CAT 2017 Slot 1 Test Analysis

The first slot of CAT 2017 took place today between 9 am and 12 noon.

(Around 2.31 lakh candidates across the country will appear for the CAT this year in both the slots in 140 centers across India. 78,009 women candidates and 1,53,027 male candidates are expected to take CAT 2017)

So, what was the prestigious CAT like in the first slot? IMS students who took the first slot of the CAT gave it a thumbs up in VA RC, and QA, and report the following:


The administrative process of the test in the first slot was smooth. However, taking into account the scale of the examination, minor discomforts and technical glitches occurred at a few centers in Mumbai which were immediately taken care of by the authorities and the exam was conducted smoothly.

As in the past the policy of no-shoes no metallic objects including metal jewelry prevailed. Only the admit card and the ID proof were allowed. Nothing else!

As in the previous year, the authorities took possession of the admit cards. The candidates were given a small pad with IIM CAT Logo on the cover(16 pages or so) for rough work and a pen – which were also taken away at the end of the exam.

So, one came out of the CAT with no proof of having appeared for the CAT except for good memories this time. We will go into the memories part a little later.

Test Interface

The test interface was exactly what IMS students are used to in the SimCATs. It was a very user friendly interface and exactly the one provided in the official CAT Mock Test.

There were no sub-divisions within each section. The VA-RC questions were NOT interspersed within the section. Several IMS SimCATs had had the same format with Questions from 1 to 24 in Reading Comprehension and 25 to 34 in Verbal Ability.

A simple calculator was provided, and not a scientific one. 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.


CAT 2017 in the first slot was an extremely student friendly test!

The overall structure of CAT 2017 was exactly that of CAT 2016. The test started with the Verbal Section, which had 34 questions - 24 RC and 10 VA. The second section was the DI-LR with 32 questions distributed equally between the two areas. The third section was the Quantitative Ability section which also had 34 questions. Each section was timed for 60 minutes. One could not go back and forth between sections. The marking scheme was also similar to last year with +3 for every correct & -1 for incorrect answers. There was no negative marking for TITA questions. However since the ratio remains the same we do not see this as a major cause of concern.
Here is the break–up of questions section-wise:

Section No. Section Name Total Number of Questions Number of Multiple Choice Questions Number of TITA Questions
I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 27 07
II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 24 08
III Quantitative Ability 34 23 11
TOTAL 100 74 26
  • The overall difficulty level of VA RC Section of CAT 2017 was Easy.
  • IMS students must have recalled SimCAT 14 when they saw the actual CAT. Not only in the format which is given below, CAT 2017 actually matched the difficulty level of SimCAT 14.
  • The format was familiar.
  • The VA-RC section was a replica of the CAT 2016 section in terms of question types. Grammar and Vocabulary questions were again conspicuous by their absence.
  • RC had 3 passages with 6 questions each & 2 passages with 3 questions each- most of these questions were direct and easily solvable.
  • IMS students have reported that as many as 21 questions were easy!

Of the 10 VA questions, 7 were TITA and 3 were MCQs.
3 Out-of-context sentence – TITA
4 Paragraph Jumbles – TITA
*3 Paragraph summary/Author’s opinion questions – MCQs. (With negative Marks)*
*The only difference from the 2016 CAT and the several IMS SimCATs, especially SimCAT 14.

SLOT 1 (CAT 2017 VA RC)

Area / Questions No of Qs. Type LOD
Reading Comprehension 24 MCQ
RC-1:  Ancient Maps and the positioning of North – Approx. 550 words 6 MCQ Easy
RC- 2: Comparison between the printing press and i-phone. Approx.  550 words 6 MCQ Easy
RC-3: Economic viability of hosting of Olympics by a country – Approx. 350 words 3 MCQ Easy- Medium
RC-4: Development of species – Approx. 350 words 3 MCQ Medium
RC-5: Social effect of Malls in the USA. – Approx. 550 words. 6 MCQ Easy – Medium
Verbal Ability 10 MCQ & TITA
Parajumbles 4 TITA 3 Medium 1 Easy
Out of Context sentence 3 TITA 1 difficult 2 Easy
Summary 3 MCQ 1 Easy 1 Medium 1 Difficult

It was possible to attempt 26 to 28 questions with high accuracy in the test.

