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CMAT Toppers: Know Preparation Strategy and Tips from Toppers

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Urvashi Singhal

Exams Prep Master

 NTA conducts CMAT that provides an opportunity to thousands of aspirants to apply for more than 1000 AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) approved institutes. Candidates can apply to suitable AICTE enlisted institutes based upon their CMAT ranks.

Until 2018, CMAT was conducted by AICTE itself as per the guidelines laid down by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India. NTA was assigned the responsibility to conduct this CMAT since 2018, a three-hour exam consisting of Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness. The examination is a depiction of the capabilities of a candidate and is their gateway for their eligibility towards 1000+ AICTE recognized Institutions/University Departments/Constituent Colleges or Affiliated Colleges.

Exam Dates 2021

CMAT 2021 Exam Dates

CMAT 2021 Exam Details CMAT 2021 Dates(Tentative)
CMAT Registration Start Date First week of November 2020
Last date to apply for CMAT 2021 Exam Registration Last week of November,2020
Start date to download CMAT 2021 Admit Card Fourth week of December, 2020
Last date to download CMAT 2021 Admit Card Fourth week of January, 2021
Date of CMAT 2021 Exam Fourth week of January,2021
Declaration of CMAT 2021 Result First week of February, 2021

Eligibility Criteria 2021

CMAT 2021 Eligibility Criteria

For a candidate to be eligible for CMAT 2021 s/he should-

  • Be a resident of India.

  • Should have accomplished a bachelor degree with a minimum duration of three years from an AICTE authorized institute/University.

  • Aspirants in their final year of graduation are also eligible to apply for CMAT 2021, provided that their graduation is completed before the commencement of 2021-22 academic session.

  • There is no upper age bar for CMAT.

CMAT 2020 Important Highlights

  • CMAT 2020 was successfully conducted on 28 January 2020.

  • A total of 63,297 aspirants appeared for the decorated exam.

  • In all, 245 exam centers were available across the country for the candidates to choose from.

  • An amazing outline of the exam was that only one candidate could score a 100 percentile while 7 candidates scored an aggregate of 99.99 percentile.

  • Overall topper was Gopaljee Jha with 347 marks in CMAT 2020, among female candidates, Kalisetty Udaya Sandhya Lakshmi Devi secured the highest rank of 6th with 338 marks.

  • CMAT 2020 merit list has been uploaded on the official website and candidates can also view their individual scorecards.

  • The list acknowledging the toppers of CMAT 2020 was released on 4th February, 2020.


Toppers 2020

CMAT Toppers 2020

S. No. Toppers Name Marks Secured Overall Percentile
1 Gopaljee Jha 347 100
2 Fahad Nizam 342 99.9984201
3 Jeet Mukherjee 340 99.9968403
4 Gautam Bhugra 340 99.9968403
5 Tushant Kumar 338 99.9936806
6 Kalisetty Udaya Sandhya Lakshmi Devi 338 99.9936806
7 Nidshish Deshpande 335 99.9905209
8 Archit Kottapalli 335 99.9905209
9 Divyansh Tiwari 330 99.9873612
10 Abhishek Jha 329 99.9857813
11 Yash 328 99.9842015
12 Haridev C 327 99.9826216
13 Sadhwani Nikhil Harish 327 99.9826216
14 Bhandwale Abhijeet Sundarrao 327 99.9826216
15 Supreet Gupta 325 99.9778820
16 Mukul Kumar 325 99.9778820
17 Siddhant Nair 324 99.9747223
18 Tarun Garg 323 99.9731425
19 Saurav Tyagi 322 99.9715626
20 Narayan Sharma 322 99.9715626

For the comprehensive merit list of CMAT 2020, Click Here

Among the 63,297 candidates who appeared for CMAT-2020, the gender and categorical distribution of these candidates has been mentioned in the table below:

Category Male Female Transgender Total
Applied. Appeared Applied. Appeared Applied Appeared Applied Appeared
General 25879 21913 23877 20199 --- --- 49756 42112
EWS 2187 1922 1010 900 --- --- 3197 2822
SC 2228 1805 1594 1248 01 01 3823 3054
ST 605 479 483 387 01 01 1089 867
OBC-NCL 9947 8650 6672 5791 02 01 16621 14442
Total 40846 34769 33636 28525 04 03 74486 63297*

Crucial Changes in CMAT 2020

  • Unlike previous editions of double shifts, CMAT 2020 was conducted as a single shift examination.
  • An increment to 245 exam centres among 104 cities.
  • Engagement of female candidates was fairly high as compared to 2019.
  • A total of 74486 candidates applied for the exam, out of which 63297 attempted it.

