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NMAT 2021 Preparation Strategy: Study Plan, Books, Preparation Guide

Like every other competitive MBA exam, NMAT Preparation might seem intimidating for some candidates. But with the right strategy and tips, NMAT can be aced easily. The level of difficulty is easy moderate. Unlike CAT, NMAT is a test of your speed. Candidates who are able to solve LOD 1 of Arun Sharma should not have much trouble with NMAT Preparation. Before jumping to the NMAT preparation, candidates must familiarize themselves with the updated NMAT Exam Pattern.

NMAT aspirants who are confused regarding what preparation strategy to follow, it is necessary to be familiar with NMAT Syllabus and exam pattern which has undergone changes in 2021 session to get a clear picture of the paper structure. Candidates who will be appearing for NMAT may be anxious about the kind of paper they might get. See NMAT Paper Analysis to get a better idea.

  • NMAT will be accessible for those who have language Skills, are fast in calculation and can deduce reasoning problems efficiently.
  • Each section has 36 questions. Each section holds different weightage and timing so candidates should opt section wise preparation strategy.
  • GMAC provides an official preparation guide including free and paid practice test stimulated on the lines of actual exam to assist candidates. 

For those willing to appear for NMAT 2021, it is time to fasten your shoes for the race. In this article, collegedunia provides you with five most important preparation tips that will provide assistance in the last few days of exam.

Preparation Strategy

NMAT 2021 Preparation Strategy

It is time to shed out all your apprehensions and have a clear blueprint of the preparation strategy. 

  1. Practice Mock Tests

It is not the time to pick up new topics or new study material. Now the focus is required over NMAT Mock Tests. Practice as many mock tests as you can, for it will not only let you know your weak area, but will give you an idea of the ratio of time you are devoting and the time required for each section.

  1. Get knowledge of your weaker side

It is common among test takers to be weak in one or the other section of the paper. A candidate good in quantitative ability may not be well-versed with language skills. However, non-awareness of you weaker areas can prove to be disastrous while attempting paper. So, make a point of getting to know your weak areas and start working on it. You can do so by going through good question examples and attempting mock tests available over the internet, or solving previous year question papers for better self analysis.

  1. Revise the basics

How difficult the paper is, depends upon how well you are prepared for the test. Brushing up of basics is the most important task to be performed in the last few days of exam. Get out all your notes of basics, and revise. It will help a lot.

  1. Know and use shortcut tricks

NMAT depends upon how fast and accurately can you solve the questions. Familiarity with shortcut tricks is required. Attempting questions using shortcuts will leave you will extra time that you can invest in other questions or devote it for section-revision.

Sections like Language Skills, which involves Reading Comprehensions can be time consuming. Speed plays a major role. Keep practising RC’s examples for speedy reading.

  1. Manage your time

The biggest advantage of NMAT is the absence of negative marking. If you get stuck on a question, it is advisable to skip and jump to the next question. That’s how you can manage and save time for questions you can attempt. NMAT is not a test that examines your ability to solve hard questions- it tests your ability to solve maximum questions in the time allotted. Thus, skimming questions can prove to be of great help.

  1. Choose the right coaching center

Preparation for any competitive MBA exam can be tedious and confusing. But the right choice makes a lot of difference in the long run. While so many options can be overwhelming for us, there are a few tricks to make an informed decision. Look up their review, qualification of teacher, classroom facility, success in previous years before joining one. Keeping the current pandemic situation in mind, consider online coaching centers over traditional classroom types.

Read about NMAT 2021Exam Dates

NMAT 200+ Score Strategy

NMAT Strategy to Score 200+

  • Remember that there is no option to skip any question in NMAT unlike other MBA Exams where candidates are allowed to mark an option to solve later or review if there is time. So it is advisable to select an option by guessing, preferably between B and D (most answers are between this range).
  • Attmpt all questions. Since there is no negative marking, candidates don't have to worry about it being wrong. If you have not studied a chapter before, there is no point in wasting time reading the question.
  • Solve at least 5 mock papers when the exam is close. Strategise your attempts in the same way you would in the exam hall. Download NMAT Mock Test Papers.
  • Choose your section wisely. Go for the section in which your preparation is strong. This will help you keep your confidence high throughout the exam.
  • For RC section, practice solving with a timer. The essays are of about 600 to 700 words in length which can consume a considerable amount of time during the exam. For this read newspapers and magazines on a regular basis. For Arithmatic, concentrate on HCF and LCM from which maximum questions come.

