MAT vs CAT – Difference Between MAT and CAT Exam

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

MAT vs CAT provides complete details about MAT (Management Aptitude Test) and CAT (Common Admission Test) which will help you make an informed decision. CAT and MAT Exam are the most popular national-level MBA entrance tests for admission into the top B-schools in India. The aspirants who wish to have an MBA degree mostly take both of these exams. The basic Difference Between MAT and CAT exam is that the CAT is the only key to enter IIMs, while with MAT result, you can get admission to other B-schools like Amity University, Christ University, Alliance University, Taxila Business Schools, and many more.

It is the biggest dilemma for MBA aspirants whether to give CAT or MAT or both. If the aspirants wish to prepare for both of these exams, they must be aware of the MAT and CAT Exam differences. Here, our experts have analysed a detailed study of MAT vs CAT to help the aspirants in their smooth preparation.

MAT vs CAT Similarities

Both of these exams are conducted for admission into MBA programmes in different B-schools in India. Thereby, there are some basic points in which both of these exams are similar. Note the below table for MAT vs CAT exam similarities.



Course for admission


Level of Exam


Exam Medium


Negative Marking


Difference Between MAT and CAT Exam

There are several differences between these two MBA entrance tests. However, the major differences between these two exams are in the exam frequency, exam pattern, duration, eligibility, marking scheme, syllabus, and conducting body.

One of the biggest differences between CAT Exam and MAT Exam is that MAT offers a chance to improve your score by multiple attempts while CAT has no such provision.

CAT vs MAT Exam – Parameters

CAT Exam

MAT Exam

CAT and MAT Full Form

CAT stands for Common Admission Test

MAT stands for Management Aptitude Test

CAT vs MAT- Exam Conducting Body

CAT is conducted by one of the IIMs

MAT is conducted by All India Management Association (AIMA)

MAT vs CAT – Exam Mode

CAT is only conducted in Computer Based Test (CBT Mode)

MAT is conducted in in three modes – Computer Based Test (CBT), Paper Based Test (PBT) and Internet Based Test (IBT)

Exam Frequency

CAT is conducted only once a year

MAT is conducted several times in a year in 4 phases

Number of section



Time Duration

2 hours

2.5 hours

Marking Scheme

+3 for correct answer

-1 for incorrect answer

+1 for correct answer

-0.25 for every incorrect answer

MAT Exam vs CAT Exam – Difficulty Level


Easy – Moderate

MAT vs CAT Exam Eligibility

There are minimum qualification percentages that the aspirants must have if they want to appear for the CAT and MAT exam. So, it is required to check MAT vs CAT eligibility criteria before applying for the exam.

  • CAT Eligibility: The aspirants must complete their bachelor’s degree from any recognised university with 50% marks in aggregate (45% for the reserve category)
  • MAT Eligibility: There is no such minimum percentage requirement for appearing for the MAT exam. The aspirants who have completed their graduation studies with a passing mark can appear for this exam.

MAT vs CAT Exam Frequency

Exam frequency for both of these exams is quite different. The aspirants get only a single chance every year to crack CAT, while there are multiple chances to crack MAT in a single year.

  • CAT is conducted only once every year. There are three slots on a single exam date, and the aspirants have to appear in the test centre as per the exam timings mentioned in their admit card
  • MAT is conducted several times throughout the year, including February, May, September, and December, in 3 different modes such as CBT (Computer-Based Test), PBT (Paper-Based Test), and IBT (Internet-Based Test)

MAT vs CAT Exam Pattern

Exam pattern for both MAT and CAT exams is different in terms of the total number of questions, exam sections, total time, and sectional time limit. Note the table below to get an idea about the exam pattern difference between MAT and CAT Exam.




Total Number of Question

66 Questions

200 Questions

Exam Sections

CAT Exam Pattern has 3 Sections

  • VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)
  • DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning)
  • QA (Quantitative Aptitude)

MAT Exam Pattern has 5 Sections

  • LC (Language Comprehension)
  • Data Analysis and Sufficiency
  • Mathematical Skills
  • Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
  • Indian and Global Environment

Time Duration

120 Minutes

2.5 Hours

Sectional Time Limit

40 Minutes


MAT vs CAT Time Duration

The exam duration for both MAT and CAT are quite different. Check the below table and get an idea about MAT vs CAT exam duration



  • The total time duration for CAT is 120 Minutes, with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes.
  • The aspirants need to follow the sequence of CAT Exam.
  • As soon as the 40 minutes for one section is ended up, the computer screen automatically jumps to the next section.
  • The total time duration for MAT Exam is 2 2.5 Houres.
  • There is no sectional time limit in this exam so that aspirants can choose the paper sequence as per their preferences

MAT vs CAT Marking Scheme

Both of these exams have negative marking schemes, so the aspirants need to work on accuracy at the time of preparation. Note the table below to overview the marking scheme difference between MAT and CAT exams.




Total Marks



Marks Per Questions



Negative Marking

-1 (For MCQs Only)


Blank Question

No Marks

No Marks

MAT vs CAT Syllabus

The aspirants, thinking to appear for both CAT and MAT exams, must be aware of the chapters covered in these exams. There is a huge difference between MAT Syllabus and CAT syllabus. Note the below guiding table to get indications for the subjects for MAT vs CAT.



CAT syllabus covers the following chapters

  • VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)
  • DILR (Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning)
  • QA (Quantitative Aptitude)

While MAT syllabus covers the below chapters:

  • Data Analysis and Sufficiency
  • Language Comprehension
  • Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
  • Mathematical Skills
  • Indian and Global Environment

MAT vs CAT Conducting Body

It is known to all that CAT and MAT exams are conducted by different authorities. The official notification for CAT Exam is released once is every year by one of the IIMs. CAT 2021 was conducted by IIM Ahmedabad, while IIM Indore conducted CAT 2020.

On the contrary, MAT notification is released by AIMA (All India Management Association). It is conducted several times throughout the year, including February, May, September, and December, in 3 different modes, such as CBT (Computer-Based Test), PBT (Paper-Based Test), and IBT (Internet-Based Test). The most important advantage of the MAT Exam is that the aspirants can decide to take the exam from their home or at the test centre as per their preferences.

MAT vs CAT Application Fee

Note the below table to overview the exam fee difference between MAT and CAT exam.



General – 2,200/- for General

Reserved Category- 1,100/-

The application fee for MAT is 1,650/- for one paper, i.e, either, IBT, PBT, or CBT. If you wish to appear for both PBT and CBT, then the fees will be 2,750/-


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