CAT 2016 Analysis

CAT 2016 analysis and percentile predictor

The Morning session of CAT 2016 Exam has concluded, at 12:00 noon on December 04, 2016. The students who appeared for the examination may check CAT 2016 Exam Analysis by our experts from the article below. Overall level of the paper was moderate. Same pattern as that of last year, with 34 questions in Quant and Verbal and 32 Questions in LRDI. Also, the candidates who will be appearing for CAT 2016 Exam in the afternoon session, which will be held from 2:30 am to 5:30 pm, may also have a look at the analysis of CAT 2016 Exam to get an idea as to how the question paper will be.



CAT 2016 Analysis : Forenoon Session (Slot 1)

 

ERROR in Instructions

The Instructions at the beginning of the exam said that the marking pattern would be +3/-1, whereas when one looked at each question and the marking pattern, within the paper the same was given as +1/-0.33 for each question. We believe that it is an error from the CAT Test setters.

ERRORs in QUANT Section

There were at least two errors in the Quant section of the paper. One question on Time & Distance and One question on Progressions were clearly wrong and a student who is good in this area may have spent couple of minutes more than necessary and would have lost out on the same. In such cases, if the IIMs recognize their error, they may ignore such question(s) while marking!

The square root symbol they used was ‘σ’. This confused quite a lot of students as they interpreted it as a variable hence were not able to attempt few questions. However, the same symbol was used in the calculator also.

Phew!

The wait has been the longest for this year’s CAT. Only in the 1990s did the CAT exam happen in December.

Students always believe that the more the time available for preparation, the better for them. The reality, of course, is otherwise. It just doesn’t matter!

The CAT 2016 paper had almost no surprises. In fact, there were enough rumours that there would be 44 questions in the VARC section and almost every Verbal Strong guy prayed fervently for such a section whereas every student who was weak in Verbal hoped that the rumour was just a rumour.

As it turned out it would have been very difficult for the IIMs to explain as to why there was a change of pattern from the one given on the CAT website. It would have been undue advantage to the second slot students had the pattern changed!

All’s well that ends well!

Overall, the CAT 2016 slot 1 paper had few surprises and any student who was prepared well and didn’t lose his/her cool would have cracked it!

CAT 2016 Paper Analysis : SLOT 1 (Forenoon) Paper Analysis

The CAT 2016 was on the expected lines. The pattern of the paper is given under

CAT 2016 Pattern

No. of Sections 3
Total Number of Questions 100
No. of choices per questions (MCQs) 4
Marks per Question +3
Negative Marking (for MCQs) -1

 

Section No. of MCQs No. of non-MCQs Total no of Qns Total Marks
Section I – Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 10 34 102
Section II – Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 24 8 32 96
Section III – Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 27 7 34 102
Total 75 25 100 300

*MCQ – Multiple Choice Questions

If one were to compare the difficulty level of CAT2016 over the last year’s paper, then CAT 2016 would be a shade more difficult (especially the VARC and the Quant section) than the difficulty level of the CAT 2015 paper!

The number of attempts would go down for almost all the students. Unlike last year where students have attempted upwards of 80 questions in the exam put together, this year, anyone attempting more than 70 genuine attempts would score pretty well.

Brief Summary of the Difficulty Level of the Paper & Ideal Attempts

Section Level of Difficulty Ideal no. of Attempts
Verbal & RC Easy to Moderate 28+
DI & LR Moderate to Difficult 16+
QA Moderate to Difficult 18+
Overall Moderate 65+

 

The CAT 2016 paper can be termed as a paper of Moderate Difficulty. There were easily two errors in the Quant Section of the paper and students may have lost time trying to figure the same out.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The first section in the CAT2016 paper was VARC.

There were 5 passages of RC for 24 Questions overall. None of the five passages were lengthy and it was easy to attempt the questions in the given time. Some of the passages given in the exam such as the one on ‘Household work and the way it is treated in the economy’ OR ‘the status/fate of languages expected in 2115’ also made for good reading. In every set, there were easy questions for sure, but at the same time, there were some tricky questions too which had close answers (as happens in CAT!).

Within the Verbal Area, the para summary ones were the only ones which appeared easy. Both, the para jumbles (because of the requirement to get the entire sequence right and the Odd Para jumbles were on the difficult side.

The breakup of the VARC section is as under

Area No of MCQs No of Non-MCQs Total
 RC – Govt. Definition of Poverty and treatment of Household work 3 3
 RC – Education System 3 3
 RC – Sustainable Economic Development 6 6
 RC – Anthropology /Excruciating Rituals & Reasons 6 6
 RC – Status of Languages in 2115 6 6
 Odd Para Jumbles 3 3
 Para Jumbles 4 4
 Para Summary/Essence of Passage 3 3
  24 10 34

 

Among all the sections, the VARC section can be termed the easiest of the lot. Also, many students would have attempted close to 28+ and quite a few would have attempted all the 34 questions in the section.

