I hope the CAT response sheet hasn’t impacted the mindset of the readers and you have started preparing for the upcoming tests with full vigor. This post will cover some analysis of the NMAT scores data I’ve gathered since October 10. Before you read the article: Please submit your NMAT score and scorecard on this link.
TL;DR version of this post is:
1. The cutoff will mostly stay the same as the last year, with marginal movements at the sectional level. Scroll down to the bottom to check campus/program-wise cutoffs.
2. On average, the students score the least in the Quantitative section, and the Language section seems to be a high-scoring affair.
3. The NMAT difficulty DOES NOT go up as we progress in the test window – It’s as random as things can get.
Before we get into the exact analysis of this year’s data, let’s talk a bit about NMAT 2019. The 2019 NMAT format had 5 test windows of 15 days each within the overall test administration of 75 days. The test used to be non-adaptive. The test would pick the questions in a window from a pool of questions, which would remain the same for that entire window. For example, if I take the test on day one, someone taking it on day two or nine might see a few questions from my slot. This constant question pool funda resulted in students sharing the actual questions on social media and facing disciplinary action from the NMAT body for indulging in unfair practices. As NMIMS used to accept the best of the candidates’ three attempts back then, students had an opportunity to improve their scores. But students would always return from their second or third attempt and complain of a rise in test difficulty. There was no way to objectively figure out if this was indeed the case, considering the many variables that determine the difficulty level of a test.
But why are we discussing what happened in 2019? Because students still believe in this progressively difficult test theory and think that taking the test towards the end will result in a lower score BECAUSE the test will be difficult. So, to test whether the hypothesis is true or hocus-pocus, I started collecting scores of students – completely validated data with actual snapshots of scorecards.
Please note that the sample is biased because (1) it represents IMS students, and (2) students who get low scores generally don’t report their numbers. Let’s first take a look at the descriptive statistics:
At an overall and individual section level, I’ve shared two graphs. The left one shows the students’ actual scores as we progressed from day 1 to the present day. The graph on the right is an Autocorrelation plot – the degree of correlation of the scores in different time intervals. Essentially they are just concluding that the scores are a random walk.
The top 3 student scores in my sample are 283 (November 18), 278 (October 20), 274 (November 15). The other top scores in my data – 306 (October 28) and 284 (October 10) are mentor performances. I have retained these outliers to show what’s possible for a well-prepared candidate.
In QA, the problem is the difficulty of the questions and the scaling. Someone excellent at QA should ideally have crossed a 100, considering Language and Logical max are 104 and 108, respectively. In my sample, the maximum of 94 clearly shows that it’s challenging to go beyond this in the test.
The Language section emerged as the scoring area with the highest mean out of the three sections this year. The scaling has remained similar to last year in this section. But students have now figured out how to do well in this section. Also, the reduction in RCs must have contributed to slightly higher scores.
The Logical Reasoning section hasn’t changed much either. Though the heavy CR makes it a little challenging, it’s not as bad as the quant section 😀
This entire analysis takes us to a simple conclusion. The test difficulty does not depend on ‘when’ you take it. The test is adaptive and will adapt to how you perform on the test. So, focus on what you control from here. Take as many mocks as you can and work on your test-taking strategy.
2020 and 2021 cutoffs of NMIMS:
I want the readers to think of the big picture and avoid getting bogged down by the CAT debacle. This blog started as a forum to discuss ADMATs because they take students to places. Remember, your CAT debacle is not the end of the world.
“You feel a little bit lost right now about what to do with your life, a bit rudderless and oarless and aimless but that’s okay… That’s alright because we’re all meant to be like that at twenty-four.”David Nicholls, One Day
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