CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

CAT is the most prestigious MBA admission test in the country covering more than 150 business schools under it. More importantly, the top 20 IIMs grant admission based on these CAT Scores. Every year nearly 2 lakh candidates have been appearing for CAT Exam, however, the seats in all the IIMs collectively come only around 4500. The CAT 2018 exam has been conducted by IIM Calcutta this year on November 25, 2018, Sunday, in two different sessions – forenoon session (from 9 am to 12 pm) and afternoon session (from 2 pm to 5 pm) respectively. The CAT 2018 Exam Analysis will cover analysis of the CAT 2018 exam question paper sectional wise, including the type of questions asked, the difficulty level of the test and expected section wise cut offs.

Once the exam has been successfully completed, candidates will naturally be eager to know their performance in CAT 2018 in terms of their scores and percentile. The wait may seem long for many test takers, since the result of CAT 2018 will be released more than a month later the exam. For the benefit of CAT 2018 test takers, here is a special tool CAT Percentile Predictor which allows the candidates to predict their CAT percentile right after their exam.

Exam Structure CAT 2018

CAT 2018 is of the same format as that of last year and is to remain as a Computer Based Testing with 100 questions to be solved in a time duration of 3 hours (180 minutes). The paper consists of three sections: 'Quantitative Aptitude (QA)', 'Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)', 'Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)', with 34, 32 and 34 questions each. The order of the sections is fixed, with a sectional time limit of 60 minutes each. The CAT 2018 Exam Analysis will help the test takers understand and analyze their performance and determine an expected CAT score, which will, in turn, help them in shortlisting MBA colleges for the admissions.

Paper Pattern Overview of CAT 2018 Exam


No. of Sections 3
Total Number of Questions 100
No. of choices per questions (MCQs) 4
Marks per Question +3
Negative Marking (for MCQs) -1
Negative Marking for Non-MCQs Nil

The sections contained the following segmentation:


Sections Total Questions MCQs TITA
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 24 10
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 24 8
Quantitative Ability 34 27 7
TOTAL 100 75 25

Expected CAT 2018 Cutoff

The cutoff percentile is the minimum percentile that is mandatory to qualify the exam in order to move to the next round of the admission process. Apart from 20 IIMs, hundreds of other B-schools across the country accept CAT scores for their admission process. IIMs including IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore, and IIM Udaipur have released their CAT Cutoff 2018 for their shortlisting process. Estimate your chances of securing admission in top B-schools with the help of IIM Call Predictor.

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis - Slot 1

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

This section consists of around 24 questions in RCs and 10 questions in the verbal part. The RCs are much easier in terms of language as well as the subject area. Three passages with six questions and two with 3 questions each. The ease of reading the passages was compensated by an increased level of difficulty in ‘choices’ given. Majority of the questions were inference-based questions that required good critical reasoning skills. The options in most of the questions required multiple reading of relevant portions in the passage and which are ultimately more time-consuming.

Verbal ability questions were of the moderate level difficulty. Seven out ten questions were the non-MCQ type of questions. The level of difficulty would appear to be on the higher side.

Data Interpretation Logical Reasoning

This section had the highest level of difficulty. The entire section had DI based reasoning sets and Quant based reasoning sets, making it almost impossible to identify and classify the sets in DI and LR separately.

Quantitative Ability

As per previous year's CAT Exam Analysis, this was the easiest section in CAT last year. Majority of the questions were from basic concepts which made it easier for candidates to attempt a higher number of questions.

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis - Slot 2

CAT Slot 2 was very much in the lines of the forenoon slot and the previous year's CAT. The sectional difficulty continued to be low for QA and VARC whereas DI & LR was tough making the exam a bit more challenging.

Verbal and Reading Comprehension

The VA-RC distribution was similar, at 10-24. With easy to read RCs, students heaved a huge sigh of relief. The topics chosen for the RCs were not dense, helping students to save valuable time. There were two passages with 3 Qs and three passages with 6 Qs each. However, as reported by the students from the first slot, the choices were close, making elimination difficult and time-consuming. The Verbal Ability or English Usage questions were a little bit tricky. The in-depth reading ability of candidates was necessary to answer these questions.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

This section was a test to check candidates' ability to choose the right question and not fall into the sitters' trap. A couple of sets were regular LR models and the others were not any of the standard LR-DI models and were instead replaced by reasoning based DI. There were some uncrackable sets and those who spotted the toughness soon enough would be the ones who managed to attempt a good number of questions.

Quantitative Ability

This section was also similar to Slot 1. There was a dominance of Arithmetic questions. One hour time was sufficient to accurately attempt the questions under this section.

The detailed CAT 2018 Exam Analysis will consist of CAT 2018 exam structure, difficulty levels, key topics and questions in the exam, sectional breakup, expected Cut offs of top MBA colleges accepting CAT 2018 scores like 20 IIMs, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai, and various others and attempts with accuracy level to achieve the CAT cutoff percentile

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