CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern: Syllabus, Books, Marking Scheme and Preparation Tips

Posted in

By Anam Shams - Content Writer Jan 06 2020 Share this blog

NTA has declared that there will be no changes in CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern.CMAT 2020 exam will be conducted on the 28th of January at 75 centers across the country. The exam is conducted in the online mode. The aspirants are required to attempt 100 questions divided into 4 sections. As per CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern, the duration of the exam is three hours. The examination tests the student’s grip over the areas of Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation, English Comprehension and General Awareness.

Also check CMAT 2020 Results

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern Key Points

The following table gives you a brief highlight of the CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern

Conducting Body
National Testing Agency (NTA)
Mode of the Examination
Medium of Examination
Duration of the Examination
3 hours
Number of Questions
Number of Sections
Nature of Questions
Objective Type of Questions (MCQs)
Marking Scheme
+4 for correct answer; -1 for negative answer
Total number of marks
400 (Each section carries 100 marks)

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern Crucial Information

CMAT 2020  Exam Pattern

  • Candidates are asked to reach the venue of the CMAT 2020 examination 2 hours prior to the beginning of the exam as they won’t be allowed to enter after 8:30 A.M.
  • Candidates with any bachelor’s degree can sit for the CMAT 2020 examination.
  • There is no time limit to finish a section in the CMAT 2020 exam.
  • If an answer is challenged and is found out to be correct, then whoever has answered the question correctly will be awarded 4 marks. Similarly, -1 marks will be deducted from each student’s paper who has answered a question correctly.
  • If a question is dropped, all the students will be awarded marks irrespective of whether they’ve attempted a question or not.
  • Candidates will not be allowed to leave the examination hall before the session ends.
  • There is no cut-off to assess the students appearing for CMAT 2020 Examination, students with low scores will not be disqualified.
  • There are no breaks given to the candidates during the examination.
  • Candidates will be provided with a laptop, a pencil and paper for the examination which the candidates will return after the examination.

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern - Sectional Distribution

Taking into consideration the CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern, each section consists of an equal number of questions and carries equal number of marks. The four sections in the CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern are:

Number of Questions
Marks (25 X 4)
Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation
Logical Comprehension
English Comprehension
General Awareness

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern for Quantitative aptitude and DI

  • This section requires the candidate to be highly efficient and manage time well. 
  • Candidates are required to be well versed in Modern mathematics and arithmetic. 
  • Students are also required to assess data in the form of graphical representations like graphs, pie charts etc. 
  • Students with faster calculative skills will have an edge over others.

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern for Logical Reasoning 

  • This section tests the reasoning capabilities of the candidates. 
  • It involves finding logical solutions for the puzzles, assumptions and conclusions, seating arrangements, cause and effects etc. 
  • It is a highly scoring section for students with regular practice.

CMAT 2020 Exam for Pattern English comprehension 

  • This section tests the verbal ability and overall grip of the candidate on the English language.
  •  It consists of reading comprehensions along with questions from synonym and antonym, grammar, tenses, error detection etc. 
  • Students are required to build reading habits for successfully attempting this section. Reading novels, newspapers, magazines can serve as a good practice for the students.

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern for General Awareness 

  • Conventional, Current and Economic Affairs are three important parts of General Awareness.
  •  For attempting this section, students are advised to prepare for both current affairs as well as static general knowledge.
  • Economic and fiscal policies, country denominations, world politics, scientific endeavours, cultural events form an important part of this section. 

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern - Syllabus

As per the CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern, the questions are asked from four different domains, namely Logical Reasoning, Quantitative aptitude, English comprehension and general awareness. The table below shows the most important topics with higher weightage in comparison to the rest.

Topics of Importance
Quantitative aptitude and DI
Mixtures and allegations, time and work, distance and speed, linear equations, algebra, graphical representation, pie chart etc.
Logical Reasoning
Seating arrangements, blood relations, number series, analytics, etc
English comprehension
Error correction, reading passages, par jumbles, etc.
General awareness
Static Gk and current affairs, topics like history, society, economy, sports etc.

