CAT (common admission test)

It is a national-level management entrance exam; it is a common aptitude test that is a gateway to IIMs and other Indian B-schools. IIM conducts it in the month of November in online mode. The exam is held in two slots and the question paper comprises 100 MCQs from Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, data interpretation & logical reasoning and quantitative ability. The overall score is based on the candidate's performance in each section. There is no age limit for this test but there are qualification criteria. The test taker should be graduated with at least 50 percentages though final year of graduate student can apply. Other than graduation, holder of the professional degree, CA/ CS/ ICWA with required percentage is allowed. Test takers belong to special category require 45 percentages. The score of the test is given in percentiles, Hence there are two types of scores involved: a raw score and a scaled score. The raw score is calculated for each section based on the number of questions one answered correctly, incorrectly, or left un-attempted. Candidates are given +3 points for each correct answer and -1 point for each incorrect answer. No points are given for questions that are not answered. The raw scores are then adjusted through a process called equating. Equated raw scores are then placed on a common scale or metric to ensure appropriate interpretation of the scores. This process is called scaling. Different colleges have different cut off, even though it ranges 80 to 90 percentiles in common.

Duration: 3 hours

Number of questions: 100

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC): 24+10 questions, 60 minutes

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR): 32 questions, 60 minutes

Quantitative Ability (QA): 34 questions, 60 minutes


Short look about the topics:

First: VARC is the first section that is given with the duration of 60 minutes. It has two parts: VA (verbal ability) + RC (reading comprehension). VA consists of 10 questions in which Para-Jumbles, Para-Summary, Sentence Completion & Correction, Odd Sentences and few others are tested. The RC consists of 24 questions based on passages that range from 600 to 900 words. The questions of the passages are based on three types: Fact-based, Inference-based and Vocabulary-based. The topics are from science, history, politics, environment, society to literature, mythology etc. the number of passages is 6 in which average 3-4 long passages and 2-3 short passages. Short passage contains 4 questions and long passage contains 6 questions on an average.

Second: DILR consists of 32 questions that are divided in two parts: 16 DI and 16 LR. DI consists of case-lets and tables. These case-lets have data in the form of bar graphs, column graphs, Venn diagrams, lines and pie charts. In short it is test of data interpretation of given data. In the logical section, questions from seating arrangement, blood relations, syllogisms, direction sense test, and other puzzles are included.

Third: there are 34 questions in QA. The topic, QA covers are: Algebra, number system, arithmetic, modern maths, and geometry.  The arithmetic questions in QA are from Class X level based on tricks. Geometry questions are rule based. Algebra and Trigonometry may be used in conjunction with other topics. Sequence and Series is a topic which is occasionally tested.

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