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CAT 2016 Slot 1 Test Analysis

Test Experience

  • While most students have reported the administrative process as being quite smooth - we have heard of a few centres in Mumbai where chaos reigned before the test and also during the same; hopefully these were exceptions to the rule.
  • Inside the examination hall, you are allowed to carry only a copy of your Admit Card (paste the same photograph as the one in the print) and a valid ID proof (in original).
  • Things that are NOT ALLOWED inside the hall include watch (analog or digital), mobile phones, earphones, microphones, pager, health band or any other electronic gadgets, any printed/blank/hand-written paper, pencil box, pouch, calculator, etc.
  • Test-takers wearing closed footwear like shoes were made to take them off before entering the lab.
  • This year the admit card was taken back from the test takers.

Test Interface

  • The test interface was similar to the one provided in the official CAT Mock Test.
  • There were no sub-divisions within each section.
  • The VA-RC questions were interspersed within the section and not as separate subsections.  
  • Similarly the DI-LR questions were also interspersed.
  • All questions within a section were available within the sectional time limit.
  • There was a simple calculator provided & not a scientific one like last year.
  • There was an arrow provided near the question palette which when clicked expanded the question window to full screen view by hiding the question palette & vice versa.
  • At the end of the test, a summary of number of questions attempted, visited and not visited was displayed for each section.


  • The overall structure of CAT 2016 was exactly similar to that of CAT 2015.
  • Each section was timed for 60 minutes. One could not go back and forth between sections.  
  • The test started with the Verbal Section, which had 34 questions - 24 RC and 10 VA. Unlike CAT 2015, this section was not divided into two sub-sections but had one single section and therefore some extra effort was required if one wanted to first solve VA questions or RC questions.
  • The second section was the DI-LR with 32 questions distributed equally between the two areas. Just like VA-RC, the DI and LR sets were mixed up and there was no way one could locate all the DI sets or all the LR sets in one go.
  • The third section was the Quantitative Ability section which also had 34 questions.

  • Slot 1 Overview

Marking Scheme

While the instructions page indicated 3 marks for every correct, the corresponding values displayed alongside individual questions was 1 & (-0.33) respectively. However since the ratio remains the same we do not see this as a major cause of concern. There was no negative marking for TITA questions.

  • The VA-RC section was a replica of the CAT 2015 section in terms of question types.
  • The section comprised 24 RC questions and 10 VA questions.
  • Grammar was again conspicuous by its absence.
  • There were no vocabulary-based questions as well.

  • Slot 1 VA RC

  • RC had 3 passages with 6 questions each & 2 passages with 3 questions each - most of these questions were direct and could have been solved within the given time-limits. The RC passages were mostly easy to understand and no passage had a very abstract or dense subject matter. There were a roughly equal number of direct and inferential questions. Occasionally, closeness of two options might have given students pause, but on the whole, the questions were not difficult. All the RC questions were MCQs.
  • The VA questions, like last year, were all TITA Questions and comprised Jumbled paragraphs, Out of Context and Para Summary questions. All the VA Questions, on the other hand, were TITA questions. The 3 Summary questions were mostly straightforward, but there were a couple of tricky questions among the 4 Jumbled Para and the 3 Odd Sentence out of the Paragraph questions, which were somewhat time consuming and thus could have been avoided, in case there was a paucity of time.
  • The exact question distribution was as follows:

  • Area/Questions No. of Qs. Question Type Level of Difficulty
    Reading Comprehension 24 MCQ  
    Passage 1 (Decline of languages) 6 MCQ Easy-medium
    Passage 2 (Environmental conservation in Bhutan) 3 MCQ Easy-medium
    Passage 3 (Problem with universal primary education) 6 MCQ Easy-medium
    Passage 4 (Bonding through suffering) 6 MCQ Easy-medium
    Area/Questions No. of Qs. Question Type Level of Difficulty
    Reading Comprehension 24 MCQ  
    Passage 1 (Decline of languages) 6 MCQ Easy-medium
    Passage 2 (Environmental conservation in Bhutan) 3 MCQ Easy-medium
    Passage 3 (Problem with universal primary education) 6 MCQ Easy-medium
    Passage 4 (Bonding through suffering) 6 MCQ Easy-medium
    Passage 5 (Economic importance of housework) 3 MCQ Easy
    Verbal Ability 10 TITA  
    Jumbled Paragraphs 4 TITA Medium-difficult
    Summary Questions 3 TITA Easy-medium
    Odd Sentence Out of the Paragraph 3 TITA Medium
  • The CAT Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability sections have been easy and doable for the past couple of years, and this year was no exception.
  • If you had taken SimCAT 15 & 16, the VA-RC section would have been a home run.
  • A student should be able to attempt 26-28 of the questions in this section. About 26 confident attempts (with about 85-90% accuracy) would be considered good.
  • The DI-LR section had 4 sets each of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
  • Selection of the right sets to solve was key to a good performance in this section.
  • As per student feedback, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning sets weren’t as time-consuming as CAT 2015.
  • Unlike last year, no Set was completely TITA - TITA questions were dispersed across individual sets.
  • In particular, the sets in Logical Reasoning were much easier to solve than those of Data Interpretation.
  • The Calculator was useful in some of the DI questions.

