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GRE vs CAT: Choose The Perfect Exam For You

The GRE vs CAT are the two most commonly recognized entrance tests that must be passed in order to be considered for admission to a variety of top MBA programs and major worldwide institutions. Both the CAT and the GRE are highly competitive entrance exams used by educational institutions to assess candidates’ intellectual abilities and make admissions choices.

While GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) exam results determine admission to different graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs at Indian and international institutions, the CAT (Common Admission Test) percentile is used to determine admission to top Indian business schools.

These two tests have become critical for individuals wanting to further education to apply for master’s degree programmes in India or overseas. In this article, we will compare GRE versus CAT in order to distinguish their distinguishing aspects and critically assess both tests.

gre vs cat

What Exactly is the GRE?

One of the standardised tests necessary for admission to many graduate institutions in the United States and Canada, as well as a few in other nations, is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which is owned and administered by Educational Testing Service.

What Exactly is CAT?

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a standardized test used to evaluate applicants for postgraduate management programs. The Indian Institute of Management runs it. Hence it is exclusively open to Indian business schools. However, CAT scores are accepted by a few colleges abroad for admission to their MBA or MIM Business Management programs.

GRE vs CAT: A Contrast

While the GRE assesses individuals’ readiness for a wide range of master’s programs all over the world, including to some extent in India, the CAT is limited to Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs at Indian schools. The CAT and GMAT curricula are nearly identical, with mathematical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and writing portions included in both tests. Furthermore, it should not be considered that the GRE score is irrelevant for MBA admissions because there is no such requirement. Many colleges accept GRE results instead of GMAT scores, and candidates should carefully review particular entrance criteria.

GRE vs CAT Syllabus

gre vs cat

Syllabus of Verbal in CAT and Reasoning in GRE:

Reading comprehension is employed in each assessment, but the structure is entirely different. The CAT asks applicants to answer questions based on the comprehension offered, but the GRE may need candidates to pick a text from a passage to answer the questions. The GRE assesses vocabulary extensively. When compared to the CAT, this exam is significantly more difficult. The GRE includes vocabulary-related word selection and multiple-choice questions. Similarly, instead of adopting the out-of-context language, CAT focuses on certain query kinds. Additional questions on paragraph structure, word usage, and so on are included in the CAT.

Syllabus of Quant in CAT and GRE:

The quant component of both of these examinations includes problems from algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and arithmetic. However, the intensity varies greatly from one test to the next. The CAT quant component is more demanding than the GRE or even the GMAT. Another distinction is the format of the questions. While the CAT requires applicants to choose only one correct response to a question, the GRE may require them to choose numerous options or even type in the correct response in some cases.

Analytical Writing Assessment:

AWA, or Analytical Writing Evaluation, is a GRE writing task that tests applicants’ ability to create novel ideas, back them with arguments, review the evidence, and provide a well-focused assessment. This essay part is featured in both the GMAT and the GRE, but not in the CAT.

The CAT is a linear exam, but the GRE is an adaptive segment test in which the degree of difficulty varies based on the performance of applicants in the preceding section. Finally, it is reasonable to say that by studying CAT’s quant, you can beat this part in GRE, whereas GRE verbal helps you defeat this section in CAT.

The Following are the Key Differences Between the GRE vs CAT Exams

gre vs cat

1. In Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

  • The Verbal Reasoning section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) assesses your ability to break down and reach conclusions from the talk, understand various levels of significance, choose important emphases, and comprehend the meanings of sentences and complete messages. GRE total marks depend on these.
  • The Quantitative Reasoning section assesses your ability to understand and break down quantitative data and use numerical abilities such as algebra, variable-based math, geometry, probabilities, and measures to solve problems.
  • The analytical writing section measures your ability to maintain an overall engaged, reasonable discourse, explain complicated ideas clearly and effectively, support your ideas with meaningful models, and examine claims and supporting evidence.

