Common Management Admission Test [ CMAT ]

By Last Updated: November 21st, 2020

CMAT (Common Management Admission Test)

Introduction about CMAT

The Common Management Admission Test or CMAT is a national-level entrance exam held for admission to colleges and universities offering management courses like MBA and PGDM. The exam is held once a year by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The online exam is a way of getting admission into 1000+ colleges of AICTE approved universities. CMAT is conducted in a single session and all the processes from application to the conduct of the exam are online-based. 

All the management aspirants looking forward to pursuing the 2-year course of MBA/PGDM take up this entrance test. MBA and PGDM are one of the most pursued post-graduate courses in India as well as abroad. These courses are highly popular amongst undergraduates as they expose the aspirants to excellent jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. 

CMAT acts as a gateway to highly prestigious institutes such as the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, IIM Banglore, IIM Calcutta, FMS Delhi, IIFT Delhi, NITIE Mumbai, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, XLRI Jamshedpur, and many more. India is a house to 651 public and 3861 private such B-schools. 

Talking numbers, a total of 74,486 candidates registered for the CMAT exam 2020. The NTA conducted the exam at 245 centers in 104 Cities of 30 States or Union Territories. This number tends to increase every year. 

CMAT Important Exam Updates

The exam has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to reports, CMAT 2021 is likely to be held on February 27-28. CMAT 2021 registration process can start by the end of the last week of November 2020 or the first week of December 2020.

The National Testing Agency shall shortly notify the aspirants of the Exam date and the complete schedule.


CMAT is a single session exam that evaluates the undergraduate students based on 4 sections -Quantitative Technique, Logical Reasoning, Language Comprehension, and General Awareness.

There are various sub-topics under each main division that the aspirants have to study. Check out the proper sections and topics breakdown below:

Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation

  • Tabulation, Pie Chart, Bar Chart, Line Graph
  • Probability
  • Quadratic and linear equations
  • Graph
  • Simple Interest and Compound Interest
  • Percentages
  • Averages
  • Geometry
  • Profit and Loss
  • Mensuration
  • Literature
  • Current Affairs of National and International Economy
  • History
  • Sports News
  • Science in everyday life
  • Politics
  • Geography
  • Culture
  • Economics
  • Trade Awareness
  • Personalities in News
  • Indian Constitution

Logical Reasoning  

  • Analytical Reasoning
  • Cause and Effects
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning
  • Linear Arrangements
  • Analogy Test
  • Symbol Based Problems
  • Statements Arguments
  • Blood Relationship Tests
  • Direction and Distance Test
  • Statements and Conclusion
  • Number Series
  • Statements Assumptions
  • Inferences
  • Matrix Arrangements
  • Ranking Tests
  • Coding and Decoding
  • Sequencing

Language Comprehension

  • English Grammar
  • Paragraph Completion
  • Sentence Improvement
  • English Usage Errors
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Reading Comprehension
  • One-word Substitution
  • Jumbled Para
  • Idioms and Phrases
  • Sentence Correction

General awareness

  • Literature
  • Current Affairs of National and International Economy
  • History
  • Sports News
  • Science in everyday life
  • Politics
  • Geography
  • Culture
  • Economics
  • Trade Awareness
  • Personalities in News
  • Indian Constitution

The aspirants need to know about all the above-mentioned topics to get a decent rank in the CMAT test. 

Topics-Number of Questions

The above-mentioned four sections have 25 questions each which means the total number of questions is 100.

Section AreaQuestionsMarks
Section 1Quantitative Techniques & Data Interpretation25100
Section 2Logical Reasoning25100
Section 3Language Comprehension25100
Section 3General Awareness25100

Eligibility Criteria

There are certain eligibility criteria a person has to follow to take up the CMAT:

  • Nationality: The aspirant must be an Indian citizen.
  • Age bar: There is no age limit to appear in CMAT.
  • Academic: Graduates in any discipline are eligible to apply for CMAT.
  • Academic: Final year students whose results have not been declared yet are also eligible to apply for the CMAT exam.

Course eligibility:

For pursuing a management program such as MBA, PGDM, and others, the candidate must have a recognized bachelor's degree with a minimum duration of 3 years. The candidate is also required to obtain at least 50% marks on the qualifying exam. Reserved category students(SC, ST, PWD) are required only 45% in the qualifying examination. 

Marking Scheme

All the questions in the CMAT are Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). The exam duration is 3 hours in which the candidates are expected to attempt 100 questions.

·         The exam consists of 4 sections which have 25 questions each.

·         Each question carries 4 marks.

·         The total/maximum marks thus become 400.

·         A right answer gets a candidate 4 marks.

·         A wrong answered deducts 1 mark.

·         No marks are added or deducted for an unattempted question.

·         It is not compulsory to attempt all the questions.

Process of making CMAT Applications

CMAT 2021 registration process is expected to start by the end of November 2020 or the first week of December 2020. The CMAT admit cards are likely to be issued in the fourth week of December.

Below are given detailed steps to complete your CMAT registration:

1. Apply for online registration

·         Open the official website of CMAT NTA.

·         Click on “Fill application form” to create your account.

·         It shall open up the page of CMAT 2021 registration.

·         Enter the correct name, date of birth, age, city, email ID, password, and mobile phone number.

·         Click on the Submit button.

·         When you submit, a 12-digit application number shall display on your screen.

·         Submit other academic information.

2. Upload passport-sized photo and signature

·         After completing the online registration, you need to upload the scanned copy of the photo and signature.

·         Use scanning apps such as Camera Scanner to scan your photo and signature.

