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By Sneha Dasgupta

Management Exams – How to Prepare?

26th June, 2021

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

-Colin Powell.

For years now, students have eagerly awaited as well as dreaded the process of preparation for management exams. Every aspirant of an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or a PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management) has to appear for an entrance exam. While there is a wide variety of these management exams one can appear for, the preparation for each of them is equally grueling.

Before we provide you with some of the best preparation tips for these management exams, let us learn a little more about the nature of these exams.

What are management exams?

Management exams are the ultimate gateway to secure admission into one of the B-schools in India for an MBA or a PGDM program. These programs are amongst the most sought-after management courses all over India. Every year, lakhs of students appear for one, or multiple management entrance exams. Here is a list of the management exams most candidates appear for:

  • CAT Exam
  • MAT Exam
  • ATMA Exam
  • CMAT Exam

If you are shuddering at the mere thought of appearing for these exams, we have got your back! In this article, we are going to walk you through the preparation tips for these management exams, along with MBA preparation tips for you to prepare better.

Top 5 MBA Preparation Tips

As you have read above, your path to pursuing an MBA is paved by these management exams which you have to crack. And what is the ultimate key to success? Preparation!

Here are some of the most important preparation tips that are sure to gear you up for the forthcoming management exams:

  • Sectional Preparation: Most of the management entrance exams are divided into three or more sections. The common sections include Quantitative Ability, Verbal Skills, and Reasoning Ability. These sections are tailored to assess your fundamental mathematical skills, your language and grammar skills, and lastly your logical and analytical skills.

    You have to be equally proficient in all these sections to secure a good percentile score. And for that, you have to devote an equal amount of time in preparing each section.
  • Solving Question Papers: Over 50% of your preparation for these management exams should entail solving sample papers along with and previous years’ question papers, as well as mock tests. This will help you discover your weak areas, which will propel you to work on them more.
  • Management Books: You can find a wide variety of management books which will aid you in preparing better. These management books not only provide you with useful strategies but also educate you on how you can manage your time better.
  • Time Management: From learning about time management to putting it to practical action is of utmost importance. Your preparation should involve delivering accurate answers within a short span of time.
  • Self-care: In the hustle-bustle of preparation, you should not compromise on your physical and mental well-being. Plenty of rest along with proper nutrition will not only ensure good health but will also push you to work harder and prepare better.

Now coming back to the management exams mentioned above, let us take you through the ways in which you can prepare for each one of them.

How to prepare for CAT Exam?

CAT exam, also known as the Common Admission Test is a computer-based common aptitude examination for a 2-year MBA program from 20 IIM colleges and other reputable B-schools in India.

The CAT exam is an extremely competitive exam, where only a handful of students get admission into the institute of their dreams!

To ensure that you have a robust preparation, you need a minimum of six months to prepare. So, if you are appearing for it this year, your preparation for the CAT exam should have ideally started around May. However, even if it hasn’t, here are some important CAT preparation tips that are sure to help you:

  • Your preparation for the CAT exam should include solving CAT mock papers and previous years’ question papers.
  • Refer to important texts for the three different sections in the paper.
  • On the basis of your strength and weaknesses, make a list of topics and address the weak areas.
  • Make good use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube by joining online study groups.
  • Devote an equal amount of time to the three different sections of the paper. Cover a topic from each section every day.

How to prepare for MAT Exam?

MAT, also known as the Management Aptitude Test is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA). This is an entrance test for admission to MBA/PGDM programs in B-schools across the country.

This exam is conducted four times a year, in the months of February, May/June, September, and December. The MAT scores are accepted and considered by 600+ management colleges across India.

You will need at least six months to prepare for the MAT exam to score well. Below are some MAT preparation tips for your upcoming MAT exam:

  • The majority of your preparation for the exam should entail solving MAT sample papers and MAT previous years’ question papers.
  • Read newspapers, online blogs, and MAT preparation books on a daily basis to improve your reading skills and to keep a track of current affairs.
  • Regularly analyze your preparation level to keep a tab on your strengths and weaknesses in each section.
  • Target topics carrying more weightage in each section to score easily in the exam.
  • Time management is the key to attempt maximum questions in the exam, so you should not waste precious time on tricky questions and try to solve the easier ones instead.

