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DU JAT Exam: Pattern, Books, Difficulty & More..

If you're a DU JAT exam aspirant preparing for the exam, this post will help you immensely. One of the most comprehensive posts shared on this blog, this post has been written by Manpreet Malik, who is a a finance enthusiast and a student of BMS at Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies.


DU JAT Exam:

Q-1. What's the exam pattern like?

Before coming to the actual pattern of the exam, I would like to bring the attention of the readers to the evaluation criteria and final rankings which are used for determining the allotment of colleges.

The exam itself holds 65% weightage in the final rankings while the remaining 35% weightage is given to the 12th board exams of the candidates. Now, the 12th board marks here do refer to the “best of four” subjects compulsorily inclusive of a language, but unlike the admission procedure to rest of the courses, you must also include the marks of mathematics in this “best of four”. This, eventually means that it is compulsory to include the marks of English “and” Mathematics in the “best of four” for DU–JAT. Oh, did I forget to mention that it is compulsory for you to have mathematics in your 11th and 12th standard?

Coming on to the exam itself, DU–JAT consists of 4 sections: 1. Quantitative Aptitude – 25 Ques 2. Logical Reasoning – 25 Ques 3. Verbal Ability – 25 Ques 4. General Awareness – 25 Ques

Each correct answer fetches you 4 marks and an incorrect answer will fetch you a -1 mark, i.e., there is negative marketing in the exam. To sum it up, the exam has 100 questions with 4 different sections, each section having 25 questions and the maximum marks of the exam being 400 marks.

1. Quantitative Aptitude:

This section, like most of the entrance exams consists of the basic mathematics, i.e., up to the 10th standard. However, JAT is infamous for having higher mathematics, meaning questions from 11th and 12th mathematics, in the paper. If you look at the previous year papers, you’ll realise that 18-20 questions are from higher maths, which essentially, makes 75-80% of this section.

Questions, in the previous years, have come from the following topics:

Lower Maths

  • Arithmetic

  • Number System

  • Geometry, Co-ordinate Geometry and Mensuration

  • Trigonometry

  • Linear inequalities

  • Sequence and Series

  • Set theory & Venn Diagrams

Higher Maths

  • Matrices & Determinants

  • Relations and functions

  • Limits & Calculus

  • Vectors & 3D

  • Permutations & Combinations

  • Probability

  • Complex Numbers

2. Logical Reasoning

This is the most scoring section of the exam. The section has a good blend of individual as well as set–based questions. It includes topics such as:

  • Coding & Decoding

  • Family Tree

  • Syllogism

  • Critical Reasoning

  • Venn Diagrams

  • Sequence & Series

  • Arrangements

  • Visual Reasoning

  • Selections

  • Odd–Man out

3. Verbal Ability

The VA section in DU JAT places a major focus on vocabulary-based questions. Analysing the previous year papers would validate this statement. As much as 10-12 questions are vocabulary based, be it one-word substitution, synonyms, antonyms, spelling errors or fill in the blanks. 1 RC set with 5 questions is there in almost every year. The remaining part of the section comprises of idioms and phrases, reported speech, sentence correction and para–jumbles.

4. General Awareness

Unarguably, the make or break section of the exam. This one section can determine whether you’ll get into your dream college or not get any college at all. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to scare you by telling you this, but just trying to make you realise the importance of this section. The reason why this section is said to be the most important one, is because you don’t have to think or solve something before answering the question. You either know the answer or you don’t, which is the reason why you would hardly take 7–10 minutes to attempt this section. The section can be broadly divided into 3 different parts:

  • Static GK

  • Current Affairs

  • Business Awareness

Static GK, as you would know, comprises of History, Geography, Polity, Economics, Past Award holders etc. Current Affairs, like most of the other exams, have questions related to recent awards and honours, new policies, important days, business and economy, appointments and resignations, science & technology, sports and books & authors. Business Awareness, is a section unique to this exam. It covers topics such as, brand ambassadors, parent companies and subsidiaries, logos & taglines, position holders at different firms, headquarters of companies, founding year and founders of companies, and finally some important economic and business concepts.

