CAT 2018 Slot-wise Analysis

With the CAT 2018 exam now concluded, students and teaching-centres alike are deconstructing and analysing the CAT 2018 Pattern and Sectional Difficulty. The article below seeks to throw light on the analysis of the questions, difficulty level and attempts required in CAT 2018 in Slot 1 and Slot 2.

The article below is attributed to Mr. Gautam Bawa (Group Product Head, Career Launcher) for the Slot 1 Analysis and Mr. Arks Srinivas (National Head, MBA Prep, Career Launcher) for Slot 2 Analysis.

CAT 2018 Slot 1 Analysis           

The exam analysis for CAT 2018 (Slot 2) has been undertaken intensively by Mr. Gautam Bawa (Group Product Head, Career Launcher).

CAT 2018 Slot 1 Paper Pattern

The CAT 2018 paper followed a similar trend as the CAT 2017 with some notable variations. The paper started with a VARC section that was even easier than 2017. The difficulty level of the DILR section provided a major relief to the nervous ‘jantaa’ as it broke the trend of the past 3 years. It was a moderately difficult section, as compared to an out and out difficult section that has been observed over the last 2-3 years. However, this relief was short-lived as Quantitative Aptitude [QA section] came out all guns blazing. IIM-C kept its reputation intact, with its emphasis on the QA section.

The breakup of the CAT 2018 Slot-1 was as follows:

Section No. of Questions No. of non-MCQ questions Difficulty Level Good Attempts
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension [VARC] 34 7 Easy 28+
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning [DILR] 32 8 Moderate 16+
Quantitative Ability [QA] 34 12 Difficult 15+
Total 100  27 60+

Section-wise Analysis of CAT 2018 Slot I

Here is an individual look at all 3 sections in Slot 1:

I] Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

VA&RC greeted students with an easier than expected paper. However, the pattern of the paper didn’t strictly match that of the sample paper provided by the CAT team.

  • There were 34 questions with 7 Non-MCQ questions.
  • No instructions provided for the number of questions in each passage. However there remained 5 passages.
  • One passage had 4 questions (the passage on Genetics) while the rest had 5 questions each.

The topics of the remaining RC passages were from familiar areas and easy to read. There were quite a few inference-based questions, but these were easy to attempt. The options were not really very close. Only 4-5 questions from RC were tricky. However, a student should have followed the POE (process of elimination) to be able to achieve a decent accuracy rate as the options were not straight forward.

The VA section had one major surprise: The para jumble questions were easy, and the sentences were really short.

  • There were 4 Subjective Para Jumble questions, and all of these had 4 sentences each.
  • There were 3 Odd sentence para-jumble questions.

These questions were easier than expected. A student could have easily managed to get 4 questions correct out of the 7 PJs. These were TITA – Type in the Answer questions. The three summary questions were difficult. The paragraphs focused entirely on research methodology and academic concepts. So, they were difficult to read and comprehend. However, the options were not really difficult. So, any voracious reader would have been able to attempt these easily.  So, for many CAT aspirants this year (especially those who relied heavily on QA), VA may just turn out to be the saviour.

Nature of Text/Questions asked in CAT 2018 – Slot 1

Area Topic No. of Questions Description
Reading Comprehension
(24 Questions)
Reading Comprehension 24 There were 5 passages – Each having similar word limit (around 500-550 words each). The passage on Genetics had four questions and it was slightly tedious to read. The other four passages came from familiar areas like India’s view on its legacy of Second World War, Plastic Pollution, Elephant society, and Consumer behaviour studies. Each of these had five questions. On an average, every passage had 1-2 inference based questions. The passage on 2nd World War would have been the easiest to attempt closely followed by the passage on plastic pollution. Options were not very tricky. A student could have attempted 20-21 questions easily with more than 85% accuracy.
Verbal Ability
(10 Questions)
Para-jumble 4 All had four sentences each and the sentences were pretty easy and concise. As these had no negative marking, one should have attempted all without wasting a lot of time. However, two of these would be tricky to answer without options. The trick was to identify the opening sentence and go ahead with the mandatory pair. There were quite a few clue words. Prior practice and awareness of deductive paragraphs were the key.
Summary 3 The paragraphs were short (under 80 words each). However, these were really difficult to read, and the options became confusing because of the genres of the paragraphs. So, only one of these should have been attempted. These questions carried negative marks.
Para-jumble (Odd sentence out) 3 The question (the one on bumblebee) had an incomplete sentence. This coupled with the Para-Jumble on erosion would have been difficult. The other question was a sitter.