How to prepare for ATMA Exam?

ATMA Exam, also known as the AIMS Test for Management Admission is a national level entrance exam conducted by the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS) to provide admission to MBA, PGDM, MCA, and PGDBA courses.

The ATMA entrance exam is conducted four times a year and more than 500 management colleges across India accept the ATMA scores for admission to their management courses.

Here are some ATMA exam preparation tips which you can follow:

  • Preparation for Analytical Reasoning: You should practice previous years’ question papers and mock tests to understand concepts. You can also prepare for this section by solving puzzles and riddles.
  • Preparation for Quantitative Ability: You can prepare by solving the questions from NCERT or Secondary and Higher Secondary level Mathematics textbooks.
  • Preparation for Verbal Ability: You must read newspapers, magazines, and books and also refer to Class 8 and Class 9 grammar books to clear the basics of grammar and learn the fundamentals.
  • Refer to important texts for the three different sections in the paper.
  • On the basis of your strength and weaknesses, make a list of topics and address the weak areas.
  • Devote an equal amount of time to the three different sections of the paper. Cover a topic from each section every day.

How to prepare for CMAT Exam?

CMAT exam, also known as Common Management Admission Test, is an aptitude test for admission into MBA and PGDM programs in 1000+ B-schools across India.

The CMAT question paper consists of 100 questions from Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, and General Awareness. In the 2021 exam, a new section was added to the CMAT paper which was Innovation & Entrepreneurship, an optional section carrying 25 questions.

Here are some CMAT preparation tips which you can follow:

  • Refer to important texts and CMAT preparation books for the different sections in the paper.
  • On the basis of your strength and weaknesses, make a list of topics and address the weak areas.
  • Devote an equal amount of time to the four different sections of the paper. Cover a topic from each section every day.

Wrapping up!

Now that you have finished reading this article, sit yourself down, take a big gulp of water, and before you do anything else, pat yourself on the back. With preparation comes appreciation for the self too. You will encounter hindrances along the way; however, you must never beat yourself up if you fail to deal with them. Success may be the focus for you, but failure is inevitable. So, instead of being bogged down by your failures, take them in your stride!

FAQs About Management Exams

How to start MBA preparation?

Here are some of the ways in which you can start your MBA preparation:
Solve question and sample papers as well as mock tests from previous years’ management exams.
Buy the best management books to study.
Make good use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube by joining online study groups.
Make a weekly or monthly preparation plan for the upcoming management exams that you shall be appearing for.

How to prepare for management entrance exams?

Before you begin preparing for management exams, remember that they have multiple sections in the question paper which you need to prepare adequately.
Solve question and sample papers as well as mock tests from previous years’ management exams.
Read newspapers, online blogs, and management books on a daily basis to improve your reading skills and to keep a track of current affairs.
Regularly analyze your preparation level to keep a tab on your strengths and weaknesses in each section.
Target topics carrying more weightage in each section to score easily in the exam.
Time management is the key to attempt maximum questions in the exam, so you should not waste precious time on tricky questions and try to solve the easier ones instead.

How much preparation is required for CAT?

To ensure that you have a robust preparation, you need a minimum of six months to prepare. So, if you are appearing for it this year, your preparation for the CAT exam should have ideally started around May.

Which management exam is easy?

Although you need an equal amount of preparation for each one of these management exams, CAT is deemed as the most difficult exam followed by CMAT, MAT, and ATMA.

How can I prepare for my exams effectively?

You can prepare for your management exams effectively by following these simple steps:
Create a routine of what you are going to study every day, along with the specific topics your wish to cover.
Take adequate breaks between your study schedule. You must remember to not reach a stage of burnout as it will render you incapable of studying at all.
Time management is key to cracking these exams. You need to work on delivering accurate results within a short span of time. This practice can be enhanced from solving question and sample papers, as well as taking frequent mock tests.

By Sneha Dasgupta

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