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MAT 2016 Exam Pattern and Syllabus

MAT Exam comprisestotal 200 questions (40 questions in each section). The duration of the exam is 150 minutes. 1 mark is awarded for each correct answer while 0.25 marks are deducted for every wrong answer. Over 100 B-Schools accept MAT scores in India. There are 5 sections in the exam, which are mandatory to clear. 

MAT (Management Aptitude Test) is conducted for admission to various management courses in B-Schools all over the country. MAT Admit Card for online December session is available on AIMA website. The candidates who score minimum cutoff scores released by AIMA will get admission in B-Schools which accept MAT scores. Check MAT Cutoff

MAT 2016 Exam Format

MAT 2016 has 5 sections in which there are 40 questions, 1 mark each. The sections are as follows:

  1. Mathematical Skills
  2. Language Comprehension
  3. Intelligence and Critical Reasoning
  4. Data Analysis and Sufficiency
  5. Indian and Global Environment
  • Language comprehension: This section focuses mainly on English language and includes questions on reading comprehension, antonyms, synonyms, analogies, etc. There are plenty of Vocabulary based questions which require a certain degree of command over words.
  • Mathematical skills: It basically contains problems from arithmetic, business math and geometry section. These questions require direct applications of concepts and formula.
  • Data Analysis and Sufficiency: This section usually has questions on tables, bar/line graphs, pie chart and data sufficiency. Candidates are expected to possess knowledge of complex multiplication tables, fractions to percentage conversions, etc. It mainly tests the decision making eligibility of candidates and their grasp over various mathematical techniques and formulas.
  • Intelligence and Critical Reasoning: The questions in this section are mainly based on various logical reasoning topics like direction sense, blood relations, coding & decoding, arrangement of data, input/output analysis, series & sequences and critical reasoning.
  • Indian and Global Environment: This section comprises questions from recent topics of general and current awareness. Some of the significant topics included are politics, sports, awards and distinctions, etc. from India as well as around the world.

The table below shows the exam pattern of MAT December 2016:

Mode of ExamPen Paper Based
--Computer Based
Duration150 minutes
Sections5 – Language Comprehension, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Mathematical Skills, Indian and Global Environment
Total no. of questions200
Marking Scheme1 Mark for every correct answer
Negative Marking0.25 for every wrong answer

MAT 2016 Paper Analysis (Section wise)

The overall pattern and structure of MAT has been consistently uniform over previous five years. The difficulty level of recent paper in 2015 was slightly higher than previous papers. Most of the questions ranged from easy to moderate level of difficulty. However, there were a few difficult questions. The best way to counter is judicious selection of questions to dodge negative marking.

We provide the section-wise analysis of MAT December 2015 below:

Intelligence and Critical Reasoning

This section included questions from Verbal Reasoning and Logical Reasoning. Four statement conclusion type questions and four assertion and reason type questions were asked from Verbal Reasoning. In Logical Reasoning section, there were a few surprises in the form of 5 questions on Venn diagrams and 4 questions on cubes including 2 questions involving Visual Reasoning. There was a lower emphasis on arrangement type questions. This section would ideally take 30-35 minutes in which 20-25 questions could be solved

The following table gives an insight into question distribution and level of difficult of questions in the Reasoning section of MAT December 2015:

Logical Reasoning = Total 32 Questions

TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties
Family tree (A set of 3 questions + 3 standalone questions)6Easy
Venn diagrams5Easy
Complete the series5Easy
Cubes (Visual Reasoning—2 standalone questions)2Difficult
Cubes (2 standalone questions)21 Medium + 1 difficult
Directions (all standalone questions)3Easy
Matrix arrangement (2 sets of 3 questions each)6Easy-Medium
Linear arrangement (standalone questions)2Easy
Circular arrangement (standalone question)1Easy

Verbal Reasoning = Total 8 Questions

TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties

Language Comprehension

This section included 20 Verbal Ability and Verbal Reasoning questions and 20 Reading Comprehension questions. 

