Know Why You Should Take the MAT

Anjani Chaand updated on : 08 Nov 2016

One of the largest tests of its kind in India, MAT continues to be your passport to over 600 B-Schools across the country

The field of MBA has lakhs of takers across the nation; for it is considered to be one of the greatest routes to success in the corporate world. Every business today requires management professionals in large numbers who can contribute to their organizations using the skills and knowledge they gained from their alma mater.

While there are hundreds of B-schools in India that offer management qualification, every institute has its own criteria to select candidates. One of the basic requirements to become eligible to enter a renowned business school is the entrance exam score it accepts. For those who wish to get admission in the prestigious IIMs, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is the gateway. But IIMs can accommodate only a limited number of students and therefore, it becomes imperative for aspirants to keep their options open. There are plenty of B-schools out there that accept scores of different entrance examinations.

The Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is one such exam that can be taken to apply to hundreds of B-schools across the globe. Any management institute, national or international, can consider MAT score as an admission input based on the Score Cards issued to aspirants.

One of the largest tests of its kind in India, MAT is the passport to over 600 B-Schools across the country. The All India Management Association (AIMA) conducts Management Aptitude Test (MAT) four times in a year. MAT September 2016 will be conducted in the paper-based mode on 4th September 2016 and online mode on 10th September 2016.

Let us dig a little deeper to understand the MAT and its significance!

What is MAT?

Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is a standardized test that is being administered since 1988 to facilitate Business Schools to screen candidates for admission to MBA, PGDM and allied programmes. Government of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) approved MAT as a national level test in 2003.

For an aspiring student to be eligible to take the MAT exam, he/she should possess an undergraduate degree in any discipline from a recognized university. The minimum percentage requirement in graduation varies across B-Schools.

The best thing about MAT is that students get to choose a time as per their convenience to give the exam – upto four times in a year (February, May, September and December). In addition, it is up to the student to take the exam in an online (computer based) or offline (paper based) mode depending upon his/her comfort level in attempting the exam.

MAT Paper Pattern

Duration: 150 minutes (two and a half hours)

Exam Type: Paper-based & Computer-Based

Type of Questions: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)

Number of sections: 5

Total Marks: 800

Number of questions in each section: 40

Marking scheme:

  • Correct answer- Full marks awarded
  • Incorrect answer- 1/4th of the allotted marks deducted


  • Language Comprehension
  • Mathematical Skills
  • Data Analysis and Data Sufficiency
  • Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
  • Indian and Global Environment (General Awareness)

What to Expect & How to Prepare

MAT is a comprehensive entrance examination that focuses on language ability, mathematical skills, data interpretation, reasoning and general awareness. The last section on Indian and Global environment should be given least preference while answering the questions since its score is not used in the final calculation of composite score and percentile.

Language Comprehension comprises of questions based on unseen passages, grammar usage, vocabulary, ability to spot errors, pick the odd one out etc. A candidate must get into the habit of reading books, magazines, newspapers or using the online medium that offers reading material in abundance. However, the topics you choose to read should be relevant to you. Revising the basic grammar rules will help, too!

Mathematical Skills is dreaded by majority of students because it is linked to feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems. However, if you consider different styles and approaches of tackling the subject, it will help you in a productive way. This section consists of questions based on percentage, number system, height & distance, profit/loss, ratio & proportion, time & work, etc. Clarity of concepts and formulas, and regular practise are the key to succeed in this section.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency includes questions based on line charts, series, puzzles, bar charts, pie charts, table charts, caselet, etc. It is important to understand the information that is being conveyed through the charts. This section is time consuming and hence, practise is mandatory. Calculations are negligible so you should try and be well acquainted with tricks and shortcuts to deduce answers in the shortest time possible with utmost accuracy and precision.

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning is a section that focuses on problems on sitting arrangements and clock, non-verbal and verbal reasoning, direction sense, statements-assumptions, statements-conclusions, etc. It is advised that the questions are first broken down and carefully analyzed before opting for an answer during the examination. Validating your answers through the use of diagrams and reading the question at least thrice will help you crack this section.

Indian and Global Environment section is general knowledge based and the questions more or less take into account the current affairs. It is valuable to stay updated with the happenings around the country as well as the world, debates and discussions of all aspects ranging from politics, sports, entertainment, research, business, etc.

Overall, what you need is proper preparation, enough practise and revision along with strategic planning to attempt all the sections intelligently under the given time frame.

Popular Books that May Assist You:

Some of the popular books which can help you in the preparation for MAT are Mission MBA MAT Guide (Arihant Books), Kaplan MAT, MAT Score Accelerator (Disha Publications), R.D. Sharma and R.S. Agarwal of class XIth and XIIth etc. Other books on quantitative skills and word power etc. are also a good source of practise and learning. Students should also attempt a variety of mock tests, which are readily available online.

Management education is imperative in today’s world. Every sector in the job industry requires efficient managers who can aid in smooth functioning of an organization. Therefore, sticking to one entrance exam that may or may not provide you admission in the B-school of your choice is only going to limit your options. Take MAT and dive into a world of opportunities! Good luck!

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