The CMAT 2023 Exam Result Delayed: Rise & Fall of CMAT - 55,000 Students, 1000 B-Schools Eagerly Await Results

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May 29, 2023
Even as IIMs are getting ready to inaugurate their academic session 2023-24, most PGDM B-schools are still waiting for the release of Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) 2023 result to complete their admission process. In the past CMAT Results were released in January/February, but this year CMAT exam itself was held on May 4! What explains these delays? explores the rise, and fall of the CMAT exam, which was once the second most popular entrance exam with more than one lakh test takers.
CMAT 2023 Result Delayed

IIMs and many other top B-schools who do not accept CMAT score are ready to inaugurate their new 2023-25 batch in a few days. However, the top PGDM B-schools and Universities like Great Lakes, BIMTECH and IFMR Krea University are still waiting to complete their admission process 2023 as they wait for the release of Common Management Admission Test results which have not been released till May 29. The delay has caused panic among the test takers as application for admission in good B-schools may close even before the release of CMAT result. In the past, CMAT Results were released in January or February, however this year CMAT exam itself was held on May 4, 2023! According to estimates, more than 55,000 candidates took the exam and more than 1,000 B-schools use CMAT exam scores for shortlisting meritorious students.

The wait for students and B-schools is not likely to end soon. CMAT results are unlikely to be released before May 31. Here is why…CMAT 2023 exam was conducted on May 4 and it took 8 days for NTA to release the CMAT answer key which is otherwise released within 3-4 days for other exams like CAT/XAT. Now the CMAT result will be released only after all the objections, raised against CMAT official answer keys, are verified.

Commenting on the delay, Dr Harvansh Chaturvedi, Alternate President, Education Promotion Society of India (EPSI) & Director, BIMTECH said: “Indian B-schools, particularly, standalone PGDM institutions are currently facing immense difficulty due to the inordinate delay in the declaration of CMAT results.”

What explains these delays in CMAT exam, which was once the second most popular exam in India? explores the rise and fall of CMAT exam…

CMAT had a lot going for it…
Today a pale shadow of its former self, CMAT was one of the top MBA entrance exams in India till a few years back. Factors that contributed to its popularity were: 

  1. Only Exam Conducted by Regulatory Body: CMAT was conceptualized by AICTE as a valid entrance test for MBA/PGDM admission in AICTE approved management institutes. Because CMAT was an AICTE Exam, B-schools accepted and promoted it widely, which lead to its popularity.
  2. Largest Number of Accepting B-schools: More than 1000 AICTE approved B-schools accept CMAT score including many top B-schools. By comparison, CAT is accepted by 500+ B-schools only.
  3. Second largest number of exam takers: Till 2018 AICTE used to conduct the exam twice in a year. In CMAT 2016 Feb and September exams 105000 candidates appeared while the number of applicants was 130000. This made CMAT country’s second largest exam, after CAT which had 2.22 lakh test takers out of total 2.55 applicants in CAT 2022. Of late, XAT number has also increased. XAT 2023 witnessed 22% rise in number of test takers. Out of total 98242 registered XAT candidates, about 80,000 appeared in XAT 2023. Besides a few other exams also have registered higher number of test takers.  
  4. Moderate difficulty Exam: This was another important fact. Most of the MBA aspirants found CAT and XAT a difficult exam and opted for CMAT which is a moderately difficult exam.
  5. Accepted by most Non-IIM B-schools: Almost all top B-schools offering AICTE approved program including JBIMS, Great Lakes, SIMSREE, PUMBA, BIMTECH accept CMAT scores.

From AICTE to NTA: Opportunity lost?
So, what led to downfall of CMAT exam? Apathy of government agencies killed the golden goose. Here is a look at what has transpired in last few years.

  • AICTE Conducted CMAT Till 2018: AICTE conducted Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) till 2018 as a prestigious management entrance test. Infact the exam was held twice in a year! More than one lakh candidates used to register and apply for the exam. During that time, CMAT emerged as the second largest MBA entrance exam after CAT with 2nd highest number of applicants.
  • National Testing Agency takes over CMAT in 2019: In 2019, Government of India formed National Testing Agency (NTA) as the autonomous testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for admission/fellowship in higher educational institutions to ease the burden of conducting the exams from the institutes and organizations. All the Medical UG and PG entrance exams; IIT Entrance exam; Central University Entrance Test for UG and PG courses are now held by NTA. Likewise, AICTE handed over the reins of the CMAT to NTA in 2029.
  • CMAT downfall begins: With NTA taking over CMAT in 2019, the downfall of CMAT started as the exam became unpredictable. Both the test takers and PGDM colleges keep on waiting for the release of CMAT notification, announcement of exam date and then wait for the result date.  CMAT now gets about 60% of candidates registering for the exam.

Delay in holding CMAT exam and release of its result is evident from this table below:

CMAT Exam Year
Conducted by
Exam Date
Results Release Date
CMAT 2019
January 28, 2019
February 6, 2019
CMAT 2020
January 28, 2020
February 4, 2020
CMAT 2021
March 31, 2021
April 9, 2021
CMAT 2022
April 9, 2022
April 29, 2022
CMAT 2023
May 4, 2023
Expected by May 31, 2023

Source: Analysis

Final Admission Offer Delayed due to Delay in CMAT Result
While the lists for final admission based on CAT, XAT, MAT, NMAT are ready in almost all the top B-schools, the non-availability of CMAT score is delaying the announcement of merit list. Top B-schools like Great Lakes, BIMTECH, K J Somaiya, IFMR GSB at Krea University and many others who accept CMAT exam score for admission are worried about the delay in session commencement. Some of the top B-schools where admission process is delayed due to CMAT result are:

Top CMAT Accepting B-schools
Exams Accepted
Academic Session Commencement  
K J Somaiya Institute of Management Mumbai
Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai & Gurgaon
Goa Institute of Management
BIMTECH Greater Noida
Prin L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research Mumbai
IFMR Graduate School of Business at KREA University
Jaipuria Institute of Management Noida, Lucknow

Talking about the negative impact of delay in CMAT result, Dr Chaturvedi added: “Delay in CMAT results is delaying new batch commencement at B-schools, which is generally scheduled between June 15 to July 10, as B-schools are not able to finalize their admissions.”  

B-schools seek HRD Ministry’s intervention
B-schools are taking this matter to higher officials at Education Ministry. Dr Chaturvedi confirmed that EPSI is reaching out to Education Minister to seek his intervention. “EPSI, and apex body representing more than 1000 B-schools and Universities, has requested Hon'ble Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan to use his good offices for an early declaration of CMAT results by National Testing Agency (NTA). Further delay will harm the academic session of B-schools,” said Dr Chaturvedi.

The delay in CMAT 2023 result declaration has not only created anxiety among the test takers and is a cause of worry for the PGDM colleges, but has also put a big question mark on the seriously of NTA to conduct a premier management entrance exam and release the result on time.

Only a strong intervention by AICTE, and education bodies like EPSI and AIMS, can save CMAT from dipping into oblivion.

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