NMAT 2015 Analysis & Cutoffs

NMAT 2015, conducted on behalf of NMIMS, is being administered by GMAC that also conducts the GMAT exam!

NMAT exam has a window of close to 75 days (Oct 6th to Dec 19th) and is conducted almost in the similar environs of how a GMAT is conducted.

The NMAT2015 pattern is very similar to the NMAT2014 pattern and is given below along with certain peculiarities of the writing the exam

NMAT 2015 Pattern


The NMAT is a computer-based multiple-choice question based test.

The student can select the test date and slot based on choice and availability.


                   Section              No. Of Questions             Time in Minutes
Language Skills  32 22
Quantitative Skills  48 60
Logical Reasoning  40 38
Total 120 120


Assumption: Each questions carries 3 marks and therefore the exam is for a total of 360 marks (as was given in NMAT2014)

Another interesting feature is that the student can select the ORDER of the sections before taking the test.

Each of the three sections have individual section timings and candidates are supposed to answer and review the questions of a particular section within the allotted section time.
In case a candidate completes the section before the section time gets over, the balance time of the given section is not added to the next section (s). The next section has its own time limits and needs to be completed in the allotted sectional time only.

Also note that there will NOT be any NEGATIVE Marks for getting questions wrong!

NMAT 2015 Paper Analysis

Language Skills (32 questions, 22 minutes, 96 marks)

Typically NMAT has given a paper, which is not completely easy to attempt all the 32 questions in 22 minutes. While there are easy and straightforward Vocabulary questions given, there have always been 2 RC passages given with 4 questions each that could be time consuming.

While each student gets a different paper and therefore a different type of break up of questions within the area, the following table gives a brief idea on what to expect in terms of the types of questions in the Language Skills area.


Type of Question No of Questions
Synonyms/Antonyms 6-7
Fill-in-the-blanks (2 words) 2-3
Fill-in-the-blanks (Prepositions, 3 blanks) 3-4
Grammar 2-4
Fill-in-the-blanks (CLOZE psg) 4-5
Para Jumbles 4-5
Reading Comprehension (2 Psgs) 8
Total 32


If one goes with the assumption of 3 marks per question, the cutoff is expected to be around 54-56 marks.

Quantitative Skills (48 questions, 60 minutes, 144 marks)

In general, the quant section (which also has the DI area) of the paper of NMAT is easy and is laced with a lot of arithmetic questions. While there are Geometry and Numbers areas, the reduced number of Algebra questions (as compared to CAT or XAT) makes the NMAT a lot more balanced exam for Engineers and Non-Engineers!

However, as it often happens in the Quant section, many students do not see the entire paper and miss out on sitters, which may be there at the end of the section.

It is very important for the student to plan and pace his 60 minutes for the quant section. The break up between Data Interpretation (DI) and Pure Quant area (QA) is given below in the table.

For the DI area, with FIVE sets of FOUR questions each, a student should ideally give around 25 minutes. While it may not be possible to do all FIVE sets, as there will always be a set or two which will be either difficulty or lengthy, but by giving 25 minutes to DI, one can easily attempt three to four sets in DI and get more than 10 questions right.

Area Sub-topic No of Questions
DATA Interpretation 5 sets of 4 questions each 20
QUANT   28
Arithmetic   8-9
  Equations, Ratios, Proportion 1-2
  Percentages Profit & Loss 2-3
  Simple Interest, Compound Interest 1
  Averages and Mixtures 1-2
  Time & Work 1-2
  Time, Speed & Distance 1-2
Geometry   4-5
  Geometry 2-3
  Mensuration 1-2
  Coordinate Geometry 1
Algebra   2
Quadratic Equations 1
Progressions 1
Numbers   5
Numbers 5
Miscellaneous   3
Calendars 1
Logic 2
Data Sufficiency   5
  Arithmetic 2-3
  Numbers 2-3

The DI sets have been a mixed bag. A couple of sets in DI would be direct sitters whereas one or two sets are lengthy and hence time consuming.

Similarly, not all questions in quant are difficult or not all are easy. Of the 28 questions, one can easily find more than half of them, which could be solved within a minute or so. By giving about 30 to 35 minutes for the 28 questions a good student can easily solve around 20+ questions correct.

The cutoff for the section is normally in the range of 72-75

Logical Reasoning (40 questions, 38 minutes, 120 marks)

The Logical reasoning section of NMAT resembles the logical section in Maharashtra CET paper. A lot of questions are of Coding-Decoding, Letter Series, Number Series, Odd man out, Blood Relations type of questions. While there is no set pattern as to how many questions there are of each type of question, speed in solving this section is of utmost importance.

A brief idea on the type of questions that NMAT has been giving is given below

Area No of Questions
Venn Diagrams 2-3
Letter Series/Number Series 3-4
Coding Decoding 3-4
Odd Man Out 2-3
Blood Relations 2-4
Puzzles (1- 2 sets) 5-8
Statement of Facts/Assumptions 3-4
Critical Reasoning 4-5
Deductions (Symbolic Logic) 2-3
Arrangement/Distribution/Selections 4-5
Mathematical Operators 2-3
Input –Output 4-5
Decision Making 1-2
Pattern Matching (Non-Verbal) 1-2


As given above, it is important to have the speed to do 40 questions in 38 minutes. In other words, there is hardly a minute for each question. It is very important that the student leaves any question he/she is not able to crack/understand in the first 30 sections. There are questions in Number series and Pattern matching wherein either one gets the answer immediately OR the answer does not strike him.

A good strategy would be to divide the 38 minutes into TWO slots of 18 minutes each. In each of the 18-minute slots, the idea is to try solving (by reading) 20 questions. That way, one would not miss out on the easy questions in any set of 20.

The cutoff for the Logical Reasoning section is expected to be 59-61.

Since there are NO Negative marks, the last minute in each section should be utilized for marking all the unanswered questions.

Overall CUTOFFs: For NMIMS Mumbai – Core Program the cutoff was 208 in 2014 and 2015. 

The cutoff for NMIMS Bangalore would be lower and could be around 190-195.

ARKS Srinivas

ARKS Srinivas is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and has been the All India CAT Director at TIME. He is currently the National Head for MBA Prep at Career Launcher.