× Explore our resources to learn how to reach your career goals with a graduate business degree.

NMAT Vs the GMAT: What Are The Key Differences

Image not found

Similar to the US and Europe, entry to business school in India is typically reliant on you having taken an entrance exam. If you're looking to land a place at any top b school in India, you need an exam score on which they can assess your application.

There are a number of options available to you, depending on the university you apply for. Two key options highly valued by b schools in India are administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC). They are the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and the NMAT by GMAC.

Here's everything you need to know about how to use these tests to apply for business school in India.

What is the 'NMAT by GMAC' exam?

The NMAT by GMAC exam is an entrance test designed specifically for applicants to MBA degrees in India and other emerging markets.

While it was originally launched as an entrance test for the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), the NMAT exam is now accepted by various top privately-owned institutions in India, as well as some in Nigeria, South Africa, the Philippines, and one in Morocco.

In total, there are over 50 institutions accepting the NMAT, primarily in India. Top accepting schools in India include the likes of NMIMS (exclusive), TAPMI, K J Somaiya ISB (for AMPBA), SPJIMR (for PGMPW and GMP), and XIM University.

Business schools in India value the NMAT exam as a standardized means of assessing your language skills, quantitative ability, and logical reasoning.

What is the GMAT exam?

The GMAT exam is the world's premier business school entrance exam, accepted by business schools across the globe for applications to MBA programs and other business master’s degrees.

The exam tests elements including your quantitative skills, verbal and analytical ability, and your integrated reasoning. All GMAT test takers receive a score out of 800 which becomes a key part of the criteria that schools assess during the application process.

While the NMAT exam is widely accepted in India, Africa and the Philippines, the GMAT exam is globally accepted by 2400+ b-schools. The GMAT is an alternative to the NMAT exam if you're looking to attend business school in these countries. If you have applied unsuccessfully to Indian business schools after taking the NMAT, you might try the GMAT as an alternative route.

Over 140 Indian institutions would be happy to accept a GMAT score as part of your application. That includes the likes of ISB Hyderabad, MDI Gurgaon, IMT Ghaziabad, IIMs (executive programs).

What is the difference between NMAT and GMAT exam structure?




No. of Questions




Computer-based test

Computer-based test,

Test length

187 minutes

120 minutes

Question types

Multiple Choice + Non-multiple Choice

Multiple Choice

Skills Tested

Analytical Writing Assessment, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Integrated Reasoning

Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, Logical Reasoning

Score Range



Length of Score Validity

5 years

1 Year

Results Released

Unofficial score available at test completion, Official Score Report available within 7 business days of completing your exam but may take up to 20.

Unofficial result is available at test completion. Official score is available within 48 hours

Can be taken how many times in a year?


3 (within test window)

Cost of Application

USD 275 (INR 21,850)

INR 2800 (USD 35) + taxes

As key entrance exams for business schools in India, it's no surprise that the GMAT and NMAT exams share some similarities. But there are variations in elements such as the test length, the number of questions, and the score range.

Both the NMAT and GMAT are computer-based exams, which you can either take at a test center or at home. However, the GMAT is a longer exam, with a run time of 187 minutes, versus the shorter 120 minutes for the NMAT.

The GMAT assesses you via a mixture of multiple choice and non-multiple-choice questions. It is computer adaptive, meaning that each question that comes up is dependent on your previous answer and subject to change. There are 80 questions in total.

The numbers of questions in each section are split between the Analytical Writing Assessment (one essay style question), Quantitative Reasoning (31), Verbal Reasoning (36), and Integrated Reasoning (12).

For the NMAT, you'll need to answer 108 multiple choice questions, divided between three sections, each containing 36 questions. The absence of an essay-style question is key to the shorter length of the NMAT test.

For NMAT takers, your maximum score is 360. The GMAT on the other hand will award you a score ranging from 200 to 800.

Both of the exams will provide you with an unofficial score soon after completing the exam. For the NMAT, you'll have an unofficial score available immediately after taking the test, while your official score becomes available in the next 48 hours.

GMAT test-takers can preview their unofficial score on-screen immediately after completing the exam. Their Official Score Report will be available in their mba.com account typically within seven (7) business days of completing your exam but may take up to 20 business days.

The NMAT exam is valid for one-year, which is something to consider as your GMAT score is valid for 5 years after taking the test. You can also take the GMAT five times in one year, as opposed to the NMAT which allows three attempts per year. Each reattempt for the NMAT must take place within the allotted exam dates – this is a 70-day test window in 2022.

