CAT 2020 Analysis: CAT Slot 1, 2 & 3 Analysis

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CAT 2020: Overall Analysis
The CAT 2020 began with suspense on number of questions in slot 1. It was a question which had been on everybody’s mind since the pattern changes were announced. With 76 questions in all 3 slots, the CAT exam went smoothly as per last available report. The difficulty level across sections and slot was more or less the same barring surprise in VARC section and Quant in Slot 2. As has been the norm, DILR was the toughest section across the slots.
Major Changes:
  1. Total number of questions- 76 (down from 100 in 2019)
  2. Duration: 2 Hours (reduced from 3 hours in 2019)
  3. Difficulty Level: VARC –moderate, DILR difficult, Quant moderate to difficult
CAT 2020 Exam- Slot 1 Test Analysis
Check out our in-depth analysis of slot 1 to get insights for Slot 2 & 3 and performance differentiators for slot 1
The biggest question on everybody’s mind was the number of questions and the answer is finally revealed. CAT 2020 had total 76 questions spread across 3 usual sections. In terms of pattern, structure and difficulty level, the exam may have been similar to previous CAT exams with slight variation in difficulty levels across sections.
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Major Changes:
  • Total number of questions has been reduced to 76 in 2020 from 100 in 2019
  • Duration has been reduced to 2 hours from 3 in 2019
  • Difficulty Level: VARC – inclined towards difficult, DILR moderate to difficult, Quant comparatively easier
Exam Structure and Pattern:
The paper consisted of three sections: namely, ‘Quantitative Aptitude (QA)’, ‘Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)’ and ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)’, with 26, 24 and 26 questions, respectively. The order of the sections was fixed, with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes.
The sections contained the following segmentation for Slot 1:
Sec. No.
Section Name
Total No. of Ques.
No. of Multiple Choice Ques.
Number of Non-MCQs (TITA Ques.)
I
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
26
22
4
II
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
24
19
5
III
Quantitative Ability
26
18
8
 
TOTAL
76
59
17

Attempts & Expected Percentile Table along with B-Schools Cut-offs
CAT Slot 1 Analysis
Overall Attempt
VA & RC
Attempt
DI & LR Attempt
QA
Attempt
Probable Score
Expected Percentile
55+
18-21
15-18
17-20
120+
99.5
50-55
16-19
13-16
15-19
110
99
45-50
14-18
10-14
12-16
95
97
32-36
11-15
8-12
10-14
76
95
24-32
9-13
6-10
7-11
52
90
18-24
7-11
5-8
5-8
40
80
It looks like a normalisation of around 5% may take place to make all the slots at the same level.
Section-wise Review
Verbal Ability Review: In terms of level of difficulty, the verbal section can be labelled as moderate to difficult. The accuracy will be the key to good score.
There were Four RC passages (each of 450-500 words) out of which two passages had 4 questions each and 2 passages had 5 questions. The break-up of other questions was Parajumbles - 3, Summary – 4 and odd one out 1. There were 4 TITA questions. There were no TITA questions in RC. Para jumbles and odd one out were all TITA questions. These questions were generally difficult.
The topics of passages were –
  1. About changes in sound of elephant seal due to change in location
  2. Currency system in china in early times such as silk bolt grains
  3. Anarchy and its meaning primarily in praise of it
  4. Role of knowledge of grammar in writing etc
Overall an attempt of 16-19 with high accuracy willof 10-14 questions with good accuracy secure an IIM call
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: As with this section last year, the section was most difficult. Surprisingly there were 5 sets. There were 2 sets of 6 questions each and 3 sets of 4 questions each. One set was from venn diagram, other was typical data reasoning sets with tables. Table set was lengthy but doable. Overall DI was the toughest section and doing all 6 sets would have wasted a lot of time time and hurt accuracy.
An attempt of 13-16 questions with good accuracy will secure call from one of the IIMs

Quantitative Aptitude Review: The Quant section was moderately easier. Commercial maths and ratio based topics like percentage, profit & loss and others had the most number of questions. TSD also had a good share of questions. Geometry questions were lesser than the previous year. Algebra had mostly the same share, however there were no typical questions from number system like remainder etc. Overall the quant section was doable. However like last year the questions were time consuming even though the level of difficulty was not high.
