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MBA Eligibility: Admission Criteria, Minimum Qualification and Percentage, Age Limit, Entrance Exams 2024

Updated: Feb 28

Getting into a top MBA program is tough. Before you apply, be sure you meet all the MBA eligibility criteria. This will save you time and ensure a smooth application process. The mba eligibility criteria help school admission groups choose students ready for rigorous academics.


Things like schooling, job experience, test results and more decide if you can get in. Look at the MBA eligibility criteria closely for every college you like. Common rules involve getting a bachelor's degree, passing entrance tests and clearing the cut-off marks required for applying, etc.


Don't waste time applying if you don't meet the mba course eligibility. Use it as motivation to gain the necessary qualifications first. With strategic planning, you can position yourself to satisfy all eligibility factors in time for the application deadlines. This will set you up for success in the admissions process.


MBA Eligibility: Admission Criteria

MBA Eligibility: Admission Criteria

How to take admission in an MBA program? To join a top B-school, you must meet the MBA eligibility requirements given by the colleges.


The first requirement is getting a degree. Engineering, science, commerce, arts students all qualify. The minimum marks needed in this degree differ by college and category.


Minimum Qualification and Percentage

The minimum qualification for MBA admission is a bachelor's degree in any discipline. For general category students, most colleges want a minimum aggregate of 50% from the bachelor’s program.


Reserved category students usually need 45% minimum. But aiming for high percentages, above 80% in graduation and 12th standard, gives a big boost for getting into the top MBA colleges.


The aggregate percentage is calculated by taking the average of percentages obtained across all subjects in the degree. Some colleges may give more weightage to marks in the major subjects.


Beyond academics, MBA aspirants have to take entrance exams like CAT, XAT or GMAT. Performance in these tests plays a huge role. Many colleges also conduct group discussions and personal interviews to judge skills beyond exam scores. Soft skills like communication, leadership and teamwork matter too.


Some consider extracurricular activities and achievements also. The exact MBA eligibility criteria can vary across colleges. Always thoroughly check the eligibility factors on the official college website before applying.


Age Limit

There is no defined upper age limit MBA requirements in India. Candidates of any age can apply. However, some entrance exams enforce age restrictions. For example, ATMA requires candidates to be at least 21 years old.


Though there is no maximum age limit, studies show the optimal age for doing a regular MBA is 25-27 years and for Executive MBA is 28-30 years.


 Applicants should thoroughly check MBA eligibility criteria for all programs of interest. The criteria can vary across colleges and exams. Refer to official websites for precise age requirement details before applying.


Entrance Exams 2024


Conducting Body


Exam Month




CAT 2024

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs)

Admission to postgraduate management programs in IIMs and other B-schools in India



Three hours

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude

GMAT 2024

Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Admission to over 7000 programs by 2400 universities worldwide

Throughout the year


Not specified

Analytical Writing Assessment, Integrated Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning

XAT 2024

XLRI on behalf of XAMI

Admission to postgraduate management programs in XLRI and other B-schools in India



Three and a half hours

Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation, General Knowledge


Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)

Admission to MBA from NMIMS Mumbai or other top B-schools in India

Not specified


Two hours

Language, Logic, and Quantitative aptitude

SNAP 2023

Symbiosis International University

Admission to 16 institutes under Symbiosis International University



Two hours

General English, Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency, Analytical & Logical Reasoning

MAT 2024

All India Management Association (AIMA)

Admission to MBA and PGDM programs in various B-schools across India

February, May, September, and December


Two and a half hours

Language Comprehension, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, Indian and Global Environment

CMAT 2024

National Testing Agency (NTA)

Admission to MBA and PGDM programs in AICTE approved management institutes

April or May


Three hours

Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, General Awareness, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

IIFT 2024

National Testing Agency (NTA) on behalf of IIFT

Admission to MBA (International Business) and MBA (Business Analytics) programs at IIFT



Two hours

Quantitative Analysis, Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, General Awareness

Passing the MBA test is the first thing you need to do if you want to get into a good business school in India or elsewhere. These tests measure the skills and abilities needed for learning about management.


