NMAT 2019 - Analysis (1st Nov)

Here is the analysis of NMAT 2019, of 1st Nov, the second last day of Window 2. As in the previous attempts of this season, the paper pattern was usual and so were the type of questions that came in each section.

The Logical Reasoning section was the most difficult as the questions on Analytical Reasoning were slightly trickier than the Verbal Reasoning questions. The Language Skills section was pretty much straightforward as the words that were a part of the vocabulary questions were not difficult. Yet again, Quantitative Skills section will be the easiest section of today’s paper. 4 out of 5 DI sets were simple. Be wary of the technical glitches that may crop up at your centre. Our slot was supposed to start at 11:30 am but the paper started at 12:10 pm as the center faced internet issues.

This paper yet again establishes the fact that the students should never go in with pre-conceived notions. Based on our experience, one should have solved close to 77-83 questions (across the sections) in 120 minutes. The remaining questions should have been calculated attempts (educated guess) because of the marking scheme. Marking all the unanswered questions as B or C would be smart move.

This does signify that the level of difficulty of the overall exam has gone up slightly due to a difficult Language Skills section. A solid strategy was the need of the hour.

If this paper is taken as a good indicator of this year's NMAT exam, the cut-off will likely remain in the same range (208-210 for Mumbai Campus) as that of last year. An advice for students would be to start with the Quantitative skills section and end with the Logical Reasoning section.

The pattern of the paper was as follows:

S. no Section No. of Questions Time (in Minutes) Difficulty Level Possible
1 Language Skills 32 22 Easy-Moderate 24-26
2 Quantitative Skills 48 60 Easy 28-30
3 Logical Reasoning 40 38 Easy-Moderate 25-27
  Total 120 120 Moderate 77-83

Logical Reasoning

The Logical Reasoning section was easy-moderate in terms of the difficulty level.

There were 25 questions based on Analytical and logical reasoning and the remaining 15 questions were on Verbal Reasoning. The questions came from areas that are usually expected and like the questions which you see in CL’s NMAT mocks. There were two sets of machine input/output questions wherein one was number based while the other one was word based. Both the sets were difficult to decipher and they were best left unattemped (i.e. guessed at the end).

There were only 2 questions on Blood relation that came as a part of the coding decoding questions itself.

The LR sets were arrangement based and were straightforwards. For example, one of the sets had 5 friend A, B. C, D, E and there were 4 statements about them. This was one of the easiest questions in this section.

There were 15 questions from the area of Verbal Logic. The difficulty level was easy-moderate. Any student, with a basic understanding the fundamentals of verbal logic, could have answered these easily. There were a good number of questions from statement-conclusion, strengthening and weakening arguments, statement-inference and statement-assumption. At the same time, these questions were not difficult.

Overall, the section was of Easy-Moderate level of difficulty. An attempt of 24-26 with 90% accuracy was achievable.

Topic No. of Questions
Coding 5
Blood Relation 2
Statement-Argument 3
Statement Conclusion 3
Course of Action / Decision making 2
Statement-Assumption 4
Statement – Inference 3
Syllogism 2
Input/output 2 sets (4 Qs)
Missing number and Visual reasoning 1 sets (3 Qs)
Direction 0
Singlets (Contained Set theory-based diagram) 5
Total 40

Quantitative Skills

The Quantitative Aptitude section was, probably, the easiest section of them all. The questions were mostly from Arithmetic, Numbers and Modern Math. There were very few Geometry or Algebra questions. The questions from Modern Maths (Permutation-combination and Probability) were of moderate difficulty level. The Time and Work questions were easy.

Just like the previous year, there were 5 DI sets out of which 4 were easy whereas 1 was not easy but students could have given it a try. The 5 DI sets include 2 table-based DI sets, 2 bar-graph based set and 1 pie-chart based set.

One of the bar graph-based DI set was about a power-grid which produces certain amount of energy, expends certain amount on its own operations and sells the remaining. At the same time, the country in which the company is based also imports certain amount of energy. Questions were easy and were based on what percentage of energy was imported across the different years.

A DI set based on pie-charts was about the revenue generated by various sectors like Natural Gas, Oil and Petroleum etc. This data was given for two consecutive years. The data of one year was in the form of a pie-chart and the other was in the form of a table. The student had to determine the revenue and growth of the sectors across the years.

A well-prepared student would not have had much difficulty in going through this section. 28-30 proper attempts were certainly possible.

Topic No. of Questions
Profit & Loss 5
Percentages 2
Ratio & Mixture, Proportion 2
SI & CI 2
Averages 1
Work & Time 2
Number System (HCF/LCM and units digit based) 4
Progression 2
Logarithm 2
Polygon 1
Geometry 1
Permutation and Combination 2
Probability 2
Data Sufficiency (already included above) 5
DI 20 (5 sets, 4 questions each)
Total 48

Language Skills

The thing that stuents worry about the most here is the vocabulary. Thankfully, the words used in the questions were easy (for eg. Bound, despite etc,)

However, the vocabulary in the Cloze test questions was slightly more difficult to solve. In the error spotting questions, the errors were no longer just grammatical but were slightly more nuanced (e.g. errors in the position of the apostrophe etc.)

The two Reading Comprehension passages made all the difference in this section. The first passage was on impact of media on teenagers while the second one was on the discovery of new species underwater.

There were four para-jumble questions. These were not difficult. The sentences of the paragraphs were short too.

