|   India

Taking MAT to 35000+ masses across the country

The All India Management Association (AIMA) was established over 60 years ago to further management learning and practice in India. Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is AIMA’s flagship program. It is a prestigious and standardized test for admission in MBA programs in reputable B-schools. MAT was accredited as a national-level test in 2003 by the Government of India, with over 600 national and international B-schools accepting admissions based on the MAT score.

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Use Case

Online Examination Platform, Proctoring

What AIMA Bangalore achieved


applicants moved to the online mode


participation rate in proctored exam

Mercer | Mettl came across as one of the most robust platforms for AI-based proctoring. The AIMA teams that worked with Mercer | Mettl appreciated it for being accommodative, flexible and prompt. The Mercer | Mettl team never gave ‘no’ as an answer. They were always upfront about the specifications and customizations we requested from them. The professionalism and transparency of the team are highly commendable and appreciated by all of us.

Sanjeev Phatak

Director Centre For Management Services AIMA

Business Challenges

MAT is conducted four times annually and receives up to 100,000 applications every year from students who aspire admission in the B-school of their choice. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in lockdown in March when AIMA was already gearing up for the MAT examination in May. It forced AIMA to choose whether to defer the exam or shift to an online mode.


AIMA wanted the right technology partner after deciding on conducting MAT in May. While AIMA had already contemplated digitizing MAT, the pandemic expedited the process, making it explore the available technologies to conduct remote proctored exams and ensure exam continuity. Since thousands of students took MAT every year, AIMA wanted to offer an efficient alternative to center-based tests it conducted till now.


AIMA intended to offer its students the flexibility and freedom to take the exam from anywhere. The pandemic and the related infrastructural constraints left AIMA with the sole option of conducting virtual exams. However, maintaining the exam’s quality and credibility was equally a priority and a significant challenge, aside several issues for which AIMA needed quick solutions.


The four major challenges that AIMA needed to address immediately before shifting the MAT to the online mode were:

Cheating Prevention

Stakeholder Experience

Robustness and Scalability


Let’s explore them in detail


  • Cheating Prevention


MAT is a prestigious test accredited and endorsed by top government bodies. AIMA needed to ensure the credibility and success of the exercise. Curbing instances of cheating, impersonation, and other malpractices was a significant challenge in digitization. While eliminating the need to travel to a physical center to take the exam was a necessity during the pandemic, AIMA wanted to maintain control and quality over the execution of the exam.


Students were not under the direct supervision of physical invigilators. Therefore, AIMA suspected that students might indulge in unfair means, use phones, browse the internet for answers, or have someone answer the questions for them by impersonating or being present in the same room. For AIMA, virtual exams meant multiple distractions and cheating opportunities.


AIMA wanted to simulate the same level of credibility offered in the physical center-based exam. The high level of control in physical invigilation had been a standard practice for AIMA. The new mode of exam needed to offer the same authenticity.


  • Stakeholder experience


MAT is taken by thousands of students from far-flung towns across the country. AIMA prides itself on its reach in the remotest locations in India. The sheer volume and scale was a significant challenge in shifting MAT to an online mode of examination. Given its eminence and high-stakes, a massive number of applicants needed to access the test simultaneously and seamlessly, without technical glitches.


  • Robustness and scalability


The aspirations of thousands of applicants are hinged on this exam every year. It was vital to improve the test-takers’ experience while shifting the mode of the examination.


MAT had continually conducted center-based exams. Hence, facilitating a similar or improved experience was a notable concern for AIMA. Students were habitual of appearing for the exam in the traditional format. Therefore, a significant benchmark for the virtual mode of MAT was to ensure the same accessibility without hampering the candidate performance and experience.


  • Accessibility


A bulk of MAT applicants come from tier-3 and tier-4 cities, where internet connectivity and bandwidth are pertinent concerns. AIMA was apprehensive of disincentivizing aspirants from such geographies by moving to a virtual mode.


MAT was round the corner, and AIMA had a daunting task ahead. Its reputation, along with the other 600-plus institutes associated with it, was on the line. AIMA set out to partner with a compatible technology platform that could fulfill its varied requirements and address the challenges that had dissuaded it from going online till now.


The Solution- Mercer | Mettl’s proctoring and platform suite


Mercer | Mettl combined its top of the line tools and services to create an impeccable solution after understanding AIMA’s unique challenges and considering the importance of the MAT exam. Catering to AIMA’s every concern, Mercer | Mettl offered its state-of-the-art proctoring features, robust platform and services.


  • Proctoring suite: Artificial Intelligence (AI) + human proctoring


Mercer | Mettl assured AIMA of a double-layer proctoring – AI operating in the background, with human invigilators remotely monitoring the students.


AIMA’s concerns about students cheating and using unfair means to pass the test were put to rest with a 98% cheating detection rate. Mercer | Mettl’s AI-based proctoring flagged facial detection, voice detection, device detection, multiple people detection and other distractions.


The Mettl Secure Browser (MSB) enhanced the safety and security of MAT by enabling browser lockdown functions and allowing minimum navigation control to block all external ports. This addressed on-screen cheating and restricted test-takers’ access to all unauthorized resources. A notification was shared with the human proctor if they attempted to navigate away from the screen.


