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MAT 2021 Paper Analysis: Detailed Overview of Examination

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Urvashi Singhal

Exams Prep Master

All India Management Association successfully conducted MAT 2020 for the December session on December 6 for PBT mode & on December 28 for CBT mode respectively. The IBT mode tests were conducted between November 21 and December 24. Earlier, MAT 2020 PBT exam for the September session was conducted on October 3. Check MAT 2020 Cut Off

The question papers of MAT 2020 December exams were of moderate difficulty, like they have always been for the past few years.

AIMA has begun with its application form procedure on January 4, 2021 for the February session to secure admission to candidates into MBA/PGDM courses offered by some of the renowned institutions across India. Click here to apply

December 2020 Paper Analysis

MAT 2020 December Session Paper Analysis

There was no change in the MAT 2020 exam pattern. Each section contained 40 questions carrying four marks for correct attempt and - 0.25 marks for wrong attempt. The section-wise difficulty level can be termed as moderate to difficult. Since, Indian and Global Environment section is not included in calculation of MAT percentile candidates need not worry much. 

MAT 2020 December Paper Breakdown

MAT Sections Topics Difficulty Level
Language Comprehension RC, Sentence formation errors, vocabulary, synonyms/antonyms, FIB, one word substitution, para jumbles Easy to Moderate
Mathematical Skills Interest, Percentages, Time and Work, Profit, Loss, Partnership, Algebra, Geometry Moderate to Difficult
Data Analysis and Sufficiency Graphs, Pie Charts, Bar Diagrams, Charts, Line Graph, Data Comparison Moderate
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning Family Relation, Statement Cause & Effect, Series, Assumptions, Reasons, Analogies Moderate to Difficult
Indian and Global Environment International, Advertising, Awards, Books, Economy, Business Easy

MAT 2020 September Paper Analysis PBT mode <h2>

MAT PBT 2020 exam was conducted successfully on October 3, 2020. The exam was conducted without any glitches and strict safety protocols were followed to ensure the safety of MAT PBT aspirants amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The september session was also conducted in IBT mode or Remote Proctored Internet Based Test (IBT) which only means that reh candidate will be able to take up the examination from the comfort if their homes on their personal laptops/desktops with the exam pattern been same as that of PBT/CBT in 2021. 

Language Comprehension: 40 questions

  • This section ensured four passages of 5 items each. The part included 20 other questions from these topics: Synonyms, Antonyms, Sentence Completion (double blank), Idioms/Phrases, Summary of a short passage, One-word substitution and Para-jumbles.
  • The RC passages remained easy to read and comprehend. The readings were on Demonetization, Fibroscan (equipment to analyze liver cirrhosis), Management of Hazardous Material, etc.
  • Some RC questions had three statements in them and students had to choose the correct comments (as per the passage); these remained, almost certainly, the only moderately difficult questions in RC.
  • Some words which the predictable test students knew were: Pivotal, Exodus, etc.
  • It was not hard to attempt around 30 questions here by giving the section 30-35 minutes.

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning: 40 questions

  • This section ensured four sets- of 5 questions each- of Logical Reasoning questions. The other 20 questions remained from the topics: Strong/Weak arguments, Course of Action, Coding-Decoding, Syllogism, etc.
  • Maximum of these questions remained easy. Some sets of Logical Reasoning had become hard on account of some mistake in the question itself!
  • It was conceivable to go for 25-30 questions by giving 35 minutes to this segment.

Mathematical Skills: 40 questions

  • This section had the significant number of Arithmetic in it. Just about all subjects (Mixture & Solutions, Simple & Compound Interest, Time-Speed-Distance, Percentages, Profit-Loss-Discount, etc.) of Arithmetic were present.
  • It also included questions from Probability, Combinatorics, Mensuration, Linear Equations, etc.
  • It did not have many calculation-intensive questions. The well-equipped student should have been able to have a go for about 30 questions by a45 minutes to this section.
  • Some questions in this section had very near choices. This was perhaps the only segment in the test which had one or two complicated questions.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency: 40 questions

  • This piece included questions on Graphs, Pie-charts, Bar-Diagrams, etc. Maximum questions remained easy to do.
  • It was not hard to go for 20-25 questions by giving 25-30 minutes to this section.

