1. What is MAT?

Management Aptitude Test or MAT is a national-level exam conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA) for admissions to MBA/PGDM courses.

  • The exam is conducted four times in a year, each in February, May, September and December.
  • Candidates who qualify the exam are eligible for admissions to 800+ B-schools accepting MAT scores.
  • MAT is conducted in both offline (paper based test) and online (computer based test) modes. Candidates can choose to appear in the exam in any mode as per their preference. For PBT, they can select up to two test cities. Fees, exam pattern and syllabus for both the modes are same while registrations and exam dates are different.


2. Why MAT?

1. Top B-school accept MAT score

The biggest advantage of taking up MAT MBA entrance test has to be nearly universal acceptability of MAT scores by top B-schools in India. MAT exam score is accepted by more than 600 MBA colleges in India, making it one of the largest MBA entrance tests in the country. No other MBA entrance exam, not even CAT, enjoys such universal acceptability by B-schools.

2. Easier compared to other MBA entrance tests

Compared to other major MBA entrance tests like CAT, IIFT and NMAT; the difficulty level of the MAT exam is simpler. The exam pattern consists of five sections

  • Data Analysis & Sufficiency
  • Language Comprehension
  • Intelligence & Critical Reasoning
  • Mathematical Skills
  • Indian & Global Environment

Most of these sections are already covered in the syllabus of other MBA entrance tests and therefore MAT exam doesn’t require any separate preparation on part of the aspirant. The simpler nature and wide syllabus of MAT entrance test makes it comparatively easier for aspirants to crack the exam.

On an average, an MBA aspirant who has scored around 70 percentiles in CAT can easily expect to do much better in MAT entrance test because of the simpler nature of the exam. Moreover, every year several MBA aspirants also end up scoring 800 / 800 in MAT exam, which supports the argument of it being relatively easier to crack as compared to CAT, IIFT and XAT tests.13

3. MAT Exam is conducted 4 times in a year

Most MBA entrance tests like CAT, IIFT, SNAP and XAT among others are conducted annually i.e. only once a year. This means that an aspirant, who has not done well in the MBA entrance test this year, has to wait an entire year in order to take up the test again.

But the MAT entrance test solves this problem. MAT is the only MBA entrance test that is conducted four times in a year. The test takes place in the months of February, May, September and December. This gives candidates another chance to improve their score and retry for MBA admission within the same calendar year without wasting an entire year.

For instance, a candidate who has not done well in MAT December exam can always retry their luck in the MAT February exam in order to improve their score and still not miss-out on the chance of getting admitted to top MBA colleges in India within the same calendar year.

4. Both online as well as offline modes

With the world moving to the digital age, most of the MBA entrance tests have also moved from paper-based format to computer based or online testing formats. However, considering the popularity and the large participation of students, MAT exam is still conducted in both, paper-based format as well as online / computer based format. Moreover, candidates have the option to appear for the exam in both online and offline modes.

Having the option of taking up MAT exam in both the modes gives equal opportunity and chance to students who are not comfortable with computers, to appear for the test easily and crack it as per their ability. In short, the test focuses on the knowledge, aptitude and talent of the candidate, rather than their ability to use it only in digital format / sphere.

5. MAT score is valid for 1 year

MAT scores are valid for the entire year, and irrespective of the number of tests you appear for in a year, your score is valid and accepted by B-schools for admission for the 1-year period.

6. Free application to any 5 MBA colleges in India

Another notable advantage of taking up the MAT entrance test for MBA admissions is that it allows candidates to apply to any 5 B-schools who accept MAT score without any additional fee. Generally, for other MBA tests, application to MBA colleges other than a few already shortlisted ones would be chargeable. This is not the case with the MAT entrance test, as candidates appearing for the exam can apply to their dream college/s directly through the MAT exam form itself. Apart from saving money in the form of separate application fees, this process also saves a lot of time for MBA aspirants in drafting individual applications for different B-schools.

7. Gateway to top MBA Colleges in India

Although simpler as compared to other MBA entrance tests, MAT test score is accepted by several premier B-schools and best MBA colleges in India. These include names such as Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (Mumbai), SIMSREE, NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research and XIME Bangalore. With such top MBA colleges accepting MAT test scores, with comparatively less competition and high chances of cracking the test; MAT surely seems like an ideal gateway to top MBA colleges in India.