The trend and the previous year papers suggest that the GA section places a larger emphasis on Current affairs than on the static GK. In the past years, around 70% of the GA section has been current affairs, except for the 2018 year paper, which had 16 questions from Static GK and just 9 questions from current affairs.

Q-2. What kind of books to refer and how to prepare for the exam?

Now, this is a very subjective question and there is no standard answer for this. I have seen people who weren’t able to clear the exam even after taking coaching and have also seen people who cleared the exam with self preparation. However, I will try my best to guide you so that you can take the right decision for yourself and will suggest alternative cases for each section, i.e., what books should a student refer if he isn’t taking coaching vs if he is taking coaching.

However, I would like to clear out before answering this, that I took coaching from a renowned institute and thus had access to the coaching material and books.

Quantitative Aptitude:

I would like to clear this out at the very start that you don’t have to practice those 6 markers that you used to during your 12th. The exam is MCQ based and the questions will come accordingly. Do prepare accordingly. Topics such as definite integral, differential equation, vectors 3D have higher chances of appearing in the exam.

Coaching students: Attend all the classes, make sure that your basics are strong, solve all the assignments and material given to you by your institute. I am pretty sure that you’ll not be able to finish your coaching material but if you manage to do that, you may solve your 11th-12th NCERT. Don’t do anything extra for lower maths, the coaching material is sufficient for that.

Non–coaching students: You can clear your concepts by watching videos on the internet and for practising, if you have a book to practice, you can use that. However, if you don’t, you can purchase Arihant’s DU JAT book and for Higher maths, you can refer the NCERT books.

Logical Reasoning:

Coaching students: Again, just follow your coaching institute’s advice, complete and practice all the assignments, tests, books etc.

Non– coaching: You can watch the videos on internet to clear your basic concepts and you can use Arihant’s book for practising.

Verbal Ability:

Coaching Institute: For vocabulary, just refer to the question bank of your institute. Pro tip, prioritise the words (both in the question and in the options) that are available in mocks and tests conducted by your institute. They save the most important words for these assessments and these words have higher chances of coming in the exam. Vocabulary was not my forte and it was something I was really worried about before my exam. The Verbal Ability head of my institute suggested me this and that is how I prepared. Also, don’t “cram” the synonyms and antonyms. You’ll never be able to retain the words, it is impossible for anyone to do that. Maintain a small diary or a thin notebook and note down words in it and revise those words every day. Believe me, I’ve been where you are and this is the only thing that helped me. For grammar, idioms and other Verbal stuff, again, just focus on your coaching material and don’t refer anything.

Non–Coaching: Practice as many questions as you can from the Arihant book. It has a lot of RCs as well and you can refer the same. If you can arrange the coaching material from somewhere, even if it is 2-3 years old, it’d be really beneficial for you. Even if you can’t, do subscribe for the mock series of at least one, renowned coaching institute. I am saying this because of 2 reasons, the first one is mentioned above, coaching institutes save their best questions for the last. This is not just the case for the VA section, but for every section. The second reason is that it would help you judge your preparation against that of others.

Now, I know that you must be thinking that I didn’t mention “Word Power Made Easy” anywhere above. Like I said in the very starting, the answer to this question is very subjective. For me, WPME is a book that would surely help you in building your vocabulary, not just for your entrance but for your professional life as well, but it didn’t help me too much since it requires some time and patience and I was pretty agitated and reluctant towards allotting time to a section which I hated the most. That is why, I would say, you can go ahead and try WPME, since it isn’t necessary that something that worked out for me would work out for you as well. I would just say, whatever you do, just stick to it.

General Awareness:

Coming on to the most dreaded and the most important section of the exam. I would like to take a pause and mention something here. I am not trying to promote coaching institutes here. But the very nature of this question requires me to tell you how I prepared and what is the general idea amongst the aspirants. Now, many people would recommend you to read newspapers everyday and something on the same lines. Now, in no way am I trying to discourage this advice since it is a great one. It’s just that, it was really difficult, at least for me, to filter out the relevant news for the exam and then keep a hold of that newspaper or the article because I would definitely require it in the future for revising.

Which is why, I won’t be segregating this section into coaching and non–coaching students and this advice is to every aspirant. I believe that every aspirant should refer to the current affairs provided by any renowned coaching institute. Now, the reason why I am saying this is that these institutes have been in this game for a very long time and know what they’re dealing with and thus prepare their material accordingly. You won’t have to filter out the relevant news and then store it somewhere.

