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Ultimate guide to prepare for CMAT

by Abhishek Saluja

Climbing up the corporate ladder requires years of hard work and dedication. But to even get your foot in the door, management aspirants must demonstrate the required skill-set and knowledge. A great way to do so is having an MBA degree from a reputable institution on your resume.

Of course, there is plenty of competition for the coveted spots in top management schools. Therefore, Indian management aspirants must clear the first hurdle to get admission to their school of choice – cracking the entrance exam.

One such centralized entrance test for admission to management courses in India is the CMAT, or the Common Management Admission Test. Today, we will cover the details of this entrance exam, including the test pattern, syllabus, important dates, and tips for preparation, to help aspiring students. Here is the ultimate guide to prepare for CMAT:

About CMAT

The Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a national-level computer-based admission test conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) for admissions to all management programmes approved by AICTE. CMAT was launched in 2012 to reduce the physical, mental and financial stress of students attending multiple entrance exams for management programmes in India.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must be citizens of India. Graduates in any discipline with at least 50% score are eligible to apply. The cut-off is 45% for the reserved category. Final-year students of bachelor programs whose results will be announced before beginning of admissions are also eligible to apply.

Test Pattern

The total duration of the test is 3 hours. There are a total of 100 questions, with 25 questions in each of the following subjects – Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, and General Awareness. 4 marks are awarded for each correct answer, while every incorrect answer is penalised 1 mark.

Test Syllabus

CMAT syllabus revolves around Basic Mathematics (mostly arithmetic from standard 1 to 10), Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. For General Awareness, students are advised to follow the leading newspapers to stay updated on current affairs.

Important Dates

Registrations usually open mid-October and continue till mid-December, with the test conducted in the third week of January. This year’s CMAT was conducted on 20th January, 2018, and the results were announced on 15th Feb, 2018.

Tips to remember

Know the Exam: Your first step, of course, needs to be to gain a familiarity with the exam pattern and syllabus. While most of the questions are based on the basic concepts, some of the questions in CMAT can be tricky and may require a lot of logical thinking. To be successful, you need to focus on all the topics in your preparation.

Mock Tests: Practicing mock tests is one of the most important preparation tips for any entrance exam. Mock tests would provide useful insights into the exam, making it easier for you to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Practicing mock tests in a simulated environment can also go a long way in removing the fear of exam and boosting your confidence.

Time Management: Time management is of crucial importance for any entrance exam so do ensure that your exam time is utilized well. You need to have a clear idea on how much time you should spend on different sections. Spending too much time on a particular question can leave you with no time to attempt the other questions. Answering the easier questions first is always a better strategy.

Practice Shortcuts: One of the most effective ways to increase your speed is through shortcuts. Well established shortcuts can help you solve several questions in less time. Of course, you should focus on the shortcuts only after you’ve gained a clear understanding of the basic concepts.

Stay Calm: Anxiety and stress can have a negative impact on your performance in the exam, and therefore, must be avoided. Pursuing your hobbies and interests is one of the best ways to keep stress at bay. Music, exercise and good sleep are some of the most effective ways to reduce stress.

We hope this guide helps you to achieve what you’ve set out to, and wish you all the best for your entrance exam.

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