The cutoff (85%ile) would be around 42-44 marks for this section.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The DILR section was only a shade easier than what it was last year (in terms of amount of calculation or logic), but certainly lengthy. The number of attempts in this section would more likely be in the 14 to 18 range.

Students who came out of the exam hall were almost unanimous in their verdict that though the section appeared a bit easy, attempting more questions was not possible.

There were at least four sets out of the eight wherein one could solve only couple of questions in the given time. At least one question in each set was either long or difficult.

The break-up of the areas and the question-types is given below

 

Area No of MCQs No of Non-MCQs Total
  LR – Distribution/Arrangement (TShirts) 4 4
  LR – Venn Diagrams 2 2 4
  LR – Arrangement of files in folders 3 1 4
  LR – Students using various Trains and the fares for the same 3 1 4
  DI – Table (Student Pass percentages over 5 years) 3 1 4
  DI – Comprehension – Marks in Two sections of papers 3 1 4
  DI – Films, Launch, Completion, Release and Profits 3 1 4
  DI – Table on Consumption of Veg and Non-Veg Protein 4 1 4
  24 8 32

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. Students who are careful in set selection and willing to cut their losses in case of tough sets would be able to get a decent score and good percentile.

The cutoff in this section would be low and can be between 30-31 marks for a 85%ile.

Quantitative Ability

After the not so easy DILR, the quant section also was deceptively difficult. While there were enough easy questions in the section, there were also TWO errors (at least) which would have made the student waste a lot of time. Another area of concern was the symbol used for the square root in some of the algebra problems. The symbol used was not clear and appeared ‘σ’ which made students interpret few questions wrongly and they ended up wasting time on such questions.

The endeavor to get more non-engineers to join the IIMs, seem to have made the IIMs give more and more of Arithmetic and Geometry. Any student who had prepared for these two areas alone could have cracked the paper.

There were a total of 11 Arithmetic questions and almost all of them were easily solvable save one from Time & Distance (which was a mistake). Some of these questions were very elementary in nature and should have been easily identified and cracked by a good student.

There were very straight forward and simple questions in Numbers and the standard of these questions were definitely below the ideal CAT exam.

There were a number of questions in Algebra and Geometry too. Some of the Algebra questions were straight forward ones and so were some of the Geometry questions.

There was only one question in Permutation and Combination, One in Coordinate Geometry and one of Venn Diagrams to complete the Pure Math part.

The break-up of the questions in Quantitative Ability

Area No of MCQs No of Non-MCQs Total
Arithmetic 8 3 11
Numbers 4 1 5
Algebra 5 2 7
Geometry/Mensuration 8 8
Pure Math/CG 1 1 2
Venn Diagram 1 1
19 7 34

 Overall Analysis

This paper, on the whole, was a relatively difficult paper as compared to the CAT 2015 paper. Though the VARC section was relatively easy, the Odd Para Jumbles and Para Jumbles questions weren’t easy by any stretch. The QA and DILR sections were of moderate to difficult and hence the cutoffs for these will NOT go high.

The IIMs are desperately seeking to get diversity in the batch at the IIMs. That explains the emphasis on Arithmetic in the QA section and giving everyone a seemingly level-playing field.

VistaMind Team has put together this preliminary analysis with a prediction for the cutoffs at various percentile points.

For a student to get to know where he stands and what possible percentile he can get, he may CLICK HERE FOR THE PERCENTILE PREDICTOR

Expected Cutoff Predictions – MARKS & PERCENTILE ANALYSIS

Percentile VARC DILR QA Overall
99% 70 57 60 168
95% 57 44 47 136
90% 50 37 38 116
85% 45 32 32 106
80% 40 29 28 95
70% 33 23 21 74

We will update this once more information comes through and once the SLOT 2 information comes from the students, we will give the normalized percentiles for the marks in each section!

CAT 2016 Detailed Analysis – Slot 2

“DILR tough and So was QA L ”

This was the first reaction from students coming out of the Afternoon Session (Slot 2) of the CAT 2016 exam.

When we spoke to a wide cross section of students, we found that the number of questions attempted by the students, in the afternoon, slot were uniformly low. In fact, hardly anyone seems to have attempted more than 80 questions in the afternoon slot.

While there was no change in the pattern, given that some of the students already knew that the Quant paper was tougher than the last year’s paper, most students in the Afternoon Slot attempted more in QA than in DILR.

