AICTE's CMAT opens up many options for MBA aspirants

File photo of students at a business school
File photo of students at a business school
Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is an important management entrance test conducted by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for admission to MBA programs being offered by Colleges and Departments under State universities in 13 states of Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Conducted twice a year, CMAT this year will be held during a five-day test window from February 20 to 24. Candidates are allowed to improve their scores through re-tests and better scores are taken into account. The results are expected on March 14, 2014.
Importance of CMAT
CMAT is a prominent entrance examination along the lines of CAT and XAT. Over 400 good business schools in India accept CMAT scores for admissions. Over 100,000 candidates will sit for the ensuing CMAT. MBA aspirants who did not fare well in the other two examinations can grab the opportunity with hard work and get into a good business school.
Exam Pattern
CMAT, considered easier than CAT or XAT, is an online computer based test comprising 100 multiple choice questions to be solved in 180 minutes. The test is divided in 4 sections and each section has 25 questions. The sections are Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation; Logical Reasoning; Language Comprehension; and General Awareness.
The examination allows students to attempt any question from any section till the test is over. While every correct answer gets four marks, each incorrect mark gets one negative mark.
Important Topics
Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation: Questions in this section are usually single and are not based on sets. While topics like tables and pie charts in data interpretation section require basic calculation skills, topics from which most of the questions appear in quantitative aptitude are arithmetic (ratios, mixtures, work, averages, profit and loss, basic statistics etc), number properties, probability and counting principles with one or two odd questions from geometry and derivatives (i.e. maxima –minima).
Logical Reasoning: This section is a mix of topics from arrangements like linear, seating, sequencing and arranging with conditions to coding. The other questions are based on statement--conclusion, logical puzzle, numerical puzzle, Venn diagram, true or false statements, visual reasoning. The basic preparatory tip for Logical Reasoning is to attempt as many practice exercises as possible using basic logical instinct.
Language Comprehension: Questions like error correction in sentences, fill in blanks may be based on core grammar concepts like Usage of Articles, Non-finites, Dangling modifiers, Nouns, Pronouns (especially relative Pronouns), Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositions, Spellings, Usage of punctuation, Verbs, Syntax, Subject-verb Agreement, Tenses, Conditional and Unreal past. The vocabulary questions consist of synonyms and antonyms; fill in the blanks, idioms. Use flash cards for synonyms-antonyms, one word substitution, phrasal verbs, idioms.
There are short jumbled paragraphs, comprising four to five sentences. Another question can be a statement with idiomatic expression and the correct meaning of the same is to be selected from the given options. Passage based questions can also be expected in English language. Reading comprehension passages are not very long. Other questions in this section are based on words or phrases. Difficulty level is moderate.
General Awareness: For the preparation purposes this section can be divided in three parts with equal weightage for each part. Conventional General Knowledge (GK) available in books; Current GK-based on current reading of newspapers and periodicals; Business and Economics GK - for example changes in Fiscal and Monetary Policy, CRR, Repo Rate, Devaluation and up valuation of Rupee. Please remember current GK - whether Business, National and International has an on-going preparation method with extensive newspaper reading to stay updated.
Prepare Well To Score 
You can prepare well in the next few weeks by following the quick tips below:
Use Flash Cards with words to be learnt. Read editorials in newspapers every day. Pick out difficult words in them and check out in the dictionary to understand the context. This use in context will become the part of your memory.
While answering the questions, you may go in for elimination round to zero in on the right answer option.
Try to attempt maximum number of questions on general awareness as they test your memory. There is no use wasting time on guessing the unknown. It won’t help.
CMAT provides the facility of navigating through the entire test paper and answer options from any section. However, you need to qualify in all the 4 sections. Take my advice and manage the time and be balanced. In case you answer three sections and leave one section, you may not qualify for final admission round despite scoring high. Take note of that.
Important Tip 
You may stop preparing GK questions a fortnight ahead of the forthcoming examination as the test paper is usually set about a fortnight in advance. However, continue revising whatever you have learnt.
Continue practicing multiple option type of questions in Verbal Ability, Quantitative and Data Interpretation, Logical reasoning till one day prior to the examination. Revision of GK questions should continue. Attempt and analyse the mistakes that you tend to make in mock tests. Keep your confidence level high. 
S K Agarwal
S K Agarwal

S K Agarwal is Vice President--Learning at and author of ‘Build your Basics First’, a comprehensive book on Verbal Ability for CAT/XAT.




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