Test Analysis, & Strategy 2020 Bull CAT 30

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 easy to 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 as regards level of difficulty. Instead of 5 RC passages, there were 4 passages comprising 18 questions and the non- RC questions including TITA questions were 6 in number. The key to getting a good percentile was time management and selection of questions.

DI & Reasoning
Easy Questions:
27-32, 35, 36, 39-42, 43, 46

The level of this section was easy to moderate. There are 22 questions in this section. Overall there were 14 easy and 8 moderate questions. There was one set on Bar graphs and two sets on Tables which were manageable. There were two sets on Venn diagram and one set on Data and Reasoning which were doable. In such a paper it is important to first attempt easy questions and to leave the tough questions.

The set on Bar diagram (The total length of perennial rivers, streams and their tributaries in India is estimated as 45,000 km) was doable. The Venn diagram set (The Institute of Foreign Languages offers courses in exactly three languages – French, German and Spanish. Students can enroll to study one or more of these languages) was tricky but doable set. The set on Tables (A FMCG company has production facilities in four different countries, A, B, C and D. For accounting purposes) was again easy set. The set on Data and Reasoning ( The students at a school are divided into four houses – Blue House, Green House, Red House and Yellow House. Every year, the four houses participate in four sports) 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:
47-50, 52, 54, 57, 59-63, 68, 69

The Quantitative section had 14 easy, 9 moderate and 1 difficult questions. This section had most of the questions as moderate and easy. In this paper there were 8 questions from Geometry in which all questions are manageable, 2 from basic numbers were doable questions, 5 questions from Algebra which were manageable. There is one question from Ratio which was doable. 8 questions from Quant miscellaneous out of which one question is difficult and others 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.

Verbal Ability
Easy Questions:
2-6, 8, 9, 11-13, 15-21, 23, 24

In verbal ability section, the first RC passage (Q1-4) was related to ‘electric lights have revolutionized our lives but as illumination increases, the toll on wildlife and human health is becoming hard to ignore’. The passage was easy in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the related questions except Q1 which was of moderate difficulty.

The second RC passage (Q5-8) was based on ‘the paradoxes of living in a fast paced society and why we need to reconsider the importance of slowing down in the world that demands go, go, go.’ The passage was easy in terms of understanding and identifying answers to the questions except Q7 which was of moderate difficulty.

Third RC passage (Q9-13) was about ‘complexity in development of software products requires a dialog between developers and an efficient way of resolving the inevitable differences of opinion about the right way of doing things’. The passage was easy in terms of understanding and interpreting the answers to the questions except Q10 which was of moderate difficulty. Fourth RC passage (Q14-18) was based on ‘a new definition of nature includes not only pristine wilderness but also the intended patches of plants growing in urban spaces and encourages us to bring our children out to touch and tinker with it so that one day they might love and protect it’. The passage was easy in terms of understanding and interpreting the answers to the questions except Q14 which was of moderate difficulty. For non-RC questions, it is advisable not to spend too much time on them. Questions (19, 20) (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. Questions (21,22) (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 and difficult respectively. Questions (23, 24) were based on finding summary of the given paragraph and were easy. The overall feel of this section was easy. To score 90+ percentile one should have attempted 16-18 questions with 75- 80% accuracy.

Strategy & Tips

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 4 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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