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CAT Exam Analysis 2019: Slot 1 Analysis and Slot 2 Analysis 
Updated on November 5, 2019

 

CAT Analysis 2019
CAT 2019 Exam Analysis will be released by MBAUniverse.com separately for slot-1 and slot-2 exam sessions on November 24, 2019 immediately after the exam is over.

 

We will release the Slot-1 CAT Exam analysis 2019 by 1.00 PM on November 24, the CAT exam date. The slot-2 Analysis for CAT Exam 2029 will be released after 5.30PM. Apart from CAT Analysis 2019 by MBAUniverse.com, the analysis from top CAT preparation & Coaching institutes will also be published on this page.  

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The key components of CAT exam Analysis 2019 are:

  • Slot-1 CAT 2019 Analysis with cut offs will be released by 1 PM on Nov 24, 2019
  • Slot-2 CAT 2019 Analysis with cut offs will be released by 6 PM on November 24, 2019
  • Comprehensive CAT Analysis 2019 with cut offs will be published at 6.30 PM on Nov 24, 2019
  • CAT Analysis will cover comparative CAT exam difficulty level as against the last year
  • The analysis will also reflect upon the changes in question pattern, number & type of questions – MCQs & Non MCQs, Surprise elements, ideal attempts among other key features
  • CAT Exam Analysis 2019 will also compare the changes in expected percentile viz-a-viz CAT score and cut offs over last year

CAT Exam Pattern: Last 3 Years
CAT exam pattern was totally changed in 2015 by IIM Ahmedabad. Major changes since then have continued till the last year CAT exam. During the last 4 years, CAT exam has effected many changes as under:

  • CAT exam has increased number of 100 questions now instead of 60
  • There are 3 sections in CAT exam now instead of 2 sections
  • Two types of questions are placed in CAT question paper: MCQs with negative marking and Non-MCQs without negative marking
  • There are 70-72 MCQ type questions in CAT and 28-30 Non-MCQ type questions
  • The CAT exam 2019 analysis is expected to reflect a changed difficulty level and twisted type of questions among other things

Check CAT Percentile Predictor Here

 

CAT Exam Analysis at a Glance: Last 4 Years
A quick fact based CAT Exam Analysis for last four years after the CAT exam pattern was overhauled in 2015, will clarify further what to expect in CAT exam 2019 and the key features of CAT exam even before your read the CAT 2019 Exam Analysis after the CAT is over on November 24, 2019: 

CAT Exam Year
2018
2017
2016
2015
CAT Exam Date
November 25
November 26
December 4
November 29
CAT Exam Conducting IIM
IIM Calcutta
IIM Lucknow
IIM Bangalore
IIM Ahmedabad
Difficulty Level
Higher than last year: Lengthy RC Passages; more Difficult DILR; Quant was more Calculation intensive
Easier than Last Year: Few questions Easy, few Moderate and some Difficult
Moderate to Difficult
First CAT after changed pattern. Remained Moderate to Difficult
99 Percentile Cut off  Score
160-165
153-155
161-166
170-173
Total Questions
100
100
100
100
Exam Duration
3 hours
3 hours
3 hours
3 hours
Exam Format
Computer Based
Computer Based
Computer Based
Computer Based
Maximum Marks
300
300
300
300
Marking Pattern
+3 for each correct answer
+3 for each correct answer
+1 for each correct answer
+3 for each correct answer
Negative Marking
- 1 Mark for each wrong answer (For MCQs only)
- 1 Mark for each wrong answer
- 0.33 Mark for each wrong answer
- 1 Mark for each wrong answer
Type of Questions
MCQs & Non-MCQs 
MCQs & Non-MCQs
MCQs & Non MCQs
MCQs & Non-MCQs
Type of Questions with Negative Marking
MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions
MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)
MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)
MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions)
Type of Questions Without Negative Marking
Non-MCQs (TITA questions – Answer to be typed in on computer screen)
Non-MCQs (Answer to be written on Computer Screen)
Non-MCQs (Answer to be written on Computer Screen)
Non-MCQs (Answer to be written on Computer Screen)
Number of MCQs
73
74
75
72
Number of Non-MCQs
27
26
25
28
Answer options (MCQs)
4
4
4
4
Number of Sections
3
3
3
3
Name of Sections with Number of Questions
 
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34

CAT Exam Analysis

Detailed CAT Exam Analysis
Last four years detailed CAT exam analysis by MBAUniverse.com is shared here:

 

CAT 2018 Analysis
CAT 2018 Slot-2 exam got over at 5.30PM on November 25, 2018. Candidates reported a difficult DILR and moderate to difficult Quant. The CAT 2018 slot 2 exam remained on similar pattern as that of Slot-1 exam except that DILR and Quant were reported on slightly higher difficulty level.

