How to Crack MAT?

In the jargon of management aspirants, MAT stands for Management Aptitude Test. It is a standardized test being administered by AIMA to facilitate B-Schools to screen candidates for admission to MBA and allied programs. You need to have a strategic preparation plan to crack MAT Exam. It is one of the most widely taken tests by the management community and serves as a passport to over 600 B-schools in India. Test takers can choose any one of the three options to take the test: Paper Based Test, IBT or Computer Based Test. Before starting the preparation, you need to understand the exam pattern well.
MAT Exam Pattern

MAT is a two and a half hours objective type choice test with the following format:-

  • There are 200 questions in all with four choices per question
  • 0.25 marks per question are deducted for a wrong response; while 1 mark is awarded for a correct response

The test is structured into five sections as under:-

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  • Language Comprehension (40 Questions)
  • Mathematical Skills (40 Questions)
  • Data Analysis & Sufficiency (40 Questions)
  • Intelligence & Critical Reasoning (40 Questions)
  • Indian & Global Environment (40 Questions)
Preparation Strategy

The paper can be split into three parts: concept-driven, practice intensive and environment sensitive. Mathematical Skills & select areas of Language Comprehension are concept driven where the questions are critically dependent on the test taker's conceptual clarity with respect to core fundamentals; Intelligence & Critical Reasoning, Data Analysis & Sufficiency and select areas of English Language Proficiency are practice intensive; Indian & Global Environment is environment sensitive where an awareness with respect to current affairs is the winning stroke. Given below is the preparation strategy for each of the MAT sections along with essential topics.

Indian & Global Environment

In this section, you are required to stay abreast of the latest happenings across the world. Apart from the current GK, learn about the basics of banking sector and business terminologies. For a good score, it is important to brush up your general knowledge on a daily basis. Majority of the questions in this section are from the following areas:-

  • Current Events & Happenings
  • Banking & Business
  • Sports
  • General Political Information
Mathematical Skills

This section evaluates your mathematical abilities in some of the basic topics. Before you start practicing this part of exam, make sure that you gain enough conceptual clarity of the fundamental topics. The important areas in this section are:-

  • Number Systems
  • Percentage, Profit & Loss, Mixtures
  • Averages, Ratios, Interest
  • Time & Work, Time, Speed & Distance
  • Geometry, Trigonometry
Intelligence & Critical Reasoning

In this section, you will be tested on your reasoning and deduction skills. In order to ace this section, you need to practice different types of questions from all the crucial topics. Most of the question types do not have any standard way, so all you can do is practice as many questions as possible. This area has questions related to:-

  • Identifying patterns in number sets
  • Relationships
  • Direction Sense
  • Coding, Decoding
  • Verbal Reasoning
Language Comprehension

This area intends to assess your vocabulary and verbal abilities. A great way to expand your vocabulary is to invest a sufficient amount of time in diverse reading. Additionally, keep practicing from previous year papers and mock tests to check your proficiency in various kinds of questions. The vital areas, from which maximum questions have been asked, are:-

  • Word Analogies
  • Vocabulary, with questions on antonyms and synonyms
  • Rearranging sentences
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Sentence Completion
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Data Analysis & Sufficiency

In this section, questions are accompanied with some data represented in points or in form of graphs. Based on the given data, you are expected to find the logical links and arrive at a conclusion. In other words, you can get hold of this section only if you practice a good number of data sets. The thrust areas here are:-

  • Data Sufficiency
  • Standard DI tools like bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, data tables
  • Data Comparisons
Final Tips

While preparing, follow a sequential and systematic approach. Given below is a suggested route for your MAT preparation:-

  • Start with concept consolidation in areas where concepts are critical (as mentioned above)
  • Graduate to the next level where you practice across questions requiring an application of the key concepts
  • Cement your preparation with practice across similar tests, thus improving your test taking strategies.

Overall, the test taker has to understand that MAT is designed to assess you on certain core management skills like time management, prioritization, stress management, knowledge and balancing accuracy & speed.

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