MAT December 2014 Analysis

Overview:

The overall structure of the MAT exam remained the same as that of the previous years’, with 5 sections of 40 questions each, 4 options and a negative marking of 1/4th of the marks allotted for wrong answers. The overall difficulty level of the exam did not vary much from the previous MAT exams. Most of the questions varied from easy to moderate. The best way to maximizing one’s score would have been to select questions judiciously.

Section Subject Area Number of Questions
Section I Language Comprehension 40
Section II Intelligence and Critical Reasoning 40
Section III Mathematical Skills 40
Section IV Data Analysis and Sufficiency 40
Section V Indian and Global Environment 40

The analysis of each of the sections is as given below.

Language Comprehension:

This section comprised of 20 Verbal Ability and Verbal Reasoning questions and 20 Reading Comprehension questions. In case of the latter, there were 5 passages, all with 4 questions each. The passages themselves were about 500 words long, and the topics covered natural disasters, e-rickshaws in Delhi, start-ups and salaries, competition between east coast ports. The questions were direct and easy, and included many true/false questions.

The VA/VR questions included 3 double fill in the blanks, 4 para-jumbles, 3 odd one out questions (four jumbled words had to be first unjumbled and then the odd one had to be marked as the answer), 3 antonym questions (the main word had to be unjumbled and then its antonym had to be marked from the options), 4 questions on identifying the essence/summary of a paragraph, and 3 questions where one had to choose the grammatically correct sentence (one sentence had been written in four ways). Most of the questions were on the easy side. Unscrambling the jumbled words added a layer of difficulty to otherwise very easy questions.

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Reading Comprehension 5 passages with 4 questions each – 20 16 Easy, 4 Moderate
Fill in the Blanks (double blanks) 3 1 Easy, 2 Moderate
Jumbled Paragraphs 4 1 Easy, 1 Moderate, 2 Difficult
Odd Man Out 3 Moderate
Antonyms 3 Easy
Pick Grammatically Correct Sentence 3 Easy
Find the Essence of a Paragraph 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate

A good strategy would have been to allot 35 minutes to this section, and solve as many VA/VR questions as possible, and then use the reaming time to attempt the RC questions. A good attempt would be at least 25 questions, with 85% accuracy.

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning:

As usual, this section included a mixture of Verbal Reasoning and Logical Reasoning questions. The former included 4 analogies, 3 cause and effect questions, 3 statement-conclusion questions, and 4 assertion and reason questions.

The LR questions included 16 questions on arrangements (3 sets of 5 questions each on matrix arrangement, linear arrangement and circular arrangement and one standalone question on linear arrangement), 3 questions on family tree and 6 questions on alphanumeric series. There was no question on calendars or groups and conditionalities. Most of the questions varied from an easy to a moderate level.

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Statement and Conclusions 3 2 Easy, 1 Moderate
Cause and Effect 3 2 Easy, 1 Moderate
Analogies 4 2 Easy, 2 Moderate
Assertion & Reason 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate
Family Tree 3 Easy
Alphanumeric Series 6 Easy
Matrix arrangement set on winners of Davis Cup over 6 years and venue of the Dennis Cup matches 5 Easy – Moderate
Linear arrangement set on seating arrangement of 5 friends 5 Easy-Moderate
Circular arrangement set on 8 friends having 8 different cars 5 Easy

A good time allocation for this section would be 30-35 minutes in which 25-27 questions were easily solvable.

Mathematical Skills:

This section was primarily dominated by Arithmetic and word based problems with a variety of easy to moderate level questions. The major topics covered in this section were Mixtures and Alligation, Time-Speed-Distance, Time and Work, Pipes and Cisterns, Ratio & Proportion, Profit & Loss, Simple & Compound Interest, Percentages, Geometry and Mensuration, Averages and Probability.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
Arithmetic
Mixtures and Alligation 6 Easy-Moderate
Work, Pipe and Cisterns 3 Easy
Time-Speed-Distance 4 Easy – Moderate
Simple and Compound Interest 4 Easy-Moderate
Profit and Loss 2 Easy-Moderate
Ratio-Proportion 1 Easy
Averages 2 Easy-Moderate
Percentages 1 Easy
Total 23
Algebra
Simple Equations 5 Easy-Moderate
Quadratic Equations 2 Moderate
Total 7
Modern Mathematics
Probability 4 Moderate-Difficult
Permutation & Combination (Only Fundamental Principle of Counting) 1 Easy
Total 5
Geometry
Mensuration 2 Easy-Moderate
Trigonometry 1 Difficult
Total 3
Number System
Numbers 2 Easy-Moderate

A good strategy would be to attempt about 25 questions in 35-40 minutes with 85% accuracy.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency:

The 5 questions based on Data Sufficiency were on the easier side and should have been attempted. There were 5 questions on Quantitative Comparison where a set of 2 statements was given and students had to find which quantity was greater, using both the statements. These questions were on the easier side and should not have been left.

For Data Interpretation, the selection of questions was very critical as a couple of the sets were easy but quite a few questions involved calculations and were time-consuming. The questions were based on Line Graphs, Bar Charts, Pie Charts + Bar Charts, Tables, Caselets, etc.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency:

The 5 questions based on Data Sufficiency were on the easier side and should have been attempted. There were 5 questions on Quantitative Comparison where a set of 2 statements was given and students had to find which quantity was greater, using both the statements. These questions were on the easier side and should not have been left.

For Data Interpretation, the selection of questions was very critical as a couple of the sets were easy but quite a few questions involved calculations and were time-consuming. The questions were based on Line Graphs, Bar Charts, Pie Charts + Bar Charts, Tables, Caselets, etc.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
Two pie charts showing usage of natural gas in different sectors 5 Easy-Moderate
A pie chart showing income of an NGO and a bar chart showing expenses of the same NGO 5 Easy-Moderate (At least one question in this set was ambiguous)
One caselet about the break-up of population of a country over the years 5 Easy-Moderate
One bar graph showing sales of four different products over five years 5 Moderate-Difficult
One line graph showing percent expenditure of companies on different purposes under Corporate Social Responsibility 5 Moderate-Difficult (At least one question in this set was ambiguous)
A combination of a line graph and a table 5 Moderate
Data sufficiency 5 Easy
Data comparison 5 Easy

Around 22-24 attempts with 85% accuracy, in about 30 minutes, would have been good for this section.

Indian and Global Environment:

Almost all the questions in this section were based on current events, so anyone who keeps abreast of current economic and political scenarios in India and abroad and regularly reads newspapers would not have found this section too tough. About 22 questions were based on national events and 18 on international events. For a person who had prepared GK well, about 28 questions could be called easy, 8 moderately difficult and 4 difficult. 

This section could easily be attempted in about 15 minutes. A good attempt would be about 20 questions, with 75% accuracy.

Those who have attempted IMS test pack on MAT (a series of 5 tests) would have found that the level of difficulty and the nature of the questions in these tests, as well as the structure of the paper similar to those asked in the actual MAT.

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