How to Start MBA Preparation for 2024?

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

Updated On : November 4, 2023

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Summary: Ace MBA entrance exams with tailored study plans, exam insights, and expert tips. Craft a schedule, choose the right exams, and prepare for each section effectively. Boost your Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation, and Quantitative Ability skills with recommended books. Whether at home or in a classroom, set your MBA journey on the path to success. 

If you aspire to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA), you need to prepare for the challenging entrance exams that are part of the admission process. MBA entrance exam preparation can be demanding due to the vast syllabus, high-level questions, and intense competition.  

To help you embark on your MBA preparation journey, this article provides insights into creating a smart study plan, understanding various MBA entrance exams, outlining their patterns, and offering essential tips for excelling in these exams. Let's explore the world of MBA exam preparation. 

Check: How to start preparation for CAT exam?

Creating a Study Plan for MBA Entrance Exams 

Before diving into the specifics of MBA entrance exams, it's crucial to craft a study plan tailored to your needs. Here's how to begin: 

  • Self-Assessment: Analyze your strengths and weaknesses in different subjects. This will help you allocate more time to areas where you need improvement. 
  • Choose the Right Exams: Determine which MBA entrance exams align with your preferred colleges, exam patterns, syllabi, and difficulty levels. 
  • Set Realistic Goals: Define your target scores and deadlines. Having clear objectives will keep you motivated throughout the preparation journey. 
  • Create a Study Timetable: Develop a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule that balances your study hours with other commitments. Consistency is key. 
  • Gather Resources: Collect study materials, reference books, and online resources that are relevant to your chosen exams. 
  • Seek Guidance: Join coaching classes or online courses if you prefer structured guidance. Experienced mentors can provide valuable insights and strategies. 
  • Track Progress: Regularly evaluate your performance by taking practice tests and assessing your strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Stay Healthy: Maintain a balanced lifestyle by prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and physical activity. A healthy mind and body are essential for optimal exam preparation. 

Check: CAT Exam Preparation Strategy

Popular MBA Entrance Exams in India 

Choosing the right MBA entrance exams depends on factors like your target colleges, exam pattern familiarity, syllabus comfort, and the exam's difficulty level. Here's a list of prominent MBA entrance exams in India: 

Name of the MBA Entrance Exam About the Exam
Common Admission Test (CAT) Conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), CAT is the most widely accepted exam for Tier-1 MBA colleges in India.
Management Aptitude Test (MAT) MAT, organized by the All India Management Association (AIMA), is held four times a year and is commonly accepted by Tier-2 and Tier-3 MBA colleges.
Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT) CMAT is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and is accepted by AICTE and UGC-recognized MBA colleges in India.
Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MAH-CET) Also known as MAH MBA CET, this state-level exam is administered by the State Common Entrance Cell of Maharashtra and is accepted by MBA colleges within the state.
Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) Conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur, XAT is widely accepted by MBA colleges across the country.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) GMAT is a popular entrance exam for international as well as Indian MBA colleges and is administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC).
IBSAT (ICFAI Business School Aptitude Test) Organized by ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, IBSAT is accepted by ICFAI Business Schools and affiliated institutions for MBA admissions.
NMAT (Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test) GMAC conducts NMAT, which is accepted by various business schools in India and abroad, including NMIMS.
SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test) Symbiosis International University conducts SNAP for admission to MBA and postgraduate programs offered by Symbiosis institutes.
IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade) IIFT conducts its entrance exam for its MBA (International Business) program, focusing on international business and trade.
ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions) AIMS conducts ATMA, accepted by numerous management institutions in India for their MBA programs.

The choice of an exam should be made based on your preferences and an understanding of the exam's requirements. 

