PGDBA 2024 Analysis

17 March, 2024

PGDBA-2024 Analysis

March 17, 2024 – 9:30 am – 12:30 pm 

PGDBA-2024 entrance test was conducted on 17th  March 2024 for admission to the niche Business Analytics programme jointly offered by Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) and Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKgp). 


Structurally there was no change in the exam pattern this year. There were four sections: Verbal Ability (15 questions), Logical Reasoning (5 questions), Data Interpretation (5 questions) and Quantitative Aptitude (25 questions). Following was the structure of the exam:

SectionNo. of questionsLevel of difficultyTime
Verbal Ability  15Medium180 minutes
Logical Reasoning5Medium
Data Interpretation and Data Visualization5Medium
Quantitative Aptitude25Difficult

Marking scheme: Each correct answer had a weightage of 3 marks and each incorrect answer had a penalty of 1 mark. There was No penalty for unattempted questions.


As per the feedback received from students, Data Interpretation and Data Visualization of PGDBA-2024 was one notch easier than PGDBA-2023, although the other two sections were of the same difficulty level. We believe that a score of about 105 should be enough to secure a call for the interviews for the general category of students .  

Sectional Analysis

Verbal Ability Section (15 questions)

The  VARC part was of medium difficulty level. There were 10 Reading Comprehension Questions (5 questions, each on 2 short passages), 2 Vocabulary questions (Fill in the Blank), and 3 Jumbled Paragraph questions (4 jumbled sentences) made up the VARC part of the section. 

There were two RC passages – one based on ‘Neurons in brain’ and the  other one was based on ‘Fossil Fuels’. Both the passages were easy to read and comprehend. The questions in the first passage were in the medium to difficult and in the other passage were easy to medium.  From the vocabulary questions, the fill-in-the-blank questions were easy to medium.  Students should have attempted 10 to 12 questions in this section in about 30 minutes. 

Logical Reasoning section (5 questions)

The Logical Reasoning part had one set of 5 puzzles based on Matrix Arrangement. All the 5 questions should have been attempted in about 20 minutes.


Data Interpretation and Data Visualization Section (5 questions)

All the five questions in this section were standalone questions.  The questions had different types of charts i.e. Bar Graph, Stacked Bar Graph Line Graph, Line Chart, Pie Chart and Tables. All the questions were observation based. The language used in this section and the appearance of graphs were a bit tricky. Students should have aimed at attempting all the 5 questions in this section in about 15-17 minutes.

Quantitative Aptitude Section (25 questions)

One factor that differentiates PGDBA exam from other exams is the questions on Higher Mathematics (usually covered at 10+2 level). PGDBA-2024 had as many as 14 questions on Higher Mathematics (calculus, Conics sections, etc) and the remaining 11 questions were on topics covered in CAT and other MBA entrance exams. The questions on Higher Mathematics were dominated by Conics (4 Qs), Integration (2 Qs), Derivatives 2 questions as well as advanced functions (2 Qs). The questions on Higher Mathematics also involved 1 question each from Matrices and Determinants, Pirr of Lines, Limits and Continuity, Advanced Functions.


Following was the break-up of the questions in the section:

Quantitative Aptitude (25 questions)
Higher Mathematics05914
Modern Mathematics1506


Detailed break-up of the questions on Higher Mathematics was as follows:

Higher Mathematics  (14 questions)
Limits and Continuity0011
Advanced Functions0011
Determinants and Matrices0112
Pair of Lines0101
Advanced Trigonometry0101

Overall, the level of difficulty of questions on Higher Mathematics was on a higher side. Ideal strategy would have been to attempt all CAT-level questions in the section at very high accuracy and attempt as many of Higher Mathematics questions as possible. The questions on Higher Mathematics could be attempted only by those students who had brushed up the concepts of these areas. Students would have definitely found PGDBA workshops and test-pack offered by IMS helpful.

Like in the previous years, the PGDBA-2024 exam did not have too many questions with shortcuts. However, that was compensated by a couple of really easy questions and some questions for which options could be eliminated. Further, the fact that more time could have been devoted to this section as the other sections were on a relatively easier side and overall there were 50 questions to be attempted in three hours.

An attempt of about 16-17 questions in about 110-120 minutes would be considered a good attempt. 


Overall, PGDBA-2024 matched the slightly easy level as that of the previous year exam. Section-A and Section-C maintained the same difficulty level but Section-B was one notch more difficult than the previous year.

Reports from students suggest that questions on Higher Mathematics are asked in the interview for admission. Students who have performed well in PGDBA-2024 and are expecting a call for the second round of admissions may benefit if they brush up the concepts on Higher Mathematics in the intervening six weeks.