3. How to prepare?

Mode of Preparation: Coaching or Self Study

  • Depending upon the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate and amount of guidance needed, mode of preparation should be decided.
  • MAT coaching institute can guide with preparation material and test series. Coaching can be taken as regular classes, Weekend classes or online mode.
  • Candidates who are working professionals can opt for online coaching in order to save time. Online coaching’s are cost effective and less time consuming.
  • Self-study is the best preparation strategy for the MAT exam if candidates have a moderate level of preparation. Mock tests can help to overcome weak sections.
  • Candidates should go through the exam pattern and syllabus and accordingly make a schedule.
  • Self-study should be monitored by attempting mock tests and previous year question papers.

1. Be aware of negative marking: One mark is given for the right answer and 0.25 marks are deducted for the wrong answer. For four wrong answers, one mark is deducted. So, don’t be in a hurry to solve the paper.

2. Calm and cool: Stay calm in the examination hall i.e. before you start the exam.

3. Confidence:  Just be confident i.e. I can crack the MAT exam.

4. Time Management: For each and every section time is allocated to you, based upon your strength you need to plan accordingly and manage your valuable time.

5. Shortcut tricks: While you are solving quantitative aptitude and reasoning apply shortcut tricks to solve the problems and reduce the time in solving the problems.

4. Important materials:


The MAT exam has 5 sections in its question paper. The details are as follows:

1 Language Comprehension 40 30
2 Mathematical Skills 40 40
3 Data Analysis and Sufficiency 40 35
4 Intelligence and Critical Reasoning 40 30
5 Indian and Global Environment 40 15
TOTAL 200 150


This section tests a candidate’s grammar, vocabulary and verbal skills. The exam syllabus of MAT for this section is:

1. Analogies

2. Antonyms

3. Contextual Usage

4. Fill in the blanks

5. Foreign language words used in English

6. Idioms

7. Jumbled Paragraphs

8. One word substitution

9. Sentence Completion

10. Sentence Correction

11. Syllogisms

12. The Odd man out

13. Using the same word with a different meaning

14. Verbal Reasoning


This section tests a candidates quantitative skills and MAT syllabus covers:

1. Algebra

2. Averages

3. Equations –  Linear & Quadratic

4. Geometry

5. HCF & LCM

6. Number System

7. Partnership (Accounts)

8. Percentages

9. Progressions –  Arithmetic, Geometric

10. Profit and Loss

11. Ratios and Proportions

12. Time-Speed-Distance

13. Vectors

14. Work and Time


This section tests a candidate’s data interpretation skills and syllabus of MAT is:

1. Bar Graphs

2. Column Graphs

3. Graphs

4. Line Charts

5. Pie Chart

6. Venn Diagram


The MAT 2020 exam syllabus for this section tests candidates’ logical and reasoning skills.

1. Assertion and Reasons

2. Assumption-Premise-Conclusion

3. Cause and Effect

4. Coding and Decoding

5. Critical Reasoning

6. Family Tree

7. Identifying Reasons

8. Identifying Valid Inferences

9. Linear Arrangements

10. Matrix Arrangements

11. Sequencing

12. Statements and Assumptions

13. Visual Reasoning


This section tests a candidate’s current and static affairs.

1. Awards

2. Books and Authors

3. Business

4. Company Punch Lines

5. Current Affairs

6. Entertainment

7. Geography

8. History

9. Major events

10. Quotations from Important Personalities

11. Science

12. Sports

13. Top Officials of Big Companies

a. E-books:

Best Books for Data Analysis & Sufficiency Preparation of MAT 2020:

Books Authors/Publishers
Data Analysis and Sufficiency Arun Sharma
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for MAT Arun Sharma
Data Interpretation: Practice Book for the CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations Nishit K. Sinha
The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation Nishit Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency for CAT/XAT/IIFT/CMAT/MAT/Bank PO/SSC Disha Experts
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
Data Analysis & Interpretation Data Sufficiency Think Tank of Kiran Prakashan
Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha
Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency Arihant Experts

Best Books for Language Comprehension Preparation of MAT:

Books Authors/ Publishers
Verbal Ability & Comprehension for MBA Exams Disha Publications
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Nishit K. Sinha
Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis
Verbal Ability & Comprehension Disha Publication
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Gautam Puri
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for MAT Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
Verbal Ability & Comprehension for CAT/XAT/GMAT/IIFT/CMAT/MAT/Bank PO/SSC Bharat Patodi and Aditya Choudhary
English Comprehension for MAT Disha Experts
English Reading Comprehension RPH Editorial Board
Proficiency in Reading Comprehension Simplifying the “Passage” for You Ajay Singh
Reading Comprehension Ordering of Words Ordering of Sentences Dilip Kushwaha

Best Books for Mathematical Skills Preparation of MAT:

