NMAT vs. CAT syllabus


Every year MBA aspirants appear for management aptitude tests for getting admissions in top MBA institutes of India. The Common Admissions Test or CAT scores are accepted by apex management institute of the country, The IIMs. Several other management colleges in the top rung order also accept CAT exam scores. Apart from CAT, scores of a few other tests like NMAT, XAT also qualify candidates for getting admission in the country’s foremost management institutes.

If you are preparing for CAT you might as well consider taking NMAT for increasing your chances of selection at any of the top management institute. You may also make a list of colleges that accept CAT and NMAT vis a vis details like courses offered and institute/department feature highlights. Knowing about the institutes and course salient features can help you make the correct choice of institute and courses and best match your aptitude and career preferences.

Compare here the syllabus and pattern of two national-level well-known management aptitude exams to get your best scores and admissions:

CAT and NMAT Exam syllabus

The syllabus for NMAT and CAT exam are almost the same as far as the topics are concerned. However there is difference in pattern and types of questions asked. Whereas the questions in NMAT are all MCQ type, CAT exam comprises both MCQ and non-MCQ questions. NMAT has no negative marking. CAT has 1 negative marking for wrong answers in the MCQ type questions. There is no negative marking for CAT non-MCQ type questions. CAT exam is of 3 hrs duration and NMAT exam is of 2 hrs duration.

The exam syllabus comprises of three sections:

VARC section: The VARC section also called the verbal aptitude and reading comprehension section. VARC section tests English comprehension and correct language usage ability.This is the first section of the CAT exam of duration 60 minutes. In CAT exam this section has to be attempted first before moving on to the second and third sections.

CAT VA part in VARC comprises of 7 to 11 questions and carries 7-11% weightage marks. The VA questions in CAT are non-MCQ type and candidate has to type the answer. There is no negative marking in VA part as there is no negative marking for non-MCQ

CAT RC part has 24-28 questions and 24-28% weightage marks. There are 3 to 4 long passages of about 900 words each and 2 to 3 short passages of about 600 words each. The questions are MCQ type. There is 1 negative marking for any wrong MCQ answer.

The corresponding section as VARC in NMAT is the language section. NMAT language section has 32 MCQ type questions of 3 marks each.

LRDI section: LRDI section of CAT is the logical reasoning and data interpretation section. The section tests critical analysis, deduction, decision-making skills. The section has time limit of 60 minutes.

The logical reasoning or LR part of LRDI section comprises around 16 questions and has 16% weightage marks. LR part has both MCQ and non-MCQ type questions. There is -1 mark for each wrong answer MCQ. The data interpretation part of LRDI section has 16 questions of 16% marks.

NMAT has logical reasoning section corresponding to LRDI section of CAT. NMAT LR section has 40 MCQ type questions of 120 marks in total. There is no negative marking.

QA section: QA or the quantitative aptitude section of CAT tests candidate’s mathematical ability. Mathematics topics tested include Arithmetic, Algebra, Numeral system, Statistics, Geometry, Trigonometry, Coordinate Geometry, Probability and Modern maths. The section of 1-hour duration comprises 34 questions and carries 34% weightage marks. There are both non-MCQ and MCQ type questions, and -1 negative marking for the wrong answer MCQ.

NMAT also has a Quantitative skills section. There is no negative marking and only MCQ type questions. The section has 48 questions of total marks 144.

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