About 3 lakh candidates take the Management Aptitude Test (MAT) every year, making it one of the most popular entrance tests for candidates wishing to pursue management education in India. All India Management Association (AIMA), established as an apex body of management professionals in India with support from GoI and the Industry, is responsible for conducting the test 4-times a year, nationally.
In addition to its time-tested structure, the test has several aspects that act advantageously to the majority of MBA-aspirants. Let us take a look at them one by one.
- Multiple times a year: MAT is held 4 times a year, usually on the first Sundays of February, May, September, and December, and without any limit, to the number of times a candidate can appear for the test, MAT offers aspirants a genuine chance to better their scores each time they appear. Most other entrance tests like CAT, XAT etc. are conducted only once a year and candidates need to wait for one whole year to take another shot at the test.
- Validity of Scores: Since the scores are valid for a year, a candidate can seek admission with his/her score at any intake of their choice within the validity period. For example, if a candidate who would be graduating in 2019 takes the September 2018 MAT, he/she can apply for admission at the institution of his/her choice for the 2019 intake and can even choose to appear for subsequent December 2018, and February/May 2019 MAT to better the chances of admission.
- MAT Score Acceptance: MAT score is accepted in over 600+ management institutes in India including 150+ participating institutes. This provides an excellent opportunity for candidates to secure admission in one of the better institutes by virtue of a good score.
- Selection of Management Institutes: Candidates appearing for MAT can choose up to 5 institutes where they wish to apply for admission. AIMA, on behalf of the candidates, shares their MAT score with the chosen institutes, free of cost. Thereafter, if the candidates’ scores match the institutes’ cut-off score, they are invited for the further selection procedure. All these get done without the candidates directly applying to the institute because of the initiative of AIMA.
- Payment of Fees: A lot of candidates are not comfortable with making online payments, whereas, most entrance tests require them to pay the application fees online, through the integrated payment gateway. MAT offers convenience to candidates through three payment modes: online (debit/credit cards and net banking), offline (demand draft in favor of AIMA-CMS, payable at New Delhi), cash payment for physical collection of Application Form from AIMA office.
- Mode of Exam: While most other management entrance tests have to be taken as online tests, MAT is conducted in the computer-based as well as paper-based modes. This appears as a relief for a lot of candidates who are still jittery about taking an online, computer-based test. Candidates can also choose to take the test in both the formats.
- Similarity in Syllabus: MBA aspirants usually choose to appear for multiple entrance tests in their effort to secure admission in the best possible course/college.MAT syllabusand examination pattern is quite similar to the other popular entrance tests like CAT, XAT, SNAP etc. As such, candidates do not need to put in additional effort in preparation for the test.
- Level of Difficulty: The difficulty level of MAT questions is comparatively lower than that of CAT or XAT. Trends indicate that a 70 percentile scorer in CAT can easily secure top marks in MAT. This doesn’t imply that MAT is a lesser standard test; instead, MAT helps students realize their dream of management education beyond the IIMs.
- Participating Business Schools: A few colleges that accept MAT score are Birla Institute of Management Technology, Greater Noida; Jaipuria Institute of Management Lucknow; ISBM Pune; Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad; KIIT School of Management, Bhubaneswar; Christ University, Bengaluru; XIME Bangalore; and Institute of Management Studies, Ghaziabad. These institutes have a standing amongst the top B-schools of India.
Exams Similar to MAT 2018
The upcoming MAT scheduled for September 2 (PBT) and September 15 (CBT) is an early-bird opportunity for candidates who plan to enroll for MBA in 2019. Most management institutes start their academic year in June and admissions for the same starts as early as January of the same year. So, ideally, a candidate targeting June 2019 session should have cleared MAT by December 2018 or by February 2019 for a very late admission procedure, depending upon seat availability. Thus, the September MAT is an excellent chance for the candidates to test their preparedness as well as leaving them with another potential chance to better their score before the selection procedure in their preferred colleges start.