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India's MBA Candidates Have an Entrance-Exam Problem

Indian students crowd outside a Common Admission Test (CAT) examination center in Bangalore
Indian students crowd outside a Common Admission Test (CAT) examination center in BangalorePhotograph by Aijaz Rahi/AP Photo

Prospective MBAs in the U.S. may be sweating the GMAT, but at least it’s the standard for virtually all the management programs in the country. Applicants to business schools in India face a much more complicated slog, with roughly a dozen possible entrance exams depending on where they want to apply.

Recently, the Deccan Herald reported on a shift among graduate management programs in the Indian state of Karnataka. Schools there will begin to adopt the Post Graduate Common Entrance Test, or PGCET, as the main business school admissions examination. That follows a yearlong dalliance with the Common Management Admission Test, or CMAT. The body that makes these decisions for the state is the Karnataka Private Post Graduate Colleges’ Association (KPPGCA), a consortium of 169 schools. Got your abbreviations straight so far?