CMAT stands for the Common Management Admissions Test. It is a national-level MBA admission test , conducted by All India council for Technical Education (AICTE), a national-level Apex Advisory Body which is vested with the statutory authority for technical education in India. Since its introduction in 2011, a lot of (erstwhile) very popular state entrance exams have stopped conducting their own tests and instead use CMAT as the basis of the selection process. The list would include the likes of RMAT, UPCET, GMAT etc.

There are 3500+ AICTE approved B-schools which are expected to take CMAT scores, translating to availability of over 4 lakh seats for a CMAT test-taker.

CMAT is a computer-based test (CBT) which is conducted twice a year ( Sep and Feb ). Better of two scores will be used for admission for 2015-2016.


Section No. Section Name No. of questions Marks per section
1 Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation 25 100
2 Logical Reasoning 25 100
3 Language Comprehension 25 100
4 General Awareness 25 100
Total 100 400

There is negative marking for wrong answers, for each wrong answer 1 mark is deducted Duration of exam will be 180 minutes


AICTE conducts CMAT twice every year – first one in September and the second in February. The best of the two scores will be considered for shortlisting. The detailed merit list will be provided to the respective State Government for allotting the students through central counseling or otherwise as per their notified admission procedure In case there is no central counseling, scores awarded will be used for admission in the AICTE approved institutes/University departments.


The section on language comprehension,comprises 25 questions, most of which have a bend towards Critical Reasoning,at varying levels of difficulty. So, it is best advised to revise concepts pertaining to Critical Reasoning(especially on identifying argument structure and argument elements, and inference based questions), The Critical Reasoning questions have been part of the course for the CAT students. For questions based on Arguments, students should refer to questions from CRHOs and CRPEs. For the rest of the English Language part, it would be advisable for students to revise concepts pertaining to RC, Sentence correction, and Vocab based questions. Questions in these areas have been very doable, and effective revision would help students cash in on these questions. The RC passages in CMAT have been short (a paragraph usually)and quite easy to read. Students have time to read carefully and analyze the content, and must do so, since the choices are, sometimes, close.
There are approximately 9-10 passages,drawn from varied subjects such as social sciences,business, arts and humanities,current issues etc.

The student should focus on the following with respect to RC:

  • Central idea and the supporting ideas in the given paragraph
  • Tone of the author
  • Recognising phrases, idioms,and figures of speech in reading practice.
  • Summarising/ restating the paragraph/drawing conclusions
  • Identifying missing data/ interpreting indirect information
  • Seeing from the author's perspective

What is primarily required is an active participation in the reading of the text, which does not stop with just redaing and understanding, but goes beyond the peripherals, and asks /answers questions that are related to the text . The student should be wary of underestimating the passage due to its short length or the options, as mentioned earlier are quite close.

For the section on Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation, a good preparation for CAT should be more than sufficient, though it would be advisable for a student to focus more on areaslike Co-ordinate Geometry, Trigonometry (Basically Heights & Distances), Statistics, Quadratic Equations, Progresions, Permutations & Combinations, Probability and Number System apart from topics mentioned in the basic study material.

For the section on logical reasoning one has to prepare on all the reasoning topics like linear arrangement, circular arrangement, selections , distribution puzzles, comparisons, binary logic, cubes, Venn diagrams, deductions and connectives. These areas have been covered during your CAT course. The question pattern is slightly different from the CAT pattern. Unlike CAT here one would find individual questions in all the above topics. Sometimes data may not be sufficient to figure out the complete solution , but would be sufficient to answer the given question.

The other areas of reasoning including number series, coding and decoding, symbols and notations, blood relations, direction sense, input-output, calendars and clocks should also be prepared.

For preparation on General Awareness, in addition to reading newspapers regularly, it would be advisable for a student to prepare from the following sources:

  • Also, in the various issues of MBA Education & Careers magazine, focus on features like Business GK, Current Issues & Events, and Current Event Chronicle (this feature captures important tid-bits).In addition to the above, please run through the GK Model Papers feature titled, Improve your GK.
  • Go through the GA Note (Study Material) booklet for stock GK (like history and geography). Also use the GAT papers, each with 50 questions.
  • Manorama & CSR Year Book - it helps in preparation for stock type questions
    In Manorama Year Book and CSR, please focus on the following chapters.
    • Who is who
    • What is what
    • Science scan
    • Human body
    • Computers
    • Landmarks of history
The Universecess. IIMs may consider previous academic record, work experience and other similar parameters in their selection process.