1. What is CMAT?

Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is an online computer-based test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), India. It is a national-level admission test for facilitating institutions to select suitable students for admission in all management programmes approved by AICTE.

CMAT or the Common Management Admission Test is an aptitude test conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admission to MBA/PGDM courses in over 1000 B-schools across India. The exam is conducted in online mode and the duration of the exam is three hours and the CMAT question paper consists of 100 questions from Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness. CMAT exam registration begins in November and the exam is conducted in January.


2. Why CMAT?

1. 500+  MBA COLLEGES ACCEPTING CMAT : JBIMS, SIMSREE, PUMBA, K J Somaiya , GIM Goa, BIMTECH, Great Lakes, IFMR are only some of the 500 MBA colleges accepting CMAT exam scores. The CMAT cut offs in these B-schools are also not very high.

2. MODERATE DIFFICULTY EXAM: CMAT is to remain a moderate difficulty level exam with 100 simple questions equally divided in four sections namely, Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation (25 Qs); Language Comprehension (25 Qs); Logical Reasoning (25 Qs) and General Awareness (25 Qs). Unlike in CAT or XAT exams where you can find twisted and difficult questions which make you think many times before arriving at the answer, the MCQ type questions in CMAT are of  moderate difficulty level and the answer options are directly related to the question. For example, the questions following the RC passage in CMAT exam are directly related to the text information and can be easily answered as against the CAT and XAT where you find the questions indirectly related to the text and you need to infer the answer out of the information in the passage.

3. CMAT ASSURES ADMISSION IN AICTE APPROVED MBA/PGDM:  All the AICTE – Govt of India approved management institutes are included in the list of CMAT score accepting colleges. The list of B-schools and Universities offering admission on the basis of CMAT, on the NTA/AICTE website includes only those institutes which offer UGC/AICTE approved MBA/PGDM programmes. After qualifying CMAT exam, the students can be assured to get admission in an institute which is recognized by the Government and is authorized to conduct management programmes.

The recognized Government and Private Universities, highly ranked B schools in thirteen states are likely to accept CMAT scores as the gateway to MBA admissions under the government quota, instead of the State-administered Post graduate Common Entrance Test (PGCET). The states which will accept CMAT 2019 test scores are: Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Nagaland, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh. It is expected that with the creation of the National testing Agency (NTA) a number of more approved B-schools will be accepting CMAT scores.

4. LOW FEE COLLEGES: Unlike the IIMs who have a high fee structure between Rs.16 lakhs and Rs.22 lakhs, the MBA/PGDM colleges under CMAT offer similar management programmes at a moderate Fee between Rs. 5 Lakhs to Rs.15 Lakhs. All these management institutes offer similar 2 years full time residential MBA/PGDM programmes. In some of the university affiliated MBA colleges under CMAT like Mumbai University and others, the fee structure is as low as Rs.2 to 3 lakhs.

5. NATIONAL MBA EXAM ACCEPTED BY TOP B-SCHOOLS: CMAT is a higher level national MBA entrance test as compared to MAT and ATMA. CMAT offers admission opportunities in higher level MBA/PGDM colleges. There are many MBA colleges in India who do not accept MAT and ATMA scores, but accept CMAT scores. For example, DTE-Maharashtra had clarified that all the 400 MBA colleges in Maharashtra affiliated to Government of Maharashtra would accept  CMAT scores for admission instead of earlier MAT and other exams.


  • Lower Application Fee- The registration fee for CMAT is much lower than other popular exams like CAT or XAT.
  • Moderate Difficulty of CMAT paper- Unlike CAT or XAT, CMAT is not very difficult to clear. The number of tricky questions is less in CMAT as compared to CAT/ XAT/ IIFT.
  • Higher Chances of Getting into Top MBA Colleges- Many of the best management institutes like JBIMS, SIMSREE, SIMSR, GIM accept CMAT scores
  • A Good Alternate: As the Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) do not accept CMAT, almost all MBA aspirants prefer CAT over CMAT.

