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Understanding the CAT exam


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Each year, the country's top B-Schools hold a Common Admission Test (CAT) to select candidates for admission to a range of MBA programs. Over the past ten years, CAT has changed noticeably because of adjustments made to the question format, time limit, test format, scoring system, and other key elements. As more students are taking the exam, the competition has become more intense. It is, therefore, more important than ever to thoroughly prepare for the exam by reading the best books. The first step to getting a high percentile on this exam is understanding the exam format and subject. In this article, we'll discuss the CAT exam format and offer preparation advice.

Important features of the CAT Exam Pattern

Some of the most crucial facets of the CAT Exam Pattern to keep in mind are as follows:

  • There are three spots available for the two hours long test.
  • There may be fewer questions than in the CAT exam 2021, albeit the amount of questions has not yet been disclosed (66).
  • The exam lasts 120 minutes, or two hours and 20 minutes.
  • The exam will be given three times: from 8.30 to 10.30 in the morning, from 12.30 to 2.30 in the afternoon, and from 4:30 to 6:30 in the evening.
  • The preferred language of instruction is English.
  • There were two different types of questions: TITA and multiple choice.
  • Due to the predicted decrease in the number of questions, it is unknown what the final score will be.
  • In the exam, questions that are correctly answered earn 3 points, while those that are incorrectly answered lose a third of a point.
  • Negative marking was not used for TITA (type in the answer) questions.

The CAT Exam Pattern will consist of three parts:

  • Verbal skills and comprehension of text (VARC)
  • Using logic and interpreting data (DILR)
  • a capacity for quantitative thought (QA)

The following are some key CAT exam characteristics:

  • The IIM will be in charge of organizing the CAT exam. (Institute of Management in India)
  • The exam lasts 120 minutes, or two hours and 20 minutes.
  • There are two types of questions: TITA and multiple choice (Non-Multiple Choice).
  • Due to the projected decrease of questions, it is unknown what the final grade will be.
  • Questions that are answered properly earn 3 points, while those that are answered erroneously incur a 1/3 penalty.
  • Negative marking is not applied to non-MCQ questions.

Analysis of CAT Exam Patterns

To analyze the CAT Exam Pattern, we must look at each section of the exam separately.

Overview of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

In terms of topical weighting, the VARC section pattern would be similar to the VARC section structure for the 2021 exam. There were 24 questions in the 40-minute VARC section of the test. A combination of Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability, Reading Comprehension (RC) contributes to about 67 per cent of the total questions and marks in this section. There were four RC Passages totaling 16 questions in the 2021 exam. The final 8 problems address topics such as para summary, para jumbles (Odd Sentence & Subjective), para completeness, and more.

It is a good idea to incorporate themes from the prior year's question papers and mix the current and prior syllabuses to acquire the 99 percentile mark because the VARC section's curriculum is subject to yearly adjustments. The level of difficulty for the VARC section fluctuates from year to year, so candidates must be ready for all eventualities.

Overview of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Section

The second portion of the CAT Exam is called Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. Candidates won't be allowed to attempt the CAT Exam unless they have finished the VARC component.

The exam's most active section, with new varieties of problems, practically arising every year. The questions are presented in a "set" manner in this section. This means that the questions will be separated into 4 to 5 parts, each of which a candidate must complete receiving full credit. The questions will be presented visually, such as in the form of a case, chart, or graph. The questions should be carefully chosen because they could potentially be worth up to 15 points.

DILR has historically been one of the hardest locations to penetrate. However, there is some brightness here that is hidden by ominous clouds. When a candidate carefully considers a question and makes connections between the answers, everything becomes evident. Due to this part's level of complexity, it should be possible to pass it with a 95 percentile by solving three to four out of the six sets that are often presented.

CAT Exam Pattern for Quantitative Aptitude

The section that most candidates devote the most time to studying for is this one. This is because the CAT exam style and material are the most in-depth of any section. This is the section that, for the majority of candidates, can make or break the exam. There were a total of 22 questions on the 2021 exam, including 8 non-MCQs.

Issues that are more important than those of their compatriots are difficult to distinguish from one another. As a result, candidates who want to be sure they will perform well in this area need to review the entire syllabus.

The IIMs have lowered the level of difficulty in the exam's notoriously demanding QA component to make it more approachable for people who aren't engineers. The cutoffs and scores for this segment have increased as a result. But lately, QA questions have become less challenging.

The questions are scattered throughout the section despite being viewed as being rather easy in terms of difficulty. Here is a video tutorial that will teach you how to spot the straightforward QA questions that will place you in the 95-99 percentile.

Simple Quantitative Aptitude Questions: With a few minor variations, the exam's syllabus has stayed fairly constant throughout its existence. It is anticipated that the syllabus would resemble the exam syllabus for 2021. The official curriculum has not yet been released by the test maker.

Tips for Preparing for the CAT Exam Based on the Exam Pattern

A basic summary of how to study is given in the CAT Exam Pattern:

  • Each segment has roughly equal weight, which suggests that each section should have equal weight in the CAT exam while learning the foundations.
  • Sample examinations are then essential in deciding how to proceed with exam preparation. The component of the exam where the aspirant scored the best is the conceptually clearest to him. The time spent on that area can be reduced as a result, and the applicant's lowest-scoring section needs to be their primary focus.
  • After some time, the effectiveness of the mocks must be assessed once more. The candidate must make sure that the area in which they excelled is not slipping and that the area on which they are focusing is progressing.
  • This milestone-based strategy for exam preparation would enable the applicant to concentrate on the pertinent topics as the exam draws near.

As you can see, the CAT exam pattern has successfully changed over the years, and it can do so again. Candidates must review all of the material on the curriculum and develop their test-taking skills to fight this. With these two skills at their disposal, any curveball the CAT exam threw would only cause a brief hesitation on the candidate's part.

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