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MAT Exam Preparation versus CAT Exam Preparation

Last Updated - August 13, 2018

Management Aptitude Test, a four-timer in the league of management entrance exams is scheduled on September 2, 2018 for written exam and September 15, 2018 for computer based exam. The Centre for Management Services, a unit of the All India Management Association (AIMA) organizes this exam in 4 months – February, May, September and December every year.

MAT 2018 MAT Paper AnalysisMAT Preparation TipsMAT Practice Papers

Contrasting MAT Exam with CAT Exam

MAT Exam 2018, which is to be held in September, essentially has only one extra section which CAT does not consist of - Indian and Global Environment (GK). This section is not the part of the consolidated score, which is calculated taking only other four sections of MAT Exam into account. The Indian and Global Environment section comprises of 40 Multiple Choice Questions and the marking is done out of a maximum possible score of 160 marks.

Topics covered under Indian and Global Environment section:

Current Affairs and Business related newsPunch Lines of Companies and Top officials of big companies
Major corporate events, International organizationsFamous Awards/Prizes, World Records, Books and authors
Science, History and GeographyImportant quotes and Social issues
Sports and AutomobilesFinance, Entertainment and Politics

Preparation Comparison

Students who have worked hard to prepare for the CAT Exam do not usually face any challenges in attempting the MAT exam as the level of difficulty is lower for that of MAT. Therefore, preparing for MAT is not as difficult for an aspirant who has studied properly for CAT. Preparing for the General Awareness section can be easily done by keeping a tab on the happenings around the world and referring any good book which covers MAT Syllabus.

Preparation books for MAT Exam:

Book TitleAuthor/Publication
Mission MBA MAT GuideB S Sijwali and Tarun Goyal
MAT Entrance ExamsGKP (G K Publications Pvt. Ltd.)
The Pearson MAT Super CoursePearson
Study Package For Management Aptitude Test Arun Sharma 

Cracking Top Institutes through MAT Exam

Attempting the MAT will provide the candidates with a chance to be eligible for applying to reputed B-schools.

Top Tier B-schools accepting MAT score:

Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal
Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bangalore

Read More About MAT 2018 Participating Colleges

Benefits - Number of Attempts and Practice for Other Exams

  • The advantage of sitting for MAT is that it can be given 4 times in a year, this will provide you with the benefit of understanding your shortcomings and work towards them to score well in the next exam.
  • Another advantage of giving the MAT in September will be that it will give you self-confidence to appear for competitive exams.
  • It is highly recommended to appear for the upcoming MAT exam as it essentially follows similar pattern as that of other National level exams like CAT, SNAP or XAT.

Evaluation and Preparation

MAT extensively evaluates the aptitude of a person as it is a knowledge based test along with general awareness. The exam is objective-type and evaluates your general aptitude in several facets like Language Comprehension, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis & Sufficiency, Intelligence & Critical Reasoning, Indian & Global Environment etc. Therefore it is imperative for the candidate to strategically plan the course of action so that they can put their best foot forward.

To achieve a good score in the exam one must be well versed with not only the course material but also keep on polishing their general awareness by reading daily newspapers and magazines. This would also help the student to enhance their vocabulary further.

Attacking each Section in MAT

In order to ace the MAT exam, each section should be given equal importance and time by the student. One must understand the fact that a high score in one section and a low score in the other will eventually affect their overall percentile. Therefore, one must maintain a balance while preparing for and writing the exam.

Here are some tips to help you out:

Quantitative Ability

This section evaluates a candidate’s basic knowledge of Math. A person well versed with the basics of Math can comfortably get a good score in the Quantitative Ability section.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency (DI)

The DI section consists of tables and graphs which need to be interpreted by the examinee. A student can easily score the maximum marks in this section because if you interpret one graph or table, you can answer 4-5 questions and score well.


The best way to prepare for the Reasoning section is by solving a lot of questions. One can refer previous year questions for this or any good book for management exams.

Verbal Ability

Just like the DI section, this section also poses the same opportunity for students to score well. The Verbal Ability section of MAT consists of comprehensions. Hence, if you comprehend one passage properly, you can easily answer 4-5 questions which are based on the same comprehension. Best way to prepare for comprehending passages is reading as much as possible.

Indian and Global Environment (GK)

The Indian and Global Environment section assesses your general awareness. One must regularly follow the news (TV, Newspapers or magazines) and browse the Internet to keep updated with the current affairs related to different national and international issues.

MAT Exclusive Tips

Back to basics

The secret behind attaining a good score in any competitive exam is to be clear about the basics of each subject. One must be extremely focused on strengthening their formulas for Math and grammar for English. One must also work towards improving their vocabulary. This can be done by reading a lot of books and newspapers on a daily basis. One must also pay attention to the usage of words according to the contexts.                                            

Managing your time – Tick Tock!

Time is scarce! Following a self-made time table (and sticking to it) is extremely important. It is important to give equal amount of time to each subject so as to have a good understanding of the entire syllabus.

Understanding your strong and weak points

One must have an idea about their strong areas of subjects and the ones they are weak in. This will help you prepare better as you can then accordingly work on your weaknesses and improve with time. The strengths need to be developed further so that one makes absolutely no mistakes in attempting the questions from those subjects.

Go over – Revise

Continuously solving mock tests within a time limit can help a student in achieving a good score. Revision is something one cannot afford to skip. A quick walk through all the formulas and important topics is necessary to set the knowledge in one’s brain.

Balance speed with accuracy

Students may forget to answer the questions accurately when trying to answer the questions quickly. It is essential to keep in mind that accurately answering the questions is as important as the speed of attempting the paper. There is absolutely no point in having a good speed and inaccurately answering the questions. Solving mock tests and adhering to the actual time limit while doing it will help you attain both speed and accuracy.


In order to get a call from the best B-schools, a percentile of minimum 98 is a prerequisite, students must unquestionably prepare and cover all the problems from all the topics so that the basic questions from each section can bag them more marks.



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