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Top MBA Exams (CAT, IIFT, XAT) Preferred by All Toppers & its Preparation

Top MBA Exams (CAT, IIFT & XAT) Preferred by All Toppers & how to prepare

Top MBA Exams like CAT, IIFT, XAT are given by thousands of aspirants every year as they try to get into the best MBA colleges in the country. These exams are conducted by various institutions. The exams have varied level of difficulty and different paper pattern. These exams are further explained in detail.

Introduction to the Top MBA Exams Preferred by All Toppers:

  • CAT – CAT also known as Common Admission Test, is a competitive exam that is written by MBA aspirants who are trying to get into IIMs and various other top B-school around the country. It is the most common and widely accepted MBA entrance test in the country.
  • IIFT IIFT exam, also known as Indian Institute of Foreign Trade exam, is a competitive management aptitude test that is written by MBA aspirants conducted by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada for admission to their MBA International Business Course. 
  • XAT – XAT, also known as Xavier Aptitude Test, is a competitive national-level management exam that is written by MBA aspirants conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur for admission to the MBA/PGDM courses. 

The different top colleges that accept each exam are:- 

Colleges accepting IIFT
IIFT Delhi
IIFT Kolkata
IIFT Kakinada
Krupanidhi School of Management, Bangalore
Community Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore
Indian Academy School of Management Studies, Bangalore
Colleges accepting CAT
All IIMsGreat Lakes Institute Of Management, Chennai
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) New DelhiMICA Ahmedabad
JBIMS MumbaiK J Somaiya Institute of Management Mumbai
Management Development Institute (MDI) GurgaonIRMA Anand
International Management Institute (IMI) New DelhiWelingkar Mumbai
Institute of Management Technology (IMT) GhaziabadLBSIM New Delhi
XIM-Xavier University BhubaneswarFORE School of Management (FSM) New Delhi
IIT BOMBAY MumbaiLoyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) Chennai
Department of Management Studies (IIT Delhi) New DelhChrist University Bengaluru
TAPMI ManipalBIMTECH, Greater Noida
Colleges Accepting XAT
XLRI JamshedpurIndus Business Academy (IBA) Bangalore
XIM BhubaneswarJIMS Rohini, New Delhi
IMT GhaziabadITM Navi Mumbai
MICA AhmedabadIES Management College And Research Centre, Mumbai
Great LakesGlobsyn Business School, Kolkata
TAPMI ManipalVIPS-TC-Delhi School of Business Delhi
K J Somaiya Institute of Management MumbaiGitam School of International Business
FORE New DelhiGITAM Hyderabad Business School
IRMA AnandSCMS Cochin School of Business
LIBA ChennaiCalcutta Business School Kolkata
BIMTECH Greater NoidaIIMS Pune: International Institute of Management Studies
XIME BangaloreDSIMS Mumbai: Durgadevi Saraf Institute of Management Studies
IFIM BangaloreIndira Institute of Management – IIMP
School of Inspired Leadership – SOIL GurgaonVishwa Vishwani Hyderabad
New Delhi Institute of Management – NDIM New DelhiDelhi School of Business, VIPS – Technical Campus
Jaipuria Institute of ManagementEMPI Business School, New Delhi
KIIT School of Management – KSOM BhubaneswarAcharya Bangalore B-School – ABBS Bangalore
Xavier Business School (XBS) KolkataBirla Global University, Bhubaneswar
IPE HyderabadAccurate Institute of Management and Technology
SDMIMD MysoreNational School of Business
VIT Business School (VIT) VelloreGIBS Business School – GIBS Bangalore
ISB&M PuneJaypee Business School – JBS Noida
AIMS BangaloreSGPC’s Guru Nanak Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai
 RSB Chennai: Rajalakshmi School of Business

What do these Top MBA exams offer?

MBA aspirants will have good knowledge about these top MBA exams because they provide a chance for them to apply to the tier 1 colleges around the country. Some of them are IIMs, XLRI, IIFT, etc. Suppose an MBA aspirant who has a passion for HR, he/she will look forward to get an admission in XLRI. Or suppose an MBA aspirant who has a passion for International Business, he/she will look forward to get an admission into IIFT. Both these colleges offer excellent placement and learning exposure in their respective fields. And these colleges coming under tier 1 and they offer packages of 20+ lakhs which is more than enough for the students passing out with a placement to live a good and successful life and follow their dreams.

