CAT Exam Analysis 2018 (First & Second Slot)

Nidhi Bahl Updated On: 01 Dec, 2018 13:38 IST

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CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

Both exam slots of CAT 2018 are over, and you can get all the reactions from experts and test takers right here. IIM Calcutta conducted the Common Admission Test (CAT) on 25th November in online mode. The CAT 2018 was conducted in 2 slots, and CollegeDekho has provided a detailed analysis for both. Those who've taken the exam may also predict their CAT percentile using our CAT 2018 Percentile Predictor.

As per experts at Career Launcher, the CAT 2018 exam analysis of the first slot suggests that the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section was not very tough. As compared to last year's CAT, this year's examination DILR section had shorter questions and they were easier as well. Out of the three sections, the Quantitative Ability section surprisingly had tougher questions and most of the questions were based on Arithmetic. 

In Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section, 99 percentile is expected at a score of 48-50 whereas 99 percentile is estimated at a score of 45-50 in the Quant section. In Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section, a 99 percentile is expected at a score of 75. The overall difficulty level of CAT 2018 was a bit more in comparison to the last year's exam. Experts at CL have, therefore, estimated 99 percentile at a score of 155-160.

As far as reactions from test takers of the first slot are concerned, they found the Quantitative Ability section to be the most difficult one while Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension turned out to be the most scoring section like always.

CAT 2018 Slot 2 was a little on the difficult side in comparison to the previous year's examination. Like Slot 1, Quant was difficult in Slot 2 as well. In this section, 99 percentile is expected at a score of 50. DILR was on the same lines as the previous year's examination. In DILR, 99 percentile is estimated at a score of 43-45. In VARC, 99 percentile is expected at a score of 75. The Verbal Ability section was easier this year. Overall, 99 percentile is expected at a score of 150-155 in this year's paper.

The detailed analysis for both the exam slots has been published separately. As part of the analysis, you will be provided information on the overall structure of the exam, section-wise topics, changes (if any) and ideal attempts for all the sections, which include Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability. 

CAT 2018 is an online exam and it is expected to have the same format as that of last year. There will be 100 questions that candidates will have to answer within 180 minutes. A candidate will get more than a minute to solve every question. Those who qualify the examination will not just become eligible to get admission in the 20 IIMs but they will also be able to apply in various other B-Schools across India such as FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai among others. 

Section-Wise CAT 2018 Paper Analysis (Slot 1)

Section Total No. of Questions No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Level of Difficulty  Good Attempts
VARC 34 27 7 Easy 28+
DILR 32 24 8 Medium 16+
Quant 34 22 12 Tough 15+
  100       60+

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension - This section comprised of 5 passages and every passage was followed by 5 questions except one passage on Genetics that had 4 questions. The Parajumble questions surprisingly turned out to be easier as compared to previous years. The sentences were really short. The paper pattern was not very similar to the sample paper provided by the CAT team. This section had 34 questions, out of which 27 were multiple-choice questions whereas the number of Non-MCQs was 7. VARC had quite a few inference-based questions, which were not difficult to attempt. Overall, VA could be the saviour this year for all those who were dependent on the Quant section.

Topic

No. of Questions

Description

Reading Comprehension

24

RC comprised of 5 passages and each had around 500-550 words. The passage with 4 questions was on Genetics while the other four passages were based on India’s view on its legacy of World War II, Elephant society, Plastic Pollution, and Consumer behaviour studies. 

Verbal Ability
 

Para-jumble

4

All the four questions were followed by four sentences, which were quite easy and concise. Candidates should've easily attempted all of these as these questions had no negative marking.

Summary

3

The paragraphs were around 80 words each and were tough to read. Therefore, the options turned out to be confusing due to the paragraphs' genres. Negative marking was applicable on these questions.

