As per the latest guidelines by IIM- Indore, there is a change in the exam pattern of CAT 2020 wherein now instead of 180 minutes; the CAT exam will be of 120 minutes. The candidates will be allotted exactly 40 minutes for answering questions in each section and they will not be permitted to switch from one section to another. The syllabus, marking scheme and number of options per question remain unchanged. As there is reduction in the time duration, it is expected that the number of questions per section will also be reduced. So by incorporating the requisite changes, the Bull CATs (w.e.f. Bull CAT 21) have been updated with a total of 66 questions divided into 22 questions per section.
On the whole the level of the test was moderate. The test contained many moderate and difficult questions and hence the important factor was selection of right questions. Reasoning section in this paper was comparatively difficult than the Quant section. Verbal section was easy to moderate as regards level of difficulty. Instead of 5 RC passages, there were 3 passages comprising 15 questions and the non- RC questions including TITA questions were 7 in number. The key to getting a good percentile was time management and selection of questions.
The level of this section was easy to moderate. All sets were of easy and moderate level. Overall there were 16 easy, 3 moderate and 3 difficult questions. There was one set on Tables which was lengthy but manageable, one set on Multiple graphs which were easy and doable. In such a paper it is important to first attempt easy questions and to leave the tough questions. The set on Tables (10 countries, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies) was lengthy but doable. The set on Multiple graph (The line graph below shows the number of films released in India over the period from 2004 to 2011 and the corresponding revenue earned, in billions of US $) was time taking but easy set. The set on Analytical reasoning (On account of the lockdown, the First Steps Pre-Primary School has decided to spread its Teachers’ Day celebrations over three days, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) was again easy set. The set on Data reasoning (The table below shows marks obtained in Mathematics, Science, Languages and Social Sciences by the top 12 students (6 boys and 6 girls) in a school) again manageable set. The set on Pie charts was again an easy set. The overall feel of the section was easy and moderate and one could have scored 90+ percentile by attempting around 16-18 questions with 90% accuracy.
The Quantitative section had 12 easy, 7 medium and 3 difficult questions. This section had most of the questions as moderate and easy. In this paper there were 5 questions from Geometry and they are manageable, 5 from basic numbers in which one is difficult and other were doable, 1 question from Algebra which was manageable. There were 2 questions from quant miscellaneous in which 1 is difficult. Ratio, Indices and Percentage had 1 question each which were manageable. 4 questions from permutations out of which 1 was difficult and other were doable. The difficulty level of this section was moderate. A good student could have scored 90+ percentile by attempting 15-17 questions with approx 90% accuracy.
In verbal ability section, the first RC passage (1-5) was related to ‘SUVs are way worse for the planet than anyone previously thought’. The passage was easy in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the related questions except Q3 and Q5 which were of moderate difficulty. The second RC passage (Q6-10) was based on ‘an attempt to study the role and attitude of Muslim League, a representative body of the Muslims, in Indian politics from 1940-1947.’ The passage was easy in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the questions except Q8 and Q10 which were of moderate difficulty. Third RC passage (Q11-15) was about ‘Gravity beyond Einstein—a unifying theory of dark energy and dark matter to explain the underlying physics of several recent experiments and astrophysical observations that have been mystifying the physics community for quite some time’. The passage was easy in terms of understanding and interpreting the answers to the questions except Q13 which was of moderate difficulty. For non-RC questions, it is advisable not to spend too much time on them. Questions (16,17,18) (TITA) were based on sentence rearrangement where four sentences from an article were given in jumbled form to be arranged in a coherent manner. The questions were easy except Q17 which was moderate. Questions (19,20) (TITA) were based on finding misfit among the given four sentences. The key is to find the sentence that is lying outside the theme in the remaining sentences. The questions were easy. Questions (21,22) were based on finding summary of the given paragraph and were easy. The overall feel of this section was easy moderate. To score 90+ percentile one should have attempted 17-18 questions with 75- 80% accuracy.
The overall feel of the paper was moderate, though for the students who knew how to manage the time available to the best i.e. not wasting much time in lengthy and difficult questions, could easily manage an overall good attempt. AR and DI were mostly selective in this paper. As far as Quant is concerned most of the questions were from Algebra, Number system and Geometry. For verbal section, one should have good reading skills as there were 3 RC’s and also a few questions based on paragraph summary. One must focus on contextual vocabulary as well to understand and score well in RC passages. Moreover, questions like sentence rearrangement and misfit require analysis and knowledge of tricks to answer the questions.