ERROR in Marking Scheme

The Marking scheme given in the instructions and inside the paper differed. The Instructions talked about +3/-1 marking scheme, whereas the individual questions in the paper were given for +1/-0.33. Though it won’t make any difference, it appears that it is a technical error overlooked by the IIM team

 

CAT 2016 Paper Analysis : SLOT 2 Paper Analysis

CAT 2016 Pattern

No. of Sections

3

Total Number of Questions

100

No. of choices per questions (MCQs)

4

Marks per Question

+3

Negative Marking (for MCQs)

-1

 

The CAT paper in the second slot was very similar to the one in the first Slot!

Section

No. of MCQs

No. of non-MCQs

Total no of Qns

Total Marks

Section I – Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

24

10

34

102

Section II – Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

24

8

32

96

Section III – Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

27

7

34

102

Total

75

25

100

300

*MCQ – Multiple Choice Questions

From the feedback received, it appears that the CAT 2016 paper in the Second Slot (Afternoon session) was marginally more difficult than the one given in the first slot.

Given that all three sections appear to be more difficult, there would be a significant difference in the cutoffs for the overall marks.

The normalization between the two slots would make a lot of difference for the students of the second slot and hence they should not unduly worry about low attempts.

Brief Summary of the Difficulty Level of the Paper & Ideal Attempts

Section

Level of Difficulty

Ideal no. of Attempts

Verbal & RC

Easy to Moderate

27+

DI & LR

Moderate to Difficult

13+

QA

Moderate to Difficult

15+

Overall

Moderate to Difficult

60+

 

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The VARC section was on predicted lines and the 3 question sets of ‘Maintaining Culture’ and ‘Positive Attitude in Work’ were straight forward and easy. Even the 6 question sets of RC were not difficult and except for the one on ‘Durand Line’ the length of the passages were not long and easily answerable.

As usual, it is difficult to predict if the Para Jumble questions were easy or NOT. However, the ones on Para Summary were pretty easy as per the students.

The breakup of the VARC section is as under

Area

No of MCQs

No of Non-MCQs

Total

RC – Maintaining Culture through encyclopedic museums

3

3

RC – Positive Attitude in work environment

3

3

RC – Business & Companies

6

6

RC – Britain and Corruption

6

6

RC – Durand Line

6

6

Odd Para Jumbles

3

3

Para Jumbles

4

4

Para Summary/Essence of Passage

3

3

24

10

34

A good attempt in this section would be around 25+ questions with around 75% accuracy.

 

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The DILR in the second slot was far tougher than the one in the first slot OR So it appears when one analyses the responses from the students.

Except for the Venn Diagram set and a set on 5 hotels and the rating criteria, others were either lengthy or difficult.

 

Area

No of MCQs

No of Non-MCQs

Total

LR – Coding Decoding Set

4

1

4

LR – Venn Diagrams and Average Sal

2

2

4

LR – Conference Room Scheduling

4

4

LR – Comprehension: Banks and Loans

3

1

4

DI – 5 Hotels and 6 Criteria Rating

3

1

4

DI – Frequency of Water to 5 Cities

3

1

4

DI – Tech and Non-Tech Managers

3

1

4

DI – Inspectors/Products/Ratings

4

1

4

24

8

32

 

Attempting about 5 to 6 sets while leaving a few questions in each of the sets would be the right way to do this kind of a section.

Quantitative Ability

The Quant Section was almost a replica of the first slot paper except for the P&C questions. While in the first slot there was ONLY a single question in P&C, there were close to 3 questions of P&C and more Pure Math questions in the bargain.

The paper was full of Arithmetic and Geometry Again.

The break-up of the questions in Quantitative Ability

Area

No of MCQs

No of Non-MCQs

Total

Arithmetic

9

3

12

Numbers

4

1

5

Algebra

4

2

6

Geometry/Mensuration

6

1

7

Pure Math/CG

4

2

Venn Diagram

1

1

27

7

34

 

 

Overall Analysis

Slot 2 (Afternoon Slot) paper was definitely more tougher than the first slot paper. Hence, it is expected that the cutoffs would be lesser than the first slot marks.

However, there would be normalization between slots and the same will be taken care of.

VistaMind Team has put together this preliminary analysis with a prediction for the cutoffs at various percentile points.

For a student to get to know where he stands and what possible percentile he can get, he may CLICK HERE FOR THE PERCENTILE PREDICTOR

 

Expected Cutoff Predictions – MARKS & PERCENTILE ANALYSIS

 

Percentile

VARC

DILR

QA

Overall

99%

68

54

57

160

95%

55

41

44

129

90%

48

34

35

109

85%

43

29

29

99

80%

38

25

24

85

70%

31

20

19

67

 

We will also be assisting students and guiding them in applying to the various B Schools depending on the marks/percentiles expected.

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