CMAT Preparation


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April 23, 2020

CMAT Preparation for CMAT 2021 exam, scheduled on January 24, 2021 must be started well in advance as per the revised CMAT exam pattern. CMAT 2021 will be conducted by NTA and not by AICTE.  


Since CMAT remains an online computer based test, the exact CMAT past test paper is not available nor any one is authorized to publish it except NTA, AICTE or MHRD Government of India. However, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has announced that CMAT 2021 will not be much different from last year CMAT and earlier CMAT exams. Besides, past trends in CMAT exam reveal that CMAT 2021 exam preparation can be synchronized with other MBA entrance exams also as the test sections are more or less same.


CMAT Preparation 2021: Target Top MBA colleges

CMAT 2021 preparation should have a clear goal of getting admission in one of the top CMAT score accepting MBA colleges like JBIMS Mumbai, SIMSREE Mumbai, K J Somaiya Mumbai, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai/Gurgaon, PUMBA Pune, GIM Goa, IFMR Chennai, IMT Nagpur, BIMTECH Greater Noida (Specialized Programmes), Welingkar, Mumbai, N L Dalmia Mumbai among others.


CMAT Exam Preparation 2021: Two Important Things

CMAT 2021 preparation strategy or the question how to prepare for CMAT exam over the years is answered on the basis of  2 important things – CMAT previous years test papers and the anticipated CMAT exam pattern. Therefore, the CMAT exam Preparation is not very difficult as the basics of CMAT question paper have remained unchanged. In view of the experts and past CMAT exam toppers, the preparation for CMAT exam must be well defined. A key component in CMAT 2021 preparation strategy is your CMAT preparation time.


How to Prepare for CMAT 2021?: Step by Step Planning

How to prepare for CMAT 2021 is not a big question as the preparation pattern can be kept same on the basis of previous year years exam pattern and syllabus. CMAT exam is divided into four sections and the CMAT preparation strategy needs equal focus on all these four core sections which have equal weightage. Accordingly, your CMAT exam Preparation should be focussed on following key points:

  • When and How to prepare for CMAT
  • Which are the CMAT Preparation Books
  • What CMAT preparation material is available apart from the books
  • CMAT  Preparation Tips by CMAT Toppers
  • Whether to Prepare with CMAT Coaching or Self prepare - which is better
  • CMAT Preparation Online
  • Strategy - how to crack CMAT 2021 Exam with High score   

 CMAT Exam Preparation Time: An Important Factor
As the CMAT preparation time goes on reducing month after month with every passing day, you need to revisit your CMAT preparation strategy and synchronise it with remaining CMAT preparation Time. CMAT preparation tips by toppers who suggest ‘How to prepare for CMAT in 3 months’; ‘How to prepare for CMAT in 2 months’ and so on, are more relevant as the CMAT exam preparation time is getting shorter with each passing day now.


CMAT Coaching or CMAT Preparation at Home
After synchronizing the CMAT preparation time, you need to find out whether to go for CMAT coaching or prepare for CMAT at home. One of the important CMAT exam preparation tips for beginners is to come out of this dilemma of moving between CMAT coaching and CMAT preparation at home after analyzing following points:


1. Carefully Choose Coaching: If you wish to prepare with CMAT Coaching, it is important to find out the best coaching for CMAT exam. Even the best coaching for CMAT exam may have its draw backs in regard to imparting CMAT coaching on certain topics. So along with your preparation through the best CMAT coaching, you should find out an individual best expert coach for CMAT preparation for the topics that need your greater attention.


2. Plan your Self Preparation: If you wish to self-prepare for CMAT, you need to understand first how to prepare for CMAT exam at home with the help of right books for CMAT preparation 2021 and other appropriate CMAT preparation material. So instead of getting involved into CMAT exam coaching, CMAT preparation with best books for CMAT Test recommended by toppers, like CMAT preparation books by Arun Sharma, CMAT exam book by Nishit Sinha, abundantly available good CMAT preparation material, CMAT Study material online, freely available CMAT preparation online facility, CMAT exam Quiz 2021, CMAT Mock test 2021 that can hone your CMAT preparation and make you aware how to prepare for CMAT without coaching are the best tools for CMAT preparation.


