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CAT Previous Year Paper Analysis: Section-wise Analysis & Cutoff

Updated On - August 30th 2019 by ANAM SHAMS

CAT Exam Analysis: IIM Kozhikode will conduct CAT 2019 on 24 November in online mode. CAT exam analysis will be available immediately after the exam concludes. Slot 1 and Slot 2 paper analysis will be published separately.

  • CAT 2019 will be a Computer Based Test (CBT) for 3 hours duration.
  • Total number of questions will be 100 in MCQ and Non MCQ format.
  • Paper will comprise of 3 sections: Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude.
  • Time limit of 1 hour will be alloted to each section. Check CAT 2019 Exam Pattern
  • Difficulty level of the paper is expected to be moderate this year as well.
  • As per the analysis of previous year exams this year DILR is expected to be toughest, VARC to be moderate and QA should be the easiest. An attempt of total 63-67 will be considered good. 

Check CAT 2019 Expected Cut Off 

Read on to know about the paper analysis of CAT 2018 & CAT 2017 and check the exam analysis of CAT from last 4 years (2018 – 2015) etc.

Highlights of CAT Exam Analysis for the last 4 years are tabulated below:

CAT Year2018201720162015
Exam DateNovember 25November 26December 4November 29
CAT Exam Conducting IIMIIM CalcuttaIIM LucknowIIM BangaloreIIM Ahmedabad
Total Questions | Sections | Duration100| 3 | 3hrs.100 | 3 | 3hrs.100 | 3 | 3hrs.100 | 3 | 3hrs.
Marking Scheme

Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1

Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1
Correct Answer: +1
Wrong Answer: - 0.33
Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1
Number of MCQs75747572
Number of Non-MCQs25262528
Difficulty LevelDifficultFew questions Easy, few Moderate and some DifficultModerate to DifficultModerate to Difficult
Name of Sections with Number of QuestionsVARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34
VARC-34
DILR-32
QA- 34

CheckPaper Analysis for QA Section

CAT 2018 – Exam Analysis

CAT 2018 was conducted by IIM Calcutta on November 25. More than two lakhs candidates appeared to take the test. 

  • The overall difficulty level of the exam was high. 
  • DILR was difficult and the quant section was intensively calculative. 
  • RC passages were very lengthy. 

CAT 2018 Section-wise Analysis

Check the table given below to get an idea about the section-wise analysis of CAT 2018 exam.

Section Total Number of QuestionNon-MCQsMCQsDifficulty Level
Slot 1Slot 2Slot 1Slot 2Slot 1Slot 2Slot 1Slot 2

VARC

3434772727ModerateModerate
DILR3232882424Moderate-DifficultDifficult
Quant343412122222Quite DifficultSomewhat Difficult

CAT 2017 – Exam Analysis

CAT 2017 was conducted on November 26. Approximately 2 lakhs candidates took the test. In CAT 2017,

  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning was the toughest section.
  • Quantitative Ability was the easiest of three with Arthimetic dominating the section.
  • Overall the question papers of both the slots were of the moderate-difficult level
  • For the first time, CAT 2017 Answer Key was released by the conducting body for the candidates to refer to.

CAT 2017 Section-wise Analysis

  • CAT Exam 2017 was conducted in 2 sessions on the same day.
  • Questions from Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) and Quantitative Ability (QA) were asked.
  • As per the reactions of the test-takers, the difficulty level of the exam was moderate.

CAT 2017 Analysis (Slot 1)

Read below CAT 2017 Analysis for Slot 1:

SectionTotal No. of QuestionsNo. of MCQsNo. of Non-MCQsDifficulty Level

VARC

34

27

7

Easy-moderate

DI & LR

32

24

8

Difficult

QA

34

23

11

Easy-moderate

Total

100

75

26

3 Hours

  • In VA, there were 7 Non-MCQ & 3 MCQ questions. RC in CAT Exam 2017 had 24 questions. The overall difficulty level of the section was moderate.
  • DILR continued to be tough since the questions were reasoning based. There were 8 sets of 4 questions each which were quite indirect and tricky. Four sets were completely MCQ, whereas the remaining four were a combination of TITA and MCQs. 
  • QA was the easiest section to attempt, giving students a sigh of relief. Questions were direct, giving room to a higher CAT Cutoff this year. Questions were easily manageable and were not time-consuming.

