CMAT Sep 2013: First Day First Slot Analysis

The Common Management Admission Test (CMAT) September 2013 is being conducted over a five-day test window from September 26-30, 2013 across two time slots (9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm). It seems the Verbal section is being made similar to the structure in other entrance exams, especially in terms of the length of RC passages and multiple questions per passage. The test was of a moderate difficulty level, like the previous tests. In Quant, there were a few questions on topics that are not usually tested by CMAT. Thus, we advise MBA aspirants to not leave out any topic in Quant. Students found the LR section to be the easiest, though it was time consuming.

Since there were no sectional timings, one could easily utilise the time saved in the General Awareness section to score more in other sections. Scratch papers for rough work were readily available.

Now coming to the sectional feedback.

Quantitative Technique and Data Interpretation

This section was of moderate difficulty level. Like the previous CMATs, it didn’t have any set-based questions. The topic-wise distribution of questions remains largely unchanged. There were some questions in which multiple concepts were tested, which is generally not seen in the CMAT.

Area Number of questions Specifics
Arithmetic 8 to 9 Profit & Loss, Simple & compound interest, Mixtures & Allegations, Work, Ratios, Averages
Numbers and Algebra 7 to 8

Factors of a number, Cyclicity rule, Algebraic equations, Inequalities

Geometry 4

Co-ordinate Geometry, Mensuration

Modern Math 3

Permutations and Combinations, Progressions, Functions

DI 2 Bar Charts, Table

Arithmetic and Numbers together constitute 13 out of 25 Questions. The questions from arithmetic were straightforward while those from Numbers were a bit tricky. DI questions required approximation. The new question types came from Geometry and Modern Math. We expect that students will continue to score high in this section, like they did in the previous CMATs.

Logical Reasoning

This section was moderate to easy. Many questions on arrangements were lengthy and the “elimination of options” technique had to be used smartly to solve these questions faster. It was critical to watch your clock while solving this section. If you took more time than needed, then moving on to the other sections and coming back later would have been a wise move. Again, there were no set-based questions. Also, there was only one verbal reasoning question in this section.

A general snapshot is as follows:

Area Number of questions Specifics
Arrangements 8 to 9

Circular arrangement, Linear arrangement, several questions on Matrix arrangements

Grouping and Conditionalities

3 to 4
Coding, Family Tree, Logical Puzzles 1 of each, 2 of Family Tree
True/False, Series, Clocks, Directions 1 of each, 2 of Directions
Calendars, Data Sufficiency, Sequential I/O, Visual Reasoning 1 of each

Language Comprehension (LC)

The surprise element in today’s CMAT was definitely the fact that there were multiple questions that followed a passage. There were four passages with 13 questions (critical reasoning, RC, decision making) based on them. The passages contained 150-300 words. In general, the passage based questions were moderately challenging as in most cases two options seemed similar. Some questions were difficult, including the single decision making question of this section. The remaining 12 questions were simple for someone who had been preparing for vocabulary and grammar.

Area Number of questions Specifics
Grammar 3 Choose the most meaningful, Correct Construction
Vocabulary 2


Para completio 1
Parajumbles 2
Decision Making 1
Critical Reasoning 6 Assumption, Strenghten, Weaken
Reading Comprehension 6 Tone, Inference, Meaning of Phrases

General Awareness (GA)

Students found the GA section to be difficult as there were only five easy questions. The rest of them were more difficult in nature. 7-8 questions were based on current affairs and the rest were static. The questions were spread across all areas: science, business and economics, politics, branding & marketing, history, literature, Indian culture, sports, geography etc.

Like the previous CMATs, the cut-offs for top colleges will remain high. Results will be declared on October 20, 2013.

The author Rashmi Sonthalia is a Product Manager (MBA-India) at IMS, a leader in management entrance training. She is an Indian School of Business (ISB) alumnus with varied experience in the education industry.

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