CMAT Preparation Tips
Accordingly, the key CMAT 2021 Preparation tips which will guide you how to start CMAT preparation at home as per the revised CMAT exam pattern, are focused on following points when you start your CMAT 2021 exam preparation:

  1. CMAT Exam Pattern: You must be aware about the Changed CMAT 2021 exam pattern
  2. CMAT 2021 Syllabus
  3. CMAT Preparation Time
  4. How to start CMAT preparation at home?
  5. How to prepare for CMAT in 6 months?
  6. How to prepare for CMAT in 3 months?
  7. How to prepare for CMAT in 2 months?
  8. How to prepare for CMAT without coaching and with self study?
  9. Books for CMAT preparation
  10.  CMAT Preparation with Coaching
  11. CMAT Mock Test 
  12. Strategy to score 95+ percentile in CMAT 2021

CMAT Exam Pattern
CMAT exam pattern has remained without any substantial changes, although NTA has taken over the CMAT exam from AICTE. However, a key change in CMAT is that it is now conducted in two shifts on the same day. With a well established exam pattern, The CMAT preparation requires a well devised preparation plan.


Candidates appearing in CMAT 2021 exam will find 25 questions to attempt in each of the 4 sections with equal weightage. The maximum score for all the four sections taken together is 400 marks. 


CMAT 2021 Exam Pattern: Key Components

  • Total Questions: 100
  • Total Sections: 4
  • Questions in Each Section: 25
  • Type of Questions: MCQ
  • Sectional Weightage: Equal
  • Marks per Correct Answer: 4
  • Negative Marking: -1
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate

CMAT 2021: Test Composition
Following will be the sectional composition of questions in CMAT 2021:

Name of CMAT Test Section
Number of questions
Type of questions
Level of difficulty
Language Comprehension
Multiple choice objective type (MCQs)
Moderate (3-4 questions are difficult)
Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation 
Multiple choice objective type (MCQs)
DI more difficult; Quant –moderate
Logical Reasoning
Multiple choice objective type (MCQs)
Moderate to difficult
General awareness
Multiple choice objective type (MCQs)
Easy to moderate

Read More on CMAT Exam Pattern 2021

CMAT 2021 Syllabus
Once you know about the CMAT Pattern 2021, your next step for CMAT preparation is to scan the CMAT exam Syllabus. In fact, CMAT Exam Syllabus has never had any boundaries and this fact also applies to define the CMAT 2021 exam syllabus.


The CMAT exam syllabus is the outcome of the topics which have earlier appeared in CMAT exam although the type of questions, their composition, format and number may change in each subsequent CMAT exam.


The key point in CMAT exam syllabus 2021 is that there is no repetition of CMAT questions in any CMAT exam although difficulty level of the questions in CMAT exam would not go out of CMAT exam syllabus.


CMAT 2021 exam Syllabus is not pre-defined by National Testing Agency (NTA) which conducts Common Management Admission Test (CMAT)  as Online exam nor the CMAT syllabus was outlined earlier also by the CMAT exam convening NTA.


CMAT 2021 exam syllabus is based on the mentioned guidelines and current structure of CMAT exam. Past tendencies reflect that CMAT exam syllabus and pattern overall tests the candidate on English Language & Reading Comprehension, Verbal Ability; Quantitative Techniques which include all the relevant topics on Mathematics with special emphasis on Arithmetic & Data Interpretation which includes Graphs, Tables, Charts to analyse, compare and interpret the data; Logical Reasoning which includes all type of questions on Reasoning; and Current Affairs which include all type of GK questions at national and international level.


CMAT exam Syllabus covers all the major topics on these four test sections which are further divided into sub-sections...Read More on CMAT Syllabus            


No CMAT Preparation without CMAT Syllabus
The fact is that you will find it difficult to proceed with CMAT preparation even if you have all the CMAT exam preparation material, unless you know the CMAT exam syllabus. CMAT MBA exam syllabus is much wider than one can anticipate.


CMAT syllabus does not leave any study topic untouched. The glimpses of CMAT syllabus 2021 for MBA admission 2021 in AICTE approved MBA colleges is a testimony to this fact.


If you go through the CMAT exam syllabus, it will help you to decide when to begin CMAT preparation? How to prepare for CMAT 2021? What important topics covered in CMAT syllabus need your focused attention in CMAT preparation?


CMAT Preparation Time
What is the ideal CMAT preparation time that could ensure a high percentile score in CMAT exam? Although there is no thumb rule on it, CMAT toppers suggest the CMAT aspirants to remain steady and regular in their CMAT preparation and always think that CMAT exam is round the corner.


There is still good CMAT preparation time which if fruitfully used, can turn the table in your favour.


