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CAT Retains Top MBA Exam Spot; CMAT & MAT Gain Ground: Shiksha MBA Outlook Report 2024


The national level Common Admission Test (CAT) maintaining its dominance among MBA entrance exams in the country once again remained the most popular exam with a significant increase in preference observed in South and West India, as per the Shiksha MBA Outlook Report 2024.

The MBA Outlook Report 2024 by Shiksha gives a clear understanding of the MBA/PGDM admission trends in the country. As per the report, the Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) emerged as the second most popular exam among MBA aspirants and grew in terms of popularity across India, except for Central India where it declined by 38%.

While the overall preference for Management Aptitude Test (MAT) grew by 10%, it declined in terms of popularity for East and North India aspirants by nearly 30-50%.

Regional exams like Maharashtra MAH-CET & Tamil Nadu TANCET grew in terms of popularity by 27% & 55% respectively. However, other popular regional exams like Karnataka PGCET declined in terms of preference across India, including South India.

MBA Top Choices

MBA in Finance remained the top choice for students 5 years in a row. Preference for Marketing & HR continued to decline for the 2nd year falling by 15% & 30%, respectively. There is also a growing inclination for specializations such as IT & Systems, Healthcare & Hospital, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture & Food Business.

When it comes to getting information about a college, the report highlights that interactions with current students of colleges remained the top choice to get more college-related information followed by interaction with professor/faculty professors.

Vivek Jain Chief Business Officer – Shiksha talking about the findings of the MBA Outlook Survey Report said: “MBA has established itself as the most sought-after master’s program in India with twenty IlMs & hundreds of private universities offering this course. The emergence of both public & private B-Schools has led to a proliferation of choice among MBA aspirants. As observed in the report, with the increase in the number of institutes across the nation, students are open to pursuing an MBA from colleges located closer to their homes and prefer it over colleges located in larger cities.”

He further adds, that students also recognize the enhanced earning potential that comes with having a Master’s in Business Administration; 78% of the respondents picked ‘Placement Opportunities’ as the most significant value-add when it came to choosing an MBA college. The survey also suggests that the college’s Rank is no longer the most important information students look for while researching for an MBA college; ‘Student Reviews’ emerged as the top information parameter when it came to making a guided decision in choosing the right college.

MAH-CET is the Most Popular State-level MBA Entrance Exam

The Popularity of CAT, MAT, & SNAP went down in the Northern region, whereas CMAT, TISSNET & MAH-CET witnessed a significant uplift in 2023. The popularity of all major MBA entrance exams increased among aspirants from South India. However, state-level exams like MAH-CET & Karnataka PGCET declined in preference this year.

Among aspirants from Eastern India, the popularity of CAT & all other entrance exams dipped in 2023 compared to 2022. However, for CMAT, the preference grew among East India aspirants. On the other hand, preference for MAH-CET dipped slightly in the Western region. The popularity of CAT & CMAT increased by 33% & 47%, respectively.

Average Count of Exams Increased in North, South & West

In South India, a higher number of students appeared for more than one MBA entrance exam compared to the previous year. 60% of South India aspirants appeared for only 1 entrance exam as opposed to 85% in 2022.

In North India, 40% of the students appeared for more than 3 MBA entrance exams in 2023 showcasing a growth of 90% from the previous year where only 21% of the students appeared for >=3 exams

A weighted average of the count of entrance exams per student in the last 5 years was lowest for Central India and highest for West India this year.

Compared to the previous year, students’ preference for MBA colleges located in their hometown or anywhere in their region grew significantly by 56% & 37%, respectively.

Students choose their hometowns as the most preferred region to look for a college as non-metro cities gain popularity among MBA aspirants. The overall preference for the same grew by 55% compared to 2022 & saw a significant y-o-y growth in all regions except Eastern India.

Student Reviews Most Important Parameter

Student reviews emerged as the most important information that students looked for when researching for MBA colleges. Preference increased by 6% compared to the previous year.

The importance of college ranking dropped from the top position to 4th position with a y-o-y decline of 17% in 2023. Information like placement stats, programs offered by the college & college-related Q&A was also frequently searched by the students.

Shiksha has more than 4.2 lakh authentic college reviews on its platform with dedicated pages on college admission.


Shiksha, a division of InfoEdge (India) Ltd, is an established name in the Online Education industry. Shiksha takes pride in being a storehouse of detailed and comprehensive information that enable the right college and career decisions for students. We receive healthy traction on our platform by virtue of our innovative products like College Reviews, Alumni Salary Data (powered by, Campus Connect, Rank & College Predictors, Ask & Answer, & Exam Details, as well as tailor-made content solutions. We have constantly evolved our offerings over the years to suit our users’ needs & since our inception in 2008, we continue to be the No.1 choice for all our clients for effective online marketing & getting admission enquiries.

For more information on CAT exam please visit Shiksha @

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Company Name: Shiksha
Contact Person: Ahmad Raza
Email: Send Email
Phone: +91120303492
Country: India

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