In reading comprehension, there were 5 passages with 4 questions each. Three of the five paragraphs were 500 words long and the rest of the two were 300 words long. The topics of the paragraphs were:

  • Female Feticide in India
  • Allergens, Allergies and Asthma
  • Paris Climate Conference
  • Depression and its Widespread Prevalence
  • NITI Aayog and Cooperative Federalism in India under Narendra Modi

The difficulty level of this section was easy and direct.

Verbal Ability and Verbal Reasoning section included the following types of questions:

  • 4 double fill in the blanks
  • 4 para-jumbles with 5 statements each
  • 4 questions on identifying which Part of the sentence had an error
  • 4 questions on four different ways of phrasing the complete sentence.
  • 4 questions on “all options given after the short passage would be true except one” type.

Other than para-jumbled questions, this section was easy. For this section, one should have allotted 35 minutes. Starting with as many as possible VA/VR questions, the students should have moved to reading comprehension with the remaining time. An attempt at 25 questions with an 85% accuracy would be good.

The following table provides a detailed breakdown of question distribution and level of difficulty:

TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties
Reading Comprehension5 passages with 4 questions each12 Easy, 8 Moderate
Para-jumbled42 Easy, 2 Moderate
Fill in the blanks – word pair4Easy
Part of the sentence has an error42 Easy, 2 Moderate
Four different ways of phrasing the complete sentence43 Easy, 1 Moderate
All of the following options are true except one42 Easy, 2 Moderate

Mathematical Skills

Despite being dominated by Arithmetic and word based problems as usual, the emphasis on Arithmetic declined in comparison to past exams. Some difficult questions on Permutation & Combination, involving the Theory of Partitioning were sprung as surprise. There were three questions on trigonometry involving angles of elevation and depression. Some of the questions involved lengthy calculation. Hence, it rendered this section a bit more difficult than it has been in past exams. Students could moderately attempt 20-22 questions in 35-40 minutes with 85% accuracy.

The breakup of different type of questions and their level of difficulty is given below in the table:


TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties
Time-Speed-Distance5(3 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Time and work4(2 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Simple and Compound Interest3(2 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Ratio-Proportions3(2 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Pipes and Cisterns3(1 Easy + 2 Moderate)
Total19(10 Easy + 9 Moderate)

Modern Mathematics

TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties
Permutation & Combination4(2 Moderate + 2 Difficult)
Probability4(2 Moderate + 2 Difficult)
Set Theory3(2 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Total9(1 Easy + 4 Moderate + 4 Difficult)


TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties
Trigonometry3(3 Moderate)
Mensuration2(1 Easy + 1 Moderate)
Total5(1 Easy + 4 Moderate)


Subject & TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties
Algebra - Equations4(1 Easy + 3 Moderate)
Number System3Easy - Moderate

Data Analysis and Sufficiency

There were 8 questions from Data Sufficiency which were easy in difficulty level. Out of 8 questions on Quantitative Comparison, there were 2 statements where the greater quantity was to be found. These questions also edge on the easier side. It was crucial to select the questions as some questions needed heavy calculations and was time consuming. A good attempt at this section would constitute 22-24 attempts with 85% accuracy, in about 30 minutes.

The following table gives a closer look at the question distribution of this section:

TopicsNo. of QuestionsLevel of Difficulties
Four bar charts showing responses to a survey on government role in the economy over 4 years5Easy-Moderate
A pie chart + a bar chart on expenditure of a company over two years4Moderate
A line graph on FDI inflows in 3 different countries5Easy-Moderate
A logical caselet involving tennis tournament5Difficult
Two pie charts on Heavy artillery5Easy-Moderate
Data Sufficiency (6 on Arithmetic + 2 on Numbers)*8Easy
Quantitative Comparison (3 on Arithmetic + 2 on Geometry + 1 on Statistics + 1 on Numbers + 1 on Probabiity)86 Easy + 2 Moderate (on Numbers and Probability)

Indian and Global Environment

The questions in this section were largely from the events of the past few months of exam. Hence, the candidates who keep themselves abreast of current affairs would find it easy to attempt. 28 questions in this section were based on national events while 12 were based on the international events. On an average, it could be said that 25 questions were easy, 10 were moderate and 5 were difficult. This section could be ideally attempted in 15 minutes with solving 20 questions with 75% accuracy.