 

Here is the detailed CAT 2018 Slot-2 exam Analysis. While there was no surprise element in the test structure of CAT 2018 Exam Slot-2, it had a few changes as compared to slot-1 exam.

 

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis: Slot 2 Pattern

 
Total Questions
Non MCQs
MCQs
Difficulty Level
VARC
34
7
27
Moderate
DILR
32
8
24
Moderate to Difficult
Quant
34
12
22
Somewhat Difficult

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis: Key changes in exam pattern

  • DILR was on difficult side, Quant was calculation intensive
  • RC Passages were found lengthy
  • Non-MCQs have remained 27 as were in slot 1in CAT 2018 as compared to 26 in CAT 2017 with different number of questions in each section as compared to last year.
  • VARC had 7 Non-MCQs, DILR 8 and Quant 12
  • RC passages were 5 in Slot 2 of CAT 2018 with changed number of questions as compared to CAT 2017.
  • Although total number of RC based questions were 24 as were in last year CAT exam, the 4 RC passages were followed by 5 questions and 1 RC passage was followed by 4 questions instead of 6 Questions and 3 questions format that followed the the CAT pattern till last year.
  • More Arithmetic and Algebra questions appeared in CAT 2018 slot-2.
  • No change in Scoring pattern: Scoring pattern in CAT 2018 has remained to +3 for correct answer and -1 for wrong answer for MCQs and +3 for correct answer and 0 negative marking for wrong answer in Non-MCQs
  • Many non MCQS had answer options also. The correct answers had to be typed in the given space.

CAT Exam Section wise Analysis

 

VARC

  • The first section on VARC had 34 questions.
  • RC Based questions were 24
  • RC based questions were found a bit tricky in slot 2
  • Verbal Ability section had 10 questions
  • Para Jumbles had 4 sentence structure and were easier
  • Non MCQs were 7 without negative marking
  • The 5 RC Passages were on Use of Technology for Employee Assessment, Meritocracy and Diversified Teams, Saturn Rings and their age, Human Resources, Grover Snails
  • The comparatively smaller RC passage on Grover Snails had four questions. Rest others were followed by 5 questions each making the total RC based questions as 24.

DILR

There was one very direct DI set with basic calculations. The focus and strategy should have been the quality of the selected sets rather the quantity of the numbers of questions attempted. A couple of sets did have a question each which should have been ‘left alone’. Two sets included calculation but none was on the tougher side. On the other hand, the LR sets were easy-moderate in terms of level of difficulty.

  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) questions were of moderate to tough difficulty level.
  • One DI set was Direct and could be solved with basic calculations
  • Two sets were of moderate difficulty level while other two can be termed as slightly more difficult
  • Some of the DI question sets were on Products of three companies; Currency exchange rates; Smart phones
  • Logical Reasoning Sets were on Moderate difficulty side
  • Questions were in sets. Some of the topics are – Room and Time arrangement for 7 people, Coding; Set Theory
  • Candidates could not attempt beyond 10-12 questions out of 32.

Quantitative Ability

  • Quantitative Ability section had 34 questions
  • Maximum number of 12 Non-MCQs were in Quant section
  • More questions were on Arithmetic and Algebra
  • Quant had more calculation intensive questions
  • Overall the section was slightly on higher difficulty side.

There would not be much deviation in CAT slot 2 on the score front that could fetch the same percentile as in slot 1. The raw score between 155-165 could fetch a percentile of 98-99 in CAT 2018. 

 

CAT 2018 Slot 1 Analysis
Here is the CAT 2018 Slot-1 exam Analysis. The CAT 2018 Slot 1 got over at 12.00 Noon. CAT 2018 slot 1 was more difficult than CAT 2017.

 

While there was no surprise element in the test structure of CAT 2018 Exam Slot-1, it had number of changes as compared to last year. However, the overall exam pattern was same.

 

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis: Slot 1 Pattern

 
Total Questions
Non MCQs
MCQs
Difficulty Level
VARC
34
7
27
Moderate
DILR
32
8
24
Moderate to Difficult
Quant
34
12
22
Somewhat Difficult

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis: Key changes in exam pattern

  • Total number of Non-MCQ type of questions have increased to 27 in CAT 2018 as compared to 26 in CAT 2017 with different number of questions in each section as compared to last year.
  • Number of Non-MCQs in VARC section have increased to 7
  • RC passages were 5 in Slot 1 of CAT 2018 with changed number of questions as compared to CAT 2017.
  • While total number of RC based questions were 24 as were in last year CAT exam, the 4 RC passages were followed by 5 questions and 1 RC passage was followed by 4 questions instead of 6 Questions and 3 questions format that followed the CAT pattern till 2017.
  • Quant section had highest number of 12 Non-MCQs as compared to 10 Non-MCQs in CAT 2017 slot-1.
  • More Arithmetic intensive questions appeared in CAT 2018 slot-1.
  • No change in Scoring pattern: Scoring pattern in CAT 2018 has remained to +3 for correct answer and -1 for wrong answer for MCQs and +3 for correct answer and 0 negative marking for wrong answer in Non-MCQs
  • Many non MCQS had answer options also. The correct answers had to be typed in the given space.

