All about CMAT- the What, Why and How of CMAT

What is CMAT?
Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a national-level entrance test conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA). Till 2018, it was conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) as per the directions of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. CMAT is held in over 100 cities across India. Around 50,000 aspirants take the CMAT exam every year to fulfill their MBA dream.
CMAT scores are accepted by all AICTE- Approved /Affiliated institutes. More than 1000 institutes in India provide admission on the basis of CMAT. The exam is comparatively less difficult than the entrance tests like CAT, XAT, and a few others. Owing to its scope and level, more and more MBA aspirants are opting for CMAT every year.
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When is CMAT conducted?
Generally, CMAT is held in the month of January/ February. Its registration begins in November and closes by the end of the month. During registration, candidates have to choose four test cities of the given options. The CMAT application process has to be completed online, and the admit cards are available on the official website from December/ January.
For more details, you can check out the official website-
What is the structure of CMAT?
CMAT is a computer-based test of three hours. It consists of objective questions spread across five sections, including one optional section. Each section carries equal weightage in the exam. However, there are no individual time limits for different sections. CMAT is essentially a blend of easy and moderate-level questions devised to evaluate the general aptitude of MBA aspirants. The given table shows the complete exam format of CMAT:
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CMAT Exam Pattern 2022
No. of Questions
Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation
Logical Reasoning
Language Comprehension
General Awareness
Innovation & Entrepreneurship (optional)
As seen above, the sectional areas of CMAT are quite similar to those of other MBA tests. However, there are certain differences in terms of marking scheme and exam structure. Listed below are the prominent features of CMAT 2022 Exam pattern:
  • Each question carries 4 marks
  • There is a negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer.
  • There is an additional time limit of 30 minutes for the optional section (Innovation & Entrepreneurship).
  • Candidates can choose to attempt the sections and questions in any order.
Syllabus for CMAT 2022
There is no defined syllabus for CMAT exam. However, we have enlisted the important topics for each section, as per the pattern followed in the previous year papers.
  • Language Comprehension: This section of CMAT corresponds to Verbal Ability of most other MBA entrance tests. It includes Reading Comprehension passages and grammar-based questions. Here, the main topics of grammar are: usage of Articles, Non-finites, Dangling Modifiers, Nouns, Pronouns (Especially relative Pronouns), Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositions –Regular and Followed, Verbs, Syntax, Subject-verb Agreement, Simple, Continuous, Perfect tenses and Conditional-unreal past.
  • Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation:This section involves the fundamental topics of mathematics and data-based questions. The questions in this section are mainly from Ratios, Mixtures, Time and Work, Averages, Profit & Loss, Number system and its properties, Probability and counting principles, geometry and derivatives (i.e. maxima –minima). In case of DI part, questions feature in form of sets based on tables, pie-charts, line graphs etc. Each DI set is accompanied by 3-5 questions each.
  • Logical Reasoning: This section evaluates your reasoning and logical thinking skills. LR section comprises of questions based on Seating Arrangement, Coding-Decoding, Syllogisms, Puzzles, Statement-Conclusion etc.
  • General Awareness: This section consists of questions from static and current GK. Static GK questions are drawn from science, history, geography, polity, economy and environment. On the other hand, current GK questions are based on the latest events of national and international arena.
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship: This optional section was introduced in CMAT with a view to encourage creativity and test the decision-making skills of the candidates. It includes questions from the basics of start-ups, latest mergers & acquisitions, and related governmental initiatives.
Who can appear in CMAT?
Candidates need to fulfil certain basic requirements in order to be eligible for CMAT 2022. So, make sure that you meet the following conditions before applying for the exam:
  • Any Indian citizen with a Bachelor’s Degree can apply for the exam. They must have completed three-year graduation in any discipline.
  • Students appearing for the final year of their Bachelor’s Degree, are also eligible, provided their results are expected before the start of admission for academic session 2022-23.
It is important to note that the exact eligibility criteria may differ as per the specific MBA/PGDM programmes or different B-schools. For more details, you may visit the official websites of the respective B-schools.
Which Institutes accept CMAT scores?
All colleges that are recognized by AICTE at the National and State-level accept the CMAT score. Other than government colleges, there are also prestigious private institutions that accept the CMAT score. The top colleges that accept CMAT score are listed below:
  • JBIMS Mumbai: Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
  • SIMSREE Mumbai: Sydenham Institute of Management Studies And Research And Entrepreneurship Education
  • KJSIMSR, Mumbai: K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research
  • IMT, Ghaziabad: Institute of Management Technology
  • BIMTECH, Noida: Birla Institute of Management Technology
  • Great Lakes Chennai: Great Lakes Institute of Management - GLIM
  • SIMSR Mumbai: K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies And Research
  • IFMR Chennai: Institute For Financial Management & Research
  • GIM Goa: Goa Institute of Management
  • WeSchool, Mumbai: Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research
  • Amity University, Noida
  • NDIM New Delhi: New Delhi Institute of Management
  • JBS Noida: Jaypee Business School
  • IIMS Pune: International Institute of Management Studies
  • XIME, Bangalore: Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship
  • XISS, Ranchi: Xavier Institute of Social Service
  • Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Kolkata
  • VIT Business School, Vellore
  • Institute of Rural Management, Jaipur
  • YMCA University of Science and Technology, Faridabad
  • Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur
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Admission Process of CMAT-accepting Institutes
Post the results, the institutes shortlist the candidates as per the cut-offs set for different programmes. Accordingly, they prepare the merit lists, and the candidates are called for the subsequent admission process. The next selection rounds generally include Group Discussion (GD), Written Ability Test (WAT), and Personal Interview (PI). The final merit list at the B-schools is based on candidates’ profile, CMAT score, and performance in the remaining selection rounds.
