About MAT

  1. Every year lakhs of aspirants want to get into reputed management institutes to pursue the best courses in management - be it in Finance, Information Systems, Strategy, Marketing, Operations- for a career at global level. There are different management entrance exams which one can appear for to realize their goals of taking admission into B School. One such test which is conducted at an All India Level is MAT(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. A candidate has an option to appear for any one of the two formats -Paper based Test (PBT) as well as Computer based Test (CBT) OR BOTH the formats.

  4. MAT is an objective type test with multiple-choice answers. It has 150 questions to be attempted in 120 minutes. Each question carries 1 mark and for each wrong answer, one-fourth of a mark is deducted. These 150 questions are from five sections viz. Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, Language Comprehension, Indian and Global Environment, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning with exactly 30 questions in each. There is no section wise time limit (for any of the two formats – Paper based test or ONLINE test).
  5. There are five test areas, with each having 30 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 quite a few questions were 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 6-8 questions are asked from Higher Maths like Trigonometry, Permutations and Combination, Probability and Height and Distance.

    Intelligence and Critical Reasoning: In the last few years in this test area quite a few questions were from Analytical Reasoning (Linear Sequencing/Seating Arrangement; Direction Sense; Clocks; Calendars; Blood Relations; Venn Diagrams; Distribution; Coding /Decoding; Number and Letter Series). The remaining questions were from Critical Reasoning(Cause and effect; Statements and Conclusions; Statements and Assumptions; Strong and Weak Arguments; Inferences, Courses of Action, Assertion and Reasons).

    Data Analysis and Sufficiency: This test area comprises questions from Data Interpretation(DI), Few questions from Data Sufficiency(DS) and few questions from Data Comparison(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.

    Language Comprehension: This test area comprises quite a few questions each from Verbals/English Usage and also includes 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 to 5 passages, with an equal number of questions 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, Polity, Geography, Indian Economy, Global Economy, Sports etc.
  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. The score card is valid for one full year. So, one can appear for any(or more than one) of the four MAT exams. Some of the 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
    • i. 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.
    • 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.
  8. A large number of colleges (around 600 colleges) base their admission through MAT. While a few good B-Schools under MAT are listed below, students are advised to take expert guidance in the matter of selecting / applying to B-Schools that take MAT. The list given below is an extract from the main list which features on t4e website with the label T.I.M.E B School categorization. The list given below is not, necessarily in any specific order.

    S No B School
    1 BIMTECH, Noida -programs like (Insurance Business Management & Retail Management)
    2 Christ University, Bangalore
    3 XIME, Bangalore
    4 IISWBM, kolkatta -Course in Public Systems
    5 ITM, Navi Mumbai
    6 IMM -FOSTIMA B School, New Delhi
    7 SDM-IMD, Mysore
    8 Shiva Shivani, Hyderabad
    9 Vignan Jyothi Institute, Hyderabad
    10 BIMM (Pune)
    11 N.L.Dalmia Institute of Managament Studies & Research (NLDIMSR), Mumbai
    12 IPE, Hyderabad
    13 IES Management College & Research Centre, Mumbai
    14 PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore
    15 School of Communication & Management Studies, Kochi
  9. 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.
  10. 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(present on your home page). An awareness of this would be helpful from the point of view of developing the strategy as far as cracking exam is concerned. You could follow this link to go through the analysis of the MAT exam.
  11. In general, to get a call for GD-PI from any B school(partcipating in any MAT exam), an overall score of more than 90 percentile is considered to be very good. Many B schools offer scholarships if you get a certain level of percentile or beyond that.
  12. Try to get an adequate exposure to different models of questions; prepare extensively within a time limit; analyse the Mock MATs.
  13. 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 minutes. However, it is significant that you do not outrightly ignore this section as some B schools may consider the score obtained in this section as a part of the selection process.