NMAT Last Minute Tips

NMAT 2021 Last Minute Preparation Tips

Here are some last minute preparation tips for NMAT 2021 -

  • Revise - With the exam right around the corner it is important to start revising the topics that you've completed. When you start something new with limited time, your brain can suffer from information overload which can become problematic for you at the time of the exam. Prioritise topics that you're well versed in, and finish any easier topics.
  • Practise Mock Tests - Instead of sticking to individual topics try to practice completing Mock Tests and Sample papers for revision. You might have solved several already, but solving papers is the best way to process information and make sure it remains in long term memory as opposed to short term memory. Studies have shown that solving problems is the most efficient way to learn. Moreover, this will help you time yourself for the paper and you will be able to learn how to prioritise the topics that you can attempt easily.
  • Make sure your Basics are covered - A silly mistake can cost you a lot, so make sure your basics are very well done. Go through basics tables, cubes/squares and roots, and formulas again for Quantitative Aptitude. For Language Skills, go through the basics of grammar (Tenses, Prepositions, Punctuation, adjectives, direct/indirect speech etc.) and your word lists again. As for Logical Reasoning, you have to make sure that you're well versed with the methods and shortcuts for all the questions you're comfortable with.
  • How much to aim for? Aim to solve at least 100 questions with accuracy. Do not be discouraged if the first few questions are difficult or if you had to skip them. Most importantly, do not judge the difficulty of the whole exam on the basis of one difficult section. Focus on the bigger picture and aim to solve as many questions as you can with accuracy.
  • Take Care of Yourself - Get at least 8 hours of sleep everyday until the exam. Being sleep deprived can severely affect your memory, arithmetic and reasoning ability. Lack of sleep will have a very negative impact on your performance. Drink plenty of water and healthy food items while preparing for the exam.

Free Official NMAT Preparation 2021 by GMAC

GMAC provides free practice test to NMAT aspirants which has the same structure as actual NMAT exam. This free feature is known as official practice exam 1. 2 attempts will be provided to candidates with 108 questions each. 

An essential feature newly introduced is providing Scaled scores on the attempts which can help candidates have an insight on the level of preparedness. Candidates are required to register for the free practice set. Steps for which are entering first name, last name, email address, mobile number, country code.

Direct link to Register for NMAT by GMAC Free Practice Test

Practice Test by NMAT 

If candidates have appeared for the free NMAT practice test, they can appear for the paid test available on the official website nmat.org/official-prep.

  • 216 questions from pst NMAT question paper form part of the practice test.
  • 108 never before seen questions are posed with 2 attempts each.
  • This practice test is known as exam 2 and 3.
  • All practice test follow structure as of the actual exam.
  • Scaled scores are provided to analyse the performance at the end and prepare accordingly.
  • INR 799 excluding taxes is the fee to register for NMAT by GMAC practice test. 

Read More on NMAT Official Preparation Guide

NMAT Exam Pattern

NMAT 2021 Exam Pattern

NMAT is a 120 minutes computer based exam, divided into three sections:

i) Language Skills

ii) Quantitative Skills

iii) Logical Reasoning


No. of Questions

Score Range

Allotted Time

Language Skills



28 minutes

Quantitative Skills



52 minutes

Logical Reasoning


40 minutes

The paper is based on the lines of CAT and MAT. Time limit is pre-determined for each section. Candidates can select the section they wish to attempt first as per their preferred choice. Option of revising answers is available only till the allotted sectional time.NMAT Topper Tips

Given below are some of the NMAT preparation tips by the candidates who have cracked NMAT. YouTube Videos Can Help In Understanding and Solving Problems”, Says Simran Parmar

Simran appeared for NMAT 2013 and scored 92 rank in it. She preferred, solving previous years’ question papers and says it helps her in performing well in the entrance exam. She says, practising on a daily basis is the only way in developing skills.

Increase Your Calculation Speed While Doing Calculations In Mind”, Says Venkata Vamsi

Venkata Vamsi Grandhi appeared for NMAT in 2013. He scored 116 marks. He says, studies can be made better by doing group studies and practising sample papers. Studying in groups helps in understanding the problems and it also helps in enhancing efficiency.

