CAT 2019 Exam- Slot 1 Test analysis

The first slot of CAT 2019 took place today (November 24) between 9 am and 12 noon.
The conduct of the exam was smooth without any technical or other glitches.
There was no change in the overall pattern or in the types of questions from the last three years’ CAT.


Section No.

Section Name

Total Number of Questions

Number of Multiple Choice Questions

Number of TITA Questions

Level of Difficulty


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension






Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning






Quantitative Ability











Based on the initial feedback received from several candidates we estimate the scores and percentiles*** to be as follows. Final percentile mapper will follow later.


Score VA-RC

Score DI-LR

Score  QA

Overall Score

99 %ile















85%ile (CUT-OFF)






  • The first slot of CAT-2019 was more or less on similar lines as CAT-2018 in terms of Level of Difficulty. There were no surprises or new question types in CAT-2019.
  • No new question types were seen in any of the sections.
  • An overall attempt of 68-70 questions with an accuracy of 85 percent should be classified as a good performance in this test and fetch around 99 percentile.
  • IMS students have found a great deal of similarity between the SimCATs and the CAT. Several students gave the feedback that the CAT appeared an extension of the SimCATs and the e-Maxmiser Workshops. 
  • The overall difficulty level of VA RC Section of CAT 2019 was Medium – more difficult  than CAT 2018.
  • IMS students must have recalled SimCAT 2, 3, 4, 8, 10 and 13, and the PreCAT when they saw the actual CAT. Not only in segmentation, CAT 2019 VARC matched the difficulty level of these SimCATs.
  • The VA-RC section was a replica of the CAT 2018 section in terms of question types. Grammar and Vocabulary questions were absent as in the last four years.
  • RC had 4 passages with 5 questions each & 1 passage with 4 questions, making up the 24 questions.
  • Few questions were direct and easy. Most of the questions were inference based and, like in 2018, critical reasoning type questions were also present. 
  • The length of the passages varied from 450 words to 500 words.
  • Similar to 2018 CAT, the Paragraph Jumbles Questions consisted of 4 jumbled sentences. 

Of the 10 Non-RC (VA) questions (Shuffled) - 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)
Area / Questions No of Qs. Type LOD
Reading Comprehension 24 MCQ  Overall: Medium to Difficult
RC-1:  British folk music 5 MCQ Difficult
RC- 2: Topophilia 5 MCQ Medium
RC-3: Emperor Penguins 4 MCQ Easy
RC-4: Internet Shopping and choice anxiety 5 MCQ Medium
RC-5: Origin of story of Aladdin 5 MCQ Medium
Verbal Ability 10 MCQ & TITA  Overall: Medium
Parajumbles ( 4 sentences) 4 TITA Easy-1,  Medium-2,  Difficult-1
Out of Context sentence 3 TITA Medium-2, Difficult-1
Summary 3 MCQ Easy-1 , Medium-1,  Difficult-1

Overall, an attempt of 24 to 26 questions in this section with 85% accuracy should be a good bet.

  • The DI-LR section had a total of 8 sets with 4 questions in each set. There were 2 sets of Data Interpretation and 5 sets of Logical Reasoning while 1 set was a combination of DI and LR. There were 3 easy to medium sets, those sets were easily doable. 2 sets were medium, 1 set was medium to difficult and 2 sets were difficult.
  • Some of the sets were difficult to comprehend and very time consuming, identifying and skipping those sets (Archery set, Crimes in States and Street Intersection) and attempting all the remaining sets would take the score high. So Selection of the right sets to solve was the key to a good performance in this section.
  • One Set was completely TITA and the remaining 4  TITA questions were dispersed across 2 individual sets with 2 TITA each. 5 sets were completely MCQ. 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 Logical Reasoning – Arrangement based Linear Arrangement in Super Market 4 Medium 4 MCQ
2 Data Interpretation – Calculation based Bar Chart + Table Crimes in States 4 Difficult 2 MCQ
3 Logical Reasoning – Games & Tournament based Archery 4 Difficult 4 MCQ
4 Logical Reasoning – Puzzle based Prizes to be put in 100 boxes 4 Medium 2 MCQ
5 Logical Reasoning – Puzzle based Coding 4 Easy to Medium 4 TITA
6 Data Interpretation – Reasoning based Spider Chart on 5 vendors and 6 attributes 4 Easy to Medium 2 MCQ
7 Logical Reasoning – Puzzle based Streets Intersection 4 Medium to Difficult 4 MCQ
8 Logical Reasoning – Arrangement based Dancers and Composers 4 Easy to Medium 4 MCQ

Some of the sets that could have been definitely solved were the ones based on the spider chart, coding and dancers & composers. Overall the section was marginally easier as compared to last year CAT. An attempt of around 5 sets (18-20 questions) in this section with 85%-90% accuracy should see percentile in the vicinity of 99 in this section.

This section was of medium difficulty level. There were 13 easy, 13-15 medium and 6-8 difficult questions. In fact as per student feedback it was slightly easier than QA section of last year CAT but tougher than QA section of CAT 2017 slots.

  • Like the last couple of years CAT QA section, this section was dominated by Arithmetic with 13 questions followed by Modern Math with 8 questions, Geometry with 7 questions and Algebra with 5 questions. There was only one question of numbers.
  • There were 11 TITA questions this year.
  • If one went through the entire section, there were 10 to 12 sitters for the taking while 6-8 questions that made students sweat.

Following was the area wise break-up of the questions in this section.

Area Number of questions Total
  Easy Medium Difficult  
Numbers    1    1
Arithmetic  11   13 
Algebra   3  2
Geometry  2 4  1  7
Modern Maths   5  3  8

Surprisingly there were no diagrams in any Geometry questions but the questions were of different difficulty levels, from easy to medium to difficult. All the Arithmetic questions were doable.
Overall an attempt of 20 to 22 questions in this section with 85% accuracy should be a good bet.

Around 2.44 lakh candidates have registered for CAT 2019 and will be appearing for it across both the slots in 370 exam centers in 156 cities across India.


  • The administrative process of the test in the first slot was smooth. No glitches, technical or otherwise, were reported. 
  • 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 (32 pages) 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.   

The test interface was exactly what IMS students are used to in the SimCATs and specifically in the PreCAT.

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. Questions 1 to 24 were RC. However, the different VA question types were shuffled.

Similarly the DI and LR sets were also NOT interspersed

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.
There was a button marked ‘Question Paper’ which opened up a screen containing all the questions of the section. This was used by students for planning their approach for the section.

CAT 2019 in the first slot was a very student friendly test!

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 for MCQs. There was no negative marking for TITA questions. However since the ratio remains the same for all students we do not see this as a cause of concern.

*** The scores and percentiles mentioned in this analysis are indicators based on the feedback from students and IMS experts and are in no way related to the results which will be declared by the IIMs in January 2020. You are advised to wait for the results.


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