CMAT 2021: Preparation Tips, Books, Resources and Topper Tips

    Urvashi Singhal Urvashi Singhal
    Exams Prep Master

    CMAT 2021 Preparation should start well in advance to cover vast syllabus in designated time with a sound plan. Being thoroughly prepared and knowing sectional preparation strategies is a direct route to success. Experts advice that a good 6 months preparation is required to ace CMAT. Aspirants are expected to be well versed with CMAT Exam Pattern to avoid any last-minute chaos. 

    CMAT 2021 Syllabus comprises of Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and Verbal Ability, General Awareness. CMAT Question paper comprises of 100 Multiple type questions to be solved in 3 hours. The exam will tentatively be conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) in last week of January 2021 Check Detailed CMAT Syllabus

    Before devising a preparation strategy keep the following questions in mind:

    • When to start CMAT preparation and what mode to choose?
    • What are recommended books for preparation-is it available with you?
    • Are there any other resources needed to prepare apart from books?
    • Strategy to prepare online for the exam

    We recommend that you devote this time to learning foundational concepts and practicing as many CMAT sample papers to have an efficient preparation strategy. 

    How to Prepare for CMAT 2021?

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      How to Prepare for CMAT 2021?

      Devising a preparation strategy can be a tricky task. Here is some assistance for candidates stepwise: 

      Step 1: Know CMAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

      No considerable change was observed in CMAT exam pattern when NTA took over CMAT from AICTE. The exam is conductedin two shifts now on a particular day.

      Total Number of Questions100
      Number of Sections4
      Questions in Each Section25
      Total Marks400
      Type of QuestionMCQ 
      Marking Pattern

      +4 for correct answer

      -1 for wrong answer

      Difficulty LevelModerate

      CMAT Syllabus is defined by NTA in the official brochure. It is to be notices that questions are not repeated in exam. 4 sections comprise syllabus: Quantitative Techniques which includes aspects of Mathematics with emphasis on airthmetic and data interpretation, English Language and Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning and General awareness. 

      • Start with section that seem tough to you
      • Complete a section and thyen try to move on to a new one
      • Do not confuse yourself by preparing multiple topics at the same time

      Syllabus is further divided into sub sections to pin down important topics. Thus the scope of CMAT syllabus is quite wise likeother management entrance exams. Thre cannot be a strong preparation without getting fully acquainted with CMAT syllabus. 

      Step 2: Practice Through Sample Papers/ Mock Test

      When thorough with CMAT exam pattern move on to solving sample papers. National Testing Agency tooreleases a official mock test on the website, do practice it to get a hold of how the question paper will look like on exam day. 

      • Do not jump on solving mock test as it can be demotivating, complete CMAT Syllabus and then move onto sample papers.
      • Analyse your performance after each mock test to know weak and strong points.
      • Try to increase speed and accuracy with every mock test
      • Try to solve sectional mock tets and variety of questions from varied sources

      Step 3: Thorough Revision

      In the last few days prior to the exam revision should be the focus. devote more time on topics that seem to be weak. Do not start a new chapter or topic on the last day instead focus on topics already covered. Relax a day prior to the exam and give time to rejuvenate. Avoid revising on the exam day.  

      Revision is the key to ace the exam as extent of syllabus can be confusing. Try to revise section wise-prepare notes for revision especially forbasic concepts, tricks and tips that suit you, theorems and formulas.

        Section Wise Preparation Tips for CMAT 2021

        Section Wise Preparation Tips for CMAT 2021

        Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation

        • The main objective of this section is to test your mathematical skills in various areas such as arithmetic, algebra and geometry (cover all the sub-topics).
        • Identify your weak zones through mock tests. Constant practice will enhance one’s accuracy and speed. 
        • Instead of a step by step calculation in all the questions, certain short cut tricks for calculation can save a lot of time. These tricks can be found in videos online.
        • Don’t get stuck up at one question. Remember, all questions carry equal marks, so it is advisable to move on to the next question.
        • The objective of the data interpretation section is the ability to interpret data which is presented in tables, graphs and charts. It involves analysis or decision-making based on the numerical data.

        Logical Reasoning

        • The main objective of this section is to test the aspirant’s logical ability.
        • While practicing this kind of problems, candidates should try to solve different types of problems with varying difficulty levels.
        • The logical reasoning for CMAT covers statement and argument, blood relation, statement and conclusion, coding and decoding, statement and assumptions, number series and analogies. Practice a few topics everyday and you will be ready to handle the same in the exam.

