CAT 2018 Analysis-Slot 1 by Gautam Bawa

CAT 2018 Analysis-Slot 2 by Gautam Puri & ARKSS

Comparative study of CAT over the past four years:

CAT 2017

CAT 2017 did not throw up any surprises wrt the paper format. The level of difficulty of the paper changed this year as compared to last year. While VARC continued to be easy, DILR was more difficult than last year with sets that took more time to solve as well. Quant was also easier and similar to CAT 2015 in level and marginally easier than 2016. On first impressions, an overall raw score of around 160 should fetch a student a 99%ile in CAT 2017. LRDI would not be the differentiator this year, since all students would be lumped in smaller categories. Quant, being easy, would play the role of differentiator. The overall structure of the CAT paper was as follows:

Section

No. of Questions

No. of non-MCQ questions

Difficulty Level

Good Attempts

Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension

34

7

Easy-moderate

26-27

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

32

8

Difficult

12-14

Quantitative Ability

34

8

Easy-Moderate

25-26

Total

100

 23

 

63-67

CAT 2016

CAT 2016 did not undergo any changes in its pattern and as expected the level of difficulty went up because of which the percentile went down and only a scaled score of 153+ was required for a 99+ percentile which was much lower as compared to 2015.

Section Name No. of Questions Marks/Q Total marks
Section 1 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 (60 minutes) 3 102
Section 2 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 (60 minutes) 3 96
Section 3 Quantitative Ability 34 (60 minutes) 3 102
Total 100 300

CAT 2015

CAT 2015 underwent few changes. There were 100 questions spread across 3 sections: QA, DILR and VARC and the sections were timed. The weightage of each section remained the same as observed in CAT'14. QA + DI was 34+ 16 and VA+ LR was 34 + 16; in 2015, it remained the same with sections being shuffled as QA-34, LR+DI-16+16 and VARC-34. The 2015 exam was conducted by IIM -Ahmedabad, which had earlier conducted the 2009 CAT (which also had three sections), therefore the level of difficulty was similar to that as observed in 2009. IIM-A experimented with minor additions such as introduction of on-screen calculator and non-MCQs. As the changes in the pattern were not many and the new additions only eased the paper because non-MCQs were introduced with no negative marking, there was not much drop in the level of difficulty as sectional time limit was introduced. The raw score required for a 99-percentile dropped marginally to 177+ which was lower as compared to 2014 scaled down score.

Section Name No. of Questions Marks/Q Total marks
Section 1 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 (60 minutes) 3 102
Section 2 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 (60 minutes) 3 96
Section 3 Quantitative Ability 34 (60 minutes) 3 102
Total 100 300

CAT 2014

As compared to CAT 2013, CAT 2014 underwent few changes in its pattern. The time duration went up to 170 minutes for 100 questions with no sectional time limits. The changes in its pattern brought about a drop in the level of difficulty and as a result the scaled down score for a 99 percentile went upto 190+

Section Name No. of Questions Marks/Q Total marks
Section 1 Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation 50 (=34+16) 3 150
Section 2 Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning 50 (=34+16) 3 150
Total 100 300

Expected CAT 2018 basis the past 4 years' analysis

With the pattern of CAT 2018 remaining the same as previous year, one can expect a higher level of difficulty in the paper. DILR section of 2017 was toughest than the other two sections following 2016 trend (which was a surprise), therefore one can expect the same level or a marginal drop in level of difficulty in DILR (unexpected). Since QA, VARC were reasonably easy, there are high chances of QA and VARC level of difficulty to rise. Cracking CAT'18 is thus a matter of a sound strategy. With the predicted rise in the level of difficulty, one can expect a score of 160-165 to lead to a 99+ percentile. The test taker must have a clear idea about the number of questions they must attempt for a 99+ percentile. CL's open mock 1 and 2 would be a good representation of what you can expect in CAT 2018.

CL wishes luck to all CAT'17 aspirants!

Go through the previous year CAT exam analysis to be prepared for surprises