The third slot of CAT 2021 took place today between 4.30 pm and 6:30 pm.
CAT 2021, in all 3 slots, had the following student-friendly pattern:
|Section No.||Section Name||Duration||MCQs||TITA||Total|
|II||DI and LR||40 min||14||6||20|
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 scores and percentiles*** is as follows: We shall release the revised estimates once the response-sheet is released.
|Percentile||Score VA-RC||Score DI-LR||Score QA||Overall Score|
*** The 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. Two of the four passages were abstract and difficult – the one on “how the concept of the unconscious entered language” and another on “Language as an instinct and its universality”. The other two passages on “how measurement of time influences entropy” and the next one on “how nanoparticles are finding practical application” were at best of medium difficulty. Overall Comprehension was on par with the first two slots. 8 to 10 RC questions could be attempted with high accuracy. VA questions were as expected – 3 paragraph jumbles, 2 Odd sentence questions in TITA format, and 3 summary questions as MCQs. Summary questions were of medium difficulty level. In VA, 5 attempts with high accuracy were possible. Overall the difficulty level was largely comparable to the first two slots of CAT 2021. In short, all three slots carried an almost equally difficult VARC section.
|Area / Questions||No of Qs.||Type||LOD|
|Reading Comprehension||16||MCQ||Overall: Difficult|
|RC-2: Time-keeping and entropy||4||MCQ||Medium|
|RC-3: Language is an instinct||4||MCQ||Difficult|
|RC-4:How the concept of unconscious entered psychoanalysis||4||MCQ||Difficult|
|Verbal Ability||08||MCQ & TITA||Overall: Medium|
|Parajumbles (4 sentences)||3||TITA||Medium|
|Out of Context sentence||2||TITA||Medium|
Overall, an attempt of 15 or 16 questions with high accuracy (85-90%) will be a good performance in VARC.
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
The DI-LR section underwent a slight change in CAT-2021 with a total of 4 sets, out of which two sets had 6 questions while the remaining two had 4 questions each. Out of the two sets with 4 questions, one set had all 4 MCQ questions while the other set had 2 MCQ and 2 TITA. Out of the two sets with 6 questions, one set had 3 TITA questions, while the other set had 1 TITA question. Unlike the last few years, there were no Venn-diagram based sets.
There were two DI sets and two LR sets. Overall this section was comparable to slot-2 of CAT-2020.
|Set No.||Area||Set Description||No. of Questions||Question Type||LOD|
|Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning||20||MCQ and TITA||Medium|
|1||Data Interpretation||Bar graph on employee utilization in project||4||4 MCQ||Easy|
|2||Logical Reasoning||Pure and impure mixture detection||4||2 MCQ, 2 TITA||Difficult|
|3||Data Interpretation||Throwing distances||6||5 MCQ, 1 TITA||Difficult|
|4||Logical Reasoning||Set on question creators||6||3 MCQ, 3 TITA||Medium-Difficult|
Overall, an attempt of 8 to 10 questions with high accuracy (85-90%) will be a good performance.
This section was medium in terms of Level of difficulty and was dominated by Arithmetic (10 questions), followed by 4 questions each on Algebra and Modern Maths. There were 3 questions on Geometry and 1 question on Numbers. Students in general found questions on Algebra to be difficult.
There were 6 TITA Qs this year. Selecting the right questions to attempt was the key. Students should have been able to attempt about 10-11 questions in the given time with 85-90% accuracy.
|Area/Q Type||No of Questions|
|14 MCQs, 8 TITA,
Overall LOD: MEDIUM
IMS students found a great deal of similarity between the SimCATs and the CAT. Several students gave feedback that the CAT appeared to be an extension of the SimCATs and the e-Maxmiser Workshops.
The pandemic-related SOPs were implemented. No shoes and no metallic objects including metal jewelry were 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 (32 pages) for rough work and a pen – which were also taken away at the end of the exam.
The test interface was quite 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.
After the IIMs announced that CAT 2021 may see a further reduction of questions from the 100-question test in 2020, the students expected a shorter test in the range of 65 to 70 questions. The 2021 test with 66 questions was thus more student-friendly. No new question types were introduced in any of the sections.
*** 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 2022. You are advised to wait for the results.