Written Test

The first step to get admission in a b school is to clear the written exam. In India there are few institutes like FMS, IIFT, IRMA which conduct their own written exam but most of the other institutes do their preliminary selection on the basis of all India MBA entrance exams like CAT, XAT, MAT, JMET, ATMA, SNAP.

The exam pattern of most of these exams are different but the basic idea behind these exam is to test the knowledge of candidates in the fields of maths, verbal, reading comprehension, data interpretation and logical reasoning. Except CAT all the other exams also include questions from business awareness. The questions asked in these exams are always of multiple choice with negative marking.

CAT
Till Year 2005 CAT was an exam of 2 hrs but now its duration is extended to 2hr 30 minutes. This is the only information that can be given about CAT because the rest are unpredictable.
There is no particular exam pattern for CAT and it changes every year.

In its early stage CAT was used to be an exam of time and talent. In a time period of 2 hrs students had to answer more than 180 questions but by late nineties the number of questions reduced to 160-165. CAT followed a pattern of 3 sections of each 50 questions during the period 2002 to 2004. In 2005 for the first time IIMs revealed that they follow 1/3 negative marking and in 2006 the time period is increased to 2hr 30 minutes. Though all the questions in CAT are multiple type , the marks allocated for each question are not same.

XAT
The main difference between CAT and XAT is that the later includes questions on General Awareness and also includes essay writing.

The English section in XAT is mainly vocabulary based. Direct synonym and antonym questions are asked which is totally different from CAT. Off late XLRI has started asking questions in groups in mathematics section. The standard of the questions in English section is not that tough compare to CAT but the math section is of equal standard.

JMET
As JMET is only limited to Engineer graduates the questions asked in mathematics sections are the toughest. Other sections are similar to CAT and XAT, The number of questions on Business Awareness is reducing with each year.

MAT
MAT is considered as the easiest of all the entrance exams held in India and most of the b schools that accept MAT score are never counted among the top b schools in the country.

All the other exams are similar in nature to CAT and XAT. A student preparing for these two exams don’t need to worry about the rest. The General Knowledge questions asked in IRMA are quite different from XAT and rest. The GK questions in IRMA are very much similar to the type of questions that are asked in banking and railway exams.

The topics covered in exams are as given below. Its just only for reference and cant be said as complete.

Quantitative Ability (QA):A test of your mathematical skills - essentially high school mathematics. Topics covered include Number Systems, Profit & Loss, Percentages, Averages, Progression, Work, Speed, Geometry and Algebra.

Data Interpretation (DI):A test of your ability to analyze and give specific information from Tables, Activity Charts, Caselets, Bar Charts, Pie Charts and Graphs. At times a variety of Analytical Reasoning questions also come under this section. These are both single puzzle-type questions as well as caselet data sets.

Verbal Ability (VA):A test of your English usage -- Grammar, Vocabulary and Verbal Reasoning.

Reading Comprehension (RC):A test of your English reading comprehension skills. This section contains a few passages followed by questions that test your comprehension of the ideas contained in the passage as well as your reasoning skills.
General Awareness/Business Awareness (GA/BA): A test of your awareness of current affairs and business events. This section appears in most admission tests, except CAT. The test has questions on political events, scientific developments, awards, economic indicators, brands, CEOs and books.
Logical Reasoning (LR):A test of your analytical skills through Data Sufficiency exercises, puzzles and deductive reasoning. Data Sufficiency questions are based on basic mathematics.

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