Hi Yaashika, while we cannot say for certain, CAT has not had an essay. Most IIMs have Written Ability Test (WAT). IIMA has Analytical Writing Test, which is usually in a similar format as GMAT’s Analytical Writing Assessment - they will provide an argument, opinion or action and you have to critically evaluate it.
Hence, having an essay as part of CAT is not needed. GMAT authorities typically use a human and an AI tool to evaluate the essay. This will be difficult to do for all 200,000-odd people taking CAT, so WAT is administered and evaluated for shortlisted candidates only.
Practising for the XAT essay will also help you for WAT once you’re shortlisted for IIMs. Many other institutes have a writing test or a Case Study. You can get more tips at https://mockat.com/forum/topic/58/how-can-we-prepare-for-xat-gk-and-the-essay-writin/
If GMAT and XAT have essays, will CAT also bring in an essay?
Hi Yaashika and Nithya, CAT and GMAT have the following key differences:
CAT is for IIMs and other premier Business Schools in India (FMS, SPJain, IITs, MDI, IMT, etc.) whereas GMAT is for Business Schools overseas (check out Indian Bschools that accept GMAT here - https://mockat.com/infozone/college/top-business-schools/)
CAT is held once a year, whereas you can schedule and take GMAT any time. You can also take GMAT upto 5 times each year (there is also a lifetime limit). This reduces the pressure on students, as you know that you can take GMAT again if it does not go as well as planned. You can also take GMAT at home. However, most overseas B-schools enrol students twice a year, so you need to take GMAT before the application deadlines.
The format of the exams are different. In CAT, you have 2 hours with 3 sections - Verbal Ability, DILR and Quantitative Ability (more details here - https://mockat.com/infozone/exam/cat/). In GMAT, you have 187 minutes for Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning along with Analytical Writing Assessment. The last one is an essay where you have to evaluate an argument critically (something similar is present in XAT but not CAT)
The pattern is also different. In CAT, you cannot move between sections, but you can move between questions and even come back to a solved question. You can also choose to avoid a question. In GMAT, you have to solve each question, and you cannot go back to a question that you have solved already. The difficulty level of the upcoming questions will depend on the accuracy of the questions that you solve.
Cost - Taking CAT costs a lot less. CAT registration fees is Rs 2200, which includes the application for all IIMs. GMAT registration is $250 (approx Rs 18,500) and it includes 5 college applications. The college application fees are also generally higher for overseas institutes.
Aside from the exam differences, there are differences in the business school requirements also. For example, overseas business schools typically require at least 4-5 years of work experience. Even Indian B-schools like ISB require at least 2 years of work experience. You can get more details here - https://mockat.com/forum/topic/84/masters-in-overseas-or-mba-from-a-top-b-school-whi/
Hi Nithya, you can choose to take both provided you have the work experience required. Also, if you are taking CAT, you can also look at taking other Indian MBA entrance tests like XAT, NMAT, etc - you can get more details of B-schools and MBA entrance exams at https://mockat.com/infozone/
Should we take both CAT and GMAT?
How is CAT different from GMAT?
Hi Shivam, GMAT is required for pursuing MBA overseas. A few institutes in India (such as ISB, Masters Union) accept it. IIMs also accept GMAT for the executive MBA programme.
Overseas, most of the top b-schools require GMAT scores Some universities may ask for additional scores like IELTS, TOFEL or GRE. So I suggest you visit the respective universities' websites where you are looking to apply and prepare accordingly. All the best!
I would like to go abroad for higher studies in the field of management, so should I prepare for GMAT ?