2. In CAT

The Quantitative Ability section is broken down into the following five modules: Number System, Arithmetic, Modern Math, Algebra, and Geometry. Each of them gives a sense of administrative restraint. Number-crunching is based on numbers, where the inquiries are best attempted by comprehending the basic balance and instances, thus focusing on this aptitude as an intense administrative quality; Algebra is based on conditions, which assess the up-and-capacity comers to obtain components and match them into meaningful connections, thus stressing on an up-and-capacity comer’s to extend out this ability to similar situations in the e-learning environment; Modern mathematics analyses multiple prospects specific in a condition in order to test an applicant’s parallel reasoning, one of the tremendous assets for improvement and thought age in the business world. Geometry focuses on knowing space, comparable to conceptualizing the market area and dealing with issues like item situations.

Data Interpretation assesses a competitor’s ability to handle and comprehend information. Information tables, pie charts, reference diagrams, line diagrams, and similar factual tools are used in the questions. The administration point is demonstrated by how supervisors break down massive amounts of information daily and base their decisions on these information bytes.

Logical Reasoning questions on the CAT assess the use of logic in diverse situations such as game planning, coding-decoding, and so on. Capability in coping with these questions indicates a greater intelligence remaining, which is a huge facilitator in effective treatment of the board problems.

Verbal Ability questions cover topics such as Usage & Grammar, Verbal Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. Utilization and Grammar recall queries for antonyms, equivalent terms, analogies, fill-in-the-blanks, and so on – each test a distinct administrative talent.

GRE vs CAT: What’s the Difference?

gre vs cat

The GRE vs CAT debate is one of the most heated among MBA candidates. We dispel some prevalent GRE and CAT misconceptions here.

  • While both the GRE vs CAT have a similar course format and measure an applicant’s fitness for business, the GRE concentrates on learners’ abilities for admission to MBA programs anywhere in the world. In contrast, the CAT is limited to business schools in India. Many colleges accept GRE scores rather than GMAT scores. As a result, carefully read the requirements and eligibility section.
  • There, the GRE is given for 340 marks in 3 hours 45 minutes, while the CAT is given for 300 marks in 3 hours.
  • The GRE has a 5-year validity period, but the CAT has a 1-year validity period.
  • The GRE is given all year, while the CAT is given once a year.

Difficulty Level: GRE vs CAT

The two most common assessments for admission into business and management universities are the Grade Record Examinations (GRE) and the Common Admission Tests (CAT). The syllabus for both examinations is nearly identical. The difficulty level of the tests in different portions is what distinguishes them.

The examinations are broken into three sections:

  • Verbal Ability / Reasoning
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Data interpretation / Analytical writing

While the difference between the GRE vs CAT is not visible in the verbal ability component, it becomes clear in the quantitative reasoning section. The CAT presents challenging questions in this portion to assess the candidate’s problem-solving abilities in a specific situation.

GRE vs CAT Requirements

gre vs cat

Eligibility for the GRE

  1. There are no age or educational requirements to take the GRE.
  2. At the test center, candidates must present their original passport as identification. As a result, a valid passport is necessary at the time of registration.
  3. The Aadhar Card is now recognized as ID evidence.

Eligibility for the CAT

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a recognized university with a minimum of 50% in the general category and 45% in the reserved category.
  2. Professional degree with necessary percentage (ICWA/CA/CS).
  3. Aspirants who obtained their bachelor’s degrees during the epidemic years (2020 and 2021) or are in their last semester/year of study can submit a pass or promotion during registration.

Application fee: The application fee for the CAT is INR 2,200. The GRE costs INR 15,595.86.

How Should I Prepare for the GRE and CAT Together?

  • Developing solid foundations: Teach yourself to read and write. Continue to work on an issue until you’ve solved it. Resist the impulse to move on to the next step and instead concentrate on the issue at hand.
  • Memorize: Do not recollect a formula until you first understand its importance. Your brain will quickly learn if you can connect the formula to its theory. Apply logical thinking to approach each issue from a new angle and learn the mathematical aptitude shortcuts to expedite the process.
  • Recognize your area of strength: Practice your math skills in the correct order since each topic builds on the one before it. A methodical approach will allow you to cover every topic with ease. Establish your strengths and concentrate more on your weaknesses. This sort of practice will aid your preparedness.

The Difficulties Faced in Preparing for GRE vs CAT

There are several hurdles to overcome while studying for the CAT and GRE tests scores. Math is most likely a difficult topic. Another difficult aspect is the occurrence of grammatical errors.

