Hi! I hope you’re doing well and getting ready for the test season ahead. The first test of the season, NMAT, has just started and I was able to take it on day 1 of the delivery window. Here is my detailed review of NMAT 2021.
Some background for those of you who haven’t followed my tryst with NMAT: I had scored a 270 and 291 in the last two years. Last year was special because I had actually taken a few mocks. The detailed coverage of my 291 score is available here. Have a look at it before you read the post.
When NMAT was announced, I immediately registered and booked a slot for the first day itself as that’s how I can contribute the most to the student community. Taking it randomly in between or towards the end will not help as I will not be able to share any insights with students. Last year, I had taken it from my home and though the experience was smooth, I wasn’t keen on experiencing the constant concern regarding internet connection. I was quite happy that I found a test venue slot for day 1 and booked it without any hesitation.
I was quite occupied with work over the last few days and didn’t get any time to take mocks. I somehow managed to take the official mock though on the 13th and the score wasn’t too bad (283) and it gave me some confidence that I wouldn’t completely bomb my actual test.
The sectional breakup of this mock performance:
Quantitative Skills: Algebra & Probability 6/6, Arithmetic 7/8, Data Sufficiency 3/5, DI Caselets & Tables 4/4, DI Graphs & Charts 4/8 (I misread a set completely), Number Properties 3/4
Logical Reasoning: Analytical Puzzles 9/12, Critical Reasoning 7/9, Deductions 6/7, Other Reasoning 6/8
Language Skills: Analogies 3/5, Error Identification 4/6, Para Forming 3/4, Prepositions 4/4, Reading Comprehension 11/12, Sentence Completion 4/5.
Let’s talk about the actual test now. I reached the test venue at about 2 pm for my 3 pm slot. I wasn’t expecting many students at the test venue as generally people wait to read the reviews before they face the test themselves. I got to know that the centre had only 2 students in the slot before ours and my slot had only 3 people (including me)! Also, I had stayed away from reading any reviews as it would have prejudiced me and was going to take it as objectively as possible!
At 2:45 pm, they started the pre-test formalities (COVID declaration, ID proof checking, photograph, etc.) and the test started at 3 pm. As usual, I retained my QA-LR-LS order. It’s not something that I recommend to students unless you’re good at QA. It’s a good idea to figure out what works the best for you by experimenting in mocks.
The best thing about NMAT is that they don’t deviate from the set number of questions within topics. As covered in the analysis video, there weren’t any surprises in terms of number of questions or topics. Quant didn’t offer any surprises (no Geometry, no Mensuration, no Time Speed Distance) and it was heavily dominated by questions on problem solving and within problem solving, most questions were from Arithmetic. What stumped me was a question from Logarithms, a case intensive question on number formation, and a DI set which had a combination of bar chart and pie chart with close to 25-30 data points. Rest was quite manageable and I felt pretty confident about my attempt. I made a few errors for sure in between because I was going fast to ensure that I cover all the questions and ended up finishing all the questions with about 2 minutes to go.
LR: With nearly 50-50 split between verbal and non-verbal reasoning, LR is a challenging section and requires a good amount of CR practice to crack. I went faster than what was required in this section and ended up scoring the lest – a mistake that I regret. Rather than going fast, I should have spent some more time on CR questions and given all the options due consideration. I had a single set of input output which wasn’t difficult (classic NMAT type) and logical puzzles were straightforward too. There wasn’t any question where I had an Aha! moment (the way I had in the year 2019 for this question: If LAL is coded as 19, RED is coded as 122, BLUE will be coded as what?)
My recommendation to students is to study CR extensively because traditional logic you might still be able to crack, but low performance on CR will bring your score down for sure, the way it happened for me. I felt in control of the paper but I was making mistakes while achieving that objective. Even though I completed the section before time (had about 4 minutes left) my score made me realize the importance of pacing yourself well.
I don’t know how but VA always seems to work for me better than LR on the NMAT which is opposite to the trend that I have on the other tests. Grammar and fill in the blanks were easy but the RCs were painful. Two of them were lengthy and hard to read and the third one was moderate. I might have got difficult RCs because I was doing well but I had to re-read some parts of the RC to get the answers right. Vocabulary and Analogy based questions would not have been ultra-difficult for a well-prepared candidate. There were some words that I had never seen earlier but I guessed them in any case (as if I had a choice!) and moved on. Some of the parajumbles had 4 sentences and some had 5 sentences. I was able to complete the section before time but had moments of absolute panic because of those lengthy difficult RCs.
Throughout the test, I had a massive headache because of constant drilling and hammering sound from the repair work that the college had conveniently decided to do. Honestly, my score doesn’t matter but the other students deserved a peaceful attempt. I wonder how test centres are selected and whether they are given any instructions with respect to the basic necessities. So, after two hours of enduring that noise and 4 rough sheets (what was I doing!?), I saw my score.
Definitely not what I wanted to see but I wasn’t too disappointed either. You can’t expect a great score if you don’t put in the required effort.
सच है के दिल तो दुखा है, हमने मगर सोचा है
दिल को है गम क्यों, आँख है नम क्यों
होना ही था जो हुआ है – Javed Akhtar, Kal Ho Naa Ho
I found the test to be similar in overall composition and difficulty when compared with NMAT 2020. I think the QA scaling is slightly different compared to what it was last time but that could just be a conjecture. I expect the cutoffs to remain more or less the same but I will reserve that judgment for a while and wait for more data points. I will try to update this post after a few weeks to incorporate scores of aspirants.
Mocks are extremely crucial for NMAT and I recommend solving the IMS test series before you take your NMAT. If you stick to the questions that are asked on the NMAT and do those types thoroughly, you should be fine!
I hope this post has given you a take on the NMAT that you typically don’t see. Please share with your friends and co-aspirants and feel free to comment your feedback or questions! Don’t forget to subscribe to our dedicated YouTube channel. Till we meet again, goodbye and all the best! 🙂