Now, if you’ve already joined an institute, well and good. But if you haven’t, you can subscribe to the online GA material of any institute at a very nominal price.

Pro Tips/Hacks for your preparation:

Following are some hacks and tips, that really helped me out when I was preparing for JAT:

1. Give as many mocks as possible. Not only will this give you an idea of the paper, but will also expose you to new and important questions that have high chances of coming in the exam.

2. Prepare for Static GK, Current Affairs and Business Awareness in the Q/A form. Not only will this ensure faster learning, but will prove out to be extremely effective when you come back and revise them.

3. Maintain a thin Vocab notebook, especially comprising of the words given in the aforementioned mocks and tests. Those words are the most important ones. Don’t just write down the word given in the question, but also the 4 words given in the options

4. (The most important tip) Definitely go through the previous year papers. It will help you in judging the difficulty level of those years and you’ll also be able to identify the topics, questions, words that have appeared a lot of times. Along with the institute mock vocab words, do go through the words which have come in previous years, those words are even more important.

5. I believe that vocab and GA part is the make or break section and would suggest everyone to focus on these sections.

6. Make it a point to revise GA and Vocab everyday.

7. By looking at the previous year papers, you’ll realise that some topics have been asked very rarely and you may decide to skip them, but at your own risk.

Difficulty Level

It differs from year to year. However, to give a general idea, the difficulty of the exam is moderate. Realise this, that, if the difficulty of the paper is high, it isn’t just difficult for you but for everyone. Thus, the cut–offs would go down. If it’s easy, the cut–offs would be high. Don’t worry about the difficulty level too much, just make sure your concepts are clear and you are confident with your preparation.

How to attempt the exam?

The most interesting thing about this exam, which makes it different from other UG entrance exams, is that, the paper doesn’t come section–wise and is completely jumbled up. Q1,2,3,4 might be from Verbal Ability, but the 5th question might be a QA question and then the 6th might be a GA question. This trend started in 2017 and as far as I know, there isn’t any way to crack this and make your strategy. So, you can’t go with this strategy that you’ll attempt the verbal first, and then the other sections. However, I would say that, if you believe that a question would take some time or you don’t know it, don’t waste your time on it and move on to the next question. Remember this, you are not expected to answer all the questions. As for the target attempt, a general idea is that you should attempt 80% questions with 90-95% accuracy, but I would say that this again, is subjective to your class 12th performance. So, my advice would be, that don’t go inside the exam hall with a predetermined objective answering X questions. The more questions you answer with confidence, the better. However, become a little vigilant and cautious once you cross the 80 Question mark so that you don’t get too many wrong answers and end up getting your marks deducted because of negative marking. Even if your 12th performance isn’t good, don’t pressurize yourself into attempting extra questions unnecessarily and thus getting penalized. Make sure that your preparation is upto the mark and you are confident with your performance.

Who should be taking this exam?

Anyone who wants to enter the field of management, finance, operational management, marketing etc. can consider BMS/BBA(FIA)/BBE, which are the courses offered under JAT. I personally believe that DU–JAT is another chance for many students who were not able to perform as per their expectations in the board exams. It is also an entry route into one of the finest colleges in the country i.e. SSCBS, which is one of the primary reasons why many students sit for JAT. It was my dream college and it is the college I am studying in right now and I can safely say that all the hard work and sweat is worth it. And, not just SSCBS, all the colleges under JAT are amazing, and provide wonderful opportunity and learning experience. So, make sure that you give in your all for this exam if you have decided to sit for it. All the very best for your preparation. Ace the exam!!

About Manpreet

I am a first-year undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor in Management Studies from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies. I am a finance enthusiast and an avid case solver. I am really grateful to Shweta for giving me this opportunity to contribute to such an acclaimed and prestigious blog. I hope that my answers will help you with your preparation. All the very best for your exam.


Hope this post benefits all the JAT exam aspirants. I'd like to share that Manpreet took out very valuable time to comprehensively collate all the points from his experience, he has been very kind while sharing his insights for the benefit of the blog members, so a big thank you to him for all the help :)

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