CAT 2018 Sectional Analysis (Slot 1 & 2)

CAT 2018 Overall Analysis

CAT 2018 paper keeping with the IIM-C tradition saw an exam with a higher difficulty level Quantitative Aptitude section and a fairly easier DI/LR and VARC section in comparison to previous years. The CAT paper was able to maintain its patent balance with the distribution of moderate and difficult questions over the sections.

The conduct of the exam was fairly glitch-free with no technical issues and seamless processes. A far better experience for the test-taker. Going by the speculations of QA based on the last three years’ difficulty level, this took test-takers by surprise, as this year’s paper is being said to have the toughest QA section of the past 4 years. VA evoked a slightly more confused response, thanks to the lengthier RCs and the slight difference in number of questions per RC.

This article is attributed to Endeavor Careers for the detailed sectional and slot-wise analysis. 

CAT 2018 Sectional Analysis (Slot-wise Comparison)

I] Verbal Section in CAT 2018

A) Morning Slot

With 24 RC questions and 10 non-RC questions, the overall format was as expected.

Reading Comprehension

The surprise was in the 5 questions per RC in 4 RCs and 4 questions in 1 RC. This also meant that the length of each RC was 550 to 650 words. No single paragraph, 200-word RC like last year was observed. This would have taken test-takers aback slightly. But the RCs topics were contemporary with easy language making comprehension easy. The topics were evolutionary biology, history- the relevance of recognizing India’s role in and contribution to the Second World War, environment -plastic recycling evading the real problem, economics- quantifying and assessment of happiness for economic growth, and animal and human behavior. The questions were the usual main idea, except, inferences, direct and logical purpose questions with an odd contextual-vocabulary question and weaken the argument question thrown in.

Non Reading Comprehension

The non-RC questions were indeed smooth sailing! The Para-jumbles were surprisingly easy involving only 4 sentences (last year, all of them had 5 sentences), 2 of the 4 questions being really easy. The 3 Summary questions had topics of philosophy and art, but had really easy options. The 3 Out of Context questions made one think a little more, but not a tough ask for a student who has prepared well. The 7 key-in questions were Para-jumbles and Out of Context.

Take-away: The section was moderate. For a 98 percentile, about 29 attempts with an 80% accuracy should be considered good.

B) Afternoon Slot

Reading Comprehension

With 24 RC questions and 10 non-RC questions, the overall format was as expected. The surprise was in the 5 questions per RC in 4 RCs and 4 questions in 1 RC. This also meant that the length of each RC was 550 to 650 words. So, the pattern was exactly as that of the morning slot. The RC topics were contemporary with easy language making comprehension easy. The topics were Science- based discussing Saturn Planet rings/moons, Use of technology in education, Limitations of Performance matrix, Evolution/speciation of snails and Psychology-based – Random decision making. The questions were the usual main idea, except, inferences, direct and logical purpose questions with a good number of strengthen/weaken the argument questions thrown in.

Non-Reading Comprehension

The Para-jumbles were surprisingly easy involving only 4 sentences (last year, all of them had 5 sentences), 2 of the 4 questions being really easy. The 3 Summary questions had one-liner but tricky options making it rather difficult. The 3 Out of Context questions made one think a little more, but not a tough ask for a student who has prepared well. The 7 key-in questions were Para-jumbles and Out of Context.

Take-away: The section was moderate. For a 98 percentile, 27 attempts here with an 80% accuracy should be considered good.

II] Data Interpretation Logical Reasoning [DILR] Section in CAT 2018

A) Morning Slot

With the difficulty levels of DI/LR increasing year on year in the last three years, test-takers went inured to the challenges of this section. Interestingly, the section was easier than the previous years. The eight sets with four questions each had 1 traditional and 1 new-age DI, 3 traditional LR sets and 3 new-age LR sets. Two sets -the 4-category set theory DI question and the pipeline new-age LR question were difficult. All the others were moderate except the pie charts DI set and the arrangement LR set were the easiest. The 8 key-in questions were well distributed.

