The first stumble every MBA aspirant faces is the – “entrance” test. When one starts their research about MBA entrance exams there are only 2 results that pop up instantly: GMAT and CAT. Both the exams are aimed at 2 separate and distinct categories. Recently Indian B-schools have started accepting GMAT scores which have left many candidates in a dilemma in which exam to pursue. CAT is exclusively aimed at students aspiring to complete their MBA at IIMS or any nationally renowned B-schools. On the other hand, GMAT is attempted by candidates who would like to study at international B-schools which are prominent worldwide.
There have been many studies which indicate that opting GMAT is beneficial when compared to CAT exam. We will delve a bit deeper into why this is so in the following article.
The number of aspirants and market trends.
Every year over 1.8 to 2 lakh students appear for the CAT exam competing for 10,000 -20,000 seats in the top management colleges across the country. You can see from the above numbers how challenging the task will be to gain one seat in these colleges. In addition to the above-stated numbers, you will also have to face discrimination on the basis of community making an already tough task impossible. However, in the case of GMAT, you will not face any such concerns. This is because while the number of people attempting the exam may be high the actual number competing with you for admissions in the university of your choice will be significantly lesser. Thereby giving you a fair chance to get admitted provided you have the right credentials. GMAT also gives you the choice to study in any country – Hong Kong, Canada, US, Australia, Germany etc. you desire. It provides you with ample options for obtaining scholarships and to study in a culturally and linguistically diverse atmosphere. Additionally, you can interact with students from various backgrounds giving you a lot of exposure.
More opportunities to increase your score
The CAT exam can be comparable to the occurrence of the festival Diwali. It takes place only once a year and after all the festivities (Registering for the exam, preparation for the exam to attempting the exam and receiving the scores) are complete you will have to wait for one more year for the same. It does not give you the privilege to improve your scores or if you have missed the exam to write the exam on a different date.
Conversely, the GMAT exam is extremely flexible and gives the candidates many additional features like the cancellation of scores, Score selection (Selecting the best score out of all your attempts) and also the major option to attempt the exam on any day all year around. There are other benefits where you can attempt the exam up to 5 times in a calendar year with a 16-day gap between each attempt. Certainly, all of the above advantages do have a hefty price tag involved since you will have to pay the full exam fee cost for each attempt of the GMAT exam. However, the rewards you will enjoy are far greater than the cost involved.
Greater validity of the Score.
The validity of the test scores also plays a crucial role in the minds of candidates since it contributes to a compelling part in the admission process. The GMAT scores are valid for 5 years from the date you attempt the exam. Au contraire, the CAT score will be valid only for a year and you will have to retake the exam if you want to apply for admissions the next year. GMAT gives you the chance to take the exam now, gain a few years of work experience and then start your application procedures to gain admissions in the universities of your choice. This will not be possible with your CAT exam since you will have to apply the same year you have attempted the exam lest the score becomes ineffective. This option of GMAT ensures that you have enough time to build your profile and complete all the application procedures at your pace of time. You do not have to meet any other deadlines apart from the universities you are applying to since you can rest assured that your GRE scores are valid for 5 years.
Greater GMAT acceptance in India.
Attempting the CAT will certainly assist you in gaining admissions in any of the top B schools in India. Ultimately though it is basically an exam which is specific only to India. However recently many Indian B-schools have started accepting GMAT scores for admissions in their universities. You can make use of this policy if you change your mind about where you want to study (In India or overseas). Previously most Indian B-schools accepted GMAT scores from candidates who were NRI citizens and not from Indian students. This is still the case in certain schools however in India. Therefore you will have to check the requirements of each university before you proceed to apply. GMAT scores are accepted worldwide as already mentioned and it increases your chances of getting admitted into some of the illustrious universities in the world.
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