How to start CMAT preparation at home?
CMAT preparation should be started at home now without waiting any further. CMAT toppers studying at top AICTE approved CMAT score accepting colleges advise to start self-preparation at home without being dependent on any coaching. CMAT preparation tips to start CMAT preparation at home are:

  • Go through the revised CMAT exam pattern
  • Read thoroughly the CMAT syllabus 2021
  • Pick out your strong and weak areas in all the four sections
  • Gather the best books and preparation material for CMAT preparation
  • Improve on your weak areas and monitor the improvement regularly
  • Take as many CMAT Mocks during your CMAT 2021 preparation and do the analysis of each Mock. Without analysis of Mock, attempting a mock test may not be useful.
  • If you are weak in VARC, reading different articles and novels, conversing in English with friends and even watching English TV series and movies will be helpful.
  • Write down whatever new words you encounter after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day
  • Data Interpretation (DI) is considered a bit more time consuming. Start practicing on DI questions. Use approximation techniques for quick calculations.

CMAT Exam Preparation Books
CMAT preparation books and CMAT preparation material online or offline play a major role in helping you score high in the CMAT exam. A few of the best books for CMAT preparation recommended by toppers to prepare for CMAT 2021 and other national level exams are:


CMAT Exam Preparation Books for Language Comprehension Section: VARC

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ - by Nishit K Sinha
  • Latest RC Passages and practice questions provided by Study centres like TIME, CL among others
  • Editorial and short articles published in English news papers
  • ‘Word Power Made Easy’ – by Norman Lewis
  • ‘High School English Grammar & Composition’ – by Wren & Martin
  • Regularly solve the Verbal Ability questions from your study material especially on Para summary, Jumbled Paragraphs
  • There is also number of CMAT preparation books PDF free download available online for CMAT 2021 aspirants
  • Use the study material of best online coaching for CMAT 2021

CMAT Preparation Books for Quantitative Techniques and DI

  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ - by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT’ - by Arun Sharma, published by MGH Education
  • ‘Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT’ – by Nishit K.Sinha, Published by Pearson
  • ‘The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for competitive exams’
  • Quant study modules by TIME, CL, IMS

CMAT Preparation Books for Reasoning

  • ‘Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT’ - by Nishit K Sinha (Published by Pearson)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ - by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)

CMAT Preparation Books for Current Affairs (GK)
One of the important sections for CMAT preparation is the Current Affairs (GK). Your current Affairs preparation for CMAT should cover all the important topics and events and changes at national and international level. GK for CMAT exam is as important as other sections and cannot be avoided.


To prepare GK for CMAT, you should gather the CMAT Exam GK material. It should be noted that good preparation of Current Affairs for CMAT 2021 can lead you through the best AICTE apprioved MBA/PGDM programme. If you avoid CMAT GK syllabus in CMAT preparation, you may not expect admission in MBA at JBIMS, K J Somaiya, GIM Goa, Great Lakes or other top AICTE approved  colleges.


This section can be divided in three parts and each part has to be given due weightage. 

  • Conventional GK-available in books;
  • Current GK- based on current reading of newspapers and periodicals; 
  • Business & Economics GK -for example changes in Fiscal and monetary policy, CRR, Repo Rate, Devaluation and up valuation of Rupee.  

Please remember current GK-whether Business, national and international has an on-going preparation method and thorough reading of the newspaper only can keep you updated. The section covers questions on Who’s who; Constitutional knowledge; Current affairs; business; economics; currency and Capitals of the countries as well as States of India; International Organizations; monetary and fiscal tools among others. Candidates may find questions with photo and emblem identification of personalities, companies among others.

  • You need to prepare both – National and International GK
  • Get CMAT GK sample questions from CMAT Mocks and CMAT previous test papers
  • Read regularly the news papers and create your own CMAT GK question bank. A good source of preparation for updated GK questions for CMAT is Manorama Year Book
  • Your CMAT GK Material should be as per CMAT GK syllabus
  • CMAT GK topics to prepare broadly are International current affairs and details about international organizations like ASEAN, TPP, BRICS and also know basic details about them, the headquarters, the year of establishment
  • Topics and GK sample questions for CMAT preparation should also include National current developments, Government schemes like UDAN Scheme, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, JAM, Demonetisation, GST among others; latest who’s who; achievements; pacts and agreements

