### CAT Past Year's Paper Analysis

#### 2016 - Slot 1

The CAT test began with the VARC section followed by DILR and then QA sections. A score of 155 to 160 should be aimed to achieve the 99th percentile in the paper. The timing for the first slot is 9 AM to 12 PM.  The section-wise analysis is as follows-

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable Questions Difficulty level Quantitative Ability Number System 4 2-3 Moderate Algebra 12 9-10 Moderate Arithmetic 12 9-10 Moderate Modern Math 2 2 easy Geometry and Mensuration 4 2-3 Difficult

As compared to CAT 2015, this year this section wasn’t separated into different parts which made it slightly confusing to navigate. The section was identical to CAT 2015 VARC section and there were no new additions to the format. Reading comprehension ranged from topics like environmental concerns and economics. The student should have aimed to identify the fact-based questions first and attempt those followed by inferential questions. One of the passages required a high level of accuracy while reading and was tough to crack.

In the verbal ability section, 4 questions were from para- jumbles, and 3 questions each were from odd word/ sentence out and summary- type questions. The verbal ability section was attempted by most students like the process of eliminating options was achievable. All in all, for a 95+ percentile an attempt of 21-23 will be good for this section. An attempt of 26-27 was required for the 99th percentile.

 Topic Numberof questions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel RC-1:  Declineof languages 6 5 Easy- medium RC- 2: Environmentalconservation in Bhutan 3 3 Easy- medium RC-3: Problemwith universal primary education 6 5 Easy- medium RC-4: Bondingthrough suffering 6 5 Easy- medium RC-5: Economicimportance of housework 3 3 Easy Para-jumbles 4 2 Moderate Odd sentenceout 3 1 Moderate Summary 3 1 Moderate
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning-
In this section, out of the total eight sets, four sets were of an easy level and the rest ranged from a moderate to high difficulty level. The sets named movies, marks, t-shirts, and folders were easy to handle. The chances of scoring in this section were higher if the student could accurately guess which sets and which questions within the sets to attempt. Apart from this most sets required lengthy calculations. 3 – 4 sets in this section could be attempted, so to get the 99th percentile a score of 33-34 (raw score) is needed.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable Questions Difficulty Level Data Interpretation Based on reasoning 3 1-2 Moderate Based on scheduling 4 3-4 Easy Based on calculation 5 2 Difficult Based on observation 4 – Moderate to difficult Logical Reasoning Based on observation 4 3-4 Easy Based on games 5 3-4 Easy Based on grouping andconditional ties 4 2 Moderate Based on reasoning 3 1 Difficult

Quantitative Ability-
As seen in previous years, questions from Algebra had the highest frequency, followed by questions from Geometry and Mensuration, Modern Maths, Number System, and Arithmetic. There were 7 non- MCQ questions which was a pleasant surprise from the last CAT Exam where there were 14 in number. The use of the calculator was recommended in some of the questions. 25-26 attempts with 90% accuracy would be needed for the 99th percentile.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable Questions Difficulty Level Quantitative Ability Number System 4 3 Moderate Algebra 10-11 8-10 Easy Arithmetic 10 7-9 Moderate Modern Math 2 1 Easy Geometry and Mensuration 7-8 4-5 Difficult

#### 2016 - Slot 2

The CAT test began with the VARC section followed by DILR and then QA sections. A score of 155- 160 should be sufficient to achieve the 99th percentile in the paper. The timing for the first slot is 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. The section-wise analysis is as follows-

 Section Total number of questions Number of MCQ questions Number of non- MCQ questions Level of difficulty Good attempts VARC 34 27 7 Easy to moderate 27-28 DI & LR 32 24 8 Difficult 14-16 QA 34 26 8 Easy to moderate 22-25 Total 100 77 23 68-72

The RCs were similar to those encountered in the CAT exam of 2015. Three of the passages had a word limit of 450 words and the other two passages had a word limit of 250 words. It is a general trend that the shorter passages are more difficult to solve. As most of the questions were fact-based, an attentive reader will be able to solve them with finesse.

The verbal ability section consisted of 4 questions from para- jumbles and 3 questions each from summary- type and odd word/ sentence out type. All questions were reasoning type questions, grammar-based questions were absent from the format. A good attempt will be 25-27 with around 90% accuracy.