CAT 2018 Slot-1 Section-wise Analysis

 

VARC

  • The first section on VARC had 34 questions.
  • Non MCQs were 7 without negative marking
  • The passages were of around 500 words in CAT 2018 as compared to 800 words in 2017.
  • Total RC Based questions were 24
  • The topics on which RC passages were formed are: Genetics with four questions. Other passages on Second World War; Plastic Pollution; Elephant society; Consumer Behaviour were followed by 5 questions each
  • Passages had inference based questions also.
  • Two passages on 2nd World War; plastic pollution were easier.

DILR
Most of the candidates found the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) questions more difficult and could not attempt beyond 10-12 questions out of 32.

 

Quantitative Ability
Quantitative Ability section despite having highest number of 12 Non-MCQs out of 34 questions was found on slightly higher difficulty side. Geometry part was however, found to be a bit more difficult in CAT 2018.

 

CAT 2018 raw score between 155-165 could fetch a percentile of 98-99.

 

CAT 2017 Exam Analysis
CAT 2017 Slot 1, which began at 9AM on November 26, 2017, got over at 12noon. No major technical glitch was reported. As expected, total number of questions were 100. VARC section was of 34 questions, DI LR with 32 questions and Quantitively section had 34 questions. DILR was the toughest section, while Quantitative was easy with more arithmetic question. Verbal and RC were moderately difficulty. Overall, because the paper was slightly easier and on predictable lines, Cut offs for 99% and 95% are expected to go up.

 

CAT 2017 Exam: Slot-1 Paper Overview

No. of Sections
3
Total Number of Questions
100
No. of choices per questions (MCQs)
4
Marks per Question
+3
Negative Marking (for MCQs)
-1
Negative Marking for Non-MCQs
Nil

CAT 2017 Exam: Slot 1 Sectional Pattern Overview

Section
No. of MCQs
No. of non-MCQs
Total no of Qns
Total Marks
Score Cut off for 95%
Section I – Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
27
7
34
102
57-59
Section II – Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
24
8
32
96
29-31
Section III – Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
23
11
34
102
55-57
Total
74
26
100
300
142-145

CAT 2017 Slot 1 Analysis

 

CAT 2017 Slot 1 Exam: Key changes
Key changes in CAT 2017 Slot 1 exam are:

  • Total number of no-penalty Non-MCQ type of questions increased to 26 in CAT 2017 with variation in number of questions in each section as compared to last year which had 25 Non-MCQs
  • Number of  Non-MCQs in VARC section stand reduced to 7 as compared to 10 last year
  • Quant section had highest number of 11 Non-MCQs in CAT 2017 slot-1 as compared to 7 last year.
  • More Arithmetic intensive questions appeared in CAT 2017 slot-1 leading the section on easier side
  • Scoring pattern in CAT 2017 restored to +3 for correct answer and -1 for wrong answer for MCQs as against +1 and -0.33 last year. 
  1. Verbal and Reading Comprehension:
  • Total Questions: 34
  • 24 questions on Reading comprehension in 5 passages MCQ type
  • 10 questions in Verbal out of which 7 were Non-MCQ type
  • Section difficulty was moderate

Analysis of Type and Content of questions in VARC

 

Reading Comprehension

  • Number of RC passages: 5 (2 short, 3 long)
  • Short RC passage followed by 3 questions each; Long RC passage followed by 6 questions each
  • Format of RC based questions: MCQs with 1/3 negative marking

RC passages were based on the topics like:

  • Loss of Jobs due to closing of small shops (stores) but compensated by Malls
  • North India getting preferred to East India in past few hundred years
  • How Gutenberg Press brought revolution and changed the world with printing of books, pamphlets, literature and helped the people become free from traditions imposed by clerics.
  • Other topics were also based on modernization, Geographical Diversification of Maps

Verbal Ability

  • Format of Verbal questions:  7 Non-MCQs, 3 MCQs
  • Jumbled Paragraphs: 4 questions each comprising 5 Jumbled Sentences:Time consuming
  • Odd Sentence Out: 3 questions with jumbled sentences out of which one sentence in each question has to be picked as ‘Odd sentence out’
  • Para Summary: 3 questions were on choosing the correct sentence summarising the short paragraph. Each question was on different topic.
  1. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning:
  • Total Questions: 32; All questions in sets of 4 questions each
  • 16 Questions on DI
  • 16 on LR
  • 8 Non MCQs
  • Section difficulty was high; this will be make or break section for top B-schools. Lengthy and calculation intensive questions.

