GMAT vs CAT: Check Key Differences between CAT and GMAT Exam

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

The difference between GMAT vs CAT is that GMAT is a global MBA exam, while CAT is a national-level entrance exam. Both of these are MBA Exams, but there are some basic differences between CAT and GMAT that you must know if you are thinking of appearing in both of these exams. The scores of both of these examinations are accepted by the top-most Business Schools. So, the candidates preparing for both of these exams must know all the details about GMAT vs CAT.

For an MBA aspirant, the biggest dilemma is whether to give the GMAT or CAT, whether they wish to pursue MBA abroad or in India. So, before preparing for these two exams, you need to know the Difference Between CAT and GMAT first. In this article, BYJU’S Exam Prep experts have listed all the details related to GMAT vs CAT to assist the candidates in their preparation.

Similarities Between CAT and GMAT

Both of these exams are MBA Entrance Exams, and the score is required for MBA/PGDM admission in top B-schools. So, there are some basic similarities between these that the candidates must know. Note the table below to get a brief of GMAT vs CAT similarities.



Exam Mode


Course of Admission Entrance Exams


Negative Marking


Medium of the Exam


Key Differences between GMAT vs CAT

The major highlights of CAT vs GMAT are mentioned below. Learn the difference between GMAT vs CAT in terms of score validity, exam eligibility, and post-exam processes. To decide between CAT vs GMAT for IIM, note the below-mentioned details about the exam to help you choose better.




Score Validity

1 year

5 years

CAT Percentile vs GMAT Score

It indicates the relative scores of candidates with respect to other qualified aspirants.

For Example: to get 99 percentile, the aspirant needs to score 98-105 in the CAT Exam.

It is a score range of 200-800.

Each section has different score ranges

Exam Eligibility

Any Graduate can appear for this exam

The following factors are analyzed for GMAT exam eligibility

Aspirant’s nationality


Academic Qualification

Prior Work Experience (Not mandatory)

Post-exam Processes

Written Assessment followed by Group Discussion or personal interview

SOPs submission followed by Personal Interview (Online or offline)

CAT vs GMAT Exam Pattern

As per analysis, the exam pattern of both of these exams is a little different in terms of exam duration and exam sections. The following is a detailed analysis of GMAT vs CAT Exam Pattern. The candidates may find it beneficial to make important decisions for attempting both of these exams.

Key Components



The section-wise rule for attempting the exam

Tests proficiency in Data Interpretation, VARC, and Quantitative Aptitude

Mainly tests analytical writing skills, quantitative ability, verbal ability, and integrated reasoning skills

CAT vs GMAT Exam Duration

2 hours (40 minutes for each section)

3 hours 30 minutes

Analytical writing= 30 minutes

Integrated reasoning= 30 minutes

Quantitative= 62 minutes

VR= 65 minutes

Number of sections and the total number of questions in each section

Focuses on 3 sections only and Expected questions on each section:

VARC (24 questions)

QA (20 questions)

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (22 questions)

Focuses on 4 sections and

Expected questions on each section:

Analytical Writing (1 question)

Integrated reasoning (12 questions)

Verbal Section (36 questions)

Quantitative (31 questions)

Important points to be noted

The candidates can attempt this exam once every year.

They cannot adjust the test level as per their ability level.

The candidates can reappear after 16 days. They have 5 chances of 5 reattempts every year.

They adjust this test as per their ability level from moderate to difficult. It automatically goes high with every correct choice of answer

Difficulty Level of CAT and GMAT Exam

If you consider the difficulty level, the GMAT is tougher than the CAT, as it asks tough questions. Regarding competition level, CAT is more competitive than GMAT, as a maximum number of students prefer CAT over GMAT. Note the table below to get the answer for Is GMAT Tougher than CAT.




The approximate number of applicants every year

2 Lakhs

1.5 Lakhs (Including reattempts)

Percentage of students getting admission



☛ Check CAT Eligibility to avoid last minutes of miscommunication.

Fees and Salary for GMAT vs CAT

The candidates who are preparing for both GMAT and CAT, then they must be aware of the exam fees, course fees, and average salary after completing the MBA study. The below table highlights the fees and salary structure to inform the Difference Between CAT and GMAT.




Registration fees

₹2300/- For General and OBC

₹1150/- For SC/ST/PwD

$275 (approx ₹20500/-)

CAT vs GMAT Course Fees



Average salary

₹22-25 LPA

₹65 LPA

Complete Syllabus for GMAT vs CAT

It is a common question for every aspirant, Is CAT vs GMAT syllabus the Same? If you analyze the syllabus for both of these exams, you will see that the CAT Syllabus is different from than GMAT. There is an analytical writing part in the GMAT exam, which is missing in CAT. Check the below table to get an overview of the GMAT vs CAT subjects.

Key Components




3 sections

4 sections

CAT vs GMAT Syllabus

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude (both MCQs and Non-MCQs)

Analytical Writing (Argumentative essay analysis)

Integrated Reasoning

Quantitative Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning

CAT vs GMAT Preparation Tips

It is seen that GMAT vs CAT Syllabus is different. The candidates have to make separate time schedules to start preparing for both of these exams simultaneously. Both of these are exams very prestigious and provide career prospects to the candidates. Here, our experts have listed some preparation tips that you can follow in your preparation.

Check GMAT vs CAT Syllabus First

First of all, the candidates must know the syllabus of CAT vs GMAT. It will help them to understand the difference and question patterns of both these exams. There are 3 exam sections in CAT, including VARC, DILR, and QA. While in GMAT, there is the Analytical Reasoning and Integrated Reasoning section. So, you need to give extra attention to preparing the GMAT Syllabus. You can also check experts’ recommended CAT Preparation Tips for the best preparation.

Practice Previous Years’ Questions

After knowing the syllabus, the candidates must CAT Question Paper to understand the question types and preparation level. This will help you to know whether you have completed all the topics for the GMAT vs CAT Syllabus or not.

Additionally, the more you practice the question paper, you will become familiar with the questions and can accurately answer the questions. It is needed for both of these exams to get a good score, as both exams have negative markings.

Give Mock Test

Candidates must appear for online mock test programs regularly. They can attend BYJU’S Exam Prep CAT Online Test Series after completing the syllabus. It will help them to understand their preparation level. This exam schedule helps to increase the chance of clearing the exam with a good percentile.

Make Notes

It is essential to make notes on important points. The candidates must make notes of all the important formulas and theories for both the CAT and GMAT Exams. As you know that there is an analytical writing part in GMAT, so make a separate copy for this section so that it could not be mixed up with the other sections of the exam. Get CAT Exam Analysis and understand the difficulty level of the exam.

If you practice anything with a writing habit, you can memorize the concepts very easily. So, our experts highly recommend writing practice when you are preparing simultaneously for GMAT vs CAT.

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