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern Detailed Syllabus of Quantitative Aptitude

This is one of the most competitive sections of the question paper. The candidate requires to be highly efficient in order to be able to solve a maximum number of questions within the stipulated amount of time. It consists of 25 questions. The topics are grouped below, in accordance with their importance from the examination point of view:

Most Important Topics
Important Topics
Moderately Important Topics
Less Important Topics
Time and Distance
Simple Interest
Compound Interest
Number Series
Line Graph
Profit and Loss
Pie Graph
Quadratic Equations
Case Let
Coordinate Geometry
Multiple Graphs
Data Comparison
Time and work
Bar Graph
Line graph

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern Detailed Syllabus of Logical Reasoning

Logical reasoning is an important section for CMAT aspirants. It consists of 25 questions of 4 marks each. The NTA has not issued any defined syllabus for this section and the vastness of the topic is high. However, the analysis of previous year papers shows that questions from particular topics are highly prevalent. On the basis of analysis of multiple examination questions, the following topics are required to be prepared with utmost importance:

Assertions and Reasoning
Statements and Assumptions
Statements and Arguments
Number Series
Inferences and Judgments
Analogy Test
Causes and Effects
Non-verbal Reasoning
Distance and Direction
Coding and Decoding
Symbol-based Questions
Decision Making
Cause and Effect
Input and Output

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern Detailed Syllabus of English Comprehension

Although NTA does not release any official syllabus, the analysis of the questions of previous year examination gives us an idea of the same. This section examines the candidates command over the English language with importance to their comprehension skills. The most important topic are given below:

Fill in the Blanks
Antonyms and Synonyms
Verbal Reasoning
Sentence Improvement
Contextual Usages
Idioms and Phrases
Reading Comprehension
Paragraph Completion

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern Detailed Syllabus for General Awareness

It consists of 25 questions. It tests the student’s knowledge about the topics of relevance which includes history, politics, society, economy etc. In this section 30% questions are asked from Static general awareness and 70% questions are asked for current affairs topics.

Static General Awareness Important Topics
Current Affairs Important Topics
Current Affairs Important Topics
History of India
Current affairs on economy
Government schemes related to the economy
Sports news and Politics
Current awards and prizes
Brands and companies
Environmental Issues and Social issues
Major corporate news and global events
Books and Authors
Business and Finance
International news and global events

CMAT 2020 Preparation Books

Preparation books will help a candidate be aware of the CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern. Following table will help you find books for preparing for the examination.

Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination
RS Agarwal
Data Analysis and Data Sufficiency
Kiran Prakashan Think Tank
Logical Reasoning
A modern Approach to Logical Reasoning
RS Agarwal
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
Nishit Sinha
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning
Arun Sharma
Language Comprehension
Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability
Sujith Kumar
How to Prepare Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
General Awareness
General Knowledge
Disha Experts

Study Material for CMAT 2020 Current Affairs

As there is no specific syllabus for current affairs in the CMAT General Knowledge section, it can be a tricky section to attempt. For History candidates can refer to the Manorama Year Book. Prominent newspapers like The HIndu, Financial Express, Economic Times can be referred for Economic Insights. 

Regular update on newspaper editorial, interview of eminent personalities published in newspapers, magazine articles should be covered up. 

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern - 2019 Paper Analysis

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern can be predicted on the basis of previous year analysis.