Cost is one of the main differences between the two exams. The NMAT test requires a fee of INR 2,800, plus whatever taxes apply to you. That amounts to around a minimum of $35, which is substantially cheaper than the GMAT cost which sits at $275 (INR 21,850).

GMAT Exam: How to register?

You can take the GMAT at any point throughout the year, so a key thing to consider is how much time you need to prepare. Typically it can take anywhere between three and six months to be fully prepare for the GMAT.

To register, you will need a form of ID – usually a passport. Registering also requires you to provide key information, including your name, address, phone number, date of birth, nationality, email address, and any other relevant information.

You can complete the registration process online, via phone or using mail. The simplest way is to sign up for an MBA.com account, which will allow you to register for the GMAT as soon as your account is verified.

NMAT exam: How to register?

You can register for the NMAT online via mba.com/nmat. This requires you to create an account and supply your key information after your account is verified.

Once your account is up and running, you will be able to schedule your exam and choose the five preferred colleges where you'd like to send your NMAT score to be sent – additional choices are available for a fee.

Unlike the GMAT, the NMAT takes place over a specific exam period. In 2022, this is between 10 October and 19 December. Registrations opened on 1 August, and the last date for registration is 10 October.

NMAT exam vs GMAT: Either or both?

If you're aspiring to join a business school in India, it's worth considering both the NMAT exam and the GMAT. Each provides similar opportunities, and you may even find that taking both exams gives you the best chance of securing a place.

Both the NMAT and GMAT will require you to set aside significant time to study and they test many similar skills, though it is worth bearing in mind that there is some content variation if you plan to take both.

Of the two tests, the NMAT is cheaper, which may lead you to make it your first choice if your target school accepts the NMAT. If you have taken the NMAT and haven't secured a place at your target business school, the GMAT offers another chance to gain a competitive score, particularly if you are outside of the NMAT exam window.

Similarly, if you've decided to change your plans or would like added flexibility with your application, it's worth remembering that your GMAT score remains valid for five years.

Before deciding, it's important that you take time to consider your options. Whichever exam you eventually choose could be the next step in successfully applying to business school and launching the next step in your career.

NMAT exam: Sample questions

Sample questions for the three sections of the NMAT exam are available below.

Quantitative skills

1) How many 4-digit numbers of the form AB61 are there that are divisible by 11 (where A and B are distinct digits)?

 A. 3 | B. 4 | C. 7 | D. 13 | E. 14

2) Given the quadratic equation x2 – (A – 3)x – (A – 7) = 0, for what value of A is the sum of squares of the roots 0?

 A. 2 | B. 3 | C. 5 | D. 10 | E. 13

3) A dishonest dealer claims to sell his goods at 20% discount, but uses a weight of 800 grams for weighing 1 kilogram of goods. What is the profit or loss being made by the dealer?

A. 40% loss

B. 5% loss

C. No profit or loss

D. 5% profit

E. 10% profit

Logical Reasoning

1) How many pairs of letters are there in the word ‘CHILDREN’ such that each pair has as many letters between them in the word ‘CHILDREN’ as they have in the English alphabet series?

A. 2

B. 3

C. 4

D. 5

E. None of these

2) Automation, however essential it may be to maximise a country's economic production and minimise its costs, should be rejected. The health care industry wants to increase revenues while reducing costs. Hence, it proposes greater automation of health care. This radical automation of health care would cause patients to lose trust in the system as the health care they would receive would lack the personal touch that, according to several studies, patients desire.

Which of the following expresses the main point of the argument?

A. Due to economic forces, automation of healthcare is inevitable.

B. Patients desire personalised care.

C. Trends in the general economy do not apply to the health care industry.

D. The health care industry is becoming too greedy.

E. The health care industry should not be heavily automated.

Language Skills

1) Directions: Rearrange the jumbled sentences to show the appropriate sequence.

A) For example, when the early homo sapiens left their homes in search for food, they would risk death and injury from dangerous animals.

B) Throughout human history, the universe has presented an innumerable amount of dangers to explorers.

C) Today, many adventure enthusiasts seek to find the thrills and adrenaline rush which their ancestors had experienced in the wild.

D) The tradition of humans going out to experience the dangers of unknown nature still exists.