 Topic Numberof questions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel RC-1: TheDurand line 6 5 Easy RC- 2: Corruptionat international level 3 3 Easy RC-3: Creatingpositive environment in the workplace 6 6 Easy RC-4: Controversyon archaeological artefacts 3 3 Easy RC-5: Creatingvalue in business 6 4 Moderate Parajumbles 4 3 Moderate Out of Contextsentence 3 2 Moderate Summary 3 2 Moderate

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning-

In the present section, out of the eight total sets, three sets namely salaries, coding, and set theory were of an easy level and the rest ranged from moderate to difficult levels. Different from slot one, one of the sets had all the questions as non- MCQ. The logical reasoning section was slightly tougher than the data interpretation section. The other sets were related to loans, restaurant ratings, lectures, and water supply. 14-16 questions, in this section, should be attempted with 85% accuracy to get a the 99th percentile.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable Questions Difficulty Level Data Interpretation Based on reasoning 4 1-2 Moderate Based on scheduling 4 3-4 Easy Based on calculation 4 2 Difficult Based on observation 4 – Moderate to difficult Logical Reasoning Based on observation 4 3-4 Easy Based on games 4 3-4 Easy Based on grouping and conditional ties 4 2 Moderate Based on reasoning 4 1 Difficult
Quantitative Ability-
Following the past trends, the majority of questions were from Arithmetic followed by Algebra, Geometry and Mensuration, Modern Math and Number System. Under Arithmetic, the main questions were from simple and compound interest, time speed distance, profit- loss, and mixtures. The level of difficulty for this section was marginally easier than the paper in the first slot. The non- MCQ were seven in number as compared to fourteen in the previous year. The calculator was useful in some of the questions. 22-25 attempts with 90% accuracy should suffice for the 99th percentile.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable questions Difficulty level Quantitative Ability Number System 3-4 3 Easy Algebra 8-9 5-6 Moderate Arithmetic 10-11 7-8 Moderate Modern Math 3-4 1-2 Moderate Geometry and Mensuration 7-8 4-5 Difficult

#### 2017 - Slot 1

The CAT test began with the VARC section followed by DILR and then QA sections. A score of 160 should be sufficient to achieve the 99th percentile in the paper. The timing for the first slot is 9 AM to 12 PM. The section-wise analysis is as follows-

 Section Total number of questions Number of MCQ questions Number of non- MCQ questions Level of difficulty Good attempts VARC 34 24 10 Easy 26-27 DI & LR 32 24 8 Moderate to Difficult 13-14 QA 34 27 7 Moderate to Difficult 25-26 Total 100 75 25 63-67

Under the 5 Reading Comprehension exercises, the subjects were spread over several domains ranging from economics, biology, and culture. Some questions were fact-based and could be easily gauged by attentive reading whereas few questions tested a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Under the verbal ability section, most questions were based on verbal logic and it also included para- jumbles which were non- MCQ questions. The non- MCQ questions didn’t attract any negative marks. There were 3 summary- based questions and 3 odd word/ sentence out questions in this section. For a 95+ percentile an attempt of 21-23 will be good for this section. An attempt of 26-27 was required for the 99th percentile.

 Topic Numberof questions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel RC-1: Ancientmaps and the positioning of north 6 5 Easy RC- 2: Comparisonbetween the printing press and iphone 6 5 Easy RC-3: Economicviability of hosting the Olympics by a country 3 3 Easy RC-4: Developmentof species 3 3 Easy RC-5: Socialeffect of malls in the USA 6 4 Moderate Parajumbles 4 3 Moderate Out of Contextsentence 3 2 Moderate Summary 3 2 Moderate

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning-

This section was slightly more difficult than the DILR section of the previous year’s CAT exam. There were four sets in the data interpretation section and four sets in the logical reasoning section, out of these 2 sets (that is a survey of children and burgers) were easy and could attract full marks whereas the other sets ranging from a moderate level to difficult level. An attempt should be made not to finish all the questions but gauge which sets are doable and do them accordingly. 3 – 4 sets in this section could be attempted, so to get a 99th percentile a score of 33-34 (raw score) is needed.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable questions Difficulty level DataInterpretation Based on reasoning 4 2 Difficult Based on scheduling 4 3 Easy Based on calculation 4 2 Easy Based on observation 4 2 Moderate todifficult Logical Reasoning Based on observation 4 1-2 Easy Based on games 4 4 Easy Based on grouping andconditional ties 4 4 Easy Based on reasoning 4 1 Moderate

