CAT 2017 Slot 1 & 2 Analysis By TIME

Check out the forenoon slot analysis and exam pattern by Triumphant Institute of Education Management

The pattern of the forenoon slot of CAT 2017 was very much on the lines of CAT2016 – the number of questions across sections remained the same as that of last year. This would have come as a huge sigh of relief for all aspirants as the conducting-IIM (in this case IIM Lucknow) had not disclosed the number of questions per section.

However, the resemblance to CAT2016 ended here. The overall refrain was that the exam was ‘challenging’ and would have required the best efforts from every aspirant. The exam started with Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section which had 34 questions. This was followed by the Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation section which had 32 questions. The last section was Quantitative Ability which had 34 questions. Students who were regular with their AIMCATs and did a thorough analysis of the AIMCATs gave feedback that the tough LRDI sections that they were exposed to in multiple AIMCATs along with the challenging VA questions they faced helped them tackle this exam with a lot more poise and confidence.

As reported by students across the country, the security check at entry was very rigorous at most centers. Belts, Clips, Jewellery including rings, ear rings, chains etc. were not allowed. Many were forced to rush back to deposit such items outside, and get admitted into the test area.

The test experience, however, was very smooth. No issues were reported by the students at the time of filing this analysis, except at one center in Delhi where there were server issues, because of which students at that centre could not take the CAT. We are sure that the IIMs will address this on priority.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

This section had 24 Qs in RCs and 10 Qs in Verbal. Aspirants would have been delighted by the RCs as they were easy to read both in terms of language and the ‘subject’ area. There were three passages with 6 Qs each and two, with 3 Qs each. The relative ease of reading the passages was compensated by the increased level of difficulty in the ‘choices’. A relatively high proportion of questions from this area were inference-based, requiring good critical reasoning skills. The options in most questions were close and would have required involved reading and sometimes, multiple reading of the relevant portions of the passage. This would have taken up time and would have left test-takers with niggling doubts in their minds as to whether they had marked the ‘right’ option.

The ten questions on verbal ability were of moderate level of difficulty, overall. However, with seven of these ten being non-MCQ type questions, the effective level of difficulty would appear to be higher by a notch or two.

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

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

‘What more can I do’?

‘I had burned more midnight oil on this section than any other’!!

‘The difficulty level was beyond what I had anticipated’

Most conversations outside the exam venues were on the above lines. The LRDI section once again proved to be the nemesis of all aspirants. While the LRDI section of CAT2016 was considered by many to be the most difficult ever, CAT2017 exceeded even that very high mark!!

The entire section comprised ‘difficult’ and ‘very difficult’ level questions. Several familiar models of questions in LR and DI were conspicuous by their absence and every set had ‘unfamiliar’ written all over it! Infact, the entire section can be termed to have DI based reasoning sets and Quant based reasoning sets, making it almost impossible to identify and classify the sets in DI and LR separately. While the data in some of the sets looked innocuous to begin with, enticing many an aspirant to attempt them, they would have soon realised that there was much more to the sets than what initially appeared, leading to a feeling that one was trapped in quicksand. Other sets were outright intimidating even at the first glance, given the volume of data and text given in them.

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

Quantitative Ability

Most aspirants would have perceived the quantitative ability section of this slot to be the easiest of the three sections, and rightly so. The relative absence of ‘Difficult’ and ‘Very Difficult’ questions and the corresponding increase in the number of questions on basic arithmetic concepts would have enabled a higher level of attempts in this section. Those students who had attended classes regularly and had worked extensively on the study material books would have found that their attempts are on the higher side compared to the other aspirants. Leaving out any time-consuming questions and maximizing the number of attempts would be the key to scoring high in this section.

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

CAT 2017 Slot 2 Comprehensive Analysis

The pattern of the Afternoon slot of CAT2017 was similar to that in 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 VARC, LRDI and 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 on the slightly easier side compared to last year. While students were divided on the difficulty level of the LRDI section, many feel that it was a notch above the 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, VARC was the first section, followed by LRDI and QA was the last section. Many T.I.M.E. students attributed their high number of attempts in the CAT to the thorough preparation that AIMCATs provided them.

While the security check was rigorous at most centers, some centers were not able to manage the load of people queing up to get in and had to allow them in en masse with out much of security check.

Across centers, as per the reports we have received by the time this analysis is filed, the conduct of the test was smooth and glitch free.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

There were no surprises in this section, with the question distribution remaining the same as that of last year and as seen in the mock test. The VA-RC distribution too was similar, at 10-24. With easy to read RCs, students heaved a huge sigh of relief. The topics chosen for the RCs were also not dense, helping students to save valuable time. There were two passages with 3 Qs each and three passages with 6 Qs each. However, as was reported by the students from the first slot, the choices were close, making elimination difficult and also consuming more time.

In Verbal Ability, absense 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 & 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 disappont 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 any of the standard LR-DI models and were instead replaced by reasoning based DI. There were some clearly uncrackable sets and those who spotted the toughness soon enough would be the ones who managed to attempt a good number of questions. Tackling such unfamiliar sets would have been a lot easier for those who took AIMCATs regularly.

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. There seems to be an absence of "uncrackable" questions and a few "difficult" questions. 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 do-able 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 CAT 2016.

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