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How to Prepare for MAT Exam?

Updated On - September 13th 2019 by ANAM SHAMS

MAT is one of the most widely taken tests by management aspirants and is a gateway to over 600 B schools in India. It is a 150-minute duration exam, in which a candidate has to solve 200 questions. MAT exam preparation calls for a carefully crafted strategy that will help candidates cover the important topics and score high. For a good result it is advisable to start the preparation as early as possible.

Latest Update: MAT 2019 for September session will be scheduled on September 21 (offline) and September 14(online).

MAT previous year observations shows that opting questions of around 80 marks (except GK) with at least 80% accuracy can fetch you a very good rank. A concrete plan, good strategy, a lot of practice, focused mind, high determination, can help in scoring good marks in MAT. Check MAT Syllabus

MAT preparation can be divided into three parts-

Concept based- certain questions of Mathematical skills and language comprehension are conceptually driven. Start you preparation with concept building of fundamental topics.

Practice intensive- Intelligence and critical reasoning, data analysis, english proficiency requires practice of questions. Practice across questions requiring application of key concepts.

Environment driven- awareness is required of national-international current affairs in general and environment awareness in particularly.

Check MAT Mock Test Prepared by Collegedunia

MAT 2019 Preparation Strategy

Understand MAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The first step towards MAT preparation is getting hold of the exam pattern and syllabus. Candidates need to come up with a well chalked out preparation plan as per MAT exam pattern. MAT comprises of 5 sections of 40 questions each. There is no sectional time limit and the entire paper has to be completed in 150 minutes. Check Detailed Exam Pattern

Total number of questions200
Total Marks200
Number of Sections5 (Language Comprehension, Intelligence and critical reasoning, Data Analysis and sufficiency, Mathematical skills, Indian and global environment)
Duration of Exam150 MInutes
Medium of examEnglish
TYpe of QuestionsObjective
Number of Answer Choices4
Mode of examOffline and Online
MAT Marking Scheme+1 for correct answer and -0.25 for incorrect answer

Candidates need to score well in all the sections, as there are sectional cut off in colleges. The section Indian and Global Environment will not be taken for score calculation and merit list preparation.

Check 5 Things to Keep in Mind During MAT Registration

Decide the mode of preparation: Coaching or Self Study

  • Depending upon the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and amount of guidance needed, mode of preparation should be decided.
  • MAT coaching institute can guide with preparation material and test series. Coaching can be taken as regular classes, Weekend classes or online mode.
  • Candidates who are working professionals can opt for online coaching in order to save time. Online coaching are cost effective and less time consuming.
  • Self study is the best preparation strategy for MAT exam if candidates have a moderate level of preparation. Mock test can help to overcome weak sections.
  • Candidates should go through the exam pattern and syllabus and accordingly make a schedule.
  • Self study should be monitored by attempting mock tests and previous year question papers.
MAT Sample Paper Banner

Understand MAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus

The first step towards MAT preparation is getting hold of the exam pattern and syllabus. Candidates need to come up with a well chalked out preparation plan as per MAT exam pattern. MAT comprises of 5 sections of 40 questions each. There is no sectional time limit and the entire paper has to be completed in 150 minutes.

Time Management is the key

  • Maximise number of questions to be solved in suggested time limit: It is important to focus on all the sections as marks allotted to each section is equal i.e 40 marks for each section with a total of 200 marks. Time table should be prepared in such a way that each section gets equal attention to have a balanced score. 

The following table will give you a fresh idea of time balancing and the best percentile:

SectionTime (in minutes)MarksLevel of Difficulty
Language Comprehension3020-27Moderate
Mathematical Skills4027-20Difficult
Data Analysis and Sufficiency3521-28Moderate
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning3019-26Moderate
Indian and Global Environment0510-15Moderately Difficult
  • Have a cut off time for each question : 200 questions are to be solved in 150 minutes in MAT hence time management for each section is important. Read the question and decide to solve it or not in the first few seconds. Question that are complicated and time consuming should be left.
  • Prioritize the Sections: It is considered best to always begin with the time-consuming section as it takes more time than the allotted time. And the time can be adjusted with the sections which consume less time. 
  • Be Focused: To get admission in the best B school, 98 percentile is required. During preparation, candidates must be sure that they should cover at least 1st level problems of all the topics as they can bring marks.

