MAT PBT (December 2020) Analysis


The overall structure of the MAT 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 at par with the previous years’ MATs.

Most of the questions were Easy to Moderate. The best way to maximize one’s score would be 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 30 Verbal Ability and Verbal Reasoning questions and 10 Reading Comprehension questions. There were 2 passages with 5 questions each. Each passage was about 290 - 350 words long with easy to medium questions.

Most of the questions were on the easier side with a few moderate to difficult questions.

Topics No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
Reading Comprehension (2 passages with 5 questions each) 10 8 Easy, 2 Moderate
Synonyms 4 Easy-Moderate
Antonyms 4 Easy-Moderate
Idiom / Phrase 4 Moderate-Difficult
Word substituted for sentence 4 Easy-Moderate
Sentence correction 4 Easy-Moderate
Double-word Fill In the Blank 4 Easy-Moderate
Para-jumbles (5 sentences) 3 Easy-Moderate
Summary questions 3 Easy-Moderate
Total 40 Easy-Moderate

A good strategy would be 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 28-30 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 Non-verbal questions included 10 standalone questions. All the questions were of easy-moderate level.

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)
Cause and Effect 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate
Statement-assumption 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate
Assertion and Reason 5 4 Easy, 1 Moderate
Non-verbal Reasoning (Total 25 questions)
Individual Questions 10
Symbol-based Blood Relation 1 Easy
Alphanumeric Series 1 Easy
Letter Series 1 Easy
Day of the week when the Birthday is 1 Easy
Weight comparison 1 Easy
Direction sense 1 Easy
Coding – Decoding (letter based) 1 Easy
Blood relation: “Pointing to a man the lady said - … … … “ 1 Easy
2 Dimensional Venn Diagram 1 Easy
Position in the row 1 Easy
Questions in Group 15
Distribution: 7 members – State – Game of Choice 5 Easy to Moderate
Weight Comparison & Blood Relation 5 Easy to Moderate
Blood Relation: 3 Families 19 members – members from different families get married 5 Moderate to Difficult
Total 40 Easy – 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 continued its tradition of being dominated by Arithmetic. All the different topics in Arithmetic were represented. Majority of questions were straightforward. However some questions involved lengthy calculations. As a whole, this section can be considered Easy to Moderate level of difficulty.

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

Topics No. of questions Level of difficulty
Profit and Loss 4 Easy – Moderate
Time-Speed-Distance 2 Easy – Moderate
Boat & Stream 2 Easy – Moderate
Time and work 2 Easy – Moderate
Simple and Compound Interest 4 Easy – Moderate
Mixtures and Alligations 2 Easy – Moderate
Ratio and Proportion 1 Easy – Moderate
Percentages 3 Easy – Moderate
Averages 2 Easy – Moderate
Work, Pipe & Cisterns 2 Easy – Moderate
Partnership 2 Easy – Moderate
Modern Mathematics
Probability 2 Easy – Moderate
Permutation & Combination 2 Easy – Moderate
Triangles 2 Easy – Moderate
Simultaneous Equations 2 Easy – Moderate
Numbers 6 Easy – Moderate
Total 40 Easy – Moderate

A good strategy would be to attempt about 18-20 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). Some sets were 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 graph and Pie-chart
Bar Graph (revenue earned by 6 banks) + Pie Chart (% distribution of revenue earned through different modes)
5 Easy – Moderate
A set on Bar graph Bar-graph
shows revenues generated by 3 realty firms A, B, & C during 2015 – 2019
5 Easy – Moderate
A set on Line graph
Line graph shows the percentage profits of four leading companies A, B, C, & D for 6 years
5 Easy – Moderate
A set on Table
Table shows the subscriber base of six Direct To Home (DTH) TV service companies (A, B, C, D, E, & F) with respect to 5 popular channels (I, II, III, IV, and V) aired by them.
5 Easy – Moderate
A set on Caselet
“An organization has 1500 employees. Male : Female = 17 : 13. They work at 5 different levels G1 – G5. 28% females are at G1. 18% males work at G2. One fifth males work at G5. … … … “
5 Easy – Moderate
A set on two Pie charts
Pie-charts (2) below show the percentage of different types of vehicles A, B, C, D, E & F in a state in two consecutive years (2018 & 2019).
5 Easy – Moderate
Data Sufficiency - 1 on Mensuration, 4 on Arithmetic (Percentages, Profit and Loss, Ratio and Proportion, Simple Average) 5 Easy – Moderate
Quantitative Comparison (1 on Average + 1 on Simple Equation + 1 on Geometry + 1 on Mixture & Alligations + 1 on PnC) 5 Easy – Moderate

Around 27 - 29 attempts with 85% accuracy, in about 35 minutes, would be considered a good attempt for this section.

Section V-Indian and Global Environment:

Almost 80% of the questions in this section were taken from Static General Knowledge where as only 8 questions were based on current events of the past few months. Theory of Economics, History of India and Indian Politics are dominating topics in this section. Questions on strategic tie-ups between different countries were asked. Reference of both national and international events can be found in this section. For a person who had prepared GK well, about 15 questions could be called easy, 15 moderately difficult and 10 difficult.

This section could be attempted in about 10-15 minutes. A good attempt would be about 15-18 questions, with 75% accuracy.


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