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MAT December 2015 - Analysis

Exam Date : 6th December 2015


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 was slightly higher than that of the previous MAT exams. While most of the questions were easy to moderate in terms of level of difficulty, a few were difficult as well. 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. Three passages were about 500 words long and two were about 300 words long.

The topics covered the following:

  • Female Feticide in India
  • Allergens, Allergies and Asthma
  • Paris Climate Conference
  • Depression and its Widespread Prevalence
  • NITI Aayog and Cooperative Federalism in India under Narendra Modi

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.
  • 4 questions on “all options given after the short passage would be true except one” type.

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 12 Easy, 8 Moderate
Para-jumbled 4 2 Easy, 2 Moderate
Fill in the blanks – word pair 4 4 Easy
Part of the sentence has an error 4 2 Easy, 2 Moderate
Four different ways of phrasing the complete sentence 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate
All of the following options are true except one 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.

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning:

As usual, this section included a mixture of Verbal Reasoning and Logical Reasoning questions. The former included 4 questions statement-conclusion types and 4 on assertion and reason. The LR questions included some question types that were not included in the past frequently. There were as many as 5 questions on venn diagrams and 4 questions on cubes (including 2 questions involving Visual Reasoning). The emphasis on arrangement type of questions was low in this exam. Following table shows the break-up of different question types in the exam.

In the Verbal Reasoning section, there were 4 questions each on Statement/Conclusion and Assertion/Reason types.

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Logical Reasoning (Total 32 questions)
Family tree (A set of 3 questions + 3 standalone questions) 6 Easy
Venn diagrams 5 Easy
Complete the series 5 Easy
Cubes (Visual Reasoning—2 standalone questions) 2 Difficult
Cubes (2 standalone questions) 2 1 Medium + 1 difficult
Directions (all standalone questions) 3 Easy
Matrix arrangement (2 sets of 3 questions each) 6 Easy-Medium
Linear arrangement (standalone questions) 2 Easy
Circular arrangement (standalone question) 1 Easy
Verbal Reasoning (Total 8 questions)
Statement/Conclusion 4 Easy
Assertion/Reason 4 Medium

A good time allocation for this section would be 30-35 minutes in which 23-25 questions were solvable.

Mathematical Skills:

As in the past, this section was dominated by Arithmetic and word based problems, although the emphasis on Arithmetic was slightly lower than in MAT exam in the past. A surprising feature was rather difficult questions on Permutation & Combination, involving the Theory of Partitioning. There were three questions on trigonometry involving angles of elevation and depression. A number of questions (especially on arithmetic) involved lengthy calculations. As a whole this section was one notch more difficult than the Mathematical Skills section in MAT exams in the past. Following table shows the break-up of different types of questions in this section.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
Time-Speed-Distance 5 (3 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Time and work 4 (2 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Simple and Compound Interest 3 (2 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Ratio-Proportions 3 (2 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Pipes and Cisterns 3 (1 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Percentages 1 Moderate
Total 19 (10 Easy + 9 Moderate)
Modern Mathematics
Permutation & Combination 4 (2 Moderate + 2 Difficult)
Probability 4 (2 Moderate + 2 Difficult)
Set Theory 1 Easy
Total 9 (1 Easy + 4 Moderate + 4 Difficult)
Trigonometry 3 (3 Moderate)
Mensuration 2 (1 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Total 5
Equations 4 (1 Easy + 3 Moderate)
Total 4
Number System
Numbers 3 Easy-Moderate

A good strategy would be to attempt about 20-22 questions in 35-40 minutes with 85% accuracy.

Data Analysis and Sufficiency:

The 8 questions based on Data Sufficiency were on the easier side and should have been attempted. There were 8 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 Following table shows the break-up of the questions in this section.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
Four bar charts showing responses to a survey on government role in the economy over 4 years 5 Easy-Moderate
A pie chart + a bar chart on expenditure of a company over two years 4 Moderate
A line graph on FDI inflows in 3 different countries 5 Easy-Moderate
A logical caselet involving tennis tournament 5 Difficult
Two pie charts on Heavy artillery 5 Easy-Moderate
Data Sufficiency (6 on Arithmetic + 2 on Numbers)* 8 Easy
Quantitative Comparison (3 on Arithmetic + 2 on Geometry + 1 on Statistics + 1 on Numbers + 1 on Probabiity) 8 6 Easy + 2 Moderate (on Numbers and Probability)

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 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 28 questions were based on national events and 12 on international events. For a person who had prepared GK well, about 25 questions could be called easy, 10 moderately difficult and 5 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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