Analysis of Type and Content of questions in DILR

 

Data Interpretation (DI)

  • Format of questions: 12 MCQs and 4 Non-MCQs
  • Number of problems: Each of the 4 Problem was followed by a set of 4 Questions

Topics of DI problems:

  • Happiness Index: 4 questions based on Table
  • Kids Learning in Rural Areas: Data table based 4 questions.
  • Flight operation
  • 1 question set had inherent data on which 4 questions each was based

Logical Reasoning (LR)

  • Format of questions: 12 MCQs and 4 Non-MCQs
  • Number of problems: 4
  • Each problem was followed by a set of 4 questions

Topics of LR problems:
Question sets were based on:

  • Seating Arrangement
  • Direction sense for Cars
  • Ordering items
  • Burgers/Fries/ Ice Cream
  1. Quantitative:
  • Total Questions: 34
  • More questions on Arithmetic
  • 11 Qs were Non-MCQ type
  • Section difficulty level was easy

Analysis of Type and Content of questions in Quant:

  • Arithmetic (10 questions) on Percentage, Profit & loss, Speed-distance, Time & Work (increase in manpower reduction in days of work to complete the project); Ratio and others
  • Geometry (3 problems based on Concepts)
  • Higher Math
  • Probability (Bayes Theorem)
  • Number System, Permutation and Combination
  • Integers
  • Algebra

Overall analysis

  • CAT 2017 Slot 1 exam paper was on easier side and similar to last year’s CAT.
  • Non-Engineers to benefit from lower difficulty in Quant section
  • Overall Cut off levels to go up from last year
  • Overall, CAT 2017 was slightly easier than CAT 2016.
  • Level of difficulty same as last year.
  • DI-LR: more difficult 99%ile at 36-37 marks
  • Quant is similar to CAT 2016, 99%ile is expected at 62-65 Marks
  • Verbal 99% at score of 65+
  • Over all 99%ile expected  at 153-155 marks 

CAT 2017 Slot 2 Analysis
CAT 2017 Slot-2 remained even easier than the Slot-1 exam, shares the CAT experts who appeared in the Slot-2 exam on November 26 from 2.30PM to 5.30PM. Moving towards becoming more market oriented instead of relying on Grammar, vocabulary or tricky mathematics, CAT 2017 Slot-2 has remained focused more on candidates’ understanding of English Comprehension, summarising the paragraphs, and making the exam more friendly to academically diverse candidates especially non-engineers.

 

With total questions remaining 100 as were in Slot-1, CAT 2017 Slot-2 has also kept the same number of MCQ and Non-MCQ type of questions in the exam. The difficulty level in Reading Comprehension passages and Quant questions has also remained on easier side while DILR despite dropping its difficulty level as compared to morning session, has again proved to be lengthy and time consuming. Students, despite knowing how to arrive at the answer could not attempt more question sets in DILR section only because of time constraint. However, candidates could not solve more than 4 sets in the morning slot but in the slot-2 many candidates have been able to solve upto 5 sets of questions in DILR section. It is expected that the cut offs in DILR section in slot-2 may be higher than in slot-1.

 

MBAUniverse.com research team has been the quickest to bring before you the CAT 2017 Slot-1 and Slot-2 exam analysis with all the inputs gathered from the test takers and CAT experts. The overall difficulty level of Slot-2 of CAT 2017 exam was not much different from the Slot-1 in CAT 2017. Both the exam slots were held in a single day today on November 26.

 

CAT 2017 slot-2 began on time at 2.30PM on November 26 with no technical glitches and with changed test content at the 144 test cities assigned with more testing venues and testing labs. Finally, CAT 2017 exam in both the slots got over at 5.30PM. Reporting time for the test was 90 minutes before the exam in CAT 2017.

