The official season for competitive exams has kickstarted with CAT and IIFT already ticked off the list. We are now looking towards SNAP 2018 which will be held on December 16, 2018. Let us now attempt to understand the SNAP 2018 Exam and other similar competitive exams.

MBA aspirants in our nation have numerous opportunities when it comes to seeking admission to Post-graduate courses in Management. The reason is the wide range of MBA entrance exams held in India. We have CAT, XAT, IBSAT, AFCAT, and NMAT among the popular MBA entrance exams.

Nearly all of them have the same Syllabus and Exam Pattern. This makes it easy for those MBA aspirants who have been preparing for CAT the entire year, so they can write other exams as well.

But there’s a question that the MBA aspirants have in mind. Which of these is the best entrance exam? They always want to know about the differences and similarities of the competitive exams.

As SNAP 2018 is due on 16th December 2018, aspirants have been wondering about the utility of SNAP versus CAT, SNAP versus XAT, SNAP versus NMAT, etc.


Before moving on to a Comparative Analysis between SNAP 2018 and other MBA Entrance Exams, let us have a close look at a snapshot window of SNAP 2018. To study GK and refer to Mock Tests, refer to Career Anna’s GK and Mock Course.

Name of the Exam SNAP 2018
Conducting Body Symbiosis International University
Syllabus of SNAP 2018 General English

Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency

General Awareness: General Knowledge, Current Affairs, Business Scenario

Analytical & Logical Reasoning

Number of Questions in SNAP 2018 130
Test Duration for SNAP 2018 120 minutes (2 hours)
Negative Marking in SNAP 2018 25% to be deducted for each wrong answer
Number of attempts in SNAP 2018 1 attempt 

SNAP 2018 versus CAT

CAT undoubtedly happens to be the most popular MBA entrance exam in India. Aspirants prepare for CAT for several years until they get a good percentile. Nearly 2 lakh students appear for CAT every year. CAT 2018 saw 2.42 lakh registrations this year, with 10,000 candidates reappearing this year. While comparing SNAP with CAT, the following key differences are found:

1. The SNAP 2018 Exam will be conducted by the Symbiosis International University. SNAP Score makes a candidate eligible for admission to 15 Symbiosis colleges located across India, while CAT is conducted by the IIMs. CAT 2018 was conducted by IIM Calcutta. CAT Score is accepted by all IIMs and other institutes too.

2. SNAP has lower difficulty in terms of questions when compared to CAT. The only difficult section in SNAP paper is the General Knowledge section, which is mandatory to attempt.

3. CAT has a comparatively higher cut-off and judgment criteria for GD-PI round and admissions, as compared to SNAP. The reason is that CAT is a cumulative test and looks into your performance in each section whereas SNAP is a speed test and looks into your overall performance.

4. CAT has only 100 questions from this year and SNAP 2018 has revised its question count to 130. CAT gives you 180 minutes to answer the questions while SNAP 2018 gives you 120 minutes. CAT has a sectional time limit of 60 minutes while the sectional limit is absent in SNAP Exam.

5. If we talk about the syllabus of CAT versus SNAP, the topics asked in the analytical training section are different in both the exams.

SNAP 2018 versus NMAT by GMAC

NMAT by GMAC is an exam to get admissions to NMIMS Mumbai and other 20 MBA institutes that accept the NMAT Score. While SNAP, as you already know, is to secure admission to colleges of SIU. The key differences between SNAP and NMAT are:

1. SNAP has a mandatory General Knowledge section while NMAT doesn’t. This increases the difficulty level of SNAP 2018, but overall is not as difficult as NMAT.

2. SNAP 2018 is a single session exam conducted in a single day test window. However, NMAT by GMAC has a 75-day testing window with an option to choose the exam date.

3. SNAP 2018 exam has 130 questions in all as per SNAP pattern revision this year while NMAT has 120 questions only. SNAP has both Normal (MCQ) and special questions (non-MCQ). NMAT has only MCQ-type questions.

4. SNAP 2018 has a negative marking of 0.25 for every incorrect answer in Normal questions (MCQ) while NMAT has no negative marking. SNAP has no sectional time limit while NMAT by GMAC has a sectional limit of 22 minutes to 60 minutes.

5. SNAP 2018 has its questions spread over 4 sections while NMAT has 3 sections. NMAT by GMAC sections are Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Skills and Language Skills.

SNAP 2018 versus XAT

XAT stands for Xavier Aptitude Test. It is an entrance test conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur for gaining admission into the MBA programme offered by XLRI and other participating Institutes.

SNAP 2018 is conducted by SIU for admission to its 15 affiliated colleges, whereas XAT 2019 is being conducted by XLRI Jamshedpur for its 150+ colleges.

Nearly 90,000 candidates participate for the XAT 2019 exam every year. XAT is considered the toughest of all MBA exams and comparing SNAP 2018 with XAT 2019 we have the following points:

1. The XAT Exam Pattern keeps changing. XAT 2019 Exam Paper Pattern has scrapped its Essay-writing section and reduced the time limit of the paper from 210 minutes to 180 minutes. While in SNAP 2018, you have Essay-type non-MCQ questions introduced under the special category.

2. SNAP 2018 Exam Question Paper has 4 sections – English, Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability and General Knowledge. XAT also has 4 sections, which look quite similar but have real good level of questions. The 4 sections of XAT 2019 are – Decision Making, Verbal and Logical Ability, Data Interpretation, Quantitative Aptitude and General Knowledge.

3. Each question in XAT exam carries 1 mark. In SNAP 2018, normal questions carry 1 mark while special questions carry 2 marks. Both exams have a negative marking of 0.25, however special questions of SNAP have no negative marking. Adding more to the difficulty of XAT, if the number of unattempted questions is more then 8, 0.05 marks are deducted per unattempted question.

4. The number of questions to be asked in SNAP 2018 Exam are 130. SNAP 2019 Exam will be of 2 hours duration. In case of XAT 2019, the total number of questions are 98-100 and the time limit is reduced from 3.5 hours to 3 hours.


As you already know, SNAP 2018 is organized by Symbiosis International University. IBSAT is another popular MBA entrance exam, which is organized by ICFAI foundation for its 9 IBS campuses in India. The duration for both SNAP and IBSAT is 2 hours. Nearly 25,000 aspirants appear for the IBSAT exam every year.

This year SNAP would be held on December 16, 2018 and IBSAT would be held on 22-23 December 2018. The key points of difference between SNAP and IBSAT are:

1. SNAP 2018 Exam Paper Pattern will consist of 130 questions, distributed over 4 sections including General Knowledge. IBSAT 2019 Exam Paper pattern comprises of 4 sections, which drops Reasoning – Verbal Ability, Data Adequacy and Data Interpretation, Reading Comprehension and Quantitive techniques. IBSAT is comparatively easier than SNAP as it doesn’t have the Current Affairs section.

2. SNAP 2018 Exam has a negative marking of 0.25 for each incorrect answer of MCQs but IBSAT Exam doesn’t have any negative marking. IBSAT has 140 questions in all while SNAP 2019 will have 130 questions. Each question in IBSAT carries one mark and overall, the paper has maximum 140 marks.

3. SNAP 2018 will be conducted in a single day test window across all its centres while IBSAT is conducted in the two-day test window.

SNAP, XAT, CAT, IBSAT, and NMAT are equally important and worthy exams. Rest, your choice of giving an MBA exam depends on your choice of the institute.