Read more: Difference between CAT and CMAT exam

cat 2023 super-30 course

cat 2023 super-30 course

MBA Entrance Exam Patterns 

Each MBA entrance exam has a unique pattern, with variations in the number of sections, total marks, and question types. To help you choose the right exam and prepare effectively, here's an overview of popular MBA entrance exams' patterns: 

Exam Sections Duration No. of Questions Marks for Correct Answers Negative Marking
CAT 3 120 mins 100 +3 -1
MAT 5 150 mins 200 +1 -1/4
CMAT 4 180 mins 100 +4 -1
MAH CET 4 150 mins 200 +1 No Negative Marking
XAT 4 180 mins 100 +1 -1
GMAT 4 187 mins 80 +1 No Negative Marking
IBSAT 4 120 mins 140 +1 No Negative Marking
NMAT 3 120 mins 108 +1 No Negative Marking
SNAP 3 60 mins 60 +1 -1/4
IIFT 4 120 mins 110 +3 -1/3
ATMA 6 180 mins 180 +1 -1/4

These exams may include sections like Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). The specific weightage of these sections may vary, so make sure to check each exam's detailed pattern. 

Check: How to get into IIM without CAT?

What to Study for MBA Entrance Exams 

For a successful MBA entrance exam preparation, focus on three crucial sections: 

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): 

  • Improve English language skills, including grammar and comprehension. 
  • Develop a good vocabulary. 
  • Practice reading and understanding complex passages. 

2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR): 

  • Enhance data interpretation skills. 
  • Sharpen logical and analytical reasoning. 
  • Solve complex problems quickly and accurately. 

Check: How much time is required to prepare for CAT?

3. Quantitative Ability (QA): 

  • Focus on fundamental mathematical concepts. 
  • Emphasize basic mathematical functions and their applications. 
  • Ensure simplicity and familiarity with numbers. 

Learn more: How can I study MBA in top colleges?

Preparation Tips for MBA Entrance Exams 

Successfully cracking MBA entrance exams requires not only hard work but also a smart approach to your preparation. Here are some detailed tips to excel in each section: 

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): 

  • Grammar Mastery: Invest time in understanding the fundamental rules of English grammar. This knowledge will help you identify and correct errors in sentences. 
  • Extensive Reading: Develop a habit of reading newspapers, magazines, and quality literature. Reading regularly not only improves comprehension but also enhances your vocabulary. 
  • Solve Practice Sets: Practice exercises related to sentence correction, error identification, and paragraph completion. Focus on different question types to cover a broad range of possibilities. 
  • Time Management: Manage your time effectively during the actual exam. Allocate specific durations for each section to ensure you have ample time for all questions. 
  • Mocks and Analysis: Take full-length mock tests, and carefully analyze your performance. Identify your weak areas and work on them systematically. 

Read more: How to improve vocabulary for CAT exam?

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR): 

  • Regular Practice: Consistent practice is crucial for mastering DILR. Work on problems from various sources to improve your problem-solving skills. 
  • Puzzle Solving: Puzzles are a significant part of DILR. Make solving puzzles a daily habit to enhance your analytical thinking and pattern recognition. 
  • Develop Strategies: Create your unique approaches to solve different types of questions. What works for you might not work for others, so find your own problem-solving methods. 
  • Time Management: Efficiently manage your time during the exam. Some problems may take longer, so identify when to skip a question and return to it later. 
  • Previous Year Papers: Study previous years' question papers to become familiar with the types of questions commonly asked. This can help you strategize your preparation. 

Read more: How to prepare for data interpretation for CAT?

Quantitative Ability (QA): 

  • Build a Strong Foundation: Ensure you have a clear understanding of basic mathematical concepts up to the 10th-grade level. QA doesn't focus on complex theories but rather the application of fundamental math. 
  • Practice Mental Math: Work on your mental math skills to solve problems quickly. This will be especially useful for questions that require rapid calculations. 
  • Use Alternative Methods: Traditional problem-solving methods may not be the most efficient. Experiment with different techniques to find the most effective approach for you. 
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Don't ignore any topic in the QA section. Even if you excel in one area, neglecting others could be detrimental to your performance. 
  • Work on Speed and Accuracy: QA often includes questions with complex numbers or extensive calculations. Practice improving your speed without compromising accuracy. 