An attempt of 15-19 questions with good accuracy level, will fetch 99%ile
B-School Cut-offs
CAT scores are used as a primary screening tool by B-Schools for short listing candidates for the GD/ PI round. Apart from CAT percentile other factors which are taken in to account for generating calls include academic performance in 10th/12th, Graduation, duration of work experience. Normally, the cut offs for old IIMs are higher than those for new IIMs.
Level
(Approx cut-off percentiles  Gen.)
Institutes
99.5+
3-8 Call from IIM A,B,C,L,K,I,S, FMS
99+
1-2 Call from IIM A,B,C,L,K,I,S
And All other IIM calls, IIT B
98+
IIT-D, MDI-PGP, All IIMs except old 7
96.5+
SPJIMR, , NITIE, MDI- HR/IM, few new IIMs ( Latest 6)
94.5+
IIT-KH, IIT-KN, IIT-C, IIT-R, IISc-B, XLRI-Global BM, MDI-M, IIMA (Abm), IIML (Abm)
90+
MICA, IMT-G/N, XIMB, IMI-D, FSM, IRMA, GIM, TAPMI, KJSIMSR, SIMSREE, , UBS-CHD, SPJAIN-D/S, BIM, NIRMA,
87+
WIMDR-M, LBSIM, LIBA,  IMI-K/B, GLIM, BIMTECH-PGDM/IB, IBS-ICFAI, MFC-DU, IFMR, MIB-DU, MHROD-DU, IMT-H
85+
MISB, ISBM-P, WIMDR-B, BIMTECH-Retail/Insurance, IIFM, MBE-DU,
CAT 2020 Exam- Slot 2 Test Analysis
Check out our in-depth analysis of slot 2 to get insights for Slot 3
The Slot 2 of CAT 2020 was on similar lines with slight deviation in terms of difficulty level of VARC and Quant sections. The two sections were a 1 notch higher in terms of difficulty level compared to slot 1. The slot 2 had total 76 questions spread across 3 usual sections.
Major Changes:
  1. Total number of questions has been reduced to 76 in 2020 from 100 in 2019
  2. Duration has been reduced to 2 hours from 3 in 2019
  3. Difficulty Level (compared to Slot 1): VARC –moderate, DILR difficult, Quant moderate to difficult
Exam Structure and Pattern:
The paper consisted of three sections: namely, ‘Quantitative Aptitude (QA)’, ‘Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)’ and ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)’, with 26, 24 and 26 questions, respectively. The order of the sections was fixed, with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes.
The sections contained the following segmentation for Slot 2:
Sec. No.
Section Name
Total No. of Ques.
No. of Multiple Choice Ques.
Number of Non-MCQs (TITA Ques.)
I
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
26
21
5
II
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
24
18
6
III
Quantitative Ability
26
18
8
 
TOTAL
76
57
19
Attempts & Expected Percentile Table along with B-Schools Cut-offs
CAT Slot 2 Analysis
Overall Attempt
VA & RC
Attempt
DI & LR Attempt
QA
Attempt
Probable Score
Expected Percentile
53+
17-21
13-17
16-19
115
99.5
48-52
16-19
12-15
14-17
105
99
43-46
13-17
9-14
11-15
93
97
31-36
11-15
6-10
10-14
74
95
23-32
9-13
5-9
7-11
50
90
16-23
7-11
4-8
5-8
40
80
It looks like a normalisation of around 5% may take place to make all the slots at the same level.
Section-wise Review
Verbal Ability Review: In terms of level of difficulty, the verbal section was a level higher in term of compared to slot 1. The attempt and accuracy will be key things to watch out.
There were Four RC passages (each of 450-500 words) out of which two passages had 4 questions each and 2 passages had 5 questions. The break-up of other questions was Parajumbles - 3, Summary – 3 and odd one out - 2. There were 5 TITA questions. There were no TITA questions in RC. Para jumbles and odd one out were all TITA questions.