  • Slot 1 DI LR

  • A detailed description of the sets in this section is given below for your reference:

  • Set No. Area Set Description Number of Questions Level of Difficulty Question Type
    1 Data Interpretation Calculation-based involving ratios & percentages of movies in different languages 4 Moderate MCQ+TITA
    2 Data Interpretation Calculation-based involving percentage of male and female exam takers 4 Easy-Moderate MCQ
    3 Data Interpretation Reasoning-based involving male and female vegetarians and non-vegetarians 4 Easy-Moderate MCQ+TITA
    4 Data Interpretation Set theory based on gadgets bought 4 Easy-Moderate MCQ
    5 Logical Reasoning Puzzle on derangement of documents across folders 4 Easy-Moderate MCQ+TITA
    6 Logical Reasoning Puzzle based on question paper with two sections and variable marking 4 Easy MCQ
    7 Logical Reasoning Grouping-Conditionality involving train travel and fares 4 Moderate MCQ+TITA
    8 Logical Reasoning Matrix arrangement involving persons and T-shirt colours 4 Easy MCQ
  • Overall the section was only slightly easy when compared to last year.
  • A good student should have been able to attempt around 4 of these sets in the given time with an accuracy of around 85-90%. Some of the sets that could have been definitely solved were Sets 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8.
  • This section was of moderate difficulty level and dominated by questions on Geometry and Arithmetic.
  • There were only 7 TITA questions this year - compared to last year when there were 14!
  • If one went through the entire section, there were at least 8 to 10 sitters for the taking.
  • The Calculator could also have been used for some of the questions.
  • The image of the Square Root sign in some of the questions resembled more like a PI - thereby creating some confusion.
  • There was at least 1 question which had a typographical error and should be excluded from the final evaluation.

  • Slot 1 QA

  • Many of the questions in this section tested elementary concepts. The detailed topic-wise listing of the questions (based on student inputs) is given below:

  • Area Topic No. of Questions Total No. of Questions Level of Difficulty
    Numbers Divisibility & Remainders 1 3 Easy
    Number Properties 2 Easy-Moderate
    Algebra Simple Equations 1 5 Easy
    Quadratic Equations 2 Moderate
    Polynomial Equations 1 Moderate
    Inequations 1 Moderate
    Arithmetic Simple & Compound Interest 2 11 Easy-Moderate
    Ratio & Proportion 1 Moderate
    Averages & Mixtures 2 Easy-Moderate
    Time-Speed-Distance 2 Easy-Moderate
    Profit & Loss 2 Easy-Moderate
    Work & Pipes 2 Easy
    Geometry Triangles 4 9 Easy-Moderate
    Quadrilaterals 2 Moderate
    Circles 1 Moderate
    Coordinate Geometry 1 Moderate
    Mensuration 1 Easy
    Modern Math Set Theory 1 6 Easy
    Permutation & Combination 1 Moderate
    Sequence & Series 3 Easy-Moderate
    Logarithm 1 Moderate
      TOTAL 34 34  
  • A good student should have been able to solve 22-25 questions in the given time with 85-90% accuracy.


  • The first slot of CAT 2016 has been reported to be more or less similar to last year with no surprises.
  • No new question types were seen in any of the sections.
  • An overall attempt of 65+ questions with an accuracy of 80 to 85 percent should be classified as a good performance in this test.

CAT 2016, 2015 and 2014 Results

According to CAT 2016 results, a score between 220.09- 287.83 was equivalent to 100 percentile, a score of 218.43 was equivalent to 99.99 percentile, a score of  204.73 was equivalent to 99.97 percentile, a score 191.2 was equivalent to 99.9 percentile, a score of 157 was equivalent to 98.82  percentile.

For your reference and a better understanding of the test, we have also mentioned CAT 2015 and 2014 results.

According to CAT 2015 results, a score between 254.61 – 249.9 was equivalent to 100 percentile, a score of 242.33 was equivalent to 99.99 percentile, a score of 235.33 was equivalent to 99.98 percentile, a score between 215.54-215.43 was equivalent to 99.89 percentile, a score of 180.02 was equivalent to 99 percentile.(Please note there were 3 sections in CAT 2015).

According to CAT 2014 results, a score between 268.700-261.740 was equivalent to 100 percentile, a score of 245.92 was equivalent to 99.97 percentile, a score of 227.65 was equivalent to 99.87 percentile, and a score of 178.02 was equivalent to 98.07 percentile. (Please note there were 2 sections in CAT 2014).


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