Moderations in Question Paper

  • Decrement in the quantity of Reading Comprehension passages with only one passage followed by 6 questions.
  • Increment in Verbal Reasoning questions to 19 from 10 compared to last year.
  • The number of DI Questions were raised to 4 instead of 1 in the previous exam.
  • 4 LR questions based on Blood relations.

Paper Analysis 2020

CMAT 2020 Question Paper Analysis

  • The question paper consisted of a total of 100 questions.
  • All the questions are Multiple Choice based.
  • The question paper was divided into four sections of Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness with each section consisting of 25 questions each.
  • CMAT 2020 was a three hour examination commencing from 9:30 a.m. and concluding at 12:30 p.m.
  • Each question was assigned 4 marks and the total maximum marks was 400.
  • Negative marking prevails in this examination with 1 mark deducted for every wrong answer while there’s no negative marking for a question left unattempted.

Know Toppers 2020

Know CMAT 2020 Toppers

Sheer will, dedication and hard work combined with well-structured study ethics always lead to fruitful results. Shedding light upon their approach towards CMAT 2020 and their experience in preparing for the elite exam, here are few testimonials from the toppers of CMAT 2020.

  1. Narayan Sharma

Scoring a 99.97 percentile in CMAT 2020, Narayan Sharma works as an accountant in the Controller General of Accounts, Government of India. Holding a Bachelorette in ECE from Lovely Professional University, Punjab. The sectional division of Narayan’s aggregate of 322 marks is as follows:

Section Marks Secured Percentile
Quantitative Aptitude 96 99.90%
Logical Reasoning 80 87.39%
Language Comprehension 90 99.92%
General Awareness 56 99.58%

Books recommended by him for preparation of CMAT 2021

  • For Quantitative Aptitude: Emphasize on basics, with reference books like RS Agarwal and NCERT books till class 10.
  • For Logical Reasoning, practicing previous year papers is sufficient.
  • For Language comprehension, Wren & Martins book for grammar and follow a reading habit of newspapers & novels. Also attempt mock tests and papers regularly.
  • For General Awareness, go for Lucent approach banking examinations sites for current affairs.

Targeted Colleges and Other Attempted Examinations

  • The main objective of Narayan’s attempt in this examination was to target Mumbai-based Business institutes like Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies and Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics.
  • Apart from CMAT 2020, Narayan Sharma attempted CAT 2020 examination too and excelled with flying colours, scoring a percentile of 99.12%.

Personal Experience and Suggestions for CMAT Aspirants

  • There’s no shortage of time when it comes to attempting CMAT and what you should really be focusing upon is accuracy while attempting questions. Cross-check your answers in the surplus time to avoid any silly errors.
  • There’s no necessity to join any coaching institute for CMAT preparation as the exam is primarily focused upon basic aptitude which can be worked upon with consistency in practice and attempting mock tests.
  1. Krutharth Patel

With a soaring high percentile of 99.65, is an Engineer with keen interest in financial markets that motivated him to go for an MBA to methodically pursue a career in this discipline and aims to become an Equity Research Analyst. The percentile scored by Krutharth in each section of CMAT 2020 is as follows:

Section Percentile Score
Quantitative Aptitude 99.59%
Logical Reasoning 87.39%
Language Comprehension 94.8%
General Awareness 99.51%
  • Krutharth opted for Elites Grid, which is a training academy for competitive examinations like CAT. He suggests that their lectures were very beneficial in helping him score better in CMAT 2020.

Targeted Colleges and Other Attempted Examinations

Krutharth’s primary aim was to go for Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education and Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai but will have to settle for either National Institute of Bank Management Pune, Goa Institute of Management or K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research Mumbai.

Apart from CMAT, Krutharth attempted various other competitive exams like:

  • CAT (Common Aptitude Test):88.06

  • XAT (Xavier Aptitude Test): 90

  • SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test): 96.5

  • XGMT (Xavier General Management Aptitude Test): 98

Personal Experience and Suggestions for CMAT Aspirants

  • Reading the newspaper on a regular basis does prove vital while attempting the General Awareness section and Norman Lewis can be of great help for improving your vocabulary.