Indian & Global Environment: 40 questions

  • Most of the students are conscious that this section is not calculated to generate the total scaled score in MAT and later they do not try it.
  • There are some B-Schools which look at the score (given distinctly) of this section. Going into the exact nature of the chapter, it is not hard to fulfill it in 10 minutes.
  • This segment remained a blend of questions on Static General Knowledge and Current Affairs. A score of 15 may be considered right here.

May 2020 Paper Analysis

MAT 2020 May IBT Paper Analysis

AIMA conducted MAT May 2020 in the newly introduced Remote Proctored Internet Based Test (IBT) mode due to coronavirus pandemic in May, June, July, August and September. The MAT IBT is the same as CBT and PBT. The only difference is that candidates have to take MAT IBT from home. In the IBT mode exam, candidates had to take the test on their personal laptop/desktop in the stipulated time, just like in the PBT/CBT mode exams. The exam authorities used a remote proctoring method for student verification and exam invigilation to ensure no candidate resorted to cheating or any other malpractice.

There was no change in the MAT 2020 exam pattern of IBT mode. The difficulty level of the IBT mode exams held in May-July was moderate difficulty with no surprise element in the question paper. Verbal, Data Analysis and Reasoning questions were time taking.

May Section wise Analysis

Sectional Wise MAT 2020 May Analysis

Language Comprehension

Topics Number of Questions Difficulty Level
Number of RC Passages 5 Easy to Moderate
Errors in Sentence Formation 3 Moderate
Antonyms 3 Moderate to Difficult
Synonyms 3 Moderate
Fill in the Blanks with Correct Words 3 Moderate
One Word Substitution 2 Moderate
Phrases & Idioms Substitution by Words 3 Moderate to Difficult
Jumbled Paragraphs 3 Moderate

This section of the MAT 2020 consisted of 40 questions like usual. Except for a few tricky questions, the level of difficulty was moderate. 

Mathematical Skills

The Mathematical Skills section also contained 40 questions. In MAT 2020 IBT mode exams, Arithmetic questions dominated this section. There were around 15 questions on Arithmetic topics like Interest, Percentages, Time and Work, Profit, Loss, Partnership. All the questions were of moderate difficulty level and candidates found them a little time consuming.

Besides the Arithmetic questions, the rest of the questions were from Geometry and Mensuration, Ratio, Probability, Permutation and Combinations, Equation, etc. A score of 29-30 marks can fetch 90+ percentile in this section.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency

About 50 percent of this section of MAT exam was dominated by Data Interpretation that included questions from Graphs, Pie Charts, Bar Diagrams, Charts, Line Graph, Data Comparison. Rest 50 per cent of the section comprised questions from Data Sufficiency and Data Comparison. A score of 20-23 marks will help candidates fetch 90 percentile and above.

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning

This section of the MAT IBT question paper had more Analytical and Logical Reasoning questions while Critical Reasoning questions were less. There were 10 questions on Family Relation, 10 on Statement Cause & Effect and others on Statement-Assumptions, Reasons, Analogies and Direction, Series and Incorrect terms; in sets as well as individuals. This section could be considered lengthy. A score of 26-27 marks will help candidates fetch 90+ percentile.

Indian and Global Environment

There were 40 questions in this section with maximum questions on Government Policies, COVID-19 and its global implications, Rules, Regulations, JIO- Facebook deal, Awards, CAA, GST, Constitution of India, Appointments, Capitals, US Trade Policy, Current Nationals and International Events.

February 2020 Paper Analysis

MAT 2020 February Paper Analysis

The MAT 2020 CBT and PBT exams were held on February 2 and 16, respectively. The question paper had no surprise elements and many test takers of the MAT 2020 February exam said, the exam was quite satisfactory.

