CAT-2016 Analysis: Wordpandit’s Take on the Exam

Hey there!

So, CAT-2016 is done and dusted. By now, you must have gone through multiple analysis, predictions, mentor reviews, and so on. On top of that, the anxiety related to results would have kicked in by now. Well, there is not much that can be done about your exam attempt, but there is one thing that can be mentioned to ease your nerves: remember, CAT is simply an aptitude exam and nothing else; it is not a testament to whether you have failed or made it in life. It is just an exam and exams don’t determine your fate: YOU DO!

Key pointers for CAT-2016

The objective of this post is to keep it as factual as possible and limit the analysis to key points itself. No point in adding more to the melee that already exists..:)

  • In terms of pattern and exam structure, the exam was similar to CAT-2015. No major surprises there.
  • In terms of sectional difficulty level, the exam was again very similar to last year and threw up no major surprises.
  • LR-DI was the toughest section among the three and was time-consuming in nature. Expect lower cut-offs for this section
  • VA and QA were of easy to moderate nature.
  • Overall, the exam was slightly tougher than the exam last year and you can expect.

Three major concerns have surfaced after the exam:

  • There were a couple of ambiguous QA questions in the first slot of the exam.
  • In a major shock, a student leaked questions from slot-2 on a Facebook Group. He took screenshots and shared them on the platform. This reflects a serious security lapse on the part of the organisers.
  • There was also an issue with the incorrect display of square root symbol in the exam. This again posed a significant challenge to students.

In reality, no major action is expected on these issues, and we sincerely hope the exam organisers come out with some clarifications for these issues.

CAT-2016 First Slot vs. Second Slot

Both the slots were similar in nature and therefore, there was no clear advantage/disadvantage to either set of test-takers. Also, the process of normalisation is expected to take care of any difference between the two slots.

CAT-2016 Exam Pattern

The exam was a 100 question test consisting of three sections. The following is a break-up for the sections and the number of non-MCQs that appeared in the three sections:

CAT 2016 Exam Pattern

CAT-2016 Expected Cutoffs

This is the key part of this post, right?
Based on the scores last year and making adjustments for the changes in the exam this year, the expected cut-offs for the exam are as follows:

CAT-2016 predicted cutoffs

CAT-2016 In-depth look at the sections

Verbal Ability: The section did not spring any major surprise. Most students found RCs easier than the ones they had practiced in Mocks. The problem area, as always, was the TITA para-jumble questions. On a serious note, IIMs need to seriously consider the efficacy of this question type. For a five sentence para-jumble question, there are 120 possible arrangements, and there is no human way to identify the correct pattern.
Also, there were a few tricky questions in this section. These questions appeared easy, but the options were tricky. Because of this, and the general nature of Verbal Ability, it is next to impossible to have great accuracy figures for this section. In the end, accuracy or lack of it in the Verbal section might be the deciding factor for you.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: By far, this was the toughest section of the section and the time-consuming nature of sets in this section meant that the overall attempts for this section were particularly low.

Quantitative Ability: This section had a fair few questions from the Arithmetic, and most of them were easy in nature. We hope that you did not miss out the sitters in the exam. There were a few tricky questions in the exam as well and if you got stuck on the wrong questions, it might have had a negative impact on your overall attempts. Along with this, the two issues with the QA section are mentioned above.

This completes the analysis for CAT-2016. We hope you did well in the exam and you had a pleasant journey preparing for the exam with us.


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