Strategies To Ace NMAT

I know a lot of candidates already have butterflies in their stomachs since NMAT, the first MBA exam of this season is kicking off from today. I was also in a similar situation last year. Students who are focused on CAT tend to ignore the non-cat exams like NMAT, SNAP, IIFT. But believe me, these exams are easier to crack if you have the right strategy and moreover 80% of NMAT’s syllabus is taken care of if you are preparing for CAT. For the rest 20%, you should give ample number of NMAT mocks to get a hang of the syllabus, analyse those mocks thoroughly and accordingly form your own strategy.

Strategy is the key in a non CAT exam like NMAT.

A person with the right strategy will find this exam a cake-walk.

It is essential that you finish your CAT syllabus preparation by August end at least once and start giving mocks. NMAT mocks should be given at least once a week and you should start the analysis of your respective weak section and simultaneously keep practising. But it is very essential to give at least 5-6 mocks before you appear for your actual NMAT to get your strategy in place.

Strategy for Quantitative Ability Section: Questions 48 | Time 60 min

Data Interpretation is a part of this section and out of 48 questions, around 16-20 questions will be of DI. Since the difficulty level of NMAT DI is high, 8 genuine attempts in DI section is good enough. The strategy is to maximise the number of attempts in Quant, that is to say, 20-24 genuine attempts in the quant part. NMAT pays attention to even the sectional cut off, therefore it is essential that you get a minimum of 70-75 marks in this section. Try and solve all the questions in the quant section first and then move on to the easiest two sets of DI. Spend 40-45 minutes on quant and the remaining 15-20 minutes for DI. The last few minutes should be kept for randomly marking the answers as NMAT by GMAC has no negative marking. Identify the difficult questions and skip them.

Strategy for Verbal Ability Section: Questions 32 | Time 22 mins

Attempt the RCs at the end of the verbal section as you have just around 22 minutes and it is possible to get stuck in this part of the section. The cutoff for verbal is usually 54-55 marks which mean the expected questions that you need to genuinely attempt are 18-20 questions. The verbal section is broken down into the following parts: 6 Questions on Vocabulary, 2 Fill in the Blanks, 8 Questions on Grammar, 4 Questions on Para Jumbles, 4 Questions on Cloze Test and 8 Questions on RC (2 Paragraphs – 4 Questions each). The nature of Vocabulary questions is slightly difficult but if you have done your word list, you would be good to go. It’s important to maximise genuine attempts on the verbal section and attempt at least one RC correctly.

Strategy for Logical Reasoning: Questions 40 | 38 minutes

Logical Reasoning in NMAT consists of three distinct areas:

  1. Verbal Reasoning – 12 Questions
  2. Arrangement Questions – 12-16 Questions
  3. Single Questions – 12 Questions ( Blood Relations, Set Theory, Coding/Decoding, etc)

This is the section that is most ignored, hence many people find it difficult to clear this section. The questions in this section are easy-moderate difficulty level. The arrangement questions are easy but time-consuming and if enough attention is not paid to the time taken, it’s likely that you will miss other questions. If you can crack the question in the first minute, solve the question. Otherwise, move on and solve the next one. The expected cut off for this section is 60-65, that is to say, you need to attempt at least 22 questions correctly.

Key Points to Remember:

Practice is the key. So practise as many questions as you can from a good book or any coaching materials or online materials. Don’t waste too much time on one question, rather skip it and try the next one.There is no negative marking. So keep your last 2-3 mins to guess the unattempted questions. Last but not the least don’t succumb to peer pressure.

All the Best!!!


Debopam is a marketing enthusiast pursuing his MBA from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.He is in his first year of MBA core 2017-19 program.He has just completed his marketing internship from OYO rooms and is currently working as the Business Development Intern at Shortlist Professional Services. He completed his BTech in Computer Science and Engineering from Institute of Engineering and Management, Kolkata.He started his career as a Programmer Analyst in Cognizant Technology Solutions where he worked for almost two years before kick-starting his MBA career.He is a cricket enthusiast and also a foodie.He loves to mentor his juniors, he has a teaching experience of 5 years where he mentored many school and college students.Last year he got 220 /360 (99 percentile) in NMAT.He also converted SIBM Pune and new IIMs.




10 for NMAT. Basically i took 50 mocks for CAT, so my preparation for other xams was taken care of