  • Since I was preparing for CAT simultaneously, I didn’t have to put in any extra efforts for CMAT because their basic structure is similar.

  • GA sections can be a bit time consuming, while other sections are pretty basic so time can be covered up among them. Aim for higher goals and trust yourself to achieve them.


Cut Off 2020

CMAT 2020 Cut Off

Enlisted below are some of the top institutes that accept CMAT scores along with their cut-off percentile for 2020:

Name of the Institute Cut off
Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS) Mumbai 99.99 percentile (Minimum 335)
Goa Institute of Management, Goa 99.8 percentile (Minimum 302)
K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research (KJSIMSR), Mumbai 99.20 percentile
We School Mumbai 99.06 percentile
Pune University Department of Management Sciences (PUMBA DMS) 96.42 percentile (Minimum 262)
XISS Ranchi 95 percentile (Minimum 255)
MET Institute of Management, Mumbai 97.27 percentile
Acharya Bangalore Business School (ABBS), Bangalore 90 percentile (Minimum 234)
Asia Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi 85 percentile
Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida 82 percentile
IFIM Business School, Bangalore 85 Percentile
Prin. LN Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Mumbai 85 percentile
Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi 75 percentile
Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune 75 percentile
Prin. LN Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research, Bangalore 85 percentile

Preparation Strategies 2021

CMAT 2021 Preparation Strategy and Tips

  • Aim High: Keep your priorities rigid and aim for the top MBA institutes like JBIMS, Goa Institute of Management, KJ SIMSR, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai/Gurgaon, PUMBA Pune, GIM Goa, IFMR Chennai, IMT Nagpur among others so that you dedicate yourself to put in your apex efforts while preparing for them.
  • Practice Previous Papers: Time is a crucial factor while taking up any competitive exam so attempt previous year CMAT papers and take up mock tests frequently to determine how much time you consume while attempting a paper and what aspects of the exam you need to work upon.
  • Design a Schedule: Covering the complete syllabus for CMAT with limited time can be a challenging task. Design a bespoke study schedule and ensure that each of the four sections of the CMAT paper are appropriately covered and no aspect of syllabus is left out. This would prevent any haste during the final days before the examination.
  • Avoid Referring Too Many Books: Nowadays, there are hundreds of books that claim to have the best curriculum suited for the preparation of CMAT. But referring to all of them would just create a farrago of doubts and ambiguity in your minds so choose your reference books wisely and one or two are sufficient. But you must ensure that the books you choose have all the necessary knowledge required for an exceling CMAT preparation.
  • Seek Toppers Advice: Various interviews are published every year acknowledging the toppers of CMAT for each session. Read them and track their valuable advice on how they prepared for the exam and the strategies followed by them.
  • Coaching Institute: Although it is not necessary to opt for a coaching institute while preparing for CMAT exam as most aspirants believe self-study in a well-planned manner is enough to excel in this examination. But, coaching institutes usually have a promising experience in getting an aspirant prepared for competitive examinations in a time-bound manner. So while choosing a coaching institute, keep the following points in mind:
  • Institute’s previous track records.
  • Curriculum followed by the institute.
  • Faculty of the institute.
  • Time-slots available as per your requirements.
  • Modes of education provided (Online & Offline)

CMAT Toppers FAQs

CMAT Toppers FAQs

Question: Where can I download the answer key for CMAT exam 2020?

Ans. The answer key of CMAT 2020 has been uploaded and available on the official website for CMAT. Click here, to download it.

Question: What is the application fees for CMAT examination?

Ans. The application fee is different for different categories of candidates and is as follows:

  • General category (Male)-Rs 1600

  • General category (Female)-Rs 1000

  • OBC-NC,EWS (Male)-Rs 1000

  • OBC-NC, EWS (Female)-Rs 1000

  • SC/ST/DA(Male)-Rs 800

  • SC/ST/DA (Female)-Rs 700

  • Transgender-Rs 700

Question: When is CMAT 2021 slated to be conducted?

Ans. CMAT 2021 exam is scheduled to be conducted by National Testing Agency on the 24th of January, 2021 for Business schools admissions academic year 2021-23 in 1000 AICTE approved MBA/PGDM colleges.

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

CMAT 2021 : 11 answered questions

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Ques. What is the CMAT cut off?