Check 9 Best Reasons to Take MAT

Commonly Asked Questions 

What is the difficulty level of MAT? 

MAT requires speed with accuracy, one gets 150 minutes to solve 200 questions which is a difficult task. Above this there are negative marks of -0.25 for each incorrect answer. The overall difficulty level of all 5 sections is moderate.

What is the best way to prepare for MAT? 

There is no thumb rule for MAT preparation, it depends on candidates strengths and weaknesses. Aspirants should- find good study material, take full length practice test, review their preparation time to time by mock test, boost their vocabulary and general knowledge.

Instructions For MAT Preparation

  1. Being updated with the MAT 2019 current syllabus
  2. A proper time-table should be followed
  3. Practicing mock tests and previous years’ papers
  4. Solve the quant section using short-tricks
  5. Prepare self-made notes
  6. Have a good strategy to solve the maximum number of questions in less time
  7. Attempt the questions where you’re 110% sure
  8. Refer good books
  9. Don’t stick to any question, read< solve, skip< move
  10. Self-motivation, Confidence is the key to success

Check Top MAT Coaching Centers to Boost your MAT Preparation

MAT 2019 Preparation Books

Books and study material for MAT will guide candidate to start their preparation. There are many books available at stores and online for MAT. the best ones will strengthen your fundamentals and clarify the concepts. Given below are some of the reference books for MAT 2019, that are considered by toppers-

List of Best Books for MAT preparationAuthor’s namePublisher
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CATArun Sharma & Meenakshi UpadhyayMcGraw Hill
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CATNishit K SinhaPearson
Mission MBA MAT GuideBS Sijwali and Tarun GoyalArihant Books
Word Power Made EasyNorman LewisPocket Books
Study package for MATArun SharmaMcGraw Hill
A Modern Approach to Logical ReasoningR.S. AggarwalS. Chand & Co.
Complete Guide for MAT and Other MBA Entrance ExamsDeepak Agarwal, Mahima AgarwalDisha 
MAT Score AcceleratorDisha ExpertsDisha Publication
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CATArun SharmaMcGraw Hill
How to prepare for Quantitative for the CATArun SharmaMcGraw Hill
Quantitative Aptitude for the CATNishit K.SinhaPearson
Manorama Year BookK. M. Mathew, Mammen MathewMalayala Manorama Group
Regular reading of The Hindu, ToI, India Today, Sports week etc.--

Practice Mock Test and Sample Papers

  • Attempting MAT with speed and accuracy is important. To develop this mock test and sample papers are of utmost importance. It will provide an idea of expected topics, difficulty level of questions, shortcuts and tricks.
  • Sectional and full length mock test should be given. Mock test and online series give an idea of preparation level to the candidate and analyse the strengths and weaknesses.
  • They are available with coaching centers like T.I.M.E, Career Launcher, etc. as well as online on site like HundakaFunda, Pagalguy, etc.

MAT 2019 Section Wise Preparation Tips 

SectionFirst StepSecond StepThird Step
Language ComprehensionEnhance reading habit with newspapers, articles, books.Boost english grammar, vocabulary, synonyms, antonyms and sentence formation.Practice previous year questions papers.
Mathematical SkillsMark difficult and important topics and start then first. Brush up basic concepts. Increase speed by solving questions from recommended books and previous year papers.Attempt mock test and analyse them later.
Intelligence and Critical ReasoningLearn new tricks and methods to quickly solve the questions,Practice topic wise questions. sectional mock test will helpful.Solve mock test to develop speed and accuracy.
Data Analysis and SufficiencyUnderstand graphs, table and learn how to interprate data accurately.Learn to solve questions without calculator and from different sources.Take mock test and online series to get an idea of different kind of questions.
Indian and Global EnvironmentMake notes on current affairs of national and global issues. Read newspapers, government portals and online resources.Take GK based mock test, solve quizzes and revise the important events.