NMAT Books
6 Week Study Plan

6 Week Study Plan for NMAT 2021

Week Overall Objective Task of the Week
Week 1 Get Acquainted with NMAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus Understand overall exam structure, attempting a mock test can help in doing so.
Week 2 Practice Language Skills Start with sectional preparation, concepts of language skills, nuances of reading comprehension, grammar topics and vocabulary should be the focus. 
Week 3 Get Pro with Quantitative Skills Well verse mathematical concepts and practice questions based on that. Data sufficiency should be kept for upcoming weeks as they can be a bit intimidating at first.
Week 4 Build Reasoning Ability Logical reasoning should be practiced as one concept at a time along with related questions. 
Week 5 Assess by Practice Test Give mock test and solve practice papers to stimulate actual exam experience. Try to appear for practicetest in a single sitting. 
Week 6 Revise and Analyse Analyse your attempts, point out weak concepts, brush them up and solve practice papers again.

15 Day Revision Plan For NMAT

Day 1: Go through NMAT exam structure, pattern and syllabus once. In case any topic you feel is left out during preparation, cover it up. Compile your own revision notes.

Day 2-5: Start section wise preparation, quantitative skills should be taken up first as it holds maximum weightage of 48 questions. five 2 days for mathematical concepts and problems while the other 2 on data interpretation.

Day 6-9: Hop to practice language skills.Reading comprehension and vocabulary should be optimally revised. Self made revision notes will help in that. 

Day 10-13: Spend a couple of days on reasoning concepts, their tricks and question solving techniques. 

Day 14: Go through the notes made by solving practice test, weak points and topicscan be brushed up once.

Day 15: Rest and give yourself some recovery time. Do not overstress or speculate about the exam too much. Avoid overdiscussion about the exam with your peers and family. This can hamper your performance. 

NMAT 2021 Preparation Books and Study Material

Along with good preparation strategy, a candidate requires good study material. Though it is not advisable to refer new books at this time, some students might seek guidance in terms of books. Here’s a list of books suggested by NMAT toppers for all sections.

NMAT Books For Quant Ability

Books Authors/Publishers
How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams S. Chand
Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Exams Pearson

 Also Read: NMAT Quantitative Skills Preparation Tips, Questions, Syllabus

NMAT Books For Lnaguage Skills

Books Authors/Publishers
English Language Comprehension Skills Sachchida Nand Jha
Business Communication Sri Jin Kushal
Communication Skills Sanjay Kumar and Pushp Lata

NMAT Books For Logical Reasoning

Books Authors/Publishers
A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning S. Chand
Logical Reasoning & Preparation Study Guide National Learning Corporation
A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal & Non- verbal B.S. Sijwalii and Indu Sijwali

Generic Books for NMAC Preparation

Apart from study materails which target a particular section of the paper, it is important to use resources whcih covers the entire exam, especially when the exam is near.

Books Authors/Publishers

MBA 2020-21 : Solved Papers (XAT|IIFT|NMAT|SNAP|CMAT)

Gautam Puri

Complete Guide for MAT and other MBA Entrance Exams

Disha Experts

NMAT 2021 Preparation FAQs

Ques. How should I frame my preparation stretegy for NMAT 2021?

Ans. To prepare for NMAT, keep the below mentioned pointers in mind:

  • Get updated with basics and make them clear.
  • Apart from the books, refer to NMAT Preparation Guides available online.
  • Attempt mock tests. Ther are of great help when it comes to assess your weak points and work on them.
  • Plan a calendar to solver previous year question papers.

Ques. How much time do I need to devote for NMAT preparation?

Ans. Preparation time for NMAT depends upon the time at which you are starting to prepare. If a candidate is already preparing for CAT/XAT/MAT, then a month’s time is sufficient to prepare for NMAT. However, if a person is starting all together with a new preparation, then a minimum of 3 months time is required.

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

NMAT 2021 : 5 answered questions


Ques. I got 222 in my NMAT exam, what is my conversion chance for NMIMS Mumbai?

● Top Answer By Ria Dhar on 28 May 21

Ans. One of my friends also opted for conversion. According to him, in recent year's cut-offs, chances of anyone to be shortlisted would be possible if you manage to score around 207-209.  This goes for sectional cut-offs too, like-  Sections Cut off Logical Reasoning 60-61 QA 72-74 Verbal 55-56 If I assume that you have already managed to clear these cut-offs (sectional or non-sectional) and have a good score of 222, chances of converting your call are really, really high.  Read the following points to understand how your NMAT score would not be an exclusive aspect if you really want to pursue a course at NMIMS.  The entire admission process encompasses various factors. Like your academic background, work experience, case discussion, and eventually a personal interview round.  The selection aspect includes the NMAT score. But students with a low score have not managed to make it.  This also proves how you have to have a good Case Discussion and Personal Interview (CDPI) score to eventually make it.  There have been instances where the students have managed to score pretty well. But since they didn't perform well in their CDPI, they could not convert the call. Although, in 2020 the NMAT Exam Pattern has changed itself a bit. The time limit is just the same. The number of questions has been lessened. Expect the NMAT cut-off to surge. There also have been speculations that the number of questions would be unknown making the NMAT exam cut-off pointless to assume already.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. How difficult is the post-NMAT process at NMIMS Mumbai?