● Top Answer By Keshav Jindal on 28 Apr 21

Ans. CMAT is an entrance exam for students looking to pursue MBA or PGDM at AICTE approved management institutes. It is a three-hour computer-based test and it will assure you admission to AICTE approved MBA/PGDM courses. It is a moderately difficult exam and includes around 100 questions in total that are further divided into four sections. These are Quantitative techniques and Data interpretation, Language Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and General Awareness. All of these sections constitute 25 questions each on the test. Moreover, if you are looking for a comparison, CMAT is quite easy as compared to CAT or XAT. Other than this, here are a few cutoffs for some of the popular colleges across the country for 2020: College Cutoff JIBMS Mumbai 99+ Goa Institute of Management 95+ KSOM, Bhubaneshwar 95+ Jaipuria Institute of Management 85+ IMT, Hyderabad & Nagpur 80+ Additionally, the selection procedure also varies from college to college. Each of them also has its own admission portal as well. It is advisable to go through the list of colleges and their admission portals before you plan to appear for the exam. You need to clear your basics, have a good speed and accuracy, and a decent presence of mind. All these factors coupled together will help you crack the exam easily. You can also look to attempt mock tests and practice them.Read more
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Ques. What is the CMAT exam pattern like?

● Top Answer By Vidushi on 02 Feb 21

Ans. CMAT or Common Aptitude Management Test is a computer-based test conducted by NTA (previously by AICTE). This exam is of objective nature. The internal mentor of mine from TIME Institute informed us that the CMAT question paper contains 100 MCQs with four options each to choose the right answer from. You are allowed to submit your responses in 3 hours, following which the test window will be closed automatically. Similar to other management entrance tests, the exam has four sections: Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation: You need to focus on Arithmetic and Modern Maths and have strong basics and good familiarity with all possible questions that could be framed from these two topics.  Data Interpretation demands to focus on bar graphs and pie charts.  Along with this, you need to be comfortable and confident in topics such as Algebra, Mensuration, Geometry, Number Systems, Trigonometry, etc. Logical Reasoning It is an analytical way of thinking about a given problem statement, analyzing and evaluating information gathered from observation and experience, to reach certain conclusions.  Critical/Logical Reasoning clarifies goals considering certain assumptions, apprehends hidden values, and evaluates evidence to assess rational conclusions.  You should work on skills like observation, interpretation, analysis, inference, evaluation, estimation, and explanation. General Awareness General awareness includes topics on history, geography, current affairs – economic, business, sports, corporate events, etc.  Questions related to entertainment, politics, and the environment are also asked.  You are advised to stay updated with the recent important events happening in India and across the globe. You can follow good English dailies and good magazines such as The Hindu, Competition success review, etc. Language Comprehension Traditional reading comprehension is basically a paragraph with 5 questions revolving around the author’s viewpoint, idea, etc.  CMAT’s language comprehension would be easier as compared to that of other competitive exams, as direct questions would be asked.  Develop a habit of reading, as it will eventually build your Comprehension skills. Vocabulary includes Para-jumbles, Antonyms & Synonyms, and grammar (idioms & phrases, Sentence correction, Sentence completion, fill in the blanks, Interference & Judgement, Facts, analogy, etc). Here is an overview of the marking scheme: Subject No of questions Marks Quantitative Ability 25 100 Verbal Ability 25 100 Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation 25 100 General Awareness 25 100 Each section comprises 25 questions, where each question carries four marks. This makes each section weigh 100 marks equally and hence the entire exam is graded out of 400 marks. However, unanswered questions do not cause mark deductions. You are advised to take more and more mock tests for CMAT, to get more familiar with the exam pattern, and to develop the required temperament for the exam.Read more
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Ques. Which is the best B school to get in using a CMAT/MAT score?

