GATE vs CAT exam: which one should you prepare & why

In this article let’s take a look at everything you need to know between two most popular exams for undergraduate students which are gate and CAT exam in detail.

So if you are confused regarding which exam you should choose after your under graduation or you do not know the difference between the two exams.

You don’t need to worry about it anymore.

I would highly recommend you to read this article throughout the end and bookmark it somewhere so that you can get back to this article in future as well.

So without further ADO let’s get started.


What is GATE exam?

The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is an examination conducted in India that primarily tests the comprehensive understanding of various undergraduate subjects in engineering and science for admission into the Masters Program and Job in Public Sector Companies.

 GATE is conducted jointly by the Indian Institute of Science and seven Indian Institutes of Technologies at Roorkee, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Chennai (Madras) and Mumbai (Bombay) on behalf of the National Coordination Board – GATE, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India.

Official website:

What is CAT exam?

The Common Admission Test (CAT)[2] is a computer based test for admission in a graduate management programs. The test consists of three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA).

Official website:

What is the difference between the two exams?

Here is a table which explains the difference between both the exams date and cat in detail by observing at 22 different factors.

MeaningGraduate Aptitude Test in EngineeringCommon Admission Test
Started from19831984
Conducted byTop IIT & IIS collegesTop IIM colleges
What skills are testedBachelor’s degree level knowledge of the chosen engineering discipline or master’s degree level knowledge of the chosen science discipline. The questions are designed to test the listed abilities: Application, Analysis, Comprehension, Recall, Synthesis.Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Purpose of the examAdmission to postgraduate colleges for engineering, Technology, Architecture, Science, Commerce or Arts, like Mtech or MSC, etcAdmission to post-graduate management programs like MBA, etc
Eligibility criteriaStudents who have already completed any degree program approved by the government in Engineering, Technology, Architecture, Science, Commerce or Arts are eligible to appear for the GATE 2022 examination. You should have 10+2+3 and you can also apply for the GATE exam in the final year and there is no minimum pass percentage required in your under graduationBachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with at least 50 % marks or equivalent GPA (45 % in case of SC, ST, PWD candidates). Final year undergraduate students also eligible
Age limitThere is no age limitThere is no age limit
Exam durationThis is 3 hours long examThis is 2 hours long exam
Exam feesINR ₹ 750 for Indian female,SC,ST,and physically challenged candidates. INR ₹ 1500 for all other Indian candidates. US $ 50 for international candidates₹2,200 (US$29) for general category candidates. ₹1,100 (US$15) for SC/ST/DA (PWD) category candidates
Exam methodOnline test conducted on computerComputer-based standardized test, online test
Questions patternsMultiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Multiple Select Questions (MSQs), numerical Answer Type (NAT) QuestionsThe CAT question paper comprises MCQs & non-MCQs
Courses presentPost graduation studies of all the engineering, Architecture, Science, Commerce or Arts courses, etcPost graduation of all the management courses
Total questions & marks65 Questions (including 10 questions from General Aptitude) & total 100 Marks.MCQs and TITA (Non-MCQs) & 76  total questions & 228 total marks.
Marking schemeAll of the questions will be worth 1 or 2 marksAll the questions are worth 3 marks
Languages allowedEnglishEnglish
How many seatsThere are over 2,500 seats available across IITs.More than 5000 seats are offered by the 20 IIMs currently functioning in India.
How many students attend the exam7,11,542 students appeared in (2021)There are almost 2 Lakh candidates take the exam every year, 227,835 candidates registered in 2020
Competition levelHighModerate
Frequency of examConducted once a yearConducted once a year             
Toughness of exam(negative marking)Two types of MCQs: MCQs – 1 mark for each correct answer; 1/3 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer. MCQs – 2 marks for each correct answer; 2/3 mark will be deducted for every incorrect response. There are no negative marking for Numerical Answer Type (NAT) questions NO negative marking for MSQ & NAT.Right answer: +3, Wrong answer: -1, No negative marks for Non-MCQs questions.
Caste reservations15% for SC, 7.5% for ST, 27% for OBC, 10% for EWS, 5% for PwD15% for SC, 7.5% for ST, 27% for OBC, 10% for EWS, 5% for PwD
Top collegesTop IIT, IIIT, NIT, Jadavpur University, Anna University, Manipal college, etcAll of the top IIM colleges, Amity business school, Birla institute of management technology, Goa institute of management and IBS Hyderabad, etc

these are all the important differences you should know between both the exams.

Which one should you choose and why?

After reading all the differences between the both exams now it depends upon you regarding which exam you want to choose after your under graduation.

You should consider GATE exam if,

  • You want to get a job in PSU sector
  • You want to get a seat in IIT and other top engineering institutions for your post graduation
  • You want to get placement in top technology companies
  • You want to get a seat in top engineering  foreign universities and colleges in countries like Singapore and Germany, etc
  • You want to become a teacher and a professor in colleges and top institutions
  • You have good knowledge in various branches for the specific branch you selected in your under graduation in engineering and technology
  • You are interested in engineering and technology subjects

You should choose the CAT exam if,

  • You want to get into business and marketing and get jobs in that field
  • You want to get a job in the top positions of the private and public companies with the high paying salary
  • You want to start a business in future
  • You have taken management courses & degree in your under graduation
  • You want to study in top foreign universities in management and business related subjects
  • You are really good at Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, etc skills

Now depending upon your interests and skills you can choose any one and continue.

Here are some interesting articles you can read,

With that said let’s end the article.


These are all the important things you need to know between both the exams.

Do let me know what are your thoughts about both the exams in the comment section below.

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