 

Slot-2: Overall analysis

  • CAT 2017 Slot 2 exam paper was on easier side than Slot-1 held today in the morning
  • DILR remains tough and more time consuming
  • Overall CAT Cut off to go up

CAT 2017 Exam: Slot 2 Paper Pattern Sectional Overview 

Section
No. of MCQs
No. of non-MCQs
Total Questions
Total Marks
Score Cut off for 95%
Section I – Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
27
7
34
102
58-60
Section II – Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
24
8
32
96
30-32
Section III – Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
23
11
34
102
57-59
Total
74
26
100
300
142-145

Verbal and Reading Comprehension:

  • Total Questions: 34
  • 24 questions on Reading comprehension in 5 passages MCQ type
  • 10 questions in Verbal out of which 7 were Non-MCQ type
  • For the first time para summary questions appear as MCQ type with negative marking
  • Section difficulty was easy to moderate

Type and Content of questions in VARC in Slot-2
According to experts who took the exam today, following types of questions appeared in this section:

 

Reading Comprehension

  • Number of RC passages: 5 (2 short, 3 long)
  • Short RC passage followed by 3 questions each; Long RC passage followed by 6 questions each
  • Format of RC based questions: MCQs with 1/3 negative marking

RC passages were based on the topics like:

  • Snow and Climate
  • Deteriorating creativity among students
  • Use of Electric cars
  • Other topics were also based on modernization, different aspects of life

Verbal Ability

  • Format of Verbal questions:  7 Non-MCQs, 3 MCQs
  • Jumbled Paragraphs: 4 questions each comprising 5 Jumbled Sentences: a little time consuming
  • Odd Sentence Out: 3 questions with jumbled sentences out of which one sentence in each question has to be picked as ‘Odd sentence out’
  • Para Summary: 3 questions were on choosing the correct sentence summarising the short paragraph. Each question was on different topic and was in MCQ format

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Analysis of Type and Content of questions in DILR
According to experts who took the exam today, following types of questions appeared in this section:

 

Data Interpretation (DI)

  • Format of questions: 12 MCQs and 4 Non-MCQs
  • Number of problems: Each of the 4 Problem was followed by a set of 4 Questions

Topics of DI problems:

  • Table based set of questions on 300 students among 7 courses and one course was removed
  • Pizza company distributing 800 pizzas

Logical Reasoning (LR)

  • Format of questions: 12 MCQs and 4 Non-MCQs
  • Number of problems: 4
  • Each problem was followed by a set of 4 questions

Topics of LR problems:
Question sets were based on:

  • Set of 4 questions based on columns and rows of Chess Board- Queen’s attacking problem
  • Bar graph based question with 3 categories

Quantitative:

  • Total Questions: 34
  • More questions on Arithmetic
  • 11 Qs were Non-MCQ type
  • Section difficulty level was easy

Type and Content of questions in Quant section
According to experts who took the exam today, following types of questions appeared in this section:

 

Analysis of Type and Content of questions in Quant:

  • Arithmetic (9 questions) on Speed-distance, Time & Work; Ratio; Percentage, Profit & loss, Interest, time and distance
  • Geometry (4 problems)
  • Series and sequence- 3 questions
  • Mensuration-2 questions
  • Log & Inequality-1 question
  • Modulas-2 questions
  • Number system & PnC-3 questions
  • Algebra-4 questions

To summarize, well prepared students who took CAT 2017 Slot 2 exam, if attempted 24 in VARC, 14 in DILR, 24 in Quant with around 90% accuracy can score around 95 percentile. As compared to last year CAT, the overall paper of CAT 2017, considering Slot-1 and Slot-2 is that it is slightly easier without any surprises. The only surprise is much easier Quant section.

 

CAT Exam Analysis 2016

With both the sessions of CAT 2016 exam over on December 4, thousands of the students who interacted with us after coming out of the testing hall in the morning and afternoon session shared that the CAT 2016 test paper was moderate except that the Verbal Ability and few questions in Quant were found a bit more difficult. Most of them agreed that Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning was not as tough as was in CAT last year but was more lengthy and despite knowing how to solve, the time did not permit to solve all of them.

 

CAT 2016 was pretty much on the lines of last year CAT exam and was divided in 3 sections with 100 questions. Number of Non-MCQs in CAT 2016 was reduced to 25% from 28% last year which was a setback for many test takers since non-MCQs do not carry any negative marking. 

 

Students reported that there was a difference in the marking pattern as already announced by IIM Bangalore and was present in the instruction part of the actual exam. Earlier it was informed that the CAT 2016 exam would carry maximum 300 marks whereas the actual exam displayed 100 maximum marks.   

 

With QA becoming slightly tougher in the earlier and placing more questions on Arithmetic, the section chose to reduce the number of Non-MCQs from 10 to 7. The section also saw the reduction in weightage for higher maths. 

 

Online calculator remained a bit of help for non engineers and might improve the academic diversity in IIM class rooms in 2017. 

 

Reducing the number of slots from 4 to 2 and  the days from 2 to 1, has made CAT 2016 less biased. CAT 2016 could be a precursor to making CAT 2017 a single slot paper on a single day. That way, the entire issue of normalization between sets can be done away with and every student is tested on the same questions.

