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NMAT 2015 Exam Analysis

In the first couple of days of NMAT a few students have had a disaster hence let us start with a couple of things that you need to ensure:

  • Carry two different ID proofs (as mentioned by you while applying for NMAT) along with their photo copies to your test centre. You are supposed to carry your Appointment Confirmation Letter along with your Admit Card. Do not take this lightly as even if the authorities allow you to appear in the exam (without any of these), you would lose your peace in the process just before the exam.
  • Reach the test center in time. The time mentioned in the Admit Card is NOT the reporting time it is the time at which the test is supposed to start. Do reach the test centre at least 30 minutes prior to this given time. Please call the centre people at the given telephone number (in your admit card), if you encounter any difficulty in locating the centre.

Now over to the exam...

Overview: In MBA entrance tests we are all used to leaving a few questions unattempted because of negative marking but there is NO negative marking in NMAT hence you should mark an answer to all the 120 questions. NMAT has sectional time limits and when you are left with exactly 5 minutes in any of the sections, a pop-up appears to tell you that you are left with exactly 5 minutes in the section. You cannot proceed further without shutting this pop-up. A this stage please mark an answer to all the unattempted questions barring the couple of questions for which you would still have some time to solve. Please bear in mind that NMAT has sectional cutoffs too.

At the beginning of the paper, you will be given all 6 arrangements (3!) in which the paper can be attempted, choose the one that you are most comfortable with. My suggestion is to start and end with your strong sections and let the weakest of the three be the middle one.

Within a section, you CANNOT go to any of the questions directly, thus if you are at question number 1 you cannot reach question number 4 without going through question numbers 2 and 3. Keeping this in mind, you should not waste much of your time in navigation and preferably attempt the paper in one or at best two rounds.

Let us now have a look at each of the three sections.

Language Skill:
This section was along the expected lines and the breakup of the 32 questions was:

  • Reading Comprehension: 8 questions in 2 passages of approximately 500 – 600 words each.
  • 5 statement Para jumbles: 4 questions
  • Sentence Correction: 4 questions, mark the underlined part of the statement which is grammatically incorrect
  • Vocabulary: 8 questions equally split between synonyms and antonyms
  • Cloze test:  4 questions
  • Fill in the blanks: 4 questions with 3 blanks each (prepositions)

Only RC and to an extent Para-jumble questions were time consuming (relatively). In RC most of the questions were factual and one could go for skim and scan technique. In Para-jumble, please look at the options before you start putting these sentences in a sequence as in most of the cases the options help you finalize the answer in a jiffy.

The questions on Antonyms and Synonyms did not follow any sequence, e.g. you might get a question on Antonyms after two questions on Synonyms followed by a question on Antonyms again, hence be very careful in marking your answers. You must know for each of these questions whether you are looking for an Antonym or a Synonym. Savdhani hati durghatna ghati!!!

Also, please do not think that you have lots of time (22 minutes) to do these 32 questions. You just have adequate time. Leaving RC passages for the end can be injurious as in the last 2-3 minutes you may just finish reading the passage and realize that you do not have any time to mark the answers. The independent questions should not be missed at all, you must, at least, see all the independent questions.

Keeping these things in mind, my suggestion is to attempt this section in one Round only. The modus operandi should be - read the question if sure mark the answer, if not sure then mark any choice that you are inclined towards and move on to the next question.

This is the most scoring section in NMAT and one should be able to solve (not merely attempt) at least 24 questions in this section. The sectional cutoff for this section in the last few years has been at 55 and we do not expect it to change.

Quantitative Skill:
This section has come as a big surprise this season. There were a number of questions which are quite new to even a very seasoned test taker. However the good thing is that many difficult/complicated questions can be easily solved with the help of choices and SQC techniques can be applied. Presumably the people preparing the test have either put the options brainlessly or they want to check your smartness. Please be very thorough with your concepts in Geometry and Number System as well.

In addition tithe 28 questions of Quantitative Aptitude, this section had Data Interpretation (DI) and Data Sufficiency (DS) also.

The 12 questions of DI were split in 3 sets of 4 questions each and were not calculation intensive but they did require you to understand the data before proceeding to the questions.

There were 8 questions of DS from all areas of quantitative aptitude. Do practice DS questions from GMAT, available on and other such sites, before the actual test.

One should be able to solve around 27-28 questions in this section and the remaining questions should be marked randomly. Do not go for the 3 Round strategy, attempt this section in two Rounds, even one Round is acceptable. The sectional cutoff for this section has been in the range of 72-76 in the last 3-4 years and it is possible that this year it will be at the lower end of this range.

This section had questions on Verbal as well as Analytical reasoning. Questions on Linear and circular arrangement, Syllogism, Assumption-conclusion etc. constituted a major part of this section. It appears that some questions in this section had some fundamental errors. Most of the questions, barring the erroneous ones, were doable. One could easily solve some 22-24 questions in the given 38 minutes. This section two should be attempted in one Round only.

The sectional cutoff for this section has been around 61-62 and should be the same this year also. A safe score for clearing the sectional cutoff is 65.

one could solve around 80 questions (across the sections) in these 120 minutes and mark any random choice as the answer for the remaining 40 odd questions.

The overall cutoff is likely to be in the range of 205-208 for NM Mumbai and around 200 for Bangalore and Hyderabad for their flagship program(s).

Disclaimer: All information on cut-offs, analysis, answer key and scores are based on independent analysis and evaluation made by Career Launcher. We do not take responsibility for any decision that might be taken, based on this information.

All the best!
Team CL