There’s less than a week remaining for this year’s Management Aptitude Test (MAT), to be held on February 7 in the offline mode and on February 13 in the online mode. Candidates have to answer 200 questions in 150 minutes to get assessed on their speed and temperament. What comes handy is a good sense of judgement of which questions to attempt first, say experts.
Sharing his advice on what candidates should target, Ramnath Kanakadandi, director, Triumphant Institute of Management Education, Hyderabad, says, “It has been observed in the recent past that on an average, in the entire paper, a total of 80 answers (excluding Indian and global environment) with 80% accuracy or a net score in excess of 60 (out of a maximum possible 160 marks) has been an excellent score.”
Since the paper comprises five sections, the ideal way to solve it would be to divide time smartly. “For example, it should not take more than 10-15 minutes to complete the Indian and global environment section. Students must make it a point to move on from a particular section once its time is up. This self-control is the key to a balanced score across all the sections,” says Gautam Puri, co-founder, CL Educate.
Language comprehension has a mix of 20 questions from verbal ability and 20 questions from reading comprehension. “A good time allocation strategy would be to spend around 25-30 minutes. One must spend around 30-35 minutes on the intelligence and critical reasoning section. While a net score of 12+ (out of 40) is considered excellent in the time limit of 35-40 minutes for mathematics, a score of 14+ is sufficient for data analysis and sufficiency in 35-40 minutes. For the Indian and global environment section, any score above 10 should be good enough provided it is solved in five minutes,” adds Kanakadandi.
Beginning with the section you are most comfortable with is the correct way to get into the groove. “Generally, the language comprehension section of this exam isn’t usually a big challenge. Therefore, ideally, one must begin with the mathematical skills section or data analysis and sufficiency section which might require some time. This should be followed by the intelligence and critical reasoning section,” says Puri.
MAT vs other exams
The two things that set apart MAT from the other entrance exams are the level of difficulty of the paper and the need to score really high. “MAT is the easiest among all the MBA entrance exams which allows the student to actually attempt more questions. This also gives the student a chance to attempt questions from the topics in which he/she is not very comfortable. A candidate’s approach should be to cover at least the level-1 problems of all the topics so that such basic questions can be easily dealt with in the exam. A percentile above 98 would be required to get a call from the B-schools,” adds Puri.