All about CMAT- the what, why and how of CMAT

Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a national level entrance test conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA). Till 2018, it was conducted by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) as per the directions of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. It is a computer based test consisting of objective type questions. The CMAT exam score is accepted by all AICTE- Approved University / Departments/ Affiliated Colleges. Around 50-60,000 aspirants take the CMAT exam every year to fulfill their MBA dream.
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What is the structure and syllabus of CMAT?
CMAT is a computer based test divided into 4 sections. The exam duration is 3 hours. The four sections in the test are:
  • Language Comprehension
  • Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation 
  • Logical Reasoning
  • General Awareness
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
There are a total 100 questions with 25 questions in each section. Each question carries 4 marks and there is a negative marking of 1 mark for each wrong answer. Now a new section has been introduced Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which is optional. Candidates opting for the same will appear for this section. The section includes 25 questions, which are to be completed in 30 minutes. There is no defined syllabus for CMAT exam. Some of the important topics that you can cover are:
  • Language Comprehension
The Language Comprehension section of CMAT corresponds to Verbal Ability section of CAT. So the syllabus is somewhat similar to CAT. The main topics from which you’ll see questions in the exam 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 
The syllabus for this section is similar to the Quant section of CAT. The questions asked in this section are mainly from Ratios, Mixtures, Time and Work, Averages, Profit & Loss, Number system and its properties, Probability and counting principles with one or two odd questions in geometry and derivatives (i.e. maxima –minima).
For the DI part you need to prepare questions based on tables, pie-charts, line graphs etc.
  • Logical Reasoning
Logical reasoning section comprises of questions based on seating arrangement, coding-decoding, syllogisms, puzzles, statement-conclusion etc. The best way to tackle LR is to practice as much as you can. This will enhance your speed as well as accuracy.
  • General Awareness
Unlike CAT, this exam contains a general awareness section which can be increase your score if prepared well. This section comprises of static and dynamic questions. For static questions you need to prepare the topics of history, geography, polity, economy and environment. For dynamic questions you need to be updated with current affairs for which the best source is newspaper and magazines.
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When is the CMAT exam conducted?
Due to some changes in the exam pattern, the entrance has been postponed. CMAT will now be held in the last week of March 2021 or early April 2021. The registration for CMAT 2021 exam has started from December 23, 2020 until 02 March 2021 with successful fee submission. You can visit the official website- for more details.
The CMAT application process has to be completed online and hence is a task of a few minutes. The admit cards have to be downloaded by the candidates from the official website. Admit cards are available a month before the exam. The results are declared after the exam has been conducted.
Who all can appear in CMAT?
The set of criteria to appear in CMAT is really simple. Any Indian citizen with a score of 50% or more in their graduation (any discipline) can apply in CMAT.  There is no age bar to appear in CMAT. The students in the final year of their graduation can also apply in this exam.
Which colleges/institutes accept CMAT scores?
All colleges that have been recognized by AICTE at the national and state level accept the CMAT score. Other than government colleges there are certain prestigious private institutions that accept the CMAT score.
The list of colleges accepting CMAT score are:
  • JBIMS Mumbai: Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies
  • SIMSREE Mumbai: Sydenham Institute of Management Studies And Research And Entrepreneurship Education
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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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Post the results you can apply to these colleges and based on the merit list prepared by the institutes, candidates are called for the GD and interview process.  The final merit list at the B-schools is based on candidates’ performance in the CMAT exam, selection rounds and profile.
Appearing CMAT boosts your chances of getting into a decent B-school in case you are not able to find one through CAT. Now after reading this guide you have a fair knowledge of what CMAT is and where can you land after giving CMAT.  So plan your prep accordingly and see your MBA dream come true.
Happy Preparation!
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