If one were to compare the May 2013 Common management Admission Test (CMAT) with the February 2013 CMAT, two words suffice. No no change. The exam is being conducted from May 19-22, 2013 across two time slots (9:30 am to 12:30 pm; 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm).
Starting with the infrastructure to the facilities to the paper pattern to the difficulty level to Sreesanth – everything was ‘spot’ on. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that if one plays the game like Rahul Dravid (technical correctness, attitude, meticulousness & time management), the candidate is sure to emerge a high scorer in the May 2013 CMAT. The fact that neither of the sections saw a visible change in the difficulty level, compared to the earlier exam, a section-wise strategy keeping the February CMAT as a base, would have ensured a good performance today.
If we start one section at a time, the easiest to choose is the General Knowledge Section for the simple fact that either you know it or you don’t, so there is no time wasted in this section. Allocating 10-12 minutes to the section would be fair. Most of the questions in this section were based on current affairs. An aspirant who has been following newspapers religiously would not find it difficult to attempt 12 or more questions. There was one question each on books and authors, brands and tag lines, politics, classical dance forms, mergers and acquisitions and international organisations. A good candidate could attempt 20 – 21 questions with reasonable accuracy rate. The overall difficulty level of this section can be considered as moderate.
The Quantitative Aptitude section had around 19 questions spread across topics like percentage, profit and loss, shares and brokerages, linear equations, quadratic equations, ratio and proportions, averages, partnership, time speed distance, time and work, permutation and combination, probability, inequalities, geometry and Coordinate Geometry. There were two calculation-intensive but easy DI sets with one question each. Apart from these, there were 3 to 4 Data Sufficiency Questions based on application of concepts and logic. A good candidate could take around 50 minutes to attempt this section and attempt 22 – 23 questions with a reasonable accuracy rate. Hence, the overall difficulty level of this section can be considered easy.
The sets in the Analytical Reasoning/ Logical Reasoning section were based on arrangements, puzzles ,and decision making. These sets were lengthy especially because there was only one question for each set. Even though they were time-consuming, the questions were doable. Apart from these, there was at least one question based on series, coding-decoding, deductive-inductive logic, statement assumption and statement conclusion. A good candidate could take around 60 minutes to attempt this section and attempt around 20 – 21 questions with reasonable accuracy rate. Hence the overall difficulty level of this section can be considered as moderate just because of the length of sets.
This Language Comprehension section was exactly along the lines of the February CMAT – with no reading comprehension. The major onus of raising the bar of the difficulty level of the May CMAT lied with questions based on critical reasoning. There were 16 to 18 questions in this section on critical reasoning which were ‘strengthen, weaken, assumption, inference, tone and complete the passage type of questions.’ Two to three questions were vocabulary-based (synonyms, antonyms, word usage and analogy). There was one question each of Para jumble, FIJ, identify the word and fill in the blanks. A good candidate could take around 60 minutes to attempt this section and attempt 17 – 18 questions with reasonable accuracy. Hence, the overall difficulty level of this section can be considered as moderate to difficult.
My advice to the aspirants – Have a sectional order and time-planning in place and go for the odd predetermined stroke or a reverse sweep. The paper is as predictable as an out of form Harbhajan Singh and with a little effort there are strong chances you will come out shining like Chris Gayle.
(Sorry, but the IPL is on my mind!!)
The author is an alumnus of SP Jain and is currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Endeavor Careers and is also associated with the design and development of its online testing portal www.CatGurus.com.