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My NMAT Journey ft. Anusha Surisetty, incoming NMIMS

Is it possible to crack NMAT alongside CAT? What if someone wants to prepare for both? How different are the two exams? These are a couple of questions that an NMAT aspirant may have. To answer them, today's guest post is featuring Anusha Surisetty, who is an incoming MBA student at NMIMS Mumbai. Anusha has come forward to share her NMAT journey with us all. So, let's hear her out:

Anusha Surisetty NMIMS
Anusha Surisetty

In Anusha's Words:

My NMAT Journey

I cracked NMAT with CAT preparation, which is a good sign since one doesn't have to take out extra time to specifically prepare for NMAT.

Firstly, let me run you through its exam pattern. It is a 2 hour exam, consisting of 120 questions. It comprises three sections:

  • Quantitative Skill - 48 Ques, 60 Mins

  • Logical Reasoning - 40 Ques, 38 Mins

  • Language Skill - 32 Quws, 22 Mins

It’s much easier to solve than CAT, hence people who are accustomed to the rigour and difficulty of CAT mocks would feel like it’s simpler, but we must note that it's a 2 hour paper and has more questions than CAT. So, running away with overconfidence will not help because I've seen people with 95-96 percentiles in CAT just barely touching NMAT cut offs.

Basically, speed is key here. Don’t be anxious, I was a slow solver myself. Needless to say, practice came in handy.

Some advantages that NMAT has over other exams is that you can take the test 3 times, there’s no negative marking, and you can choose the order in which you take Quantitative Skills, Logical Reasoning and Language Skill (English).

I always chose to take Quant first, since it has the highest number of questions and I always felt that I'd tackle it better with a fresh mind. Language Skill is my comfort section and hence I took it in the last. When it comes to Logical Reasoning, the questions are slightly different from what we get in CAT syllabus but can be self taught. I learnt to solve those as I practiced mocks. However, you can always refer to NMAT study books issued by GMAC, if you require further help.

Cut off is usually at or above 94 percentile, with the cut off score fluctuating between 207 and 209, till date. I took NMAT twice, with a gap of a month and I managed to increase my score from 168 to 210, the cut off being 207. If I could do it, anyone can. I scored 96 percentile.

I cannot stress the importance of writing mocks. I always felt weary and tired after CAT mocks, but it was a refreshing change to take NMAT mocks, what with the ease of solving questions and formulating strategies to answer quickly. I analysed the mistakes I had made in my first attempt and tried to correct them through the mocks. It’s a game of trial and error, and it’s personal to you, what strategy fits you best and what makes you more efficient at answering quickly and, of course, accurately.

I prepared from mocks issued by TIME and Career Launcher. IMS is also a good option.

One good hack to remember would be that since there is no negative marking, we can guess and answer difficult or time consuming questions. It's always better to answer something than nothing.


So, this was Anusha's NMAT journey and how she took the exam alongside CAT preparation. Hope you get some insights out of it. One of the things I liked about Anusha's story was how she emphasized on taking mocks. Be it CAT or NMAT, if you're a serious aspirant, mock taking and analysis should be an integral part of your preparation journey.

Thanks a lot Anusha for sharing your experience with us, we're truly grateful to you :)

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