The remaining questions in the section were based on grammar. The preposition-based Fill-in-the-blank questions were quite easy.

The pattern of this section remained on predictable lines. Overall, the section was difficult keeping in mind the difficulty of words in the time constraint. An overall attempt of 25-27 with 90% accuracy is realistic. The other questions could have been educated guesswork.

Topic No. of Questions
Reading Comprehension Passages 8 (2 passages of 4 questions each)
Para Jumble 2 (4 sentences each), 2 (5 sentences each)
Error Spotting 3
FIBs (Prepositions) 2 (1 blank each – 3 sentences)
FIBs (Common Confusables) 0
FIBs (Vocabulary) 3
Synonyms & Antonyms 4
Analogy 4
Cloze Test 4
Total 32


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NMAT 2018

The NMAT paper pattern did not see any changes in NMAT 2018. The difficulty level of the NMAT exam in 2018 was parallel to the difficulty level in NMAT 2017. However, for NMAT 2018 the NMAT cut off reduced by 1 mark. The overall NMAT 2018 cut off was 209.

Section No. of questions Marks/QTotal Marks Time Allotted Cut-off Mumbai campus) Cut-off (Bengaluru and Hyderabad Campus)
Quantitative Skills 48 3144 60 minutes 65 60
Logical Reasoning 40 3120 38 minutes 60 50
Language Skills 32 396 22 minutes 57 55
Total 120   360 120 minutes 209 200
Read complete NMAT 2018 Analysis.

NMAT 2017

For NMAT 2017, the difficulty level was on similar lines with NMAT 2016. There were no changes in the paper pattern. Nonetheless, the overall NMAT cut-off increased by 2 marks. The overall NMAT 2017 cut off was 210.

Section No. of questions Marks/Q Total MarksTime Allotted Cut-off Mumbai campus) Cut-off (Bengaluru and Hyderabad Campus)
Quantitative Skills 48 3 14460 minutes 65 65
Logical Reasoning 40 3 12038 minutes 60 60
Language Skills 32 3 9622 minutes 60 50
Total 120   360120 minutes 210 190
Read complete NMAT 2017 Analysis.

NMAT 2016

For NMAT 2016, the difficulty level was a tad lower than earlier years'. There was no change in the paper pattern. The overall cut-off, however, remained static, as has been the trend with NMAT over the years.

Section No. of questions Marks/Q Total MarksTime Allotted Cut-off Mumbai campus) Cut-off (Bengaluru and Hyderabad Campus)
Quantitative Skills 48 3 14460 minutes 74 70
Logical Reasoning 40 3 12038 minutes 61 55
Language Skills 32 3 9622 minutes 55 55
Total 120   360120 minutes 208 200
Read complete NMAT 2016 Analysis.

NMAT 2015

NMAT in 2015 was conducted by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), the owner and the administrator of the GMAT exam. This was a deviation from the previous years when Pearson VUE created the NMAT exam on behalf of NMIMS. The over-all cut-off remained the same as last year's, though there were minor changes in sectional cut-offs. Sectional cut-offs fell by a small margin.

Section No. of questions Marks/Q Total MarksTime Allotted Cut-off Mumbai campus) Cut-off (Bengaluru and Hyderabad Campus)
Quantitative Skills 48 3 14460 minutes 70 60
Logical Reasoning 40 3 12038 minutes 55 50
Language Skills 32 3 9622 minutes 50 50
Total 120   360120 minutes 208 196
Read complete NMAT 2015 Analysis.

NMAT 2014

NMAT 2014 was conducted by Pearson VUE. The exam was quite predictable with respect to the pattern and the difficulty level. The exam was easy-to-moderate and the overall cut-off remained the same at 208 marks.

Section No. of questions Marks/Q Total Marks Time Allotted Cut-off Mumbai campus) Cut-off (Bengaluru and Hyderabad Campus)
Quantitative Skills 48 3 144 60 minutes 70 60
Logical Reasoning 40 3 12038 minutes 61 50
Language Skills 32 3 9622 minutes 55 50
Total 120   360120 minutes 209 196
Read complete NMAT 2014 Analysis.

NMAT 2019 is going to be conducted from 4th October 2019 to 17th December 2019 and like last year, it is being administrated by GMAC. NMAT has had a very standardized pattern in the last few years which is not going to change. With respect to the pattern and structure of the exam, candidates can heave a sigh of relief. The overall difficulty level too will be along similar lines. The overall cut-off is expected to be around 208-210, which is the range around which the last few years' cutoffs have hovered. We can expect a little ambiguity from the sectional difficulty levels and sectional cutoffs can fluctuate by small margins.

For NMAT 2016, Quantitative Skills sectional cut-off rose from 70 to 74, despite the presence of highly calculation-intensive Data Interpretation questions, as the standalone quant questions were easier than last year. This shows that there can be varying difficulty levels even within a single section. A candidate should try to attempt around 75-80 questions to make it to a safe score of between 210-230, after accounting for a few errors.

Since sections are timed, understanding of fundamentals and the speed of attempting questions are the 'make or break' factors.

As there is no penalty for wrong answers, candidates should adopt a strategy wherein they attempt all the questions. About 80 questions out of 120 should be genuine attempts and the rest could be guesses/calculated risks based on elimination. If a candidate is purely guessing on the rest of the questions, then all the answer choices selected should be the same option as this maximizes the probability of getting a few of them correct!

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