Read more: How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT?

cat 2023 test series

cat 2023 test series

Best Books for MBA Entrance Exam Preparation 

Here are some of the best books to help you prepare for MBA entrance exams: 

Section Book Author
Verbal Ability Wiley's Exam Xpert Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Captain AK Kalia
Verbal Ability How to Prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhayay
Verbal Ability Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis
Logical Reasoning A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning R S Aggarwal
Logical Reasoning Complete Guide for MAT and Other MBA Entrance Exams Disha Experts
Logical Reasoning Concepts of LR - Logical Reasoning for CAT & Other MBA Exams Gajendra Kumar
Quantitative Ability How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Ability Quantitative Aptitude Quantum Cat Sarvesh K Sharma
Quantitative Ability Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations R S Aggarwal

Choose the books that align with your strengths and weaknesses in each section. 

Refer: CAT Exam Preparation Books

Preparing for MBA Entrance Exams at Home 

How to start preparing for CAT by self-study? If you're looking to prepare for MBA entrance exams from the comfort of your home, here's how to do it effectively: 

  • Strengthen your English language skills by studying grammar rules. 
  • Create a well-structured study timetable. 
  • Practice using sample papers and mock tests. 
  • Balance your preparation with proper rest. 
  • Stay motivated and focused on your goals. 

MBA entrance exams require dedication and consistency, so follow these tips for a successful preparation journey. 

Know more: Difference between IIM After 12th and IIM after MBA

In conclusion, starting your MBA entrance exam preparation with a well-structured plan and the right resources is key to your success. Choose the exams that align with your goals, focus on each section, practice consistently, and follow expert advice.

By following these guidelines, you can embark on your MBA journey with confidence and determination. Good luck! 

Check: Best Institutes for Management Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I begin my MBA exam preparation?

How do I choose the right MBA entrance exams for me?

What are the major MBA entrance exams in India?

What's the ideal study plan for MBA preparation?

Which books are recommended for MBA entrance exam preparation?

Can I prepare for MBA entrance exams at home?

How do I choose the best MBA entrance exams for my career goals?

How to Start MBA Preparation for 2024?

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

November 4, 2023

SHARE

Summary: Ace MBA entrance exams with tailored study plans, exam insights, and expert tips. Craft a schedule, choose the right exams, and prepare for each section effectively. Boost your Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation, and Quantitative Ability skills with recommended books. Whether at home or in a classroom, set your MBA journey on the path to success. 

If you aspire to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA), you need to prepare for the challenging entrance exams that are part of the admission process. MBA entrance exam preparation can be demanding due to the vast syllabus, high-level questions, and intense competition.  

To help you embark on your MBA preparation journey, this article provides insights into creating a smart study plan, understanding various MBA entrance exams, outlining their patterns, and offering essential tips for excelling in these exams. Let's explore the world of MBA exam preparation. 

Check: How to start preparation for CAT exam?

Creating a Study Plan for MBA Entrance Exams 

Before diving into the specifics of MBA entrance exams, it's crucial to craft a study plan tailored to your needs. Here's how to begin: 

  • Self-Assessment: Analyze your strengths and weaknesses in different subjects. This will help you allocate more time to areas where you need improvement. 
  • Choose the Right Exams: Determine which MBA entrance exams align with your preferred colleges, exam patterns, syllabi, and difficulty levels. 
  • Set Realistic Goals: Define your target scores and deadlines. Having clear objectives will keep you motivated throughout the preparation journey. 
  • Create a Study Timetable: Develop a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule that balances your study hours with other commitments. Consistency is key. 
  • Gather Resources: Collect study materials, reference books, and online resources that are relevant to your chosen exams. 
  • Seek Guidance: Join coaching classes or online courses if you prefer structured guidance. Experienced mentors can provide valuable insights and strategies. 
  • Track Progress: Regularly evaluate your performance by taking practice tests and assessing your strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Stay Healthy: Maintain a balanced lifestyle by prioritizing sleep, nutrition, and physical activity. A healthy mind and body are essential for optimal exam preparation. 

