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How to pick the right MBA entrance exam for admission in top B-schools of India?

Mar 29, 2018 08:46 IST
    How to pick the right MBA entrance exam for admission in top B-schools of India?
    How to pick the right MBA entrance exam for admission in top B-schools of India?

    MBA entrance exams are one of the biggest cause of worry for the MBA aspirants. With every exam having its own set of rules, syllabus and especially the list of institutes that accept the score of each exam, a candidate is bound to carefully read and find out the application process for different MBA entrance exams. MBA aspirants undergo a strict decision making process to shortlist the best MBA entrance exams that holds a promise of bright career.

    Why picking right MBA entrance exam is not easy?

    After all picking the right MBA entrance exam is not as easy as it might seem. There are several criteria that a candidate must keep in mind to seek admission. It is common knowledge that different management institutes and B-schools in India accept MBA entrance exam score and ranks. This creates a very peculiar problem for MBA aspirants, who would have to prepare for different B-school entrance tests as per their specific formats.

    In addition to this, the MBA entrance examinations like CAT 2018, XAT 2019 and SNAP 2018 and others command a hefty application and registration fees; which also increases the financial burden on the applicants. With the news of CAT 2018 fee hike doing the rounds, it is likely that all major MBA entrance exam fees will be hiked; further increasing the financial liability on the MBA aspirants.

    Picking right MBA entrance exam

    In order to solve this problem, we have shortlisted three main factors which should help you decide which MBA entrance exam should you appear for to seek admission to MBA/PGDM 2018-20 batch in top B-schools in India. Apart from helping to ease the financial burden, picking the right B-school will also prove to be might help in terms of preparation strategy improving your chances of final selection.

    Take a look at a few criteria that will help you get the best MBA Institute by targeting the best MBA entrance exam.

    With different B-schools accepts scores and ranking of different MBA entrance exams, it is quite obvious that aspirants must pick the test that will help them secure admission to the B-school of their choice. But when dealing with something as competitive as MBA entrance exam, it is advised that aspirants do not put all their eggs in one basket. Therefore, it is important for MBA aspirants to pick and choose the entrance examinations that are widely accepted by all major B-schools. For instance, CAT 2017 score is accepted by not only by the top 20 IIMs but also by other reputed B-schools like SPJIMR, IMT, TAPMI, XIMB. On the other hand, if you are targeting XLRI, Jamshedpur, you should consider taking up XAT 2017 as its result is also accepted by over 140 B-schools across the country. One major exception to these two exams would be NMIMS Mumbai, which accepts NMAT by GMAC scores for admission purposes.

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    So, targeting the right B-school during the application phase would help you not only to streamline your preparation strategy accordingly but also save you from the financial burden of applying for every MBA entrance examination.

    Another very important aspect to keep in mind with respect to MBA entrance exams would be test location and test centres. If the test-location / city and the test centre chosen by you is far away, then you might have to suffer in terms of travel time. Also, there have been cases in past when two or more MBA entrance exam schedules have clashed, which creates a problem for test takers. Ideally, you should pick the entrance exam for which test centre is available close to your location so that you do not have to spend additional time or money to appear for the test. We have listed exam-wise test centre availability below:

    Exam

    Test Centres / Cities

    CAT 2017

    140

    IIFT 2017

    20

    NMAT by GMAC

    44

    SNAP 2017

    102

    MAT 2017

    51

    XAT 2018

    47

    CMAT 2018

    62

    Examination Date and Application Fee

    Meanwhile, when you wish to appear for all the top management exams, it is important to follow the timeline for each exam because the preparation strategy for each exam varies to a certain degree. After appearing in one exam, you will carry some learning home that you would want to apply to other exam to perform better. Time management is one aspect that is an important when you paper in each exam.

    Considering wide window to appear in NMAT exam, you can choose take this test after you are done with the CAT exam. Keeping other top institute as options for a better career is always a good idea and one must not let good options when you can spare time for the preparation.

     Along with the exam date, you must also consider the application fee and can prepare an exclusive budget to apply for various MBA entrances. The application fee of each exam is provided here. You can pay fee for each of these exams in ONLINE MODE to save yourself from the hassles of visiting the bank branches to get the DD for the requisite amount. Maintain sufficient balance in your bank account to get registered in the exams mentioned below.      

    Exam

    Exam Date

    Application Fee

    CAT 2017

    26 Nov. 2017

    Rs.1800/-

    IIFT 2017

    03 Dec. 2017

    Rs.1550/-

    NMAT by GMAC

    05 Oct. – 18 Dec. 2017

    Rs.1800/-

    SNAP 2017

    17 Dec. 2017

    Rs.1750/-

    MAT 2017

    03 Sept. 2017

    &

    09 Sept. 2017

    Rs.1652/-

    XAT 2018

    07 Jan. 2018

    Rs.1650/-

    CMAT 2018

    January 2018

    N.A.

    Preparation Strategy

    The first and foremost stepping stone to success in the MBA entrances is your focus on the preparation strategy for the exam. Each exam has a specific set of questions in each section. The time limit allotted for the candidates also vary. It is recommended that before you plan to target any specific exam, keep in mind the basic requirements pertaining to the preparation strategy so that it becomes easy to manage time for each MBA entrance exam.

    Take a look at the time limit specified for each exam and number of questions that you are suppose to solve to crack the exam with a good percentile.

    Exam

    Time Limit

    Number of Questions

    CAT 2017

    180 minutes

    100

    IIFT 2017

    120 minutes

    123

    NMAT by GMAC

    120 minutes

    120

    SNAP 2017

    120 minutes

    150

    MAT 2017

    150 minutes

    200

    XAT 2018

    205 minutes

    98

    CMAT 2018

    180 minutes

    100

    The number of questions that a candidate is expected to solve in specified time limit also ascertains their efficiency to comprehend the questions. Each of these exams carry negative marking for choosing an incorrect option. So beware of choosing incorrect options if you want to fetch high percentile.

    As discussed above, the financial burden aspect is very important while picking the right MBA entrance examination. Therefore, while CAT 2017 which is rightly termed as the mother of all MBA entrance exams; seems to be the right choice when it comes to picking the right one. All top B-schools in India, including the top 20 IIMs, MDI Gurgaon, FMS Delhi and others accept CAT 2017 Score. To be on the safer side, you may also want to take up XAT 2018, as XLRI Jamshedpur only accepts XAT 2018 score. In addition to XLRI, XAT 2018 score is also accepted by over 140 other B-schools in India, which makes it an ideal match.

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    Therefore, only if you want to target and join any other B-school which doesn’t accept CAT 2017 or XAT 2018 score you can opt for other MBA entrance examination.

    These are the three basic factors that should help you shortlist and decide on the right MBA entrance examination. Some candidates also consider competitiveness while picking a management entrance examination, but under current scenario, all major B-school exams listed above have almost equal competitiveness quotient. They are also equally tough to crack. Therefore, we have chosen to ignore those two factors in this write-up.

    If you feel any other important factors should also be considered while picking the right MBA entrance exam for admission to MBA/PGDM 2018-20 batch, let us know through your comments below.

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