All about NMAT

What is NMAT?
NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test) is a national-level exam conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).Over 50,000 candidates appear for NMAT every year. NMAT scores are accepted by several leading B-schools across India, Morocco, South Africa, Philippines, and Nigeria.It is one of the few entrance exams in India, designed as per international standards. Formulated by the makers of GMAT exam, NMAT follows an assessment system that brings out the best in candidates.
Since 2020, NMAT is being conducted in two modes: computer-based at test centres and remote online proctored at home.A candidate can appear thrice in one particular testing year by opting for the retake options. NMAT offers adequate flexibility and convenience to the test-takers in terms of sectional order, marking scheme, and test scheduling. It is held across 70+ centres in 60+ cities of India. Besides, NMAT can also be taken in online proctored mode at Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
What is the structure of NMAT?
NMAT has three sections: Language Skills, Quantitative Skills and Logical Reasoning. There is a separate time limit for each section. Candidates need to answer questions of each section within the given allotted section time. Once you have completed the section, you can move on to the next section. But once you have submitted a specific section or its time runs out, you cannot return to it again.
NMAT pattern underwent a change in 2020, wherein the total number of questions was reduced from 120 to 108, and the sectional time limits were modified accordingly. As per the latest official notification, NMAT 2021 will be based on the same pattern. Also, NMAT is now a computer-adaptive test. NMAT 2021 exam pattern is illustrated in the following table:
NMAT Exam Pattern 2021
No. of Questions
Time Limit
Language Skills
28 minutes
Quantitative Skills
52 minutes
Logical Reasoning
40 minutes
NMAT sections are quite similar to the other management entrance tests like CAT. However, unlike most other entrance tests, there is no negative marking in NMAT, which brings it in line with global practices.Listed below are the prominent features of NMAT exam pattern and marking scheme:
  • The total duration of the exam is 2 hours.
  • Overall, NMAT is moderately difficult in the type and level of questions.
  • There are a total of 108 questions, with all questions being of MCQ type.
  • Each correct answer is awarded with 1 mark.
  • The final marks are estimated on a scaled score range of 36-360.
  • As NMAT follows a computer-adaptive test pattern, each candidate will receive questions based on his/her performance in the previously attempted questions.
  • You can choose the order in which you respond to each of the sections on the test. This feature allows you to play to your strengths.
You are required to pay attention to all sections, as many of the B-schools evaluate candidate’s performance based on individual sectional cut-off scores.
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Syllabus for NMAT
NMAT syllabus 2021 covers a range of general topics for all three sections. Given below is an overview of the important topics for NMAT exam:
  • Language Skills: This section tests your vocabulary, grammar, and understanding of passages. It is dominated by questions based on Reading Comprehension, Error Identification, Para/Sentence Completion and Analogies.
  • Quantitative Skills:Here, you are tested on your knowledge of basic fundamental concepts and their applications. The majority of the Quant questions are fetched from Number system, Arithmetic, Algebra, Probability, and Data Interpretation(Tables, Graphs, Charts, caselets, etc.) and Data Sufficiency.
  • Logical Reasoning:This area evaluates your logical thinking and analysing capabilities. It mostly includes questions from Critical Reasoning, Deductions, Analytical Puzzles, and Other Reasoning topics.
When is NMAT held?
NMAT is generally held over a test window that starts in October and ends in December. NMAT 2021 is scheduled from October 14 to December 27. You can book the test slot as per your convenience and suitability. As per the latest official notice, NMAT registrations will begin from August 2021 and continue until November 2021. You are required to apply online at Moreover, you can also reschedule your test if you feel that you’ll be unable to appear in thepreviously scheduled slot.
Also, you are allowed to retake the test two more times. So in case you don’t fare out well on the first attempt, you can retake the test. It is always better to schedule your first attempt at the earliest possible date, so that you can use all three attempts in a particular testing year.
Who can appear in NMAT?
Although there are no stringent eligibility criteria for appearing in NMAT, yet you must keep the basic requirements in mind. Here are the broad eligibility criteria for NMAT 2021:
  • Candidate must have completed graduation in any stream.
  • The final year students can also take the exam.
Further, you will have to apply for NMAT-accepting institutes individually. These institutes vary in their specific set of eligibility conditions for management admissions. For instance, some institutes require candidates to have a minimum 2 years work experience to apply for certain courses.
So before registering for NMAT, you must check whether you fulfill the criteria set by colleges where you want to apply.
Which Institutes accept NMAT scores?
