CAT 2021 Exam Analysis (Slot 1, 2 and 3): Check Difficulty Level and Expected Cut-offs Here by Expert Falguni Goswami

CAT 2021 Exam Analysis (Slot 1, 2 and 3):  Falguni Goswami - founder and Head of Careerbandhu Education, helps decode CAT 2021 Examination by providing a through analysis for all three slots of MBA Entrance Exam. 

Created On: Nov 28, 2021 20:30 IST
CAT 2021 Exam Analysis by Expert Falguni Goswami
CAT 2021 Exam Analysis by Expert Falguni Goswami

The admission test for postgraduate management programmes, Common Admission Test (CAT) 2021, have been conducted today, November 28, in three sessions. CAT 2021 Exam has conducted by IIM Ahmedabad.

As it was hinted earlier by IIM official, the number of questions in CAT 2021 reduced to 66 questions from 76 questions last year (CAT2020). Approximately 2.30 lakh students registered this year for the exam.

CAT 2021 have been conducted in three sessions:

  • Morning session (8:30 am - 10:30 pm)
  • Afternoon session (12:30 pm - 2:30 pm)
  • Evening session (4:30 pm - 6:30 pm)

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern: Key Highlights of the Exam

CAT 2021 has been divided into 3 sections – VARC, DILR and Quant. Each section is timed with the individual time limit. Order of the sections was VARC, DILR and Quant each having 40 min. Candidates were not allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in one section. 

CAT 2021 Remains a Computer Based Test

CAT 2021 exam has been held in 159 test cities across the country. Students who took the slot 1 paper said the QA section was the easiest and the difficulty level of  the paper was of moderate to high. However, as per some students who appeared for CAT 2021 Slot 2& 3, felt the CAT exam questions were comparatively lengthy this time and hence, time taking. They might not have got enough time to try a couple of question types in TITA.

  • There have been two types of questions in CAT 2021 exam – MCQs and Non-MCQs
  • MCQs have negative marking for wrong answer and Non-MCQs do not carry negative marks
  • Questions with negative marking (MCQs) are between 75-80% of total questions
  • Answer must be typed in the given space on computer screen for Non-MCQ.
  • Score awarded for each correct answer: 3 marks
  • Negative marking (Applicable for wrong answers in MCQs): -1 mark
  • Fixed order of sections to move beginning from section-1: VARC, followed by DILR and QA
  • Each section is individually timed. Your time to attempt each section is 40 minutes. 

CAT 2021 Pattern Vs Last year CAT Exam Pattern: Key Changes

CAT Exam Year

Time limit

Total number of Questions

CAT 2020

120 Minutes (2 Hours)

76

CAT 2021

120 Minutes (2 Hours)

66

CAT 2021: About Normalisation of Scores

“In order to ensure fairness and equity in comparison of performances of candidates across different test sessions, the scores of candidates shall be subjected to a process of Normalisation,” an official statement said while explaining the CAT normalisation process.

“The Normalisation process shall adjust for location and scale differences of score distributions across different forms. After normalisation across different forms, the scores shall be further normalised across different sections. The Scaled Scores obtained by this process shall be converted into percentiles for purposes of short listing,” it added.

CAT 2021 at a glance

##

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Ability

Types of Questions

  • Number of RC Passages: 4
  • Number of RC Based questions: 16, each passage was followed by 4 questions  
  • Type of RC Questions: Questions asked to explain the phrases,Synonyms/Antonyms, Statement/Argument inferences as made by the author in the passages
  • Type of VA questions: MCQs as well as Non-MCQs
  • Verbal Question Topics: Para Summary, Jumbled paragraphs, Out of context sentence in Jumbled paragraph
  • Total No of Questions: 20
  • No of MCQs – 15
  • Non MCQs – 5
  • LR : 2 Sets ; Each set was followed by 6 Questions
  • DI 2 Sets: Each set was followed by 4 Questions
  • DI Questions: both the sets were based on Tables and horizontal bar graphs  
  • Type of LR Based Questions: Two problem sets and each followed by 6 questions
  • The number of Questions were based on Arithmetic was more than others
  • Questions Types: Percentage, Ratio, Interest, Number System, Time, Speed
  • Other QA Question types: Algebra, Geometry, Modern Math, Trigonometry

Difficulty Level:

Moderate. RC Passages were found of a little higher difficulty level. Paper in Slot-2 was comparatively longer and time taking.

Moderate.

Paper 1 was considered easier than the other two

Moderate to high

Performance predictor:

Section

MCQs

Non-MCQs

Total

Good Attempts

of questions with 85% accuracy

Expected Score for higher than 90percentile

Expected Score for higher than 95 percentile

Expected Score for higher than 99 percentile

VARC

19

5

24

14 to 16

30-32

30-32

38-42

DILR

15

5

20

10 to 12

21-23

21-23

28-32

QA

14

8

22

14 to 16

30-32

30-32

36-40

Overall

48

18

66

38 to 44

75-80

82-88

100-106

*Note that difficulty level of questions in all three slots of the exam was moderate to high. Candidates having attempted a reasonable number of questions with 85-90 % accuracy would definitely have the last laugh when IIM declares the result in Jan 2022.

B-School Cut-offs predictor based on CAT Score

CAT scores are used as a primary tool by B-Schools for short listing candidates for the GD/ PI round. Various B-Schools may give calls to the candidate with score as given below:

Approx cut-off percentiles (Gen)

Institutes

99+

IIM A,B,C,L,K,I,S, FMS and all other IIM calls, IIT B

98+

IIT-D, MDI-PGP, All IIMs except old 7

95+

SPJIMR, NITIE, MDI- HR/IM, few new IIMs ( Latest 6), IIT-KH, IIT-KN, IIT-C, IIT-R, IISc-B, XLRI-Global BM, MDI-M, IIMA (Abm), IIML (Abm)

90+

MICA, IMT-G/N, XIMB, IMI-D, FSM, IRMA, GIM, TAPMI, KJSIMSR, SIMSREE, , UBS-CHD, SPJAIN-D/S, BIM, NIRMA,

85+

WIMDR-M, LBSIM, LIBA, IMI-K/B, GLIM, BIMTECH-PGDM/IB, IBS-ICFAI, MFC-DU, IFMR, MIB-DU, MHROD-DU, IMT-H MBE-DU,

CAT percentile is just one factor for short listing candidates. The other factors which are taken in to account for generating calls include academic performance in 10th/12th, Graduation, duration of work experience. Normally, the cut offs for old IIMs are higher than those for new IIMs.

About The Expert

Falguni Goswami is the founder and Head of Career bandhu Education. He is a renowned career counsellor and an Ex-Indian Air Force veteran with 30+ years of experience as senior faculty in coaching institutes like T.I.M.E and Career Launcher.

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