New Delhi: Amid opposition from some private management bodies, AICTE has decided to conduct the newly introduced online Common Management Admission Test twice a year from 2013 to make it more popular among the students.

The online test will be held for the first time from February 20 to 28 this year for admission to AICTE approved management institutes.

"The aim of holding the test twice a year is to help candidates pick the better of the two CMAT scores for admission instead of having to wait for another one year," AICTE chairman SS Mantha said.

While the first test would be held in February, the second one could be held in the month of August or September, he said.

The All India Council for Technical Education announced holding CMAT last year as part of a move to reduce the multiple entrance exams for admissions to MBA and post- graduate diploma in management (PGDM) programmes at institutes approved by it.

Mantha, however, made it clear the maiden test this year will not be binding on any institute but hoped that by next year everyone would be onboard with this initiative in keeping with the larger interest of students.

"Our aim is to take everyone onboard and eventually we believe people will come onboard. Ultimately, you should see why certain things are done. Our aim is to bring in some common standards, facilitate students and reduce fees...and CMAT score should be used by all AICTE approved institutions. That is our goal," he said.

The IIMs, however, will continue to hold the CAT exams independently.