MAT Preparation Tips for Language Comprehension

Language Comprehension Covers the following areas:

  • Word analogies
  • Vocabulary with questions on antonyms and synonyms
  • Rearranging sentences
  • Reading comprehension
  • Sentence completion

While preparing for Comprehension, you can follow the tips mentioned below:

  1. Questions in this section revolve around grammar usage, vocabulary and test the reading skills.
  2. Invest time in reading extensively, develop habit of observing and learning new words daily. This will help expand your vocabulary.
  3. Read English newspapers, magazines, editorials, articles and watch English news channels.
  4. Regularly practice previous year papers and mock test to check grammar and vocabulary proficiency.
  5. During the exam. reading the questions before comprehension makes it easy to find the answers well and save time.
  6. With decent command over english and regular practice, one can score well in this section.

MAT Preparation Tips for Mathematics Skills

  • Number Systems
  • Percentage, Profit and Loss, Mixtures
  • Averages, Ratios, Interest
  • Time and Work, Speed and Distance
  • Geometry, Trigonometry

While preparing for Quants, you can follow the tips mentioned below:

  1. Gain conceptual clarity of fundamental topics. Make your own notes of the concepts and formulas and understand them.
  2. Analyse topics and questions that are important and are frequently asked.
  3. In MAT, there is a kind of questions that are generally not asked in other MBA exams, focus on them.
  4. Use stopwatch while practising sample questions in order to increase speed and accuracy.
  5. If questions seem time consuming, skip them. Brush up shortcuts and tricks to solve the questions in order to save time during exam.

MAT preparation tips Data Analysis & Sufficiency

  • Data Sufficiency
  • Standard DI tools like bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, data tables
  • Data comparison

While preparing for DI, you can follow the tips mentioned below:

  1. This is one of the most scoring sections in MAT, try to focus and understand the nature of questions.
  2. Regular practice makes it easy to solve data analysis questions in less time.
  3. Focus on previous year questions to increase speed and solve various kinds of questions.
  4. Try solving different types of questions in a time-bound manner.

MAT Preparation tips for Intelligence & Critical Reasoning

  • Identifying patterns in number sets
  • Relationship
  • Direction Sense
  • Coding, Decoding
  • Verbal Reasoning

While preparing for Reasoning, you can follow the tips mentioned below:

  1. This section test candidates reasoning and deduction skills. Good preparation and high accuracy can fetch you more marks and reserve a seat.
  2. Practice different types of verbal and non-verbal questions to improve efficiency.
  3. Remember the directions, visualise the questions and solve accordingly.
  4. Shortcut tricks are essential and should be mastered as only 30 minutes are allotted for this section.

MAT Preparation Tips for Indian & Global Environment

  1. Questions in this section cover the topics related to general knowledge and current affairs.
  2. Refer to magazines, newspapers and articles related to indian government, international developments, business, sports.
  3. Watch news on television and youtube, this will help remember facts for a long period of time.
  4. Download news and current affairs apps on mobile to stay updated on the latest happenings.
  5. Develop a basic understanding of banking and business sector.

