CAT 2021 Exam Analysis | 2021 Slot-wise Exam Analysis

We all know that the 2021 notification came up with the surprise of reduced time - just 70 odd-days - before CAT. From the earlier duration of 3 hours, the test duration was reduced to 2 hours; with 40 minutes allotted to each section. However, what remained under speculation was the total number of questions in 2021. As expected, reduced time calls for a reduced number of questions; and as predicted by Career Launcher, we expected the total number of questions to be around 75.

Based on the expectation, CAT aspirants had to face 76 questions in 2 hours. Section-wise distribution of questions was again, as expected; and had been discussed multiple times in Career Launcher's classes and open sessions. That is:

2021 VARC: 26 questions

2021 DILR: 24 questions

2021 QA: 26 questions

The marking scheme remained the same: +3/-1 for MCQs, and +3/0 for non-MCQs. The overall level of difficulty for 2021 slot 1 was slightly higher than that of CAT 2019. In terms of section-wise level of difficulty, VARC was lengthy and slightly tricky. DILR went back to CAT 2016-18 levels after a short breather in CAT 2018. QA was slightly easier than CAT 2019, in terms of LOD.

An overall raw score of around 105-110 should fetch a 99%ile in 2021.

2021 Paper Pattern & Section-wise expected score for 99%ile+

Section Name

Total Questions

Time Limit

Marking Scheme

Score for 99%ile

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

26

40 Minutes

+3/-1 (for MCQs)

+3/0 (for non-MCQs)

40-42

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

24

40 Minutes

+3/-1 (for MCQs)

+3/0 (for non-MCQs)

32-34

Quantitative Ability (QA)

26

40 Minutes

+3/-1 (for MCQs)

+3/0 (for non-MCQs)

46-48

Total

76

120 Minutes

+3/-1 (for MCQs)

+3/0 (for non-MCQs)

105-110