3. How to prepare for CMAT?

Plan your Study: This is the first step to their preparation. Every candidate must plan and allocate their time to studies and stick to the plan.

Know The Syllabus & Books:CMAT exam is based on four subjects – Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension and General Awareness.

Understand Exam Pattern & Marking Scheme: CMAT is an online exam conducted in two sessions from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The CMAT question paper contains 100 MCQs with four options each to choose the right answer from.

Distributive Learning: The candidates must try and cover more than one subject in one day. Studying one subject for too long will make excessive studying redundant.

Choose the Best Books For CMAT :Now that you know the CMAT syllabus and have understood the exam pattern well, the next step is to choose the right books for preparation

Revise Regularly: Gradual and regular revision makes the candidates familiar with the types of questions and CMAT exam pattern.

Make Basics your Strength: There are always some basic questions from all the sections that are present in the question paper almost every year.

Take Regular Breaks: The candidates must go for shorter studying sessions rather than study marathons.

Solve CMAT Question Papers & Mock Test : CMAT question papers and sample papers form a crucial part of exam preparation plan. Once can say, the preparation is not complete without practicing previous years CMAT questions. The CMAT question papers are released along with solutions by the exam authorities. Candidates must solve previous years CMAT question papers at least 3-4 times.

Exam Day Guidelines: Revise the main formulae and theorem in the morning. Do not practice any question.

Reach the exam Centre before reporting time and carry two printouts of your CMAT admit card along with the original copy of your ID.

Do not carry electronic or food items. Do not wear caps, scarfs, etc. Do not wear metal accessories or clothes having metal items.

Read instructions thoroughly before starting to solve the questions.

Start with the section you find easy and are confident of solving fast. If you can’t solve a question within less than a minute, move on to the next question. Come back later to solve the question.

Set a Finishing Date: Candidate must set a deadline for the completion of the whole syllabus and plan the whole preparation process accordingly.

4. Important materials:


S.No Topics
1 Data Interpretation and Quantitative Techniques
2 Logical Reasoning
3 Language Comprehension
4 General Awareness

General Awareness 

Aspirants of CMAT Entrance Exam are Suggested to read News Papers and to watch news channels that keep you updated in the field of current affairs. General Awareness Syllabus pattern of CMAT is given below:

S.No Topics
1 Personalities
2 Geography
3 Science in daily life
4 Sports
5 Business, National and International events
6 Politics
7 Indian constitution
8 History
9 Literature
10 Culture
11 Economy

Data Interpretation and Quantitative Techniques 

Quantitative Techniques

Topics covered under Quantitative Techniques are highlighted as below:

  • Arithmetic-Ratio, mixtures, work, average, percentage, Time & Speed, Profit and loss, interest, basic statistics
  • Number properties
  • Probability
  • Counting principles
  • Geometry
  • Algebra
  • Derivatives ( Maxima-Minima)

Data Interpretation

  • Table and pie chart
  • Bar diagrams and graphs
  • Charts

Highlights of the syllabus for Data Interpretation and Quantitative technique are tabulated below:

S.No Topics
1 Time-Speed-Distance
2 Allegations and mixtures
3 Tabulation
4 Linear equations
5 Geometry
6 Quadratic equations
7 Inequations ratio and proportion
8 Percentage
9 Partnership
10 Averages
11 Fractions
12 Profit and Loss
13 Algebra
14 Pipes and cisterns
15 Decimals
16 Simple and compound interest
17 Menstruation
18 Work and time
19 Permutation and combination
20 Line
21 Bar Chart
22 Pie Chart
23 Graph
24 Number Systems

Logical Reasoning

This section is a mix of topics from arrangements like linear, seating, sequencing and arranging with conditions to coding. Topics involved in Logical Reasoning are tabulated below:

S.No Topics
1 Causes and effects
2 Symbols
3 Number series
4 Inferences
5 Non-verbal reasoning
6 Analogy
7 Statement arguments
8 Coding and decoding
9 Ranking
10 Statements assumptions
11 Sequencing
12 Matrix arrangement
13 Linear awareness
14 Blood relationships
15 Analytic reasoning