        Language Comprehension

        • The language comprehension for CMAT covers various types of questions such as para jumbles, reading comprehension, sentence completion, idioms and phrases, one-word substitution and synonym and antonym.
        • One should start reading newspapers, articles and other forms of reading material everyday to enhance one’s vocabulary and grammatical abilities. 
        • Reading on the computer will be beneficial in improving one’s reading and comprehending speed for the online exam. 

        General Awareness

        • Be updated with the recent government schemes in the areas of the economy, environmental issues, news related to finance, sports, politics, social issues, major corporate events, famous awards, world records and international news.
        • Focus on the famous and trending topics because most questions are asked from recent news or updates. 
        • Don’t pile on the preparation for the general awareness section for the last. Watch news videos and read newspaper everyday to avoid the last minute stress.

        There are no defined books to prepare for GK. How should I do it?

        General Knowledge can be divided into three parts, and equal importance should be rendered to each section:

        1. Conventional GK
        2. Current GK
        3. Business & Economics GK

        For Current GK, continuous preparation via newspaper reads is the only key. The section covers questions on all national and international events, by keeping no sector aloof. Conventional GK can be prepared from books as the section covers questions on Who’s who; Constitutional knowledge; Current affairs; business; economics; currency and Capitals of the countries as well as States of India; International Organizations; monetary and fiscal tools among others.

        Candidates are advised to create their own CMAT GK Question Bank, and can also refer to Manorama Year Book, and visit official websites of international organizations like ASEAN, TPP, BRICS and also know basic details about them, the headquarters, the year of establishment. Topics and GK sample questions for CMAT preparation should also include National current developments, Government schemes like UDAN Scheme, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, JAM, Demonetisation, GST among others; latest who’s who; achievements; pacts and agreements.

        Online Preparation for CMAT 2021

        There are times when candidates are stuck while preparing in solving or getting through a question. In this tech savy generation, candidates can join online study groups. They are helpful in interacting with other candidates and experts and take their advice. They can act in a way doubt solving groups. It is advised to discuss topics, tricks. You can even create a whatsapp group for this purpose with your friends.

        Online preparation for CMAT can also be done by downloading MBA exam preparation apps. There are youtube vidoes available along with plenty of preparation content via blogs,videos, samplle questions, analysis experts. Android users can access Google playstore to download CMAT Preparation apps.  

        In case you area working professional or even a student not able to spare time for regular class coaching and need guidance-online coachings can be a rescue. They cost less than regular coachings and can be scheduled in accordance with your time table. 

        Recommended Books for CMAT 2021

        Recommended Books for CMAT 2021

        CMAT Preparation Books for Language Comprehension

        How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading ComprehensionArun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
        The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical ReasoningNishit K Sinha
        A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal ReasoningRS Aggarwal
        Trishna’s Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for MBA ExamsTIME
        High School English Grammar and CompositionWren and Martin

        CMAT Preparation Books for Quantitative Techniques and DI

        How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CATArun Sharma (Mc GrawHill)
        Quantam for Admissiom into IIMs-
        Quants study moduleTIME, Career Launcher and IMS

        CMAT Preparation Books for Logical Reasoning

        How to Prepare Logical Reasoning for CATArun Sharma
        Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CATNishit K Sinha

        CMAT 2021 Preparation Strategy to score 95+ percentile

        CMAT 2021 Preparation Strategy to score 95+ percentile

        If a candidate attempts 50 questions with accuracy, the score can easily fetch a percentile of 96-98. Thus, preparation for CMAT 2021 does not require to study round the clock, instead one needs to study smartly and with intelligent approach to crack the questions correctly in minimum time to achieve high score.

        CMAT aspirants need to prepare for CMAT thoroughly for 3-4 months considering the difficulty level of the paper and the surprise elements. As per expert opinions, the best way to prepare for CMAT 2021 exam is to know your strengths and weaknesses and start working on them now. Use all the available resources like recommended books for CMAT, online CMAT study material provided or the offline CMAT practice test papers or CMAT Test Series.

        How to start CMAT 2021 Preparation at Home?

        How to start CMAT 2021 Preparation at Home?

