MAT 2018 Analysis: Moderate PBT MAT greets with tricky DA, difficult English; Cut offs Expected to remain low for top MBA colleges

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MAT 2018 Analysis
Sunday, May 06 2018, 01:51 PM
Paper Based MAT 2018 held on May 6, 2018 by AIMA did not throw surprises although some of the questions in Verbal, Data Analysis & Data Sufficiency and Critical Reasoning sections were found a bit tricky and lengthy in comparison to earlier MAT exams
A unique way out to have more time to attempt more questions, was found by the test takers

MAT 2018 May Paper Based Test held on Sunday May 6, 2018 from 10AM to 12.30 PM in 51 test cities by AIMA did not have any surprise element. However, the PBT MAT contained some of the difficult questions in Language and Data Analysis. A few questions on Reasoning were also found a bit lengthy as compared to earlier MAT exams.

May MAT 2018 PBT Highlights

  • 4 RC Passages of 500 words with 20 Questions in Language Comprehension section
  • 1st Passage on Agriculture Credit was the only fact based Reading Comprehension passage, other 3 were opinion based and Abstract Passages
  • Mathematical skills had more questions on Arithmetic
  • Reasoning had 20 questions based on Family Relations and Statements – Cause & Effect
  • Data Analysis and Data Sufficiency as separate section had more questions on Graphs and Pie charts
Which MBA? COMPARE MBA Colleges in DelhiBangaloreMumbaiPuneHyderabad… on Rank, Fee, Placement, Exams and more

Managing Time in MAT Exam: Solution found by candidates
Two and half hours were allotted to solve 200 questions in MAT exam. With some of the questions found more difficult and penalty of negative marking existing for all the questions, Candidates were found gasping for more time. Many candidates who did not follow time schedule could not get across the 70-75 questions.

Although the overall MAT paper based exam on Sunday, May 6 remained moderate, a few questions consumed more time of the test takers.

However, a unique way out to have more time to attempt more questions, was found by the test takers. Since the GK section in MAT exam is not counted for score calculation, many candidates skipped or attempted very few questions in Indian and Global Environment section and utilized this time to attempt the questions in other sections. The strategy helped them to maximise the attempts in all the 4 core sections.

17000+ take PBT MAT
Management Aptitude Test (MAT) 2018 May exam in paper pencil mode was taken by an approximate number of 17000 candidates. With around 10-12% absentees only, the actual test takers may go beyond the number of 17000.

There was no change in the MAT exam pattern which had 200 questions in MCQ format divided in 5 sections. Candidates who have appeared in MAT 2018 May exam, have shared the feedback that the MAT 2018 Paper based test was moderate although parts of Verbal, Data Analysis & Reasoning took some more time to solve. Candidates would need higher scores as there would be tough competition in getting admission to a good MBA college.   

Broad analysis
There were 200 questions divided in 5 sections in MAT 2018 May paper based test, held on May 6 from 10AM to 12.30 PM across the country.

All the questions in MAT 2018 May exam carry equal marks. Every right answer is to be awarded with a credit of 1 mark while every wrong answer will attract a penalty of ¼ negative marking (0.25 mark) and will be deducted from the score awarded for right answers. All the questions are in MCQ format followed by 4 answer options. Below is the quick view of MAT 2018 May paper based test:

MAT 2018 May PBT exam date & time
Sunday May 6, 2018 from 10AM to 12.30PM
Number of test centres for PBT
Total number of questions in the exam
Number of sections in the exam
Number of answer options per question
Maximum Marks per question
Negative Marking
0.25 mark for every wrong answer
Level of Difficulty
Total maximum raw score
Total maximum scaled score out of which percentile score will be awarded
Sections considered for percentile calculation
4 (Indian & Global Environment not considered)
Number of questions considered for percentile calculation

Sectional analysis, Ideal attempts and Cut offs
MAT 2018 May test takers who maximised the attempts in the exam need to score high keeping in mind the negative marking. Giving time to each of the sections and not get down by any one section remained an important factor to help the candidates to get high score.

Following table consists of the broad MAT Sectional Analysis with guideline to achieve cut off above 90 percentile, ideal attempts according to the difficulty level of questions in each section and suggested time limit to solve each of the 5 sections to score high in PBT May MAT 2018: 

No of Qs
Ideal time (in minutes)
Ideal attempts
Score required to get 90+ percentile
Language Comprehension
Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
Data Analysis and Sufficiency
Mathematical Skills
Indian and Global Environment
Separate sectional marks, not counted for percentile calculation

Composition of MAT Sections

Language comprehension

  • There were 40 questions in the section.
  • Major topics and number of question are:
Number of Questions
Difficulty level
Reading Comprenhsion
RC-1: Impact of Flow of Credit, Subsidized interest rate and loan waiver on Agriculture Growth
Easy to Moderate
RC-2: Difference in Modern Life Vs. Past Life, parameters of good life
Abstract Topic -Moderate to Difficult
RC-3: Earling Kagge-Idea of Silence, reference to his book Silence
Abstract Topic -Moderate to Difficult
RC-4:Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)- How to run your brain
Abstract Topic-Moderate to Difficult
English Language
Errors in Sentence formation
Moderate to difficult
Fill in the Blanks with correct vocabulary words
One word substitution
Phrases & Idioms Substitution by words
Moderate to Difficult
Jumbled Paragraphs
  • Except a few questions the section had moderate difficulty level and could be answered in time
  • A score of 27-28 marks could lead to 90 percentile in Language Comprehension section

