CAT 2019 Exam- Slot 2 Test analysis

The Second slot of CAT 2019 took place today (November 24) between 2:30 and 5:30 pm.
The conduct of both the slots was without any technical or other glitches.
There was no change in the overall pattern or in the types of questions in both the slots from the last three years’ pattern.


Section No. Section Name Total Number of Questions Number of Multiple Choice Questions Number of TITA Questions Level of Difficulty
I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 27 07 Medium
II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 24 08 Medium
III Quantitative Ability 34 23 11 Medium
  TOTAL 100 74 26 Medium

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.

Percentile Score VA-RC Score DI-LR Score  QA Overall Score
99 %ile 70 49 60 161-164
95%ile 58 38 42 127-130
90%ile 50 32 33 106-109
85%ile (CUT-OFF) 42 27 28 92-95


  • The second slot of CAT-2019 was more or less similar to the first slot and CAT-2018 in terms of the 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 67-69 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, bordering on the Difficult and a bit tougher than Slot 1. 
  • IMS students must have recalled SimCAT 2, 4, 8, and 13 when they saw the actual CAT.  CAT 2019 VARC matched the difficulty level and segmentation of these SimCATs. 
  • The VA-RC section was a replica of the first slot and of CAT 2018 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.
  • Direct and easy questions were few. Most of the questions were inference based and, similar to the ones in the first slot. There were also several critical reasoning type questions. These seem to have become a feature of RC since last year.  
  • The length of the passages varied from 400 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 Colonialism 5 MCQ Difficult
RC- 2: Language and Cultural Identity 4 MCQ Medium
RC-3: Digital Colonialism by Google 5 MCQ Medium
RC-4: Decentralization of Central Governments 5 MCQ Easy
RC-5: Squatter Colonies 5 MCQ Easy
Verbal Ability 10 MCQ & TITA  Overall: Medium to Difficult
Parajumbles ( 4 sentences) 4 TITA Easy-1,  Medium-1,  Difficult-2
Out of Context sentence 3 TITA Medium-2, Difficult-1
Summary 3 MCQ Easy-1, Medium-1, Difficult-1

Overall, an attempt of 23 to 25 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 4 sets of Data Interpretation and 4 sets of Logical Reasoning. There were 2 easy sets, 4 medium and 2 difficult sets. This section was one notch easier than in CAT-2018.
  • Selection of right sets to attempt was the key in this section. Some sets appeared easy but were difficult to comprehend. For example, the set on Professors setting question papers (Set 4 as shown in the table below) definitely fell in that category. The set on Rifle Shooting tournament (Set 7 as shown in the table below) was not very difficult per se but it was lengthy. These sets should have been attempted only after attempting other sets. As per the feedback from students, two questions in the set on Doctors were easy. Those questions could have been still attempted though the set was not very straighforward.
    Some of the sets were really easy and they should have been definitely solved. Examples of these sets were the ones based on Spiderweb chart on Revenue of three products (Set 5) and the set on Scatter plot on Rainfall (Set 6).
  • There were 8 TITA questions in the section. All the TITA questions were on DI and there was not a single TITA question on LR sets. The 8 TITA questions were distributed among three sets – one set had all the 4 TITA questions, while two other sets had 2 TITA questions each.

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 – Reasoning based 3 x 3 grid coins in pouches 4 Medium 4 TITA
2 Logical Reasoning - Scheduling Table – 3 doctors schedule 4 Difficult  4 MCQ
3 Data Interpretation – Reasoning based Caselet on two proposals being considered in a college– Mathematical reasoning 4 Medium 2 MCQ
4 Logical Reasoning Caselet – professors setting papers for Mid-Term and Final exams. 4 Difficult    MCQ
5 Data Interpretation – Calculation based Spiderweb chart- Revenue and Cost of three products over three years 4 Easy 2 TITA
6 Data Interpretation – Observation based Scatterplot – Rainfall in 16 cities 4 Easy 4 MCQ
7 Logical Reasoning - Games Set on Rifle Shooting tournament 4 Medium 4 MCQ
8 Logical Reasoning – Grouping & Conditionalities 5 people speaking different languages and formation of teams 4 Medium 4 MCQ

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 percentile  in this section. Compared to Slot 1 of CAT 2019, DI LR section of slot 2 was marginally tougher.

This section was about easy to medium in terms of level of difficulty. It was easier than QA section in CAT-2018.

  • This section was dominated by Arithmetic with 13 questions followed by Algebra and Geometry with 6 questions each, Modern Math with 5 questions and Numbers with 4 questions.
  • There were 11 TITA questions in this section.
  • As per the feedback received from students, a number of questions asked in IMS SimCATs and PreCAT were similar to questions in slot 2 QA.

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

Area Number of questions Total
  Easy Medium Difficult  
Numbers  2  0  4
Arithmetic  9  3 1  13
Algebra  3  6
Geometry  1  6
Modern Math  3  5

Our initial estimate for 99 percentile is 60, for 95 percentile, it will be 42, for 90 percentile it will be 33, and for 85 percentile, it will be 28. Compared to Slot 1 of CAT 2019, QA  section of slot 2 was marginally easier.


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 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 years, 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 second slot similar to the first slot and overall a slightly more difficult than Slot 1 in two sections 

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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