In this article, I have shared the strategy which helped me to crack a 99.99 percentile twice in Management Aptitude Test (MAT). Students who are taking the MAT in June 2021 which is just around the corner, will find this article useful.
A few important points about MAT:
1. GK (Indian & Global Environment) score is not counted in the final composite score or percentile
2. The number of takers of MAT is nowhere close to other major MBA entrance tests.
3. It is conducted multiple times in a year in multiple modes
MAT scores are reported as scaled scores and percentile and the actual sectional raw scores are not revealed. There are no sectional cutoffs specified by MAT. Here are my two MAT attempts and scaled scores with percentile.
In both the attempts, I followed the same strategy.
Start with the section that you’re the most comfortable with. In my case, I always started with the Mathematical Skills section. For 40 questions, if you are reasonably good in quant, you will take anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes. This is because most of the questions are fairly straightforward and don’t require a lot of effort to arrive at the answer. In the Mathematical Skills section, if you know the formulae and can calculate faster, I don’t see why one can’t attempt 30+ in this section with ~90-100 % accuracy.
Once you solve a section, generally, you may not want to come back to it. We are looking at 160 questions to be done in 150 minutes which gives you close to a minute per question. One can always follow a different strategy of attempting 20 questions in each section to reach good number of attempts and balanced score, but I don’t think it helps much. Also, one may not be comfortable with all the sections and spending unnecessary time on questions will lead to low overall attempt.
One of the things that I would like aspirants to keep in mind is the presence of incorrect/incomplete questions. In my attempts, in the Mathematical Skills section at least, I found a few questions incorrect/incomplete/vague. Don’t waste time on such questions and anything north of 35 attempts in a section with decent accuracy almost guarantees a 99.9+ in that section.
The second section in my attempt order was Intelligence & Critical Reasoning. Again, the key is to attempt as many questions as possible with good accuracy. Anything that requires more than a minute should not be attempted considering the time-return equation. I generally skipped long arrangement sets and attempted all other puzzles and reasoning/logic questions first. A good attempt in this section is 30+ with ~80-90 % accuracy.
Data Analysis & Sufficiency is time consuming compared to Intelligence & Critical Reasoning section. This is because for most of the DI questions, I found answer options to be ridiculously close and required intense calculations. Hence, this section is a differentiator and you can race ahead of others if you are good in the section. Anywhere between 40-45 minutes can be spent here and the target should be to get around 30 questions right.
I always kept the Language Comprehension in the end because even with 30 minutes, I knew I would do a fair job in verbal. Simple reading comprehension sets where you can locate the answers easily combined with easy to moderate verbal questions, make this a fantastic scoring opportunity. You should take risks at a few places and go for as many attempts as possible.
As the raw scores are not reported by MAT, it’s not possible to ‘guess’ what is sufficient to get a particular percentile. However, based on my experience, a 75%+ plus attempt in each section and overall is a good place to be in. Having said that, it doesn’t guarantee a 99.99. For a 99.99 in MAT, one needs to attempt close to 140 or 150 questions (out of 160) with a good accuracy. As the GK (Indian & Global Environment) score is not counted in the final composite score, I attempted a few questions in both my attempts and was never bothered with my score in this section.
I am sharing the sectional scaled scores and percentiles of two of my students who had MAT 99.99 percentile in the past. Notice that sectional differences haven’t impacted the overall score in any way.
Do whatever works for you. Decide a section order that you are most comfortable with, get a good start and then build on it. Don’t spend time in lengthy questions and go for as many attempts as possible. The negative marking won’t affect much if your genuine attempts cross 35 in any of the sections. Wish you all the best!
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