Test Analysis, & Strategy 2020 Bull CAT 29

Overall Brief

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 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.

DI & Reasoning
Easy Questions:
23-26, 31-34, 39-42, 43, 44

The level of this section was easy to moderate. There are 22 questions in this section. Overall there were 14 easy, 4 moderate and 4 difficult questions. There was one set on Multiple graphs which was manageable, In such a paper it is important to first attempt easy questions and leave the tough questions. The set on Analytical Reasoning (The figure below shows a dartboard with points that can be scored when the dart hits various sections of the board.) was doable. The Analytical reasoning set (Six friends Abhay, Geet, Harry, Jack, Randal and Natasha each has a car which has a distinct four digit number without repetition of any digit starting with 1 from different states) was easy set. The set on Analytical reasoning ( A professional juggler juggles 10 balls of different colors, 1 yellow, 5 black, 2 red and 2 green, but in a specific order, a part of which is) was again easy set. The set on Multiple graph (The table below shows values of four financial parameters – Revenue, Operating Profit, Net Worth and Total Assets – of 10 companies) again manageable set. The overall feel of the section was moderate. One could have scored 90+ percentile by attempting around 14-16 questions with 90% accuracy.

Quantitative Ability
Easy Questions:
45-48, 51-53, 58-61, 63-66

The Quantitative section had 15 easy, 5 medium and 2 difficult questions. This section had most of the questions as moderate and easy. In this paper there were 4 questions from Geometry in which 1 is difficult and others are manageable, 2 from basic numbers in which were doable, 2 questions from Algebra which were manageable. There were 2 questions from Time speed distance in which one was difficult. There is one question each from Ratio, Time and work, Average, Mixture, Progression, logs, Percentage, Profit-loss and SI/CI which were doable. Two questions from Functions and one from Permutations and combination were doable. 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 16-18 questions with approx 90% accuracy.

Verbal Ability
Easy Questions:
1-4, 6, 8, 9, 12-15, 19, 21, 22

In verbal ability section, the first RC passage (Q1-5) was related to ‘big business may be to blame for start-up slump dragging on the economy’. The passage was easy in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the related questions except Q5 which was of moderate difficulty.

The second RC passage (Q6-10) was based on ‘Politics of anger management: the abuse of technology to broadcast opinions (that may not be correct) is widespread these days.’ The passage was easy to moderate in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the questions.

Third RC passage (Q11-15) was about ‘study of the role of sea power in national security and practicing international relations in terms of politics and trade’. 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 (16-18) (TITA) were based on sentence rearrangement where five sentences from an article were given in jumbled form to be arranged in a coherent manner. The questions were difficult except Q18 which was moderate. Questions (20, 21) (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 moderate and easy respectively. Questions (19, 22) were based on finding summary of the given paragraph and were easy. The overall feel of this section was easy to moderate. To score 90+ percentile one should have attempted 15-17 questions with 75- 80% accuracy.

Strategy & Tips

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 RCs and also two 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.

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