CMAT Preparation Books by Arun Sharma
Some of the best books to prepare for CMAT, include the CMAT preparation books by Arun Sharma. These books by Arun Sharma for CMAT exam preparation are available for all the test sections and the topics that appear in CMAT exam. Some of the key features of these CMAT preparation books authored by Arun Sharma are:

  • The book is updated with new chapters, exercises, replica test questions and the approach how to answer
  • Conceptual clarity and fundamentals with formula in each part of the CMAT Preparation book by Arun Sharma on each topic is well explained followed by sectional quizzes and practice questions as well as past questions on the topic.
  • The books to prepare on VARC, Quant, DI, LR, written by Arun Sharma are separately available so as to focus on the topic in which the CMAT aspirant is week.
  • Each book on each CMAT sectional preparation by Arun Sharma carries solved past questions

CMAT Preparation Books by Arun Sharma are:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • ‘How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT’ - by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  • ‘How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT’ - by Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill)
  •  ‘How to prepare for Quantitative for the CAT’ - by Arun Sharma, published by MGH Education

Best Books for CMAT Recommended by Toppers
Past CMAT toppers have recommended best books for CMAT preparation. CMAT toppers suggest to follow the undernoted preparation strategy besides the CMAT preparation with books:

  • Have only one or two very good CMAT preparation Books
  • Read to get conceptual clarity on the topic for CMAT
  • Attempt well the exercises, practice questions and Mocks given after each topic of the CMAT preparation book
  • Focus more on the weak areas and attempt variety of practice questions on them 

Some of the best books and study material for CMAT recommended by Toppers are:

  • Regularly Read the articles, editorials in the English news paper to improve your RC skills
  • Focus more on your weak areas and solve more practice questions and Mocks
  • Make your fundamentals clear conceptually
  • Recommended books to prepare for CMAT are the latest preparation books by Arun Sharma and Nishit K Sinha
  • Go for only latest edition of CMAT preparation Books
  • DILR needs more practice, so attempt as many DILR practice questions for CMAT preparation
  • If you are preparing with coaching, best utilize the CMAT preparation material provided by them
  • Don’t waste time if you are stuck on a particular topic in the book, move on

How to Prepare for CMAT 2021 in 6 months?
CMAT preparation tips for beginners or for the repeaters are not much different? CMAT preparation time of 6 months is sufficient to crack the exam. Following should be adhered to before proceeding on CMAT preparation journey:

  • As you are left with sufficient CMAT preparation time, first of all go through and understand the CMAT exam pattern
  • Get a good feel of CMAT 2021 exam syllabus
  • Find out your strong and weak areas
  • Start building up the fundamentals and get conceptual clarity on the topics which fall in your weak areas
  • Don’t waste too much time on theory. If you have understood the basics, attempt CMAT sectional quiz.
  • Practice after theory is a must. Accordingly take periodical CMAT 2021 Quiz, attempt CMAT previous years Mock test, CMAT previous years question papers
  • Get the best CMAT preparation material with best books for CMAT preparation.
  • Beginning your CMAT preparation early will give you time to periodically assess yourself and overcome your weaknesses.
  • Remain confident right from the day one during your CMAT preparation journey.
  • Self Preparation is the best preparation strategy for CMAT 2021 however time is also an important factor. If a candidate gets stuck on some question due to his/her lack of conceptual clarity, the wastage of time is more and depression begins to set in. It could be a small quant formula, LR logic, or Verbal usage clarity which might need a simple push to come out of the shallow waters. This help can be provided by your mentor online or offline depending upon your preference or a mix of both.  

How to prepare for CMAT in 3 months?
CMAT preparation time of three months is not short. What you have done in last three months or whatever you have prepared can be revised now in three months with various CMAT preparation tools. The time is ripe to intensify a little your CMAT preparation strategy for three months:

  • See that you have achieved good clarity on fundamentals and have strengthened your basics
  • Alongwith going through the books for CMAT preparation, visit number of online CMAT preparation material
  • It is time that you started taking CMAT Mock test, analyse your errors and rectify them
  • Instead of reading the theory again and again, now you should attempt the question and when you are stuck, visit the basics and clarify your point to clear the confusion
  • Solve CMAT previous year question papers
  • Join a good Test series for CMAT preparation

How to prepare for CMAT 2021 in 2 months?
It may sound a little surprising but it is true. Many CMAT toppers are of the view that CMAT preparation time of two months is good enough to crack the exam. If you study effectively with right study material, even 2 months are sufficient to score 95 percentile provided you are sincere enough.

