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CAT throws up a mixed bag

Unlike the past two years, when the exam consisted of 75 questions for 300 marks, this year’s paper was of 90 questions — an increase of 15 questions in the English section.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2008 00:56 IST
Tanya Ashreena

As usual, this year’s Common Admission Test (CAT) threw up its share of surprises.

Unlike the past two years, when the exam consisted of 75 questions for 300 marks, this year’s paper was of 90 questions — an increase of 15 questions in the English section. However, experts believe this made the exam more balanced.

Surbhi Seghal, a final-year student of Philosophy (Hons) at Lady Shri Ram College, said the increase in questions in the verbal section did not make it tougher. “Though the reading comprehension section had lengthy passages, the level of difficulty was lower. A lot of the vocabulary in the verbal ability section consisted of words of daily usage,” she said.

Students found the logic and data interpretation sections difficult, especially those from non-mathematics backgrounds, as they focused more on “higher maths”, like functions and series, and less on arithmetic. “The maths questions were quite difficult for me,” said Preeti Talreja, a B.Ed student from Sonepat.

T.IM.E. director Ulhas Vairagkar, who has been analysing the exam for the past 20 years, took the test. “The logic and direct interpretation section was tricky, but quite similar to last year. The quantitative ability section was tougher than CAT 2007 and the most difficult part. The comprehension and verbal ability sections were less ambiguous with shorter passages. But the verbal ability section also had a higher level of vocabulary questions,” he said.

Coaching institute Career Launcher has come up with what they feel will be the expected IIM cut-offs. “We think the minimum cut-off for IIMs this year will be 126 marks. A student who has scored 30- 32 marks in the quantitative section, 46-48 marks in the verbal ability section and 28-30 marks in the data interpretation section may be in the position to get at least one IIM call,” said CEO Sanjay Shivnani.