Check: CAT Exam Preparation Strategy

Popular MBA Entrance Exams in India 

Choosing the right MBA entrance exams depends on factors like your target colleges, exam pattern familiarity, syllabus comfort, and the exam's difficulty level. Here's a list of prominent MBA entrance exams in India: 

Name of the MBA Entrance Exam About the Exam
Common Admission Test (CAT) Conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), CAT is the most widely accepted exam for Tier-1 MBA colleges in India.
Management Aptitude Test (MAT) MAT, organized by the All India Management Association (AIMA), is held four times a year and is commonly accepted by Tier-2 and Tier-3 MBA colleges.
Common Management Aptitude Test (CMAT) CMAT is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and is accepted by AICTE and UGC-recognized MBA colleges in India.
Maharashtra Common Entrance Test (MAH-CET) Also known as MAH MBA CET, this state-level exam is administered by the State Common Entrance Cell of Maharashtra and is accepted by MBA colleges within the state.
Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT) Conducted by XLRI, Jamshedpur, XAT is widely accepted by MBA colleges across the country.
Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) GMAT is a popular entrance exam for international as well as Indian MBA colleges and is administered by the Graduate Management Admissions Council (GMAC).
IBSAT (ICFAI Business School Aptitude Test) Organized by ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, IBSAT is accepted by ICFAI Business Schools and affiliated institutions for MBA admissions.
NMAT (Narsee Monjee Management Aptitude Test) GMAC conducts NMAT, which is accepted by various business schools in India and abroad, including NMIMS.
SNAP (Symbiosis National Aptitude Test) Symbiosis International University conducts SNAP for admission to MBA and postgraduate programs offered by Symbiosis institutes.
IIFT (Indian Institute of Foreign Trade) IIFT conducts its entrance exam for its MBA (International Business) program, focusing on international business and trade.
ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions) AIMS conducts ATMA, accepted by numerous management institutions in India for their MBA programs.

The choice of an exam should be made based on your preferences and an understanding of the exam's requirements. 

Read more: Difference between CAT and CMAT exam

cat 2023 super-30 course

cat 2023 super-30 course

MBA Entrance Exam Patterns 

Each MBA entrance exam has a unique pattern, with variations in the number of sections, total marks, and question types. To help you choose the right exam and prepare effectively, here's an overview of popular MBA entrance exams' patterns: 

Exam Sections Duration No. of Questions Marks for Correct Answers Negative Marking
CAT 3 120 mins 100 +3 -1
MAT 5 150 mins 200 +1 -1/4
CMAT 4 180 mins 100 +4 -1
MAH CET 4 150 mins 200 +1 No Negative Marking
XAT 4 180 mins 100 +1 -1
GMAT 4 187 mins 80 +1 No Negative Marking
IBSAT 4 120 mins 140 +1 No Negative Marking
NMAT 3 120 mins 108 +1 No Negative Marking
SNAP 3 60 mins 60 +1 -1/4
IIFT 4 120 mins 110 +3 -1/3
ATMA 6 180 mins 180 +1 -1/4

These exams may include sections like Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). The specific weightage of these sections may vary, so make sure to check each exam's detailed pattern. 

Check: How to get into IIM without CAT?

What to Study for MBA Entrance Exams 

For a successful MBA entrance exam preparation, focus on three crucial sections: 

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): 

  • Improve English language skills, including grammar and comprehension. 
  • Develop a good vocabulary. 
  • Practice reading and understanding complex passages. 

2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR): 

  • Enhance data interpretation skills. 
  • Sharpen logical and analytical reasoning. 
  • Solve complex problems quickly and accurately. 

Check: How much time is required to prepare for CAT?

3. Quantitative Ability (QA): 

  • Focus on fundamental mathematical concepts. 
  • Emphasize basic mathematical functions and their applications. 
  • Ensure simplicity and familiarity with numbers. 

Learn more: How can I study MBA in top colleges?