MAT Topper’s Preparation Strategy

Ketan Anand scored 99.28 percentile in MAT. He emphasises on having conceptual clarity which will help gain speed and accuracy. He took coaching from bullseye and attempted number of mock test and solved previous year question papers to keep a track of his performance. Analysing mock test are neccessary as per Ketan. Read More

Ashish Patial secured 99.99 percentile in MAT. he was a working professional and studies exhaustively for 9-10 hours on weekends and holidays. he suggest that attempting mock test explores the loopholes in preparation and time managment. since quants was his forte he focussed on language comprehension and data analysis. Read More

Also Read MAT Topper tips by Ankit Kumar

30 Days Plan for MAT September Preparation

The following table represents a 30-days plan for preparing for MAT exam. The columns define each of the topics covered in MAT Syllabus. An aspirant should practice the defined set of topics for at least 1 hour each to obtain a valid MAT scorecard.  

DaysLanguage ComprehensionMathematical SkillsData Interpretation and AnalysisCritical ReasoningIndian and Global Environment
Day 1Verbal ReasoningHCF & LCMPie ChartCritical ReasoningCompany punch lines
Day 2SyllogismsPercentagesPie ChartVisual reasoningGeography
Day 3Vocabulary 50 wordsRatios and proportionsGraphsSequencingCurrent Affairs
Day 4Mock Test
Day 5Using the same word with a different meaningQuadratic and linear equationsGraphsCritical ReasoningGeography
Day 6Contextual UsageWork and TimeBar GraphsVisual reasoningHistory
Day 7Vocabulary 50 wordsWork and TimeBar GraphsSequencingCurrent Affairs
Day 8Mock Test
Day 9AnalogiesGeometryLine ChartsCoding and DecodingHistory
Day 10One word substitutionGeometryLine ChartsAssumption-Premise-ConclusionBusiness
Day 11Vocabulary 50 wordsGeometric ProgressionPie ChartAssumption-Premise-ConclusionCurrent Affairs
Day 12Mock Test
Day 13AntonymsTime-Speed-DistanceColumn GraphsStatements and AssumptionsBusiness
Day 14IdiomsProfit and LossColumn GraphsStatements and AssumptionsScience
Day 15Vocabulary 50 wordsGeometric ProgressionLine ChartsIdentifying valid inferencesCurrent Affairs
Day 16Mock Test
Day 17Fill in the blanksAlgebraVenn DiagramAssertion and ReasonsBooks and authors/ Awards
Day 18Odd man outAlgebraVenn DiagramIdentifying ReasonsSports/ Politics
Day 19Vocabulary 50 wordsAlgebraBar GraphsLinear ArrangementsCurrent Affairs
Day 20Mock Test
Day 21Jumbled ParagraphsAveragesGraphsLinear ArrangementsCompany punch lines
Day 22Sentence CompletionNumber SystemPie ChartMatrix ArrangementsSports/ Politics
Day 23Vocabulary 50 wordsPartnership (Accounts)Bar GraphsMatrix ArrangementsCurrent Affairs
Day 24Mock Test
Day 25Sentence CorrectionPercentagesColumn GraphsFamily treeBooks and authors/ Awards
Day 26Foreign language words used in EnglishVectorsVenn DiagramFamily treeGeography
Day 27Vocabulary 50 wordsWork and TimeLine ChartsCause and effectCurrent Affairs
Day 28Mock Test
Day 29Reading ComprehensionTime-Speed-DistanceVenn DiagramCause and effectHistory
Day 30Reading ComprehensionGeometryBar GraphsCritical ReasoningCompany Punch Lines

The mock tests can be taken every day to enhance the speed of solving questions. And on the exam day, the question paper will seem another practice test. All the best!

MAT 2019 Preparation FAQs

Ques. How to prepare for MAT?

Ans. Firstly, understand the pattern and syllabus for MAT, analyse your weak and strong points and prepare a time schedule accordingly. Cover the syllabus and practice regularly by mock test and previous year question paper.

Ques. How many hours should I dedicate for MAT?

Ans. Preparation Hours depends on the level of your conceptual clarity. If fundamentals are strong, and you are aware of the exam pattern and syllabus thoroughly then 3-4 hours daily will suffice. If you are a beginner then little extra effort will be required.

Ques. How much time is needed to cover the MAT syllabus?

