NMAT 2017 Analysis
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
So, the exam season finally kick-started on 5th October with the first MBA entrance exam of the season, NMAT-2017. This 2-hour and 120-question exam sets the tone for the exams to follow and plays an important part in overall MBA admission landscape.

We, at Wordpandit, are committed to bring to you the most relevant information required for your exam preparation and this NMAT 2017 analysis article is part of the same endeavour. The article is based on the test experience of the Wordpandit team and discusses the relevant pieces of information for the exam. Kindly refrain from asking for actual exam content as the same would not be shared on this platform (and it is illegal to do so). This article is written from a strategy standpoint and guides you with respect to what you should do for your NMAT preparation. Make sure you read this full article and don’t miss the ‘bonus tip’ section at the end of the article.

Test Experience: NMAT 2017

This is the third year when GMAC is conducting NMAT, and this is the same organisation that conducts the GMAT exam. The exam, as with the previous year papers, did not have any technical glitches and overall test experience was fairly satisfactory. In general, any exam that you are attempting seriously, you should make sure you know of the location of the centre, and you get there in time. The procedures for verification and entry were fairly smooth and did not cause any bother.

Now, let’s analyse the actual exam and the important takeaways for the three sections.

Exam Pattern: NMAT 2017

The best thing about NMAT is that its pattern and structure have been provided by the test takers and there is no deviation in the actual exam. The key point to note this year is that there was no change as compared to NMAT 2016 in terms of structure, topic weightage and overall difficulty level of the exam. In fact, in case you are practising from the official NMAT guide, you can expect the actual exam to be similar to the practice NMAT mocks given in the book.

As far as the overall pattern and possible attempts for each section go, the following table is an accurate depiction for the exam:

Overall, the level of difficulty of the exam on Day-1, Slot-1 was easy and students who have been thorough with their preparation should have done well in the exam. One key difference that we can clearly notice as compared to last year is that the Logical Reasoning Section was easier and the Verbal Ability section was a tad bit tougher than NMAT 2016.

Let’s have an in-depth look at the various sections now.

Section-1: NMAT Language Skills

The following is a topic-wise breakup of the questions in the section:

This Year, the RCs were of moderate difficulty as the questions were not direct and the options were also close. RC is what made the exam’s Verbal Section tricky this time. RCs were time-consuming. In the given time limit, at least one of the passages doable.

Parajumbles had close options. The vocabulary questions (synonym, antonym, and analogy) were easy. Sentence completion, Cloze test, and preposition based questions were absolute sitters and should be most definitely solved.

Overall, if English is your strength area, then you should most definitely attempt this section first as it will give you the desired boost in the exam and will give you confidence that you have conquered a significant portion of the exam in the first 22 minutes of the exam itself.

Section 2: NMAT Quantitative Skills

The following is a topic-wise breakup of the questions in the section:

If you have a look at the above table, you can make one simple inference about the exam: there is adequate representation of most topics in the exam and in a way.

In terms of the level of difficulty, this section can be divided into two distinct parts:

Mathematics related topics: Arithmetic and Number Systems made up a large portion of this section. The Data Sufficiency questions were time consuming. The rest of the questions can be considered easy.

Data Interpretation: There were 4 sets of 4 questions each. Some students also got five sets. Out of the four, two sets involved lengthy calculations but the rest were manageable.

Overall, if you are thorough with most of the topics in mathematics, you should do well in this section. Also, most of the questions were based on basic concepts and did not require a lot of shortcuts or formulas. This is, in fact, a nice aspect of the exam as it rewards aptitude rather than rote learning.

Section 3: NMAT Logical Reasoning

The following is a topic-wise breakup of the questions in the section:

Let’s have a look at the final section of the exam now. The NMAT logical reasoning section again consisted of a good mixture of questions and featured questions from most of the predictable areas in the exam. The section featured a combination of questions from three broad areas: analytical reasoning, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning.

In terms of overall level of difficulty, the questions in the section mostly ranged between easy to moderate level and did not pose a tough challenge. The input output questions were tricky and would have gobbled up a lot of time if attempted. Questions based on directions and blood relations were easy. The two analytical reasoning sets were fairly easy to solve and did not pose a major challenge.

Students often commit one mistake: they do not practice non-CAT reasoning topics. This becomes a handicap in exams such NMAT, which features questions from non-verbal reasoning and verbal reasoning topics as well. Reasoning in NMAT is not only about sets and logical rearrangements, and this is something you should keep in mind.

Key Takeaways:

To sum it, keep the following in mind:

  • The overall level of the exam is easy to moderate.
  • Cut-offs can be expected to be along similar lines to last year.
  • Due to tricky RCs, time management was a challenge.
  • Be prepared for question types that have been appearing in previous year NMAT exams.
  • Overall, maintain your cool and focus on maximising your attempt.

Bonus Tip: When one section of the exam ends, the next section automatically begins. Even though there is a button ‘click here’ on the screen prompting you to start the section, the timer continues to run. So make sure you do not waste valuable seconds assuming the timer has paused in-between sections.