Human proctors could invigilate multiple candidates in a single view. They could zoom in on students, check on them, even chat with them to assuage their concerns or warn them. The system also recorded test-takers’ every activity and flagged questionable actions in a time log to ensure the examination’s credibility. These processes provided a verifiable mechanism to alleviate any doubts on the exam’s integrity and results.


The interventions mentioned-above created a watertight environment, negating any possibility of cheating.


  • A seamless and robust platform


Mercer | Mettl’s advanced platform provided a simple, interactive, and user-friendly interface to cater to MAT’s large scale while ensuring ease-of-use for all stakeholders.


Mercer | Mettl’s highly scalable and secure cloud-based platform was designed to seamlessly manage the magnitude of MAT applicants without glitches. Mercer | Mettl had already conducted 100,000 proctored assessments in a day, which assured AIMA of its platform’s prowess. Mercer | Mettl ensured that MAT was made accessible to everyone, irrespective of their location, with minimum requirements of low bandwidth internet connectivity and a webcam. This encouraged candidates even from tier-3 and tier-4 cities to take the exam from the convenience of their locations.


  • Exceptional delivery and support


Even though AIMA first contacted Mercer | Mettl in April to discuss the deliverables, Mercer | Mettl was committed to ensuring exam continuity for MAT’s test-takers. The company worked tirelessly to fulfill AIMA’s specifications, customized the tools and the service model, and successfully implemented the virtual exam within the promised timeline.


Mercer | Mettl’s uninterrupted operational support and promptness empowered AIMA to solve all its challenges and conduct nation-wide MAT with the same robustness and credibility as in a traditional format, making the alliance a resounding success.


AIMA’s technology partner: Experience with Mercer | Mettl


AIMA’s experience with Mercer | Mettl was enhanced because of its:

Rich Expertise

Customization & flexibility

Uninterrupted support

Here’s how –


  • Rich expertise


For AIMA, Mercer | Mettl’s rich expertise and experience in conducting large-scale and high-stakes examinations over a span of seven to eight years played a crucial role in assuaging its concerns about scale and credibility. Mercer | Mettl had enabled countless institutions to take their exams online, ensure high exam integrity, and facilitate cheating prevention through advanced measures. This assured AIMA of taking MAT virtual, with Mercer | Mettl’s platform proctoring suite.


  • Customization & flexibility


Due to AIMA’s immediate need and its accreditation with government bodies, it needed Mercer | Mettl to be flexible in its processes, tools, and service model. Mercer | Mettl accommodated all of AIMA’s prerequisites and modified its tools to fulfill the specifications of MAT.


  • Uninterrupted support


Given its maiden attempt at giving such a high-stakes exam online, AIMA needed 24×7 support and rudimentary hand-holding and training by a partner with considerable experience in facilitating such an undertaking. Mercer | Mettl offered continual assistance and impeccable support to AIMA to ensure a successful drive.


Mercer | Mettl’s examination platform and proctoring tools impacted MAT in several positive ways:

  • Enabled over 35000 applicants to move from offline to the online mode, seamlessly and without any technical or operational glitches.
  • Since MAT was conducted four times a year, AIMA anticipated a drop in the number of applicants for the remote proctored exam format. Contrary to AIMA’s expectations, MAT witnessed an uptick in participation from tier-3 and tier-4 cities. It was around 37% in the offline mode; after introducing remotely proctored exams, the participation rate increased to 45%.
  • The test was administered as planned in May, ensuring students’ career progression didn’t get impacted due to the pandemic.
  • Enhanced outreach


MAT is conducted in 55-57 cities in the country. While there is a sizable number of test-takers from tier-1 cities, aspiring students from tier-2, tier-3, and tier-4 cities participate more prominently. Since the test’s outreach was always limited to specific geographical locations, shifting to a virtual mode of exam resulted in an increase in the number of test-takers, especially from such distant areas, who didn’t have to travel to a center to appear for the test.


  • Greater convenience


Mercer | Mettl removed locational or center-related restrictions, enabling a vastly larger number of students to take the exam from the comfort of their homes.


Mercer | Mettl empowered AIMA to implement its vision by allowing aspiring students to take the exam and plan for higher education. MAT’s reach in remote locations has created more opportunities for future collaboration between AIMA and Mercer | Mettl.

Thousands of candidates have already taken the test on Mercer | Mettl’s platform. They are completely satisfied with the way the test has been conducted, the way the entire platform is deployed, and the processes that are extremely user friendly. I must say it has been a very successful journey.

Sanjeev Phatak
Director, Centre For Management Services, AIMA

The way forward


AIMA houses many departments under its name. The Center for Management Education offers degree programs and foreign universities exchange programs. AIMA is seeking to extend remotely proctored examinations to students of other programs who can also benefit from it.


Mercer | Mettl’s customization prowess has instilled a deep trust in AIMA that it can seamlessly undertake examinations of all formats and scale. AIMA is writing a new future of exams with Mercer | Mettl and digitizing education to ensure learning continuity.

Looking for an efficient alternative to center-based tests?

Learn how AIMA offered 35000+ students the flexibility and freedom to take the MAT exam from anywhere.

Learn how to conduct cheating-free online exams at scale

Mercer | Mettl helped AIMA increase its outreach and participation rate by shifting to a safe and credible virtual examination mode. We can help you too!

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