● Top Answer By Anisha Basu on 15 May 21

Ans. Post NMAT process at NMIMS Mumbai includes Writing SOP, CD and PI. The following points are based on my sister’s experience at the institute: CD: Case Discussion is like a group discussion but very different from it.  A structured analysis of a particular circumstance is given as a case.  To clear, the CD makes sure the student makes 2-3 meaningful entries in 15 mins. If the case is long and you are in between the first two persons to speak, make sure to crisply present the problem.  You will be needed to give a clear direction and structure to the problem. SOP & PI: The panel will have your Statement of Purpose. SOP is a representation of the best qualities, journey and achievements with importance on why you yearn to pursue an MBA in NMIMS.  The SOP should be well structured and best described.  You need to make your stories fall in place.  Questions relevant to work experience, previous projects, or internships are usually asked in PI.  Apart from that, some interviewees might end up asking random abstract questions just to check the presence of mind and thought process. A standard interview serves for about 20 to 25 minutes but it depends on the Panel.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Can I get a call from ximb with 192 NMAT?

● Top Answer By Nitin Ghosal on 20 Apr 21

Ans. Since the cut-offs range around and over 190+, there is a vivid chance of you getting the admission call from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar (XIMB). If you in any chance put your target for the XIMB-HR department, then you should definitely make sure to obtain a good scoring in the LS section of NMAT, which is basically the Language Section.  Revised in 2020 by GMAC, NMAT is supposed to be centered around having 12 questions less when compared to 2019.  As also mentioned by a friend who appeared in NMAT, is to prepare thoroughly for the GD-PI section which certainly can fetch you XIMB. It is because your score is just above the cutoff, and an additional good GD-PI is supposed to affect your score on the upper side of the hill.  The scoring rate and other relative factors are subjected to vary as per guidelines, and the year date. The NMAT score for XIMB from the past year was estimated at a different rate. The outlook of which is mentioned beneath: Look at the various cut-off ranges, that similarly are subject to change each year, as per criterion. The following data is: HRM - 87 percentile, or 190–200 RM - 70 percentile, or 150–170 Although, the high chance of getting a seat in the institution somewhat depends on the GD-PI, and interview.Read more
1 Answer

Ques. Is the difficulty level of exams like the NMAT, Snap, and the CMAT the same?

● Top Answer By Sneha 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
1 Answer

Ques. What is the difference between the CMAT and the NMAT?

● Top Answer By Toshali Chatterjee on 02 Feb 21

Ans. CMAT and NMAT are some of the management aptitude exams that are conducted for admission in B-Schools in India. Both the exams have Objective Type Questions (MCQ) question format. CMAT (Common Management Admission Test) is a Computer Based Test conducted by the National test Agency (NTA) once a year. NMAT ((Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies) Management Aptitude Test) is also a Computer Based Test conducted by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council). In this exam, the candidates can retake the examination within the stipulated exam date. The major differences in the pattern of the CMAT and the NMAT tests are tabulated below, Criteria CMAT NMAT Duration of the Exam 3 Hrs (180 minutes) 2 Hrs (120 minutes) Number of Sections 4 sections 3 sections Total Mark of the exam 400 marks. 100 marks for each section. 120 Marks Marks for Correct Answer +4 Marks +1 Marks Marks for Incorrect Answer -1 Marks. No negative marking for unattempted questions. No negative marking for incorrect answers and unattempted questions. 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). Section selection: Candidates can answer from any section of their choice in CMAT. In NMAT too candidates can choose the order of sections of their choice. The questions will appear in the order chosen by the candidates. Some of the top colleges accepting CMAT scores are JBIMS, SIMSREE, KJSIMSR, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, Goa Institute of Management, SIES College of Management Studies, Christ University Bangalore, etc. More than 35 colleges accept NMAT scores for the admission process. Some of the top institutes NMIMS, SPJIMR, ISB, XIMB, VIT, ICFAI, Shiv Nadar, SDA Bocconi, etc.Read more
1 Answer


md hussain ansari
What is the weightage for reasoning, language skills and quant?
aniket ranjan