 

The score normalization should not be an issue in CAT 2016 as the normalization is clearly defined by the IIMs and therefore there is no scope for ambiguity, and heartburn, unlike in the past CAT exams. 

 

The actual CAT 2016 test paper
As was already announced by the IIMs, non-MCQ type questions made an appearance for the second time. There were 100 questions in all the three section put together, 25 questions of them were of the non-MCQ type as against 28 last year. 

 

As expected, non-MCQ questions did not carry any negative marks while the MCQ questions carried -0.33 mark negative for a wrong answer and +1 for a correct answer as displayed in actual test and +3 and -1 as shared in the instructions sheet before the start of the exam. 

Section
No. of MCQs
No. of non-MCQs
Total no of Qns
Total Marks (As announced)
Total Marks (As displayed in  actual test) 
Section I – Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
24
10
34
102
34
Section II – Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
24
8
32
96
32
Section III – Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
27
7
34
102
34
Total
75
25
100
300
100

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • VARC the first section in CAT 2016 paper had 5 passages of RC for 24 Questions overall.
  • It was a pleasant surprise as the RC passages were not very long and quite a few questions were direct. 
  • The agonizingly close answer choices and the highly inferential choices were largely absent. 
  • The language and content was not very difficult to read 
  • In VA, no questions on Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks or Vocabulary based questions were present
  • All the 10 Questions on Verbal Ability were of Non-MCQ type
  • This made VA questions tougher to solve 

Breakup of the VARC section

Area
No of MCQs
No of Non-MCQs
Total
RC – Status of Languages in 2115 
6
 
3
RC – Education System 
3
 
3
RC – Sustainable Economic Development
6
 
6
RC – Anthropology /Excruciating Rituals & Reasons
6
 
6
RC – Govt. Definition of Poverty and treatment of Household work 
3
 
6
Odd Para Jumbles
 
3
3
Jumbled Paragraphs
 
4
4
Para Summary/Essence of Passage
 
3
3
 
24
10
34

According to experts many students would have attempted close to 28+ in VARC section and quite a few would have attempted all the 34 questions in the section.  The cutoff (85%ile) would be around 42-44 marks for this section.

 

Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
The DILR section was a bit easier than last year -in terms of amount of calculation or logic. However, it was certainly lengthy and more time consuming. The number of attempts in this section would more likely be in the 14 to 18 range. 

 

Students who came out of the exam hall were almost unanimous in their verdict that though the section appeared a bit easy, attempting more questions was not possible. There were at least four sets out of the eight wherein one could solve only 2-3 of questions in the given time. At least one question in each set was either long or difficult. 

 

Break-up of questions in DILR

Area
No of MCQs
No of Non-MCQs
Total
LR – Distribution/Arrangement (TShirts)
4
 
4
LR – Venn Diagrams
2
2
4
LR – Arrangement of files in folders
3
1
4
LR – Students using various Trains and the fares for the same 
3
1
4
DI – Table (Student Pass percentages over 5 years)
3
1
4
DI – Comprehension – Marks in Two sections of papers
3
1
4
DI – Films, Launch, Completion, Release and Profits
3
1
4
DI – Table on Consumption of Veg and Non-Veg Protein
4
1
4
 
24
8
32

According to the experts a good student could have attempted around 16-18 questions in this set. Very few students would have touched the attempt of 25 in this section. Students who are careful in set selection and willing to cut their losses in case of tough sets would be able to get a decent score and good percentile. The cutoff in this section would be low and can be between 30-31 marks for a 85 percentile. 

 

Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA); included 2 wrong questions 
The huge emphasis on Arithmetic and Geometry (19 questions out of 34) could well be to give non-Engineers a better chance to crack this section. Though there were also pure math questions. 

 

Quant section also was deceptively difficult. While there were enough easy questions in the section, there were also TWO errors (at least) which would have made the student waste a lot of time. Another area of concern was the symbol used for the square root in some of the algebra problems. The symbol used was not clear and appeared ‘σ’ which made students interpret few questions wrongly and they ended up wasting time on such questions.

 

The endeavor to get more non-engineers to join the IIMs, seem to have made the IIMs give more and more of Arithmetic and Geometry. Any student who had prepared for these two areas alone could have cracked the paper. There were a total of 11 Arithmetic questions and almost all of them were easily solvable save one from Time & Distance (which was a mistake). Some of these questions were very elementary in nature and should have been easily identified and cracked by a good student.

 

There were very straight forward and simple questions in Numbers and the standard of these questions were definitely below the ideal CAT exam.  There were a number of questions in Algebra and Geometry too. Some of the Algebra questions were straight forward ones and so were some of the Geometry questions. There was only one question in Permutation and Combination, One in Coordinate Geometry and one of Venn Diagrams to complete the Pure Math part.  

