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MAT EXAM: THE UNDERDOG OF MANAGEMENT EXAMS

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With the rapid increase in the development of technology, we are a daily witness to innovations that were once unthinkable. The global impact of industrialization has been felt since the turn of last century. It therefore was and continues to be extremely essential to inculcate skills that helps produce economically and sustain the industry, whilst continuing to adapt to latest benchmarks set by improved research and development.The managerial aspect of an industry or even a small department of a much bigger company becomes quite vital. As a consequence, the potential of management sciences is always on the rise. It is with this background that there has been a lot of value showered on to the management programmes.  To meet the heavy demands, the number of institutes offering such courses is proportionally on the rise. But, as it has always been the case, greater the vale, higher the potential, stiffer the competition.

 It has become a common norm to gain technical expertise in a particular field and then go on to hone business and management skills. Thus, the sheer number of candidates vying to be a part of a particular management programme, offered by a particular institute is high.  Hence, there are numerous competitive examinations which test the aspiring candidates in speed and accuracy amongst other things. These tests are either conducted by a particular institute or a national or global organization. One such entrance test, organized by a national organization, is the Management Aptitude Test.

The Management Aptitude Test, often abbreviated as MAT for convenience, is a national level competitive entrance exam to various institutions offering MBA(Master of Business Administration) or PGDM( Post Graduate Diploma in Management)  conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA).  The AIMA is a government approved and government backed amalgamation of various local management associations created in 1957 to develop and refine the scope and potential of management profession in India.  Therefore, MAT can be thought of as the National Entrance Test.

As opposed to CAT, which is held only once a year, the MAT is conducted 4 times a year, i.e, once every quarter. So MAT is usually conductedin the months of February, May, September and December. The difference in the levels of difficulty in the tests is quite evident, with CAT being the tougher nut to crack.

The overall examination syllabus of MAT is in fact quite similar to the other management entrance tests such as CAT, CMAT (Common Management Admission Test), conducted by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) which is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, a global organization, as an entrance test to international institutes.

MAT APPLICATION PROCESS

The MAT Application Process for the May session has already started on the official website. MAT Application Process commenced from March 03, 2017. The last date to apply for the exam is April 28, 2017. It is advised that aspirants register themselves on the official website.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Graduation in any discipline from a recognized University or Institute is a prerequisite to be able to apply for MAT.
  • Alternatively, the aspirant needs an equivalent recognized degree.
  • There is no requirement for previous job experience.
  • Final year undergraduate students pursuing any course can apply provided they furnish the required documents as proof that their course work will be completed within the stipulated time.
  • There is no age limit. Anyone, fulfilling any of the above criteria can apply.
  • There is no requirement for previous job experience.
  • There is no limit on the number of times a candidate can apply for the exam.

EXAM AND PATTERN

Candidates can visit the official AIMA website (www.aima.in) and under the head of Testing Services, one can click on the link leading to MAT wherein the entire procedure to apply and register for MAT is lucidly explained.

The MAT is designed to test the aspirant in speed, accuracy, knowledge of current affairs. The test is objective type.

The MAT is conducted in two formats.

  1. Paper based test
  2. Computer based test

The paper based test is held on the first Sunday of the months MAT is held, from 10a.m to 12.30a.m. The computer based test is conducted on the ensuing Saturday and the candidate can choose his convenient time slot, subject to availability

The candidate has 2 hours30 minutes (150 minutes) to attempt a maximum of 200 questions. There is 1 mark awarded to every right answer and negative 1/4th mark for every wrong answer. The final score is scaled to 800.

 The questions are divided into 5 sections. There is absolutely no time limit per section. This implies that the candidate can start with preferred sections and can skip back and forth to different sections to maximize score in given time. Although smartly allocating time to each section, based on the time taken to solve questions pertaining to a section and the ease in scoring can help add to the score.

The suggested way to distribute time amongst the sections is given below.

The different sections are:

  1. Language Skills (30 minutes)

In this section, the candidate is required to read a given passage in English and answer the questions that follow. This test is to judge the grip the candidate has over the language and the candidate’s ability to read and understand.

  1. Mathematical Skills(40 minutes)

Though this section focuses on basic arithmetic and geometry, the candidate has to be smart and quick about his choice of questions. The candidate’s knowledge of basic mathematics formulae is tested.

  1. Data Analysis and Sufficiency(35 minutes)

The candidate is tested in his ability to interpret data. Input/ Output analysis and knowledge about data representation and interpretation are essential.

  1. Intelligence and Critical Reasoning(30 minutes)

This tests the candidates reasoning ability by the candidate’s use of logical thinking. Puzzles, riddles and problems that challenge the candidate’s critical thinking are posed here.

  1. Indian and Global Environment(15 minutes)

The questions from this section lay emphasis on the candidate’s general awareness. The candidate is grilled about current affairs and business analytics, both, on a national as well as international scale.

COLLEGES ACCEPTING MAT SCORE FOR ADMISSIONS

Here is a list of top ten colleges and universities, both, private owned and government owned that accept MAT scores(2016).

  1. TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal
  2. Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra
  3. Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bangalore
  4. National Institute of Technology, Warangal
  5. Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad
  6. Balaji Institute of Modern Management, Pune
  7. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi
  8. Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education, Mumbai
  9. PSG Institute of Management, Coimbatore
  10. Amity Business School, Noida

The various institutes that accept MAT score consider the score valid for one year, generally.

The list of the Institutes participating is made available in the official AIMA website two months before the test.