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‘Attempt what you are best at’

Vinay Gupta, who scored 800/800 in MAT this year, asks students to keep their basics strong and stick to a timetable.

education Updated: Aug 27, 2013 14:37 IST
Gauri Kohli

Consistency was the key during my preparation for MAT earlier this year. MAT comprises mainly of English, quant, data crunching and critical reasoning. After I finished my study material, I made it a point to do three logical reasoning sets, three data interpretation sets, and three reading comprehension sets.

I also practised quantitative analysis questions for two hours daily, besides reading newspapers for two hours. I also started reading books such as India After Gandhi, Day To Day Economics, Freakonomics etc. Being an engineer by profession, it was difficult for me to find time, but I had to do it.

While preparing for MAT, I valued time more than anything. I never intentionally wasted even one second.

Practice and calm is the mantra for aptitude exams. While attempting the paper, I ensured I was very relaxed. I started a light conversation with the person next to me. It helped me soothe my nerves. I did the quant section first as it is my strongest. After attempting all its questions, I started with the English section, followed by the rest. I tried to attempt as many questions as possible with 100% accuracy.

My suggestion to those appearing for MAT in September 2013 is that if you have worked your heart out, no one can stop you from scoring above 750. Make a timetable and stick to it. For quant, don’t try to do difficult questions. Questions in MAT are straightforward, so just have your basics strong. For English, try and improve your reading speed. Data crunching needs practice.

Start with easy sets and then raise your level. While attempting the test, start with your strong section and keep one eye on speed and the other on accuracy.

MAT is a great platform for anyone to get an MBA seat at a respected institute. It provides a fair chance to all test-takers, and the exam pattern is well distributed. Since the score is valid for one year, I am in the pursuit of finding the best bet for me.

Of time management and reading habits

It’s all a matter of self-control and a strong will. If you know you have no time to waste you will automatically remain focused on your prep plans for MAT.

Set goals for yourself. If you have mock tests to solve, tell yourself you will solve two tests a day. Like Vinay Gupta, resolve to do three data interpretaton tests, three logical reasoning tests and three reading comprehension tests.

Read, read, read
India After Gandhi by historian Ramachandra Guha takes an emotional look at events which rocked the world’s largest democracy, and about the unity that binds its people together. A well-researched book, it is a must read for those wanting to know more about India

Pop culture and Economics
Freakonomics by economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen J Dubner teaches you about economics. Through drug dealers and real estate players you get to know all about incentives — how people get what they want, especially when other people want the same thing.