NMAT 2017 Analysis
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
So, the exam season finally kick-starts 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 analysis article is part of the same endeavour. The article is based on the test experience of Wordpandit himself; that is the author of the article. I appeared for the examination in the first slot today and will discuss 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 reach the ‘bonus tip’ section at the end of the article.

Test Experience: NMAT 2017

This is thesecond 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. The test centre where I appeared for the exam (Chandigarh test centre) is located centrally in the city and transportation is not an issue for the same. 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. The only cause of concern was the constant movement of the invigilator, and her constant pacing was a mild distraction.
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. In fact, in case youare 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 goes, the following table is an accurate depiction for the exam.nmat-exam-pattern

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 do well in the exam.
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:

Out of the total of 32 questions in this section, there were two passages. The passages were around 300 words long each and were not difficult to read. The questions revolved around the tone, main idea, primary purpose, author agreement/disagreement, and inferences. In the given time limit, at least one of the passages doable.
The para-jumbles were the surprise package. A couple of them featured really long sentences, and this would eat into your time.

The vocabulary questions (synonym, antonym, and analogy) were a mixed bag. Some of the questions were sitters, but a couple of the questions would challenge the best of aspirants.
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: This was the easier portion of the exam and most of the questions here could be solved fairly quickly; even data sufficiency questions did not pose a major challenge.

Data Interpretation: This is where the exam posed a significant challenge and in fact, the toughest questions in the exam were from this area. Three of the four sets presented hybrid data (combining data forms of line and bar graphs). These questions required careful study, and in fact, the calculations required were also time-consuming in nature. This is the only segment of the exam which requires advanced level practice and matches some of the other tough MBA entrance exams.

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:

NMAT Logical Reasoning

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 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. Some of the critical reasoning questions and inference based questions in the section required careful reading and the answer options were fairly close. 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.
  • Data interpretation poses one of the biggest challenges in the exam.
  • Be prepared for some tough words in vocabulary questions.
  • 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.