CMAT MBA Entrance Exam – All You Need to Know

CMAT is a national level MBA entrance exam conducted by the AICTE / All India Council for Technical Education. The exam is one of the most popular MBA entrance exams in India as the CMAT score of a candidate can help them get admission in top MBA colleges in India. Get all the details about CMAT exam and everything associated with it here.

Gaurav Macwan
May 17, 2018, 11:37 IST

Wondering which MBA entrance test you should take up apart from the Common Aptitude Test or the CAT? Well, the answer might lie in a four-letter word, i.e., CMAT. CMAT is a national level MBA entrance test. Let’s find out all you need to know about this entrance exam and know how it can help open the gates of top MBA colleges in India for you.

What is the CMAT MBA Exam?

CMAT is a national level MBA entrance exam which is conducted by the AICTE / the All India Council for Technical Education. This exam enables B-schools across India to screen students for admission to MBA colleges across India including premier B-schools. Every year, around 60,000 MBA aspirants appear for the CMAT Exam. Until 2015, the CMAT test was held twice a year; but thereafter AICTE has decided to conduct the test annually.

Which B-schools accept CMAT MBA Exam score?

AICTE launched the CMAT MBA exam to reduce the burden on MBA aspirants to appear for multiple national-level, state-level, or university/institute level MBA tests to seek admission to MBA programmes. Therefore, AICTE CMAT MBA exam score is accepted by over 1000+ B-schools that offer AICTE approved MBA / PGDM programmes. These include ISM Dhanbad, SIMSREE Mumbai, GLIM Chennai, WeSchool Mumbai, JBIMS Mumbai and KJ Somaiya Mumbai.

Who can appear for the CMAT MBA entrance exam?

CMAT is held to screen students for the MBA course, which is a post-graduate level programme. Therefore, candidates who want to appear for the CMAT MBA entrance exam will need to be graduates. Candidate will need to hold a Bachelor’s degree of minimum 3 years with minimum 50% marks (45% for reserved category) in the final exam. Undergraduate students who have appeared for their final year exams can also appear for the exam, but they will have to fulfil the eligibility criteria prior to the final admission. There is no age limit to appear for the CMAT MBA exam.

  • Academic Qualification: Graduates holding a valid Bachelor’s Degree
  • Marks / Percentage: 50% marks (45% for SC/ST/PWD) or equivalent CGPA
  • Age Limit: Not Applicable

CMAT Exam Syllabus

AICTE has not defined any specific CMAT syllabus for the MBA entrance exam. However, being a management entrance exam, it covers the basic subjects, i.e., Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Language Comprehension, Logical Reasoning and General Awareness.

  • Quantitative Aptitude: Questions in this section mainly cover topics such as ratios, mixtures, work, averages, profit & loss, basic statistics, etc.), number properties, probability and counting principles with one or two odd questions in geometry and derivatives.
  • Data Interpretation: As the name suggests, candidates will face questions in which they will have to analyse the given data to arrive at the answers of the questions. Questions will be generally in the form of pie-charts, infographics and tables. Candidates will need the basic knowledge of arithmetic and calculation skills for this section.
  • Logical Reasoning: One of the toughest sections to deal with in the CMAT exam, the LR section gets questions that cover statement-conclusion, logical puzzles, numerical puzzle, Venn Diagram, true/false statements, and visual reasoning topics. Practice is the key to acing the Logical Reasoning section of CMAT.
  • Language Comprehension: This is the test of English knowledge and language skills of the candidate. Questions are mainly focused on grammar, tenses, vocabulary, jumbled paragraphs and reading comprehension. Candidates must focus upon usage of Articles, Non-finites, dangling modifiers, Nouns, Pronouns (Especially relative Pronouns), adjectives, adverbs, prepositions –regular and followed, verbs, Syntax, Subject-verb Agreement, Simple, continuous, Perfect tenses and Conditional-unreal past to do well in this section.
  • General Awareness: This is probably the most extensive section of the exam as it has questions that range from conventional GK, current affairs and business/economics GK. The conventional GK questions are easier as compared to the other two. Current Affairs and Business/Economics GK preparation can be done through newspapers and magazines.

The CMAT MBA Exam Pattern

The CMAT MBA exam is a computer-based exam. The questions are in MCQs or multiple choice question format in which candidates have to pick the correct answer from the given options. The exam duration is 180 minutes or three hours in which a candidate has to attempt a total of 100 questions.

The exam follows sectional composition in which questions are asked in four key sections i.e. Language Composition, Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and General Awareness. The breakup of the number of questions and the marks assigned to them is given in the table below:


No of Questions

Total Marks

Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation



Logical Reasoning



Language Comprehension



General Awareness




CMAT Marking Scheme

As far as the marking scheme is concerned, each correct answer in the CMAT exam will fetch candidates 4 marks. At the same time, 1 mark will be deducted from the overall score for each wrong answer. No marks will be awarded or deducted for questions that are not attempted by the candidate. 

  • Correct Answer: 4 marks
  • In-correct Answer: -1 mark

CMAT Exam Merit List

The CMAT MBA Exam merit list will be prepared by the AICTE and will include the list of candidates who have scored the minimum required marks to be called in by the various B-schools for the remaining stages of the screening process for MBA admissions. The CMAT merit list consists of the name of the candidates and their rank along with their overall score and sectional score in the CMAT MBA exam.

CMAT Cut-off

Due to the high number of candidates appearing for the CMAT MBA exam, each participating B-school releases its own CMAT cut-off. The CMAT cut-off is the minimum score (overall and sectional) that a candidate is required to score in order to be considered for the remaining rounds of screening i.e. GD, PI and WAT.

  • Each participating B-school releases CMAT cut-off marks
  • Cutoffs can be for overall score as well as for sectional scores
  • Students scoring above the cut-offs undergo further screening for MBA admission

CMAT Exam schedule

From 2015 onwards, the CMAT has become an annual exam which is conducted only once a year. The official notification for the CMAT MBA exam is released in the first or the second week of October followed by the start of online registration in the third week. The registration continues until mid-December. The CMAT exam admit card or the hall ticket is released in the second week of January followed by the CMAT exam which generally falls on the third Sunday of January. The CMAT result is announced on the official website in mid-February.

  • Official Notification: 1st / 2nd Week of October
  • Online Registration begins: 3rd Week of October
  • Online Registration ends: Mid-December
  • Admit Card Release: 2nd week of January
  • CMAT Exam: 3rd Sunday of January

With nearly 60,000 MBA aspirants taking up the CMAT MBA exam, it remains an important entrance test for B-school admissions. In general, the exam is easier to crack and the competition quotient is also lower as compared to CAT, XAT and other MBA entrance exams. Therefore, MBA aspirants must consider taking up the CMAT exam in order to be eligible for admission to some of the top MBA colleges in India.

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