A single line summary of CAT2016 – format same as CAT2015 with difficulty level a notch higher.

CAT 2016 had 3 sections:

  1. Verbal Ability – Verbal Ability (10 questions) & Reading Comprehension (24 questions)
  2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning – Data Interpretation (20 questions) & Logical Reasoning (12 questions)
  3. Quantitative Ability had 34 questions

The sectional, in depth analysis is as follows:

The paper was in this order – Verbal Ability first, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning second, Quantitative Aptitude third.

VARC section:

As usual, Vocabulary based, Grammar based, Logical Continuation & Critical Reasoning questions missing.

  • RCs were 24 in number out of the 34 questions. RCs were 5 in numbers – 3 RCs with 6 questions each & 2 RCs with 3 questions each. However, this subsection can’t be called difficult. Out of the 24 questions, 15 questions were direct and hence these questions called for a lot of regression. Apart from that, 4-5 other questions were of the format “Author would agree to all of the below EXCEPT” which again led to back & forth reading of the passages. All in all, the RCs in terms of intensity of language / density or depth of the topic were light but slightly time consuming because of the regression it called for.
  • Verbal Ability had just 3 types of questions: Logical Discontinuity / Out of Context question (3 in number), Summary of the passage (3 in number) & Parajumbles (4 in number). All the questions in this subsection were of the “key-in” or “non-MCQ” variety. The problem with this being non-MCQ is that the parajumbles became difficult because each of the parajumbles had 5 sentences to be rearranged. Links were available, but two broken links and hence it make this part a little tricky. However, a cheeky CAT taker will take the shots because these fall under the “non-negative marking” category. Summary and Out of Context were non-MCQ variety but this can be called “pseudo non-MCQ” because it was more like keying-in a number instead of marking an option.
  • All in all, the section was Easy to Moderate to navigate.
  • 27-28 attempts with 90% accuracy can be classified as a good score in this section.

LRDI section:

  • Challenging section – Could be the final Decider, again.
  • The paper had 8 sets of 4 questions each. Total of 32 questions.
  • The sets based on – The girls buying the T-shirts, the 2 section paper with different marking scheme was easy. However, even in these 2 sets all the questions weren’t solvable. Apart from these 2 sets, others were time consuming and because each of the questions demanded a separate data to work on, the whole process turned tricky. The test taker had to read the data, arrange the same, solve selected questions and let go of 1 or 2 questions per set.
  • This section was surely the decider with 5 DI sets and 3 LR sets and nearly all the sets were time consuming.
  • 15 attempts with 80% accuracy can be classified as a good score in this section.

QA Section :

  • Standard – is the word! Be it the spread or the difficulty level, it was as the doctor prescribed.
  • Nearly every chapter had a representative there. Percentages, Profit & Loss, Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Surds & Indices, Averages & Partnership, Numbers, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Alligations & Mixtures, Permutation & Combination, Inequalities, Triangles, Polygons, Circles, Area & Volume, Coordinate Geometry and the list goes on. With around a third of the section difficult, a third easy and a third moderate, the spread of the questions was really good.
  • Such a section has advantages as well as disadvantages – you should have been prepared with everything and just in case you have left just a chapter or two, the damage isn’t astounding. Hence, a cheer-worthy paper for a prepared test taker.
  • 25 attempts with 85% accuracy can be classified as a good score in this section.

The softer aspect is that, in case the LRDI section broke the back of a well prepared student, his performance in the 3rd section would get affected.

  • All in all, an aspirant with 47 net correct questions will be able to score around 99%ile.
  • An aspirant with 36 net correct questions should be in the 95%ile range.
  • An aspirant with 31 net correct questions should be in the 90%ile range.
  • An aspirant with 25 net correct questions should be in the 80%ile range.
  • An aspirant with 21 net correct questions should be in the 70%ile range.

Best wishes for the results.

Warm Regards,
Parasharan Chari
The author Parasharan Chari is an alumnus of SP Jain and is currently serving as the Chief Operating Officer at Endeavor Careers and is also associated with the design and development of its online testing portal