Preparation Tips for MBA Entrance Exams 

Successfully cracking MBA entrance exams requires not only hard work but also a smart approach to your preparation. Here are some detailed tips to excel in each section: 

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): 

  • Grammar Mastery: Invest time in understanding the fundamental rules of English grammar. This knowledge will help you identify and correct errors in sentences. 
  • Extensive Reading: Develop a habit of reading newspapers, magazines, and quality literature. Reading regularly not only improves comprehension but also enhances your vocabulary. 
  • Solve Practice Sets: Practice exercises related to sentence correction, error identification, and paragraph completion. Focus on different question types to cover a broad range of possibilities. 
  • Time Management: Manage your time effectively during the actual exam. Allocate specific durations for each section to ensure you have ample time for all questions. 
  • Mocks and Analysis: Take full-length mock tests, and carefully analyze your performance. Identify your weak areas and work on them systematically. 

Read more: How to improve vocabulary for CAT exam?

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR): 

  • Regular Practice: Consistent practice is crucial for mastering DILR. Work on problems from various sources to improve your problem-solving skills. 
  • Puzzle Solving: Puzzles are a significant part of DILR. Make solving puzzles a daily habit to enhance your analytical thinking and pattern recognition. 
  • Develop Strategies: Create your unique approaches to solve different types of questions. What works for you might not work for others, so find your own problem-solving methods. 
  • Time Management: Efficiently manage your time during the exam. Some problems may take longer, so identify when to skip a question and return to it later. 
  • Previous Year Papers: Study previous years' question papers to become familiar with the types of questions commonly asked. This can help you strategize your preparation. 

Read more: How to prepare for data interpretation for CAT?

Quantitative Ability (QA): 

  • Build a Strong Foundation: Ensure you have a clear understanding of basic mathematical concepts up to the 10th-grade level. QA doesn't focus on complex theories but rather the application of fundamental math. 
  • Practice Mental Math: Work on your mental math skills to solve problems quickly. This will be especially useful for questions that require rapid calculations. 
  • Use Alternative Methods: Traditional problem-solving methods may not be the most efficient. Experiment with different techniques to find the most effective approach for you. 
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Don't ignore any topic in the QA section. Even if you excel in one area, neglecting others could be detrimental to your performance. 
  • Work on Speed and Accuracy: QA often includes questions with complex numbers or extensive calculations. Practice improving your speed without compromising accuracy. 

Read more: How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT?

cat 2023 test series

cat 2023 test series

Best Books for MBA Entrance Exam Preparation 

Here are some of the best books to help you prepare for MBA entrance exams: 

Section Book Author
Verbal Ability Wiley's Exam Xpert Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Captain AK Kalia
Verbal Ability How to Prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhayay
Verbal Ability Word Power Made Easy Norman Lewis
Logical Reasoning A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning R S Aggarwal
Logical Reasoning Complete Guide for MAT and Other MBA Entrance Exams Disha Experts
Logical Reasoning Concepts of LR - Logical Reasoning for CAT & Other MBA Exams Gajendra Kumar
Quantitative Ability How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma
Quantitative Ability Quantitative Aptitude Quantum Cat Sarvesh K Sharma
Quantitative Ability Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations R S Aggarwal

Choose the books that align with your strengths and weaknesses in each section. 

Refer: CAT Exam Preparation Books

Preparing for MBA Entrance Exams at Home 

How to start preparing for CAT by self-study? If you're looking to prepare for MBA entrance exams from the comfort of your home, here's how to do it effectively: 

  • Strengthen your English language skills by studying grammar rules. 
  • Create a well-structured study timetable. 
  • Practice using sample papers and mock tests. 
  • Balance your preparation with proper rest. 
  • Stay motivated and focused on your goals. 

MBA entrance exams require dedication and consistency, so follow these tips for a successful preparation journey. 

Know more: Difference between IIM After 12th and IIM after MBA

In conclusion, starting your MBA entrance exam preparation with a well-structured plan and the right resources is key to your success. Choose the exams that align with your goals, focus on each section, practice consistently, and follow expert advice.

By following these guidelines, you can embark on your MBA journey with confidence and determination. Good luck! 

Check: Best Institutes for Management Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I begin my MBA exam preparation?

How do I choose the right MBA entrance exams for me?

What are the major MBA entrance exams in India?

What's the ideal study plan for MBA preparation?

Which books are recommended for MBA entrance exam preparation?

Can I prepare for MBA entrance exams at home?

How do I choose the best MBA entrance exams for my career goals?

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