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There are a number of people who wanted to get admission in reputed B-schools and the gateway to same is clearing management entrances like CAT and SNAP which stand amongst the most desirable and popular national level examinations. Though they are the most popular exam, they are immensely tough too.
There is not much difference in the preparation strategy that is adopted to crack these tests but then, each test has its own DNA and so there are minor differences in the content and strategy of both the exams.
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But out of the two, which one is a tough nut to crack? A comprehensive analysis has been done for you that include all the aspects, ranging from difficulty level to complete exam analysis.
The key difference in the syllabus of both the exams is of General Knowledge. Out of the 150 questions asked in SNAP, 30 are from the section General Awareness. While the other three sections, General English, Analytical & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency have 40 questions each. Read More
On the contrary, CAT does not feature any kind of General Knowledge or General Awareness questions, which make it stand apart from almost all the management entrance exams of the country. CAT comprises of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude. These three sections feature 34, 32 and 34 questions respectively, making a total of 100 questions. Read More
The examination pattern of both the exams is completely different from each other. Where SNAP is more of a speed based exam, you can survive CAT with a lower speed.
CAT gives you 180 minutes to solve 100 questions, which translates 1.8 minutes per question (i.e. 1 minute and 48 seconds). Whilst, SNAP gives 120 minutes to complete 150 questions, which is roughly only 48 seconds per question. Therefore, both the papers differ drastically from each other when it comes to the toughness of examination pattern only.
Historically, CAT is deemed to be tougher than SNAP. The level of questions asked in CAT has always been above over what is asked in SNAP. While this has been a general trend from past so many years, things changed a bit in 2017.
In 2017, CAT witnessed two easy sections, which were Quantitative Aptitude (QA) and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC). The level of questions asked was not very high, as compared to the usual level of CAT. However, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) section was the toughest of all time, which played the role of the balancer. Overall, the paper was of moderate level, but except DILR, both the other sections were easier than expected.
Where SNAP is generally termed as an easier paper than CAT, it featured a very tough paper when compared to previous versions of it. All the 4 sections were much tougher than expected.
But when placed together, it will still be relevant to say that CAT is a little tougher than SNAP, all thanks to the DILR section. But it should also not be forgotten that SNAP did a pretty good job last year to catch up to the difficulty level of CAT.
CAT witnesses an audience of over 2 lakh people every year, which makes it the most sought-after management exam of the country. Wherein for SNAP, the candidate base is much smaller, with around 50,000 people appearing for the exam every year. This is also due to the quality of institutes covered under these exams.
Since CAT is one of the most sought-after MBA-exam in the country, the quality of candidates appearing is also top notch. Candidates prepare for 6 months to a year to crack this exam, and some even repeat twice or thrice to get their desirable college.
On the other hand, preparation for SNAP mostly goes along with CAT. There are many people who appear for both CAT and SNAP, and there are many who appear for CAT only. But the number of people who appear for only SNAP and not CAT is probably much lesser.
Another important aspect of both the exams is the cut-off. For SNAP, the two most desired colleges are SIBM Pune and SCMHRD Pune. Generally, a percentile of 98.5 or more is enough for getting an interview call from SIBM Pune. While for SCMHRD, one can expect interview call at 98 percentile. These cutoffs are for general category only and can vary a little bit from year to year. Click here to know about SNAP Participating Colleges
For CAT, 99 percentile is generally perceived as a golden figure to get interview calls from best of the colleges. However, Since IIMs give considerable weightage to profile of the candidate, the cutoffs vary quite a lot. Some people get interview call from IIM Ahmedabad at 89 percentile also, while others don't get it even at 99.7 percentile. However, as a rough figure, 99.5 percentile is a good score for IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta. The cut off for IIM Lucknow stays around 99 percentile, for IIM Kozhikode at 98.5 percentile and for IIM Indore at 98 percentile. Click here to know about CAT Participating Colleges
In terms of the immensity of syllabus and speed requirements, SNAP is certainly a winner. While in terms of competition, the difficulty level of questions and cut-offs, CAT seems to be one step ahead of SNAP. However, while opting for any of the two exams, students must go through the analysis and frame their choices consciously. Both the exams, if cracked, can lead you to a seat in the country's most sought-after business schools.
On an overall basis, the dominance of CAT as country's toughest entrance exam is hard to overthrow. SNAP is certainly doing considerable efforts to match the level of CAT, but at the moment, it seems quite clear that CAT is a tougher nut to crack.
Hope that helps! All the Best!