The online Common Admission Test (CAT) 2013 kicked off without any glitches. There were no surprises in the test.
As declared earlier, the paper had two sections of 70 minutes each. Most of the questions in both sections were conventional CAT type problems from areas tested regularly over the years. There were no changes in the testing interface either. It has in fact maintained the same colour scheme also with all the functionality of the previous times being adhered to. There is a tutorial of 13 slides which old or new test takers are advised to watch carefully to understand the platform in detail. An eight-page booklet and pencils are provided for rough work. So, not worries about the space to do rough work.
Another candidate who took the test had some different questions from mine, so there is a possibility of multiple sets within a slot (again, same as last year).
Quantitative Reasoning and Data Interpretation: The overall paper was of moderate difficulty level. Geometry and Algebra dominated the quant section. There was more variety in the paper with questions asked from a wide range of topics: Functions, Graphs, Number System. Algebra made a very strong comeback (reminding me of Yuvraj Singh) after being ignored for most of the slots last year. The questions were crackable for the most parts. Inequality/Modulus/ranges, etc dominated the section.
There were barely any tough concepts involved and basic understanding of the topic was more than enough to solve at least 50-80% of questions in this area. Geometry was a breather in my opinion. There were basic questions on 2D geometry and a single one on 3D geometry. Most of the questions were intelligent manipulation of simple concepts like the Pythagoras theorem, slopes of line, Areas of triangles, volume based questions, etc. Arithmetic, unlike previous years, had a lower representation. Questions were again nicely designed with a couple of basic concepts inter-winged like ratios, percentages, etc.
Overall, the only surprise in this section was the topic ‘Functions’. There were a number of average difficulty-level questions from this topic and a little familiarity of the concepts would have helped the candidate sail through this topic. There was also a total absence of Set Theory based questions.
Data Interpretation was divided into three sets with three questions each. All the questions were easily manageable and worth doing. A well prepared student would have got nine out of nine in DI and could maximise the scores here. Questions on basic tables, pie-charts, and growth charts were asked with no complex calculations. Answer options were also not very close which would give you a nice shot if you do a level-1 calculation.
Manish Harodia is an MBA from IIM Kozhikode and has been a CAT and GMAT trainer since 2004. He is also the founding director at Genesis Mentors, Pune.