How to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams? - Section-Wise Tips, Strategy & Guide

How to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams? - Section-Wise Tips, Strategy & Guide

How to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams: Candidate who wants to join the Master of Business Administration (MBA) course is required to sit for the entrance examination. Instead of chasing competition, students who opt for a smart preparation strategy are ace in MBA entrance exams.However, preparing for an MBA entrance exam presents some challenges that include the breadth of the syllabus, the difficulty level of the questions, and the level of the competition but they are not the only ones.

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Tips to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams

Before starting the preparations, it is important to come up with a study plan to deal with the exam preparation, considering every aspect of the MBA entrance exam. This plan does not have to be perfect in every sense and you have to work hard enough to help you join the desired MBA colleges in India.

In this article, we have provided the best study tips and preparation strategies for MBA entrance exams. Take a look at these tips to see which of these can be incorporated into your study routine, how to prepare for the MBA entrance exams, and how to prepare a smart study plan for participating in the MBA admission process in India.

MBA Entrance Exams

Choosing the right MBA entrance exams for you is very important when preparing for MBA admission. It depends on personal decision and many factors:

  • Choice of MBA college

  • Suitable exam pattern

  • Familiarity with the syllabus or type of questions

  • The difficulty level of entrance exam, etc

Here is a list of the most popular MBA entrance exams conducted in India.

Name of the MBA Entrance Exam

About the Exam

Common Admission Test (CAT)

National-Level Entrance Examination conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIM). It is the most widely accepted choice by MBA colleges, but it is mainly taken to join Tier-1 MBA colleges.

Management Aptitude Test (MAT)

MAT is again a national-level examination conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA). It is conducted 4 times every year and is mostly accepted by Tier-2 and Tier-3 MBA colleges.

Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT)

Another national-level entrance examination conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). CMAT is conducted to enroll for AICTE and UGC-recognized MBA colleges in India.

Maharastra Common Entrance Test (MAH-CET)

Also known as MAH MBA CET or MAH MBA/ MMS CET, it is a state-level MBA entrance examination conducted by the State Common Entrance Cell of Maharashtra and accepted for admission in MBA colleges within the state.

Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT)

XAT is an MBA entrance exam conducted by Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur. However, this exam is very popularly accepted by many MBA colleges across the country.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

GMAT is another popular entrance exam for MBA colleges. It is administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC).

This choice is often chosen by the candidates because it has a different overall approach to testing. However, it is accepted by a limited number of colleges compared to the many MBA entrance exams on this list.

These are the popular exams for MBA admission. Many MBA entrance exams are conducted in India, in which specific institutes conduct their courses. Check out the schedule of MBA Entrance Examinations and go through our CAT vs other MBA Entrance Exam comparisons to choose the best MBA exam for your need.

Also check;

How to prepare for state-level entrance exam

Top Specialized MBA Entrance Exams

Exam Pattern of MBA Entrance Exam






Negative Mark



120 Min






150 Min






180 Min






150 Min



No Negative



180 Min






120 Min



No Negative

MBA Entrance Exam Pattern - Sections

The exact exam pattern for each MBA entrance exam is different. However, there are some basic elements that are common to every MBA entrance exam in India.


Short Description

Verbal Ability (VA)

This section tests a candidate's English language use and comprehension skills. Students must develop good grammar and reading skills to ace this section.

Reasoning Ability (RA)

In this section, candidates should use their logical and analytical reasoning skills to solve questions. Questions test a candidate's ability to think out the box and solve complex problems quickly and accurately.

Quantitative Ability (QA)

This section tests a candidate's mathematical ability. However, it is not a test to see if a candidate is familiar with complex theories in mathematics, but rather to check their simplicity and familiarity with numbers and number functions.

MBA Entrance Exam Syllabus - Section-Wise

Often, the syllabus for the MBA entrance exam is very common. The table below details the section-wise syllabi of the MBA Entrance Examinations in India.



Verbal Ability

  • Cloze Test

  • Reading Comprehension

  • English Grammar and Usage

  • Fill in the Blanks

  • Jumbled Paragraph

  • Sentence Correction

  • Vocabulary / Synonyms and Antonyms etc.