Para-jumble (Odd sentence out)

3

The bumblebee question had a sentence, which wasn't complete. This along with the PJ on erosion would have been tough to attempt. The other question was a sitter.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning - This section was similar to that of previous years. The DI-LR section in 2015, 2016 and 2017 was on the same lines. DILR had a total of 32 questions, out of which 24 were multiple-choice whereas 8 were Non-MCQs. However, the themes of the sets were more conventional which was highly unlikely considering the last year's CAT exam. Candidates could have easily attempted around 4 sets in this section with good accuracy. In some sets, there was 1 ‘difficult to crack’ question, which students should've ideally kept aside. In the Data Interpretation sets, calculation wasn’t required at all whereas the Logical Reasoning sets had an easy-moderate difficulty level.

Section

Topics

No. of Questions

DI

Pie Chart-Annual/half yearly/Quarter Sales

4

ATM -Denominations of 100,200 and 500

4

Set Theory-1600 rockets were launched

4

LR

Matrix-Adjacent cells

4

10 friends -scores in DI/WE/GK

4

4 Females, 4 Males-Minor and major

4

3 Committees-research/teaching/economist

4

1-20 petrol pumps

4

Quantitative Ability - Candidates could not attempt all the questions in the Quant section and it, therefore, turned out to be the toughest in the last four years. Most of the questions in this section were based on Algebra and Geometry, which dominated other topics. The questions asked in the Quant section were not theory intensive. They were calculation and logic-intensive. A total of 34 questions with 22 MCQs and 12 Non-MCQ were asked in this section. Candidates' basic fundamentals and clarity of concepts were tested and they found some of the multiple-choice questions extremely confusing.

Topics

No. of Questions

Number System

2

Algebra

8

Arithmetic

14

Modern Math

3

Geometry and Mensuration

7

CAT 2018 Expected Cut-off (As per Slot 1 Exam)

Section Estimated Score Required for 99 Percentile
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 75
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 48-50
Quantitative Ability 45-50
Total 155-160

Section-Wise CAT 2018 Paper Analysis (Slot 2)

Section Total No. of Questions No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Level of Difficulty  Good Attempts
VARC 34 27 7 Easy 28+
DILR 32 24 8 Medium 16+
Quant 34 22 12 Tough 15+
  100       60+

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension - The exam pattern remained on the same lines as that of the first slot. The section comprised of 5 passages and every passage was followed by 5 questions except one passage on Grover snails that had 4 questions. The remaining passages in RC were based on familiar topics. The passages were easy to read and there were some inference-based questions, which candidates found easy to attempt.

Area

Topic

No. of Questions

Description

Reading Comprehension

24

There were 5 passages of around 450-500 words each. While the passage with four questions was on Grover Snails. the other four passages that had five question each were based on Meritocracy and diversified teams, use of technology in essential services, rings of Saturn and their age, and a passage on human resource and learning. 

Verbal Ability
 

Para-jumble

4

All had four sentences each and the sentences were pretty easy and concise. Negative marking was not applicable. The key to performing well in this topic was prior practice and awareness of deductive paragraphs.

Summary

3

As compared to the summary paragraphs in the first slot, the summary paragraphs were easier in this second slot. The paragraphs were short and candidates found them slightly difficult to read. 

Para-jumble (Odd sentence out)

3

In this topic, the questions were quite tricky. Hence, it would've been a bit difficult for students to attempt the questions in this area.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning - The DILR section in the second slot continued to be a pleasant surprise for candidates. The theme of the sets this year was more conventional unlike CAT 2017. Candidates had to face one very direct DI set with basic calculations. Ideally, the focus of test takers should've been the quality of the selected sets rather than the quantity of the attempted questions. Some sets had a question each that should've been ignored. The LR sets were easy to moderate as far as the difficulty level is concerned.

Section

Topic

No. of Questions

DI

Currency Exchange and rate changes

4

Smartphones and market share

4

Box Diagram of 3 companies/products

4

LR

Interview Arrivals (Arrangement)

4

Coding (Alphabet/digits)

4

Set theory (3 games, Ludo, Kho-kho, Gilli Danda)

4

Institute Accreditation

4

Tickets to a show, old, young & middle-aged people

4

Quantitative Ability - The QA section was tough in the second slot as well. The questions asked in this section were not theory intensive. In fact, they were more calculation and logic-intensive. The aptitude questions were framed to test candidates' fundamental knowledge and concept clarity. In the second slot, Arithmetic and Geometry questions once again dominated the Quant section. This section would've been a bit easier to attempt for candidates from the engineering background.

