The first slot of CAT 2014 is over and this is what our students have to report:
Most students have reported the administrative process as being quite smooth. Points to be noted are:
The test interface was the same as the demo on the CAT website, with the question paper option being available.
ENSURE THAT YOU CHOOSE THE 'SAVE AND NEXT' OTPION AFTER YOU MARK THE ANSWER TO EACH QUESTION. IF YOU JUST MARK THE ANSWER AND THEN CHOOSE THE NEXT QUESTION FROM THE QUESTION PALETTE, YOUR ANSWERS WILL NOT GET SAVED.
The first slot of CAT has been reported as being characterized by a much simpler than expected QA section, non-standard and tricky DI section, a doable VA section and a tough LR section.
In the first slot, the QA-DI section was characterized by easy Quantitative Ability and somewhat tough Data Interpretation questions. There were 34 questions on Quantitative Ability and 16 questions on Data Interpretation (4 sets of 4 questions each).
As per some students' reports, the QA section had even representation of all areas. A sample question distribution: there were 9 questions on Geometry and Modern Mathematics each. There were 8 questions on Arithmetic. The remaining 8 questions were from Numbers and Algebra. In Geometry, a majority of the questions were from triangles, quadrilaterals and circles. There was no question on mensuration. In Modern Mathematics, there were 3 questions on Logarithms, 2 on Permutation & Combination, 2 on Progressions and 2 on Functions. There was no question on Data Sufficiency. Most of the questions were straightforward. The overall level of difficulty of the QA questions was similar to that of the easy proctored SimCATs or the take-home SimCATs.
The DI sets were somewhat tricky. Most of the sets in DI had an angle of Logical Reasoning to them. The questions did not necessarily involve complicated calculations but were more logical in nature. There were reports of DI sets with tricky data. Several students reported that making sense of the data and building a table out of the same was somewhat time-consuming.
In general, the QA-DI section can be characterized as 'high scoring QA' and 'low scoring DI'.
Most students found the VA section to be doable. There were 34 VA questions. 18 of them were non-RC questions and 16 of them were RC questions - 4 passages with 4 questions each. The RC passages were not long - about the size of the screen.
A pleasant surprise was that RC was easier than expected and the non-RC questions were a bit tricky. No one has reported having had any vocabulary questions!!! This is highly unusual. Though the mock paper provided by CAT also did not have any vocabulary questions, we did not expect the actual CAT to also have none.
One apparent technical glitch that has been reported was that in some students' tests, all the questions related to 1 RC passage were not displayed one after the other. So students got 3 questions from one passage one after the other, then an LR set, and then the last question from that RC passage was displayed. This is something you should keep in mind to ensure that you don't miss questions.
Almost all RC passages had 1 or 2 direct and straightforward questions. There weren't any unusual or further-application based question types.
The distribution of the non RC questions varied from student to student. A sample question distribution was - 3 jumbled paragraphs, 3 summary questions, 4 critical reasoning questions, 4 incorrect-sentence-in-context questions and 4 grammar questions (choose the sentences or
parts of sentences that are correct)
The 4LR sets (of 4 questions each) in the first slot were on the difficult side. Although the sets were mainly based on puzzles and matrix arrangement, the questions were somewhat tricky. This made the sets more difficult to crack.Most students found LR to be a low scoring area of the section. In general, students who relied mainly on LR to score in the second section reported to have found the section tough.
The SimCATshave definitely given you a flavour of the Actual CAT. We recommend you to go through all your proctored/unproctored SimCATs as well as the IMS Workshop questions to be able to do well in the actual CAT. Even solving the CAT 500 will help you get the confidence to
solve actual CAT questions.