November 15, 2010

CAT vs GMAT, Know the Difference

The Common Aptitude Test (CAT) is an entrance exam for management studies in Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) and various other MBA/PGDM Institutes of India. The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) on the other hand in an entrance test for management institutes outside of India.

Paper Pattern
One of the areas where the two exams differ is in the sense that GMAT has more or less a fixed pattern. The test duration can vary from 3.5 hours to 4 hours. There are 2 sections viz. quant and verbal. There are 41 questions to be answered in verbal and 37 in quant and the duration is 75 minutes for each section. This is different from CAT. Here, another section called DI is included. There is no fixed number of questions in each of the sections. It will vary from one year to another. What this essentially implies is that you cannot plan your strategy beforehand. You never know what is coming your way in the CAT 2010 and thus, there is always an element of surprise.

Writing section
In GMAT, analytical writing section is included where you have to write 2 essays. This is absent in CAT.
However it is being expected that soon it will be included in CAT too.

Sectional Time
Unlike GMAT, CAT doesn't have sectional time allocations. There is an overall time limit of two-and-half hours and you can utilize this in which ever way you want. In GMAT, there is a break between the sections unlike the CAT.

Sectional Cut-offs
In GMAT, there are no fixed sectional cut offs, though you cannot overlook one section completely. In CAT, there are sectional cut offs decided by the colleges.

Number of questions to be attempted
Another striking difference is that in GMAT there is penalty for not answering a question. Come what may, you cannot leave any question. As opposed to this, in CAT, attempting all the questions is not a good strategy as there are negative markings for each incorrect answer.

Weight-age of each question
In CAT, every question carries a fixed weight. The questions are the same for every one, just jumbled up. In case of GMAT, the difficulty level of the next question depends on your correctness of answer in the current question. If you answer the current question correctly, your scale moves upwards and the next question is supposed to be more difficult. It also works the reverse way.

These are some of the differences between both the tests. Though this is not an established fact but it is observed that CAT has a difficulty level higher than GMAT.

1 comment:

  1. Nice Post!!!
    You did a great job by providing this information to us. Gmat Entrance Exam is the exam which is used worldwide for the post graduation management courses. Thanks!!!


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