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Appearing for MAT 2020? Choose Wisely Between MAT Online & Offline Mode
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Anam Shams

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AIMA offers aspirants to appear for MAT 2020 either in online mode as a computer based test or offline mode as a paper based test. With most of the education sector going online, MAT is one of the few entrance exams that offer to be taken in either way. It is conducted for admission to MBA programs in more than 600+ B-Schools across India. The next session of MAT 2020 will be conducted on June 14, 2020 in Paper-Based Mode and CBT exam will be held on June 21, 2020

  • The exam is conducted 4 times in a year in the months of February, May, September, and December. AIMA is the organizing body of MAT.
  • MAT Registration for May session has been started from March 6, 2020 onwards at
  • Last date to register for the CBT mode exam is June 15 while registration for PBT exam will conclude on June 7, 2020.  

MAT 2020 Exam Pattern

Let’s first discuss the exam pattern of MAT 2020 before moving forward to the pros and cons of the offline or online paper.

  • Candidates have to attempt 5 sections with 40 questions from each section.
  • 5 sections include Language Comprehension, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning and Indian and Global Environment.
  • For every correct answer, the candidate will be given +1 mark and there is a negative marking of 0.25 marks.
  • 150 minutes will be given to the candidates to complete the exam.

Mentioned below is the section-wise distribution of MAT exam:-

Section Number of Questions Suggested Time Limit
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

Check  MAT Exam Pattern

Now that we have a fair idea about what the complete MAT Paper Pattern is, we will help you choose between the two modes of the test. Given below are the pros and cons of MAT online & offline exam.

MAT Computer Based Test
MAT 2020 Computer Based Test

  • In an online mode that is scheduled on May 3, 2020 candidates after reaching their exam hall will be allocated a computer system.
  • The candidate has to log-in using their Registration Id.
  • After that, all the guidelines related to online mode will appear and tick the “I understand” option.
  • The exam will begin and there will a palate showed on the left side will question numbers marked from 1 to 100.
  • The questions in the palate will be in the following colouring scheme:-
    1. Initially, all the question numbers are in blue font.
    2. If a candidate leaves any question un-attempted it remains in blue colour only.
    3. All the attempted questions turn into a red font.
    4. For all questions which are marked for review, a small triangle will appear before every question number.

Candidates have to mark their answers using the keyboard. They will also be given provision of navigation throughout the paper i.e. at any time they can move from one section to another.

Read  Key Differences between MAT & CAT

Disadvantages of MAT Computer Based Test

  • There are chances that a technical failure may occur in the case of a computer based test. In that scenario, he may be required to attempt the test again.
  • Candidates must ensure that the computers allotted to them are switched on and any problem with the computer should be informed to the invigilator immediately. 
  • However, for candidates who are willing to go for online mode, there are some points they should keep in mind:-
    1. Firstly, the candidates should make them familiar with using computer devices such as a keyboard and mouse.
    2. Secondly, when the candidate reaches the centre and they are allotted a system they should ensure that they are no technical failures. In other case, candidates should report the issue to the invigilator. 

MAT Paper Based Test
MAT 2020 Paper Based Test

Till the year 2009, MAT was conducted in offline mode only. In this mode, candidates have to mark their answers on an OMR sheet using a pencil. They have to fill the oval corresponding to the correct option on the OMR sheet.

  • The main drawback of choosing this mode is that for moving from one question to another, candidates have to flip the question booklet from one page to another which is often confusing and time-consuming.
  • However, in this mode, a candidate can easily change the marked answers by erasing the answers using an eraser and filling the oval again.
  • Note that candidate should be vigilant in filling up the oval because half-filled oval, double filled ovals will be considered as the wrong answer and no marks will be given corresponding to that answers.


MAT CBT Vs PBT: Differences
MAT Online vs. MAT Offline Test

Candidates can choose any one mode of taking MAT 2020: Online or Offline mode. The dates and methodology of both are different. Candidates can choose them upon their differences and similarities.  

Computer-Based Mode Paper-Based Mode
Test taker sits in front of a computer and the questions are shown on the computer screen and the candidates have to mark their answers via keyboard and mouse attached to the system Candidate will be given a Question Booklet along with an OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) Answer Sheet. Using a pencil (HB Pencil) candidates have to mark their option by filling up the oval dark.
Candidates have to mark their correct option (Out of 4) on the screen using a mouse. A palate of options is provided on the right side of the screen, they have to mark their answers in it. In pencil based test candidate fill the circle against the right option using a pencil.
Students are expected to simply click the appropriate option and then click another button to move to the next question. In case, a candidate wants to change the answer, later on, he can come back to that question and click on a different option If the candidate has to change any answer, he has to erase completely the one already marked and darken the fresh oval with an HB pencil. This takes a lot of time and gives rise to the possibility of mutilation of the answer sheet.
Usually, in most of the computer-based test, a clock is provided on the screen which let the students know how much time is left? In this mode there is no clock provided, candidates have to carry their own watches or have to ask the invigilator about the timings
There are chances that technical failures may occur following which candidates may have to start their paper again. This mode is usually considered as easy with no risk of technical failures, just the candidates have to mark their answers using a pencil on an OMR sheet.
The candidates taking the computer-based test are provided with rough sheets for solving their answers. No rough sheet is provided. Candidates have to perform all the calculations in the question booklet itself

Read  How to Crack MAT 2020 without Coaching?

MAT CBT and PBT: Similarities
Similarities between MAT CBT and PBT modes

  • The computer based format is almost similar to the paper-based format in terms of the test structure and MAT Exam Pattern. For example, let’s consider the case of September 2009 MAT exam, in both online or offline exam, candidates have to attempt 200 questions in 150 minutes. These 200 questions were asked from 5 different sections namely Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, Language Comprehension, Indian and Global Environment, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning with 40 questions from each section.
  • Secondly, in both the modes, candidates can go back and change their answers to the 200 questions. In the computer based test, candidates can navigate freely through the questions and the sections. However, at any point of the time, only one question appears on the screen. In pencil based test they have to choose their option by filling up the oval in OMR sheet using HB pencil.
  • In both the formats, questions were of the Multiple Choice Question (MCQ type). Also for each correct answer, they were awarded same marks. Candidates must choose the correct or most appropriate answer by clicking on the button next to the answer. At the conclusion of the test, the candidate should follow the instruction of the invigilator in order to properly record/save his/her test work. The candidates taking the computer-based test are provided with rough papers for working out their answers. However, that is not the case with paper pencil test. Any rough calculations must be done by the candidate on the question booklet itself.

We hope all you candidates are now clear with your choice. While both the modes have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, you may choose one upon your preference. Also, there are no changes in the paper structure and pattern of MAT Online & Offline exam. So, choose wisely between the two and you are good to go!