Topic

No. of Questions

Number System

2

Algebra

8-9

Arithmetic

13-14

Modern Math

3

Geometry and Mensuration

7

Source: Career Launcher

Important Note: The information provided above is based on research done from various sources. CollegeDekho will not be responsible for any decision taken by students based on the provided data.

CAT 2017 Exam Analysis

CAT 2017, which was conducted in two sessions, did not throw any surprises compared to the paper format. The level of difficulty of the paper too was almost the same as that of CAT 2016. The scoring pattern was as follows:

  • 3 marks for each correct answer
  • -1 mark for each wrong answer (For MCQs)
  • No negative marking for wrong answer in Non-MCQs

Check out the Video Analysis of CAT 2017!

The paper had 74 questions with negative marking and 26 questions without negative marking. All the 74 MCQs had 1/3 negative marking while there was no negative marking for wrong answers for the 26 Non-MCQs.

Slot 1: Here our experts could deduce that DILR was a tough nut to crack. VARC was moderately difficult while QA was easy focusing more on arithmetic questions which would benefit Non-Engineers. Cut off levels, compared to last year may go up

The overall structure of the CAT paper was as follows:

Section Name No. of Questions No. of MCQ No. of Non-MCQ Difficulty Level Good Attempts
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 27 7 Moderate  26-28
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 24 8 High 14-16
Quantitative Ability  34 23 11 Easy 24-26
Total 100 74 26    

Section wise the number of questions allotted to a particular area and its difficulty level as assessed by our team of experienced faculties is as below.

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Area No. of Questions Difficulty Level
RC-Topic 1 3 Easy to Moderate
RC-Topic 2 3 Easy to Moderate
RC-Topic 3 6 Easy to Moderate
RC-Topic 4 6 Easy to Moderate
RC-Topic 5 6 Easy to Moderate
Odd Sentence Out 3 Easy to Moderate
Paragraph Jumbles 4 Moderate to Difficult
Paragraph Summary 3 Easy
Total 34  

Here our experts opined that many students would have attempted close to 28+ in VARC section and quite a few would have attempted all the 34 questions in the section. 

Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

Area No. of Questions Difficulty Level
 LR- Projects 4 Difficult
 LR-Burgers / Fries 4 Easy
LR-Children Survey 4 Easy
LR-PCM 4 Difficult
DI-Happiness Index 4 Difficult
DI-Matrix 4 Moderate
DI-Routes 4 Moderate
DI-Flight Operation 4 Moderate
Total 32  

The DILR section was the toughest section, with difficulty level moderate to difficult. The number of attempts in this section would more likely be in the 12 to 14 range.  

According to our experts, a good student could have attempted around 16-18 questions in this set. Very few students would have touched the attempt of 25 in this section. The cut-off in this section would be low and can be between 30-31 marks for an 85 percentile.

Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA); included 2 wrong questions

Area No.of Questions Doable
Number System 4 4
Algebra 10 8-10
Arithmetic 11 8-9
Modern Maths 2 2
Geometry & Mensuration 7 5-6
Total 34  

Quant section was the easiest. Arithmetic dominated the section. Most of the questions were from arithmetic, geometry, and algebra.

Overall Analysis & Expected Cut off Predictions

Percentile VARC DILR QA Overall
99 68 38 65 158
95 52 32 48 141
90 48 28 35 110
85 45 20 30 100
80 40 21 25 90
75 36 18 23 85
70 30 15 18 68
65 26 10 15 50
60 20 8 10 40

Imp: Scores for CAT 2017 are calculated as +1 for a correct answer and -1/3 for an incorrect answer.

To all the candidates who have taken the exam, join us to get a comprehensive analysis and insights into CAT 2018. Apart from CAT expert paper analysis, you can check the CAT 2018 Result. Stay tuned to know More on CAT 2018!

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