NMAT Exam Pattern: Key Sections, Marking Scheme, Duration

Updated on 16th December 2023 | 2:39 pm | #NMATExamPattern

The NMAT by GMAC Exam is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) conducted for admission to various management programs across India. The NMAT Exam Pattern plays an important role in determining your success in this competitive exam. Understanding the pattern thoroughly will help you strategize your preparation effectively.

There have been some significant changes made to the NMAT exam format in recent years. There are now 36 multiple-choice questions (MCQs) in each of the three exam sections, a decrease from the original 120 total questions. 

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NMAT Exam Pattern: An Overview

The NMAT Exam Pattern consists of three sections:


No. of Questions

Time Limit

Score Range

Language Skills


28 Minutes


Quantitative Skills


52 Minutes


Logical Reasoning


40 Minutes






Each section carries equal weightage, and there is no negative marking. This means that every question you attempt correctly will add to your score.

 To calculate the final score, the NMAT by GMAC exam employs a sophisticated probabilistic model, a hallmark of modern exam theory. This model generates a scaled score ranging from 12 to 120, providing a clear indication of the candidate's performance relative to the overall pool of test-takers.

Given below is the marking scheme for NMAT:

Correct Answer


1 Mark


Incorrect Answer


Unattempted Question


NMAT Exam Pattern: Key Highlights

  • Three sections: The NMAT exam consists of three sections: Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, and Logical Reasoning.
  • 108 questions: There are a total of 108 questions in the NMAT exam, with 36 questions in each section.
  • 120 minutes (2 hours): The NMAT exam is a computer-based test (CBT) and lasts for 120 minutes (2 hours).
  • Sectional time limits: Each section has a separate time limit: Language Skills (28 minutes), Quantitative Skills (52 minutes), and Logical Reasoning (40 minutes).
  • No negative marking: There is no negative marking in the NMAT exam.
  • Marking scheme: Each correct answer is awarded 1 mark.
  • Adaptive nature: The NMAT exam is an adaptive test, which means that the difficulty level of the questions is adjusted based on your performance.

NMAT Exam Pattern: Section-Wise Analysis

A section-wise analysis of the NMAT exam pattern allows you to prepare and strategize accordingly for the exam. Given below are the main focus points for each section.

Language Skills

This section assesses your ability to read, understand, and analyze written English. It includes questions on grammar, vocabulary, sentence completion, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning.

  • Vocabulary
    • Synonyms
    • Antonyms
    • Analogies
    • Idioms
    • Phrasal verbs
  • Grammar
    • Parts of Speech
    • Tenses
    • Identify the Error
    • Choose the Correct Preposition
    • Sentence Correction
  • Reading Comprehension
    • RC Passages
    • Jumbled Sentences
    • Para Jumbles
    • Cloze Test
    • Paragraph Summary

Quantitative Skills

This section evaluates your numerical aptitude and problem-solving skills. It includes questions on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, data interpretation, and data sufficiency.

  • Arithmetic
    • Simple and Compound Interest
    • Integers
    • Percentages
    • Ratio-Proportions
  • Algebra
    • Equations
    • Inequalities
    • Linear Equations
    • Quadratic Equations
    • Lines, Angles, and Triangles
    • Polygons
    • Circles
    • Coordinate Geometry
  • Modern Math 
    • Permutation and Combination
    • Probability
    • Set Theory
    • HCF and LCM
  • Data Interpretation
    • Line Graphs
    • Bar Chart
    • Pie Chart
    • Tabular Graphs

Logical Reasoning

This section gauges your ability to analyze information, identify patterns, and draw inferences. It includes questions on verbal reasoning, logical arrangements, and critical reasoning.

  • Verbal Reasoning
    • Statement and Argument-based Questions
    • Statement and Assumption-based Questions
    • Statement and Inference-based Questions
    • Critical Reasoning
  • Analytical Reasoning
    • Linear and Circular Arrangements
    • Classification and Syllogisms
    • Blood Relation Questions
    • Decision Making
    • Coding and Decoding
    • Course of Action
    • Series and Direction Questions
  • Matrix Type Questions

For more details about the NMAT syllabus, click here

Key Features of the NMAT Exam Pattern

The NMAT Exam Pattern is characterized by several unique features that set it apart from other MBA entrance exams:

  • Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT)

    The NMAT is a Computer-Adaptive Test (CAT, meaning the difficulty of questions adjusts based on your performance. This adaptive nature ensures that you are challenged appropriately, maximizing the efficiency of the assessment.

  • Flexible Section Order

    Unlike most MBA entrance exams, the NMAT allows you to choose the order in which you tackle the three sections. This flexibility empowers you to strategically sequence the sections based on your strengths and preferences.

  • Multiple Attempts

    Unlike many MBA entrance exams that allow only one attempt, the NMAT offers three attempts within a testing window of 70 to 100 days. This flexibility provides opportunities to improve your score and enhance your chances of admission.

  • No Negative Marking

    The NMAT eliminates the fear of negative marking, encouraging you to attempt all questions without hesitation. This policy promotes a calculated guessing strategy that can boost your overall score.

Tips For Preparing for the NMAT Exam Pattern

  • Understand the NMAT Exam Pattern and syllabus thoroughly.
  •  Focus on improving your speed and accuracy in solving questions.
  • Plan and strategize: Create a study plan that fits your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Use official NMAT prep materials and practice tests to improve your skills.
  • Practice under timed conditions to get ready for the real exam.
  • Review basic concepts in the final stage of your preparation.

To access a detailed NMAT preparation strategy, click here

NMAT Exam Pattern: Conclusion

The NMAT Exam Pattern is designed to assess your overall aptitude for management studies. By understanding the pattern and preparing accordingly, you can increase your chances of success in this competitive exam. Remember, consistent practice and a focused approach are key to achieving a good score in the NMAT exam.


The total number of questions in the NMAT exam is 108.

The total duration of the NMAT exam is 120 minutes (2 hours).

No, there is no negative marking in the NMAT exam.

The sectional time limit for each section is as follows:

  • Language Skills: 28 minutes
  • Quantitative Skills: 52 minutes
  • Logical Reasoning: 40 minutes

For each correct answer, you will get 1 mark. There is no negative marking for incorrect or unattempted questions.