NTA Delays CMAT 2023 Exam Date Announcement; MBA aspirants, B-schools clueless

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MBAUniverse.com News Desk |
March 17, 2023
Mid-March 2023 is gone and the NTA is yet to announce the CMAT 2023 exam date. While the candidates are worried about their future with no clue on exam date, all the AICTE approved top PGDM B-schools accepting CMAT score for admission like GIM, Great Lakes, BIMTECH are worried about the delay in commencement of academic session 2023-24. Unlike CAT, XAT whose dates are announced 4-5 months before the exam, NTA has made CMAT an unpredictable exam and seems to be destroying its credibility
NTA delays CMAT 2023 Exam Date Announcement

A few years back, when AICTE used to conduct CMAT twice a year, its dates were fixed as the exam was held in February and September every year. But after the reins of CMAT were handed over to the National Testing Agency (NTA), the CMAT has become an unpredictable exam. Even after the Mid-March already over, NTA has not yet  announced CMAT 2023 exam date and is still struggling with the application error correction window which has closed on March 16. However, no CMAT 2023 exam date or admit card release date has so far been announced, due to which CMAT aspirants who wish to apply and explore MBA/PGDM admission 2023 in AICTE approved B-schools are unable to figure out their admission chances.

On the other hand, top B-schools like BIMTECH, IMT, Great Lakes, K J Somaiya, IFMR GSB at Krea University and many others who accept CMAT exam score for admission are clueless about the CMAT exam date and are forced to keep their admission process open on account of delay in conduct of CMAT 2023 exam. Besides, these B-schools have to follow AICTE guidelines for admissions and session commencement but are unable to decide when to conduct PI round based on CMAT score and how much delay will be caused in their academic session commencement for 2023-25 batch.

NTA Not Following Best Practices like CAT/XAT
The dates for IIM CAT exam, XLRI-XAT and other exams are announced along with the release of their notification many months before the exam. NTA, however, remains shy of announcing the CMAT exam date in its notification nor has announced it so far, even after its registration process is closed. During the last few years, CMAT exam has consistently been delayed. Surprisingly, no other national level MBA entrance exam, except CMAT changes its exam date even if the registration is extended for them. Let’s review CMAT exam date announcement Vs other exams:

MBA entrance Exam
Notification Release
July last week (July 30/31) every year
August 2nd/3rd Week every year
Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb (Unpredictable)
Exam Date Announcement
July last week/August first week
August 2nd week/3rd week
Just a few days before the exam date
Change in Exam Date
No Change, Fixed as Last Sunday of November
No Change, Fixed as the first Sunday of January
Changed every year without any prior announcement
Latest Exam Dates for Admission 2023
November 27, 2022
January 8, 2023
Not Yet Announced
Last Year Admission 2022 Exam Date
November 28, 2021
January 9, 2022
April 9, 2022
Trends in Registrations
Consistently going up. 2.55 lakhs registered for CAT 2022
Consistently going up. 98+ thousands applied for XAT 2023
Gone down during last three years from 1+ lakh to 50-60 thousand

Panic due to Bizarre Changes by NTA
NTA also makes bizarre changes in the CMAT exam dates every now and then, with anomaly of information between NTA CMAT official website and in the notification released by it. While the NTA notification dated February 12, 2021 suggested CMAT exam date revised by NTA as March/April 2021, the NTA CMAT official website displayed CMAT 2021 exam dates as May 8, 2021.

All this puts CMAT aspirants and CMAT score accepting top PGDM institutes who plan to commence session in June/July in a dilemma as the inordinate delay will cause adverse impact on various admission activities, will delay new academic session commencement and the students may find it difficult to find admission opportunity with their CMAT score in one of the top B-schools as the admission process will be closed by then.

NTA has been conducting CMAT for last four years and with its delayed and confusing activities like not releasing the admit card on pre announced CMAT exam date, making frequent changes in CMAT exam schedule, it is not only maligning its image as a test taking agency created by Government of India to conduct top level competitive entrance exams but also is denting the reputation of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It may be noted that National Testing Agency (NTA) conducts CMAT on behalf of AICTE for admission to AICTE approved PGDM programmes in 1000 B-schools in India.

Information Gap by NTA Creates Confusion
CMAT 2023 aspirants as well as the AICTE approved B-schools accepting CMAT score for PGDM admission 2023 are wondering why NTA is delaying the CMAT exam date announcement. An interesting feature of NTA CMAT notifications is that they are released as Public Notice with date but do not bear any official reference number which is most important for any notification release and can be tracked later on. NTA is downplaying its responsibility as a test taking agency.

Negative Impact on CMAT 2023 Aspirants
Candidates who have applied to appear in CMAT 2023 are in a dilemma now and are worried on following counts:

  • When will CMAT 2023 actually happen?
  • Since most top PGDM colleges accepting CMAT score like IMT, GIM, Great Lakes, SDMIMD, Welingkar among hundreds of others will close their admission process by the time CMAT exam is held and result is declared, how the candidates would apply for admission.
  • If the candidates miss the opportunity, they will lose one precious year and next year many questions would come up about their loss of one year in getting admission.
  • Even if a candidate gets provisional admission and in case his/her CMAT score is not submitted on time, how would he/she continue with the studies?

Top PGDM Colleges Fear Delay in Admission Process/Session Commencement
Most of the top PGDM colleges accepting CMAT score close their admission process in February/March to get time for final selection process and final merit list announcement so that the academic session commences in June/July. With no CMAT 2023 visible shortly and CMAT result date not available, how these institutes like IMT Nagpur, Hyderabad, GIM Goa, Great Lakes Chennai, BIMTECH Greater Noida, SDMIMD Mysore, Welingkar Mumbai among other top MBA colleges accepting CMAT score will accommodate the candidates as they have announced to commence their academic session in June/July 2023.

Time for AICTE to Intervene
CMAT was known as AICTE CMAT till 2018 as it was AICTE which conducted this credible Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) twice in a year – September and February. In 2019 NTA was assigned the task of conducting CMAT and probably with the responsibility assigned to conduct multiple entrance exams, NTA got puzzled and has not been able to cope with the strenuous task. This might be the reason of not giving due priority to CMAT exam.

The solution to this problem is not difficult if AICTE steps in and keeps a close watch on the system and procedure followed by NTA and publishing the information about the CMAT exam which carries many years of AICTE legacy.

CMAT used to be the second largest MBA entrance test after CAT a few years ago. To keep it at the same high level, both AICTE and NTA need to work together and need to follow a transparent approach. If CAT 2022 and XAT 2023 could be conducted hassle free on pre announced date, CMAT 2023 can also be conducted in time to save the candidates as well as the B-schools from any admission related or delayed session commencement.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on CMAT 2023