How to prepare for the Intelligence and Critical Reasoning Section of MAT

Expert tactics and pointers to score well in this critical section of MAT


The MAT exam has five sections of 40 questions with one mark per question. In this article, we will analyze the intelligence and critical reasoning section of the MAT exam and formulate a strategy for scoring well in this important section. In this section, the majority of the questions appear from areas like analytical reasoning, alphanumeric series, blood relations, direction based questions, verbal reasoning etc. Besides these, there have been questions based on cubes, coding-decoding, membership and representation on the basis of diagrams. You are advised to revise the concept of all these areas in a careful manner. Let us have a look at one of the questions, which appeared in one of the previous MAT exams:

Q. "Showing a photograph to a friend, Mahesh says, "She is the grand-daughter of the elder brother of my father". How is this girl related to Mahesh?

1. Niece

2. Sister

3. Aunt

4. Sister-in-law

In order to answer this question, the basic knowledge of blood relation questions is sufficient. The analytical reasoning questions, which usually appear in a set of 2 - 4 questions, have been an integral part of this section.

Let us have a look at one of the sets, which appeared in one of the earlier MAT exams:

Q. "Five Indian cities namely 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E' are famous for their lovely gardens, fancy jewellery, educational institutes, blue pottery and scents, but not in the same order. Each city is famous for one of the five important features mentioned above.

'A' and 'C' are not famous for either educational institutes or gardens.
'B' and 'E' are neither famous for jewellery nor scents.
Scents and jewellery have nothing to do with 'A'
'D' and 'E' are not famous for gardens and jewellery.
'D' is not famous for educational institutes.

This set involves the basic understanding of the concepts of analytical reasoning. You have to make a table for city and the features for which the city is popular. This set was having three questions to be answered. As this area covers around 25% questions from the section, this is something you must be proficient in. Though sometimes some set may appear a bit hard to crack, which on careful analysis you can skip and move on to the next question.

The level of difficulty of intelligence and critical reasoning section varies from easy to moderate. The questions based on alphanumeric series have also been of quite an easy level. An alphanumeric question from one of the previous papers is:

Q."5G7, 7H10, 10I14, 14J19, ?" In this case you have to find the next term. This is again a simple question to answer.

The questions asked in this section involve only the basics and those who have done sufficient practice will find these questions to be quite manageable. While all areas of reasoning need to be covered, a careful study of the previous papers reveals that some topics are more important than the others. Thus, it is recommended that you cover the entire syllabus with special focus on the areas mentioned above.

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