Comparison of CAT Percentile to GRE Score

gre vs cat

When it comes to calculating results, the two examinations are incomparable. The CAT exam provides a percentile score, which is used to compare your performance to that of all other test takers. For example, 90 percentiles do not imply that you will receive 90/100 grades. It indicates you outperformed 90% of the people.

GRE scores are more absolute; for example, a score of 320/340 indicates that you answered 20 questions incorrectly.

Scope Following the Test

Participants in the CAT are primarily MBA hopefuls. Getting a higher CAT percentile is the ideal method if you want to study at the most prominent universities and acquire an MBA.

On the other hand, GRE opens a variety of additional master’s degree programs in colleges and universities outside of India.

Post-CAT Scope

CAT remains a fan favorite with over 200 institutions employing the exam to judge the ability of its candidates, despite the fact that Indian business schools have selected alternative admission tests to accept applicants year after year.

Most business schools in India accept various exam results, with the CAT ranking consistently among the top 100. Apart from the IIMs, the major colleges that accept CAT results include IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai, SPJIMR, and FMS. The Indian School of Business, which was placed second in India in the Financial Times Business School Rankings 2020, also accepts the CAT, but exclusively for its Fellow Program in Management.

The cut-off percentile scores are another important factor to consider before taking the CAT. Unlike the other examinations discussed in this article, most business schools that accept the CAT have a cut-off percentile score. As a result, any candidate with a percentile score lower than the stated cut-off is automatically rejected from the admissions process.

Post-GRE scope

The GRE, or Graduate Record Examinations, administered by Education Testing Services (ETS), has been established as the entry exam for all major post-graduate schools worldwide. The test allows the test taker to apply to many institutions and courses at the same time.

While the GMAT was formerly considered the gold standard in MBA admissions examinations, the GRE has grown in popularity among business schools and candidates over the last decade. The obvious explanation is the test’s versatility in terms of alternatives. Students often choose between GRE vs GATE.

A candidate who takes the GRE can apply to an MBA school as well as any other graduate and doctorate programs in which they are interested. It also aids business schools in expanding their candidate pool. Although the GRE was initially exclusively recognized at colleges in the United States and Canada, it is now used as a standardized test for graduate school across the majority of English-speaking nations.


While these exams appear comparable, there are significant distinctions that may cause you to regret picking one over the other. The key to selecting a test for yourself is determining which examinations are legitimate at your selected business schools and which one you would fare best on. You may, of course, take as many of these examinations as you desire. You have the power of choice.

As a result, I hope this blog has helped you grasp the key distinctions between the GRE and the CAT. Both of these tough tests need a well-planned approach to ace them and gain a spot at the university of choice. Suppose you are preparing for a competitive exam. In that case, the specialists at Leverage Edu can guide you through the process, assisting you in mastering each area so that you may pass the test and get accepted into your ideal institution.


1. Which is more difficult, the GRE or the CAT?
Many test-takers believe that the GRE is a far more difficult exam than the CAT since the GRE course is more intensive and examines students in all areas, including Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, and Analytical Writing. In this regard, the CAT curriculum is easy to learn because it has three primary sections: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude.

1. Is GRE preparation sufficient for the CAT?
Because the CAT syllabus overlaps with the GRE syllabus in many ways, you can also apply your rigorous GRE study to the CAT test. Furthermore, these examinations are recommended for third-year undergraduates because possessing GRE and CAT scores would allow you to explore better master’s degree programs in India and overseas.

3. Is the GRE score relevant in India?
Is the GRE score recognized in India? The GRE is a requirement for students wishing to study abroad, with practically every university in the United States and the United Kingdom recognizing it. The GRE score is currently recognized for many graduate and doctorate business programs in India due to its high quality and accuracy in evaluating students.

4. Is a month’s worth of preparation for the GRE possible?
Many students find that they may make significant progress by studying three times a day for thirty minutes, five days a week, for an hour and a half. Because the GRE is in a month, you should study for five blocks of 30 minutes each, or 2.5 hours every day, to maximise your score improvement.

5. Is the GRE acceptable for MBA programs?
Takeaways. GRE scores are accepted by around 90% of business schools for MBA applications. Taking the GRE for MBA admission would only harm you if the Business School explicitly declares that it favors the GMAT over the GRE. However, when it comes to MBA admissions, the GMAT has an advantage over GRE.



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