ACE the NMAT: here is how!
To road to doing well in any exam begins with a knowledge of what the exam is about, various areas it tests, the nature of questions and a clear plan for preparation. So, here is all you need to know about this highly anticipated MBA entrance test. 

 NMAT is the entrance test conducted by NMIMS for admitting students into its MBA/PGDM programs at Mumbai, Bangaluru and Hyderabad campuses. NMIMS-Mumbai is one of the premier B-Schools in India, having the advantage of being located in Mumbai, India‚Äôs financial capital where as NMIMS-Bangalore and Hyderabad are relatively new and are in the process of setting their feet in the country. 

 According to the college placement report, the average salary for the 2011-2013 batch of NMIMS-Mumbai MBA Program was 14.40 lacs pa. while the highest CTC offered was 30 lacs p.a. The key recruiters at NMIMS-Mumbai were Goldman sachs, JP Morgan, GE, RIL, Idea, JPMC, ICICI Group, Yes Bank, RBS, Deutsche Bank (Operations), Kotak Group, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank, Crisil, ICRA, Cognizant Business Consulting, Wipro Group, Capgemini, HCL Technologies, Infosys and Polaris. 

 NMAT 2013 Exam Pattern: 

 NMAT 2013 is an online exam with questions distributed into three areas. Applicants can take max of three attempts at NMAT-2014, the best of three will be considered at the time of shortlisting of candidates for GD/PI stage. Also, there is no negative marking in the test. 

 The distribution of questions is as follows:

Sr. No Section No. of Questions Time in Minutes
1 Language Skills 32 22
2 Quantitative Skills 48 60
3 Logical Reasoning 40 38
Total 120 120
The test has sectional as well overall cutoffs which means that a candidate is expected to show his proficiency in all areas. The following are the cutoffs for the MBA program from last year:

  1.  Mumbai campus : Overall 209 marks, QS-72, LS-55, LR 61
  2.  Bangalore and Hyderabad campus : Overall 185 marks, QS-70, LS-55, LR 55

 Important Dates 

This year, the test window is from 5 th October 2013 to 18th December 2013. The following is the schedule of the test:

Activity Start End
Registration Thursday, 4th July Tuesday 24th Sept
Scheduling Wednesday 17th July Wednesday 2nd Oct
Late Registration Wednesday 25th Sept Monday 30th Sept
Re- scheduling Wednesday 17th July Sunday 15th Dec
Exam Delivery Saturday 5th Oct Wednesday 18th Dec
Re-take Scheduling Saturday 5th Oct Tuesday 17th Dec
Announcement of results Thursday 23rd Jan-14
Registration for CD/ PI 24th January, 2014 to 4th Feb-14
Conduct of CD/ PI 12th February, 2014 to 25th Feb-14
First Merit List 5th March-14
How to prepare for NMAT?

 Except for the section on Logical Reasoning, all the other sections of NMAT get well covered with a good preparation for CAT. However, it would be advisable for a student to work on his/her speed mathematics as some of the questions under Data Interpretation tend to be calculation intensive. Also, 120 questions in 120 minutes means that the candidate needs to be really quick in solving the questions. 

 The questions in reasoning section of NMAT are: 

  1. series, Analogies, Odd man out, Coding & Decoding, and Symbols & Notations 
  2. Analytical puzzles (Linear arrangement, Circular arrangement, Distribution, Comparisons and Selections)
  3.  Critical reasoning (Assumptions, Conclusions, Inferences, Strong & Weak arguments, Courses of action, Cause & Effect, Assertions and Reasons, Deductions, Input / Output, and Decision Making).

 Among the critical reasoning topics, Assumptions, Conclusions, Inferences, and Strong & Weak arguments would be familiar from CAT preparation. For the topics, Courses of Action, Cause & Effect, and Assertions & Reasons, you can take the help of Critical Reasoning book authored by M.K. Pandey. The questions based on deductions are different from the deductions questions given in CAT. These questions need to be solved using Venn Diagrams. For these questions and Input / Output & Decision Making questions, students can refer to the reasoning book authored by R.S. Aggarwal.

 Finally, a good test series for NMAT is perhaps the best source for preparation.The tests come very close to the actual NMAT entrance exam paper and one should give maximum importance to these question papers as they give sufficient exam practice to the candidates. The candidates can accustom themselves to the NMAT pattern by taking the mocks.