CAT 2010 Slotwise Analysis: 27th Oct 2010


Morning slot:

So ultimately the first out of forty CATs was unveiled this morning. Unlike CAT 2009, the test administration was almost flawless. While no technical glitches or server breakdowns have been reported, a few students reported errors in a couple of questions. As announced earlier by CAT/Prometric, the paper had a total of 60 questions with each of the three sections, QA, LRDI & VA, contributing 20 questions each.
The paper did not throw up any surprises and all the usual suspects were present in the paper. Overall this paper can be considered to be moderately difficult as each of the three sections had tricky questions. Each section had around 10 sitters which would have been attempted by most of the students. However, attempts of beyond 16 in any of the section would have been difficult without compromising on accuracy.
An attempt of around 12 -15 in QA, 14 – 17 in DI and 14 – 17 in VA each leading to a total attempt of around 42 – 45 with 85% accuracy can be considered good.
Students should remember that this year there are 40 CAT slots and the above analysis is for the first test slot only. It should not be extrapolated to the other CAT slots. As was the case in CAT 2009, the level of difficulty and the type of questions can vary significantly across different test slots.


Evening slot:
The CAT experience this time was very different from the CAT last year. The test was conduced in a smooth manner and there were hardly any glitches. The total number of questions in the test was 60 and there were 20 questions in each section namely, Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal ability and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
The test had its regular mixture of sitters and logical questions. The quantitative aptitude section appeared to have a good mix of questions from various topics. A serious test taker should attempt 12-15 questions in this section. Verbal ability section offered questions, which regularly appeared in the CAT tests. Questions were not very difficult and an attempt of 11-14 questions can be considered decent. Similarly, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section had a good mix of questions. The section had all the shades of previous year CAT tests. An attempt of 12-15 questions would be considered good. So, an attempt of 35-44 questions with an accuracy of over 85% can be considered a good attempt.
However, there are some reports where in a question two options were same. In a nutshell, the test was very smoothly conducted and the test appears all set to regain its lost glory.


All the Best!

Team CL

FAQs on last minute to CAT 2010

What should be the Optimum Strategy for CAT?
There should be no fiddling with your Test-taking strategy at this late stage. As long as you know that the strategy you are using is giving you rewards, don’t change it… For example, you would know if your best bet is to scan a passage and then move onto to the questions, while another person could be more at ease scanning questions before going onto the passage. So just stick to whatever works best for you.

Will the analysis of the MOCK Tests help now?
Test taking is the most important aspect of your preparation now. Take two or at the most three MOCK tests in the last week. Test taking should be followed by an in-depth analysis of the complete Test. Analyse what mistakes you have committed and how you will rectify them. Also check the questions that you have missed, and whether you have missed any ‘easy’ question! That will help in your choice of questions later. Remember, CAT is not about last minute cramming and revising. It’s about being alive and mentally alert, here and now.

What needs to be done to give finishing touches to the preparation?
Do away with your urge to cover the complete syllabus instead of revising or analyzing the test. Besides spending time on why some answers went wrong, also concentrate on why some answers were correct or whether there is any better way of doing the question. Furthermore, in any well-planned CAT Test, you will not be able to complete the whole section or Test. So go through the questions that you did not attempt and see if you made a mistake by leaving out those and attempting the ones you did. Also remember that in every Test, there will be both difficult and easy questions. This is where the concept of revision comes in. With regular revision, you get better and better at questions and are able to do them in a short span of time.
Revise specific fundae, where you feel that there is a lacunae and your score can improve if you have better clarification on that part. For example you can go through the chapter of subject-verb agreement if you feel that you are making too many mistakes in Sentence Correction type Questions because of that chapter.
Acclimatize your body clock: You must acclimatize your body clock to the test timing i.e. you must for the next few days practice test at the time during which you have booked you slot (1000 hours or 1530 hours)
Sleep timings: You must condition your sleep time according to your test timing, for example if you have booked the morning slot then you must start sleeping early and getting up early 2-3 days before your test day. If you sleep late then it is highly likely that you might not be able to get up early having fresh energy on the test day and which might affect your performance.

‘Which is the easiest way out and which are the easiest questions?
One of the biggest pitfalls is that as students we always search for short cuts, asking ‘ A critical issue here is the tremendous urge to skip questions. We tend to lose concentration at different stages during the exam and tend to skip questions because of the time-pressure. But things get better if you follow a couple of golden rules. If you want to identify the questions to attend, it is imperative that you read all the questions. Decide in two readings whether you are going to attempt the question or not. This is perfectly normal and don’t let it bother you. It will take not more than 15 seconds, at a very leisurely pace, to read a question. But if you read the question faster, you would save a few seconds. These can then be spent on understanding the question.
While reading the question, your attitude should be, ‘let me give everything I have.’ Concentrating for those two hours and 15 minutes is not easy, but imperative.

What has been the cut-offs in the past CAT?
If we take QA section historically the cut off marks (93-96.5 percentile) of this section hovers around 30-70 % of the marks allotted to the section in the last 5-6 years, at the same time LRDI sectional cut off marks have varied from 25-60 % . VA Cutoff marks have also been approximately 25-60 percent of the allotted marks in the previous 5-6 CATs.Please bear in mind that the Cut Offs of CAT 2009 touched the upper limits of the given ranges.

Any Final Tips for the C-DAY?
CAT is not the end of your life. Many a time, very high potential students have not made it to the IIMs because they could not handle the pressure. So unwind, go for movies, do things that help you relax, go for walks, listen to soothing music, meditate…. People, who stick it out, hang in there and continue to peg away will make it.
Learn not to carry despair into other sections. Be robotic in those two hours and 15 minutes. Act mercilessly and ruthlessly. Do not yield to sentiments. So what if you have messed up in English, quant is another compartment, maximize your score there. It’s a difficult proposition, but you have to be sensitive to the fact that at the end of the day it’s a game of nerves.
Fluid Management: This would be very important on the test day. Those of you who are taking the test in the morning slot, should not consume any fluid after 6.30 a.m. and those of you taking the test in the afternoon slot must not consume any fluid after 1 p.m. as it has been specified in the instructions by Prometric ( that you would not be allowed to leave the test arena at least 0.5 hours before the start of the test and you will not be even allowed to go to washrooms. Bad fluid management can affect your test performance.
CAT Instructions: You must visit and read all the instructions carefully and follow them strictly.

All the Best!

Team CL