Quantitative Ability-

The level of difficulty of this section was slightly lesser than that of the CAT exam paper in 2016. More than half of the section covered the topics of Arithmetic and Algebra. Other major topics included Mensuration, Modern Maths, Geometry, and Number system. Almost all the questions tested the fundamental conceptual understanding of students while the choices given were useful in estimating the answers. 25-26 attempts with 90% accuracy would be needed for the 99th percentile.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable questions Difficulty level Quantitative Ability Number System 4 4 Easy Algebra 10-11 8-10 Moderate Arithmetic 11 7-9 Moderate Modern Math 2 2 Easy Geometry and Mensuration 6-7 4-5 Difficult

#### 2017 - Slot 2

The CAT test began with the VARC section followed by DILR and then QA sections. A score of around 160 should be sufficient to achieve the 99th percentile in the paper. The timing for the first slot is 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. The section-wise analysis is as follows-

 Section Total number of questions Number of MCQ questions Number of non- MCQ questions Level of difficulty Good attempts VARC 34 24 10 Easy 25-27 DI & LR 32 24 8 Moderate to Difficult 13-14 QA 34 27 7 Moderate to Difficult 25-26 Total 100 75 25 64-68

There were some changes in the pattern of this section. The topics for the RCs were broad and ranged from Biology to Economics and also abstract topics like creativity. One of the passages was difficult to read and could have been avoided. Most of the questions were based on the main idea and inferential questions were also present. Apart from this, questions based on tone were not included and factual questions were few.

In the verbal ability part, the para- jumbles were of a high difficulty level and there were 4 para- jumble questions. 3 questions each came from the odd word/ sentence out and summary type questions. Summary based questions attracted negative marking.  A good attempt will be 25-27 with around 90% accuracy.

 Topic Numberof questions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel RC-1: Misconceptionsabout Vikings being only plunderers 3 3 Easy RC- 2: Creativityis a social concept 6 5 Easy RC-3: Utilityof typewriters in the digital age 3 3 Easy RC-4: Ramificationsof the end of the internal combustion engine 6 5 Easy RC-5: Subniviumand how it is impacted by climate change 6 5 Moderate Parajumbles 4 3 Moderate Out of Contextsentence 3 2 Moderate Summary 3 2 Moderate
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning-
There were 8 sets in total, out of these 3 sets namely chess, pizza, and tea were of a low to moderate difficulty level. The other sets were of a difficult nature and had two to three doable questions in each. The biometric set had a high difficulty level and could be skipped altogether if the student was unable to identify the doable questions. Few of the sets had extra information which made them even more difficult to undertake. 4-16 questions should be attempted with 85% accuracy to get the 99th percentile.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable Questions Difficulty level DataInterpretationAnd Logical Reasoning Based on reasoning 4 3-4 Moderate Based on scheduling 4 4 Easy Based on calculation 4 2-3 Moderate Based on observation 4 2-3 Moderate to Difficult Based on observation 4 1-2 Difficult Based on games 4 1 Easy Based on grouping and conditional ties 4 2 Easy Based on reasoning 4 – Moderate

Quantitative Ability-

As seen in past years also, this section was dominated by Arithmetic questions and followed by questions from the topics of Numbers, Modern Math, Geometry, Algebra, and Mensuration. Some of the topics were combined and questions were asked to test the in-depth knowledge of both of these concepts. There was eleven non- MCQ questions in the present paper compared to only seven in CAT 2016. 22-25 attempts with 90% accuracy should suffice for the 99th percentile.

 Section Topic No. of Questions Doable Questions Difficulty level Quantitative Ability Number System 4 2-3 Moderate Algebra 12 9-10 Moderate Arithmetic 12 9-10 Moderate Modern Math 2 2 easy Geometry and Mensuration 4 2-3 Difficult

#### 2018 - Slot 1

 Section No. of Questions No. of non-MCQquestions Difficulty Level VARC 34 7 Easy DILR 32 8 Moderate QA 34 12 Difficult

 Topic Number of questions Doable Questions Difficulty Level Happinessand Economics 5 5 Easy Humanelephant relationship 5 5 Easy Absenceof WWII memories in India 5 5 Easy Problemof single use plastic 5 5 Easy Influenceof parental gene in mice 4 2 Moderate Parajumbles 4 2 Moderate Summary 3 1 Moderate Outof Context sentence 3 1 Moderate
There were 4 passages with 5 questions each and 1 passage with 4 questions in the verbal portion. On mis-fit, there were 3 questions, 4 on summaries and 4 on Para Jumbles. The passages were relatively clear, but options were close and could therefore have an influence on precision. It would have been better for students with a firm grip on reading. Questions regarding Para-Jumbles were fairly simple.
A good number of attempts for this section would be around 24 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to score 85 percentile.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
 Topic Number of Questions DoableQuestions Level of Difficulty Problem basedon Reasoning 4 3 Easy Scheduling based 4 3 Difficult DataInterpretation 4 2 Moderate LogicalReasoning 4 4 Easy Calculationbased 4 3 Moderate Observationbased 4 1 Difficult Games 4 4 Easy Grouping &Conditional ties 4 4 Moderate
Five sets were there. One collection was on the dispersion of the ATM note in which Rs. 5000 cash had to be withdrawn but only in Rs. 100, 200 and 500 denominations. There were concerns about the mix. There was a set on the Number Grid System where it was possible to shape a matrix of 3 * 3 and 5 * 5 with the condition that no two adjacent numbers should be the same horizontally, diagonally or vertically. There was also a straight Pie Chart Data Collection that was really manageable. It was difficult and tricky with Pure AR.
A good number of attempts for this section would be around 15 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to get 85 percentile.

