CMAT 2021 Exam Pattern, Marking Scheme, Syllabus, Sectional Analysis

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    CMAT Exam Pattern is prescribed by National Testing Agency in the official brochure. The Exam is conducted in online mode testing candidates aptitude through 100 questions in 4 sections: Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation, Language Comprehension, Logical Reasoning and General Awareness. For the last couple of years, the CMAT Exam Pattern has remained static and retained it’s structure. Check CMAT 2021 Syllabus

    • CMAT 2021 will tentatively take place in last week of January 2021 in a span of 3 hours total with no sectional time limit.
    • 25 questions will be asked from each section, each carrying 4 marks. There is provision of negative marking, every incorrect response will carry –1 marks. 
    • Previous CMAT Toppers such as Saras Suhane and Bhargav Desai advice future candidates to focus on general knowledge and current affairs throughout CMAT Preparation. They reinforce the belief that general knowledge embedded in school books is imperative to scoring well. 
    • If the answer key is challenged and more than one answer is found to be correct, then whoever has selected one of the correct options will recieve 4 marks. If you have selected an incorrect answer, then the answer will recieve minus 1 mark. Questions that remain unanswered once the exam has been collected will not be marked. 
    • If a question is ignored or dropped, all candidates will be granted 4 marks, regardless of whether they have attempted the question or not. 

    Some of the top AICTE approved colleges that accept CMAT scores include JBIMS, KJ Somaiya, Great Lakes Institute of Management, and Goa Institute of Management 

    CMAT 2021 Exam Pattern Highlights

    Pattern Detail
    Mode of Exam Online i.e. Computer Based Test
    Medium of Exam English 
    Nature of Questions 

    Objective Type (MCQ’s) i.e. each question will have four choices out of which only one choice will be a correct choice

    Marking SchemeEach answer is scored out of 4 marks. 1 mark is deducted for each wrong answer. 
    Number of Questions100 Questions in Total, 25 questions in each section
    Sections Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, General Awareness
    Duration 3 hours

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    CMAT Sectional Exam Pattern

    Section-wise CMAT 2021 Exam Pattern

    All sections in CMAT carry the same number of questions. Also, each section carries equal marks. Although candidates are allowed to switch between sections whenever they wish to do so, it is better if one switches to a new section only after they have completed the previous one. The section-wise details of the paper are given below:


    Number of questions

    Total marks

    Language Comprehension  



    Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation



    Logical Reasoning



    General Awareness



    Check CMAT Exam Cut off

    CMAT Marking Scheme

    CMAT Marking Scheme

    Answer TypeMarks Alloted
    Every Correct Response+4
    Every Wrong Response-1
    Unattempted Qiestion0

    CMAT Exam Pattern for QA/DI

    • For this section, candidates must work on their speed and efficiency. Calculation is an essential factor when it comes to answering questions in this section.

    • Questions in this section are usually single and are not based on sets.

    • Arithmetic operations and Modern Math form an integral part of the section.

    • Make sure that you are proficient at assessing data that is represented graphically i.e. in the form of bar graphs, pie charts, tables etc. This will be imperative in the exam, since candidates that are able to view minute differences in graphical data have a better chance of scoring well. ~q

    • Candidates are advised to have good proficiency in solving the problems from topics such as Time and Distance, Geometry, Numbers, Profit and Loss, Simple equations and Time and Work.

    Check More About CMAT QA/DI Section

    CMAT Exam Pattern for Logical Reasoning

    • In this section, most of the questions are generally from topics such as Puzzles, Statements and Conclusions, Cause and effect, Assumptions and Conclusions and missing term in the figure.

    • Topics from arrangements (linear, seating, sequencing and arranging with conditions) are also asked. 

    Check More About  CMAT Logical Reasoning Section

    CMAT Exam Pattern for Language Comprehension

    • Questions from para-jumbles, fill in the blanks, identification of word meaning by selecting correct synonym and antonym, idioms, sentence correction, identification of correct sentence, etc. are commonly asked in this section.

    • Reading comprehension is an integral part of this section. It is advised that candidates read newspapers, novels, etc. to develop a reading habit and sharpen their verbal ability skills.

    • The passages are of 500-600 words that are not too difficult. Also, there is no fixed rule on framing questions in RC. 

    Check Details About CMAT Verbal Ability Section

    CMAT Exam Pattern for General Awareness

    • Questions in GK are divided into 3 parts- Conventional, Current and Business & Economics. 