NMAT Exam Pattern 2021 consists of 3 sections, Language Skills, Quantitative Skills and Logical Reasoning. The logical reasoning Section has most weightage with 48 Questions after that qunat section consists of 40 Questions. The language skills section has least weightage with 32 Questions.

dharshini rajendran
What are the important topics for quantitative skills?
mrittika mallick

The important topics under Quantitative Skills for NMAT are Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Mensuration, Trigonometry, and Calculus. There are also many more topics like Probability, Modern Maths, etc. that are important for Quantitative Abilities. To find more about these in detail, click on the link How to prepare for NMAT Details.

riya gupta
How should I prepare for the logical reasoning skills?
mrittika mallick

Logical Reasoning is a very important topic in the NMAT exam. To prepare well for it, you should first make a strategy to cover all the topics and know the syllabus thoroughly. A strategy should be prepared on how to attempt the question in time and use the option elimination method wherever applicable to save time and score well. Since there is no negative marking, try making guesses for whichever answer you are not sure of. 

Is NMAT applicable in private MBA colleges as well?
aniket ranjan

Hii Nishu, Greetings from collegedunia. Yes, Being an independent and reputed exam, NMAT exam score are also accepted by private MBA colleges. For more details Click Here

sunny pandey
Which coaching in Maharashtra is best for preparation?
diya suresh

Hi Sunny, There are several coaching institutes across India thta prepares students with updated syllabus and pattern. Apart from physical centers there are online coaching centers as well which has experienced tutors. You can get details at NMAT coaching centers.

shivkumar dama
Do I need to attempt all the questions in the paper?
gurpreet singh

Hi Shivkumar

There will be totoal 108 questions and you will be awarded +1 for each correct answer. If you want to score good marks you need to attempt all the questions or as much as possible. Visit on our official website of NMAT Exam Pattern to know more.

shaik kabeer
Can NMAT exam be given by graduate?
manika gupta

Hi, The candidate must hold Bachelor's Degree. Percentage of minimum marks in graduation should be as per the requirement of MBA college or equivalent CGPA. Candidates in final year of Graduation are also eligible to apply for NMAT by GMAC 2020. NMAT eligibility does not impose any age bar to appear in NMAT 2020 exam. For more information, please refer, NMAT Eligibility.

gouri kumari
Do I need to prepare for each section from separate book?
gurpreet singh

Hi Gouri

You need different books for each section preparation. You can visit on our website of NMAT BOOKS to check out some good books which you can buy for the exam preparation for each sections.

Can I prepare for NMAT from the coaching like TIME?
devnath tiwary

Dear Pradeepraj

Greetings from Collegedunia. Yes, you can prepare for the NMAT Examination 2020 with T.I.M.E. Coaching centers to get good marks. You can also choose the best coaching centers by reviewing their students' comments, faculties, previous year results before joining. For more details, kindly go through this link – NMAT Preparation Tips

Can I prepare for NMAT just like that for GMAT?
manika gupta

Hi, NMAT compares well with all the national-level admission tests such as the CAT, XAT and CMAT. It follows the GMAT format. NMAT is a single-point entry for admission to the institute's MBA programme.

rinki mahapatra
Can you provide some sample papers?
manika gupta

Hi, You can download them from official website.

ankita sasmal
Which mock test series is the best?
abhishek upadhyay

Hello Ankita, Greetings from Collegedunia. you can practice the NMAT Official Mock Test by GMAC.

ambar ahirawar
How can I improve my vocabulary?
abhishek upadhyay

Hello Amber, greetings from Collegedunia. Refer to the following books for improving your vocabulary:

  • English Language Comprehension Skills by Sachchida Nand Jha.
  • Business Communication by Sri Jin Kushal.
  • Communication Skills by Sanjay Kumar and Pushp Lata.
bhagyashri kene
Is the TIMEs institute’s mock series beneficial for NMAT aspirants?
abhishek upadhyay

Hello Bhagyashri, greetings from Collegedunia. TIME is a reputed institute with a proven track record so you can opt for its mock series for NMAT.

ankit kumar
What routine I should follow in order to increase my reading speed?
abhishek upadhyay

Hello Ankit, greetings from Collegedunia. Read newspapers and books regularly and set a particular time limit to cover a certain portion of the newspaper to increase your efficiency.

Can I crack the NMAT, if I start now?
abhishek upadhyay

Hello Muheshraaj, greetings from Collegedunia. A Smart and well-structured study plan can definitely help you accomplish the NMAT exam. Click here, for the preparation tips for NMAT.