CAT 2017 Analysis (Slot 2)

  • Slot 2 was conducted from 2.30- 5.30 pm.
  • The difficulty level of the paper was similar to the first slot, i.e., moderate. 

Read below CAT 2017 Analysis for Slot 2:

SectionNo. of Ques.No. of non-MCQ questionsDifficulty LevelGood Attempts

Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension

34

7

Easy-moderate

25-27

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

32

8

Difficult

12-14

Quantitative Ability

34

8

Easy-Moderate

25-26

Total

100

23

(-)

64-68

  • DILR was the toughest to attempt, although it was easier than the first slot.
  • VARC was of moderate difficulty level. Questions were either direct or inference based. TITA or non-MCQs were from the Verbal Ability or English Usage area. 
  • QA was the easiest to attempt in both the slots.
Note: As CAT 2017 was conducted in 2 sessions on the same day, to maintain the equality in scores, authorities follow a formula for calculating the scores. Know about CAT Normalisation Procedure

CAT 2016: Exam Analysis

  • CAT 2016 did not undergo any changes in its exam pattern. However, the difficulty level went up, which was a little expected.
  • While VARC was easy to attempt, DILR was troublesome for the examinees. The Quants section gave night-mare to all, in terms of the difficulty level and topic distribution.
  • The overall CAT Exam 2016 was of the moderate-difficult level.

Given below is the section-wise CAT 2016 Analysis:

SectionNo. of Ques.Difficulty LevelGood AttemptsTotal Marks
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension34Easy27-28102
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning32Moderate-Difficult14-1696
Quantitative Ability34Moderate-Difficult22-25102
 -100 - -300

Check CAT 2016 Answer Key

CAT 2016 Cutoff

Due to this, the overall percentile went down, and only a scaled score of 153+ was required for a 99+ percentile. CAT Cutoff was, which was much lower as compared to the previous years’ data. Given below is the cutoff for CAT 2016:

Name of the InstituteCAT 2016 Percentile
Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi (FMS, Delhi University)98.20
DMS, IIT Delhi98+
SJMSOM, IIT Bombay99+ 
Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras95+
Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon95+
SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) Mumbai85+
Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar (XIMB)90+
Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad90+
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE) Mumbai95+

Check CAT 2016 Paper Analysis


CAT 2015 Analysis

IIM Ahmedabad conducted CAT 2015. Minor additions were made, such as the introduction of the on-screen calculator and subjective questions. The weightage of each section remained the same, as observed in CAT 2014.

  • QA & DI was 34+ 16 and VA+ LR was 34 + 16.
  • In CAT 2015, the sections got shuffled as QA-34, LR+DI-16+16, and VARC-34.

Given below is the section-wise CAT 2015 Analysis:

SectionNo. of Ques.Difficulty LevelGood AttemptsTotal Marks
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension34Easy27-28102
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning32Moderate-Difficult1696
Quantitative Ability34Moderate25-27102
 -100 -70+300

Read CAT 2015 Analysis

CAT 2015 Cutoff

The raw score in the result required for a 99-percentile dropped marginally to 177+, which was lower as compared to the previous year (2014) scaled down the score. Given below is CAT 2016 Cutoff:

The b-schools accepting CAT scoreCAT 2015 Percentile
MDI Gurgaon92
Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)95
Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai95
S. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai85
T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal86
Department of Management Studies (DMS), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)98
Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), University of Delhi, Delhi98
Department of Management Studies (DoMS), Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)90
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai95
LIBA Chennai90

Check CAT 2015 Cutoff


CAT 2014 Analysis

CAT 2014 Exam was slightly different as compared to CAT 2013 since it underwent a few changes. The time duration went up to 170 minutes, without any sectional limit. Changes in the pattern brought about a drop in its level of difficulty and as a consequence, the scaled down score for a 99 percentile went up to 190+. Check CAT 2014 Cutoff

Given below is the section-wise analysis of CAT 2014:

SectionNo. of Ques.Difficulty LevelGood AttemptsTotal Marks
Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation50 (34+16)Easy35+150
Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning50 (34+16)Easy- Moderate35+150
(-)100Easy70+300

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College

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