Reasoning Ability

  • Series

  • Blood Relations

  • Seating Arrangement

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Syllogism etc.

Quantitative Ability

  • Data Interpretation

  • Geometry

  • Percentage

  • Ratio and Proportion

  • Number System

  • HCF and LCM

  • Profit, Loss, and Discount

  • Time, Speed, and Distance

  • Probability

  • Mixtures and Alligations

  • Time and Work

  • Simple and Compound Interest

  • Trigonometry

  • Mensuration etc.

Students should note that this is not a complete syllabus for MBA entrance exams. Take a look at the official syllabus provided by the MBA entrance exam you take to make sure you cover all the topics for the exam.

Also know;

How to prepare for CAT 2021 along with other entrance exams

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Preparation Tips for MBA Entrance Exams

Now that we have gone through the exam system and syllabus, here are some preparation tips for MBA Entrance Examinations in India.

Preparation Tips for Reasoning Ability

The Reasoning Ability section is considered very difficult by the majority of MBA candidates. This is an area where tricks fail and students have to trust their skills to solve questions.

Here are some preparation tips for reasoning ability in MBA entrance exams.

  • Training is important when it comes to this area. The more questions you solve, the better you will be at identifying important information and developing the right ability to solve these questions.

  • Solve puzzles. Solving puzzles enhances your ability to think out of the box and sharpens your analytical skills. Developing a daily habit of solving puzzles will increase your speed and accuracy in this section.

  • Find your own hacks. Many candidates create their own ways of creating useful maps or codes to solve these questions.

  • Avoid what needs to be avoided. For each candidate, there is a title in the reasoning section, which proves to be very difficult. Avoiding such questions in the exam, it is better to spend the saved time judging others.

Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability

Questions in the Verbal Ability section can ask a student to find an error in a particular part of the sentence, fill in a paragraph with the correct parts of grammar, answer questions based on a paragraph, and other tasks.

Here are the best tips for the verbal ability section in MBA entrance exams.

  • Study the rules of grammar from books to the high school level. You can correctly identify different parts of speech in a sentence and find any errors in sentence structure.

  • Develop the habit of reading. The faster and more accurately you can read, the faster you can navigate through this section.

  • Identify the types of questions that will appear in the exam using the previous year's question papers. Often, solving questions helps you to read clear ideas faster.

  • Increase English usage in your daily routine. Changing small habits like using proper English in texting, listening to English music, watching English movies helps a lot in understanding the language.

Preparation Tips for Quantitative Ability

Quantitative Ability questions in MBA entrance exams are based on the basics up to class 10. However, questions are made more difficult by the use of a number of tactics, including adding unnecessary information to the questions and presenting questions with long or difficult numbers.

Below are some tips to help you prepare for the quantitative ability section in the MBA exams.

  • Reduce calculations. The questions in this section are often confused with adding longer or harder numbers. However, there are many tricks that allow a candidate to solve questions without doing any calculations.

  • Work on mental mathematics. There are some questions that inevitably lead to calculations. While some choices provide a basic screen calculator, doing mental calculations always proves to be fast.

  • Do not use traditional methods. Traditional methods taught in school to solve these questions often fail in MBA entrance exams. Instead, use alternative methods to help achieve the answer faster.

  • Hide the entire syllabus. Even if you are the best at a topic, it is easy to change questions to stump even the best candidates. Therefore, it is very important to include all the topics in the quantitative ability section as it enhances your exams.

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Best Books to Prepare for MBA Entrance Exams

The table below contains the best and well-known books that you can use for MBA entrance exams.




Verbal Ability

Wiley's ExamXpert Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Captain AK Kalia

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhayay

Word Power Made Easy

Norman Lewis

Reasoning Ability

A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning

R S Aggarwal

Complete Guide for MAT and Other MBA Entrance Exams

Disha Experts

Koncepts of LR - Logical Reasoning for CAT & Other MBA Exams

Gajendra Kumar

Quantitative Ability

How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT

Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum Cat

Sarvesh K Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations

S Chand PublishingR S Aggarwal

Top MBA Entrance Exams

CAT 2021

XAT 2022

MAT 2021

CMAT 2021

IIFT 2022

SNAP 2021


IBSAT 2021

NMAT 2021