NMAT Preparation: 5 Most Important Points


NMAT (NMIMS Management Aptitude Test) is an online computer-based exam that helps aspirants to choose one of the best B-schools, not only in India but in South Africa, the Philippines, and Nigeria as well. Since it is conducted by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council), it is known as NMAT by GMAC. The students can target colleges like NMIMS (NarseeMonjee Institute of Management Studies), XUB, SPJIMR (For PGMPW), etc. NMAT gives you three attempts between October and December in one exam cycle per year. So an aspirant can apply three times for NMAT by GMAC with a minimum of 15 days gap between two consecutive attempts to get admission in MBA or other graduate management degrees from prominent B-schools. NMAT 2020 scores are valid for one academic year. NMAT application form link https://www.nmat.org.


NMAT comprises three sections namely Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, and Logical Reasoning. Before the exam starts, the candidates get a chance to choose the order in which they want to attempt the sections. There are MCQ type questions in NMAT. Every question has five choices and a candidate needs to choose one option per question. Till last year i.e. NMAT by GMAC 2019, the exam pattern was as follows:


SectionsNo. of QuestionsTime Limit (minutes)
Language Skills3222
Quantitative Skills4860
Logical Reasoning4038

For every right answer, the candidate is awarded +3 marks. There is no negative marking, so ideally all the questions should be attempted.

To deal with the changing situation due to COVID-19, the following changes are implemented in NMAT by GMAC:
  • Candidates can choose from the two testing modes while applying for NMAT. Either they can choose a testing centre with social distancing norms or can appear for a proctored version at the comfort of their homes.
  • Equal weightage is given to all three sections. Each section includes 36 questions.
  • The correct answer is awarded 1 mark. No negative marking.
SectionNo. of questionsTime Limit (minutes)
Language Skills3628
Quantitative Skills3652
Logical Reasoning3640
  • Candidates can view their scores instantly after completing the exam.
  • The facility of downloading the scorecard within 48 hours is available

Preparation for NMAT

As already mentioned, NMAT comprises three sections i.e. Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, and Logical Reasoning. Let’s see what topics are being covered in these sections.
Language skills
  • Vocabulary: Synonyms, antonyms, analogies, fill in the blanks, cloze test, common confusables
  • Grammar: Identify the error, choose the correct preposition
  • Comprehension: Reading comprehensions, para jumbles 

Quantitative Skills

  • Arithmetic: Percentages, time & work, ratios, proportions, simple & compound interest, TSD (time, speed, & distance), profit-loss, averages
  • Algebra: HCF-LCM, equations, linear equations, quadratic equations, inequalities, logarithms, absolute value
  • Geometry & Mensuration:  Lines, angles, triangles, cubes, cuboids, quadrilaterals (rectangles, squares, parallelograms, rhombus, trapezium), polygons, cone, cylinder, sphere 
  • Modern Math: Probability, permutation & combination, coordinate geometry, set theory, Venn diagrams, progression (arithmetic, geometric, harmonic)
  • Data Interpretation: Tables, bar chart, pie chart, line graphs
Logical Reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning: Statement-Assumption, statement-argument, statement-inference, decision making & course of action, critical reasoning
  • Analytical Reasoning: Arrangements (linear & circular), syllogisms, classification, coding, blood relation, direction, series, input-output, symbol-based
Scores to be achieved
NMIMS is the top institute in which you can start your MBA/ PGDM journey after clearing the cut-offs which were as follows in 2019:
College NameNMAT Score
NMIMS (Mumbai)210
NMIMS (Bengaluru)208
NMIMS (Other campuses)200


Topics you can’t miss

Your task of clearing a competitive exam like NMAT with flying colors becomes easy if you know the important sections on which you have to focus the most. In this section, we will be discussing the 5 most important sections/ chapters that you should not miss while preparing for NMAT.

  • Arithmetic: In the quantitative skills section, you will be practicing questions from different topics but the most important is Arithmetic. The topics covered in this section are mentioned in the syllabus section above.
YearNo of questions in Arithmetic

Out of 28 questions (DI excluded), 50% were from Arithematic in 2019 whereas it was 28% and 39% in 2018 & 2017 respectively. This shows that you can expect a good number of questions from this section and hence preparing the topics covered in this section is very important. 

  • Data Interpretation: It forms part of the quantitative skills section in NMAT. Candidates can expect 4 sets comprising a total of 16 questions related to DI. Be sure to select the set to be attempted. Out of these 4 sets, 2-3 sets can be very calculation intensive having difficulty levels from moderate to difficult. Also, since time is an important parameter, make sure to do find the easy sets and attempt them first and solve the other sets if time allows.
  • Vocabulary: In the language skills section, you can find a lot of questions challenging your word power in the form of synonyms, antonyms, common confusables, etc. 
YearNo of questions in Vocabulary
  •  As the table shows, out of 32 questions in the language skills section, vocabulary questions may vary from 14-17 questions i.e. 43%-53%. These questions remained in the easy-moderate level of difficulty as per the last three year’s papers.
  • Grammar: After RC and vocabulary, the third part of language skills consists of grammar questions related to prepositions and finding the error.
    YearNo of questions in Grammar

Even though the number of questions is less as compared to vocabulary, but the knowledge of grammar rules helps in the elimination of options in RC questions as well as para jumbles.

  • Critical Reasoning: This implies critical thinking or clear thinking. Candidates need to go through a few statements, infer the information, and answer the questions based on that inference. This is a part of the logical reasoning section. It consists of topics mentioned in the verbal reasoning in the syllabus part.
YearNo of questions in CR/ VR

As the numbers suggest, candidates need to attempt 27%-37% critical reasoning questions in the logical reasoning section. The level of difficulty varies from easy-moderate.


In this article, we have seen the most important parts of the NMAT exam. A good strategy helps an aspirant to prepare well and then perform well in the main exams. Practicing the important questions, again and again, helps a lot in the exam in terms of time-saving and high scores.

Some of the preparation tips:

  • Read the topic, clear the basics, and then focus on solving as many questions as possible
  • For all the topics, you can also enroll for the MBAP question sets which are available as levels 1, 2, and 3. Start with level 1 and slightly shift to moderate and then difficult level
  • Practice previous year questions to get the correct idea of the level of difficulty and your current level of preparation
  • Time yourself while solving questions as NMAT is a time-based exam
  • Keep practicing

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