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CAT Previous Paper Overview

CAT Previous Paper Overview

CAT PREVIOUS YEAR’S PAPERS

The CAT exam is a crucial gateway to top MBA programs in India. To conquer this challenge, familiarizing yourself with the exam format and question styles is essential. Here’s where diving into CAT Previous Paper Overview comes in. This overview will explore the benefits of analyzing past CAT papers and guide you on how to effectively utilize them in your preparation strategy.

The CAT test is a national-level exam administered by one of the IIMs on a rotational policy. Every year, around 2.5 lakh MBA hopefuls take the CAT test. It is one of the toughest competitive tests in the country.

So, what could be a better preparation resource than the CAT previous year’s paper?

Candidates taking the CAT 2024 test can solve last year’s CAT exam question paper to have a better grasp of the exam format. Then, in response to the problems students encounter while working on the paper, devise a strategy to overcome them.


(CAT Previous Paper Overview)

CAT Previous Year’s Paper: Overview

Once the applicant has completed the CAT course, they should practice as many CAT previous year question papers as feasible before starting the mock tests and test series. This allows applicants to better comprehend the CAT exam paper layout and structure, as well as improve their scores.

CAT Paper Pattern

The CAT exam paper is divided into three portions, each of which has a duration of 40 minutes.
The CAT 2023 test paper consisted of 66 questions divided into three sections:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

CAT Previous Year Paper: Highlights

EVENT

DETAILS

Number of questions asked

66

Total Time Allotted

2 hours (120 minutes)

Time Allotted for each section

40 minutes for each section

Marking Scheme

  • +3 for correct MCQ
  • -1 for incorrect MCQ
  • No negative marking for the TITA section
Mode of Exam

CBT (Computer-Based Test)

CAT Previous Year’s Paper: Important Changes

Before we get into the CAT crucial changes, let’s take a look at what hasn’t changed thus far.
The fundamental syllabus stays the same, with problems ranging from Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).
The marking methodology remains the same, with 3 marks awarded for each valid MCQ and 1 mark deducted for each erroneous attempt. There is no negative marking for TITA (Type in Text response), however one mark is granted for each right response.

Key Changes:

Until 2009, the CAT exam was administered using pen and paper. Since 2010, the CAT exam has been computer-based.
CAT initially had two sections: one combining VARC and LR, and the other containing QA and DI. However, from 2014, it converted to three portions.
The sectional time restriction was formerly set at one hour for each of the three sections, but in 2020, it was decreased to 40 minutes for each section, for a total of two hours for the CAT test.

NOTE:

The majority of prestigious universities have an individual sectional cut-off that hopefuls must meet, thus the total score is not essential. As a result, if the aspirants do not make the sectional cut-off, they will not be considered for the next round of admissions.


(CAT Previous Paper Overview)

CAT Preparation

What did you learn from the CAT previous year’s papers?
Many people aspire to earn an MBA from one of the IIMs, and the CAT is the sole competitive MBA test that may help them achieve that goal. As a result, knowing how to correctly answer CAT exam questions is critical.

When preparing for the CAT examination:

  • Analyze prior year CAT papers to learn about the kind of questions offered and their frequency.
  • Read the questions carefully for clues.
  • Start with easy questions.
  • Determine the most effective approach to answering individual and overall CAT questions.

CAT Previous Year Paper Analysis: CAT ANALYSIS 2023

IIM Bangalore successfully conducted CAT 2023 across the country in three slots. A total of 66 questions were asked throughout all three exam areas. The overall difficulty was moderate. The test format was identical to CAT 2021.

CAT 2023 PAPER ANALYSIS: Sectional Weightage and Question Break-up

Here is a tabular representation of the CAT exam’s sectoral weightage. To ensure an efficient preparation, aspirants should follow the schedule outlined below.

CAT SECTION

TOTAL QUESTIONS MCQs TITA Difficulty Level Net Correct for 99 Percentile

VARC

24 21 3 Moderate

40-42

DILR

20 14 6 Moderate

36-39

QA

22 14 8 Moderate-Difficult

31-33

TOTAL 66 49 17 Moderate

NOTE:

  • Each year, the conducting IIM develops the CAT exam paper.
  • Previous CAT exams from 2021 and 2023 followed the same test style, questions, and sectional weightage.
  • The CAT test has a range of difficulty levels. However, compared to slots 1 and 3, the QA component was more challenging to complete.
  • Each portion was allocated 40 minutes.
  • The CAT 2023 Slot 3 QA TITA questions were long.

