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 to tough. 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 moderate to tough 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 moderate to difficult. Overall there were 9 easy, 8 moderate and 5 difficult questions. There was one set on Tables which was manageable, one set on Input/output which was moderate but doable. In such a paper it is important to first attempt easy questions and to leave the tough questions. The set on Tables (Number of students of a college who went to various companies for training - distributed on the basis of their age) was doable. The Data caselet (Five teachers, P through T, have a certain number of Research Papers with them) was time taking set. The set on Analytical reasoning (Rahul is interested in electronic gadgets and he made a new metallic keyboard for his computer. However, while marking the keys with letters, he made a mistake in marking the vowels such that none of the vowels were marked correctly with their corresponding keys) was again an easy set. The set on Analytical reasoning (Mukesh purchased a machine which can identify defective widgets and non defective widgets. Mukesh can put any number of widgets into the machine. However, the machine is not completely accurate) again manageable set. The overall feel of the section was moderate and tough. One could have scored 90+ percentile by attempting around 12-14 questions with 90 % accuracy.
The Quantitative section had 10 easy, 5 medium and 7 difficult questions. This section had most of the questions as moderate and easy. In this paper there were 3 questions from Geometry in which 1 is difficult and others are manageable, 2 from basic numbers in which one is difficult and was doable, 4 questions from Algebra in which 2 are difficult and others were manageable. There were 2 questions each from Time speed distance, Ratio and SI/CI in which 1 is difficult in each. Functions ,Permutations and Progressions had 1 question each which were difficult. 1 question each from Mixtures, Time and work and Logs, Quant miscellaneous were doable. The difficulty level of this section was moderate. A good student could have scored 90+ percentile by attempting 13-15 questions with approx. 90% accuracy.
In verbal ability section, the first RC passage (1-5) was related to ‘what is left wing and right wing politics’. The passage was easy to moderate in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the related questions. he second RC passage (Q6-10) was based on ‘Academics should not need to live in fear for the pursuit of their science.’ The passage was moderate in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the questions. Third RC passage (Q11-15) was about ‘Trees are generous, provide comfort, boost immunity and engender better learning’. The passage was easy in terms of understanding and interpreting the answers to the questions except Q11 which was of moderate difficulty. For non-RC questions, it is advisable not to spend too much time on them. Questions (16,17) were based on finding summary of the given paragraph and were difficult. Questions (18,19) (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 difficult and moderate respectively. Questions (20, 21, 22) (TITA) were based on finding misfit among the given five sentences. The key is to find the sentence that is lying outside the theme in the remaining sentences. The questions were moderate. The overall feel of this section was moderate to tough. To score 90+ percentile one should have attempted 15-17 questions with 75- 80% accuracy.
The overall feel of the paper was moderate to tough, 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.