XAT, SNAP, NMAT by GMAC 2016: Preparation tips, exam pattern for MBA entrance tests

Most students prepare for only CAT but are left clueless as to how to prepare for any of the other MBA entrance tests.

By: Express Web Desk | Noida | Updated: October 12, 2016 3:59 pm

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Graduate students across the country interested in Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programmes are gearing up for various entrance exams such the Common Aptitude Test (CAT), Xaviers Admission Test (XAT), NMAT by GMAC and Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP), among many others. Most students prepare for only CAT as they want to enter the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) but are left clueless as to how to prepare for any of the other tests. Given here are the exam patterns of XAT, NMAT by GMAC and SNAP to help students prepare for the upcoming exams.

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Students are recommended to broaden their options and not write only CAT. There are so many other good business schools in India, including XLRI, Jamshedpur, NMIMS Mumbai, S P Jain, IIFT Delhi etc. You should have a larger basket of “good” options to choose from. So write XAT , IIFT, NMAT by GMAC and SNAP too.  If you are prepared for CAT you are pretty much prepared for most of the other management entrance tests (OMETs). Here are the preparation tips for few of the OMETs.

XAT

For more than 60 years, XLRI has conducted its admission test on an all-India level to select the most appropriate students for management education. Their long experience and expertise have helped them in extending this test to other management institutes as well.

This year, there are more than 130 management institutes who will be selecting students through XAT. XLRI – Jamshedpur, S. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, IRMA Anand, IMT-Ghaziabad, TAPMI-Manipal, IFMR-Chennai, Great Lakes-Chennai, Welingkar-Mumbai, LIBA-Chennai and XIM-B Bhubaneshwar are some of the institutes selecting candidates through XAT.

XAT 2017 will be on a similar pattern like the last few years. It will have four sections: (i) Verbal and Logical Ability (ii) Decision Making (iii) Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (iv) General Knowledge.

The marks of General Knowledge section will not be used for determining the percentile and cut off at first stage of selection. The Critical Reasoning questions based on arguments, assumptions, course of action and forcefulness of the statements are also the part of XAT. Sufficient practice will help students revise concepts.

Read: CAT 2016: Registration begins Aug 8, exam on Dec 4

For the English language part, it would be advisable for students to revise concepts pertaining to RC, sentence correction, vocabulary based questions (confused words), para formation, logical reasoning questions (especially on identifying argument structure and argument elements and inference based questions). Students should also focus on figures of speech as there have been questions on identifying metaphors, oxymorons, personification, etc. in previous years’ XAT papers.

The RC passages in XAT are often based on ‘off-beat’ topics (passages included subjects such as psychology, science and sociology). For the section on Quantitative Ability, a good preparation for CAT should be more than sufficient. Though it must be added that some of the questions in XAT tend to be pretty tricky and it would be advisable for students to be very judicious while attempting questions. It would also be advisable for students to brush up on their speed maths concepts as some of the questions in Data Interpretation tend to be calculation intensive.

For preparation on General Awareness, in addition to reading newspapers regularly, it would be advisable for a student to focus more on issues related to business, economics and politics related to business environment.

Read: CAT 2015 topper Prateek Bajpai gives 10 tips to crack the exam

NMAT by GMAC

The exam is conducted for admission to MBA/PGDM programmes offered by NMIMS. NMAT is a computer based exam. This year, the test window is from October 7, 2016 to December 20, 2016.

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Note- there is no negative marking. Applicants can take a maximum of three attempts at NMAT during the test window. NMIMS has a provision for sectional cut offs. Most of the other b-schools accepting NMAT scores do not have this provision.

Except for the Logical Reasoning section, you can cover all other sections of NMAT well with a good preparation for CAT. However, it would be advisable to work on your speed mathematics as some of the questions under Data Interpretation tend to be calculation intensive. Also, 120 questions in120 minutes means that the candidate needs to be really quick in solving questions.

Read: How should non-engineering students prepare for MBA entrance exams?

The questions in reasoning section of NMAT are:

1. Series, analogies, odd man out, coding & decoding, symbols & notations and missing numbers in figures.Analytical puzzles (linear arrangement, circular arrangement, distribution, comparisons and selections)

2. Analytical puzzles (linear arrangement, circular arrangement, distribution, comparisons and selections)Critical reasoning (assumptions, conclusions, inferences, strong & weak arguments, courses of action, cause & effect, assertions and reasons, deductions, input/output, decision making) and Venn diagrams

3. Critical reasoning (assumptions, conclusions, inferences, strong & weak arguments, courses of action, cause & effect, assertions and reasons, deductions, input/output, decision making) and Venn diagrams

Read: MBA India vs MBA abroad

SNAP

The Symbiosis National Aptitude (SNAP) Test is a common written test for admission to all the Post-Graduate Institutes of Symbiosis International University. A written test is mandatory for admission into any PG programme offered by the constituent institute of Symbiosis International University.

SNAP 2015 followed a familiar test pattern and composition that has been witnessed in earlier years. The overall difficulty level of the test was lower compared to last year. The broad distribution of the test was as follows:

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The total duration of the test was 120 minutes and it comprised of 150 questions overall. The Logical Reasoning section had only 30 questions with two marks per question as against 40 one-mark questions in each of the remaining sections.

Read: How to prepare for Maths in competitive exams

For the section on General English, students should focus on idioms and idiomatic expressions and on parts of speech in grammar. Apart from this, a good CAT preparation would suffice.

For the section on Logical Reasoning, it would be advisable for students to revise concepts pertaining to puzzles, number and letter series, verbal analogies, coding and decoding, strengthening and weakening arguments, and non-verbal reasoning.

For the section on Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency sections, a good preparation for CAT should be more than sufficient.

For the section on General Awareness, it would be advisable for students to brush up concepts and facts pertaining to definitions (dendrochronology, ekistics etc.), economy, acronyms, history, sport, science & technology and current affairs.

All the best!

– This article has been written by Ankur Jain, Chief Knowledge expert, T.I.M.E.

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