        • Plan Your Study: This is the first step to their preparation. Every candidate must plan and allocate their time to studies and stick to the plan. Allot the time according to the difficulty level of the sections and time taken by it. Candidates must make sure that every section is covered. All the hours and days before the exam must be organized according to syllabus. 
        • Solve Mock Tests: Usually, an official trial test is released on the official website. If there is not one available, a candidate must solve as many as mock tests as possible. These tests will help the candidate familiarize with their weak as well as strong points. One must start with weekly or bi-weekly tests and then go ahead with daily tests and manage time accordingly with each section.
        • Distributive Learning: The candidates must try and cover more than one subject in one day. Studying one subject for too long will make excessive studying redundant. Learning two subjects turn by turn will keep the mind absorbed and bring variety to the studying schedule. 
        • Revise Regularly: Gradual and regular revision makes the candidates familiar with the types of questions and CMAT exam pattern. It helps the candidates to get disciplined about their preparation strategy. Regular revision will increase accuracy and thus will lead to a boost in confidence. 
        • Make Basics your Strength: There are always some basic questions from all the sections that are present in the question paper almost every year. The nature of these questions are same. Candidates must practice these questions as much as possible. It helps in solving the predicted questions in the minimum time possible during the examination.
        • Practice last year question papers: To get an exact idea about the exam and get familiar with the pattern, candidates must practice last year’s question papers. This will avoid last minute anxiety.
        • Take Regular Breaks: The candidates must go for shorter studying sessions rather than study marathons. During the preparation for CMAT 2021, candidates must keep in mind that studying for long intervals will make their brain tiresome. Candidates must take short but regular breaks so that the mind stays fresh. 
        • Set a Finishing Date: Candidate must set a deadline for the completion of the whole syllabus and plan the whole preparation process accordingly. A deadline needs to be set for every section so that that candidates can finish learning new topics and concentrate on revising them. More importantly, this date must be strict as well as feasible. Goals that are not feasible must not be set. After this, he/she can start giving mocks and solving test papers.

        CMAT Previous Year Analysis 

        CMAT Previous Year Exam Analysis 

        CMAT 2019 took place on January 28, 2019 and was conducted by NTA (National Testing Agency). It was noted to be easier than CMAT 2018, especially in terms of the Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Techniques section. Most candidates attempted above 75% of the paper within an average time duration of 130 minutes 

        Quantitative Technique and Data Interpretation

        • QA and DI had approximately 9 questions that were on a moderate level of difficulty, 2 questions that were difficult, and the remaining were termed as easy. 
        • There were mostly Geometry and Arithmetic questions, while the rest of the questions were more or less evenly distributed among the other topics 
        • Most candidates attempted 23-25 questions
        SectionTopics No. of Questions 
        Algebra Functions, Linear Equations2124
        Arithmetic Time-Speed-Distance, Time-Work, Clocks, Averages4206
        Data InterpretationPie-Chart, Table2002
        GeometryMensuration, Triangles, Trignometry1427
        MiscellaneousSix sigma, Numbers2002
        Modern Math Probability, Permutation, Combination2204\

        Logical Reasoning

        • Most of the questions were in the easy-moderate range 
        • There were no questions based on complicated data sets
        • Most candidates attempted above 20 questions
        Topic No. of Questions
        Blood Relations 
        Series Completion
        Logic Based 
        Ranking 1
        Counting No. of Squares in the given figure1
        Square Arrangement 
        Visual Reasoning2
        Verbal Reasoning – Word Relationship, Statement Arguement, Statement Conclusion, Assertion Reason 4
        Analogy 2
        Odd one out3

        Language Comprehension: 

        • Contained 15 RC Questions and 10 Non RC Question
        • There were a total of 4 passages that had 15 questions
        • The 3 short passages had 3 questions each
        • Slightly long passage had 6 questions 
        • Most of questions ranged from easy-medium
        TopicNo. of Questions
        4 RC Passages15
        Part with error 1
        Synonyms / Antonyms 2
        FIB 1
        Word Analogy 
        PJ 1
        Meaning of a phrase 1
        Meaning of underlined word 
        Grammatically correct sentence 1

        General Awareness 

        • A majority of the questions were based on Static GK
        • Around 1/3 of the questions included topics that centered on current affairs and general news 
        • Most candidates attempted 13-17 questions with an average 80% accuracy rate

        Past Year Paper Analysis

        Past Years’ Analysis

        Year SectionLevel of Difficulty
        2018Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation Easy-Moderate
        Logical Reasoning Moderate
        Language Comprehension Easy-Moderate
        General Awareness Moderate-Difficult
        2017Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation Easy-Moderate 
        Logical Reasoning Moderate
        Language ComprehensionEasy-Moderate
        General Awareness Difficult 
        2016Quantitative Techniques and Data InterpretationModerate-Difficult
        Logical ReasoningEasy-Moderate
        Language ComprehensionModerate
        General Awareness Moderate
        2015Quantiative Techniques and Data InterpretationModerate
        Logical ReasoningEasy
        Language ComprehensionModerate-Difficult
        General Awareness Easy

        Topper Tips for CMAT 2021

        CMAT Topper Tips

        • Prefer only latest edition of CMAT preparation books
        • Focus on weak areas and improvise by solving moreand more practice papers
        • Do not neglect books by Arun Sharma and Nishit K Sinha they are holistic in nature
        • If opting for coaching for preparation do gothrough material recommended by them
        • regularly read newspapers and magzines make it a daily habit to improve vocabulary
        • Do not spend unnecessary time on topics that seem difficult and you are stuck on