    • For this section, candidates are advised to be well updated with the current affairs, especially in the Business And Economics section.

    • Basic knowledge of Science, History, Inventions, Book authors and Indian politics will also help candidates to answer the questions in this section.

    Important Note: During the exam, each candidate will be assigned a desktop, along with a rough sheet and pen. Once the exam is over, the rough sheet is to be left at the desk.

    CMAT Previous Year Paper Analysis

    CMAT 2019 Paper Analysis

    • Questions and strategies for the current exam pattern are based on the analysis of previous exam papers. CMAT 2019 had a more challenging Quantitative section than CMAT 2018 did. The Data Interpretation section was also found to be more time consuming by the candidates. 
    • Most of the sections contained questions that were rated moderate-difficult on the level of difficulty, while previous year questions were situated increasingly in the moderate zone. 
    • Overall, the CMAT 2019 General Awareness section was rated as moderate by most participants since it included a health mix of questions based on both static and current GK.

    Slot 1 Paper Analysis 

    SectionDifficulty Level
    Quantitative Techniques and Data InterpretationQuant (Moderate) - DI (Difficult)
    Language ComprehensionModerate-Difficult
    Logical Reasoning Moderate
    General AwarenessModerate-Difficult

    Slot 2 Paper Analysis

    SectionDifficulty Level
    Quantitative Techniques and Data InterpretationQuant (Moderate) – DI (Time Consuming)
    Language ComprehensionModerate-Difficult 
    Logical ReasoningModerate 
    General Awareness Moderate-Difficult

    CMAT 2018 Section Wise Paper Analysis

    YearSectionLevel of Difficulty
    2018Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation Easy-Moderate
    Logical Reasoning Moderate 
    Language Comprehension Easy-Moderate 
    General Awareness Moderate-Difficult

    CMAT 2017 Section Wise Paper Analysis 

    Year Section

    Level of Difficulty

    2017Quantitative Techniques and Data InterpretationEasy-Moderate
    Logical Reasoning Moderate 
    Language Comprehension Easy-Moderate
    General Awareness Difficult

    CMAT Mock Test

    CMAT 2021 Mock Test

    Trial Test is available on the official website of NTA. This is to help candidates get accustomed to the online test and navigation functionality. Candidates are advised to go through CMAT Mock Test to acquaint themselves with the screens, layout, and navigation.

    Trial tests are beneficial and form an essential part of the candidate’s preparation for the exam. It allows a candidate to form a better understanding of the test.

    Benefits of Taking a Trial Test

    • Candidates get an idea about their speed and efficiency.

    • It helps the candidates in better time management.

    • It acquaints candidates with the navigation and layout of the test.

    • A trial test may also help candidates to form an idea about their actual score in the test.

    • It gives candidates the confidence to perform in the actual test.

    CMAT Syllabus & Important Topics

    CMAT Test Practice Centers by NTA

    As CMAT is an exclusive management entrance exam conducted by National Testing Agency it has certain benefits as well. Test practice centers is a service provided by NTA across India for candidates to make themselves familiar with computer based test format. The format adopted is a exact replica of actual exam day happenings. 

    Qualified staff and government appointed nodal officers are present at the practice centers to assist candidates. This measure was taken keeping in mind that students from all areas urban and rural appear for the exam. 

    It is advised to visitv testv pratice centers before the exam as it will be a motivation and will remove vapprehensions regarding computer based test. It is utter beneficial to candidates appearing for the exam first time. 

    CMAT 2021 Syllabus

    National Testing Agency (NTA) does not issue an official syllabus for the CMAT exam. Therefore, according to the topics and subjects presented in previous CMAT papers, we have amalgamated the topics that have either been highly prevalent in previous exams or carry a lot of weightage. Below are discussed important points regarding CMAT Syllabus:

    • Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation is design is based on the 10+2 level Mathematics syllabus.

    • Language Comprehension includes components of English Grammar and Vocabulary.

    • There is no fixed syllabus for the Logical Reasoning and the General Awareness sections. However, candidates are advised to check the topics discussed below for these sections.

