essential for IIMs, other management colleges in India may have varying admission criteria.

Some may also consider CAT scores as a crucial factor, especially if they aim to maintain a high standard of students.

However, many management colleges accept scores from other MBA entrance exams like XAT, NMAT, SNAP, CMAT, and MAT.

Check: CAT Exam Admission Process 2024

Is CAT compulsory for MBA?: When to consider CAT Exam 2024?

Importance of CAT in MBA admission - 

  • While deciding whether to take the CAT or another entrance exam, it is crucial to consider the specific requirements of the MBA programs and business schools that you're interested in. 
  • Research the eligibility criteria thoroughly and choose the exam that aligns best with your aspirations and the business schools you aim to apply.

To sum up, while CAT is an essential exam for MBA aspirants aiming for top-tier B-schools in India, it is not a compulsory requirement for all MBA programs. You can explore other exam options that are recognised by the B-schools offering your preferred MBA program.

Remember, every exam has its unique pattern, difficulty level, and preparation strategy. Hence, pick the one that suits your career goals, preparation level, and skill set the best.

Check: CAT Online Coaching by SuperGrads

Is CAT compulsory for MBA?: Admissions to Top universities through other management exams

However, many other MBA entrance exams are equally significant and accepted by various B-schools across the country. 

These include exams such as 

  • XAT
  • NMAT by GMAC 
  • SNAP
  • CMAT
  • MAT 
  • ATMA and others

Read more: How Can I Study MBA in Top Colleges?

For international MBA programs, exams like the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) are typically required.

cat 2023 test series

cat 2023 test series


In conclusion, the answer to the question "Is CAT compulsory for MBA?" depends on the individual's MBA program of choice. While some MBA programs require a CAT score for admission, others may accept other standardised test results or simply require a college degree.

Ultimately, it is up to you to determine what CAT score, if any, they need to apply for their preferred MBA program.

Check: How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT

Key Takeaways: 

  • CAT is required for admission to Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and is accepted by many other top-tier management institutions.
  • There are alternative MBA entrance exams accepted by various B-schools in India, including XAT, NMAT, SNAP, and CMAT, among others.
  • For international MBA programs, exams like the GMAT and GRE are typically required.
  • The choice between CAT and other entrance exams should depend on the specific requirements of the MBA programs and business schools you are interested in.
  • The necessity of CAT for MBA admission varies from program to program, so research thoroughly and determine the admission requirements of your preferred MBA schools.
  • Ultimately, the decision to take the CAT exam or another standardized test depends on your individual MBA program preferences and goals.

Check: CAT Exam Pattern 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CAT compulsory for MBA?

How do I register for CAT for MBA?

How do I prepare for CAT?

Is it compulsory to clear CAT exam for joining MBA?

Is the CAT rank compulsory for MBA?


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