Besides having a few tricky questions in the Language Comprehension, Data Analysis and Quantitative Aptitude section, the overall question paper of MAT 2020 February session exam was easy.

Experts review, a score of 110-112 as good will help students fetch 90-percentile cut off this time. Check detailed MAT exam analysis of February 2020 CBT & PBT modes below:

MAT 2020 February Highlights (CBT and PBT Mode)

  1. There was no change in the MAT 2020 exam pattern
  2. Verbal Reasoning, Data Analysis & Reasoning sections were tough and time consuming
  3. As compared to previous MAT exams, questions in the Intelligence and Critical Reasoning section were slightly tricky this time.
  4. The Language Comprehension section had four RC passages of 500 words. Out of this, two RC passages were opinion based and two fact based
  5. The Reasoning section was moderate with just a few tricky questions. It had 18-20 questions on Family Relations and Statements-Cause and Effect
  6. Both the Data Analysis and Data Sufficiency section had a lot of questions on Graphs and Pie Charts.
  7. Few questions on Graphs and Pie Charts from the Data Sufficiency section were on the difficult side
  8. The Mathematical skills section had maximum arithmetic questions of moderate difficulty level.

February Section wise Analysis

MAT 2020 February: Section wise Paper Analysis

Language Comprehension

The Language Comprehension section of MAT 2020 February exam had 40 questions equally divided into English Language and RC. The English Language sub-section included questions on Antonyms/Synonyms, One Word Substitution, Errors in Sentence Formation, Fill in the blanks, Phrases & Idioms and Jumbled Paragraphs. There were five RC passages, each carrying four questions.

Overall, the Language Comprehension section was of moderate difficulty. A score of 27-28 can easily help candidates fetch 90 percentile in Language Comprehension section.

Mathematical Skills

The Mathematical Skills section with 40 questions was of moderate difficulty. A score of 29-30 marks could earn 90+ percentile in this section.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency

Data Analysis and Sufficiency was dominated by questions from the Data Interpretation section. Questions from Data Sufficiency and Data Comparison sections were less in number. Most of the questions were from Graphs, Pie Charts, Bar Graph, Venn Diagrams, Charts, Line Graph, Data Comparison. A score of 22-23 should help students fetch 90 percentile and above.

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning

The Intelligence and Critical Reasoning section was slightly lengthy and questions were of moderate level of difficulty. The questions in this section were both single and in sets. There were 10 questions each from Family Relation and Cause & Effect. The rest of 20 questions were distributed among Based on Statement-Assumptions, Reasons, Analogies, Direction, Series and Incorrect Terms. A score of 26-27 marks should help test takers fetch 90 percentile in the section.

Indian and Global Environment

The Indian and Global Environment section had 40 questions based on the below mentioned topics.

  • Awards
  • Government policies
  • Rules
  • Regulations
  • Budget
  • GST
  • CAA
  • Constitution of India
  • Appointments
  • Capitals
  • Current National and International events
  • US Trade Policy

MAT 2020 Question Paper Division

Sections of the Subject Number of Questions Suggested Time (in minutes)
Language Comprehension 40 30
Mathematical Skills 40 40
Data Analysis and Sufficiency 40 35
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning 40 30
Indian and Global Environment 40 15
Total 200 150

The MAT 2020 IBT question paper pattern was similar to that of MAT CBT and PBT question papers. As per the university decision, there may be certain changes in the division of marks in MAT 2021. Check Detailed MAT 2021 Exam Pattern 

Frequently Asked Questions

MAT 2021 Paper Analysis FAQs

Ques. Is the MAT IBT exam pattern different from MAT PBT and CBT?

Ans. No, the MAT IBT exam is the same as the MAT PBT and CBT pattern. The question paper of IBT consists of 200 questions equally divided into five sections – Language Comprehension, Intelligence & Critical Reasoning, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis & Sufficiency and Indian & Global Environment.

Ques. Which section will have more importance in the MAT 2021 February session?

Ans. According to the previous year question paper based on the February session, the candidates can expect the Intelligence and Critical Reasoning section to be the most difficult with FReading Comprehension, where the passages are more fact based with focus on abstract topics. 