The keyword for passages were –
  1. Culture,
  2. Piracy,
  3. Renewable energy,
  4. Aggression
Overall an attempt of 16-19 with high accuracy will fetch 99%ile
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: As with this section in the first slot, the section was most difficult. There were total 5 sets with 2 sets of 6 questions each and 3 sets of 4 question each. The topics of the sets were parking slots, sales figures, scheduling, arranging balls and voting. The two sets of 6 questions each were difficult and lot of students got stuck in an attempt to get the two sets right. This resulted in lot of good students reporting attempts of less than 12.
Overall DI was the toughest section and beginning with the 6 question sets would have put students on the back foot. Since set selection played a key role here, the students who got stuck with the difficult sets may miss the bus to IIMs with much lower attempts of even 6-8.
An attempt of 12-15 questions with good accuracy will fetch 99%ile
Quantitative Aptitude Review: The Quant section was moderately difficult. Commercial maths and ratio based topics like percentage, profit & loss and others had around 12 questions. Algebra had 7 questions on topics like quadratic and linear equation, inequalities and APGP. There were 4 questions from Geometry & Mensuration and Modern Maths had 3 questions. Overall the quant section was moderate to difficult. The level of difficulty was higher even compared to 2019.
An attempt of 14-17 questions with good accuracy level, will fetch 99%ile
B-School Cut-offs
CAT scores are used as a primary screening tool by B-Schools for short listing candidates for the GD/ PI round. Apart from CAT percentile other factors which are taken in to account for generating calls include academic performance in 10th/12th, Graduation, duration of work experience. Normally, the cut offs for old IIMs are higher than those for new IIMs.
Level
(Approx cut-off percentiles  Gen.)
Institutes
99.5+
3-8  Call from IIM A,B,C,L,K,I,S, FMS
99+
1-2  Call from IIM A,B,C,L,K,I,S
And All other IIM calls, IIT B
98+
IIT-D, MDI-PGP, All IIMs except old 7
96.5+
SPJIMR, , NITIE, MDI- HR/IM, few new IIMs ( Latest 6)
94.5+
IIT-KH, IIT-KN, IIT-C, IIT-R, IISc-B, XLRI-Global BM, MDI-M, IIMA (Abm), IIML (Abm)
90+
MICA, IMT-G/N, XIMB, IMI-D, FSM, IRMA, GIM, TAPMI, KJSIMSR, SIMSREE, , UBS-CHD, SPJAIN-D/S, BIM, NIRMA,
87+
WIMDR-M, LBSIM, LIBA,  IMI-K/B, GLIM, BIMTECH-PGDM/IB, IBS-ICFAI, MFC-DU, IFMR, MIB-DU, MHROD-DU, IMT-H
85+
MISB, ISBM-P, WIMDR-B, BIMTECH-Retail/Insurance, IIFM, MBE-DU,
CAT 2020 Exam- Slot 3 Test Analysis
Check out our in-depth analysis of Slot 3
The Slot 3 of CAT 2020 was on similar lines with slight deviation in terms of difficulty level of VARC and Quant sections. The two sections were a 1 notch higher in terms of difficulty level compared to slot 1.
Major Changes:
  1. Total number of questions has been reduced to 76 in 2020 from 100 in 2019
  2. Duration has been reduced to 2 hours from 3 in 2019
  3. Difficulty Level (compared to Slot 1 & 2): VARC –moderate, DILR difficult, Quant moderate to difficult
Exam Structure and Pattern:
The paper consisted of three sections: namely, ‘Quantitative Aptitude (QA)’, ‘Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)’ and ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)’, with 26, 24 and 26 questions, respectively. The order of the sections was fixed, with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes.
The sections contained the following segmentation for Slot 3:
Sec. No.
Section Name
Total No. of Ques.
No. of Multiple Choice Ques.
Number of Non-MCQs (TITA Ques.)
