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CAT 2016 Paper Analysis

Last Updated - April 24, 2018

CAT 2016 was conducted on December 04, 2016 in two slots. The level of the paper is debated to be harder than the previous year paper. Owing to the high difficulty and large number of registration, the cutoff of CAT Exam is expected to hit a new low this year. Apart from the level of difficulty and time consuming questions, there were also reports of technical glitches, errors in questions and alleged paper leak prior to the slot 2 Exam. However, CAT 2016 Convener Prof Rajendra K Bandi refuted all the allegations stating that the process went smooth and there was nothing to be concerned about.

The Result of CAT will be released in the second week of January, 2017. The Result will be uploaded in form of Score Cards at and candidates will be called for the next round of selection process. The Institutes will call the students with scores above the requisite cutoff. Institutes will publish the final merit list post the conduct of the selection process that includes group discussion and personal interview.

About CAT 2018

It is anticipated that CAT 2018 will be convened by IIM Kozhikode. The official notification containing all important dates, will release in the last week of July. .CAT 2018 is expected to be held on November 25, 2018. CAT Result will be declared in the month of January, 2019 tentatively.

Factors Affecting CAT 2016 Cutoff

In addition to the marks scored by the candidates in CAT Exam, the cutoff of CAT 2016 is based on the several other factors. The CAT Cutoff percentile is affected by the following factors –

  • The total number of candidates who have appeared the test.
  • The average score in CAT 2016
  • The difficulty level of the test.
  • The availability of the seats in the Institutes.
  • Reservation policy of the Institutes.

Expected CAT 2016 Cutoff Percentile

Considering all the factors mentioned above, we have devised expected cutoff for CAT Exam conducted on Dec 04. The Cutoff as explained earlier is expected to fall lower as compared to the previous year. Candidates with overall attempts of 68-70 can expect 99%ile or above for their result.

S.No.Attempts in VARCAttempts in DILRAttempts in QAOverall AttemptsExpected Percentile
127 – 2819 – 2021 – 2268 – 7099
223 – 2417 – 1817 – 1860 – 6295
320 – 2115 – 1613 – 1450 – 5290
418 – 1914 – 1512 – 1342 – 4485

Highlights of CAT 2016 Exam

The level of difficulty

The Paper was debated to be lengthy and consuming in comparison to the last year. While Quantitative Aptitude was at par with the last years’ difficulty, verbal ability section was the easiest and LRDI section was toughest.

Number of questions in the exam

Total 100 questions were asked in the examination. QA and VARC section had 34 question, whereas, the total number of questions in DILR were 32. The detailed distribution of questions and marks is provided in the table below. For each correct answer 4 answer option were given.

Wrong Questions

In QA section, there were two incorrect questions. The incorrect questions were asked from Time and Distance and Progression. 

Confusion in Symbols

The square root symbols was given as ‘σ’, confusing it for a variable. This confused among the students and lead to time waste.  

The table below displays the CAT 2016 Slot 1 Pattern:

S.No.Section NameNumber of QuestionsNo.of non- MCQsNo of MCQsDifficulty LevelIdeal No. of Attempts
1.Quantitative Ability34727 Tough to Moderate18+
2.Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension3410 24Moderate 28+
3.Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning328 24Tough 16+
Total 10025 75


Post the announcement of result at, Institutes will call the shortlisted students for GDPI rounds. The GDPI of CAT 2017 is conducted by the institutes to test candidates’ communication and verbal skills. The Final merit list is released at the institutes’ portal soon after the conduct of GDPI Rounds mentioning the final shortlisted candidates form the upcoming session.

The CAT 2016 GDPI will tentatively be conducted in the month of February/March by the institutes’.



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