Ques. If I am not satisfied with my MAT score, can I take it again in the next session?

Ans. Yes, any candidate can take the MAT exam multiple times. MAT is conducted four times a year – February, May, September and December. So, in case the candidate is not satisfied with marks scored in the February session, they can take the exam again for the May session. 

Ques. If the GK section is not included in the final score calculation, can I skip that section in the exam?

Ans. Even though the score of GK section is not included in the final score calculation, it is advised that candidates perform in the GK section equally well as it will add to the overall impression of the candidate at the time of admission and knowledge of GK will be helpful in Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds.

Ques. Which section of the MAT exam is usually the toughest?

Ans. According to the year question paper Language Comprehension and Intelligence & Critical Reasoning will usually be tougher than the rest of the sections of the MAT exam.

MAT 2021 : 3 answered questions


Ques. What are the best colleges accepting MAT scores?

● Top Answer By Pranjal Singhal on 16 Feb 21

Ans. There are more than 1395 top B-schools in India that accept MAT scores. These colleges are known to have a decent academic and global exposure. Also recruiting companies participating in their placement programs offer generous salary packages to its students. A cooperative faculty and ROI also determines a good MBA college.  Here are some of the best colleges accepting MAT scores including their location, course fees and cut-offs. Institution Location Fees MAT Cut-off Christ University Bengaluru INR 7,97,000 Percentile 80-85 Alliance School of Business, Alliance University Bangalore INR 9,00,000 100 Amity Business School Noida INR 7,67,000 500 KIIT School of Management Bhubaneswar INR 13,60,000 600 International School of Business & Media  Pune INR 5,90,000  Percentile 80% Universal Business School Mumbai INR 8,28,000 Percentile 70% Institute of Technology & Management Navi Mumbai INR 10,45,000 Percentile 80% University of Petroleum & Energy Studies Dehradun INR 13,35,000 140 Amrita School of Business Coimbatore INR 10,60,000 Percentile 40% Indus Business School  Pune INR 3,20,000 60 % Indus Business Academy  Bengaluru INR 6,14,000 80% Jaipuria Institute of Management  Noida 6,50,000 600 International School of Management Excellence Bangalore INR 9,00,000 70% Balaji Institute of Modern Management Pune INR 8,45,000 600 Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship Bangalore INR 10,00,000 700 Institute of Finance and International Management (IFIM) Bangalore INR 12,00,000 85% Institute of Public Enterprise  Hyderabad INR 5,00,000 80% Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) Pune 10.75 Lakh 60 Unitedworld School of Business Ahmedabad INR 6,50,000 450 However, there are many more colleges in India that accept MAT scores. But these are some top colleges among them.Read more
1 Answer

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
1 Answer

Ques. What is the order of difficulty mode of entrances exam among these CAT, MAT, XAT, CMAT, ATMA and other exams conducted by deemed universities?

● Top Answer By Sahil Sachdeva on 18 Jan 21

Ans. The order of difficulty is definitely related to various factors but the prominent ones are candidates appearing & its composition. Keeping these in mind; the list is as follows: Common Aptitude Test(CAT) The exam is conducted by IIMs and accepted by most of the management institutes across the country.  The test duration is around 3 hours and comprises 100 questions.  A nice level of preparation is required to crack it as colleges look up to candidates holding more than 90 percentile. Xavier’s Aptitude Test (XAT) This examination is organised by Xavier Institute Of Management situated in Jamshedpur.  It also qualifies as a prominent score for management courses across various colleges.  The paper has sections similar to CAT but reasoning and general knowledge are the cracking points in the paper. Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT) It is conducted by All India Council Of Technical Education(AICTE) having a moderate level of difficulty.  It takes general knowledge scores into consideration.  It is a 3 hour exam with 100 questions. Management Aptitude Test (MAT) This examination is conducted 4 times a year in February, May, September and December by All India Management Association (AIMA).  It is the easiest of all management exams and is accepted by 55-60% colleges across the country.  It is a 2.5 hour paper including 200 questions.  The percentile awarded is not inclusive of general knowledge score. The details regarding exams can be summed up in the table as follows: PAPER Number of questions Time duration (hours) Number of times paper conducted CAT 100 3 Once in a year (29 November 2020) XAT 100; 2 parts 3 Once in a year ( 3 January 2021) CMAT 100 3 Once in a year ( January 2021 ; registration open) MAT 200 2.5 4 times a year (February, May, September and December) The other prominent exams that are institute specific are : NMAT- Narsee Monjee Institute Of Management Studies -Management Aptitude Test SNAP- Symbiosis College – Symbiosis National Aptitude Test IIFT- Indian Institute Of Foreign Trade The aforesaid examinations are followed by GD/PI with a comprehensive evaluation of the entire academic cycle of candidate. Mere qualification of percentile is not a sure shot entry to top institutes.Read more
1 Answer