I
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
26
21
5
II
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
24
18
6
III
Quantitative Ability
26
18
8
 
TOTAL
76
57
19
Attempts & Expected Percentile Table along with B-Schools Cut-offs
CAT Slot 3 Analysis
Overall Attempt
VA & RC
Attempt
DI & LR Attempt
QA
Attempt
Probable Score
Expected Percentile
56+
18-22
13-17
18-22
122
99.5
51-54
17-20
12-15
15-19
112
99
46-50
15-18
9-14
12-16
98
97
33-37
11-15
7-11
10-14
78
95
24-32
9-13
5-10
7-11
54
90
18-24
7-11
4-8
6-9
42
80
It looks like a normalisation of around 5% may take place to make all the slots at the same level.
Section-wise Review
Verbal Ability Review: In terms of level of difficulty, the verbal section was moderate to difficult, similar to slot 1. The attempt and accuracy will be key things to watch out.
There were Four RC passages (each of 450-500 words) out of which two passages had 4 questions each and 2 passages had 5 questions. One passage was quite lengthy and quite a few questions were inference based. The break-up of other questions was Parajumbles - 3, Summary – 3 and odd one out - 2. There were no TITA questions in RC. Para jumbles and odd one out were all TITA questions.
The topics of passages were –
  1. Mode of transportation affects the travel experience,
  2. Although the most contested concept in political philosophy,
  3. Human contact is becoming a luxury,
  4. Economic crisis.
Overall an attempt of 17-20 with high accuracy will fetch 99%ile
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: As in the first and second slot, this section was most difficult. There were total 5 sets with 2 sets of 6 questions each and 3 sets of 4 question each. There was a Venn diagram, a set on covid-19 patient case, games and tournament, scheduling and one other.
The set selection was again an important aspect and would have defined the number of questions students were able to attempt. Two sets were easy and doable fast. One was really tough. Overall DI was the toughest section and again the 6 question sets were tricky.
An attempt of 12-15 questions with good accuracy will fetch 99%ile
Quantitative Aptitude Review: The Quant section was moderately difficult. The spread of the questions is as advised: Logarithms-3, TSD–3, P&L-1, Averages-1, Geometry-4, Algebra-5, Time and Work – 2, Alligation-2, others-2. Commercial maths and ratio based topics like percentage, profit & loss and others had the most number of questions. Overall the quant section was doable.
Overall the quant section was moderate to difficult. The questions were time consuming and under stress may have put pressure on accuracy.
An attempt of 15-19 questions with good accuracy level, will fetch 99%ile
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B-School Cut-offs
CAT scores are used as a primary screening tool by B-Schools for short listing candidates for the GD/ PI round. Apart from CAT percentile other factors which are taken in to account for generating calls include academic performance in 10th/12th, Graduation, duration of work experience. Normally, the cut offs for old IIMs are higher than those for new IIMs.
Level
(Approx cut-off percentiles  Gen.)
Institutes
99.5+
3-8 Call from IIM A,B,C,L,K,I,S, FMS
99+
1-2 Call from IIM A,B,C,L,K,I,S
And All other IIM calls, IIT B
98+
IIT-D, MDI-PGP, All IIMs except old 7
96.5+
SPJIMR, , NITIE, MDI- HR/IM, few new IIMs ( Latest 6)
94.5+
IIT-KH, IIT-KN, IIT-C, IIT-R, IISc-B, XLRI-Global BM, MDI-M, IIMA (Abm), IIML (Abm)
90+
MICA, IMT-G/N, XIMB, IMI-D, FSM, IRMA, GIM, TAPMI, KJSIMSR, SIMSREE, , UBS-CHD, SPJAIN-D/S, BIM, NIRMA,
87+
WIMDR-M, LBSIM, LIBA,  IMI-K/B, GLIM, BIMTECH-PGDM/IB, IBS-ICFAI, MFC-DU, IFMR, MIB-DU, MHROD-DU, IMT-H
85+
MISB, ISBM-P, WIMDR-B, BIMTECH-Retail/Insurance, IIFM, MBE-DU,
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