 

Break-up of questions in Quantitative Ability

Area
No of MCQs
No of Non-MCQs
Total
Arithmetic
8
3
11
Numbers
4
1
5
Algebra
5
2
7
Geometry/Mensuration
8
 
8
Pure Math/CG
1
1
2
Venn Diagram
1
 
1
 
19
7
34

Errors in Quant section 
There were at least two errors in the Quant section of the paper. One question on Time & Distance and One question on Progressions were clearly wrong and a student who is good in this area may have spent couple of minutes more than necessary and would have lost out on the same. 

 

IIM Bangalore should recognize the error and should ignore these questions while awarding marks for the answers to these questions.

 

The square root symbol they used was ‘σ’. This confused quite a lot of students as they interpreted it as a variable hence were not able to attempt few questions. 

 

Overall Analysis
This paper, on the whole, was a relatively difficult paper as compared to the CAT 2015 paper. Though the VARC section was relatively easy, the Odd Para Jumbles and Para Jumbles questions weren’t easy by any stretch. The QA and DILR sections were of moderate to difficult and hence the cutoffs for these will NOT go high. 

 

The IIMs are desperately seeking to get diversity in the batch at the IIMs. That explains the emphasis on Arithmetic in the QA section and giving everyone a seemingly level-playing field. 

 

Cut off Predictions
The marks and percentile analysis in the table below reflects the score you need to get to achieve.

Percentile
VARC
DILR
QA
Overall
99%
70
57
60
168
95%
57
44
47
136
90%
50
37
38
116
85%
45
32
32
106
80%
40
29
28
95
70%
33
23
21
74

CAT Exam Analysis 2015
Taking a sigh of relief as the CAT 2015 D-day passed on Nov 29, 2015 and putting their fate whether they would be getting the desired IIM in 2016, in the hands of IIM Ahmedabad, more than 2 lakh candidates waited for the outcome after an ordeal of preparing for the most important exam of one’s life

 

The students who interacted with us after coming out of the testing hall proclaimed that the CAT 2015 test paper was easy except that the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning was pretty tough.

 

CAT 2015 was pretty much on the lines of what they have already given on the CAT 2015 website. Students reported that there was a minor glitch in the Instructions given at the start of the paper. The Instructions said that there would be DILR questions in sets of 2 or 4 and Reading Comprehension (RC) questions in sets of 4. 

 

With QA becoming slightly easier and more importantly, reduction in weightage for higher maths and the addition of an online calculator is a bit of help for non engineers, which may help increase diversity this year.

 

The IIMs and TCS should be commended on pulling off the CAT 2015 exam without any glitches. In fact, reducing the number of slots from 4 to 2 and the days from 2 to 1, has made CAT 2015 less biased. CAT 2015 could be a precursor to making CAT 2016 a single slot paper on a single day. That way, the entire issue of normalization between sets can be done away with and every student is tested on the same questions.

 

The score normalization should not be an issue in CAT 2015 as the normalization is clearly defined by the IIMs and therefore there is no scope for ambiguity, and heartburn, unlike in the past CAT exams.

 

The actual CAT 2015 test paper
As has already been announced by the IIMs, for the first time in CAT, non-MCQ type questions made an appearance. There were 100 questions in all the three section put together, 28 questions of them were of the non-MCQ type.

 

As expected, non-MCQ questions did not carry any negative marks while the MCQ questions carried -1 mark negative for a wrong answer and +3 for a correct answer.

Section
No. of MCQs
No. of non-MCQs
Total no of Qns
Total Marks
Section I – Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
24
10
34
102
Section II – Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
24
8
32
96
Section III – Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
24
10
34
102
Total
72
28
100
300

*MCQ – Multiple Choice Questions

 

LOD in CAT 2015
If one were to compare the difficulty level of CAT 2015 over the last year’s paper, then CAT 2015 would be a shade more difficult (especially the DILR section) than the difficulty level of the CAT 2014 paper

 

Summary of Cut offs

Section
Total no of Qns
Total Marks
Cutoff (85%ile)
VARC
34
102
40
DILR
32
96
24
QA
34
102
45

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
VARC the first section in CAT2015 paper had 5 passages of RC for 24 Questions overall. It was a pleasant surprise as the RC passages were not very long and quite a few questions were direct. The agonizingly close answer choices and the highly inferential choices were largely absent. The language and content was easy to read and there were no passages on abstract subjects.

 

In VA, the surprise was the complete absence of Sentence Correction (Grammar) questions. However, all the 10 VA Questions didn't have answer choices (non MCQ). This clearly makes Para Jumbles questions significantly tougher to solve. Odd Para-Jumble questions (Finding out the odd sentence out of a sequence of 5 sentences) were easy and the Alternative Summary Questions were moderate.