  • The DI-LR section had a total of 8 sets with 4 questions in each set. There were 3 sets Data Interpretation and 4 sets of Logical Reasoning. The remaining set was logic based DI and hence cannot be simply classified as either DI or LR.
  • 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 were a lot more time-consuming than CAT 2016
  • No Set was completely TITA - TITA questions were dispersed across individual sets. 4 sets were completely MCQ whereas the remaining 4 sets was a combination of TITA and MCQs ( 2 MCQ and 2 TITA). There were a total of 8 TITA questions
  • 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 Set on Rural Kids across 3 regions 4 Moderate -Difficult MCQ+TITA
2 Data Interpretation Reasoning Based Venn Diagram set of Applicants of  Doctoral Program of Engineering appearing for an Entrance Test 4 Difficult MCQ
3 Data Interpretation Reasoning Based Set –Bar Graph Depicting Happiness Index 4 Moderate-Difficult MCQ + TITA
4 Data Interpretation Reasoning Based Logical DI Set based on routes between 2 cities Akala and Bakala 4 Moderate-Difficult MCQ
5 Logical Reasoning Puzzle based set on Heights and Numerical Square Grid (5m * 5m) 4 Moderate MCQ+TITA
6 Logical Reasoning Groupings & Arrangements based set of Skilled and Regular Employees 4 Difficult MCQ
7 Logical Reasoning Puzzle based set on no flights between 10 cities (using principles of Permutation & Combination ) 4 Moderate-Difficult MCQ + TITA
8 Logical Reasoning Arrangement based set  -scheduling of  order of clients of fast food  chain Healthy Bites 4 Moderate MCQ
  • Overall the section was difficult as compared to last year.
  • A good student should have been able to attempt around 4 of these sets (14 -16 questions) in the given time with an accuracy of around 85-90%. Some of the sets that could have been definitely solved were Set 5 and Set 8
  • This section was easy and dominated by Arithmetic with 13 questions followed by Geometry, Algebra, and Modern Math with 5 to 8 questions each.
  • There were 11 TITA questions this year - compared to last year when there were only 7
  • If one went through the entire section, there were at least 12 to 14 sitters for the taking
  • 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 Indices 1 1 Easy
Algebra Quadratic Equations 2 5 Easy-Moderate
          Minima 1 Moderate
      Inequations 1 Moderate
Simultaneous Equations /Ratios 1 Moderate
Arithmetic Ratios& Percentage 5 13 Easy-Moderate
Averages 2 Easy-Moderate
Time-Speed-Distance 2 Easy-Moderate
Profit & Loss 3 Easy-Moderate
Work & Time 1     Easy
Geometry Triangles 3 7 Easy-Moderate
Coordinate Geometry/Graphs 2 Moderate
Mensuration & 3D 2 Moderate-Difficult
Modern Math Permutation & Combination 3 8 Moderate
Sequence & Series (AP) 2 Moderate
Functions 1 Easy
Logarithm 2 Moderate
TOTAL 34 34
  • A good student should have been able to solve 24-26 questions in the given time with 85-90% accuracy.


  • The first slot of CAT 2017 has been reported to be more or less similar to last year with a tougher DI section but an easier QA and VA-RC section
  • 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 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 Results

    According to CAT 2017 results, a score between 245.11-230.17  was equivalent to 100 percentile, a score of  218.79 was equivalent to 99.98 percentile, a score of 218.46  was equivalent to 99.97 percentile, a score 206.23  was equivalent to 99.9 percentile, a score of 170.08 was equivalent to 98.82  percentile. (Please note there were 3 sections in CAT 2017).

    For your reference and a better understanding of the test, we have also mentioned 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.(Please note there were 3 sections in CAT 2016).

    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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