MAT September 2015 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.

The test structure was as follows:

Section No. Section Name No. of Questions
I Language Comprehension 40
II Mathematical Skills 40
III Data Analysis & Sufficiency 40
IV Intelligence & Critical Reasoning 40
V Indian & Global Environment 40
  Total 200

The analysis of each section is 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. Three passages were about 500 words long and two were about 300 words long.

The topics covered the following:

  1. Unhealthy effects of video games
  2. Decline of book reading among children
  3. Free market and price fixing
  4. Relationship between returns and trading volume
  5. Skill development for people of all ages

The questions were direct and easy.

The VA/VR questions included:

  • 4 double fill in the blanks
  • 4 para-jumbles with 5 statements each
  • 4 questions on identifying which Part of the sentence had an error
  • 4 questions on four different ways of phrasing the complete sentence.

Most of the questions were on the easier side. Solving the para-jumbled questions added a layer of difficulty to an otherwise easier section.

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Reading Comprehension 5 passages with 4 questions each – 20 10 Easy, 8 Moderate, 2 Difficult
Para-jumbled 4 2 Easy, 2 Moderate
Fill in the blanks – word pair 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate
Part of the sentence has an error 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate
Four different ways of phrasing the complete sentence 4 2 Easy, 2 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.

Section II-Mathematical Skills:

Like previous MAT exams, Mathematical Skills section in MAT of September 2015 was dominated by Arithmetic questions. More than half the section consisted of questions on Arithmetic (21 questions out of 40). There were as many as 9 questions on Simple and Compound interest. Most of the questions in the section were easy to moderate.

Topics No. of questions Arithmetic Level of Difficulty
Simple Interest 7 Easy-Moderate
Time-Speed-Distance 3 Easy
Work, Pipe and Cisterns 2 Moderate
Compound Interest 2 Moderate
Percentages 2 Easy
Average 2 Easy
Ratio-Proportion 2 Easy
Profit-Loss 1 Easy
Total 21  
Algebra
Simultaneous Equations 4 Easy-Moderate
Geometry
Mensuration 6 Easy-Moderate
Trigonometry (Elevation and 3 Moderate
Depression)    
Triangles 1 Difficult
Total 10  
Modern Math
Probability 2 Easy
Permutation and Combination 1 Easy
Venn Diagram 1 Moderate
Progression 1 Moderate
Total 5  

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

Section III-Data Analysis and Sufficiency:

Data Interpretation involved question based on table, bar graph, pie chart, line graph and a caselet. All the Data Analysis sets involved calculations. One set involving three bar graphs and the caselet involved somewhat complex calculations while other sets involved simple calculations. Data Sufficiency and data comparison questions were easier than data interpretation questions.

Topics No. of questions Level of Difficulty
Two pie charts showing usage of water by different categories such as irrigation, domestic, industry etc. over two years.(values given in litres) 5 Easy
Three bar graphs showing average car price, production and percentage growth by a car company. 5 Moderate-Difficult
One caselet about the literacy percentage of males and females in different countries. 5 Moderate
Two tables showing production and sales of English and Hindi magazines of different categories over 4 years. 5 Easy-Moderate
One Line graph showing 3 financial services-public issue, rights issue, private placement. 5 Easy
Data Sufficiency question on quadratic equations, profit- loss, arrangement 10 Easy
Data comparison on number system and geometry 5 Easy

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

Section IV-Intelligence and Critical Reasoning:

As usual, this section included a mixture of Verbal Reasoning (13 questions) and Logical Reasoning (27 questions).

The former included 4 questions on identifying the false statement, 3 on course of action, 3 statement-conclusion types, and 3 on assertion and reason.

The LR questions included 15 questions on arrangements (5 sets of 3 questions each), 3 questions on family tree and 4 questions on alphanumeric series. There was no question on calendars or groups and conditionality’s. One question involving concept of divisibility in Mathematics was also included in this section. Most of the questions varied from an easy to a moderate level.

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Statement and Conclusions 3 Easy -Moderate
Course of Action 3 Moderate- Difficult
Read the passage and identify the false interpretation 4 Moderate- Difficult
Assertion & Reason 3 Moderate- Difficult
Matrix arrangement set on Five students going to five different schools 3 Easy
Matrix arrangement set on 5 friends who go on a trip from Mumbai to 5 different places using 5 different mode of transport. 3 Easy
A Table showing the compulsory and optional subjects chosen by six students. Questions were based on observation 3 Easy
A caselet about five friends and the sports they like. 3 Easy
Matrix arrangement : Photo cards A-F of 5 friends of 5 different colours arranged in a row. 3 Moderate- Difficult
Alphanumeric series 4 Easy
Coding 2 Moderate
Directions 2 Easy
Family Tree 3 2 Easy, 1 Moderate
Divisibility 1 Easy
Total 40  

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

Section V- Indian and Global Environment:

Almost all the questions in this section were based on current events of the past few months, 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 20 questions were based on national events and 20 on international events. For a person who had prepared GK well, about 24 questions could be called easy, 10 moderately difficult and 6 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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