Can I Write The GMAT If I Prepare For the CAT?

The GMAT and CAT are 2 inherently distinct exams catering to two seperate sections of candidates. While the GMAT exam is attempted by individuals who would like to pursue their MBA overseas, the CAT is written by students who want to study at Indian B-schools.

Check out the GMAT Eligibility Criteria for 2019

Can I Write The GMAT If I Prepare For the CAT?

Although the syllabus of both the exams may be similar on many aspects there are still many differences between the two. Some of the major contrasting features are listed out below:

Exam Pattern

The pattern for both exams is different. It is structured in different manners to test candidates in specific sections. The GMAT contains :

  1. Quantitative Aptitude – Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving.
  2. Verbal Reasoning – Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction.
  3. Analytical Writing – Analysis of Argument and
  4. Integrated Reasoning – Multi-Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, Two-Two Part Analysis, Table analysis sections.

The CAT exam consists of –

  1. Quantitative Aptitude – Basic Arithmetic, Number System, Geometry, Algebra, Modern Maths,
  2. Logical reasoning and
  3. Verbal aptitude – Parajumbles,Sentence Correction and Completion, Summary based

As you can view from the above list there are basic differences between both the exams and hence preparing for only the CAT exam will not suffice to attempt the GMAT exam.

Scoring Methods

The marks distribution for each section of the GMAT exam is once again varied from the CAT. The CAT exam uses negative marking structure. This means that for every incorrect answer you choose you will receive a -1 negative marking. There is a 3 mark increment for every right answer you select in the exam. Diversely for the GMAT exam there are no such negative marking schemes. While the Quantitative (scored between 6 to 51), Integrated reasoning (scored between 1 to 8) and Verbal (scored between 6 to 51) sections have 1 point increments , the Analytical writing section is scored from 0 to 6 in 0.5 increments. The total GMAT scoring range is 200-800 points

Syllabus for the Exam

In spite of both the CAT and GMAT having similar topics and categories for the exam, there are some differences between the two which needs to be thought over. The syllabus for GMAT comprises of all the above mentioned topics designed to evaluate your aptitude in

Quant – Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Word problems ,

Verbal – Parts of Speech, Idioms, The Sentence, Subject Verb agreement, Modifiers, Verb Tense.

Analytical writing and Integrated Reasoning – Multi source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, 2 part analysis.

The CAT syllabus contains topics from:

Quantitative Aptitude- Number Systems, Percentages, Ratio and Proportion, Quadratic Equations and Linear Equations, Complex numbers, Probability etc.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning- Questions involving Bar graphs, Line charts, Column Graphs, Pie Chart and other Basic Reasoning questions etc.

Verbal Reasoning- Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, English usage or Grammar etc .

Mode of Exam

The GMAT exam is an online exam and it employs an adaptive testing method. This means that the difficulty level of the next section depends on your performance in the previous section. On the other hand the CAT which used to be a paper based exam is now computerized as well. However, it does not employ adaptive testing methods and it is pretty straightforward for the candidates attempting the exam. For the exam you will be able to attempt the sections only in one of the 3 orders given

Option 1 Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative, Verbal (original order)
Option 2 Verbal, Quantitative, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment
Option 3 Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, Analytical Writing Assessment

Whereas with the CAT exam you have the option to choose the order of attempting the sections of the exam. You have the liberty to go back and forth in the CAT exam and you can skip a question to come back and attempt it at a later point of time. This won’t be possible in the GMAT exam and you can’t skip any questions to attempt it later. In the even that you do skip questions you will be heavily penalized for the same.

Writing Section

The GMAT exam has an Analytical Writing section which evaluates the candidate’s writing skills and his abilities to convey their thoughts in a clear and articulate manner. You will be assessed on your language proficiency, structure and organization of the essay and grammatical skills as well. You should ensure that you are well read and aware of current affairs and general topics so that you will be able to write about any topic given in the exam. Although the test doesn’t aim to judge your knowledge on the mentioned heading, it is good to be well equipped to answer the questions in this section of the exam. The CAT exam doesn’t have any essay writing sections so you will be unable to answer this entire section in the GMAT if you have prepared only for the CAT exam.

Duration of the Exam

The duration of both the exams varies significantly. While the CAT exam is only 3 hours the GMAT exam is a gruelling 4 hour long session. Once again if you have been accustomed to attempting short exam sessions with the CAT you will face immense difficulty when you attempt the GMAT exam.

Profile Building Activities

The GMAT applicants need to contribute special efforts towards working on their profile in addition to scoring well on the GMAT exam. The SOP, LOR, Internships, extracurricular activities, online certifications, work experience etc. influence the admissions process significantly. It is mandatory to spend enough time on this aspect after you complete your GMAT exam since the admissions committee will evaluate the calibre of a candidate based on these elements. Diversely, the CAT doesn’t require these many documentations to be submitted for the admissions process. They however do need you to submit academic credentials (10th, 12th and graduate marks), Work experience, Academic achievements, Extra curricular and Co-curricular achievements, Pursuits of any of your interests etc. Hence even in this regard you will have to give special consideration to GMAT profile building when compared to CAT.

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