MICAT I December 2016 Test Analysis

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 11 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.

The test comprised three sections:

  • Section – 1
    • Descriptive Test  >> 4 Questions                 
  • Section – 2
    •  Psychometric Test >> 37 Questions
  • Section – 3
    • Reasoning >> 30 Questions
    • General Awareness >> 22 Questions
    • Verbal Ability >> 25 Questions
    • Quantitative Analysis >> 25 Questions

35 minutes were allotted for Section 1 (Descriptive).

25 minutes were provided for Section 2 (Psychometric test).

105 minutes were available for the Section 3.

During each section, the candidates were not allowed to navigate to any other section. 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 - 1 (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. The first three questions were related to each other. For the first two questions, students had to write three 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 whether expert opinion on Geo-Political issues was necessary or not.

The fourth question in this section consisted of four pictures. Students had to write down a particular pictorial combination (A-B-C-D or D-C-B-A or any such iterations) and explain it with the help of a story. The pictures were related to children playing in a field, a turtle in water, a library and a dumping ground full of electronic waste.

Section - 2 (Psychometric)

There were 37 questions in this section. The test instructions released by MICA 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.

In the first set of questions, there were three options for each question about a particular personality trait. Students had to select any single option. There were 10 questions of this type.

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 17 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 questions were of this type. For someone accustomed to taking psychometric tests, this section was simple and less time consuming. Students are advised not to have pre-conceived notions about which option constitutes the perfect answer. Instead, they should attempt each question honestly.

Section - 3 (Reasoning)

MICAT’s Reasoning section is only one of its kind among all Management tests in the sense that it combines 30 word-association, statement-assumption, data sufficiency and visual reasoning questions to present an arrangement of questions with moderate-to-difficult complexity levels.
The verbal reasoning questions varied between easy-to-moderate level of difficulty. However, there were a few difficult ones as well, especially in the Word Association question type.

Topic No. of Qs. Level
Word Association 15 5 Easy, 7 Moderate, 3 Difficult
Statement-Conclusion 1 1 Easy
Statement Assumption 3 2 Easy, 2 Moderate

The non-verbal reasoning questions in the section were predominantly easy. Following was the break-up of the non-verbal reasoning questions in the section:

Type of questions Number of questions Level of difficulty
Visual Reasoning (Total 7 questions)
Odd man out 3 Easy
Analogies 2 Easy
Complete the series 2 Easy
Logical Data sufficiency (Total 3 questions)
Relations 1 Easy
Directions 1 Easy
Circular arrangement 1 Easy
Others (Total 1 question)
Coding-Decoding 1 Easy

If the difficult questions were given a miss, a student could have attempted 16-18 questions with 80-85% accuracy in this section.

Section - 3 (General Awareness)

This section consisted of 22 questions. Out of 22, 12 were on National issues while 10 were on international topics. Also, 10 questions were of static type while 12 were on current affairs. Overall, the section was quite difficult.

The questions were about business taglines, mergers and acquisitions, corporate heads 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 awards could have attempted about 10-12 questions in this section with 80% accuracy.

Section - 3 (Verbal Ability)

This section consisted of phrase replacements, jumbled paragraphs, synonyms, double blanks and a Reading Comprehension passage. Like last year, only 1 RC passage was present this year. However, the passage was long with questions of moderate difficulty levels. The other question types were mainly easy with a couple of moderately difficult questions.

Topic No. of Qs. Level
Double FIB 5 3 Easy, 2 Difficult
Jumbled Paragraph - 4 sentences 4 2 Easy, 2 Moderate
Check if the phrase is grammatically correct 3 2 Easy, 1 Moderate
Synonyms of the highlighted word used in the sentence 4 2 Easy, 2 Moderate
Reading Comprehension 5 3 Easy, 2 Moderate
Error spotting in parts of sentence 4 3 Easy, 1 Moderate

Students should have targeted attempting about 20 questions in about 30 minutes with about 80% accuracy.

Section - 3 (Quantitative Ability)

There were 25 questions in the section, out of which 19 questions were on Quantitative Ability and 6 questions were on Data Interpretation. Quantitative Ability section was dominated by Arithmetic (7 questions) and Modern Mathematics (5 questions). Most of the questions were of easy to medium level of difficulty with a few questions at high level of difficulty as well. There were two sets on Data Interpretation with 3 questions each. The DI sets were characterized by calculation based questions involving calculations at easy level.

Following was the break-up of the questions in the Quantitative Ability section:

Type of questions Number of questions Level of difficulty
Arithmetic (Total 7 questions)
Ratio-Proportions 2 1 Easy, 1 Medium
Time-Speed-Distance* 2 1 Easy, 1 Medium
Percentages* 1 Medium
Profit & Loss 1 Easy
Mixtures & Alligations 1 Medium
Modern Mathematics (Total 5 questions)
Sequence-Series 2 1 Easy, 1 Difficult
Set Theory 2 2 Medium
Functions 1 Difficult
Algebra (Total 5 questions)
Simple equations 2 Easy
Quadratic equation 1 Medium
Factorization 1 Difficult
Simple equations with properties of numbers 1 Medium
Geometry (Total 2 questions)
Quadrilaterals 1 Easy
Trigonometry 1 Medium
Data Interpretation (Total 6 questions)
Pie chart 3 Easy-Medium
Line chart 3 Easy-Medium

*: Some students have reported that one question each in Percentages and Time-Speed-Distance had confusing options/inconsistent information.

An attempt of about 20 questions at 85% accuracy would be considered a good attempt.

Students clearing the Psychometric and Descriptive sections and also securing about 47-49 overall can expect a call for the GD-PI round.

Those who have attempted IMS test pack on MICAT (a series of 5 tests) would have found that the level of difficulty and the nature of the questions in these tests, as well as the structure of the paper similar to those asked in the actual MICAT.

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