CAT 2017 had 3 sections as mentioned in CAT Notification and Online Demo:
As per the format, the first section was Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability. The break-up of questions were the same as last year i.e. 24 questions of RC divided in 5 Passages as 2 passages having 3 questions each and 3 passages having 6 questions each. There were 3 questions on Summary, 4 in Parajumbles and 3 Out of Context questions. The second Section of 32 questions had the expected break up of 16 questions from each sub section i.e. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. There were 4 sets in each sub-section carrying 4 questions each. The third Section was Quantitative Ability having 34 questions spread across different concepts of Arithmetic, Algebra, Modern Mathematics and Geometry.
The in-depth analysis of the sectionals is as follows:
CAT 2017 had exactly same format as CAT 2016 with the difficulty level a notch lower.
With 10 questions of Verbal Ability and 10 questions of Reading Comprehension, the Verbal Section of CAT 2017 was a close replica of CAT 2016 with minor changes. Like last year, Vocabulary based, Grammar based, Logical Continuation and Critical Reasoning questions were missing.
RCs were 5 in number: 3 RCs (450-600 words) with 6 questions each & 2 RCs (250-350 words,) with 3 questions each. One RC was a 250+ words single paragraph. Though, by the look of it, this subsection might have appeared intimidating, it wasn’t really difficult. The passages were fairly contemporary; spread across Economy, Culture, Technology, Science, History. Of the 24 questions, 10-12 questions were direct and called for a lot of regression. About 4-5 questions were of the format: “The author would agree to all of the below, EXCEPT” which again led to back and forth reading of the passages. About 5 questions were related to main idea and primary purpose of the passage. There were several inferential questions, a logical continuation and an assumption question. Overall, 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 questions (3 questions), Summary/Main point of the passage (3 questions) & Parajumbles (4 questions).
Parajumbles were ‘key ins’. The 5 sentences to be re-arranged made them slightly challenging. Links were available, but were two broken links, making these questions a little tricky and time consuming. Since these questions carried no negative marking, a smart test taker would be able to attempt them with 75% accuracy.
Out of Context was also of the non-MCQ variety but with just a number to be keyed-in, appeared “pseudo non-MCQ”. Out of context questions comprised 5 sentences. They were easy in difficulty level, hence should not have been missed.
Summary questions were not ‘key ins’ this time like in CAT 2016. This slot had rather short passages (75 to 100 words), with one question being abstract. The one-sentence options made them less of a summary and more of the main point of the author. The difficulty level for this question type was moderate to difficult. Overall, the VARC section was of moderate difficulty-level.
27-28 attempts with 90% accuracy can be classified as a good score in this section.
Challenging section – Could be the final decider, again.
This section seemed to be toughest, though little easier than the Morning Slot.
Sets of Chess, Dorms and Asset Distribution were relatively easy among the 8 sets the section had. The set of finger prints and arrangement was also doable. Basic calculation skills were tested through the set having fours types of Pizza. Arguably the set discussing re-allocation of students among six courses was a tricky one and needed understanding of data analysis in depth.
Overall, Attempting 18+ questions with 80% accuracy can be considered for good score.
Overall, again LR/DI section may become bottleneck for most of the students. Though, this section was expected to be tough, but handling newer varieties of question is always difficult. Moreover, lot of sets were time consuming and hence, it would not have been easy to skip sets.
This section was very easy even with comparison of previous year’s Quant section. A huge number of easy questions maintained the pace right. Almost all the chapters had a usual share of 1-2 Qs in the section. However, just one question from Number System was a surprise. Three questions from function and Progressions each were also on the higher side. Geometry had a usual share of six questions.
Overall distribution of questions was as below:
|Modern Maths||12 Questions|
With just 3-4 questions being difficult and more than a third of the section easy and remaining moderate, overall the difficulty level of section was easy to moderate.
Such a paper 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.
27 attempts with 90% accuracy can be classified as a good score in this section.
Below mentioned is the expected break up of sectional scores with respective percentiles:
|Percentile||Verbal Ability||DI + LR||Quantitative Ability||Overall|
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Best wishes for the results.