Earlier, NMAT was accepted only by Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, (Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad) for their management courses, but since NMAT is being conducted by GMAC, it is accepted by many other leading institutes of India, Philippines, South Africa, and Nigeria. More than 40 reputed institutes in India and over 20 institutes abroad admit on the basis of NMAT scores.Listed below are the most reputed NMAT-accepting institutes:
  • SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad
  • SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai
  • K J Somaiya Institute of Management, Mumbai
  • Xavier University, Bhubaneswar
  • SDA Bocconi Asia Center (formerly MISB Bocconi), Mumbai
  • ICFAI Business School (IBS), Hyderabad and other locations
  • Alliance University, Bangalore
  • Amity University, Delhi NCR
  • Thapar School of Management, Chandigarh
  • SRM University, Chennai, Delhi NCR Sonipat
  • Shiv Nadar University, Greater Noida
  • University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES), Dehradun
  • Woxsen School of Business Management, Hyderabad
  • VIT University, Vellore
  • ITM Business School, Navi Mumbai
  • Hyderabad Business School, GITAM University, Hyderabad
  • Africa Business School
South Africa
  • Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)
  • Milpark Business School
  • North West University
  • Rhodes Business School
  • Asian Institute of Management
  • Ateneo Graduate School of Business
  • Virata School of Business, University of the Philippines
  • St. Paul University, Manila
  • Lagos Business School
  • Lead City University
  • Redeemer's University
Admission Process of NMAT-accepting Institutes
Once the candidates are shortlisted based on their NMAT scores, they are required to attend the subsequent selection rounds like group/case discussion, group exercise, written ability test, and personal interview. The final admission list is computed according to a range of factors, including candidate’sNMAT scores, academic profile, work experience, and performance in selection rounds.
Every B-school assigns different weightage to the above-stated factors and thus, admits the students in various management streams.
ROI of Programmes offered by NMAT-accepting Institutes
Being an expensive course with good ROI, MBA is one of the most pursued postgraduate courses in India and abroad. However, you are likely to derive a high ROI only if you enrol in a top-ranked B-school. Among the NMAT-accepting institutes, NMIMS is undoubtedly the most desired one. Here are some great facts aboutthe latest placements at NMIMS and other renowned B-schools:
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NMIMS Mumbai - Placement Statistics:
  • Over 170 companies visited NMIMS campus for PGDM batch 2019-21. These include top recruiters like Google, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Amazon, etc.
  • Around 35% of these recruiters belonged to IT and E-commerce sectors, followed by other industries like manufacturing, consulting, BFSI, etc.
  • Average domestic CTC went upto Rs. 18.33 lpa (domestic), with the highest placement salary being Rs. 38.57 lpa (domestic) and Rs. 58.61 lpa (international).
Further, NMIMS Bangalore maintains an average CTC of Rs, 10-11 lpa, with the highest placement package going upto Rs. 16 lpa. Other reputed institutes like NMIMS Hyderabad, K J Somaiya, etc., follow similar placement patterns and have a nearly 100% placement record.
Preparation Tips for NMAT 2021
After studying NMAT syllabus and exam pattern, you need to plan a disciplined preparation schedule to master all the important topics. NMAT is mainly a speed-based test with ‘easy to moderate’ level of difficulty. As there is no penalty for wrong answers, your ultimate aim should be to maximise the number of attempts as well as accuracy in the exam. Here are some essential things to remember during NMAT preparation 2021:
  • To ease your preparation journey, the exam-setters offer NMAT by GMAC™ Exam Official Guide 2021 at the official site. This guide can prove extremely helpful in familiarising you with the important concepts and related questions that are often asked in the exam. In addition, there are a few online practice papers based on the latest exam pattern and expected question types.
  • Ideally, your preparation should begin by developing an understanding of mathematical concepts, grammatical rules, and common reasoning topics. Alongside, indulge in regular reading of quality newspapers, magazines, and books.
  • Thereafter, start attempting chapter-wise and area-wise tests and move on to sectional tests.
  • Finally, you can gauge your progress through the previous year NMAT papers, latest sample papers and mock tests. At the same time, keep track of your performance and modify your strategy as you identify your weak and strong areas.
You can also refer to NMAT by GMAC Study Timeline provided at the official website.
FAQs Regarding NMAT
  1. What is the validity of NMAT score?
  2. NMAT scores are valid for one year only.
  3. When will I receive my NMAT score card?
  4. You will get your NMAT scorecard within 48 hours of taking the exam. It will show your overall scaled score in NMAT, along with the scaled scores of each section. Candidates are notified about the scorecard through email, from where they can proceed to download their result.
  5. When can I schedule my second attempt in NMAT?
  6. You can schedule your second attempt only after completing your first attempt. Further, the retake exam can be scheduled with a minimum gap of 15 days from the first attempt. The same applies to the third attempt.
  7. Can I reschedule my test in a different mode?
  8. If you have already scheduled your test in one particular mode, you are not allowed to reschedule it in another mode. However, you can choose to take your next attempt in a different mode than that of the previous one.
  9. What is a good score in NMAT?
  10. Since different B-schools have different NMAT cut-offs, there is no one good score for the exam. You can get into a decent college with a percentile of 80 or above in NMAT, but if you aim for a top B-school, you must target a percentile of 95 or above. In terms of score, this translates to 220 marks and above.
  11. Are there any age restrictions for appearing in NMAT?
  12. There is no age bar for appearing in NMAT?
  13. How many times can I appear in NMAT?
  14. While you can take the exam only three times in one particular test window, there is no lifetime limit on your number of attempts in NMAT.
  15. If I have taken two or three attempts of NMAT in a year, which of the scores will be considered by NMAT-accepting B-schools?
  16. Generally, the highest of all scores are considered by the B-schools. However, some institutes may follow different policies for the same. The related information can be found at the respective websites of the B-schools.
  17. What is the fee for NMAT application?
  18. For early registration, you need to pay Rs. 2300 as the application fee along with the applicable taxes. The fee remains same for retake tests. In case you apply during the extended registration period, you will have to pay Rs. 2800 along with the required taxes. Besides, you can send scores to upto five schools/programmes within the standard registration fee.
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