This section of MAT has 40 questions of 1 mark each with a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each incorrect response. There are usually 7-8 blocks and each block comprises of 4-8 questions. You are advised to spend around 35 minutes in this section. Major topics from which the questions are asked in this section are: Bar graphs, tables, line graphs, combination graph, pie chart, caselets, data sufficiency, data comparison, etc.
Broadly, we can divide questions in this section in the following four categories:
There are around 4-5 graphs having 4- 5 questions each. Questions are based on different types of graphs like: Bar graph, Pie chart, Line graph, Tables and Combination graph. Combination graph involve combinations of 2 or more types of graphs like: Line + Bar, Pie + Bar, Table + pie, etc. The questions based on graphs are usually very easy.
When solving the questions on graph, you need to focus on the basics of DI like relating given data to real life scenario for easy understanding, using the options, scanning and skipping for proper selection, understanding the nature of data give (Absolute or Relative) and so on. Time management is of the essence in this section. For this, you should know where to stop and skip to the next set of data questions, in case you are getting stuck on a particular set.
After analyzing a few previous MAT papers, we can say that there are around 5-10 data sufficiency questions in MAT paper. The difficulty level of the questions is easy. To give you an idea, here is a data sufficiency question from one of the actual MAT papers;
Q. Monu makes four deposits in his bank account. What was his total deposit?
I. The largest deposit was Rs.2500 and smaller was Rs.270.
II. The average deposit was Rs.1250.
As you can see that level of difficulty of DS question in MAT is easy and further, it is less time consuming. In order to maximize your score in this section you are advised to attempt the DS questions first.
There are around 5-8 data comparison questions in MAT paper. Similar to Data Sufficiency questions, the difficulty level of data comparison questions is also very easy. Hence, it is advisable to attempt the Data Comparison questions before going to the proper data interpretation questions.
Usually, there is one caselet based on which there are around 4-5 questions. As seen in a few MAT papers, the caselet questions are the most time-consuming. Strategically, they should be attempted at last if time permits.
Last but not the least, one important point you should keep in mind is that the above mentioned tips and strategies cannot be mastered without sufficient practice. So it is advised that you practice some mock papers of MAT before the actual paper.