MAH CET vs CAT – When it comes to pursuing postgraduate studies in management, two major entrance exams stand out – MAH CET (Maharashtra Common Entrance Test) and CAT (Common Admission Test). Both are aimed at helping students secure admissions into prestigious business schools, but they have some key differences. Let’s dive into the comparison between MAH CET vs CAT to help you make an informed decision.

MAH CET vs CAT – Understanding the Basics


MAH CET is a state-level entrance exam conducted by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) in Maharashtra. It opens doors for admissions into MBA, MMS, PGDBM, and PGDM courses in colleges within the state.


CAT, on the other hand, is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). It is the gateway to prestigious management courses not only in IIMs but also in other top-tier business schools across the country.

MAH CET vs CAT – Exam Overview

To get a quick grasp of the differences, let’s look at a side-by-side comparison:

ParticularsMAH CETCAT
Full-FormMaharashtra Common Entrance TestCommon Admission Test
Conducting AuthorityDTE, MaharashtraIndian Institute of Management
Level of ExaminationState LevelNational Level
Application ModeOnlineOnline
Total Duration150 minutes120 minutes
Medium of AnsweringEnglishEnglish
Applicants Per Year (Approx.)75K – 1 LakhOver 2 Lakhs
Exam Centres48156
Exam ModeOnline (CBT)Online (CBT)

MAH CET vs CAT – Syllabus

One of the primary differences lies in the syllabus structure.

MAH CET Syllabus

  • Logical Reasoning (LR)
  • Analytical Reasoning (AR)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

CAT Syllabus

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

MAH CET vs CAT – Exam Pattern

Understanding the exam pattern is crucial for effective preparation. Let’s break down the key points:

MAH CET Exam Pattern

  • Logical Reasoning (LR): 75 questions
  • Analytical Reasoning (AR): 25 questions
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA): 50 questions
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC): 50 questions
  • Marking Scheme: +1 mark for each correct answer, no negative marking
  • Total Marks: 200

CAT Exam Pattern

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC): 24 questions
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR): 20 questions
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA): 22 questions
  • Marking Scheme (MCQs): +3 marks for correct answer, -1 mark for incorrect answer
  • Marking Scheme (TITA Questions): +3 marks for correct answer, no negative marking
  • Total Marks: 228

MAH CET vs CAT – Exam Timing

  • MAH CET: 150 minutes with no sectional time limit
  • CAT: 120 minutes with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for each section

MAH CET vs CAT – Exam Fees

The cost of applying for these exams can also influence your decision.


  • General category: INR 1,000
  • Reserved category students: INR 800


  • General category: INR 2,200
  • Reserved category students: INR 1,100

MAH CET vs CAT – Counselling

  • CAT Counselling:
    • National level counselling conducted by IIMs
    • Involves Written Ability tests (WAT) and Personal Interviews (PI)
  • MAH CET Counselling:
    • Conducted for admissions into MBA programs in Maharashtra
    • Generally limited to state-level colleges and universities

MAH CET vs CAT – Difficulty Levels

  • CAT: Known for its higher difficulty level due to national competition (Over 2 Lakhs candidates)
  • MAH CET: Relatively easier due to state-level competition (75K – 1 Lakh candidates)

Making the Decision

In essence, the choice between MAH CET and CAT depends on your aspirations, the level of competition you are comfortable with, and the target business schools. If you aim for the top-notch national institutes, CAT might be your path. On the other hand, if you prefer the state-level colleges in Maharashtra, MAH CET could be your key.

Remember, both exams have their unique challenges and rewards. So, assess your strengths, weaknesses, and ambitions before making the final call. Good luck on your journey to the world of management studies!

MAH CET vs CAT – Frequently Asked Question

FAQ: Which exam is more challenging, MAH CET or CAT?

Answer: CAT is generally considered more challenging due to its national-level competition and a higher number of applicants.

FAQ: How much time do I have to complete the MAH CET exam?

Answer: The MAH CET exam has a total duration of 150 minutes, allowing candidates to manage their time across sections.

FAQ: Is there any negative marking in MAH CET?

Answer: No, MAH CET does not have negative marking. Candidates are only awarded one mark for each correct answer.

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