MAT December 2016 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. Three passages were about 500 words long and two were about 450 words long.

The RC topics covered the following:

  1. Demonetization and its effects
  2. The technique, applications and effectiveness of Fibroscan for liver diseases
  3. Shortage of supply of right talent, how we can use training and improve effectiveness of productivity from low level to executive level employees.
  4. The current state of safety care regulatory regime, how it can be restructured and its advantages

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

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Reading Comprehension 4 passages with 5 questions each – 20 12 Easy, 8 Moderate
Para-jumbled 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate
Summary questions 4 2 Easy, 2 Moderate
Unscramble word and find its antonym 2 1 Easy, 1 Moderate
Antonyms of underlined words 2 1 Easy, 1 Moderate
Synonyms of given phrases 3 1 Easy, 2 Moderate
Synonyms of underlined words 2 2 Easy
Unscramble letters and find the odd man out 3 2 Moderate, 1 Difficult
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 (15 questions) and Logical Reasoning (25 questions). The former included 5 course of action questions, 5 Syllogisms (Venn diagrams) and 5 strong and weak arguments questions. The Non-verbal questions included 10 standalone questions with 5 on coding-decoding and out of the rest 5 questions, 2 were standalone linear arrangement questions and remaining 3 were miscellaneous (the topics like numbers and ages). There were 3 sets on arrangement with 2 sets on matrix arrangement and 1 set on directions. One of the set on matrix arrangement was slightly tricky and should have been avoided or should have attempted at the end.  There were no questions on family tree, complete the series, Venn diagram or cubes in non-verbal reasoning. Students have reported that there were a couple of questions with ambiguous options and inconsistent data.

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

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Verbal Reasoning (Total 15 questions)
Course of action questions 5 Easy
Syllogisms (Venn diagrams) 5 Moderate
Strong and weak arguments 5 Easy
Non-verbal Reasoning (Total 25 questions)
Coding- Decoding 5 Easy
Miscellaneous ( Included topics like numbers(2), ages(1) ) 3 Easy
Linear arrangement ( standalone questions ) 2 Easy
Directions ( 1 set on arrangement based on directions ) 5 Easy – Moderate
Matrix arrangement (2 sets of 5 questions each) 10 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.

3. Mathematical Skills:

As in the past, this section was dominated by Arithmetic questions (29 out of 40 questions).There were 5 questions on Numbers, 4 on Geometry and 2 on Modern Math. There were 3 questions that could be classified as difficult, out of which one was from Geometry (Mensuration), one from Time and work and one from Mixtures and Alligations. Several questions (mainly on Arithmetic) involved lengthy calculations. As a whole, this section can be considered between Easy and Moderate level difficulty. The following table shows the break-up of different types of questions in this section.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
Time-Speed-Distance 7 (5 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Time and work 5 (1 Easy + 3 Moderate + 1 Difficult)
Simple and Compound Interest 4 (2 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Mixtures and Alligations 4 (2 Easy + 1 Moderate+ 1 Difficult)
Percentages 4 (3 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Profit and Loss 5 (3 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Total 29 (16 Easy + 11 Moderate + 2 Difficult)
Modern Mathematics
Probability 2 (1 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Total 2 (1 Easy + 1 Moderate )
Geometry ( Quadrilaterals) 2 (2  Easy)
Mensuration 2 ( 1 Easy + 1 Difficult )
Total 4 (3 Easy  + 1 Difficult )
  Divisibility 3 (3 Easy)
H. C.F and L.C. M 2 (2 Easy)
Total 5 (5 Easy)
Total 40 ( 25 Easy + 12 Moderate+ 3 Difficult )

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

4. 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. Three of the sets were slightly difficult, one of them involved 2 pie charts, one of them had a bar chart and a pie chart combined and one was on Venn diagram involving 5 parameters. The rest 3 sets appeared to be easy but were calculation intensive. There were 5 questions on Quantity Comparison and 5 on Data sufficiency, all of them were easy and ideally should have been attempted.

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
A Set on   Pie chart +  Bar Graph combined 5 Moderate – Difficult
A Set on Line graph 5 Easy-Moderate
A Set  on  2 pie charts  combined 5 Moderate – Difficult
A Set on tables 5 Easy - Moderate
A set on Bar Graph 5 Easy-Moderate
A Caselet based on Venn diagram (involving 5 parameters) 5 Difficult
Quantitative Comparison (1 on Ratio proportion + 1 on Geometry (Mensuration) + 1 on Numbers + 1 on  Simple Interest & compound interest +1 on Venn diagram  ) 5 Easy
Data Sufficiency (1 on probability + 1 on Geometry + 3 on Arithmetic ( 1 on Simple Interest and Compound Interest and 2 on Time and Work) 5 Easy
Total 40  Moderate

Around 22 -24 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 23 questions were based on national events and 17 on international events. For a person who had prepared GK well, about 6 questions could be called easy, 11 moderately difficult and 23 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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