II] Data Interpretation And Logical Reasoning

The next section was DILR. After three consecutive tragedies, DILR-2018 must have been a pleasant surprise.

  • There were 32 questions in total with 8 Non-MCQ questions.
  • Unlike last year’s paper, the theme of the sets was more conventional.

With smart selection, around 4 sets in the section could have been attempted very easily with good accuracy. A couple of sets had 1 ‘difficult to crack’ question each. And a student should have been wise enough to leave these aside. Calculation wasn’t required at all in the DI sets. On the other hand, the LR sets were easy-moderate in terms of level of difficulty.

Overall,15-17 attempts, with accuracy of 90% would be considered good.

Section Topic No. of Questions Doable
Data Interpretation Pie Chart-Annual/half yearly/Quarter Sales-Moderate 4 4
ATM -Denominations of 100,200 and 500-Moderate 4 1-2
Set Theory-1600 rockets were launched-Moderate 4 1-2
Logical Reasoning Matrix-Adjacent cells-Easy 4 2-3
10 friends -scores in DI/WE/GK- Difficult 4 1-2
4 Females ,4 Males-Minor and major-Easy 4 4
3 Committees-research/teaching/economist – moderate 4 2-3
1-20 petrol pumps-Moderate 4 2-3

III] Quantitative Aptitude

At the end, came the real star of the show, the ‘infamous IIM-C QA’. For students who were already scared of this section, it could have felt like a nuclear disaster. However, for the ‘engineering-dominated’ group, this was not impossible to attempt. The questions were calculation and logic intensive, not theory intensive.

  • There were 34 questions of QA with 12 Non-MCQ questions.
  • It was arguably the toughest QA section in the last four years.

The questions were designed to test the grasp of basic fundamentals of the concepts. Question based on Arithmetic and Geometry dominated the section. In some of MCQs, options were very confusing to get the answer. Number System and Logarithm each had at least 2 questions.

An overall attempt of 18-20 with 85% accuracy would be very good.

Section Topic No. of Questions Doable
Quantitative Ability Number System 2 2
Algebra 8 4-5
Arithmetic 14 6-7
Modern Math 3 2
Geometry and Mensuration 7 3-4

Takeaway from CAT 2018 Slot 1

Overall, a 99 percentile score could reduce by about 15-18 marks as compared to last year. Thus, a score of 150-155 should fetch a 99 percentile.

CAT 2018 Slot 2 Analysis

The exam analysis for CAT 2018 (Slot 2) has been undertaken intensively by Mr. Arks Srinivas (National Head, MBA Prep, Career Launcher). 

CAT 2018 Slot 1 Paper Pattern

‘Forewarned is forearmed’ is a piece of timeless wisdom and this held true for CAT 2018 – Slot 2. Students who went into the second slot expecting a similar paper as that of the first slot (or for that matter the CAT 2017 paper) were on the right track. It too started with a VARC section that was easy. The passages were on similar lines as those of the first slot.

The DILR section continued to give a sigh of relief to the students. However, some are of the opinion that it was slightly tougher than the first slot’s DILR section. Overall, it was of a moderate level of difficulty. And the reign of QA continued. It remained the toughest section in the second slot too.

The breakup of the CAT 2018 Slot-2 was as follows:

Section No. of Questions No. of non-MCQ questions Difficulty Level Good Attempts
Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension 34 7 Easy 28+
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32 8 Moderate 16+
Quantitative Ability 34 12 Difficult 15+
Total 100  27 60+

Section-wise Analysis of CAT 2018 Slot 2

I] Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

VARC continued to be ‘the feel good’ section. The pattern remained the same as that of the first slot.

  • There were 34 questions with 7 Non-MCQ questions.
  • There were no instructions provided for the number of questions in each passage. However there remained 5 passages.
  • One passage had 4 questions (the passage on ‘Grover snails’) while the rest had 5 questions each.

The topics of the remaining RC passages were also from familiar areas. They were easy to read. There were quite a few inference-based questions, but these were easy to attempt, thanks to the option choices. The options were not extremely close. Only 4-5 questions from RC were tricky. However, a student should have followed the POE (process of elimination) to be able to achieve a decent accuracy rate as the options were not straight forward.

The VA section had one major change: The questions were easier than expected.

  • There were 4 Subjective Para Jumble questions, and all of these had 4 sentences each.
  • There were 3 Odd sentence para-jumble questions.

