Management Aptitude Test is conducted four times a year in the months of February, May, September, and December by AIMA (All India Management Association). The test is designed in an objective type format with questions having multiple-choice answers, specifically to measure candidate’s general aptitude for admission in top B-Schools of the country.
The best thing about MAT 2018 is that the test is conducted in both Pen and Paper based mode and computer based mode. However, two modes of test for a single paper had confused aspirants and often they found themselves in a predicament to find out which one is most suitable to them. If you are facing the same decision impasse, in this article we are going to solve your problem.
How to choose between PBT and CBT?
The basic idea behind the Computer Based Test is that the candidate particularly sits in front of a computer at the allotted centre and the questions are presented on the computer monitor and the candidate submits the answers through the use of keyboard or mouse. In the case of CBT test, no pen/paper is required to give the test. While appearing for CBT it is assumed from the candidate that he/she is familiar with basic computer terminologies and working.
Further, in case of PBT (Paper Based Test), the candidate is provided with a Question Booklet and an OMR Sheet for answering the purpose, then the candidate has to mark his/her response on the OMR (Optical Mark Recognition) sheet provided. Candidates are required to mark responses using an HB pencil in oval-shaped space separately defined for each question and its responses. In the PBT format, a student has higher chances of mistakes as the response space of each question is tightly packed in a small space and you need a lot of concentration for shading purpose only let alone focusing on the paper itself. Apart from this, once you have committed a mistake and erasing and again answering process could mutilate the answer sheet.
Coming to the test format, both tests are designed in the same structure and pattern. According to the MAT pattern defined by AIMA both the CBT and PBT formats of MAT consist of 200 questions sub-divided in 5 sections of 40 questions each in the sections Language Comprehension, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis and Sufficiency, Intelligence and Critical Reasoning, Indian and Global Environment. Apart from the format, marking scheme in both the exams remains same i.e. 1/5 mark is deducted for each wrong answer given in a 2 hours and 30 minutes time period of the test.
If you are planning to appear for MAT in CBT format, it is important that you are well aware of CBT test terminologies like navigation tools, scrolling of questions, choosing the answers and marking them. In the computer-based test, candidates are required to log in using their ID (roll number) at the exam centre. After logging in, a list of instructions occur on the screen and after reading instructions carefully candidate must tick on the ‘I understand’ option and henceforth exam begins.
The left part of the screen is dedicated to questions whereas on the right part answering area is provided in the boxes in a color-coded format. If the candidate appears answers the question the colour of the serial of the question changes on the navigation bar into purple else the colour remains blue. It is easier to navigate for non-answered questions in the CBT format.
At the submission time, students are given information by the system about the number of attempted questions in each section. Apart from the above-defined pros of the CBT format, it has a few cons like CBT usually faces technical glitches but in that case, the candidate must inform the concerned invigilator immediately and the test will be started again from the moment you left. In this case, also you are given at the same time because of the presence of the clock in the system itself.
However, if you are not well versed with computers, internet technology and have confusion in navigation tools of Computer Based Test MAT in PBT is the most suggested format. As in the case of paper-pencil test, it is easier to read and go through the question papers at once just by flipping pages in the question booklet. Also, in PBT test booklet a candidate can underline or circle the significant information in the question booklet itself whereas such flexibility is denied in Computer Based Test.
Appear for both CBT and PBT MAT:
In this whole scenario of defining the better format between CBT and PBT, we will also like to tell you that you can appear for both simultaneously i.e. after appearing for CBT, if one wants to improve score and is not satisfied with CBT format, by paying Rs.1100 extra in addition to Rs.1550 you can appear both in offline MAT and online MAT.