    CMAT Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation Syllabus

    Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation
    Number Systems Fraction and Decimals GeometryQuadratic and Linear Equations
    TabulationPartnershipSimple Interest and Compound Interest Probability 
    Profit and Loss Percentages Mensuration Averages 
    Work and Time 
    Graph Ratios and Proportion of Line Pipes and Cisterns Time-Speed-Distance
    Allegations and Mixtures Permutations and Combinations 


    Pie Chart, Bar Chart

    Important Topics for Quantative Techniques and Data Interpretation

    • Time and Distance 
    • Geometry
    • Mensuration
    • Numbers 
    • Percentages
    • Profit/Loss
    • Simple Equations
    • Time and Work
    • Ratios
    • Quadratic Equations
    • Bar Graph 
    • Line Graph 
    • Probability
    • Averages, Mixtures and Allegations

    CMAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus

    Analytical Reasoning Statement Assumptions Analogy Test Inferences 
    Statement Arguements Non-Verbal Reasoning Cause and Effects Statement and Conclusion 
    Blood RelationshipSymbol Based Problems Sequencing Matrix Arrangements 
    Number Series Coding and Decoding Direction and Distance TestRanking Tests 

    Important Topics for Logical Reasoning

    • Puzzles
    • Statement and Conclusions
    • Cause and Effect
    • Assumptions and Conclusions
    • Individual Questions in Puzzles
    • Missing term in the figure
    • Course of Action

    CMAT Language Comprehension Syllabus

    Jumbled Paragraphs Reading ComprehensionEnglish Grammar Sentence Correction
    Paragraph Completion Idioms and Phrases English Usage Errors Sentence Improvement 
    One word substitutionSynonyms Antonyms Phrases 

    Important Topics for Language Comprehension

    • Para Jumbles
    • Find Summary questions
    • Identifying the correct statement
    • Sentence Correction
    • Reading Comprehension Passages 
    • Usage of Grammar 
    • Fill in the blanks 

    CMAT General Awareness Syllabus

    Current Affairs of National and International Economy Personalities in News Indian ConstitutionSports News 
    Trade Awareness Politics History Culture 
    Geography Economics Sports Science in Everday Life 

    Important Topics in General Awareness

    • History
    • Science in Everday Life
    • Economy
    • Personalities in News

    CMAT Preparation Tips/Resources

    CMAT Preparation Books 2021

    Books are the most important aspect of exam preparation. Some of the books that candidates may refer to for the preparation of CMAT 2021 exam are given below. The students and experts most recommend these.


    Book Name


    Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation

    Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations

    RS Agarwal

    Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency

    Ananta Ashisha

    Data Analysis & Interpretation Data Sufficiency

    Think Tank of Kiran Prakashan

    Logical Reasoning

    A modern approach to logical reasoning

    RS Agarwal

    How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT

    Arun Sharma

    Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT

    Nishit Sinha

    Language Comprehension

    The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability

    Sujit Kumar

    How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension?

    Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay

    CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

    Gautam Puri

    General Awareness

    General Knowledge

    Disha Experts

    Face To Face MAT With 19 Years (1997-2016)

    BS Sijwali

    CMAT 2021 Practice Papers/ Mock Test Resources

    There are many resources available for prospective candidates who wish to give CMAT 2021. Test takers can access a variety of practice test booklets and manuals available on the internet. The following table includes a curated list of the resoures that are bound to be highly advantageous to candidates during their CMAT preparation. Exam guides can be utilized by applicants who are just laying the groundwork, while the practice sets and solved papers will provide aid to those who are in the revision stage.

    Resource Author
    3 Edge Advantage Series: CMAT Practice Sets Ayush Gupta, Diwakar Sharma, Ashwani, R.K. Behl
    Complete Reference Manual for CMAT S.K. Sinha, S.Satyanarayan, Col. J.S. Rana 
    MBA Solved Papers (All Management Exams) Gautam Puri 
    CMAT Exam Guide 2016RPH Editorial Board 
    CMAT Entrance Guide that contains 5 mock testsDisha Experts 
    Study Package for CMAT Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhyay

    Best Resources for Current Affairs Preparation for CMAT 2021

    NTA has not set a syllabus for current affairs or general knowledge. For many candidates, this is a reason for discontentment and confusion since they have no idea what they have to study from because the the contents of the syllabus are so vast. General Awareness questions are divided into two main subsects: Static GK and Current GK.