Topic Wise MAT 2016 Sample Questions

Here we provide the topic wise sample questions so that candidates can have a fair idea on what is in store for them in MAT 2016:

Language Comprehension

1. If you do not ........, all your 23. monthly expenses would exceed your income.

(1) Economise   (2) Spend

(3) Save               (4) Splurge

2. The magician .................. the rabbit into a pigeon.

(1) Transformed (2) Transfigured

(3) Converted (4) Made

3. The cost of this operation has .................... our small store of money.

(1) Destroyed (2) Damaged

(3) Depleted (4) Affected

Mathematical Skills

1. In a house, there are six 40-watt lamps which are on for 5 hours a day and three 80-watt fans which are on for 10 hours a day. If electricity costs Rs. 2 per kilowatt hour, what is the monthly electricity bill ?

(1) Rs. 216 (2) Rs. 280

(3) Rs. 315 (4) Rs. 400

2. A driver’s income consists of his salary and tips. During one week his tips were 5/4 of his salary. What fraction of his income came from tips ?

(1) 4/9 (2) 5/9

(3) 5/8 (4) 5/4

3. A house costs C rupees. Later it was sold for a profit of 25%. What is the capital gains tax if it is 50% of the profit?

(1) C/24 (2) C/8

(3) C/4 (4) C/2

Data Analysis And Data Sufficiency

Directions: These questions are followed by two statements A and B. Choose (1) if the statement A alone is sufficient to answer the question asked, but the statement B by itself is not sufficient to answer the question.

Choose (2) if the statement B alone by itself is sufficient to answer the given question, but statement A alone is not question, but statement A alone is not sufficient to answer the question. Choose (3) if both the statements A and B together are sufficient to answer the given question but neither statement by itself is sufficient to answer the question itself is sufficient to answer the question.


Choose (4) if the two statements A and B, even when taken together, are not sufficient to answer the question.

1. Is y larger than 1 ? 113.

A : y is greater than 0

B: y2 – 4 = 0

2. Is the integer x divisible by 3 ? 114.

A : The last digit in x is 3

B : x + 5 is divisible by 6.

3. How much is Mohan’s weekly salary

A : Mohan’s weekly salary is twice as much as Sohan’s weekly salary.

B : Sohan’s weekly salary is 40% of the total of Ram’s and Mohan’s weekly salaries.

Intelligence & Critical Reasoning

Directions (Qs. 128 to 132): There is a blank space in each of these questions in which only one of the four alternatives given under each question satisfies the same relationship as is found between the two terms on the other side of the sign : : . Find the correct : .

Find the correct alternative to fill in the blank space.

1. Telephone : Ring : : __________ : ___________

(1) Door : knock

(2) Gate : open

(3) Door : wood

(4) Lock : key

2. Deterioration : Rust : : __________ : _________

(1) Recession : Inefficiency

(2) Depression : Unemployment

(3) Promulgation : Legislation

(4) Iron : Water

3. Dinosaur : Dragon : : __________ : __________

(1) Evolution : Revelation

(2) Gorilla : Soldier

(3) Snow : Ice

(4) Primeval : Medieval

Indian & Global Environment

1. When was the last time that India won the Gold medal in Hockey at the Olympics?

(1) 1992 (2) 1980 (3) 1964 (4) 1972

2. Who is the President of Pakistan?

(1) Pervez Musharraf

(2) Rafiq Tarar

(3) Abdus Sattar

(4) Farooq Leghari

3. Name the director who is working on a film on the life and times of Nelson Mandela?

(1) Shekhar Kapoor

(2) Steven Speilberg

(3) John Wu

(4) Martin Scorcese

Sample Papers Download

The candidates can find links to download the sample paper for preparation of MAT 2016 below:

Sample Paper 01

Sample Paper 02

Sample Paper 03

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