NMAT Exam Pattern 2021: Negative Marking, Marks Distribution, Total Marks

Exam Date

Nov 4, 2020

Result Date

Feb 13, 2021

Apr 22, 2021 | Management


The NMAT exam follows a similar pattern like other management entrance exams such as XAT and GMAT. The exam is a computer-based test in which the candidates are required to answer various Multiple Choice Questions based on the three major sections namely, Language Skills, Quantitative Aptitude, and Logical Reasoning. Each of these sections will have 36 questions. Candidates can re-appear for the test 15 days after their previous attempt. The test window for NMAT 2021 has increased to 88 days from the usual 75-day test window that was followed until NMAT 2020.

Candidates can appear for this exam thrice in a year. Out of the three attempts, the one in which the candidate has scored the highest will be considered for admission. All the updates related to NMAT 2021 exam pattern can be found on this page.

NMAT 2021 Revised Exam Pattern

NMAT is held as a computer-based test. The NMAT exam 2021 will have three main sections in the paper, namely- Logical Reasoning, Language Skills, and Quantitative Skills. Each section will have 36 multiple-choice questions which the candidates will have to answer in 2 hours.

NMAT 2021 Exam Pattern (Revised)
Conducting body/Authority GMAC or Graduate Management Admission Council
Exam Level National level Exam
Medium of the NMAT exam English
Number of Sections 3 (Language Skills, Quantitative Skills, and Logical Reasoning)
Total Number of Questions 108
Time Allotted 120 minutes or two hours
Type of Questions MCQ or Objective type questions
Mode of Exam Online mode or CBT (Computer Based Test)
Total Score Range 36 - 360

NMAT Marking Scheme 2021

The NMAT Marking scheme is important for all candidates to know so that they can prepare for the exam efficiently. The marking scheme has been revised along with the weightage of the three sections or subjects.

The NMAT marks distribution as per the latest update are as follows:

  • The total marks or the total score range for the NMAT exam is between 36 and 360.
  • The score range for all three sections or subjects is the same. The score range for each section is 12 to 120.
  • There is no negative marking, i.e., no marks will be deducted for any wrong answers.
  • There is 0 mark for unattempted questions. The candidate will not receive or lose any marks for an unattempted question.
  • Each question carries 3 marks. For every correct answer, the candidate will receive 3 marks.
  • After the completion of any particular section, all the answers submitted by the candidate will be considered final.

NMAT Marks Distribution 2021

The NMAT marks distribution is given in detail below. The changes or the revised paper pattern are very important for candidates who are appearing for the exam.

NMAT 2021 Score Range
Subjects/Sections Number of Questions Score Range
Logical Reasoning 36 12 - 120
Language Skills 36 12 - 120
Quantitative Skills 36 12 - 120

NMAT 2019 had a different number of questions for each section. The number of questions for the Logical Reasoning section was 40, the number of questions for the Quantitative Skills section was 48 and the number of questions for the Language Skills section was 32. GMAC has reduced the questions for Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Skills while increasing the number of questions for Language Skills. All the sections for NMAT exam 2021 now have 36 questions. The total number of questions has reduced from 120 to 108. Therefore, in the new exam pattern, the exam will now have a total number of 108 questions.

NMAT Section-wise Time Limit

In the new exam pattern for NMAT 2021, the time limit has also been revised. The table for the NMAT Section-wise time limit is given below.

NMAT Exam Pattern 2021 - Section-wise Time Limit
Sections/ Subjects Time Allotted
Logical Reasoning 40 Minutes
Language Skills 28 Minutes
Quantitative Skills 52 Minutes

The candidates must complete the sections or the subjects within the given time period. All candidates must keep in mind the time limit for each section. The total time allotted to complete the NMAT Exam 2021 is 120 minutes or two hours.

In NMAT 2019, the time limit for Logical Reasoning was 38 minutes, the time limit for Language Skills was 22 minutes and the time limit for Quantitative Skills was 60 minutes. The time limit for the Logical Reasoning and Language Skills section has been increased while the time limit for the Quantitative Skills section has been reduced.

Comparison With other Management Exams Pattern

NMAT is preferred by a lot of MBA aspirants. Since the difficulty of paper and competition in NMAT is relatively less compared to other management exams in India. It is helpful for all the candidates to look at the comparisons between the NMAT and other exams. This will help the candidates to understand the NMAT Exam Pattern 2021.

NMAT Exam Pattern vs CAT Exam Pattern

CAT is the most challenging exam in the bunch or family of management exams. A candidate who wants to take a similar but easy exam can very well choose NMAT over CAT and still make it to one of the good B-schools in India. Here below we have displayed the differences.

NMAT exam pattern vs CAT exam pattern
Particulars NMAT Exam Pattern CAT Exam Pattern
Sections Verbal - 36
Logical Reasoning - 36
Quant - 36
Verbal & RC - 26
DI & LR - 24
Quant - 26
Option to choose the order of exam Yes No
Total Questions 108 76
Total Duration 2 hours 2 hours
Negative Marking No negative marking 1 mark will be deducted for a wrong answer in MCQ. No negative marking for Non-MCQs
Top B- Schools Accepting Score NMIMS, VIT, XIMB IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IMI, IITS, XIMB

NMAT Exam Pattern vs XAT Exam Pattern

Again XAT becomes one of the most challenging management exams. So a student who wants a comparatively easier exam can very well choose XAT over NMAT. Here are a few points to consider.

NMAT exam pattern vs XAT exam pattern
Particulars NMAT Exam Pattern XAT Exam Pattern
Sections Verbal - 36
Logical Reasoning - 36
Quant - 36
Part 1: Verbal & Logical Reasoning - 26
Quant & DI - 28
Decision Making - 21
Part 2: General Knowledge - 25
Option to choose the order of exam Yes All questions will be open and questions can be attended randomly with the 180 minutes
Total Questions 108 100
Total Duration 2 hours 3 hours
Negative Marking No negative marking 1/4 of mark will be deducted for MCQ

Time break-up of actions required during NMAT 2021

The time break up of the online NMAT test 2021 is given below.

NMAT Time Break-up
Action Time Allowed
Accepting Non-disclosure terms and conditions 2 minutes
Tutorial before test 10 minutes
Selection of Section and Sequencing 3 minutes
Attempting the Computer-based test (MCQs) 108 minutes


Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management, [LBSIM] New Delhi



Xavier Institute of Social Service,  [XISS] Ranchi



LPU, Jalandhar

MBA (Total Fees) Rs. 760000


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