ATMA Preparation Tips, Strategy and Books

By Chinmaya Karadia

ATMA (AIMS Test for Management Admissions) is a comprehensive and single-window test for admission to postgraduate management programmes offered by various institutions across India. The exam is conducted at the national level by the AIMS (Association of Indian Management Schools). Compared to other management exams, ATMA is not tough but requires careful and strategic planning in order to clear it. The scores of ATMA can help determine a candidate's suitability for management education and career.

How to prepare for ATMA 2021?

ATMA is conducted four to five times a year. It is one of the popular MBA exams in the country. According to ATMA 2021 exam pattern, the exam consists of Analytical Reasoning, Quantitative and Verbal Skills. There will be a total six sections divided into two parts. Candidates must master these topics in order to get a good score. Both online and offline study materials will help you crack the ATMA exam 2021. The ideal time required for ATMA exam preparation is one year. In the first two to three months, candidates should focus on learning the basic concepts and brush up the fundamentals of the topics. Candidates must attempt previous years question papers to score well in the exam. It will help the candidates to know the variety and designs of questions that come in the paper. The cutoff is the minimum marks required in the entrance examination to qualify for the next rounds of the admission process. Colleges accepting ATMA scores will release their respective cut-offs hence it is not decided by the conducting authority(AIMS). The ATMA 2021 answer key will release after the exam is over.

  • The exam consists of 180 multiple choice questions to be completed within 180 minutes.
  • The question paper is divided into 6 sections and each section consists of 30 questions.
  • Candidates are advised to select only one appropriate answer to each question out of 4 options.
  • Candidates appearing for ATMA 2021 are suggested to go through ATMA Paper Analysis for better preparation.


Candidates should focus on the three core areas that come in the exam i.e.

 Here, we have mentioned how to prepare each section wisely and efficiently.

Quantitative Aptitude: This section has questions that are based on the 12th standard syllabus of Mathematics structured by NCERT. This section will contain 60 questions divided into two parts. The maximum time that will be allotted to the candidates to complete the section is 60 minutes. Candidates should consider their books of Senior Secondary and also practice mock test papers to get the idea about the structure of ATMA question paper and the topics that must be considered important. Topics such as permutation and combination, inequality, number series, probability, quadratic equation, statistics, pie chart must be practiced properly. 

Verbal Skill: This section will be divided into two parts, Verbal Ability/English Usage and Reading Comprehension. This section will also consist of 60 questions in total which the candidates must aim to solve within the allotted time period of 60 minutes. To ace this section, the candidates must polish their vocabulary and Grammar skills with the help of magazines, newspapers along with basic Grammar books to strengthen their fundamentals. 

Analytical Reasoning: Reasoning section is all about practice. Candidates should practice mock test papers to improve their analytical reasoning skills. This section will test the candidate’s ability to analyse and assimilate a given statement and reach a conclusion on the basis of their understanding. This section will be divided into Analytical Reasoning Skills Part-I and Part-II and the candidates will have 60 minutes to try and attempt 60 questions in this section. To perform well in this section, the candidates must start solving riddles and puzzles.


All competitive level examinations are time-based. ATMA is no exception. Candidates are required to be very efficient with time management. They are required to attempt 180 questions in 180 minutes inferring 1 minute for each question. It is very important to plan the preparation schedule for the examination as it will eventually help the candidate during the examination to complete the test within the time limit. 

  1. Candidates must take into use previous years’ question papers to get the idea about the important topics and start preparing those topics first.
  2. Practice at least 1 mock test paper daily to pace yourself.
  3. Aspirants are advised to divide their time equally among each section so that they may get enough time to prepare every topic properly.
  4. A month before the commencement of examination should be kept for revision.
  5. Candidates are advised not to touch any new topic at the last moment as it will eventually result in confusion and waste of time.
  6. Candidates must carry the admit card along with a valid photo ID proof to their respective exam centres. 


To Apply in ATMA, Click here

Exam Pattern of ATMA 2021: 

The candidates should go through the exam pattern before appearing for the test. Here are the ATMA exam pattern highlights to give the candidates an overview of the exam.

Exam structure


Number of sections

6 (Analytical Reasoning Skills – I, Verbal Skills – I, Quantitative Skills – I, Analytical Reasoning Skills – II, Verbal Skills –II, Quantitative Skills – II)


180 minutes

Type of questions

Multiple choice questions (MCQs)

Total marks


Mode of examination


ATMA marking scheme

+1 mark for each correct answer


-0.25 for every wrong answer


Important Topics of ATMA 2021:

All these sections have a number of topics to be covered. Here we are providing a list of important topics from each section.

     Quantitative Aptitude

Verbal Skill

Analytical Reasoning

Binomial Theorem
Number System
Simple Interest
Quadratic Equations
Data Interpretation
Speed, Time and Distance
Pie Chart
Linear Equations
Compound Interest
Profit and Loss

Idioms and phrases
Sentence Completion
Word meanings
Jumbled Paragraph
One Word substitution
Fill in the blanks with words
Summary Questions
Cloze Passage
Sentence Correction

Verbal logic

Seating Arrangement
Statement – True/false
Data Sufficiency
Blood Relations
Number Series
Arrangement of letters
Statement– Conclusion
Pie Chart
Visual Reasoning
Venn Diagrams
Symbol decoding
Bar Graphs
Assumptions and Conclusion
Line charts
Direction Sense


For Detailed ATMA Syllabus, Click Here

Best Books for ATMA 2021:


Author/ Publisher

The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for MBA Entrance Examinations 

Dinesh Khattar 

The Complete Reference Manual for CMAT

SK Sinha

Krishna's Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations 


Fast Track Objective Arithmetic 

Rajesh Verma



Identify your strong and weak areas in all the sections. Buy the best study material for ATMA 2021 preparation. Improve your weak areas and monitor its improvement regularly. It’s all about concepts, accuracy and solving as many questions as possible within the stipulated time duration. It is the right time to be the witness of one’s own actions. So staying calm and focused is the secret mantra. Whenever you feel like giving up, just think once why you actually started it, that will keep you going.

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