Quantitative Aptitude
 Topic Number of Questions DoableQuestions Level of Difficulty Numbers 2 2 Easy Algebra 2 2 Easy Arithmetic 14 14 Easy Geometry 6 6 Easy ModernMath 10 9 Moderate
The general opinion is that, with no definite choice, the Quant section was very difficult. On Number System, Venn-Diagram, Higher math and Probability, there were 1-2 questions each. Algebra and Geometry had 5-6 questions with 8-10 Ratio / Time Distance / Work questions each, etc. Questions about algebra, geometry and arithmetic were difficult.
A good number of attempts for this section would be around 15 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to score 85 percentile.

#### 2018 - Slot 2

 Section No. of Questions No. of non-MCQquestions Difficulty Level VARC 34 7 Easy DILR 32 8 Moderate QA 34 12 Difficult

 Topic Number of Questions DoableQuestions Level of Difficulty Evolution of white lipped snails 4 4 Easy Saturn’s rings and several of its moons 5 4 Moderate Evaluation based on metric fixation 5 5 Easy Access of the poor to government Services 5 4 Moderate Fallacy of Meritocracy 5 4 Moderate Parajumbles 4 3 Moderate Out of Context sentence 3 3 Easy Summary 3 3 Easy
There were 4 passages with 5 questions each in the verbal section and 1 passage with 4 questions. There were 3 mis-fit questions, 4 on summaries and 4 on Para Jumbles. The passages were relatively clear, but options were close and could therefore have an effect on precision. It would have been better for students with decent readability. Questions regarding Para-Jumbles were reasonably straightforward.
A good number of attempts for this section would be around 23 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to 85 percentile.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
 Topic Number of Questions DoableQuestions Level of Difficulty Problem basedon Reasoning 4 3 Easy Schedulingbased 4 4 Easy DataInterpretation 4 4 Easy LogicalReasoning 4 1 Difficult Calculationbased 4 1 Difficult Observationbased 4 4 Easy Games 4 2 Moderate Grouping &Conditional ties 4 2 Moderate
Eight sets of 4 questions each were included. There were 2 simple and doable blocks. A block consisting of room allocation for 7 students was easy and a block on the expense, profitability and revenue of mobile was also feasible again. As they were long and tough, blocks related to coding and college ranking should have been avoided. The rest were moderate to difficult, of which 1-2 could have been achieved selectively with good implementation.
A good number of attempts for this section would be around 12 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to get 85 percentile.
Quantitative Aptitude
 Topic Number of Questions Doable Questions Difficulty Level ArithmeticBased Questions 10 10 Easy Algebra based 4 3 Moderate Geometry/Co-ordinateGeometry 8 5 Difficult NumberSystem/Roots/Under-roots/Log/Probability 12 8 Difficult
There were 4-5 questions that were rather calculative about ratios. Geometry had five questions, 2 of which were straight forward and easy, and it was tough to rest. On permutation and the Venn diagram, there was only 1 question. There were 4 questions about time and job that were also calculative and needed implementation. On mixtures that were moderately tough yet calculative, there were 3 to 4 questions. The scheme of functions and numbers had 1-2 questions each. There were 7-8 questions from Algebra that were moderate to difficult.
A good number of attempts for this section would be around 12 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to get 85 percentile.

