Posted on Monday, July 15, 2019
The GMAT is a question adaptive test and is aimed at identifying your level for quantitative and verbal ability whereas CAT is not adaptive and rewards accuracy.The GMAT has four sections – Quantitative Reasoning (31 questions, 62 min), Verbal Reasoning (36 questions, 65 min), Integrated Reasoning (12 questions, 30 min) and Analytical Writing Assessment (30 min) whereas the CAT has three sections – Quantitative Ability (34 questions, 60 min), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (34 questions, 60 min) and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (32 questions, 60 min).Level of difficulty in Quantitative Ability in CAT is usually found to be higher than in GMAT, whereas verbal ability questions in GMAT are considered slightly tougher than in CAT.
Score validity and testing frequency
GMAT scores are valid for five years from your test date whereas CAT scores are valid for one year. If you are unhappy with your GMAT score, you can retake the test up to five times in a year while you will have to wait until the next year to retake CAT.
Institutions accepting scores
GMAT scores are accepted by 7,000+ programmes across 2300+ leading global schools. And most importantly, there are more than 40 reputed Indian B-schools that accept GMAT scores for their full-time MBA programmes.
About two lakh candidates appear for the CAT annually. The top six IIMs have around 2,500 seats, hence the level of competition is more intense in the CAT with a high score (typically above 99 percentile) being required to be selected for subsequent interviews. Further, admission weights for your profile, essays, letters of recommendation for global programmes are also significant which can overcome a lower GMAT score. (The author is the CBO for IMS India)
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