CAT Exam 2023 Slot 3 Analysis: Review, Difficulty Level, Cut Off

21 November, 2023
Pintu Das

The third slot of CAT 2023 took place today between 4.30 pm and 6:30 pm.

The structure of CAT 2023 Slot 3 remained the same as in the first two slots, with 66 questions in all. However, the DILR and Verbal sections saw some changes in segmentation and the number of MCQs and TITA. The Verbal Section saw a minor change in segmentation with the Odd Sentence Questions coming back after 2021. The VA Section had 2 questions each of Summary, Paragraph Jumbles, Paragraph Completion, and Odd Sentence questions.

Section No.Section NameDurationMCQsTITATotal
IVARC40 min20424
IIDI and LR40 min12820
IIIQA40 min14822
Total120 min491766

The marking scheme was +3 for every correct and -1 for incorrect. There was no negative marking for TITA Qs.

Based on the feedback received from several candidates who have appeared in the third slot, our initial estimate of the percentiles and scores*** is as follows. These estimates will be suitably revised soon after the CAT releases the response sheets.

PercentileScore VA-RCScore DI-LRScore QAOverall Score
99.9 %ile463640101
99.5 %ile42323087
99 %ile38282677
98 %ile34252370

*** Students are advised not to take any B-School application decision based on these initial estimates. They serve only as the first indicator of likely performance.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

The VA-RC section consisted of 16 Reading Comprehension questions and 8 Verbal Ability questions. As in the past several years, there were no direct Grammar or Vocabulary questions. The passages were rather dense and not very reader friendly; however, the questions were manageable. Rationality by Steven Pinker passage likely posed some challenge. 9 or 10 RC questions could be attempted with high accuracy. The out-of-context-sentence (Odd Sentence) questions made a comeback this year, replacing one each of Summary and Paragraph Jumbles. So, the section had 2 questions each of Summary (MCQ), Paragraph Jumbles (TITA), Paragraph Completion(MCQ), and Odd Sentence questions (TITA).

In VA, 5 to 6 attempts with high accuracy were possible. Overall, the section was Medium.

Area / QuestionsNo of Qs.TypeLOD
Reading Comprehension16MCQOverall: Medium
RC-1: Colonialism and Global Warming (The Nutmeg’s Curse)4MCQEasy
RC-2: Understanding Romantic Aesthetics4MCQEasy
RC-3: Cultural Patrimony Laws4MCQEasy-Medium
RC-4: Rationality by Steven Pinker4MCQDifficult
Verbal Ability08MCQ & TITAOverall: Easy
Para jumbles (4 sentences)2TITA1 Easy, 1 Medium
Para-completion2MCQ1 Easy, 1 Medium
Summary2MCQ1 Easy, 1 Medium
Odd Sentence Questions2TITA1 Easy, 1 Medium

An attempt of 16 to 18 questions with accuracy of approximately 70% will be a good performance in VARC.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Last year, there were a total of four sets, each comprising five questions. This pattern has been maintained in CAT 2023.

Overall, the Level of difficulty of the section was Medium to Difficult.

Overall the level of difficulty of this section was similar to the DILR Section of Slot 1 of CAT 2023.

Set No.AreaSet DescriptionNo. of QuestionsQuestion TypeLOD
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning20MCQ and TITAMedium to Difficult
1Data InterpretationNumber of enrollments in offline and online courses53 MCQ, 2 TITAEasy to Medium
2Logical ReasoningSix police stations with maps (route based set)53 MCQ,
3Data InterpretationProject and test scores of 3 boys and 3 girls53 MCQ, 2 TITAMedium to Difficult
4Data InterpretationAC company – 4 dealers53 MCQ, 2 TITAMedium to Difficult

Overall, an attempt of 9 to 11 questions with accuracy of approximately 75-80% will be a good performance.

Quantitative Ability

This section was slightly tougher in terms of level of difficulty compared to CAT 2023 Slot 1 QA and was dominated by Arithmetic (8 questions), followed by Modern Math (4 questions). There were 3 questions on Geometry, 4 questions on Algebra and 3 questions on Numbers. In Arithmetic, the questions were on Time and Work, Time-Speed-Distance, Averages, Mixtures & Alligations, Averages, Percentages and Profit & Loss. In Algebra, the questions were dominated by Quadratic equations, Linear Equations, Modulus, Maxima -Minima, Inequality & Polynomials etc. In Modern Math, the questions were on Logarithms, Sequences etc. In Geometry, the questions were on Triangle, Rectangle and Polygon etc.In Numbers, questions were on indices and number of factors.

Number of TITA (8 questions) and MCQ (14 questions) in this section:

Area/Q TypeNo of Questions
Quantitative Ability14 MCQs, 8 TITA
Modern Math4

Selecting the right questions to attempt was the key.

Overall, an attempt of 9 to 11 questions with accuracy of approximately 75-80% will be a good performance.


At many centers, shoes and metallic objects (including metal) jewelry were not allowed. Only the admit card and the ID proof were allowed. 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 for rough work, and a pen – which were also taken away at the end of the exam.


The test interface was user-friendly and exactly the one provided in the official CAT Mock Test. There were no subdivisions within each section. 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 the number of questions attempted, visited, and not visited was displayed for each section.

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

*** The scores and percentiles mentioned in this analysis are indicators based on the feedback from students and IMS experts. They are in no way related to the results which IIMs are expected to declare in January 2024. You are advised to wait for the results.