The opportunities that are offered by these colleges are almost the same even though they excel in different fields. The fees that the MBA aspirant might have to pay, which is almost similar for tier 1 colleges, will be worth it when he/she calculates the return on investment. Some of the differences that one can perceive are IIMs come under the government while colleges like XLRI and more come under autonomous or private. Other top colleges that accept these exams – SP Jain, FMS, JBIMS Mumbai etc.

There are a lot of colleges that accept CAT and XAT scores such as – MDI Gurgaon, IMI New Delhi, TAPMI, Great Lakes, IITs offering PGDM/MBA programs. All these colleges provide great learning exposure and good placements, but a little less compared to Tier 1 colleges. These colleges would offer a placement package ranging from 10-15 lakhs per annum.

Why are these Top MBA exams important/preferred?

These exams are perceived to be very important because it gives a chance for MBA aspirants to undergo various MBA/PGDM courses from the top universities across India. The learning exposure these colleges provide is of top-class and it helps the aspirant throughout his life, be it career or be it life. The courses are structured in a way that makes the students undergoing these courses capable of handling any obstacles that they might face in their lives. MBA/PGDM courses are not just about academics, even though it is important. These courses provide students with a personality development that not all courses offer in how they structure their courses.

What are the different sections in all the three Exams Preferred By All Toppers?

  • CAT – The important topics that are covered in this exam are – Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, and Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • IIFT – The important topics that are covered in this exam are – Quantitative Aptitude, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability, and Reading Comprehension. Another section is also present in this exam, which is the General Awareness section.
  • XAT – The important topics that are covered in this exam are – Quantitative Aptitude, Decision Making, Verbal Ability, and Reading Comprehension, and General Awareness.
CAT Syllabus Sectional DivisionWeightage in CAT examSectional Cutoff
Quantitative Ability (QA)34%Yes
Data Interpretation& Logical Reasoning (DILR)32%Yes
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)34%Yes
IIFT Syllabus Sectional DivisionWeightage in IIFT examSectional Cutoff
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension35%Yes
Quantitative Analysis25%Yes
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning30%Yes
General Awareness (GK)10%Yes
XAT Syllabus Sectional DivisionWeightage in XAT examSectional Cutoff
Verbal and Logical Ability26%Yes
Decision Making21%Yes
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation28%Yes
General Knowledge25%No

In IIFT exam, there will be more importance to the GK section. While in the case of XAT exam, there will be more importance of the GK section in the GD/PI round rather than the exam.

How do toppers prepare for these Top MBA exams? How Similar or Dissimilar is exam preparation?

All these Top MBA exams require proper learning, time management, and dedication from the MBA aspirants to crack them. The preparation techniques will be almost the same for each of the exams if the sections are the same. The difference might come for IIFT’s and XAT’s General awareness section and XAT’s Decision Making section. The GA section of these exams requires proper knowledge about what is happening around them. This includes reading newspapers, editorial sections of the newspaper, and more general knowledge that one might get from the internet. Reading newspapers will always help an individual excel in his life because he/she will be up to date on the various issues/problems/debates/regulatory/economic condition and much more. 

The Decision-Making Section of XAT is highly similar to the LRDI section of CAT. It is a mix of questions that will test the person’s knowledge of solving behavioural, managerial, and mathematical questions. It is not a test of the theoretical knowledge that one has, but the basic assumptions and their understanding of real-world problems that are presented in the form of cases in these questions. The MBA aspirant is required to have in-depth data interpretation skills so that he/she can solve the question in a time-based manner. Moreover, these exams purely test the skills of the MBA Aspirants based on time-management and accuracy.

Rest of the common parts such as the QA, VARC, and LRDI sections are prepared by studying the basics first, attempting questions in a time-based manner, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, developing on your weakness, attempting as many mock tests as possible because practice will make the MBA aspirant attempt the exams in a speedy manner and with higher accuracy.


Choosing an MBA/PGDM program is one of the most important decisions one has to make in his/her career. And it is a very good choice because the course is not just about academics. It provides students with an opportunity to develop their character overall, be sharper in their decision making, handle all obstacles they might have to face in the future, handle the ups and downs of life, be more professional in the approach, have a higher standard of living and much more. There are a lot of universities across India that provide the opportunities and the exams that were discussed above are the first step to build your career. Do not see these exams as stressful or like it’s taking a toll on you. See it as a golden opportunity. If one makes enough preparation and dedication, be sure to know that it is easy to crack.

These exams are all about time management, accuracy, and decision-making. And the skills that these exams ask from a student will always help him in his/her life. All the very best for the future and we hope everybody can achieve what they are dreaming about.

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