About MAT


  1. MAT stands for Management Aptitude Test. It is conducted by Centre for Management Services (CMS) which is the specialized division of AIMA undertaking testing and other management services. The testing services have been in operation since 1988 under the trademark - All India Management Aptitude Testing Services (AIMATS) facilitating academia, industry and government to screen and select candidates for higher studies, recruitment, promotion etc. Hundreds of organizations and lakhs of candidates have availed these services. AIMATS has the unique distinction of being the first to be awarded with ISO 9001: 2000 Certification for the range of services under its scope.
  2. Graduate in any discipline from a recognized university can write MAT. Final year degree course students can also apply. MAT scores are considered by a wide range of B-schools including some good B-schools. While some of the B-Schools using MAT scores for admission also accept CAT scores, MAT is a relatively easier exam than CAT. The competition levels in MAT may also be lower than those in CAT.
  3. Till May 2009, MAT has been only a paper pencil test (conducted Offline). However, since September 2009 exam, Management Aptitude Test is being conducted in both the formats-Paper pencil as well as Computer based. However, you are allowed to take the test in only one mode - either Paper Pencil or Computer Based Test for that particular administration of MAT. That implies no candidate is permitted to write the exam in both the formats(even though, the two different formats of the test are conducted on different days).

    The Paper-Pencil Test takes place only on one day at only one time slot, whereas in Computer Based Test (Online Test), you can take the test on any one of the three time slots in the span of the first few days of February, May, September and December. For example, for Sep 2015 exam, Paper Pencil Test will be conducted on 6th Sep in only one time slot, while Computer based test will take place from 12th Sep onwards in 3 time slots per day.
  4. MAT is an objective type test with multiple-choice answers. It has 200 questions to be attempted in 150 minutes. Each question carries 1 mark and for each wrong answer, one-fourth of a mark is deducted. These 200 questions are from five sections viz. Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, Language Comprehension, Indian and Global Environment, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning with exactly 40 questions in each.
  5. There are five test areas, with each having 40 questions, which appear in MAT. The description of the individual test area is as given below.

    Mathematical Skills:The questions are designed to test your basic mathematical skills, understanding of elementary mathematical concepts, and the ability to reason quantitatively and solve quantitative problems. It has been observed, in the last few exams, that approximately 32-36 questions are asked from topics like Algebra(Simple equations, Ratio, Proportion, Variation), Arithmetic (Percentages, Profit and Loss, Partnership, Averages, Mixtures and Alligation, Simple Interest and Compound Interest,Time and Work, Time and Distance, Numbers), Plane Geometry and Mensuration. The remaining 4-8 questions are asked from Higher Maths like Trigonometry, Permutations and Combination, Probability and Height and Distance.

    Intelligence and Critical Reasoning: This test area, has, approximately 25-30 questions from Analytical Reasoning (Linear Sequencing/Seating Arrangement; Direction Sense; Clocks; Calendars; Blood Relations; Venn Diagrams; Distribution; Coding /Decoding; Number and Letter Series). The remaining 10-15 questions are from Critical Reasoning(Cause and effect; Statements and Conclusions; Statements and Assumptions; Statements and Arguments etc).

    Data Analysis and Sufficiency: This test area comprises questions from Data Interpretation(DI), Data Sufficiency(DS) and Data Comparison(DC). For example, In May 2015 exam, 30 questions were asked in DI, 5 questions in DS while 5 questions in DC. Questions in DI are based on the data, whose presentation is done in one or more of the following ways: Tables, pie charts, bar graphs, Caselets, Venn diagram, stacked graph, line graph, 3 Dimensional form. Usually, there are 7-8 sets, with each set having, on an average, 4 questions. Data Sufficiency questions are designed to measure your ability to analyze a problem and recognize which information is relevant. Usually, In DS, a problem is given followed by two statements. You have to read both the statements and find out which statement(s) is(are) sufficient to answer the question. Data Comparison questions are designed to measure your ability to compare different quantitative data.

    Language Comprehension: This test area comprises nearly 20 questions each from Verbals/English Usage and nearly 20 Questions from Reading Comprehension. Questions in Verbals/English Usage are from topics like Analogies, Synonyms, Antonyms, Para Jumbles, Fill in the Blanks, Summary and Functional Grammar. While the questions related to Analogies, Synonyms, Antonyms, Fill in the blanks test your vocabulary skills, the questions related to para jumbles measure your ability to choose the most logical order of sentences that constructs a given paragraph. In Reading Comprehension, you have to read passage(s) and answer questions that follow the passages. Usually, there are 4-5 passages, with 4 questions, on an average, in each passage. The questions are designed to test your ability to quickly grasp what is being said in the passage. The passages,usually, are from different topics like Science and Technology, Politics, Philosophy, Art and Culture, Business.

