CAT Overall Analysis
CAT 2016 was conducted by IIMBangalore following the previous year paper pattern. The difficulty level of the test was difficult. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section was moderate and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section was easy to moderate.
CAT 2015 was conducted by IIM Ahmedabad following the previous year paper pattern. The difficulty level of the test was Easy-Moderate. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section was moderate and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section was moderate to tough.
CAT 2014 was also conducted by IIM Indore in an absolutely new pattern. The difficulty level of the test was moderate to tough. Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation section was moderate and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section was moderate to tough. Logical Reasoning was the toughest part of the exam.
CAT 2013 was conducted by IIM Indore. The test was on the expected lines and did not throw any surprise. The difficulty level was moderate to tough. The test was taken by 1.74 lakh candidates. The candidates faced some wrong questions on Day 1. There was also controversy around questions getting leaked making the Non Disclosure Agreement void.
CAT 2012, conducted by IIM Kozhikode was a moderate to tough test in terms of difficulty level. The test did not encounter technical glitches. The pattern of the test followed previous years’ pattern and the questions did not throw any surprise in terms of topics and areas. The test was taken by 1.95 lakh candidates.
The following table brings to you the test structure of CAT over the past 5 years.
List of CAT Quantitative Aptitude Topics:
- Number System: Important keeping in mind that this is where your preparation begins. Ensure that you are clear with the basic concepts of this topic.
- Arithmetic: Though Arithmetic has a vast number of sub-topics, in the last 5 years, only a couple of questions have featured from this topic. Arithmetic remains very important for non-CAT papers.
- Algebra: Considering this has been one of the most dominant topics in CAT in the last five years, it makes a lot of sense to place extra emphasis on this topic.
- Geometry: Another topic which has featured quite a lot in the last 5 years.
- Permutation & Combination/Probability: This is another topic that contributes around 1 to 2 questions to the exam.
- Miscellaneous Topics: This includes Set Theory, Trigonometry (one question appeared from this topic in CAT-2013) and Logarithms
There are three sections in the question paper, according to the latest paper pattern of CAT, one of which is Data Interpretation (DI) . Candidates find DI to be a very daunting part of the paper sometimes, as it has the tendency to become quite calculation intensive. Given that there is a limited time to go through all the questions, the students have to be speedy when it comes to handling large amounts of numerical data.
Scoring well in this section depends on how quick the candidate is with numbers and how well his mind can work around a riddle. A keen eye with lots of observation power is also much required and the candidates must practice ample problem sets to hone their aptitude for DI .
LR is another tricky part of the paper, since even the most seasoned candidates can be thrown off balance when faced with a particularly complex puzzle. It is also important for the candidates to get enough exposure in terms of variety, as practicing different types of puzzles will help them with LR.
Many aspirants consider Logical Reasoning as the toughest part in CAT examination. Logical Reasoning questions usually come with 2/3 bits. A paragraph is given with full of information followed by 2/3 questions. You have to read the information thoroughly and apply your logic for answering these questions. The first and most important step in solving an LR problem is to write down all of the information given in a box, table or diagram.
LR problems usually contain several statements which serve as clues to solving the given questions. Thus, the problem should always be attempted in a methodical manner, and solved step-by-step, because trying to look at all the information at once will confuse even the best of us.
CAT Verbal Ability Preparation is a special beast: in terms of tangibles, there is very little can be listed down as things to do. But in terms of intangibles, there is a huge list of things that you should take up for the perfect preparation. The Verbal Ability section constitutes three main topics as Vocabulary, Grammar and Verbal Reasoning.
Vocabulary questions test the candidate’s knowledge in English like primary meanings of words, idioms, and phrases, secondary shades of meaning, usage, associated words, antonyms, etc.
Grammar-based questions test the candidate’s capability to mark and correct grammatical errors. CAT tests the knowledge of high school level grammar and includes areas like use of articles, prepositions use of modifiers, subject-verb agreement, parallel construction, phrasal verbs, redundancy, etc.
Verbal Reasoning questions are designed to test the candidate’s potential to identify relationships or patterns within sentences or group of words.