Programs in the field of management and business are one of the most sought after courses, both at the undergraduate level and the postgraduate level. I am Vinay Narayan, and after my Engineering with Computer Science majors, I decided to take up management for my further studies. Finding a management college in India is pretty easy as there are plenty of them, in every nook and corner. However, getting an acceptance from a top management college in India is definitely not that easy.
It requires a great amount of dedication and hard work. There are many exams that a management aspirant could take up, MAT (Management Aptitude Test) being the most common among them. MAT exam is a gateway to admissions into some of the best management institutes in the country such as TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal, XIME, Bangalore and BIT, Mesra to name a few.
Right from the beginning of my engineering, I knew that Computer Science wasn’t really my thing and wanted to pursue management after engineering. I started preparing for the management entrance tests when I was in the second year of engineering and joined a coaching centre that trained students for the MAT exam. The first few classes were all about getting to know what MAT exam was about and how to go about the preparation.
Ideally, an aspirant should prepare for at least two years before taking up the MAT exam. During this phase, I learnt the importance of time from an examination point of view. Knowing the concepts and knowing how to solve a problem are really important, but definitely not enough when you are appearing for the MAT exam. Solving the question quickly, taking as less time as possible is the key here.
My advice to all the aspirants who are looking to take the MAT exam in the near future is that the focus should not be only on solving the problems correctly but on solving the problems accurately and quickly. So along the way, if you come across some questions which you feel are time-consuming, my suggestion is to drop that question and move on to the next one. You can always come back to this question later in the end.
So now let me give you all a few details about the MAT exam. MAT is a national level examination that is held four times in a year. The MAT scores can be used to obtain admission to various management courses such as MBA and PGDM. Over 650 institutes in India accept the MAT scores. As far as eligibility criteria are concerned, candidates who have completed their graduation or are in the final year of graduation can attempt the exam, irrespective of the discipline of graduation. There is no restriction on age limit as such.
Candidates can apply for the MAT exam online. The application form is available on their official website. The application fee is 1400 /- INR and candidates can pay this fee either online, via credit/debit cards or offline, through DD or cash, at one of the AIMA centres.
MAT is two and a half hour test and covers five areas mainly. These are Environment (Indian and global), English Language Comprehension, Data Sufficiency and Analytics, Mathematics and Critical Logical Reasoning. There is total of 200 questions that are to be answered in 150 minutes.
I prepared for MAT exam for around two years and solved around 30 math questions every day. Read some international journals to get an idea about the complexity of reading comprehensions. Another important task that every candidate must focus on is, solving practice and mock papers. Timing yourself while taking the mock tests is a really important as it gives you an idea on where you are going wrong and how you can improve.
Finally, always review your performance in the mock tests in the end and start focusing on those topics where you feel you’re going wrong. I wrote my MAT in 2016 and managed to perform pretty well. Some of the reference books that I used were Mission MBA guide by the Arihant publication and MAT Score Accelerator by Disha publication. I would strongly recommend these books for anyone who is appearing for the MAT test.
To all the MAT aspirants out there, do keep a cool head and try not to panic. Trust me, panicking does not help one bit. Keep a cool head and prepare well. Last minute preparations do not help in this case. Best wishes to all the MAT aspirants who are trying to get into a top management college in India and I hope all of you do end up in the institute of your choice.