Was CAT 2017 easier than previous year? Read What Aspirants Have to Say

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CAT examiners designed the paper in a way to test a candidate’s mental capability and not the ability to handle the disorderly pattern of the paper


CAT 2017 was more or less on the same outlines as previous years. Although the exam is over and the result will be out in first week of January 2018, candidates are curious to know how they performed in the paper. The paper pattern, sections in the paper and the difficulty level were alike last year’s exam.

CAT examiners designed the paper in a way to test a candidate’s mental capability and not the ability to handle the disorderly pattern of the paper. This year too CAT was a Computer Based Test (CBT), held for admission to several Masters’ programs in premium business schools throughout India, which majorly includes all the IIM’s. IIM Lucknow conducted the CAT exam this year.

CAT 2017 was held in two slots- morning and afternoon. Candidates had to answer a total of 100 questions within 180 minutes. 34 questions were asked from Quantitative Ability (QA), 34 from Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) and 32 from Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI-LR). Candidates were glad about the absence of any surprises which would have made them re-model their strategies to attempt the paper.

Quantitative Ability

The QA segment was very much same as 2016 and was moderately difficult. However, candidates had to keep in mind as to not get too excited and make silly mistakes. As the questions were easy, there was enough time to review the segment. Major emphasis was seen on Algebra, Profit & Loss and Geometry. The number of questions asked from these topics were more as compared to others.

A few questions were asked from Number Systems, Permutation Combination, Logs and Puzzles. Candidates who prepared in accordance with the previous year’s pattern for QA didn’t found the section to moderately difficult. Arrangement of questions in both the time slots was same for QA, however, Non MCQ questions asked in the first slot were seven, four less than that asked in the second slot. If a student has attempted 20-25 questions of quant, then it is a good number.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

The VARC segment was declared easy by the test takers. Candidates, when asked for feedback, told that the Reading Comprehension was not that difficult and the passages were based on History, Geography, Technology and Humanities. The options in most questions were pretty direct and wouldn’t have required deep or several readings of the text.

Students who had a strong hold in reading would have fared well in this section, as adding to the comfort of candidates, there were no questions from grammar or vocabulary. A couple of questions were asked related to critical reasoning and picking the odd one out from sentences. 25-28 attempted questions in this segment would be called a good attempt.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

This was the most difficult segment of CAT 2017 and as compared to CAT 2016, the section saw a rise in difficulty level. Most questions in logical reasoning were analytics puzzles and data based puzzles. DI section focused on reasoning and analytical ability. The bar-graph asked was difficult as well. A good attempt in this section would be 15-18 questions. 

The results for CAT 2017 will be announced somewhat by January 2017. Till then, candidates can contemplate as to what percentile and score they may get based on the number of questions they attempted. Also, many coaching institutes release unofficial answer keys a few days after the exam for both slot 1 and 2.

This can give you a rough idea as to what to expect in the result. After the declaration of results, candidates will be shortlisted for Group discussion and Personal Interview rounds. Along with CAT percentile, other factors taken into account for shortlisting candidates include over all academic scores in 10th and 12th grade, graduation score and work experience. Good work experience in a recognized organization can give you an edge if you reach till the Personal Interview round.

We always have an idea of what to expect in accordance with how we have performed. However, till the official word is out, it’s better to not stress about it and rather than worrying about what has already happened, consider other possible options that can help you pursue what you aspire. All the best.

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