Managing the management exams

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Here’s how one can prepare for Common Management Admission Test (CMAT), writes Daviender Narang

After CAT and XAT, CMAT is among the most sought-after entrance test on which MBA aspirants pin their hopes. The Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) is a national level entrance examination for admission to management programmes in the country. CMAT scorecard is a gateway to many leading B-schools across India.

Until 2018, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) was responsible for conducting CMAT on yearly basis as per the rules and regulations of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). But, now National Testing Agency (NTA) is the new exam conducting body for this coveted exam.

Since CMAT is a management aptitude test, its syllabus and pattern are similar to other MBA entrance exams. The question paper carries 100 multiple choice questions (MCQs), which has to be solved in three hours. The question pattern carries various segments like quantitative techniques and logical reasoning, language comprehension, general awareness, innovation and entrepreneurship. Earlier, ‘innovation and entrepreneurship’ was an optional section. This year, it will be a mandatory section.

The three most important points to keep in mind while preparing for the speed-based exam are: time management, consistent preparation, and accuracy. According to experts, if a candidate is able to maintain 80 percent accuracy rate then they can expect a decent percentile in CMAT exam.

Following are some preparation tips for writing CMAT which would help aspirants to a great extent.

Be strategic
A good CMAT preparation plan must have strategic time-table, even distribution of topics and hours, one topic at a time. Conceptual clarity and thorough understanding of utmost important topics has to be there.

Selection of right books
To crack the test, candidates need to know the best books so that they can prepare the exam with ease. Numerous books are available for the CMAT exam, but it is wise to look for only those books that cover the sectional topics as per CMAT syllabus 2022. Some good books for vocabulary building are: (1) Word Power Made Easy; by Norman Lewis, (2) Barron’s Pocket Guide to Vocabulary.

Being tech savvy
Everyone, in today’s time owns a smartphone. With this, exam preparation has taken a leap from notebooks and classroom to mobile phone apps. Downloading MBA preparation apps on phone will give access to tutorials, videos, blogs, sample questions, etc. This mode of study is immensely beneficial. It allows students to keep a track of their preparation.

Regular Practice
One needs to practice a good number of sample questions of the test. The key to ace this test is practice. The more experience one has of solving factual, verbal or visual reasoning questions the better will be the performance. With ample practice of a variety of questions, one can score well in this test.

For Sectional Specific strategies

Quantitative Techniques and Logical Reasoning
The core areas of reasoning are assertion-reasoning, inferences, critical reasoning, assumption-premise-conclusion, true and false statements, linear arrangements, sequences and series, strong – weak arguments, statements and assumptions, series, coding and decoding, cause and effect, symbol-based problems.

Language Comprehension
This consists of one reading comprehension passage with about six questions. The passages are simple and easy to understand. Other topics in this section are parajumbles, fill in the blanks, idioms and sentence correction. A good habit of reading can help the candidate immensely.

General Awareness
This is a tough section to crack, so better prepare for it in advance. Out of 20 questions, most of them are based on Indian events. The candidates preparing for CMAT 2022 must stay updated with current affairs of India and world. They must pay special attention to static GK as the tougher questions of this section are usually from it.
Quintessentially, the test aims to assess the core management skills like time management, prioritization, stress management, knowledge and balancing accuracy and speed.