by Harsh Vardhan Posted on

Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is a national-level management entrance examination. The test scores are used for admission to various MBA, PGDM and allied management programmes. The exam is conducted by All India Management Association (AIMA). MAT is held four times in a year: February, May, September and December.

MAT Exam Pattern includes a total of 200 questions divided among 5 sections carrying 1 mark for each correct answer. However scores are awarded out of the composite score of 800 and a score above 450 or 500 is considered as good score. All its sections carry equal marks. Your score in each of these sections will affect your overall performance. And hence, a balanced practice of each of the sections can land you in the rank holders list. Focus equally on all for a better score!

Coming to Language Comprehension, one must devote maximum 30 minutes to this section. A candidate is supposed to answer 40 MCQ’s. So basically, a candidate has less than 1 minute for each question. Practice as much as you can, so that you save time in the actual exam. Devote at least an hour of your day to practice and exercise this section.


MAT Syllabus 2017 – Language Comprehension

In the comprehension passage, the candidates can also expect a poem extract or stanza. The comprehension passage mostly contains the following –

  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Syllogisms
  3. Using the same word with different meaning.
  4. Contextual Usage
  5. Analogies
  6. One word substitution
  7. Antonyms
  8. Idioms
  9. Fill in the blanks
  10. Odd man out
  11. Jumbled Paragraphs
  12. Sentence Completion
  13. Sentence Correction
  14. Foreign language words used in English

The topics given above are generic topics which must be thoroughly prepared by the candidates.


Language Comprehensions are concept driven where the questions are critically dependent on the test takers’ conceptual clarity with respect to core fundamentals. The vital areas, from which maximum questions have been asked in the previous years, are:-

  1. Word Analogies
  2. Vocabulary, with questions on antonyms and synonyms
  3. Rearranging sentences
  4. Reading Comprehension
  5. Sentence Completion

Other topics covered are Paragraph completion, Paragraph jumbling, Sentence correction, Synonyms/antonyms and fill in the blanks. To fare well in this section it is important to develop vocabulary by reading thought provoking books, magazines and editorials in newspapers. Update your grammar by reading books which enhance English language skills. Read a lot of novels of different genres understand the writing style of different authors and poets and study different insights.


The Language Comprehension section in MAT exam carries 20-25 questions, each carrying 1 mark. A wrong answer, however, costs the candidate 1/4 marks. For a candidate good in English, this is a very high scoring section. It has very good Return on Investment (ROI). This is because it takes very less time to answer these questions. Also, there can only be two outcomes for vocabulary/grammar based questions:

  • 100% correct: I know
  • 0% correct: I don’t know

 1. How to crack Reading Comprehension

Typically, the Language Comprehension section contains 11-18 questions which come under Reading Comprehension. There might be 3-5 passages. There are 5 factors affecting your scoring here:

  1. Speed of reading
  2. Retaining ability
  3. Comprehending ability
  4. Awareness of tones
  5. Assessing tricky questions

Important points to prepare yourself to achieve better score:

  • To achieve a good reading speed, you should start reading more. Anything from The Hindu Editorial to Quora Answers can help you get started. If you have a problem with books you can start with short reads.
  • Your Reading and Comprehending abilities can be enhanced by taking hintsThis prevents the need to remember every detail. It also gives you the reassurance that you have the important points of the passage by your side. Now, what are these important points? That can only be explained by practice. 
  • Tones could be observed using certain words. For example, sarcasm often has the phrase ‘of course’ in the sentence where it is not required. For e.g. ‘Of Course, I was joking when I said I would ground you for two weeks. It is going to be two months.’ This ear for tones matures with more reading. 
  • Assessing tricky questions is to let go of those which you couldn’t answer within 2 minutes.

2. Solving Jumbled Words and Fill-ups

Both of these require good vocabulary. This is especially true for Jumbled words as you would have to:

  • Think of all words with letters
  • Identify the meaningful ones
  • Note the one with the appropriate meaning

Fill-ups mostly have contextual meanings in the options. More importantly, often these two words are synonyms or opposites. So you would just have to observe the words in such a manner. This involves more logic than vocabulary. It is a good idea to take up the Jumbled words at last and Fill-ups at first. If you have a problem with Fill-ups, you can always start with Reading Comprehension. 

 3. Cracking Para jumbles

Para jumbles form a high scoring chapter in the section of Language Comprehension in MAT. In MAT 2017, you can secure a high score in the Para jumbles section even if you are not good in Vocabulary.

Types of Para jumble Questions

Like Reading Comprehension, Para jumbles also have themes/genres. Essentially, there are 3 types of Para jumble Passages possible:

  1. Analytical
  2. Descriptive 
  3. Data-Driven

Simple Tricks to Solve Para jumbles quickly

The following approaches might come in handy while solving Para jumbles in MAT 2017:

  1. Guess the answer
  2. General and Specific Approach
  3. Identify the pairs
  4. Spot Pronouns and Conjunctions
  5. Spot the Acronyms
  6. Identify accompanying ideas

4. Error Spotting

This section contains parts of the same sentence in different options. You have to look for a grammatical/usage error in one part. The types of grammatical errors and the methods of resolving them follow:


Errors Solution
Modifiers Match modifying phrase with right noun
Tense Check consistency and maintain sentence in one of present/past/future
Punctuation Check for commas that need to be present and those unnecessary
Agreement Check if the verb agrees with the given subject (mostly singular/plural)
Conjunction usage Not only…but also and the likes need to have all the words

 5. Choosing the alternative sentence

This section may contain sentences with grammatical errors. Sometimes they maybe the same sentence rephrased differently. You would have to identify (for example, let’s take this sentence):

  • the option which conveys the meaning better (this is the right option)
  • the option which conveys the better meaning 

In the above case, there was no grammatical error but the first option expressed the idea in a more understandable way. 

The main point is to maintain a good reading speed along with accuracy. Bush up your language comprehension skills as much as possible. The level of the Language Comprehension section in MAT Exam is moderate in comparison with the other competitive exams. So, there are more chances of people to crack it.


Harsh Vardhan

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