MICAT I December 2015 Test Analysis

What after MICAT 2015?

MICAT or MICA Admission Test is the MBA entrance exam for MICA, Ahmedabad. The test is conducted by MICA across multiple cities for eligible candidates. The test was held on December 13 this year. All students reported receiving the same paper with the same order of questions eliminating uncertainties over grading and normalization. The test’s on-boarding process was smooth. However, some centers reported glitches and power outages. Thankfully, the servers saved the marked answers and students could resume without entering the answers again. In case of power failure at a centre, students were able to restart the test from the same point.

The test comprised of six sections:

  • Section - A (Descriptive)  >> 4 Questions                 
  • Section - B (Psychometric) >> 37 Questions
  • Section - C (Reasoning) >> 30 Questions
  • Section - D (General Awareness) >> 25 Questions
  • Section - E (Verbal Ability) >> 25 Questions
  • Section - F (Quantitative Analysis) >> 25 Questions

35 minutes were allotted for Section A (Descriptive) and 130 minutes were available for the remaining sections. During the first 35 minutes, candidates were not allowed to navigate to any other part of the test paper. After 35 minutes, the candidate could navigate to other sections. Most of the questions varied from an easy to a moderate level of difficulty. Sections A and B carried no negative marking while wrong attempts in Sections C, D, E and F would attract a subtraction of 0.25 marks.

Section - A (Descriptive) 

This section tested the analytical and descriptive writing ability and creative skills of test-takers. The total time given for attempting these questions was 35 minutes. As in the official mock test, the first three questions were related to each other. For the first two questions, students had to write five points for and against a particular topic. In the third question, the students had to write a 300 word answer either in favour of or against the topic as a part of a letter to the editor. The instructions for the question clearly stated that ‘no marks would be awarded for a neutral viewpoint’. Students reported that the topic for the first three questions was based on environment and development.

The fourth question in this section consisted of four pictures. From a dropdown menu, students had to select a particular pictorial combination (A-B-C-D or D-C-B-A and all such iterations) and explain it with the help of a story. The pictures were related to wildlife and elephants, a train journey, women decorating a tree and leaves strewn across the path perhaps indicating the festive season and autumn respectively.

Although the test would auto-save the answers every three minutes or so, students are advised to click on the ‘Save’ button after writing a few sentences to prevent any loss of data in case of server breakdown during this section.

Section - B (Psychometric)

There were 37 questions in this section. The test instructions mentioned that it was necessary to attempt all the questions in this test and failure to do so would lead to disqualification of the candidate. In this section, there were no correct or incorrect responses.

The very first questions had 30 statements out of which test-takers had to pick 10 statements describing one’s personality traits. Selection of statements less than or more than 10 was disallowed and one could not move to the next question until the ten options were selected. The statements did not need to be ranked. Some anxious moments were reported when few students selected more than 10 options and clicked the ‘Save and Next’ button only to be greeted with a crash of the test interface. Students are advised to count ten options while marking this question so as to avoid any glitches.

The second set of questions asked one to choose from a set of two arguments and to rate them in accordance with one’s personality traits. Around 25-26 questions were based on this pattern. One statement was presented on the left and another was on the right side of the screen. The six options from which students needed to mark their answer were:

  • Strongly agree with the statement on the right
  • Moderately agree with the statement on the right
  • Somewhat agree with the statement on the right
  • Strongly agree with the statement on the left
  • Moderately agree with the statement on the left
  • Somewhat agree with the statement on the left

In the third set of questions, the students had to rank various action responses in the given scenario on a scale of 1 to 6 (where a rating of 1 implied highest priority and a rating of 6 meant lowest priority). Around 10-11 questions were of this type. For someone accustomed to taking psychometric tests, this section was simple and less time consuming.

Section - C (Reasoning)

MICAT’s Reasoning section is only one of its kind among all Management tests in the sense that it combines 30 word-combination, statement-assumption, statement-conclusion and visual reasoning questions to present an arrangement of questions with moderate-to-difficult complexity levels.

Usually, there were a couple of difficult questions in each type and the rest of the questions were on the moderate side.

Topic No. of Qs. Level
Word Relationship 15 4 Easy, 8 Moderate, 3 Difficult
Statement-Conclusion 4 1 Easy, 2 Moderate, 1 Difficult
Statement Assumption 4 2 Easy, 1 Moderate, 1 Difficult
Visual Reasoning - Find the missing figure 7 2 Easy, 3 Moderate, 2 Difficult

However unlike other tests and to add to the level of complexity, the options of the statement-assumption and statement-conclusion type questions kept changing from question to question. For example, option [3] in the first statement-assumption stood for “None of the statements” while the same option for the next statement-assumption stood for “Both the statements are valid”. Students are advised to read the answer options before marking them.

If the difficult questions were given a miss, a student could have attempted 20-22 questions in this section.

Section - D (General Awareness)

This section consisted of 25 questions. The good news was that hardly any questions were present on national and international current affairs which students normally find difficult. The questions were about business taglines, mergers and acquisitions, brands and sub-brands, corporate heads, financial abbreviations and other corporate topics such as brand and marketing campaigns. Some questions types were in the form of ‘Match-the-questions-with-the-answers’ format. However, these questions were quite simple and by eliminating the wrong options, the right answer could easily be arrived at. Candidates with good knowledge about business logos, taglines, advertising campaigns, head honchos and social media platforms could have correctly answered about 20-22 questions in this section.

Section - E (Verbal Ability)

This section consisted of phrase replacements, jumbled paragraphs, synonyms, double blanks and a Reading Comprehension passage. Much to the relief of students, the MICAT contained only 1 RC passage this year. However, the passage was long, complex and wordy with questions of moderate difficulty levels.

Topic No. of Qs. Level
Double FIB 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate
Jumbled Paragraph - 4 sentences 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate, 1 Difficult
Replace the phrase with its meaning 5 4 Easy, 1 Moderate
Synonyms of the highlighted word used in the sentence 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate
Reading Comprehension 5 2 Easy, 2 Moderate, 1 Difficult

Students should have targeted attempting all the 25 questions in about 30 minutes with about 80% accuracy.

Section - F (Quantitative Analysis)

This section consisted of 25 questions. The question break up is given below:

Topic No. of Qs. Level
Ratio-Proportion 3 10 Easy, 10 Moderate, 5 Difficult
Percentages 2
Speed-Distance 2
Work-Time 2
Profit-Loss 2
Geometry 2
Data Interpretation 6
Modern Math 3
Miscellaneous topics 3

As this is the last section, students well-versed with this section are advised to solve these questions earlier than the other sections so that they can easily attempt around 20-22 questions in 40-45 minutes before time runs out.

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