 

Breakup of the VARC section

Area
No of MCQs
No of Non-MCQs
Total
RC - Humanities
3
 
3
RC – Economic Inequality
3
 
3
RC – World Bank Loan
6
 
6
RC – Economic Inequality
6
 
6
RC – Immigration and effects
6
 
6
Odd Para Jumbles
 
3
3
Para Completion
 
4
4
Para Summary
 
3
3
 
24
10
34

Many students reported that they have done upwards of 20 questions in the section. A quick poll, at the time of writing this analysis, says that more than 60% of the students have attempted more than 20 questions. However, as is always the case, the mistakes in RC and VA are far more than in DILR or QA sections. Hence,  the cut-off expected at 85%ile will be in the range of 38 to 42 marks.

 

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
This section was probably the nightmare for CAT 2015 test takers, especially the LR area. Of the four sets given, only one set appeared easy (family working together on five projects). While the Cubes set also was doable, the fact that it was given as non-MCQs made the solution long and difficult. Sudoku set and the set where 5 students take ten tests and their marks distribution were decidedly lengthy.

 

The DI area had two relatively easy sets 1) Line Graph which gave information on Tourists arrivals and 2) Capacity utilization of 10 plants.

 

One set on Time & Work where 3 jobs A, B and C have to be done by four people was doable but a bit lengthy.

 

The non-MCQ set (distribution of newspapers in a hotel of 60 rooms for four days) was probably most interesting and the toughest set. Most students might have left this set without bothering to waste time.

Area
No of MCQs
No of Non-MCQs
Total
LR - Distribution
4
 
4
LR – Cubes
4
 
4
LR – Distribution
4
 
4
LR – Distribution /Games
 
4
4
DI – Table
 
4
4
DI – Table – Time & Work
4
 
4
DI – Line Graph
4
 
4
DI – Comprehension
4
 
4
 
24
8
32

A determined CAT 2015 aspirant would attempt around 17-18 questions in this set. Very few students might have touched the attempt of 25 in this section. Students who are careful in set selection and willing to cut their losses in case of tough sets would be able to get a decent score and good percentile.

 

The cut off in this section would be pretty low as compared to the other two sections and can hover around 23 to 25 marks for the 85%ile.

 

Quantitative Ability
The relative easiness of the Quant section was overshadowed by the tougher section, which preceded QA (ie DILR) and contributed to the fatigue factor.

 

The huge emphasis on Arithmetic and Geometry (18 questions out of 34) could well be to give non-Engineers a better chance to crack this section. Though there were a couple of pure math questions, these two were very straight forward and easy to solve.

 

Break-up of questions in Quantitative Ability

Area
No of MCQs
No of Non-MCQs
Total
Arithmetic
8
3
12
Numbers
2
1
3
Algebra
5
3
9
Geometry/Mensuration
5
1
6
Pure Math
1
2
2
Venn Diagram
1
 
1
 
24
10
34

An IIM A, B, C aspirant would attempt upwards of 18 questions in this section. A few students reported that they have attempted as high as 30 questions too. The cutoff can be high and could be closer to 45 marks.

 

Overall Analysis
CAT 2015 test  paper, on the whole, was a relatively difficult paper as compared to the CAT 2014 paper. Also, since every student is forced to spend 60 minutes each on the three areas, there is no scope for maximizing the scores by giving disproportionate time to any one area of his strength.

 

This means that the overall cut offs for CAT 2015 would be lower by a significant level. Also, given that DILR section was much more difficult than the other two sections, the overall in CAT 2015 is therefore expected to be less by at least 20 to 25 marks than last year.

 

IIMs are clearly trying to strive for a diverse representation of students at the IIMs. The relatively easier Quant and Verbal/RC puts almost everyone on an even keel. The joker in the pack is DILR and whoever has kept the cool in the exam and tried solving the easy ones, would be getting very good percentiles.

 

FIRST CUT – MARKS & PERCENTILE ANALYSIS
The Research team has put together a preliminary analysis of the Marks required for various percentiles in each section as well as the overall marks required.

Percentile
VARC
DILR
QA
Overall
99%
62
45
70
173
95%
52
32
59
138
90%
46
28
51
121
85%
40
24
45
105
80%
35
20
38
91
70%
30
17
30
75

There is a tendency to claim high accuracy after every exam and it has never been proven to be correct. Hence do not expect more than 80 to 85 percent accuracy in QA and probably even lower than this in Verbal and RC.

 

Read More: CAT 2019 - Exam Date, Registration, Syllabus, Preparation, Books

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