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CAT 2018 Paper Analysis: Section-wise Analysis & Cutoff

Updated On - June 26th 2018 by KRITIKA GUPTA

CAT Exam Analysis: IIMs has scheduled CAT 2018 for November 25 in online mode. The analysis will be available immediately after the CAT 2018 concludes. The analysis for Slot 1 and Slot 2 will be published separately. It will carry information related to the exam pattern, changes introduced and ideal attempts for each section. Stay Tuned! 

About CAT 2018

  • CAT 2018 is scheduled for November 25, 2018.
  • CAT 2018 Application Form will release in the second week of August.
  • The difficulty level of the paper is expected to be moderate this year as well.
  • As per the analysis for CAT 2018 by Collegedunia team, 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. 
CAT 2018 Exam PatternCAT 2018 SyllabusCAT Cutoff 2018CAT 2016 Analysis

Highlights of CAT Exam Analysis for last 3 years are tabulated below:

CAT Year201720162015
Exam DateNovember 26December 4November 29
CAT Exam Conducting IIMIIM LucknowIIM BangaloreIIM Ahmedabad
Total Questions | Sections | Duration100 | 3 | 3hrs.100 | 3 | 3hrs.100 | 3 | 3hrs.
Marking SchemeCorrect Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1
Correct Answer: +1
Wrong Answer: - 0.33
Correct Answer: +3
Wrong Answer: - 1
Number of MCQs747572
Number of Non-MCQs262528
Difficulty LevelFew questions Easy, few Moderate and some DifficultModerate to DifficultModerate to Difficult
Name of Sections with Number of QuestionsVARC-34
QA- 34
QA- 34
QA- 34

Important Facts:

  • No negative marking for non-MCQ type questions.
  • The exam will have both MCQs and Non-MCQs type questions.
  • Mode of examination and maximum marks for the examination has remained same from last 3 years i.e. Computer Based Test and 300 marks.

Read on to know about the paper analysis of CAT 2017 & CAT 2016 and check the exam analysis of CAT from last 3 years (2017 – 2015) etc.

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 moderate-difficult level
  • For the first time ever, 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




















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 in nature. 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





Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning





Quantitative Ability










  • 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 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+
S P 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 introduction of 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 previous year (2014) scaled down score. Given below is CAT 2016 Cutoff:

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

*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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