·         The passport size photograph should be of size 10kb to 200kb in JPG/JPEG format.

·         The scanned signature needs to be sized between 4kb to 30kb in JPD/JPEG format.

·         Adjust the file size according to the prescribed sizes.

·         Upload them.

Note: The size of the photograph and signature can be adjusted simply by the use of ms-paint.

3. Pay fees


Application fee

General / OBC (Male)Rs 1600/-
General / OBS (Female)Rs 1000/-
SC, ST, PWD (Male)Rs 800/-
SC, ST, PWD (Female)Rs 700/-
Transgender Rs 700/-

You can pay the fees through credit/debit card, UPI/Paytm, or Net banking. As the fee varies for various categories, the candidates are required to pay special attention to this step.

4. Select the exam centers

·         The aspirants are required to choose 4 cities in their vicinity where they can appear in the exam.

·         The exam center choices cannot be edited once the form is submitted.

·         The finally allocated test city cannot be changed.

5. Download confirmation page

After all the above steps are done, a page shall appear on your screen that acknowledges the submission of the fee and application. It is a must for the candidates to download this page for future references.

Documents required during registration

The candidates are required to have the below-enlisted documents at the time of registration:

·         Signature on white paper

·         Recent passport size photo (preferably with white background)

·         Graduation mark sheet (if the results are already declared)

·         Caste certificate (if the candidate belongs to a reserved category)

·         PWD/DA certificate (if applicable)

·         Class 10 mark sheet

·         Class 12 mark sheet

Exam Process

The CMAT exam process consists of 4 steps.

1. CMAT written exam

The exam is likely to be conducted on February 27-28, 2021. Consisting of 4 sections and 100 questions, it is a 3-hour duration exam that tests the candidates on various grounds.

2. CMAT result announcement

The results of the CMAT written exam determine whether the candidates will be eligible for further examination processes. The aspirants who qualify for the CMAT written test are eligible for further steps:

a)      Group Discussion (GD)

b)       Personal Interaction (PI)

c)      Writing Ability Test (WAT)

3. GD, PI, and WAT

The AICTE approved institutes or colleges that accept the CMAT score invite the qualifying students for GD, PI, and WAT rounds. This selection process is unique to respective colleges.

4. Final merit list announcement

The above rounds namely - Group discussion, Writing ability test, Personal interview, finally determine whether the candidate will get admitted to the college. Months and sometimes, years of hard works finally pays off when a candidate gets into his/her dream B-school.

Exam Rules

 After months of hard work and preparation, when finally the exam day comes, the candidates are advised to follow every exam rule to make sure nothing goes haywire. There are certain exam rules and guidelines every management aspirant needs to follow:

·         Candidates are strictly instructed to not carry any personal belongings such as – Mobile phones, calculators, tape recorder, camera, geometry box, pencil box, paper, pen, handbags, purse, and any kind of edibles.

·         If any candidate indulges in any unfair examination practices, he/she shall be disqualified from the examination.

Best CMAT Preparation Books

Choosing the right books for the preparation is the most important step to confirm your success in the CMAT exam. A good set of books is going to give you the best and most authentic information.

The recommended books for CMAT 2021 are as follows:

For Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation:

Quantitative Aptitude- Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude for MBA Entrance- Abhijit Guha

Data Analysis & Interpretation Data Sufficiency- Think Tank of Kiran Prakashan  

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations- RS Agarwal 

Quantitative Ability-Nishit Sinha

Accredited Guide to Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency -Anant Ashish

For Logical reasoning:

Logical and Analytical Reasoning- Ashok Gupta

A modern approach to logical reasoning- RS Agarwal 

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT/CMAT - Nishit Sinha 

How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT/CMAT- Arun Sharma 

Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning- Pearson Publication

For Language comprehension:

Objective General English 10,000+ questions- R.S. Aggarwal

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension- Arun Sharma

Word Power Made Easy- Norman Lewis

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension?- Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhyay  

Business English and Communication- Clark

For General Awareness:

General Knowledge 2020- Arihant Experts

General Knowledge 2021-Manohar Pandey

General Knowledge- Dishha Experts

Face to Face MAT/CMAT with 19 Years (1997-2016) -BS Sijwali 


Q. How exactly does one take up the exam in computer-based format?

A. The computer-based format is in many ways similar to the pen and paper format. The only thing that differentiates the computer-based format from the paper-based format is that the candidates see the questions on their computer screens and click on the right answer.

Q. What is the exam duration?

A. The exam is 3 hours or 180 minutes long.

Q. Can I go back to the previously attempted sections?

A. Yes, you can.

Q. Can I change the preferred city?

A. Once submitted, the city preferences cannot be edited.

Q. Is the fees refundable?

A. No, the fee is non-refundable.

Q. Are the questions MCQs?

A. Yes, the questions are multiple-choice based.

Q. Will I get a paper for rough work?

A. Yes, the candidates are provided with a paper for rough work and calculations.

Q. How can I pay the examination fee?

A. The examination fee can only be paid through debit/credit card, Net banking, and Paytm/UPI. Cheques or Demand drafts are not accepted.

Q. What is the age limit for the CMAT exam?

A. There is no age restriction for appearing in the CMAT.

Q. How many times is CMAT conducted in a year?

A. The exam is only conducted once a year in January. But due to current pandemic situations, the exam is postponed to be held likely in February 2021.

Q. Do we have breaks in between?

A. No the exam is only 3 hours long and no breaks are provided in between.

Best wishes to all the CMAT aspirants from the CollegeMarg Team!