Books Authors/Publishers
Mathematics for MBA RS Aggarwal
Magical Book on Quicker Maths M. Tyra
Arithmetic and Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams R.Gopal
Speed Mathematics: Do it quick, Do it right Rajesh Kumar Thakur C
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams RS Aggarwal
Vedic Mathematics: Secrets Skills for Quick, Accurate Mental Calculations Sumita Bose
The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude Dinesh Khattar
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude Arun Sharma

Best Books for Intelligence & Critical Reasoning Preparation of MAT:

Books Authors/Publishers
A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning R.S.Aggarwal
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gajendra Kumar
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the MAT Nishit K Sinha
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the MAT Arun Sharma
Critical Reasoning Guide Crackverbal
General Intelligence and Critical Reasoning for MAT Disha Experts
concept of Logical Reasoning Gajendra Kumar
Analytical & Logical Reasoning for CAT & Other Management Entrance Tests Peeyush Bhardwaj

Best Books for Indian & Global Environment Preparation of MAT:

Books Authors/Publishers
Manorama Year Book Mammen Mathew
The Mega Yearbook Disha Experts
Objective General Knowledge Lucents Publications
General Knowledge Arihant Publications
The Mega Yearbook 2016: Current Affairs & General Knowledge for Competitive Exams Disha Experts

b. Videos:

How to prepare for MAT exam:

MAT exam strategy:

Verbal strategy of MAT :

MAT exam complete detail:

MAT syllabus:

Reasoning strategy in MAT:

Management aptitude test:

5. Previous test papers with answers:

MAT 2016 question paper with answer:

MAT 2014 sample question paper:

MAT 2012 question paper:

MAT 2010 question paper:

MAT 2009 question paper:

MAT 2008 question paper:

6. Important tips:

  • MAT Question Paper: First thing to Know

MAT will have 200 MCQ type questions divided in 5 sections. Each of the 5 sections in the MAT question paper will have 40 questions in MCQ format to be solved in 150 minutes. Individual time limit for each section has been suggested by AIMA although candidates can move from one section to another in the MAT exam.

  • How to answer MAT questions?

Take following 3 steps to answer your MAT question:

  1. You have to choose the correct answer option out of the multiple choices given below the question
  2. Mark the correct answer option on the answer sheet
  3. Darken the correct oval in the correct row on the OMR sheet
  4. Please note that time duration to complete the MAT exam as per the MAT pattern is 2 hours 30 minutes. Each correct answer is awarded +1 Mark and each wrong answer is penalized with -0.25 negative mark
  • Documents you need for Exam Day

Keep Ready 3 things to carry on MAT exam day – MAT Admit card, one original ID proof and one black/blue ball point pen

  • Download MAT Admit Card & Take Print

Do not leave it for last minute, download your MAT Admit card and take print. Verify your personal details, MAT Test Centre details, Test time and Reporting Time as mentioned in your MAT Admit Card. Take 2 Prints of MAT Admit Card and read the instructions on it

  • No Photo Required on Admit Card

You do not need to paste any photo on the MAT Admit Card. Your scanned image appearing on a MAT card is sufficient proof of your image.

  • Carry Original ID Proof

You need one original photo identity proof like Aadhar Card, Voter Id, Driving License among others as mentioned on MAT Admit Card. It has to be carried to the MAT exam center for verification along with the hard copy of MAT Admit Card.

  • Keep Black or Blue Ballpoint pen

The pen should be of a smooth writing type as you will need to fill up the ovals on OMR sheet quickly. A hard writing pen can tear or make holes in OMR sheets while shading the oval.

  • Last Minute Preparation: Don’t Start Anything New

Practice with Mock and Analyse your Mistakes but don’t start anything New. Quickly Revisit and Revise key topics. Try to download Blank OMR sheets for practice in filling up answer options.

  • Do’s: A day before

Gather all the things you need to carry to the MAT Test Centre. Visit the MAT test center a day in advance to understand how much time it will take to reach the venue from your place of stay. It will keep you relieved and comfortable on MAT Exam day

  • Adhere to Reporting Time on Exam Day

Reporting time is one and a half hours before the commencement of the MAT exam. However, you should arrive at MAT Exam Centre at least an hour before – by 8.30AM for PBT MAT exam for security check and verification with your Admit Card Photo ID Proof and Ball Point Pen

  • Collect Lower Part of Admit Card after Exam

Ensure that the lower part of your Admit Card is returned by the invigilator after putting his/her signature with date of test and stamp on it. You will need it in the final selection round and while applying for MBA admission in the management institute.

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