iconimg Saturday, August 29, 2015

Arun Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 18, 2012
The next Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) will be held from February 21 to 25.  There are 25 questions in each of the four sections of CMAT. Each question carries four marks for a correct answer and one mark is deducted for a wrong answer. The sections include: quantitative techniques and data interpretation; logical reasoning; language comprehension and general awareness.

The questions that appear under each of these categories are elementary in nature. Unlike other management entrance tests such as the CAT and XAT where difficult questions are asked to test a student’s capacity to think and build logic in various situations, the CMAT questions are standard and meant to test a candidates basic understanding. While attempting the test, the key approach is to minimise silly errors and try to solve most of the 25 questions in each section. So what should you be preparing for when it comes to each of the sections?

Quantitative techniques and data interpretation: The preparation should be divided under two broad streams — quantitative techniques and data interpretation. To prepare for quantitative techniques, break up your preparation into the following topics: Number systems, progressions, set theory, averages, percentages, applications of percentages — profit and loss, applications of percentages — interests, ratio and proportion , time and work, time speed and distance, geometry, mensuration, functions, inequalities and quadratic equations.

Data interpretation questions test your ability to comprehend the quantitative logic which might be embedded inside a real life data analysis situation. The quantitative logic would typically involve mathematical thinking on the basis of averages, ratio and proportions and percentages. Needless to say, calculation skills would also be crucial while solving this section. Focus on your ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide two-digit numbers as also improve your ability to calculate percentage values and your ability to compare ratios.

Logical reasoning: The question types you would need to prepare for this section include: sequences and series, blood relations, direction tests, ages, statement — assumptions, statement — conclusions, assertions, courses of action, mathematical operations, puzzles based on arrangements, team formations, rankings and quantitative reasoning, coding- decoding etc. Once you master the nuances of each of these question types, it will be easier for you to crack them. 

Language comprehension: This section has a mix of questions from verbal ability and reading comprehension. Question types include: critical reasoning, fill in the blanks, analogies, odd man out, antonyms synonyms, paragraph jumbles, reading comprehension etc. One would not expect the questions to be too tough.

General awareness:  General awareness is perhaps one of the decisive sections of the test. Focus on developing your business knowledge, read the business news over the past four years from across the world. General awareness questions can also come from the areas of science and technology, geography, politics and sports.

The writer is the author of a series of best-selling books on CAT published by Tata McGraw Hill. He is also the CEO of Mindworkzz, which runs live online training courses for the CAT