Every test has its own style, how hard it is, what parts of the subject it covers, and how you get chosen. CAT is thought of as one of the hardest tests because it pays attention to math skills, understanding numbers, and logical thinking. Other tests such as MAT and CMAT are more simple in comparison.


Registration begins several months before the test date on the official website. Knowing the course materials, paper pattern and study methods is very important.


Accelerated MBA Programs in India for Professionals

There are a number of top Indian business schools that offer one-year MBA degrees. Known as 'accelerated MBA programs', these degrees pack the full curriculum into 12 months, providing a more time-efficient option compared to traditional two-year MBAs.


To make the compressed timeline manageable, these fast-track programs do require applicants to have significant prior work experience - usually 3 to 5 years post-graduation. 


Additionally, candidates need to meet the rigorous test score, and academic, and application requirements set by each individual institution. 


Competition for admission tends to be stiff due to cohort sizes being smaller than regular MBA intakes.


Overview of Leading Fast-Track MBA Programs

Some of the most prestigious one-year professional MBAs in India are offered by schools such as:

  1. ISB - The Post Graduate Program requires a minimum of 24 months of work experience along with GMAT or GRE scores submitted across 3 application rounds. Applicants complete online forms, essays, recommendation letters, CVs, and interviews.

  2. IIM Ahmedabad - The PGPX demands at least 4 years of post-graduation experience and GMAT/GRE scores. Admissions is 3 rounds involving essays, resumes, writing samples, scores, and interviews.

  3. IIM Bangalore - The EPGP needs 5 years of work experience after college. Applicants submit GMAT/GRE scores over 3 rounds containing the regular array of forms, tests, essays, recommendations, statements, and interviews.

  4. IIM Calcutta - MBAEX program looks for 5 years of professional experience and GMAT results only. The process covers scores, essays, recommendations, and final interviews across 3 phases.

  5. IIM Lucknow - IPMX candidates require 5 years minimum experience and GMAT/GRE scores via 2 rounds encompassing scores, application form, essays, recommendations, writing exam, and interview stages.

Alternate MBA Options

Aside from the standard one-year executive MBA pathway, there are also some alternative accelerated options through certain institutions:

  1. Young Leaders Programme with ISB - An early entrance model where candidates with less than 24 months of experience apply first but defer actually starting the course for 2 years while they gain work exposure.

  2. Early Entry Option with IIMs - Applicants who only have their bachelor's degrees and no experience can provisionally apply to lock in a future MBA seat at selected IIMs, contingent on fulfilling work requirements.


Even though each one-year degree has specific criteria, there are some typical must-haves for those hoping to qualify for India's top tier fast track MBAs:


  • A recognized undergraduate degree with good academic performance

  • Meet the minimum years of managerial/leadership work experience required post-graduation

  • Submit valid GMAT or GRE test results

  • Complete detailed application forms and rigorous selection processes


The prestigious IIMs and ISB offer world-class accelerated management programs for mid-career professionals seeking to maximize their education without putting careers on hold.


These intensive one-year MBA degrees deliver a concentrated boost to leadership abilities for those ready to handle a heavy workload. 


Want help getting into a top business school? Looking for ISB application consultants? Our expert MBA admission consultants can guide you to success. With over 12 years of experience, we take a personalized approach to each applicant. More than just feedback, we give hands-on advice to increase your chances of being selected. With a 92% ISB admit rate, we have the proven strategies to help you get accepted too.


Our consultants go beyond academics to position you based on your unique aspirations and capabilities. If your dream is admission to a top MBA program in India or abroad, trust the experts at GOALisB. Whether you want to do a one year MBA in India or an executive MBA from IIM, we can help you! Schedule a consultation to get started and see how their personalized guidance can lead you to success.


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