  • In 2019, the General Awareness section was considered moderate by most candidates since it included a mix of questions based on static and current GK.
  • The Data Interpretation Section was a little time-consuming

Slot 1 Paper Analysis

Difficulty Level
Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation
QI - Moderate DI - Difficult
Language Comprehension
Logical Reasoning
General Awareness

Slot 2 Paper Analysis

Difficulty Level
Quantitative Techniques and Data Interpretation
QI - Moderate DI - Time-taking
Language Comprehension
Logical Reasoning
General Awareness

CMAT 2020 Preparation tips

  • The key to success is to believe that you can do it. This is the foremost requirement to crack any exams including CMAT.
  • When there is adequate time left, use it to gather more and more concepts. Once you have studied a substantial amount of topics, start applying them by solving questions. When the exam is round the corner, focus more on revising rather than trying new things.
  • Attempt online mock tests to assess your preparation levels. Mock tests help to give the student a fair idea of their preparation levels and also helps them identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Once you identify your weak areas, start giving more time to those topics.
  • During the examination, read the whole paper and identify the questions you are most confident of. Do not waste time trying questions you are not sure of.
  • Students are advised to give adequate time to the general awareness preparation on a daily basis.

CMAT 2020 Sectional Preparation Strategy

Quantitative aptitude and DI

This section is aimed at testing the arithmetic and mathematical skills of the candidate. 

  • Students are advised to identify their weak areas and start by devoting more time to them. 
  • Regular practice is the key to mastering this section. Practice more and more questions to increase your accuracy and speed in solving them. 
  • Identifying and practicing short tricks are important because they help to save your time. 
  • Students should also practice Data interpretation form various graphical representations which includes pie charts, bar, graph etc

Logical reasoning 

This is a very vast area. Students are required to devote time to all the topics involving logical reasoning. 

  • Practicing questions from various topics will help them to get familiarized with the type of questions and solve them with ease.
  •  This section mainly tests the candidate’s ability to think intelligently and logically.

Language comprehension 

This section tests the command and grip of the student over the English language. 

  • Students are advised to develop reading habits.
  •  They are required to read newspapers and novels on a regular basis.

General awareness

This section tests the awareness of the students regarding various issues happening in our society. 

  • Students must prepare for both static General awareness as well as current affairs. 
  • Students must be aware of the current political scenario of the country, various schemes announced by the government, economy etc. 
  • They are also required to possess fair knowledge about the important events in Indian and World history. 
  • Apart from that, students are advised to prepare topics from geography, sports, world records, politics and world news.
  •  Regular reading of newspapers, watching tv news or the internet can help the student gain knowledge about the trending topics. 
  • Students are advised to devote 2-3 hours daily for this section.

CMAT 2020 Mock Test and Sample Papers

NTA provides a Mock Test facility on its official website nta.ac.in. Candidates can make themselves aware of the Computer Based Test and CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern. By undertaking Mock tests and practicing through CMAT Sample papers candidates will be aware of their speed and efficiency. Certain sample papers and mock test resources for CMAT are available in the market. For the sake of candidates convenience, here is a tabulated list:

Sample Paper Resource
3 Edge Advantage Series: CMAT Practice Test
Ayush Gupta, Diwakar Sharma, Ashwani, R.K Behl
Complete Reference Manual for CMAT
S.K Sinha, J.S Rana, S. Satyanarayana
MBA Solved Papers
Gautam Puri
CMAT Exam Guide
Disha Experts
Study Package for CMAT
Arun Sharma. Meenakshi Upadhyay

CMAT 2020 Exam Pattern FAQs

Ques. What are the most important topics in the CMAT 2020 paper?

Ans. The most important topics for the CMAT 2020 paper are current affairs, economics, history, etc.

Ques. How much time should I give to the GK section of the CMAT 2020 Exam?

Ans. According to the Top scorers, you should start preparing for the GK section at least 3-4 months before the Examination.

Ques. How many sections are there in CMAT 2020 Exams?

Ans. There are four sections in the CMAT 2020 Exams, namely, QA/DI, Language comprehension, Logical Reasoning and GK and Current Affairs.

Ques. What is the duration of the CMAT 2020 Examination?

Ans. The duration is 3 hours.

Ques. Is it necessary to take a lot of Mock tests for CMAT 2020 exams?

Ans. Students should emphasize more on concentrating for 3 hours and analysing the performance of the paper rather than solving too many papers.