Best MBA entrance exams and colleges in India

If you are interested in MBA course, and are looking for a good college to study in, then you have landed at the right place. In this article, we are going to shed some light on the leading MBA colleges in India and their entrance examinations.

Most of the reputed central government MBA colleges, state MBA colleges and deemed universities give admission on the basis of an entrance test, rather than just on the basis of the marks scored in graduation.


MBA stands for Masters of Business Administration. In this course, students learn the art of running a business, e.g. finance, marketing, systems, etc.

Duration of regular MBA course is generally 2 years. Most MBA colleges offer post-graduation diploma (Post Graduate Diploma, PGDM), rather than post-graduation degree. So, keep this in mind if you are planning to do MBA for a post-graduation degree. Some government exams require you to be a post-graduate degree holder. If you have a post-graduation diploma, you may not be eligible for such jobs.

My Experience

I gave various MBA exams from 2008 to 2009, while I was working as a software engineer in Noida. I got calls from IIFT-Delhi, XLRI-Jamshedpur (as well as Bhubneshwar), IIT-Mumbai (Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management), MDI-Gurgaon, IMT-Ghaziabad, Symbiosis (SIBM, SCMHRD), etc.

I scored almost 99 percentile in XAT-2009, 216 AIR in JMET (for MBA programme of IITs), and was among top 20 in Symbiosis MBA entrance examination.

I really messed up my CAT-2009 paper because of one Sentence Correction set, and ended up getting only around 98 percentile (which was not enough to secure any IIM call). Never got a call from FMS either. At the end, I joined Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT-Mumbai in 2009.

Well, enough chit-chat. Let’s begin.

Table of Contents
  • MBA entrance exams for government colleges
  • MBA entrance exams for some good private colleges

Entrance exams for MBA in India

We will enlist entrance exams for the best government colleges, as well as some good private colleges too.

MBA entrance exams for government colleges

CAT and IIMs

Anybody who is preparing for MBA in India, must have heard of Common Admission Test (CAT). Most of the leading MBA institutes in India give interview calls to students based on CAT score. And this list is constantly increasing.

When I used to give CAT in 2008-09 period, FMS, IITs, etc. used to conduct their separate entrance examinations. But now they accept CAT score.

Right now, the following colleges accept CAT score:

  • Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) – These are the leading MBA institutes in India. They are akin to IITs of MBA world. CAT is always conducted by one or the other IIM.
  • Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) – The main MBA college in Delhi University (DU). Earlier they used to conduct their own entrance examination, but now they accept CAT score.
  • MBA programmes of Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) – Yes, IITs also have MBA programmes. However, as far as we know, only IIT-Mumbai and to some extent IIT-Delhi offer good quality MBA programme. Shailesh J. Mehta College of Management in IIT-Mumbai is considered pretty good. Though it’s not in the category of IIMs and XLRI, it’s considered better than many other MBA colleges like Symbiosis, MDI, IMT-Ghaziabad, etc. Earlier they used to conduct their own entrance examination, called JMET, which was only for engineers, but now they accept CAT score.
  • National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai – Particularly good for engineers, just like IITs. Engineers get a preference in such colleges.

As you saw, many non-IIM colleges do accept CAT score, but you will still have to fill their forms separately, if you want to be eligible for their Interview + GD call. You need not fill any other form for IIMs though.


Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi – If you are interested in foreign trade, then this is the college you should aim for. It’s located near IIT-Delhi.

Management Aptitude Test (MAT)

Many state MBA colleges, deemed universities, and private colleges give admission on the basis of score in MAT exam. However, only few of these colleges are good.

In most of these colleges there’s very little or no campus placement. However, if your goal is just to get an MBA degree, then you may go for them. You can always apply for vacancies released for MBA degree holders later on.

However, some good colleges that take admission through MAT exam are:

  • Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE), Hyderabad – It’s a private college, but good.
  • Christ College, Bangalore - It’s a private college, but good.
  • VIT Business School, Vellore - It’s a private college.
  • Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Nagpur - It’s a private college.

MAT is conducted several times a year, while CAT is conducted only once a year. Difficulty level of MAT exam is much lower than that of other exams such as CAT and XAT. So, give MAT as a backup plan, just in case you cannot get success in CAT, XAT, and other leading MBA exams.

However, keep in mind that MBA should be done to give a boost to your career, and then get a good job at the end of it. Or, maybe to start your own company. It should not be done just to get a degree. So, if you are interested in doing MBA, do it from a good college. Otherwise, get a job, and try again next year.

Also, kindly do not sit at home and prepare for MBA exams. Make sure you work and gain some good experience before you do MBA. The more experienced you are, the better package you will get after MBA. That’s why many good colleges prefer experienced candidates, rather than freshers. They too want to present good quality candidates in front of the companies that visit their campus.

MBA entrance exams for some good private colleges

  • Xavier School of Management (XLRI) – XLRIs are considered pretty good MBA colleges. Especially XLRI-Jamshedpur is right there in the category of IIMs, even better than many new IIMs. They conduct their own entrance examination called XAT.
  • Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabd – It’s also a leading MBA institute in India (even better than IIMs as per some). They generally prefer experienced candidates. So, freshers have a bleak chance here. (One of its campuses is also in Mohali)
  • Symbiosis University MBA entrance exam – There are many MBA colleges in Symbiosis University. Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) is considered the best. Others are Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD), Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), etc. Symbiosis conducts its own separate MBA entrance exam.
  • S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai – They accept CAT score. They also accept XAT and GMAT score.
  • MDI, Gurgaon – They accept CAT score.
  • Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai (One of its campuses is also in Gurgaon)
  • Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad – They accept CAT and XAT score.
  • Narsee Monjee University (NMIS), Mumbai - They conduct their own separate MBA entrance exam, called CET. However, sometimes they do accept CAT score too. So, have a look at their notification for this purpose in any particular year.
  • International Management Institute (IMI), Delhi – It accepts CAT and GMAT scores.
  • MICA, Ahmedabad – It accepts CAT score.
  • T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal (Karnataka) - It accepts CAT score.
  • Institute of Rural Management (IRMA), Anand (Gujrat) - It accepts CAT score.

Most of the above colleges offer executive MBA programmes too. Duration of most executive MBA programmes is 1 year. However, it may be 2 years in some colleges, e.g. in FMS, Delhi.

In Delhi NCR region, executive programmes of FMS and IMT-Ghaziabad are pretty famous. One of my module leads in my IT company, used to go to Ghaziabad on weekends to attend classes in IMT-Ghaziabad. He was just doing an MBA to help him in promotions, i.e. to embellish his resume.


For more extensive and authentic rankings of colleges and universities, you may refer to the official website of Ministry of Education of Government of India.


If you want to learn about MBA exam preparation tips, then you may refer to this article of ours.

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