For the third time in a row, CAT had a difficult Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation section, easy Quantitative Ability section, and a moderate Verbal Ability section. Here goes the CAT 2017 analysis and review – Slot 2 from my side.
I had my test venue in Dadar in Mumbai, a refreshing change from Pune (last two attempts). Registering in time for the test helped, I guess. The reporting time was 1 pm, but based on my past experience, I reached the venue at 1.45 pm. The school where I took the test had rented out the playground to a wedding, and I was greeted with terrible ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ songs. We were asked to keep our bags in a separate room and were directed to our respective computer labs. The standard thumb impression + photograph thing followed and I was done in about 15-20 minutes. My machine had some issue connecting to the server in the beginning, but then it worked fine (hope my answers got saved!). There were about 30 odd people in my lab. Parts I hated about the venue:
- Two water bottles for 30 people
- Wedding songs in the background
- Nobody asked people to remove accessories and watches
- One guy from the organizing team walked in 10 minutes before the test and said that our bio-metric data was not recorded, but looks like he was misinformed and was corrected in a few minutes
- One extremely stupid coaching institute guy was taking data of people for GDPI sessions before the test just when people were entering the venue. Duh!
The subject of the passages were pretty easy to relate. I found the passage on creativity, why typewriters are still used, electric cars to be fairly straightforward. Even the one on Vikings was a nice read. Anybody with interest in Science would have found the passage on frigid temperature/ice layer easy. To sum it up, Science, Technology, nearly-obsolete tech, world history, and creativity. Nice spread over all.
Parajumbles, summary, find-the-sentence-that-is-not-a-part-of-coherent-paragraph questions were all TITA. A note on TITA questions: Though some of these questions were easy, there were some where options were pretty close. Attempting these tough ones over RC was not a sound strategy. A good candidate aiming for 95+ percentile in the section should have attempted about 25 questions with a good mix of MCQs and TITA questions.
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
Considering how insanely difficult it was last two years, aspirants were expecting it to be the same this year. And they were not disappointed. No pie chart, no line graph. Nothing. Standard tabular questions with a lot of things to calculate. I found the set on chess and the set on thin-crust pizza to be extremely easy. One should have definitely attempted these two sets. The Five fingers password combination set was difficult. Another easy set was the renovation expenses. Ratings of different tea varieties was another easy set. Sets on asset splitting, fight seating, and electives were difficult. Horizontal scrolling was pain and CAT should take care of that next year.
In my view, solving 4 sets completely or solving 5 sets by skipping 1-2 questions across sets would have worked for most of the people. A good attempt in this section is 16 questions and that should fetch one about 95+ percentile.
I found quantitative section to be easier compared to CAT 2016. Lots of arithmetic questions: Ratio proportion, profit percentage, percentage change, time speed distance, time and work, mixtures solutions questions were extremely straightforward. Aspirants who attempted less than 12 in this section need to think why they missed out on the easy questions. I think there were 4-5 Geometry questions and one could have attempted about 2-3 of these. Some really nice algebra, logarithm, and function questions were present this time in the second slot and about 50% of those were easily manageable.
Because CAT has made quant easy over the years, you will find a lot of aspirants hitting the 27+ question mark. And it shouldn’t surprise you. Quant is generally more celebrated compared to the other two sections but it proves useless if you don’t pay any attention to your overall performance. With such a straightforward paper, a good candidate should have attempted 20 questions and aim for 95+ sectional score.
Overall analysis and two cents
I don’t see things changing much from the 2016 level. CAT 2017 was a brilliant paper overall. 60 total attempts with decent accuracy should fetch you 95+ percentile. Considering everything, CAT 2017 was moderate and tested one’s ability to select questions and manage time. There were quant questions where using a calculator would have fetched answers faster than the actual solving procedure and candidates should have made good use of that option.
If things didn’t go well for you, it will be a good idea to sit and write what you could have done and avoid those errors in the remaining tests. Commonly reported concerns were getting demotivated because of tough LRDI, drop in energy by the time quant started, thinking too much on certain questions and selecting wrong questions, etc. These things happen. And they happen to 99% of the test taking population, in varying degrees, of course. Content takes you to a certain level and this paper was not about content. The paper was and has always been about composure. The idea is to learn from these experiences and do well in the remaining tests. If CAT went well for you, great! But don’t be complacent and start preparing for the remaining tests.
All the best! 🙂