The NMAT, conducted by GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) is one of the foremost management aptitude tests out there. The NMAT score is accepted by leading B-Schools like SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, SDA Bocconi Asia Center (formerly MISB Bocconi), Xavier Institute of Management Studies; etc. So in order to help you ace this exam we have come up with a detailed NMAT preparation strategy.
How to go about your NMAT preparation
This year NMAT has come up with a change in the exam pattern with the introduction of a new Adaptive Pattern of the test. With this change, we see a much-needed dynamism coming into the overall process. The exam is generally conducted across three months (October-December). So you have at least 2 months to prepare for your goal (depending on which slot you choose), which should be more than enough. The only thing needed is an effective strategy for your NMAT preparation, so that you can make the most of these 2 months and achieve your goal. Now let’s dive into the section-wise strategy for NMAT preparation:
- The section will test you in areas like grammar, vocabulary, paragraph jumbles and comprehension.
- The most crucial part of this section can be zeroed down to grammar as most of the questions expect clarity of grammatical concepts. Make sure you revise the rules and application of grammar. You can refer to High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin.
- Daily newspaper reading (especially the Editorials section) can do wonders as far as vocabulary-building and comprehension are concerned. Also, for questions on synonyms/ antonyms, one needs to prepare vocabulary. You can make your own ‘Flash cards’ containing words, their meaning/s, synonyms, and usage.
- Coming to paragraph jumbles type questions, one needs to understand the concepts of starting point, identifying the main idea, idea flow by looking for ‘clue-words’ like cause-effect, contrast etc. You can definitely use the elimination method for solving questions of this type.
- Approach to solving Reading Comprehension questions demands a daily effort of reading the editorials section. Try to find out the main idea, evidence, examples, and author’s tone while reading. Once you are done reading, try to summarise the same in your own words.
- There are two parts chiefly – analytical and verbal. Analytical Reasoning deals with puzzles, arrangements, coding-decoding, input-output, etc; whereas the Verbal Reasoning deals with the course of action and critical reasoning based questions.
- You need to be thorough with both the parts, as each has a considerable emphasis in the exam.
- Analytical reasoning demands regular practice. One has to try their hands at various types of puzzles and arrangements on a daily basis. You can begin with 2 sets of each type (per day) and gradually increase the number of sets. You will get comfortable with these types of questions only with great practice.
- One has to practice other topics like directions, input-output, coding-decoding, etc as well. You can start with 5 questions of each of these topics a day and gradually increase the questions as you get better (in terms of speed and accuracy) Remember, these are the questions that will save your time in the exam, so don’t take them lightly!
- Coming to Verbal Reasoning, one needs to develop a keen understanding to deal with such questions because the answer options may seem very close. However, if one is very clear with the basic concepts like ‘argument’, ‘conclusion’, ‘inference’, and ‘assumption’ etc, one can deal with such questions with flying colors; that too with substantial time saved. For example: We can generally eliminate options expressing exaggeration that is, containing words like ‘all’, ‘only’ etc
- When attempting data sufficiency type questions, remember the most important aspect that one need not solve the whole question; just check if the question statement/s provide/s necessary information to completely solve it. But this topic also demands considerable practice. You can opt to prepare for the same in the last 15 days when you are comfortable with the other reasoning topics.
- The test is based on four main branches of mathematics viz. Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic and Modern Mathematics.
- The first thing that you need to do is build a strong foundation of all the topics. For example, you can begin with HCF, LCM, fast calculation techniques, and basics of percentage and ratios. These are the concepts that are useful in dealing with almost all of the questions of this section.
- Develop your mental calculation ability; it will definitely prove handy in saving precious time. Also, be sure to have clarity on all the theorems and formulae in Geometry topics.
- One crucial topic is Data Interpretation (DI), which demands core concept clarity as well as quick calculations. Various types of DI need to be prepared for, you can practice question sets on the table, line chart, bar graph, pie charts, etc daily. Mixed (combination) graph can be worked upon in the end; once you are comfortable with the individual graphs.
- Again, one cannot emphasize the importance of practice enough. You can start with solving 5 questions each from various topics like number system, quadratic equations, algebra, etc. The fast calculation techniques will be very important in the beginning because you will learn to save time at this juncture itself.
- The advanced topics like probability, permutation, and combination, trigonometry can be practiced every alternate day, with 5 questions each. For Data Sufficiency, again, one only needs to check if the question provides the necessary information to solve it completely; no need to actually solve for the answer.
- The most important point is to revise a few things daily:
- Multiplication tables (2-30)
- Squares (first 30 natural numbers) and cubes (up to 15 at least)
- Percentage to fraction conversion table (This is especially crucial for DI)
- Mensuration formulae
- Finally the arithmetic topics (Simple and compound interest, Time and work, average etc) are all applications of percentage and ratios. So be absolutely sure that you have understood the basics of these topics and only then start practicing. These topics need special attention as sometimes the DI questions can also be asked based on arithmetic topics.
When getting started with your NMAT preparation, try and allot your effort and time to each section equally; and then gradually you can tinker with the time allotted. Make sure that you work more on your weaknesses in the beginning so that you get comfortable with each topic.
Make sure that you allot sufficient time to each subject, daily. You are the best judge of your strengths and weaknesses at the beginning of your NMAT preparation, so decide on how much time and effort is needed to be spent on each section. Charting out a daily study routine is the best way to go about the preparation, but it is crucial that you strictly stick to it and achieve the daily targets judiciously. You can plan to study for 4 hours (working professionals) to 6 hours daily, which is sufficient to complete your preparation well in time. Besides, you will also have ample time for attempting mock tests and analyzing your performance. Remember, daily practice and simultaneous tests of your knowledge make the perfect recipe for an effective NMAT preparation.
Mock tests and analysis for NMAT preparation:
- Writing mock tests is the best way to keep track of one’s progress. Mock tests also help to cement a strategy of attempting questions so as to maximize one’s attempts while writing an exam.
- You can actually start by writing a mock test on the very first day; so as to check the level of preparation you are at. This will enable you to plan your studies accordingly.
- Analyzing the test is as important, if not more, as writing one. Such an analysis helps to customize the preparation strategy. With Oliveboard’s comprehensive analysis – which denotes the questions that you took more time to solve, your strengths, weaknesses (if any), detailed solutions, and comparison with the top-scorer (subject-wise and overall) you will get a better outlook to your performance.
- Make sure you write at least one mock per week and spend sufficient time to analyze the same. This will eventually improve your speed as well as accuracy. Don’t forget, after knowledge is taken care of, cracking any competitive exam remains a game of two variables – speed and accuracy.
That is all from us in this article. Stay tuned for more such updates on NMAT and other exams.
All the best!
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