CAT 2019 paper analysis Morning and Afternoon Slots, marks vs percentile

The Common Admission Test (CAT 2019) of this year for the admission in top B-schools was conducted at 354 centers in 156 cities across the country. Nearly 2.44 lakh candidates registered for CAT 2019 out of which around 2.09 lakh appeared in the exam on November 24, 2019. The examination was for 180 minutes and the candidates were allotted 60 minutes for answering questions in each section.

SectionTime AllottedTotal QuestionsNon-MCQ
VARC60 min347
LRDI60 min328
QA60 min3411
Total60 min10026

Overall, CAT 2019 appears to be a little easier than CAT 2018, with two sections (DILR and QA) being on the easier side than those of CAT 2018, and one section (VARC) being tougher. Given below is the table with ideal number of question attempts for each section.

SectionLevel90%le95%le99%le
VARCM – D17 – 1923 – 2526 – 28
LRDIM9 – 1114 – 1621 – 24
QAM12 – 1418 – 2024 – 26
TotalM426070

*Number of Questions Attempted to get the mentioned percentile roughly takes into account the ratio of MCQ (– 1 negative marking) and Non-MCQ (no negative marking) questions and around 80% – 85% accuracy in each section for both the slots. To put it in other words, a raw score of roughly 155 to 160 marks is needed for 99 percentile, a score of 130 – 135 marks is needed for 95 percentile and a score of 112 – 117 is needed for 90 percentile.

The topic-wise question distribution was almost the same for both the slots.

VARC:

TopicNo. of QuestionsLevel
RC24D
Para Jumble4M
Odd one out3E
Para Summary3M

*In VARC, there were 4 passages of 5 questions each and 1 passage of 4 questions.

LRDI:

TopicNo. of SetsQuestions per SetLevel
DI44E – M
LR44M – D

QA:

TopicNo. of QuestionsLevel
Arithmetic12 – 13E – M
Algebra8 – 9M – D
Geometry6 – 7E – M
Number System2 – 3M-D
Modern Math3 – 4M

CAT section-wise analysis of Morning slot (slot 1)

RCs were difficult than what we have seen in the last few years. Options were longer and most of the questions were Critical Reasoning based. There were no direct questions. VA this year was slightly easier than the RC.

Passage onNo. of QuestionsLevel
Emperor Penguins in Antarctica4M
Story of Aladdin5D
Folk Music5D
Topophilia5M – D
Shopping, Consumer Behaviour5M

An attempt of 15 to 16 questions with an accuracy of 80% to 85% will get you around 85 percentile (sectional cut-off). A good attempt would be 24-26 questions with 85% accuracy as 55-60 marks would fetch around 98 percentile.

DILR was slightly easier than the past few years.

TopicNo. of QLevel
Radar Graph4E
Games & Tournament4D
Match parameters (Dancers & Composers)4E
Numerical Puzzle (boxes)4D
Bar graph and Table with missing data4M
Linear Arrangement of books in shelves4E – M
Cryptarithmetic4E – M
Set with crime rates in different states4M

An attempt of 13 to 15 questions with an accuracy of 80% to 85% will get you around 85 percentile (sectional cut-off). A good attempt would be 21-23 questions with 85% accuracy as 45-50 marks would fetch around 98 percentile.

QA was slightly easier than the last year but not as easy as the one in CAT 2017. Following are the topics from which questions were asked:
Percentage, Time-Distance, Time & Work, Interest, Profit & Loss, Ratio & Proportion, Circles, Triangles, Functions, Series, Maxima – Minima, Logarithms, Equations, etc. One question each from PnC and Set Theory was also asked.

An attempt of 12 to 15 questions with an accuracy of 80% to 85% will get you around 85 percentile (sectional cut-off). A good attempt would be 23-25 questions with 85% accuracy as 47-52 marks would fetch around 98 percentile.

CAT section-wise analysis of Afternoon slot (slot 2)

RCs were even more difficult than that of slot 1. Out of 5 RCs, 2 were very difficult. There were no direct questions. Even the VA part was not easy as it was in the Morning Slot. So, overall the section was tough.

Passage onNo. of QuestionsLevel
British Colonialism5D
Languages in Egypt5D
Art & Museums5D
Language & Culture in Egypt5M
Decentralization & distributing bureaucracy4M

An attempt of 13 to 15 questions with an accuracy of 80% to 85% will get you around 85 percentile (sectional cut-off). A good attempt would be 22 – 24 questions with 85% accuracy as 52 – 55 marks would fetch around 98 percentile.

In DILR section, 3 sets of DI and 2 sets of LR were easy to moderate. Overall the level was the same as that of Morning Slot.

TopicNo. of QLevel
3 x 3 Grid (Coins)4E
Table (3 doctors, rooms & schedule)4D
Venn Diagram (2 proposals in college)4M
Radar Graph4M
Tournament (rifle shooting)4D
Caselet (professors, mid-term, end-term)4D
Scatter graph (rainfall in 16 cities)4M
Team formation (6 languages, 5 people)4M

An attempt of 10 to 11 questions with an accuracy of 80% to 85% will get you around 85 percentile (sectional cut-off). A good attempt would be 18-21 questions with 85% accuracy as 43-48 marks would fetch around 98 percentile.

QA was more or less similar to that of Morning Slot and was easier than last year. There were more Arithmetic questions than that in the morning slot. Following are the topics from which questions were asked:
Percentage, Time-Distance, Time & Work, Interest, Profit & Loss, Ratio & Proportion, Circles, Triangles, Functions, Series, Maxima – Minima, Logarithms, Equations, etc. Overall the section was of moderate level.

An attempt of 13 to 15 questions with an accuracy of 80% to 85% will get you around 85 percentile (sectional cut-off). A good attempt would be 22-24 questions with 85% accuracy as 47-52 marks would fetch around 98 percentile.

Overall in both morning and afternoon slots, a raw score of roughly 155 to 160 marks is needed for 99 percentile, a score of 130 – 135 marks is needed for 95 percentile and a score of 112 – 117 is needed for 90 percentile.

We will come up with a more detailed analysis and the answer key as and when IIM Kozhikode releases the Question paper.

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