CAT 2017 - Slot two similar to morning test, on the lines of CAT 2016

The overall refrain from the first slot that the exam was ‘challenging’ seems be applicable in this section as well

education Updated: Nov 27, 2017 14:53 IST
CAT,Common Admission Test,CAT 2017
Students waiting to enter the examination for CAT 2017 at a college in Bandra, Mumbai. (Hindustan Times)

The pattern of the afternoon slot of CAT2017 was similar to that of the morning slot and very much on the lines of CAT2016. There were no surprises in the paper in terms of the pattern - the number of questions across sections remained the same as that of last year, at 34, 32 and 34 for verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC), logical reasoning and data interpretation (LRDI) and quantitative aptitude (QA) sections, respectively.

This was a huge positive for the aspirants as any surprises would have made them redraw their test-taking strategies.

There were some pleasant surprises, with the QA and VARC sections being slightly easier compared to last year. While students were divided on the difficulty level of the LRDI section, many felt it was a tad difficult than last year’s section.

The overall refrain from the first slot that the exam was ‘challenging’ seems be applicable in this section as well.

In terms of the order of sections, as disclosed earlier and as was seen in the mock test made available on www.iimcat.ac.in,VARC was the first section, followed by LRDI with QA being the last section.

Across centres, as per the reports we received by the time this analysis was filed, the test was glitch free.

Verbal ability and reading comprehension

There were no surprises in this section, with the question distribution remaining the same as that of last year. The VA-RC distribution too was similar, at 10-24. Students were also relieved to get easy-to-read RCs. The topics chosen for the RCs were also not very complex, helping students save valuable time. There were two passages with three questions each and three passages with six questions each. However, as was reported by the students from the first slot, the choices were close, requiring more time and making elimination difficult.

In verbal ability, absence of options in the non-MCQ questions made the questions tougher than usual, as was expected. The questions were not so direct or easy to crack and required involved reading form the students to solve them.

The cut-off in this section is expected to be slightly lower than that in CAT2016.

Logical reasoning and data interpretation

Students, in the back of the tough LRDI section of CAT2016, were expecting a similar LRDI section this year as well. And CAT2017 did not disappoint them!

Easily the toughest among the three sections, it tested the students on their ability to identify and jump off the tougher sets soon enough and their ability to spot and stay on with the relatively less difficult ones. While a couple of sets were regular LR models, the others were not based on standard LR-DI models and were instead replaced by reasoning based DI. There were some clearly difficult-to-crack sets and those who spotted this quickly managed to attempt a good number of questions.

The cut-off in this section are expected to be slightly lower than that in CAT2016.

Quantitative ability

Coming after a tough LRDI section, QA was a pleasant surprise for the test-takers. The really tough questions seemed to be missing and only a few ‘difficult’ questions were asked. The easy questions too were from basic arithmetic topics. This made many students feel this section to be the easiest among the three. Students who had regular practice of their QA basics would have felt very comfortable in this section compared to others. With so many doable questions, speed could have been the key to crack this section.

The cut-off in this section is expected to be higher than that in CAT2016.

The author is CAT course director, T.I.M.E. (Triumphant Institute of Management Education).

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 12:25 IST