Are MAT and NMAT Exams the same? What are the Eligibility Criteria for each of them?

Today, a post-graduation in management from a frontline institute is a sought–after career option. Top business schools follow a multi-level selection process starting with an entrance test at the first level. The MAT exam and the NMAT exam are two of the most important entrance tests for admission to management courses in several leading B-schools.

What is NMAT?

The NMAT (previously known as the NMIMS Management Aptitude Test) is also a national-level selection test of the Graduate Management Admission Council, GMAC, an association of several leading business schools. As a result, the NMAT is often referred to as NMAT-GMAC.

Over 90 leading business schools, including some institutes in the Philippines, South Africa, Nigeria and a few more countries, use the NMAT score for their MBA intake.

NMAT is conducted online once a year. The test duration is 120 minutes and requires 108 questions answered from three sections.

What is MAT?

The Management Aptitude Test or MAT is a national-level entrance test conducted by the All India Management Association, AIMA. The test is organised four times a year, usually in February, May, September and December in 50+ cities in India.

Candidates can write the MAT in three different test modes; a paper-based test (PBT), a computer-based test (CBT), or a remote proctored internet-based test (IBT). As per the existing pattern, a candidate must answer 200 questions from five sections in 150 minutes.

The score remains valid for one year. Over 600 institutes across India use the MAT score for finalising their MBA admissions.

Are MAT and NMAT exams the same?

There is a similarity in terms of the objective of purpose – the aim of both the tests is to determine a candidate’s aptitude and suitability for undergoing management studies. The profiles of the two, however, are different.

Eligibility: NMAT has a minimum 50% marks requirement at graduation, while the MAT has no such condition.

Frequency: The MAT is conducted four times a year, while NMAT is held once but has a 75- day window to take a retest.

Number of attempts: A NMAT candidate can take the exam three times in a year within a window of 75 days to improve their scores. The final result will be the best of the three. The MAT can be repeated any number of times for better scores.

Selfscheduling of exam date: The NMAT candidates can choose any convenient day within the 75-day test window, while MAT dates are pre-scheduled.

Test mode: MAT is a multi-format test with separate paper-based, computer-based and remote-proctored internet-based test modules.

NMAT follows a computer-based mode and a newly introduced online remote proctored mode.

Test pattern: NMAT has three sections – Language Skills, Quantitative Aptitude and Logical Reasoning.

MAT has five sections- Language Comprehension, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, and Indian & Global Environment.

Difficulty level: NMAT is tougher to crack than the MAT.

Institutes for study: The participation of B-schools is different for the two exams.

Eligibility Criteria


MAT- Graduates in any discipline from a recognised university.

NMAT- Graduation degree with minimum 50% marks; part-time graduation courses are not considered.

Age: No specified upper age limit for appearing at both exams.

Special Points:

1) Many participating institutes have their separate eligibility requirements for admission like minimum marks at graduation, minimum MAT score, weightage for work experience, academic performance at school leaving board exams, preference for women candidates etc.

2) Applicants have to choose five colleges for their intended study as part of the application procedure.

3) Cut-off scores are announced after the declaration of the test results by the individual institutes, depending on the demand preferences.

Systematic preparation is the key to success in both these tests. It would help if you had a faster reaction time, quick thinking and accurate response to crack both the MAT and the NMAT.

The BYJUs exam prep offers a comprehensive online learning programme with scientific methods like AV learning, multiple revisions and simulated tests under the guidance of expert teachers. The success of the BYJUs exam prep programme is evident from the large number of students clearing the MAT and the NMAT exams.

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