NMAT is the entrance exam for admission to all the MBA/PGDM programmes of reputed colleges like NMIMS and several others in India, Morocco, South Africa, Philippines, and Nigeria. More than 50,000 candidates appear for NMAT every year. Recently, NMAT has turned into a computer-adaptive test, conducted in two different modes: computer-based at test centres and online-proctored at home. It is generally held in a 74-day test window from October-December.
Even though the difficulty level of NMAT is moderate compared to the other popular entrances like CAT, XAT, etc., it does entail a focused strategy and robust preparation on the part of the candidate. With a huge number of MBA aspirants vying for the limited seats in top B-schools, NMAT is doubtlessly a competitive exam. In this article, we present important tips for each section of NMAT.
NMAT 2021 will be conducted in a testing window starting from October 14 and ending on December 27, 2021. A candidate can take NMAT up to a maximum of 3 times (first attempt plus 2 retake attempts) including no shows, if he/she wishes to. There has to be a gap of at least 15 days between two successive attempts. For candidates who have given multiple attempts, the best score (total and sectional) is considered for shortlisting purposes.
Before going through the preparation strategy, you must be aware of the latest NMAT exam pattern:
NMAT 2021: Test Pattern
NMAT is computer generated and gives each candidate a randomly devised test. The number of questions, difficulty levels, and the time limit for each of the sections is predetermined and fixed. The exam has three sections: Language Skills, Quantitative Skills and Logical Reasoning, as shown below:-
||Number of Questions
NMAT 2021: Section-wise Preparation Strategy
Here is a quick strategy for each section of NMAT exam:
Strategy for Quantitative Skills
You will get 36 questions in the Quantitative Skills section that need to be completed in 52 minutes. This section will test you on four important areas of Mathematics - Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Modern Math.
- Begin with the basics and ensure concept clarity on fundamental properties, formulae and number operations, such as odd and even, prime numbers, LCM and HCF etc. before graduating to advanced concepts.
- Given the time constraints, your mental calculation ability has to be proficient. Further, familiarity with multiplication tables, squares, cubes, common fractions and their percentage equivalents will be of great help.
Strategy for Logical Reasoning
You will get 36 questions in the Logical Reasoning section to be attempted in 40 minutes. The section will test you on two areas of Reasoning - Verbal and Analytical.
- Verbal Reasoning is usually more time-consuming than analytical reasoning. You will need to practice both well in order to gain speed and accuracy in the section.
- Never assume or use any information that is not provided in the question. As there is no standard formulae for this section, it is better to learn about different question types from NMAT previous year papers.
- You need to have a knack of identifying the questions to be done and the ones to leave. For example, in this section, input/ output questions and Data Sufficiency questions should only be attempted if you are very thorough with the concepts, else you should leave these questions.
- Pay special attention to words like 'all', 'some' or 'none'. Other qualifying words like 'other than', 'only' or 'unless' are also important.
- Try to solve the questions by making suitable diagrams, especially in arrangement questions, or as a Venn diagram in syllogism questions.
- Remember that Logical Reasoning Skills cannot be developed overnight. Practicing rigorously across similar questions over a sustained period of time is the right approach to develop the required competence in this section.
Strategy for Language Skills
You will get 36 questions in the Language Skills section to be attempted in 28 minutes. Most of the questions are based on vocabulary, which can be easily solved and won’t take much time. The section will test you in three areas of English - vocabulary, grammar and comprehension.
- To improve both vocabulary and comprehension, pay special attention to the Editorial section of newspapers. This will help you to appreciate the contextual usage of words and also improve your comprehension skills.
- Reference to an authentic 'word list', giving the meaning and usage of words, will be conducive in handling questions on synonyms, antonyms and analogies, which are popularly tested in this section.
- Wherever a reference to concepts needs to be made, re-visit the rules and application of grammar. You may also refer to "High School Grammar" by Wren & Martin.
General Strategy for NMAT 2021
The paper can be thus split into two parts: concept driven and practice intensive. Quantitative Skills & select areas of Language Skills are concept driven, while Logical Reasoning Skills are purely practice intensive. Looking at the paper in this format will help you to apportion time accordingly and streamline your preparation. In fact, it is recommended that you follow a three-pronged approach while preparing for this test :-
- Develop concepts for the concept sensitive domains of the test (as discussed above).
- Put these concepts to application by graduating to practice questions.
- Hone your test taking strategies by practicing across simulated tests - both section wise and full length. This will help you to understand and manage the challenges of time management, prioritization and striking the right balance between accuracy and speed, thus enabling you to evolve as a smart 'test taker'.
NMAT 2021: Test Taking Strategies
The following may be of help on the day of the test :
- The first section in your sequence of attempt should be either a section which you are strong at, or a section which requires relatively less concentration as compared to other sections. Starting with a section you are competent in, gives you a positive flavour of the test and the much required momentum to help you graduate to subsequent challenges in the test. Similarly, starting with a section/ area which requires lesser concentration levels helps you to manage the challenges during the initial teething phase of the test.
- As time progresses, your concentration levels tend to peak and then start diluting towards the fag end of the exam. Thus, it is recommended to place the less engaging sections/ areas (with respect to concentration challenges) on the extremes and the more demanding ones at the centre of the time-concentration curve.
- In this exam, you need to attempt 108 questions in 120 minutes, there is no negative marking and there are sectional time limits. Therefore, you should first attempt the questions you know and for the other questions try to make an educated guess and mark the answer.
- The number of questions you need to attempt cannot be previously determined; as this is a function of the level of difficulty. However, you are advised to keep a fine balance between effectiveness (accuracy) and efficiency (speed).
- Devoting too much time to any one question can disturb the overall equilibrium and time management.
- You must review the answers of each section within the allotted time, as once sectional time limit is over, all answers are automatically submitted. Use the review screen smartly to identify the questions that you have left un-attempted or flagged for review, while attempting the test.
- In case you complete the section before the allotted time, any balance of time will not be added to the next section(s). Hence, it is suggested that you utilize the sectional time limit to your utmost advantage.
At the end of the day, please remember that the test is designed to assess your management skills through specific sections. Taking NMAT Mock Tests
in similar formats may be of considerable help and help you to appropriately brace up for this challenge!