  • Focus more on CMAT Exam Quiz, CMAT Mock tests, different types of questions as appeared in CMAT
  • Don’t leave any CMAT Mock Test without analyzing it
  • Go through the Books for CMAT preparation and the CMAT preparation material and ensure  that you have gone through the sectional and overall quiz and practice tests in these CMAT preparation books.
  • There are some strong areas within your weak areas and some weak areas within your strong areas. Try to focus on all the weak areas and see if you are able to improve them. However, you should not waste more time on them. Instead focus more on your strong areas and improve them further.

How to prepare for CMAT without coaching and with self study?
There is no substitute of CMAT preparation with self study which does not require any coaching until and unless you are stuck. Experts therefore, recommend that you should start your CMAT preparation by self study and later make it a mix of self study as well as help from coaching to avoid wastage of time.

  • Self Preparation is the best preparation strategy for CMAT 2021 however time is also an important factor. If a candidate gets stuck on some question due to his/her lack of conceptual clarity, the wastage of time is more and depression begins to set in. It could be a small quant formula, LR logic, or Verbal usage clarity which might need a simple push to come out of the shallow waters. This help can be provided by your mentor online or offline depending upon your preference or a mix of both.   
  • Most of the candidates coming from Engineering or other technical background find it easy to get along well with Quant, DI and LR but when it comes to Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, they find the section too difficult. It is where they need an expert guidance.
  • CMAT preparation 2021 needs improvement in your speed and accuracy as the time to solve per question is short. You need to solve 100 questions in 180 minutes.
  • CMAT 2021 preparation should equip you with continuous sitting for more than 3 hours without break. To achieve this you are required to take more Mocks, CMAT previous year test papers.

CMAT Preparation with Coaching
CMAT coaching helps you overcome many weak areas. Choose for the best coaching for CMAT preparation, if you wish to prepare for CMAT with the help of coaching. Some of the best CMAT test coaching institutes are TIME, CL, IMS.


CMAT coaching online is a good answer to the working professionals who find it difficult to attend regular class room coaching for CMAT. During the past few years preference for CMAT online coaching has gone up many times. In fact, CMAT online preparation through online coaching for CMAT is more cost effective, less time consuming and offers you more time to practice CMAT question papers and CMAT exercises.


CMAT Preparation 2021 With Mock Tests 
CMAT 2021 Mock Tests and CMAT Previous Years Question Papers are the major CMAT preparation tools for CMAT 2021 exam. Alongwith the CMAT Mock tests, CMAT exam quiz, CMAT previous years Mock test, CMAT sectional quiz also play a major role in improving your speed and accuracy in CMAT preparation.


CMAT Mock test alongwith CMAT previous years mock tests and CMAT Practice test papers for CMAT 2021, prepared by top experts and CMAT toppers are good tool to prepare for CMAT and crack the exam. CMAT sample papers are available as CMAT online tests also. There are number of CMAT online mock tests comprising replica CMAT exam questions to help in your CMAT preparation...Attempt CMAT Test papers


CMAT Preparation Strategy to score 95+ percentile
It may be noted that even half of the total questions, if attempted right can fetch you a percentile of 96-98. So prepare accordingly. CMAT Preparation does not require you to study round the clock, instead you need to study smartly and with intelligent approach to crack the questions correctly in minimum time to achieve high score.


Looking at the level of difficulty and surprise elements that appear in CMAT every year, a thorough preparation of 3 to 4 months is required to crack CMAT 2021.


According to the experts and toppers, the best way to prepare for CMAT 2021 exam is to know your strengths and weaknesses and start working on them now. Since there is time to get over with your weakness and further strengthen your strong areas, you must devote around 2-3 hours a day from now on to crack CMAT 2021 with a high score. 


CMAT Study material for CMAT preparation 2021, therefore, consists of the books for CMAT; online CMAT study material provided to you by your coaching institute or the offline CMAT practice test papers bought from Market; CMAT test series attended by you; the study and practice material for CMAT provided to you by your coaching centre in hard copy among others. The more you study the CMAT study material and the more you practice on CMAT Mock tests and CMAT sample papers, the more you will be able to score in CMAT exam.


CMAT is Common Admission Test and does not require a specialist or professor in English, Maths or Reasoning. CMAT exam is to assess how you approach the question and how intelligently solve it in the shortest time. CMAT test does not require you to attempt all the questions but the need is to maximise your correct attempts and minimise the wrong attempts.

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