Also, some institutes utilise other types of group exercises as a part of their selection process. Besides, variable weightage is allotted to different components of the entire screening procedure.
ROI of Programmes offered by CMAT-accepting Institutes
MBA counts among the most expensive courses across India. So, if you are willing to invest time and resources in pursuing an MBA degree/PGDM, make sure to choose the right institute. ROI of an MBA programme is determined by its scope and reputation of the institute. It is crucial that you examine the past placement records and estimate the future prospects of a particular course, before enrolling into it. For your knowledge, we have listed down the placement statistics of the top CMAT-accepting institutes:
  • For MMS 2019-21 batch of SIMSREE, more than 80 companies visited the campus and the highest CTC stood at Rs. 25 lpa. The recruiters came from a variety of sectors like Consulting, IT, Telecom, Automobile, BFSI, FMCG/FMCD, Infrastructure, Pharma, Retail, etc. Some of the prominent recruiters included Barclays, Capgemini, Crisil, JP Morgan Chase, TCS, etc.
  • For MMS 2019-21 batch of JBIMS, 68 companies participated in the placement season, of which 37% belonged to BFSI & IB, and the remaining were from Technology, E-commerce, Consulting, FMCG, Manufacturing, etc. Of all the offers made, the highest package went upto Rs. 44 lpa, while the mean package was around Rs. 23.16 lpa.
  • At IMT Ghaziabad, hundreds of companies took part in the placement session of PGDM batch 2019-21. Here, the highest offer stood at Rs. 29.32lpa, with BFSI and FMCG sectors dominating the placements. The average placement package bagged by the batch was Rs. 12.42 lpa. Amazon, Accenture, Cognizant, Bain & Company, and Bank of America are some of the top recruiters at IMT.
  • Further, the management batches of 2019-21 at KJSIMSR received offers from a total of 201 companies. The highest salary package went upto Rs. 29.75 lpa while the average package stood at Rs. 9.41 lpa. IT, Banking, and Financial Services emerged as the top sectors in this placement season.
Overall, the top CMAT-accepting institutes are known for maintaining excellent placement records in a wide range of sectors. Besides, these institutes also provide a good scope for summer internships from reputed companies.
Preparation Tips for CMAT 2022
Once you are thorough with the CMAT exam pattern and syllabus, you must prepare a well-planned strategy to ace the exam. While the exam may be moderate in difficulty level, it does test your speed-solving ability and knowledge of the fundamental concepts. Generally, CMAT aspirants dedicate 3-6 months to focused preparation. Here are the top tips to keep in mind while preparing for CMAT 2022:
  • Your preparation should ideally begin with a conceptual understanding of important topics, starting with the toughest ones. This includes the areas of quantitative techniques, DI, reasoning, and verbal ability.
  • Remember that improving skills in any topic is a long-term process. This applies, especially in the case of vocabulary and reading proficiency. So, make it a habit to read newspapers, books, and good magazines on a daily basis. It will not only help you master the Language Comprehension section, but also keep you updated on General Awareness.
  • Apart from RC passages, you will need to prepare for the grammar-related and reasoning questions. For this, you must get well-versed with the standard rules and conventions of the English language.
  • For DI and Reasoning part, there are no fixed methods to solve the associated questions. Hence, you will need to practice a variety of question types to gain expertise in the section. In this regard, previous year papers prove highly beneficial as they also let you know about the frequently asked questions.
  • Similarly, you can get a good hold over mathematical formulae and tricks only when you put them into practice. So, it is always better to take chapter/topic-wise tests after studying each new concept.
  • Further, sample papers and mock tests serve as an excellent source of evaluating your progress and preparation level. Once you are confident of your knowledge, you must develop a smart strategy to complete full-length CMAT mocks in the given time restraint. After each test, you must analyse and identify your weak and strong areas. Accordingly, you can modify your exam strategy as well as preparation plan.
  • Also, it is important to spend adequate time in each section while taking the test, since there are no sectional time limits in CMAT. Most B-schools consider your sectional performance during the admission process.
  • Lastly, it is a great idea to have short and handy notes for last-minute revision of formulas and shortcut techniques.
FAQs Regarding CMAT
  1. What is the validity of CMAT score?
  2. CMAT score is valid only for one year.
  3. What is a good score in CMAT?
  4. The top B-schools set the CMAT cut-off between 95-99 percentile.This corresponds to 250-300 marks. So, you must target a score of 300 and above, in order to get into a good institute. Further, an attempt of 70+ questions with high accuracy will help you get the desired score.
  5. Are sectional cut-off scores considered in CMAT?
  6. Generally, there are no sectional cut-offs for CMAT. However, some of the participating institutes may have a criterion for sectional cut-off scores. For more details on admission criteria, you may checkout the official websites of the desired institutes/programmes.
  7. How many times can I take CMAT?
  8. There is no limit on the number of attempts for CMAT.
  9. Are there any age restrictions for CMAT?
  10. There are no age limits for appearing in CMAT.
  11. What is the fee for CMAT application?
  12. The application fee for CMAT is Rs. 2000 for male candidates and Rs. 1000 for female candidates.
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