Starting an intensive study programme for Common Admission Test (CAT) will help you with other MBA entrance tests too. Major tests taking place soon are the Common Admission Test (CAT), Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP), Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT), Management Aptitude Test (MAT), Narsee Monjee Aptitude Test (NMAT) by GMAC, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) exam, Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT) and Mudra Institute of Communications Aptitude Test (MICAT). They will be held between November and February.
According to Arun Sharma, management test coach and an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, since all these tests are conducted in clusters, often separated by as little as seven days, it becomes necessary for students preparing for CAT to simultaneously study for these tests.
“What makes your task easier is that since all these tests are like aptitude tests, you do not need to prepare for them independent of each other. Make sure that you focus on your CAT preparation seriously. The portion for CAT preparation that includes the four major areas of quantitative aptitude, data interpretation, logical reasoning, verbal ability and reading comprehension will cover close to 80% of the preparation portion for each of these other tests,” says Sharma.
Extras for XAT
The decision-making section in the XAT is unique and has to be handled carefully. “The questions are a mix of quantitative, data and logical reasoning-based logic. Since this is a complete section in the XAT, you need to carefully prepare for this. The best thing to do is look at the past 10-12 years of questions (will give you about 300 questions overall) from the XAT itself. Though this section is quite unique, in the sense that it doesn’t have any precedence/parallel in any other exam, it does not necessarily mean that it is tough. Questions that have been asked in the past on this have been extremely logical. Your preparation should focus on identifying key thought patterns and processes involved in getting to the answer of the questions asked,” says Sharma.
In the quantitative aptitude part, your focus should be on chapters such as functions, equations, number systems and probability. For data interpretation, focus on tougher calculation-based questions with a lot of data.
Gearing up for IIFT, NMAT, SNAP
General awareness is a key section in these tests. Reading up on six to 12 months of current affairs and also breaking down your general awareness task into sub parts like books and authors, international institutions, people, places, awards, tournaments, historical events and people associated with those etc. would be a good strategy.
“The reasoning section of the other tests will have certain question types like coding-decoding, direction test, family relations, input output, syllogisms, logical deduction etc. that are not covered in your typical CAT preparation process. Hence, you would need to practice all these question types apart from what you would be doing for CAT,” advises Sharma.
The key to crack IIFT is to take a good number mocks, each with a different sectional breakup. MAT and CMAT are considered easier than the rest and taking mock tests will help.