Overall, a student who has prepared well should be able to attempt 5 to 6 sets properly in the allocated 60 minutes. This section could be termed moderate. For a 98 percentile, 22 – 23 attempts with an 80% accuracy should be considered good.

B) Afternoon Slot

CAT continued its legacy with keeping the DI section most challenging out of three. Selecting the right set was certainly the key. Students who got stuck or spent more than required time on a particular set would have lost the section altogether. Compared to the morning slot, DI in afternoon was a notch difficult. The eight sets with four questions each are explained below:

Type Description Difficulty Level
New Age DI Products of two companies plotted across axes and area of the graph Difficult
Traditional LR Coding -Decoding (Alphanumeric) Moderate
DI – Table College Ranking with weights Easy to Moderate
Traditional DI (Table) Revenue- Market Share- Profitability Moderate
Caselet Currency exchange Difficult
New Age LR Ticket purchased by different generation Moderate
Set Theory Maximum Minima based Moderate
Traditional LR Arrival of People – Linear Arrangement Easy

Overall, a student who has prepared well should be able to attempt 4 to 5 sets properly in the allocated 60 minutes. This section could be termed moderate. For a 98 percentile, 19 attempts with an 80% accuracy should be considered good.

III] Quantitative Aptitude Section in CAT 2018

A) Morning Slot

This was indeed the surprise of the paper and unnerved the test-takers. With a heavy dose of Geometry and Logarithm questions – 7 and 3, this altered the balance of this section though Geometry was easier than previous year. If the test taker had learnt not to judge the book by the cover, he would be fine in this section. Each question had to be read and understood before taking the call to skip the same. A lot of students ended up skipping questions which were below average in difficulty-level because of the look of the question!  There was also a heavy dose of Arithmetic: 3 Time, Speed, Distance questions, 3 Time &Work questions. There were also 3-4 Numbers questions, 2 each of Set Theory, Functions, Average and Partnerships, and 1 each of SICI, Profit and Loss, Percentage, P&C, Alligations and Mixtures, Progressions.

Overall, it was a far more balanced section compared to previous years’ formats and students had to spend some time on questions rather than look for sitters as sitters were fewer in number. Another feature was that the 12 key-in questions were time consuming and required students to be clear about  concepts and careful in calculations.

Take-away: The section was moderate to difficult. For a 98 percentile, 25 attempts with 80% accuracy should be considered good.

B) Afternoon Slot

This was indeed the surprise of the paper and unnerved the test-takers. CAT certainly increased the difficulty level of this section from last year. Thus, unlike last year Quant was of moderate level. Afternoon slot had a high proportion of Geometry, Alligation- Mixtures ,Time and Work and Time Speed and Distance questions, this altered the balance of this section. A lot of students ended up skipping questions which were below average in difficulty-level because of the look of the question!

Overall, it was a far more balanced section compared to previous years’ formats and students had to spend some time on questions rather than look for sitters as sitters were fewer in number. Another feature was that the 12 key-in questions were time consuming and required students to be clear about  concepts and careful in calculations.

Take-away: The section was moderate to difficult. For a 98 percentile, 25 attempts with 80% accuracy should be considered good.

Raw Score Based Percentile Projections

Find below the percentile projections on the basis of raw scores for the Morning Slot

Expected Percentile on basis of Raw Scores
Percentile Overall Verbal LRDI Quant
99 169 70 53 65
98 154 64 46 57
95 132 58 40 47
90 113 50 34 40
85 95 44 28 33
80 83 39 24 28

Find below the percentile projections on the basis of raw scores for the Evening Slot

Expected Percentile on basis of Raw Scores
Percentile Overall Verbal LRDI Quant
99 163 67 50 64
98 147 60 43 57
95 126 54 37 47
90 107 47 30 40
85 89 40 26 33
80 77 35 22 28

Overall, this paper was balanced across all sections and one needs to appreciate CAT authorities for creating a blockbuster of a paper which will only increase students’ faith in the system.

Source:www.endeavorcareers.com

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