    • Current GK includes questions that are based on economic and fiscal policies, country wise denominations, new scientific endeavours and world politics. On the other hand, Static GK mainly focuses on arts, culture and historical events.
    • The following table delineates the resources that candidates can utilise to prepare their study material for the current affairs and general knowledge portion of CMAT 2021:
    The HinduFinancial Express Economic Times 
    The Financial Times Wall Street JournalHindu Business Line
    Business TodayBusiness World Manorama Year Book 
    Competition Success ReviewArihant GK Lucent’s GK
    • A vital topic in general awareness is History. To prepare for history, candidates can use Manorama Year Book, Lucent’s GK and their 6th , 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th standard books.
    • For economic insight, the financial times, financial express, economic times, hindu business line, business world and business world are great resources. 
    •  Candidates can brush up on their current affairs by studying Competition Success Review, Arihant GK, Wall Street Journal and by being subscribed to google updates. 
    • Many editorials, news pieces and interviews of eminent personalities are published in newspapers such as The Hindu, Indian Express, Hindustan Times and Times of India. 

    Points to Remenber on CMAT Exam Day

    • Candidates with low scores will not be disqualified in CMAT 2021 due to the fact that there is no centralized cutoff present to assess candidates. The cut-off specified by the college that one aims to gain admission into will be what determines the candidate’s qualification. Check Top Colleges that accept CMAT Score 
    • Every candidate will be allocated a pen/pencil and a rough piece of paper which they will have to forfeit after the examination. 
    • Candidates should be aware that they have to reach the exam hall 2 hours prior to the onset of the exam, since entry will be denied after 8:30 am for the morning shift.
    • No test-taker will be allowed to leave the exam hall premises while the exam is in session. This also applies to candidates who have finished the exam early and wish to leave. 
    • No breaks will be permitted during the examination, so candidates must be prepared accordingly.
    • Candidates with diabetes are allowed to carry edibles such as sugar tablets/fruits and a transparent water bottle.  Packed food is not  allowed inside the exam hall.

    CMAT 2021 Exam Pattern FAQs

    Ques. What are soms of the most important topics in the GK section of CMAT? 

    Ans. Candidates should try to focus on current affairs, history, economy and personalities in news the most. 

    Ques. How long should I study GK to prepare for CMAT 2021? 

    Ans.  CMAT Toppers Kshitij Madan and Saras Suhane advice candidates to prepare daily for the GK section atleast 3-4 months prior to the exam. This can be done alongside preparation for other exams and can be mixed with preparation for other topics. 

    Ques. I am appearing for multiple management exams. How should I divide my preparation?

    Ans. CMAT 2015 Topper Shubhandeep Basak appeared for many management entrance exams such as XAT, CAT, IIFT, SNAP, NMAT, and MAH CET, aside from CMAT and stated that he utilized the same preparation strategy for all of them: 

    • After completing a certain section, he would take section-wise mock tests to figure out his weaknesses. 
    • After working rigourously on his faults, he would take full length mock tests. 
    • His main objective in completing mock tests included getting comfortable with the test environment. 
    • For preparation, he used material provided by T.I.M.E institute, as well as Quantum Cat by Sarvesh Sharma, MBA Entrance Examinations by Nishit Sinha, Six Weeks to Words of Power by Wilfred Funk, and Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. 
    • For GK, he mainly kept himself updated by reading several different newspapers. Guesswork isn’t useful in this section since the applicant either knows the answer or doesn’t. 

    Ques. What strategy should I use for revising for CMAT 2021? 

    Ans. Don’t give a lot of mock tests for the sake of completing mock tests. Make sure that whenever you complete a test, you fully analyze it. If you are completing a full mock test, it is important to maintain your concentration for 3 hours so that you can replicate the test environment. 

    Do not create a very time sensitive timetable, there should be space for flexibility. A subject should preferably be studied for 1-2 hours and not more than that. It is okay to mix subjects up. Since Logical Reasoning is time consuming, it is better to attempt the sections that you are most comfortable with first and not get fixated when you work on the LR section. 

    Ques.  I have accidentally put the wrong address on my CMAT Application form. Can I change it? 

    Ans. Unfortunately there is no way to change the information on an application form that has already been submitted. You should re-register with the correct information. 

    Ques. Who should I talk to in regards to my certificate requirements? How soon will I get a response?

    Ans. CMAT Customer Care Support is available on phone and email from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. The helpline numbers are 8429996897, 9453827201, and 9453827203. To email the customer care support, you can contact 

    Queries will be responded within 2 business days or 48 hours. 

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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    1 Comment
    Sakshi Kanoongo

    Need some mock papers for CMAT preparation

    25 Jan, 2019 00:20
    Sarthak Mahajan

    Hi Sakshi, You may please check the link to get the Mock Papers for CMAT Exam.

    25 Jan, 2019 11:16

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