Ans. MAT has 5 sections to be covered up, if you have given any management exam earlier and acquainted with the syllabus then 3-4 months are sufficient. In case you are a beginner then 6- months are required to cover the syllabus and score well.

Ques. Is it enough to prepare from a single book for MAT?

Ans. Requirements of Books and Study material vary from section to section. Some sections can be prepared with limited material. MAT syllabus is vast, hence candidates should refer to the best books in the market. Several online sources are also helpful for mat preparation.

Ques. Can i self-prepare for MAT?

Ans. Of course, there are numerous candidates who clear MAT by self-study. Start by gaining a sound knowledge of syllabus and exam pattern, gather required study material and accordingly make a time table. Make use of the online resources and study material to the fullest. Rely on MOck test to constantly judge your performance and growth.

Ques. What are some time management tips for MAT?

Ans. 200 questions are to be solved in 150 minutes in MAT. It requires a lot of speed and accuracy, hence time management is a necessary skill to be developed. While preparing Mock test help develop speed. During exam do not stick to one question and spare time for revision.

Ques. Is joining a coaching institute necessary for MAT preparation?

Ans. The convenience of joining a coaching center is they provide updates and relevant study material for MAT. also, the time schedule prepared by coaching institute is according to important topics and syllabus. Candidates just have to follow that.

Ques. Is online coaching viable for MAT preparation?

Ans. Online coaching is a suitable option for working professionals preparing for MAT. it saves time and is more cost effective. There are several free online resources and websites providing study material and guidance for MAT.

Ques. How does improving general knowledge helps in MAT?

Ans. Indian and global environment is one of the sections in MAT exam. Though the marks of this section is not included in preparing final score and merit list, but certain B schools undertake the score for interview round.

Ques. Do candidates in their final year of graduation face difficulty in preparing for MAT?

Ans. That is not the case, aspirants in their final year of graduation are in touch with their studies, hence they can simultaneously prepare for graduation exam and MAT. graduation marks should not be compromised as they are considered in the final selection to B schools.

Ques. How should I prepare for mathematical skills if weak in maths?

Ans. Start by preparing the basic concepts and fundamental topics. Develop a habit of practising questions daily and learn the tricks to solve the questions. A good percentile in math can be scored if mock test and previous year question papers are referred regularly.

Ques. Can I take MAT, if my English is not that fluent?

Ans. MAT does not require fluency in english, decent command over grammar and vocabulary will help score well in MAT. This can be brushed up by reading newspapers, articles, and english news and youtube channels.

*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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Tarigonda Aishwarya

can i find any vedios for preparation

26 Aug, 2019 00:20
Shobhna Chaturvedi

Hi Aishwarya, you may refer to the following websites for online classes on MAT:

  • Cracku
  • Oliveboard
  • Gradeup
  • Mbauniverse etc.

26 Aug, 2019 12:53
Monojit Dey

I am confused while filling the MAT form selecting the city 1 and city 2, i stay in Bangalore can i select Bangalore for the both the options.

30 Aug, 2018 00:20
Akansha Expert

Hi Monojit, No you can fill different suitable city for the Entrance exam.

30 Aug, 2018 15:02
Jhilmil Yadav

Instead of solving lots of mock papers, try get your aptitude strong. If you can do good in aptitude section, you would be able to score high. I am from tech background and my foundation in mathematic helped me to get a good score which then helped me get admission at Thapar School of Management. Now I am placed at Reliance and I am love my job. That's why try your best to score good in aptitude section and everything will work out well for you.

30 May, 2018 13:07
Shivani Tiwari

Thanks for the tip.

31 Jul, 2018 15:54
Roshni Chakraborty

how to prepare for the current affairs part?

06 Nov, 2018 14:59
Sarthak Mahajan

Hi Roshini, To prepare for current affairs and general awareness section, you must read magazines, newspapers and watch news channels.

15 Dec, 2018 14:22

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