#### 2019 - Slot 1

 Section No.of Questions No.of non-MCQ questions DifficultyLevel VARC 34 7 Moderate-Difficult DILR 32 8 Easy-Moderate QA 34 11 Easy-Moderate

 Topic Number ofquestions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel BritishColonialism 5 3 Moderate Museums, Arts 5 2 Difficult CentralGovernments & Decentralization 5 2 Difficult Ecology 5 2 Difficult CulturalIdentity & Language – Egyptian 4 3 Moderate Parajumbles 4 2 Moderate Para Summary 3 1 Difficult Odd sentenceOut 3 1 Difficult

The verbal portion can be labelled as easy to moderate in terms of level of difficulty. No grammar and vocabulary questions were included in the test. This basically meant that in this chapter the aspirants who were knowledgeable in the subjects that are reading-based would have been more relaxed. Five RC passages were open, out of which four passages each had five questions and the fifth had four questions. Other problems were sentence rearrangement, para-jumbles, and description queries.

A good number of attempts for this section would be around 24 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to score 85 percentile.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

 Topic Number ofQuestions Doable Questions Level ofDifficulty Problem basedon Reasoning 4 3 Difficult Schedulingbased 4 3 Difficult DataInterpretation 4 2 Easy LogicalReasoning 4 3 Difficult Calculationbased 4 3 Moderate Observationbased 4 1 Difficult Games 4 2 Difficult Grouping &Conditional ties 4 2 Difficult

The section was most challenging, in accordance with this section last year, but moderately simpler compared to this year. There were 8 sets of 4 questions each and it is possible to classify 3 sets as simple to moderate. In general, students registered an attempt compared to last year of 2-3 more questions. In DI, there were 8 TITAs.

A good number of attempts for this section would be around 18 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to get 85 percentile.

Quantitative Ability

 Topic Number ofQuestions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel Number System 4 2 Difficult Arithmetic 13 10 Moderate Algebra 9 5 Difficult Geometry &Mensuration 6 3 Difficult Modern Math 2 1 Moderate

Also, QA was significantly simpler than last year. This time around, you might have found more sitters than in CAT 2018. The paper had a large number of Arithmetic questions from subjects such as Percentages, TSD, Time and Work, etc. The paper had more concerns on Algebra and Geometry than on Numbers in Algebra, Geometry, and Numbers.

A good number of attempts for this section would be around 18 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to score 85 percentile.

#### 2019 - Slot 2

 Section No.of Questions No.of non-MCQ questions DifficultyLevel VARC 34 7 Moderate-Difficult DILR 32 8 Easy-Moderate QA 34 11 Easy-Moderate

 Topic Number ofquestions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel Story ofAladdin-as shared by Antonio Galland 5 3 Moderate Idea of Folk 5 1 Difficult EmperorPenguins in Antartica 4 2 Moderate Topophilia, theaffective bond between people and place 5 1 Difficult ContemporaryInternet Shopping 5 3 Moderate Parajumbles 4 2 Moderate Para Summary 3 1 Difficult Odd sentenceOut 3 1 Difficult

The verbal portion can be labelled as moderate in terms of level of difficulty. This basically meant that in this chapter the aspirants who were knowledgeable in the subjects that are reading-based would have been more relaxed. Five RC passages (each 350-400 words) were available, out of which four passages each had five questions, and the fifth had four questions. Other problems were sentence rearrangement, para-jumbles, and description queries. There were 7 questions of TITA.

A good number of attempts for this section would be around 24 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to score 85 percentile.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

 Topic Number ofquestions DoableQuestions Difficultylevel Radar ChartBased Problem set for 5 vendors 4 4 Easy Government’sstudy on different types of Crime rate in States & UTs 4 4 Easy Street MapBased problem set with straight lines & intersections 4 4 Easy Coding basedProblem set 4 3 Moderate Other problemsets included Tables, direction, & others 16 15 Easy

The section was as challenging as last year, and with a few tricky sets, a step above slot 1. The selection of the collection was therefore crucial to performance. One scattered graph collection looked fairly complicated, but in terms of calculation it was manageable, another collection was simple while others were time consuming and difficult. Eight sets of 4 questions each were included. In DI, there were 8 TITAs.

A good number of attempts for this section would be around 18 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to get 85 percentile.

Quantitative Ability

 Topic Number ofQuestions DoableQuestions DifficultyLevel ArithmeticBased Questions 11 10 Easy Algebra based 6 3 Moderate Geometry/Co-ordinateGeometry 6 5 Easy NumberSystem/Roots/Under-roots/Log/Probability 11 10 Easy

The difficulty level of QA was between that of CAT 2017 and that of CAT 2018. In Arithmetic and Algebra, there were a large number of questions. From both the slots, it is obvious that Numbers had extremely few questions. But it did seem calculation intensive. There were again 11 TITA questions.

A good number of attempts for this section would be around 18 (getting at most 1/3rd of the questions wrong) to be able to score 85 percentile.