MAT December 2017 Analysis


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 Intelligence & Critical Reasoning 40
III Mathematical Skills 40
IV Data Analysis & Sufficiency 40
V Indian & Global Environment 40
  Total 200

The analysis of each section is given below.

Section I-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 4 passages, all with 5 questions each. Two passages were about 500 words long and one was about 450 words long and the other was about 600 words.

The RC topics covered the following:

  • Education and the difference between formal and non-formal education along with the role of society as a tool of education.
  • Why advertisement is criticized and ways to show how it does not really affect people.
  • Maya and Avidya in the old Indian texts in context to Henry Jones and the difference between illusion and truth.
  • Different types of pollution which are not given as much importance as water pollution; and how households also contribute to pollution.

Most of the questions were on the easier side. However, the passage dealing with the Henry Jones text needed to be understood before solving the questions.

No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Reading Comprehension 4 passages with 5 questions each – 20 15 Easy, 2 Moderate 3 difficult
Para-jumbles 4 3 Moderate, 1 Difficult
Summary questions 2 2 Moderate
Antonyms 3 1 Easy, 1 Moderate, 1 Difficult
Replace underlined part 2 1 Easy, 1 Moderate
Double FIB 4 4 Moderate
Substitute the phrases with synonyms 2 1 Easy, 1 Moderate
Replace with antonym 3 3 Moderate
Total 40 22 Easy, 17 Moderate, 1 Difficult

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 remaining time to attempt the RC questions. A good attempt would be at least 25 questions, with 85% accuracy.

Section II-Intelligence & Critical Reasoning

As usual, this section included a mixture of Verbal Reasoning (14 questions) and Logical Reasoning (26questions).The former included 5 statement-conclusion, 4 assertion and reasoning, and 5 strong and weak arguments questions. The Non-verbal questions included 9 standalone questions with 3 on series completion and directions each, 2 on relations and 1 puzzle that required the concept of Time-Speed-Distance from Arithmetic to solve. The remaining 17 questions were set-based and consisted entirely of matrix arrangement (4 sets of 3 questions each + 1 set of 5 questions). Some sets in matrix arrangement were tricky and consisted of lot of variables.

In Non-Verbal Reasoning, there were no questions on coding-decoding or other types of arrangements, such as circular arrangement.

The following table shows the break-up of different question types in this section:

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Verbal Reasoning (Total 14 questions)
Assertion and Reasoning 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate
Statement-conclusion 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate
Strong and weak arguments 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate
Non-verbal Reasoning (Total 26 questions)
Complete the series 3 Easy
Directions 3 Easy
Relations 2 Easy
Puzzle (requiring concept of TSD in Arithmetic) 1 Easy
Matrix Arrangement (4 sets of 3 questions each and 1 set of 5 questions) 17 Easy – Moderate
Total 40 25 Easy –15 Moderate

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

Section III- Mathematical Skills:

Mathematical Skills section in December 2017 MAT continued its tradition of being dominated by Arithmetic. As many as 27 questions out of 40 were based on Arithmetic. All the different topics in Arithmetic were represented. Additionally there were 7 questions on Geometry, 3 questions on Modern Math, 2 questions on Algebra and one question on Numbers.

Majority of questions were straightforward. However some questions involved lengthy calculations. As a whole, this section can be considered between Easy and Moderate level difficulty. However, this section in December-2017 exam was slightly more difficult than the one in December-2016 exam.

The following table shows the break-up of different types of questions in this section.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
Ratio-Proportions 5 (3 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Time-Speed-Distance 4 (1 Easy + 3 Moderate)
Time and work 2 (1 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Simple and Compound Interest 4 (1 Easy + 1 Moderate + 2 Difficult)
Mixtures and Alligations 2 (2 Easy)
Percentages 2 (2 Moderate)
Profit and Loss 3 (3 Easy)
Averages             2 (1 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Work, Pipe & Cisterns 2 (2 Easy)
Partnership 1 (1 Moderate)
Total 27 (14 Easy + 11 Moderate + 2 Difficult)
Modern Mathematics
Probability 2 (2 Moderate)
AP 1 (1 Easy)
Total 3 (1 Easy + 2 Moderate )
Mensuration 3 (3Moderate)
Triangles 2 ( 1 Moderate + 1 Difficult )
Circles + Triangles 1 (1 Easy)
Circles 1 (1 Moderate)
Total 7 (1 Easy  + 5 Moderate + 1 Difficult )
Simple Equations 2 (1 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Numbers                                          1 (1 Easy)
Total 40 ( 16 Easy + 21 Moderate+ 3 Difficult )

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

Section IV- Data Analysis and Sufficiency:

This section consisted of 30 questions on Data Interpretation (6 sets of 5 questions each), 5 questions on Data Sufficiency and 5 questions on Quantitative Comparison. There were 5 questions on Quantity Comparison and 5 on Data sufficiency, all of them were easy and ideally should have been attempted. In the data interpretation, some sets were very straightforward while some involved somewhat tedious calculations. As a result, attempting right sets was the key.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
A set on bar chart (All questions were observation based) 5 Easy
A Set Table (All questions were calculation based) 5 Easy-Moderate
A set on Line + Table (All questions were calculation based) 5 Moderate – Difficult
A Set on Pie chart + Bar (All questions were calculation based) 5 Easy - Moderate
A set on Pie + Bar (All questions were calculation based) 5 Moderate- Difficult
A set on Line graph (2 questions were observation based, 3 were calculation based) 5 Easy
Quantitative Comparison (1 on Ratio proportion + 3 on Time-Speed-Distance + 1 on Geometry (Polygons)  ) 5 Easy to Moderate
Data Sufficiency (3 on Arithmetic (Percentages), 1 on Set Theory, 1 on Geometry (Mensuration) ) 5 3 were easy + 2 were moderate
Total 40  Moderate

Around 21 -23 attempts with 85% accuracy, in about 35 minutes, would have been considered a good attempt for this section.

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 22 questions were based on national events and 18 on international events. For a person who had prepared GK well, about 10 questions could be called easy, 19 moderately difficult and 11 difficult.

This section could be attempted in about 15 minutes. A good attempt would be about 15-18 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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