CAT 2017 Comprehensive Analysis

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The CAT examiners did not spring any major surprise in the exam. In terms of pattern, structure and difficulty level, the exam was very similar to the exam last year. Unlike the common beliefs, the CAT examiners seemed to focus on a candidate’s aptitude rather than testing student’s ability to handle a disruptive pattern.
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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 34, 32 and 34 questions, respectively. The order of the sections was fixed, with a sectional time limit of 60 minutes.
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The sections contained the following segmentation for Slot I:
Section No. Section Name Total No. of Ques. No. of Multiple Choice Ques. No. of Non-MCQs (TITA Ques.)
I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 27 7
II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 26 6
III Quantitative Ability 34 27 7
  TOTAL 100 80 20
The sections contained the following segmentation for Slot II:
Section No. Section Name Total No. of Ques. No. of Multiple Choice Ques. No. of Non-MCQs (TITA Ques.)
I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 27 7
II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 24 8
III Quantitative Ability 34 23 11
  TOTAL 100 74 26
Section-wise Review of both slots
Verbal Ability Review: In terms of level of difficulty, the verbal section can be labelled as easy. In fact, most students have reported that they found RCs to be easier than last year. But then, in Verbal Ability, the accuracy is generally lower than the other sections.
As with the exam last year, the exam did not feature any question from Grammar and vocabulary. This effectively meant that the aspirants who were proficient in the topics that are reading-based would have been more comfortable in this section. There were Five RC passages out of which three passages had six questions each and the others had three questions each. Other questions were from sentence rearrangement, odd sentence out & para-summary. Some of the RC sources were , The phone is smart but where is the big idea – (by Timothy Egan July 7, 2017), Why the death of malls is about more than shopping (excerpt from)
(by Brian Ulrich). In both the slots, the level of difficulty of this section was by and large the same
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Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: As with this section last year, this section was the most difficult this time too. In both the slots there were eight sets of 4 questions each. Analytical Reasoning and “Data & Reasoning” had equal weightage. This was the toughest section. However the slot II DI was easier than slot I. In general students reported an attempt of 2-3 more questions than slot I.
Quantitative Aptitude Review: The Quant section was of quite similar compared to last year, the difficulty level was moderate. Overall, the questions in Questions from traditional areas like Profit & Loss, Algebra & Geometry were higher in number.  Apart from this, there few one to two questions from areas like Puzzles, Logs, Chain Rule Permutation & Combination, Number System.etc Though the composition of this section was similar in both the slots , but second slot had 11 Non – MCQ questions as compared to 7 in that of first slot.
Attempts & Expected Percentile Table along with B-Schools Cut-offs
Table – Morning Slot
Overall Attempt VA & RCAttempt DI & LR Attempt QA Attempt Probable Score Expected Percentile
74+ 28-31 14-17 28-30 166 99.5
68-74 27-29 12-14 24-26 155 99
62-68 24-28 10-12 22-25 133 97
55-62 22-26 08-10 18-22 122 95
48-55 19-23 07-09 15-19 106 90
42-48 15-20 05-07 13-17 86 80

Table – Evening Slot
Overall Attempt VA & RC Attempt DI & LR Attempt QA Attempt Probable Score Expected Percentile
77+ 28-31 16-19 28-30 172 99.5
71-76 27-29 14-16 24-26 160 99
65-71 24-28 12-14 22-25 138 97
57-64 22-26 9-12 18-22 126 95
50-57 19-23 8-10 15-19 110 90
43-50 15-20 6-8 13-17 89 80

It looks like a normalisation of around 5% may take place to make both the slots at the same level.

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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, +2, Graduation, duration of work experience. Normally, the cut offs for old IIMs are higher than those for new IIMs. 
(Approx cut-off percentiles  Gen.)
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)
85+ MISB, ISBM-P, WIMDR-B, BIMTECH-Retail/Insurance, IIFM, MBE-DU,
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