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CMAT Exam Vs CET Exam- Which You should Prefer?

CMAT Exam Vs CET Exam- Which You should Prefer?

Common Management Admission Test also referred to as the CMAT exam is an online test for facilitating institutions to select candidates for admission in all management program approved by AICTE in various prestigious colleges across India. Up until 2018, it was organized by AICTE every year as per the guidelines of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. The Test CMAT is currently conducted by the National Testing Agency. It is a 3-hour test which is conducted in a single session. It evaluates the candidate’s ability for topics like Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness and Innovation & Entrepreneurship. 

The MAH CET exam for MBA on the other hand is the Maharashtra State Common Entrance Test for MBA colleges which is also an online based test. The CET 2020 exam for MBA has 3 sections with a total of 200 questions divided as 75 in logical reasoning, 25 in analytical reasoning, 50 questions in quantitative aptitude and 50 in Verbal ability. But CET 2021 had 200 questions to be solved in 180 minutes without any section wise bifurcation. It was basically combined and had mixed set of questions unlike the previous years paper pattern. The CET exam is accepted by over 400 management colleges/institutes in Maharashtra and candidates from Maharashtra as well as all over India are allowed to sit for the CAP process after the examinations. The CAP or common admission process is for candidates applying for MBA/MMS with their CET scores.

Comparison highlights between CMAT Exam & CET Exam

 CMAT ExamCET Exam
Exam EligibilityBachelor’s degree in any
discipline and citizen of India
Bachelor’s degree in any
discipline and citizen of India
Exam conducting bodyNational Testing AgencyMaharashtra State Common
Entrance Test Cell
The difficulty level of examEasy to ModerateModerate to Difficult
Sections(topics) in the
exams along with
number of questions
as per 2022 upcoming exam
Quantitative Techniques &
Data Interpretation
Logical Reasoning
Language Comprehension
General Awareness
All 5 sections have 20 questions each
Logical Reasoning (75 questions)
Abstract Reasoning (25 questions)
Quantitative Aptitude (50 questions)
Verbal and Reading
Comprehension (50 questions)
Marking SystemNegative marking for
wrong answers
+4 for every correct answer
-1 for a wrong answer
No negative marking
+1 for every correct answer
Colleges accepting scoresAICTE approved MBA
colleges all over India
MBA Colleges under
Maharashtra state jurisdiction
Along with all the above differences, date of  both the examination and process varies alot. 


CMAT 2022 was held on April 9, 2022. More than 70,000 candidates apply for it every year. This year the CMAT exam will be conducted in 109 cities and 245 test centres all over India. 2022 Exam pattern will have 100 questions equally divided into 5 sections of 20 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) in each section. After the exam, candidates are shortlisted from the colleges accepting the scores based on their percentiles and are called for interviews. The courses offered by colleges accepting these scores are MBA/PGDM both of which are equivalent as masters or post-graduate program for business administration or management.

CET Exam

MAH CET scores are exclusively accepted by the MBA colleges in Maharashtra, and they offer MBA/MMS course.  The CET is conducted for the admission to a two-year full-time postgraduate degree program in Management namely Master of Business Administration (MBA)/ Master of Management Studies (MMS). The CET exam is held in March every year. About 110,631 candidates applied for MAH MBA CET 2020 exam and 16 candidates were awarded highest 99.99 percentile in the score range of 146 to 159 in MAH MBA CET 2020 exam. MAH CET was conducted in 47 cities in India in two days with 330+ MBA colleges in Maharashtra accepting CET scores and taking 40,000 students for their courses. After the results are declared there is a centralized admission process(CAP) conducted by Directorate of Technical Education, Maharashtra. In this process, a merit list is announced followed by document verification and interview processes for the shortlisted candidates from various colleges as per their percentile.


PGDM course also known as Post Graduate Diploma in Management is said to be somewhat costlier than the MMS program known as the Masters in Management Studies. Both are 2 year courses and approved directly by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Ministry of HRD, Govt of India. The major difference between PGDM and MMS courses is that PGDM is offered by autonomous management institutes (meaning it is not affiliated to any University) as they cannot offer MBA courses and MMS courses are offered by colleges which are affiliated to a university.  Even IIMs and XLRIs do not offer MBA degrees; they only give PGP Diploma or PGDM since they are autonomous bodies. Both the courses are equally detailed in terms of practical learning and theoretical knowledge. Thus, the courses cover detailed learning on subjects like finance, accounting, operations, marketing management, systems and human resource management. 

Below tables give the top 10 colleges accepting the two exams (CMAT Exam & MHCET Exam) with the required percentile

Top 10 colleges accepting CMAT exam score

S No. College Name Accepting score Expected  Cut-off score as per year 2020
TIER 1 College
1 Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai 320-330
TIER 3 Colleges
2 Sydenham Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai (SIMSREE) 310
3 Welingkar Mumbai 260
4 Pune University Department of Management Sciences (PUMBA DMS) 262
5 NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai 245
6 K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (KJSIMSR), Mumbai 243
7 IMT Nagpur 230
8 Goa Institute of Management, Goa 220
9 Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai 220
10 SIES College of Management Studies, Mumbai 230[1] [2]

Top 5 colleges accepting MAH CET exam score

S No.
College Name accepting CET score
Expected CET cut-off score as per year 2020
For Maharashtra Candidates For All India Candidates
TIER 1 College
1 Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai 145+ score (99.97 percentile) 150+ score(99.99 percentile)
TIER 3 Colleges
2 Sydenham Institute of Management Studies Research and Entrepreneurship Education (SIMSREE), Mumbai 98.5+ percentile 99.5+ percentile
3 SIES College of Management Studies, Mumbai 97+ percentile 98+ percentile
4 PUMBA: Department of Management Sciences University of Pune 97+ percentile 98.2+ percentile
5 Xavier Institute of Management & Research (XIMR), Mumbai 93+ percentile 95+ percentile

As seen in the above tables some of the top colleges of Maharashtra accept both the scores. Although a few colleges like K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research and WeSchool Mumbai are not accepting CET scores from this year which used to be accepted in the previous years. These colleges do accept the Common Management Admission Test score though. Depending upon the specialization, preferences and ROI of the colleges, candidates can apply for the respective colleges and use any of their scores which suit them better. If you are a quick solver of aptitude questions, then CET is a better choice than the other as CET offers less time per question. Also, Common Management Admission Test requires you to prepare for GK as well. For students who are able to solve easy questions with 100% accuracy provided they get time, they should definitely focus on CMAT exam. The bargain is GK Preparation. Top colleges in Maharashtra like JBIMS & SIMSREE accept both the scores and they are good in terms of ROI too. However other top colleges likes GIM, KJ Somaiya, Great Lakes, Welingkar do accept Common Management Admission Test. So, of course in terms of CMAT exam candidates have a larger scale of colleges to choose from in terms of application than CET which is accepted by only colleges in Maharashtra. For more information, you can follow the official websites for examinations. 

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