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Beyond CAT: Discover 10 Prestigious Business Schools with Unique Admission Criteria

top Business Schools with Unique Admission Criteria

Are you one of the many Indian MBA aspirants pondering over the age-old question: Is CAT the only gateway to the top business schools in India? The pursuit of a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) is more popular than ever, and the competition is fierce. However, the good news is that the Common Admission Test (CAT) is not the sole ticket to securing a coveted spot in India's prestigious B-Schools. In this article, we'll delve into the growing demand for business education and the importance of exploring alternative avenues to CAT for Indian MBA students.

List of Top 10 Business Schools

1. XLRI, Jamshedpur

XLRI, Jamshedpur

Location: Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India

Admissions Criteria: XLRI conducts the Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT), a national-level entrance exam for admission to its PGDM/MBA programs. CAT scores are not considered for admission.

Notable Features: XLRI is renowned for its excellence and has a strong alumni network holding significant positions both in Indian industries and abroad. It offers a wide range of MBA specializations.

Website: XLRI Official Website

2.Symbiosis International University

Symbiosis International University, Pune

Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India, with campuses across 4 states and 6 cities.

Admissions Criteria: Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) is the key entrance exam for MBA programs in fields like Information Technology, Business Analytics, and Banking and Finance. Personal Interaction (PI), Written Ability Test (WAT), and Group Exercise (GE) are also part of the selection process.

Notable Features: Symbiosis International University offers vibrant learning opportunities and a wide range of specializations for MBA students.

Website: Symbiosis International University Official Website

3.Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT)

Location: Campuses in Delhi, Kolkata, and Kakinada.

Admissions Criteria: IIFT conducts its national-level management entrance test, separate from CAT, for admission to its MBA (International Business) program. The selection process also includes Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).

Notable Features: IIFT is a leading institution in international business and trade, known for its research and training. It provides a unique MBA experience.

Website: IIFT Official Website

4.ISB Hyderabad

ISB Hyderabad

Location: Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Admissions Criteria: ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad, offers admission based on the IBSAT exam, an online aptitude test. While CAT scores are considered, candidates who have not appeared for CAT can also apply.

Notable Features: ISB Hyderabad provides a holistic MBA experience and is known for its rigorous curriculum and corporate connections.

Website: ISB Hyderabad Official Website



Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Admissions Criteria: NMIMS offers a variety of MBA programs and requires candidates to take the NMAT entrance exam. One unique feature is that candidates can attempt the entrance test thrice with no negative marking.

Notable Features: NMIMS boasts a legacy of over 41 years and offers MBA programs in diverse disciplines, including HR and healthcare management.

Website: NMIMS Official Website

6.Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Admissions Criteria: TISSNET (Tata Institute of Social Sciences National Entrance Test) is conducted annually for MBA aspirants. It is followed by a Personal Interview (PI) round for selection.

Notable Features: TISS is one of the oldest institutions in Asia, known for providing MBA courses, particularly in HR. It has a rich history of nurturing talent for challenging roles in various organizations.

Website: TISS Official Website

7.Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA)

Institute of Rural Management Anand

Location: Anand, Gujarat, India

Admissions Criteria: IRMA offers an MBA program in Rural Management. While it used to conduct its own entrance test (IRMA Social Awareness Test), it now offers admission based on CAT scores.

Notable Features: IRMA specializes in rural management and has a track record of producing talented professionals for local and international corporations.

Website: IRMA Official Website

8.Xavier University, Bhubaneshwar

Xavier University, Bhubaneshwar

Location: Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India

Admissions Criteria: Xavier University accepts XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test) and X-GMT scores for admission to its MBA programs.

Notable Features: Xavier University is known for its academic excellence and offers a variety of MBA specializations.

Website: Xavier University Official Website

9.Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai

Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Admissions Criteria: JBIMS accepts MAH-CET, MAT, and GMAT scores for admission to its MBA programs.

Notable Features: JBIMS is known for its heritage and is among the oldest business schools in India.

Website: JBIMS Official Website

10.SP Jain Institute of Management and Research

SP Jain Institute of Management and Research

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Admissions Criteria: SP Jain Institute accepts XAT and CAT scores for admission to its MBA programs.

Notable Features: It is known for its innovative pedagogy and strong industry connections.

Website: SP Jain Institute Official Website

These are just a few of the top MBA colleges in India that offer admission without relying solely on CAT scores. Each institution has its unique strengths and admission criteria, providing Indian MBA students with alternative pathways to pursue their business education dreams. Explore these options to find the one that aligns with your career aspirations and preferences.


Remember, CAT is not the only path to success. Explore these exceptional business schools with diverse admission criteria to find the one that suits your aspirations best. To learn more about each institution, visit their official websites. Your future in business management is within reach—seize the opportunity and embark on a fulfilling MBA program that aligns with your goals and dreams. Best of luck in your academic pursuits!

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