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


jatin sharma
Which section carries highest marks?
common admission test

Hii Jatin Sharma, Greetings from collegedunia. MAT Exam consists of 5 sections and it carries a similar weightage to all the sections. However, the maths section of MAT has the highest difficulty. For more details visit MAT EXAM PATTERN

shiya devi
If I don't take admission even after counselling, will my counselling fees be refunded to me?
abdul nazir

Hi Shiya, There is no centralised counselling conducted by AIMA rather individual colleges release their own cut offs and admit students on the basis of their performance in entrance test and other rounds. Counselling comprises of Group Discussions, Personal Interviews and/or Written Ability Tests. To get more details visit MAT counselling.

saurav kumar
Which portion carries highest marks?

Hi Saurav

There are total 5 sections in the exam and each section carries equal marks i.e. 40 marks for each section which makes total of 200 marks. For more details about the MAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus visit on our website.

How many questions are usually asked on quantitative reasoning?

Hello Riyaz,

There are two sections which will overall cover the Quantitative reasoning section. The first section Mathematical Skills and the second Data Analysis and Sufficiency. Both these sections will have 40 questions each. For more details, visit- MAT Exam Pattern.

Is the paper tougher than CMAT?

Hi Taniksha

Both CMAT and MAT are considered to be same. Both the exam somehow have the same difficulty if you are preparaing for CMAT you cn also crack MAT exam. But CMat is conducted once per year and MAT is conducted 4 times a year.

sheetal chib
Will there be any change in exam pattern or number of question in next year's exam ?
common admission test

Hii Sheetal, MAT Exam Pattern is prescribed by AIMA and no changes are introduced for the 2021 session. MAT 2021 Exam Pattern generally consists of 5 sections with a total of 200 questions are to be attempted over 150 minutes with each section having 40 questions. For more details visit:- MAT PAPER PATTERN

ananya pandey
Will the next year exam be tough or easier?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi, The MAT test takers found the exam easy to moderate difficulty level although parts of Verbal, Data sufficiency were rated as bit difficult. After September 2019, this is the second time that paper based MAT exam has been conducted after the Computer based MAT.

ankit kumar
Does any question repeat every year in the MAT exam?
arvind kumar

Hi Ankit, questions may or may not repeat in MAT exam. It is totally uncertain. For more details visit: MAT EXAM 2020

neha thasale
Which section of the MAT exam is usually the toughest?

Hi Neha, 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning includes number series, puzzles, blood-relations, tables, graphs and caselets and is consdered to be the toughest section in the MAT exam. You can go through MAT question paper analysis for more. 

shruti verma
I have been preparing for the CAT exam. I just wanted to know, how similar are the critical reasoning of MAT and Logical reasoning of CAT?
rakhisree chatterjee

Hi Shruti, Both the sections of both exams are similar. You can check the difference in the syllabus by downloading it from the official website of both the exams.

puja sao
What is the difference between the difficulty level of quants in CAT and MAT exams?

Hi Puja, click here for a detailed comparison of CAT and MAT.

What is the difference between the difficulty level of quants in CAT and MAT exams?

Hi Amit, click here for a detailed comparison of CAT and MAT.