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CAT 2023: SLOT-1 Exam Analysis

The CAT Slot-1 exam consisted of 66 questions, with a moderate difficulty level.

CAT 2023 Slot-1: Section-wise details

VARC Analysis

Verbal Ability included:

Passages Easy Moderate
Para Summary 3
Fill in the blanks 1 1
Para Jumbles 1 2

There were no Odd One Out questions.

Four reading comprehensions were provided, with four questions in each paragraph for a total of sixteen questions.

The RC section had the following subject matter:

  • Culture and Religion (Moderate-Difficulty Level)
  • Primitive Anthropology and Buddhism (Easy-Difficulty Level).
  • Philosophy, Stoicism, and Epicureanism (Easy to Difficulty Level)
  • Difficulty level: Philosophy, Marx, Foucault, Habermas.

DILR Analysis:

The majority of the questions were centered on Logical Reasoning (LR), with no questions about Data Interpretation (DI). This is a comprehensive examination of the CAT 2023 DILR part.

TOPIC

QUESTIONS ASKED DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Arrangement

5

Moderate

Analytical Grid Based

5

Easy

Routes and Networks

5

Easy

Numerical LR 5

Difficult

QA Analysis:

Below are the topic-wise questions asked in CAT 2023 QA section:

  • Arithmetic: 9 questions
  • Number System: 1 question
  • Algebra: 7 questions
  • Modern Maths: 2 questions
  • Geometry and Mensuration: 3 questions

The QA portion primarily consisted of queries about Averages and Ratios. There were no time or work-related questions. The overall QA difficulty was moderate.


CAT 2023 SLOT-2 ANALYSIS

The following is a section-by-section breakdown of the CAT test 2023 Slot 2:

VARC Analysis

Total 8 questions from Verbal Ability were asked which included:

  • Para Summary: 2 (Easy questions)
  • Para Completion: 2 (Easy questions)
  • Para Jumbles: 3 (Moderate questions)

A total of 16 Reading Comprehension (RC) questions were asked, four from each paragraph. The RC passage’s difficulty level was moderate.

DILR Analysis

TOPICS

QUESTIONS ASKED DIFFICULTY LEVEL

DI (Scatter Plot)

5 Easy
LR (Routes & Networks) 5

Easy

LR (Salesmen)

5

Easy

LR (FDA & EU) 5

Difficult

QA Analysis

Questions on algebra and arithmetic were frequently posed. Compared to Sot-1, the QA component was more harder to complete. Topics included:

TOPICS

QUESTIONS ASKED DIFFICULTY LEVEL

Arithmetic

8 Easy-Moderate

Algebra

5 Moderate-Difficult
Number System 3

Difficult

Modern Maths 3

Moderate

Geometry and Mensuration 3

Easy-Moderate


(CAT Previous Paper Overview)

CAT 2023 SLOT-3 ANALYSIS

The overall difficulty level was moderate.

VARC Section:

Under the VARC section, 16 questions of RC and 8 questions of VA were asked.

Passages

Questions Asked

Para Summary

3

Para Completion

2

Para Jumbles

3

DILR Section:

TOPIC

Questions Asked Difficulty Level

Bar Graph

5

Easy to Moderate

Number Arrangement

5

Moderate

Matrix and Grid

5

Moderate

Venn Diagram 5

Moderate-Difficult

QA Section:

TOPIC

Questions Asked Difficulty Level

Number System

1

Moderate

Algebra

9

Moderate

Arithmetic

8

Moderate

Geometry 4

Moderate


(CAT Previous Paper Overview)

CAT PREVIOUS YEAR PAPER’s ANALYSIS: CAT 2021, CAT 2020, CAT 2019, CAT 2018 

YEAR

QUESTIONS ASKED TIME ALLOTTED PREPARED BY DIFFICULTY LEVEL

CAT 2023

66 120 minutes IIM Bangalore

Moderate

CAT 2021

66 120 minutes IIM Ahmedabad

Moderate to Difficult

CAT 2020

76 120 minutes IIM Indore

Moderate

CAT 2019

100 180 minutes IIM Kozhikode

Moderate

CAT 2018

100 180 minutes IIM Calcutta Moderate to Difficult

BENEFITS OF SOLVING CAT QUESTION PAPER

  • Solving CAT test question papers helps MBA hopefuls identify their skills and shortcomings, strategize their preparation, and gain confidence for the exam.
  • Aspirants learn the test structure, questions, and difficulty level.
  • Aspirants learn the most frequently asked questions.
  • Practicing test papers improves accuracy and time management abilities.

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