MAT on May 1, here is how to approach the examination

  • Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2016 18:51 IST
The MAT exam consists of 200 questions for which the candidate has 150 minutes. (Shutterstock)

Administered by the All-India Management Association since 1988 to help about 600 B-schools screen candidates for admission to MBA and allied programmes, the Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is one of the major entrance tests for students.

As the test will be held on May 1 in the offline mode, it is important to remember the few things that sets apart MAT from the other entrance exams. It is the level of difficulty, your speed while attempting the paper and the need to score a really high percentile. The online test will be conducted on May 7, 2016.

Gautam Puri, co-founder, Career Launcher, says, “It is one of the easiest tests among all MBA entrance exams. This makes it really important for you to attempt a number of questions in order to get a good percentile. This brings me to the point that how an exam like MAT is a test of the candidate’s speed of picking the right questions and solving them. You need a very high percentile in MAT for you to be able to make it to the top B-schools since not many elite colleges accept the MAT score.”

The MAT exam consists of 200 questions for which the candidate has 150 minutes. The paper has five sections — language comprehension, data analysis and sufficiency, mathematical skills, intelligence and critical reasoning, Indian and global environment with 40 questions in each.

Read more: MAT 2016 will be a test of speed and judgement

Rajesh Saraf, deputy general manager, Triumphant Institute of Management Education, says, “You will have to allocate time in a manner so as to attempt easy questions first. There is no time limit for any of the individual sections. For data analysis and sufficiency, a good time allocation strategy is to spend around 35 to 40 minutes on the section. In data interpretation, at least 10 questions can be identified which test your basic observation skills and are relatively easier.”

A net score of 17+ (out of a maximum possible 40 marks) is considered to be excellent in the time limit of 35 to 40 minutes in the mathematics section.

The language comprehension section has a mix of 20 questions from verbal ability and 20 questions from reading comprehension. Do not spend more than 30 minutes on this section. A net score of 15 or above will be good, says Saraf.

Intelligence and critical reasoning is a mix of analytical and critical reasoning and any score above 21 will give you a good result. Just like any other entrance test, proper time management is important in MAT too. “Beginning with the section in which you are most comfortable with is the correct way to get going. Generally, the language comprehension section isn’t a big challenge. You could start off with it and wind it up as early as possible. You can then move on to the mathematical skills section or data analysis and sufficiency which will require some time. This should be followed by the intelligence and critical reasoning section,” says Puri.

Generally, a percentile above 98 will be required to get a call from one of the 600 B-schools.

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