Mathematical Skills

  • Out of the 40 questions in the section, more weightage was awarded to Arithmetic based questions
  • Around 15 questions were based on Arithmetic like Interest, Percentages, Time and Work, Profit, Loss, Partnership. The questions were a little time consuming although were moderate.
  • Other questions were based on topics like Equations, Ratio, Proportion & Variation, Geometry & Mensuration, Permutation and Combinations, Probability etc.
  • The questions were of moderate difficulty level
  • The section could prove to be a percentile booster for the candidates who did this section well
  • A score of 29-30 marks could earn 90+ percentile in this section

Data Analysis and Sufficiency

  • This section had maximum questions on data interpretation
  • More prominent in this section were Graphs, Pie charts, bar diagrams, charts, line graph, data comparison
  • Time remained the major hurdle to solve these questions with speed and accuracy
  • Questions on Data Interpretation (DI) occupied more than 50% of the section, rest of the part covered questions on data sufficiency and data comparison
  • A score of 22-23 marks is expected to get 90 and above percentile

Intelligence and Critical reasoning

  • This section had 40 Questions
  • More questions were on Analytical and Logical reasoning and fewer questions were there on Critical reasoning
  • 10 Questions were based on Family Relation, 10 on Statements-Cause & Effect, and others were Statement –Assumptions, Reasons, analogies, direction, series, Incorrect Terms.
  • The questions were formed in sets as well as individual questions
  • The section was a little lengthy with moderate level of difficulty
  • A score of 26-27 marks may lead to a percentile above 90 in this section.

Indian and Global environment

  • Suggested time limit by AIMA to answer the 40 questions in this section was 15 minutes but 10 minutes were enough to attempt this section
  • Questions were formed on Best Director Oscar Award, GST, Import Duty, World Wild Life Day, Indian States, Common Wealth Games, Formation of Committees and Tribunals, President of Myanmaar. One question was on the recent visited country of North Korean President.
  • No re-thinking or recalling was required for what you do not know or are confused on it.
  • Ideal time to attempt one question was less than 30 seconds
  • The questions were based on conventional GK, business and economics, current affairs, international affairs
  • This section is not counted for percentile calculation in MAT exam
  • Many Candidates skipped or answered very few questions in this section to save time for other sections

Areas where candidates lagged behind

  • The time limit to attempt 200 questions was 150 minutes. Less than 1 minute was available before the test takers to answer each of 200 questions.
  • Candidates who could not manage time well, were seen gasping for Time Management to maximise their attempts across the sections.
  • Those who adhered to the time limit to solve questions in each section helped them to do better in the exam as with this strategy more number of questions could be attempted with accuracy
  • Number of MAT 2018 May test takers could not attempt more questions despite knowing their answers in paper based test as their time management strategy was poor

Suggestion for CBT May MAT 2018 exam

  • Those who could not do well in May MAT 2018 PBT Exam and are appearing in CBT MAT on May 20, 2018, are advised not to repeat such mistake and manage time to score high in each section.
  • Same number and pattern will appear in online computer based test on May 20

MAT Cut offs you need for good MBA colleges
Admission to good B schools out of the list of 300 B schools available at the AIMA site can be explored with a MAT percentile score beginning from 70 onwards.

The expected MAT score cut offs, fee, Placement in some of the top MBA colleges accepting MAT are as below:

MBA college
MAT cut off percentile score
Fee ( lakhs)
Average Placement (Rs. in lakhs)

Read more about the MAT score cut offs in top MBA colleges accepting MAT

MAT 2018 scoring pattern

  • MAT score card will contain 6 scores. For each of the 6 scores, a percentile score is given. This shows the percentage of examinees who scored below the candidate based on the entire MAT testing population. The percentile below figure can change with each administration for the same scores.
  • MAT 2018 May exam would award scores keeping the Indian and Global environment section out from percentile calculation.
  • The scores are to be awarded out of 160 marks and accordingly the test takers will get their merit position where their scores are sent by AIMA.
  • Raw score of 70+ is expected to award the percentile of 80+ and the raw score of 100 marks can award you the percentile of 94.

MAT 2018 Result
MAT 2018 exam result will be declared in the last week of May 2018. It may be noted that the candidates should utilize the scores of May MAT exam for MBA admission as early as possible since many of the top MBA colleges accepting MAT score would close their admission process shortly.

May MAT: Last MBA Entrance Test for admission 2018
May MAT 2018 offers the last MBA admission opportunity for the academic year 2018-19 as the next MAT in September will make you eligible for MBA admission 2019-20. 

Stay tuned to for more updates on MAT 2018

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Admission Open for MBA 2018-20 Batch. Apply Now.
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PGDM Application Deadline- 30 April, 2018.
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Admission Open for I-Global MBA. Apply Now.
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Application for MBA/PGDM 2018-20 at NDIM is open 
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Admission Open for MBA 2018-20 Batch. Apply Now.
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Admission Open for MBA 2018-20. Apply Now.
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Application Open for PGDM Batch 2018-20
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Application Open for PGDM/PGDM-IB/PGDM-RM