2) Directions: Choose the word or pair of words that best completes the relationship to the given pair:

allusion : reference :: _____ : ______

A. B. C. D. E.

A. bombast : broadcast

B. dearth : affection

C. opulence : grandiloquence

D. ostentation : swagger

E. paucity : scarcity

GMAT Exam: Sample Questions

Sample questions for the key Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning sections of the GMAT are available below.

Verbal Reasoning

1) Unlike the nests of leaf cutters and most other ants, situated underground or in pieces of wood, raider ants make a portable nest by entwining their long legs to form "curtains" of ants that hang from logs or boulders, providing protection for the queen and the colony larvae and pupae.

A. The nests of leaf cutters and most other ants,

B. The nests of leaf cutters and most other ants, which are

C. Leaf cutters and most other ants, whose nests are

D. Leaf cutters and most other ants in having nests

E. Those of leaf cutters and most other ants with nests

2) Obtaining an investment-grade rating will keep the county's future borrowing costs low, protect its already-tattered image, and increase its ability to buy bond insurance.

A. Obtaining an investment-grade rating will keep the county's future borrowing costs low, protect

B. To obtain an investment-grade rating will keep the county's future borrowing costs low, and protect

C. Having obtained an investment-grade rating will, in keeping the county's future borrowing costs low, protect

D. To obtain an investment-grade rating would keep the county's future borrowing costs low, protecting

E. Obtaining an investment-grade rating, keeping the county's borrowing costs low, would be protecting

3) Farmer: Worldwide, just three grain crops – rice, wheat, and corn – account for most human caloric intake. To maintain this level of caloric intake and also keep pace with global population growth, yields per acre from each of these crops will have to increase at least 1.5 percent every year, given that the supply of cultivated land is diminishing. Therefore, the government should increase funding for research into new ways to improve yields.

Which of the following is an assumption on which the farmer's argument depends?

A. It is solely the government's responsibility to ensure that the amount of rice, wheat, and corn produced worldwide keeps pace with global population growth.

B. Increasing government funding for research into new ways to improve the yields per acre of rice, wheat, and corn crops would help to increase total worldwide annual production of food from these crops.

C. Increasing the yields per acre of rice, wheat, and corn is more important than increasing the yields per acre of other crops.

D. Current levels of funding for research into ways of improving grain crop yields per acre have enabled grain crop yields per acre to increase by more than 1.5 percent per year worldwide.

E. In coming decades, rice, wheat, and corn will become a minor part of human caloric intake, unless there is government-funded research to increase their yields per acre.

4) A company has developed a new sensing device that, according to the company's claims, detects weak, ultralow-frequency electromagnetic signals associated with a beating heart. These signals, which pass through almost any physical obstruction, are purportedly detected by the device even at significant distances. Therefore, if the company's claims are true, their device will radically improve emergency teams' ability to locate quickly people who are trapped within the wreckage of collapsed buildings.

Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

A. People trapped within the wreckage of collapsed buildings usually have serious injuries that require prompt medical treatment.

B. The device gives a distinctive reading when the signals it detects come from human beings rather than from any other living beings.

C. Most people who have survived after being trapped in collapsed buildings were rescued within two hours of the building's collapse.

D. Ultralow-frequency signals are not the only electromagnetic signals that can pass through almost any physical obstruction.

E. Extensive training is required in order to operate the device effectively.

This does not strengthen the argument. It does not increase the likelihood of the argument’s conclusion: that the device will speed up rescues.

Quantitative Reasoning

1) If 893 × 78 = p, which of the following is equal to 893 × 79?

A. p + 1

B. p + 78

C. p + 79

D. p + 893

E. p + 894

2) If 1 < x < y < z, which of the following has the greatest value?

A. z(x + 1)

B. z(y + 1)

C. x(y + z)

D. y(x + z)

E. z(x + y)

3) At a bakery, all donuts are priced equally and all bagels are priced equally. What is the total price of 5 donuts and 3 bagels at the bakery?

(1) At the bakery, the total price of 10 donuts and 6 bagels is $12.90.

(2) At the bakery, the price of a donut is $0.15 less than the price of a bagel.

A. If statement (1) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (2) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;

B. If statement (2) ALONE is sufficient, but statement (1) alone is not sufficient to answer the question asked;

C. If BOTH statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question asked, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient;

D. If EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question asked;

E. If statements (1) and (2) TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question asked, and additional data specific to the problem are needed.