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Detailed 2016 CAT Analysis: Difficult Paper, say Aspirants

Anjani Chaand
Anjani ChaandUpdated On: December 05, 2016 05:04 pm IST | CAT
CAT 2016 was held on 4th Dec 2016 at various cities across India for the first level of selection into IIMs and other B-schools. The test was conducte
Detailed 2016 CAT Analysis: Difficult Paper, say Aspirants

CAT 2016 was held on 4th Dec 2016 at various cities across India for the first level of selection into IIMs and other B-schools. The test was conducted in two slots: Slot-I in the morning and Slot-II in the afternoon. Over 2 lakh candidates appeared for the CAT 2016 exam, which was conducted across 138 cities in India. IIM Bangalore was the Convener for CAT 2016. Many students maintained that CAT 2016 witnessed a shift from a conventional pattern paper to an analytical based paper.

There were 100 questions spread out in three sections:

· Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions

· Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning has 32 Questions

· Section III: Quantitative Ability has 34 Questions

Each of these sections was independent of each other and was timed separately. Once a section ended, candidates could not go back to it.

Both Slot 1 and slot 2 of CAT 2016 did not throw many surprises this year. The numbers of non-MCQ questions were less than that of CAT 2015: except that there were not many differences between CAT 2015 and 2016.

  • The pattern of VARC was exactly the same as that of CAT 2015
  • DILR was also no different- but some questions were bit difficult. DILR reported to have been slightly more difficult in Slot-2 as compared to Slot 1.
  • Quant, both in Slot 1 and 2, continued to be tricky.

What could have caused a problem for the CAT 2016 test takers is that some portions of the paper were illegible. There is a claim on social media that in the 1st slot of CAT 2016, there were 3 questions in Quant with an unrecognisable symbol. Later on, we got to know it was square root and one of the questions had no right answer.

An overall raw score of 160 plus should put a student in a comfortable position where (s)he can accept calls from a number of IIMs and other top B-schools. The overall structure of the CAT paper was as follows:

SectionNo. of QuestionsNo. of MCQ QuestionsDifficulty LevelGood Questions
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension3410Easy- Moderate25 - 26
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning328Moderate - Difficult16 - 18
Quantitative Ability347Moderate - Difficult22 - 25
Total10068 - 72

CAT 2016 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) Analysis

In both the slots, this section was very similar to that of CAT 2015 paper. RC passages were not difficult to read and the questions were between easy to moderate difficulty level. It appears that near abstract passages and hardcore implied questions of the 2015 CAT CAT is passé now. RC’s were majorly factual- neither lengthy nor abstract in nature. A careful reading of the Passages and correctly identifying the factual questions was the need of the hour. However, the options of some questions were close and, hence, tricky.

Time management was the key. There was a fewer number of inference based questions this time. There were total 5 passages - three passages (450 words each approximately) and two passages (350 words each). The three passages had 6 questions each and the other two had 3 questions each. The difficulty level of the passages was moderate.

The questions in Verbal Ability were non-MCQ type and did not carry any negative marking. These were Verbal Logic type and students must have practiced these well as these were present in Cat 2015 also. Para jumbles questions had 5 Sentence type and were non-MCQs: One should have attempted all. These were easy to solve with the mandatory pairs using pronouns and linking words in the sentences.

Summary questions had a small paragraph of about 150 words followed by four options. One had to simply type in the correct option number. Para-jumble (Odd sentence out) had 5 sentence paragraphs one of which was the odd sentence. Odd sentence was an easy locate using the thematic difference.

An attempt of 25-26 questions would be considered good in this section.

AreaTopicNo. of Questions
Reading Comprehension
(24 Questions)
Reading Comprehension24
Verbal Ability
(10 Questions)
Para-jumble, Summary & Para-jumble (Odd sentence out)4, 3 & 3 respectively

Also Read:Slot 1 of CAT 2016 Analysis: QA Difficult, DILR Easy

CAT 2016 Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) Analysis

In this section, three sets were easy and one had a moderate-difficulty level. Most of the DI sets were calculation heavy. Logical reasoning questions, on the other hand, were of easy to moderate level of difficulty. An attempt of 16 plus would be considered good in this section.

SectionTopicNo. of Questions
Data Interpretation

Four Sets: Moderate to Difficult

4 questions each

Logical Reasoning

Four sets of group questions were there. Topics included Coding Decoding, Set Theory , Scheduling

Lectures and other arrangement questions: Moderate - Difficult

4 questions each

Also Read:Sections of CAT 2016 Paper Leaked! Know More Here!

CAT 2016 Quantitative Ability (QA) Analysis

QA had 34 questions in total, of which 7 Questions belonged to Non-MCQ type and the rest belonged to MCQs. The questions were mostly based on the fundamentals of QA. The topics covered were like Algebra, Geometry, Modern Math, Arithmetic and Number Systems.

TopicNo. of Questions
Number System3-4
Modern Math3-4
Geometry and Mensuration7-8

The difficulty level was marginally higher than CAT 2015. An attempt of 22-23 with 90% accuracy would be a good attempt.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2


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