A student could have easily managed to get 4 questions correct out of the 7 PJs (PJ and OSPJ) These were TITA – Type in the Answer questions. The three para-summary questions were of moderate level of difficulty. The paragraphs continued to be short in the range pf 450 to 500 words each.

Comparing with Slot 1

However, as compared to the first slot, the summary questions were slightly easier. Only one summary question appeared to be tough. So, VARC continued to be the ‘easiest’ of the lot.

Nature of Text/Questions asked in CAT 2018 – Slot 2

Area Topic No. of Questions Description
Reading Comprehension
(24 Questions)
Reading Comprehension 24 There were 5 passages – All of them had similar word limit (around 450-500 words each). The passage on Grover Snails had four questions. The other four passages came from familiar areas like Meritocracy and diversified teams, use of technology in essential services, rings of Saturn and their age, and a passage on human resource and learning. Each of these had five questions. On an average, every passage had 1-2 inference-based questions. The passage on white-lipped shelled snails would have been the easiest to attempt closely followed by the passage on essential services and technology. From the remaining passages, one was slightly tough to read. Options were not very tricky. A student could have attempted 20-21 questions easily with more than 85% accuracy.
Verbal Ability
(10 Questions)
Para-jumble 4 All had four sentences each and the sentences were pretty easy and concise. As these had no negative marking, one should have attempted all without wasting a lot of time. However, two of these would be tricky to answer without options. The trick was to identify the opening sentence and go ahead with the mandatory pair. There were quite a few clue words. Prior practice and awareness of deductive paragraphs were the key.
Summary 3 The summary paragraphs were easier as compared to those of the first slot. The paragraphs were short and slightly difficult to read. However, only one summary question can be called difficult.
Para-jumble (Odd sentence out) 3 The questions were tricky, especially the one with the bird songs. This coupled with the PJ on business elites would have been difficult. The other question was a sitter.

II] Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

The second section of the paper DILR continued to be a pleasant surprise.

  • There were 32 questions in total with 8 Non-MCQ questions.

Data-Interpretation Analysis

This year, the sets appearing in DI followed more conventional themes. There was one very direct DI set with basic calculations. The focus and strategy should have been the quality of the selected sets rather the quantity of the numbers of questions attempted. A couple of sets did have a question each which should have been ‘left alone’. Two sets included calculation but none was on the tougher side.

Logical Reasoning Analysis

On the other hand, the LR sets were easy-moderate in terms of level of difficulty.

Overall,15-17 attempts, with accuracy of 90% would be considered good.

Section Topic No. of Questions Doable
Data Interpretation Currency Exchange and rate changes 4 2-3
Smartphones and market share 4 4
Box Diagram of 3 companies/products 4 1-2
Logical Reasoning Interview Arrivals (Arrangement) 4 3-4
Coding (Alphabet/digits) 4 2-3
Set theory (3 games, Ludo, Kho-kho, Gilli Danda) 4 2
Institute Accreditation 4 2-3
Tickets to a show, old, young and middle aged people 4 2-3

III] Quantitative Aptitude 

Students came out of the QA section with a much lower level of satisfaction than the other 2 sections. Those expecting a happy ending in QA, were definitely not paying attention to all the discussions following the first slot. IIM-C and its love for a tough QA section continued in the second slot too.

  • The questions were calculation and logic intensive, not theory intensive.
  • There were 34 questions of QA with 12 Non-MCQ questions.
  • It was arguably the toughest QA section in the last four years.

The focus of the aptitude questions continued to be on testing the fundamental knowledge of the students and their clarity of concepts. Questions on Arithmetic and Geometry dominated this section. In some of MCQs, options were very confusing to get the answer. Number System and Logarithm each had at least 2 questions.

An overall attempt of 18-20 with 85% accuracy would be very good.

Section Topic No. of Questions Doable
Quantitative Ability Number System 2 1
Algebra 8-9 4-5
Arithmetic 13-14 8-9
Modern Math 3 1-2
Geometry and Mensuration 7 3-4

Takeaway from CAT 2018 Slot 2

Overall, a 99 percentile score could reduce by about 15-18 marks as compared to last year. Thus, a score of 150-155 should fetch a 99 percentile.

“Please Note: All information on analysis and scores are based on the accuracy of attempts provided by you as well as independent analysis and evaluation made by Career Launcher Academic Team. We do not take responsibility for any decision that might be taken, based on this information.”

Source: www.careerlauncher.com

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