29 Nov 2015 19:45 IST

CAT is out of the bag; gets tougher

Higher difficulty level likely to bring down cut-off this year

Getting into IIMs this year will be even tougher, as the difficulty level for CAT 2015 shot up, students reported.

“The overall cut-off for CAT is likely to go down this year, as the difficulty level has gone up,” said Gautam Puri, Co-founder of Career Launcher. “Last year, students with a score of 190 had a 99 percentile, but this year, the cut-off is likely to go down to 170.”

Time management

One of the issues students faced was managing their time during the exam. Unlike last year, CAT this year was divided into three sections, each spanning 60 minutes.

Thus, students who could complete one section early, had to sit idle for the rest of the time, and were not allowed to dedicate the remaining time to other sections. This was a blow to them, considering they could have used the extra time to improve their scores in other sections.

The dreaded Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) section was harder to solve this year. Last year, students could attempt about 20 questions to make it to the cut-off; this year, the number plummeted to 16 questions.

The difficulty level for Quantitative Aptitude went up marginally. “Though easier, around 15 questions were non-MCQ types in QA section,” Puri explained. “Those attempting around 27-28 questions are likely to clear the quant cut-off. Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension’s (RC) difficulty level was similar to last year’s and those attempting 25-27 questions will clear the cut-off,” he added.

Candidates attempting 70-75 questions overall can expect a call from IIMs.

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