        “Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources”, says Charanjeet Sharma

        Charanjeet Sharma scored 82 percentile in CMAT. He says give quality time for practice and revise on a regular basis. He says, besides studies, interpersonal skills and creative mind helps you to get succeed. Practice as much as you can, says Charanjeet. He said that the experience in the interviews was very good. When asked about interviews, he also stated that not only studies matters, a candidate must have interpersonal skills and creative mind. He followed only the books provided by the Time Institute. Rest, he studied NCERT books of class 8th and 10th. Charanjeet also advised the aspirants to solve more and more mock tests, focus on your speed and put more efforts in verbal and GK sections to score better.

        Vishar Gor Says, “Practice makes a man perfect”

        Vishal Gor appeared for CMAT and cleared it with 124 marks. When asked about his key to success he said, one must prepare regularly for something. He focused on Reasoning and verbal more. He also kept himself updates with novels and newspapers daily and spared at least 3 hours a day for CMAT preparation. He appeared in almost 4 group discussion rounds and 3 personal interviews actively. He says, don’t take too much stress be free and enjoy the preparation and try to work more and more in study groups. 

        CMAT 2021 Last-Minute Prep Tips

        CMAT 2021 Last-Minute Preparation Tips

        Thorough preparation, a calm head and time management will turn out to be the key on the Exam Day of CMAT 2021. For the last few days heading to the Exam Date, aspirants should focus on strengthening their skills by focusing on topics that they are most comfortable with, shortcut trics for the QA section and not starting up with fresh new topics that haven't been touched yet.

        Here is a list of some useful insights for the last few days to the D-Day:

        1. Concentrate on Accuracy and Time-management
        2. Rely on your set defined strategy
        3. Brush up topics from self-made notes
        4. Revise shortcut methods for complex calculations
        5. Attempt Practice Papers and other Mock Tests
        6. Read the Guidelines thoroughly before starting your Paper
        7. Eat and rest well for the last few days

        Salient FAQs on CMAT 2021 Preparation

        CMAT 2021 Preparation Tips FAQs

        Ques. How do I prepare for Language Comprehension in CMAT? 

        Ans. The language comprehension part for CMAT covers various types of questions such as parajumbles, reading comprehension, sentence completion, idioms and phrases, one word substitution and synonym and antonym. 

        One should start reading newspapers, articles and other forms of reading material everyday to enhance one’s vocabulary and grammatical abilities.Reading on a computer screen will be helpful because it will familiarize the candidate with the test format and thus in turn increase their rate of comprehension. 

        Check Language Comprehension Preparation Material

        Ques. How do I prepare for General Awareness in CMAT?

        Ans. Candidates need to be aware of all the novel schemes that are run by the indian government and major statuory bodies in the spheres of economy, environmental degradation, financial sector, sports news, political events, social events, famous awards and their beneficiaries, and major international news. 

        It is important to not just stick to one source of information i.e. books, journals, magazines. Candidates should prepare for general knowledge from a holistic perspective and watch videos, movies, read the newspaper aside from just focusing on the textual material. 

        Check Current Affairs Preparation Material

        Ques. How many questions should I attempt in QA/DI to get a good score in CMAT 2021?

        Ans.  Based on an analysis of CMAT 2019, most of the questions in the exam arose from the geometry and arithmetic section. The overall difficulty level of the section was termed as ‘moderate’. Most of the candidates ended up attempting 23-25 questions in CMAT 2019. 

        Ques. How many questions should I attempt in Language Comprehension to get a good score in CMAT 2021?

        Ans. Based on an analysis of CMAT 2019 Language Comprehension results, most of the questions were in the easy-moderate range. Majority of the candidates answered all of the RC questions and more than half of the non-rc ones.

        Ques. How many questions should I attempt in General Awareness to get a good score in CMAT 2021? 

        Ans. Out of current GK and static Gk, most of the questions that appeared in CMAT are from Static GK. Around one-third of the questions posed centered around current affairs and general news. A majority of the candidates attempted 13-17 questions and achieved an average 80% accuracy rate.  

        Ques. How many questions should I attempt in Logical Reasoning to get a good score in CMAT 2021? 

        Ans. Most of the logical reasoning questions in CMAT are rated in the ‘easy-moderate’ range by candidates because there were no questions on data sets that were overly complex or complicated. Majority of the questions were from coding-decoding, blood relations, and verbal reasoning i.e. word relationship, statement arguement, statement conclusion, and assertion reason. Maximum candidates responded to more than 20 questions. 

        *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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