● Top Answer By Nikkil Visha on 02 Feb 21

Ans. CMAT, commonly known as the Common Management Aptitude Test, is a computer-based entrance exam conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for admission to MBA/PGDM courses in over 1000 B-schools across India. The duration of the exam is three hours with the question paper consisting of 100 questions from Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, and General Awareness. You can refer to the table given below for the cutoffs released by various B schools, analyzed as per the previous year's trends. These colleges have been recommended by our mentor from Erudite Institute. Listed below are the names of the colleges and their cut offs:  Name of the College Cutoff JBIMS, Mumbai 99.99 %ile Sydenham(SIMREE), Mumbai  99.92%ile SIES Mumbai 99.8%ile MET, Mumbai 98%ile KJ Somaiya, Mumbai 97%ile Goa Institute of Management Great Lakes Institute of Management PUMBA, Pune Indira Institute of Management, Pune 95%ile  IPE Hyderabad IFMR, Chennai 90%ile  NIBM, Pune Welingkar Institute, Mumbai N.L Dalmia Institute, Mumbai 85%ile XISS Ranchi HR IMT Navi Mumbai ISME, Mumbai 80%ile  Welingkar Institute, Bangalore Soil Institute of Management NIA Pune 75%ile  ADANI Institute of Infrastructure Management 70%ile These colleges may not be Tier 1 institutions but are good B Schools that admit students on the basis of their CMAT scores. These management institutes conduct group discussions and personal interviews to select candidates for MBA/PGDM programs post declaration of CMAT exam results. The admission process of each institute is independent and according to their academic cycle.Read more
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Ques. What is the benefit of the CMAT rather than the MAT?

● Top Answer By Bhavya Rawal on 02 Feb 21

Ans. The CMAT exam is conducted by the National Test Agency and is accepted by many top colleges for their MBA programs compared to the MAT exam. CMAT also has a greater number of colleges that accept CMAT scores for their admission process. CMAT also enjoys better recognition compared to the MAT exam. Many tier 1 CMAT colleges enjoy better brand recognition in the industry. Even further some of the tier 1 colleges that used to accept MAT scores such as Great Lakes Chennai are now considering CMAT scores for their screening process. The major differences in the pattern of the CMAT and the MAT tests are tabulated below, Criteria CMAT MAT Duration of the Exam 3 Hrs (180 minutes) 2 Hrs 30mins (150 minutes) Number of Sections 4 sections 5 sections Total Mark of the exam 400 marks. 100 marks for each section. 200 Marks. 40 marks for each section. Marks for Correct Answer +4 Marks +1 Marks Marks for Incorrect Answer -1 Marks. No negative marking for unattempted questions. -0.25 Marks. No negative marking for unattempted questions. CMAT does not have any sectional time limits. The exam comprises 4 sections namely Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, General Awareness, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension. MAT exam also does not have any sectional time limits. The exam comprises 5 sections namely Language Comprehension, Intelligence and, Critical Reasoning, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, and Indian and Global Environment. Unlike the CMAT exam MAT exam is conducted both in online and offline modes. Thus, the CMAT exam has many more benefits and opportunities compared to the MAT exam.Read more
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Ques. Is the difficulty level of exams like the NMAT, Snap, and the CMAT the same?

● Top Answer By Himani Arora on 02 Feb 21

Ans. NMAT, SNAP, and CMAT are some of the Management entrance aptitude tests conducted by different exam bodies in India. All these exams have a set of colleges that accepts these scores. All three exams are computer-based and follow Objective Type Questions (MCQ) question format. These three exams have varying difficulty levels. SNAP conducted by Symbiosis University is tough compared to the other two exams NMAT and CMAT. NMAT and SNAP have a similar level of difficulty but SNAP has a tough choice of questions compared to NMAT. CMAT is the least difficult exam among all the three exams. The pattern differences between the exam are tabulated below, Criteria CMAT NMAT SNAP Duration of the Exam 3 Hrs (180 minutes) 2 Hrs (120 minutes) 1 Hr (60 minutes) Number of Sections 4 sections 3 sections 3 sections Total Mark of the exam 400 marks. 100 marks for each section. 120 Marks 60 marks Marks for Correct Answer +4 Marks +1 Mark + 1 Mark Marks for Incorrect Answer -1 Marks. No negative marking for unattempted questions. No negative marking for incorrect answers and unattempted questions. -0.25 marks for each incorrect attempt. Sectional Time Limits: CMAT does not have any sectional time limits. The exam comprises 4 sections namely Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, General Awareness, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension. Whereas NMAT has sectional time limits. Language Skills (22 mins), Quantitative Aptitude (60 mins), Logical Reasoning (38 mins). SNAP exam does not have sectional time limits. The exam comprises 3 exams namely No sectional time limits. General English, Quantitative-Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency, Analytical & Logical Reasoning. Section selection: Candidates can answer from any section of their choice in CMAT.  In NMAT candidates can choose the order of sections of their choice. The questions will appear in the order chosen by the candidates. In short, if the exams are to be arranged based on difficulty then SNAP> NMAT> CMAT. SNAP is the most difficult followed by NMAT and then CMAT.Read more
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