Language Comprehension Syllabus

Language Comprehension Syllabus are as follows:

  • Usage of Articles
  • Non-finite
  • Dangling Modifiers
  • Usage on Nouns & Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Prepositions –regular and followed, Verbs, Syntax, Subject-verb Agreement, Simple, continuous, Perfect tenses, and Conditional-unreal past.
  • Jumbled paragraphs

Highlights of Topics involved in Language Comprehension Syllabus is tabulated below:

CMAT  Syllabus (Language Comprehension
1 Sentence correction
2 One-word substitutes
3 Paragraph completion
4 Reading comprehension (RC)
5 Sentence improvements
6 Synonyms and antonyms
7 Grammar
8 Usage errors
9 Jumbled paragraphs
10 Idioms and phrases

a. E-Books:

CMAT Best Books for Data Interpretation and Quantitative Aptitude

  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by RS Agarwal
  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude by R.S. Aggarwal
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CMAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations by Jaimin Shah

CMAT Best Books for General Awareness

  • General Knowledge by Disha Experts
  • Manorama Year Book or India Year Book

CMAT Best Books for Language Comprehension

  • The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability by Sujit Kumar
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • Barron’s Pocket Guide to Vocabulary

CMAT Best Books for Logical Reasoning

  • A Modern Approach To Logical Reasoning By R. S. Aggarwal
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • The Hand On Guide To Analytical Reasoning And Logical Reasoning by Peeyush Bhardwaj
  • Analytical Reasoning by M K Pandey

b. Videos:

CMAT exam preparation:

CMAT exam strategy:

CMAT syllabus:

CMAT 2019 question paper:

CMAT MBA entrance exam:

5. Previous year question papers with answers:

CMAT 2019 question paper:

CMAT 2019 sample question paper:

CMAT 2018 slot 1 question paper:

CMAT 2018 slot 2 question paper:

6. Important tips:

  • Plan Your Study: This is the first step to their preparation. Every candidate must plan and allocate their time to studies and stick to the plan. Allot the time according to the difficulty level of the sections and time taken by it. Candidates must make sure that every section is covered. All the hours and days before the exam must be organized according to the syllabus.
  • Solve Mock Tests: Usually, an official trial test is released on the official website. If there is not one available, a candidate must solve as many as mock tests as possible. These tests will help the candidate familiarize with their weak as well as strong points. One must start with weekly or bi-weekly tests and then go ahead with daily tests and manage time accordingly with each section.
  • Distributive Learning: The candidates must try and cover more than one subject in one day. Studying one subject for too long will make excessive studying redundant. Learning two subjects turn by turn will keep the mind absorbed and bring variety to the studying schedule.
  • Revise Regularly: Gradual and regular revision makes the candidates familiar with the types of questions and the CMAT exam pattern. It helps the candidates to get disciplined about their preparation strategy. Regular revision will increase accuracy and thus will lead to a boost in confidence.
  • Make Basics your Strength: There are always some basic questions from all the sections that are present in the question paper almost every year. The nature of these questions are the same. Candidates must practice these questions as much as possible. It helps in solving the predicted questions in the minimum time possible during the examination.
  • Practice last year question papers: To get an exact idea about the exam and get familiar with the pattern, candidates must practice last year’s question papers. This will avoid last minute anxiety.
  • Take Regular Breaks: The candidates must go for shorter studying sessions rather than study marathons. During the preparation for CMAT , candidates must keep in mind that studying for long intervals will make their brain tiresome. Candidates must take short but regular breaks so that the mind stays fresh.
  • Set a Finishing Date: Candidate must set a deadline for the completion of the whole syllabus and plan the whole preparation process accordingly. A deadline needs to be set for every section so that candidates can finish learning new topics and concentrate on revising them. More importantly, this date must be strict as well as feasible. Goals that are not feasible must not be set. After this, he/she can start giving mocks and solving test papers.

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