    Indian and Global Environment: MAT has General Awareness as a part of the paper. In this area, questions are asked on current issues and/or past issues. General Awareness questions also cover economic related issues and cover topics like History, Civics, Geography, Indian Economy, Global Economy, Sports.
  6. Even if you have scored less than 50% marks in graduation, you are still eligible to write MAT exam. However, as a part of the selection process, some B schools may put a certain cut-off marks in graduation. This cut-off marks (in graduation)may be 50% or more. In that scenario, you will have to apply to B schools, where the % marks scored in the graduation is not a constraint.
  7. MAT is conducted four times a year-February, May, September and December. There are a lot of factors which you should take into consideration before deciding the month in which you intend to take the MAT exam.

    Some of the factors are
    • Number of B schools which accept score card for that exam.
    • Your own level of preparation.
    • Any other MBA entrance exam which you are writing.
    • Number of B schools region-wise(as illustrated in the table below).
    • The stage of graduation you are in, i.e. whether you have already graduated or are scheduled to graduate in the current academic year.
    • Whether any specific B school, where you want to take admission, accepts the score of that particular MAT exam.
    The table below gives the number of B Schools (accepting MAT score) region wise (for some of the earlier years)

    Feb 2010 Dec 2009 Sep 2009 May 2009
    Northern 201 148 77 196
    Western 80 61 37 57
    Southern 137 98 38 113
    Eastern 70 57 22 70
    Total 488 364 174 436
  8. MAT results are declared, in the form of a score report, usually three weeks after the date of the exam.

    Each score report contains six scores:
    Language Comprehension, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Intelligence and Critical reasoning, Composite Score and Indian and Global Environment. The composite score is arrived at using the first four sections of the test only. Essentially, the marks scored in Indian and Global Environment is not a part of the composite score. Instead, it is presented separately in the same score report. Equal weightage is assigned to all these four sections.

    In any section, one can score a maximum of 40 marks or a minimum of -10 marks, theoretically. However, the score card gives neither the net marks scored in any section nor the net marks scored overall. Instead, it gives only the scaled score (which ranges from 0 to 100 for any section) and the percentile below(for every section). Two MAT test papers need not be of the same level of difficulty. One test paper may be slightly more easy or more difficult as compared to the other one. In an easy test paper, a candidate can score higher marks as compared to that in the difficult paper. So, if someone gets a higher net marks(in any section) in any one MAT exam as compared to another, that does not necessarily mean his performance was better. That could have happened because the level of difficulty of that paper was lower. In fact, the net marks in two different test papers cannot be compared (as the level of difficulty of the two test papers may be different). Since, it should not really matter to a candidate whether he is taking an easier test or a more difficult one, this is where scaled score comes in. A scaled score is a mathematical transformation of raw score(net marks). The scaled score accounts for any differences in the level of difficulty of the paper and hence the scaled scores in two different test papers can be compared. Thus a higher scaled score(in any section) means a better performance. For example, in Sep 2009 MAT exam, a net score of 21 marks (in Intelligence and Critical Reasoning) was equivalent to a scaled score of 65.08 while in Dec 2009 MAT exam, the net score of 17 marks(in the same section of Intelligence and Critical Reasoning) was equivalent to a scaled score of 65.2.

    It may be tempting to compare the net marks(across two exams) and come to be a conclusion that somebody who scored 21 marks had a better performance as compared to someone who scored 17 marks. However, the net marks cannot be compared (as explained earlier). Instead, comparing the scaled scores, it can easily be observed that even though the candidate scored a lower net marks in Dec(as compared to that in Sep), his scaled score was high and hence it can be concluded that his performance was better. Similarly, when it comes to overall score, overall net marks cannot be compared. Instead, Composite score need to be compared to assess the overall performance level of a candidate. For that reason, in the score card, total net marks scored is not specified. Instead, Composite score (which is reported on a scale ranging from 199 to 801) and the percentile below is specified. For example, in Sep 2009 exam, a net score of 50 marks was equivalent to a composite score of 662.5. In Dec 2009 exam, a net score of 41 marks was equivalent to a composite score of 672.5. Once again, it can be concluded that the overall performance of the candidate (who secured a composite score of 672.5) was better, even though his overall net marks(41) was way less as compared to someone who scored 50(in Sep 2009 exam).
  9. There is no fixed syllabus for MAT exam. However, the analysis of the previous year papers reveals that there are certain topics which are given more weightage as compared to other areas. You need to go through the analysis of the previous year papers. An awareness of this would be helpful from the point of view of developing the strategy as far as cracking exam is concerned.
  10. Different B-schools have different cutoff percentiles. In general, to get a call for GD-PI from any B school(partcipating in any MAT exam), an overall score of more than 85 percentile is adequate. An overall score of more than 90 percentile maximizes the chances for selection. Many B schools offer scholarships if you get a certain level of percentile or beyond that. There are many institutes which are not included in the list declared by AIMA but which also accept MAT score for the purpose of admission.
  11. Try to get an adequate exposure to different models of questions; prepare extensively with a time limit; compare your scores with a large database of students; analyse the Mock MATs.
  12. MAT percentile does not include the marks scored in"Indian and Global Environment" section. The scores obtained in this section are given separately in the same score report. The time, in any case, which you should devote to this section should not be more than 5-6 minutes. However, it is significant that you do not out-rightly ignore this section as some B schools may consider the score obtained in this section as a part of the selection process.