CAT Analysis 2016

CAT 2016 Exam Pattern

Section Total Que. No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Duration
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 24 10 1 hour
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 24 8 1 hour
Quantitative Ability 34 27 7 1 hour
Total 100 75 25 3 Hours

Each question carried three marks and for each wrong answer, there was negative marking of one mark for each wrong answer except the non-MCQs. The order in which the sections appeared were Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, DATA INTERPRETATION & LOGICAL REASONING and Quantitative Ability. Each section was timed for one hour and candidates were not allowed to change sections in between, however, there was no restriction in the order of attempting questions within the section.

In terms of level of difficulty, the section can be labelled as easy to moderate. The exam was very similar to the exam last year. In fact, most students have reported that they found READING COMPREHENSIONS to be easier than last year. The 4 subjective para-jumble questions were once again tricky in nature and it is hard for a student to be sure of any particular order for these questions

Verbal and Reading Comprehension

Area No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Total Que.
READING COMPREHENSION – Govt. Definition of Poverty and treatment of Household work 3 3
READING COMPREHENSION – Education System 3 3
READING COMPREHENSION – Sustainable Economic Development 6 6
READING COMPREHENSION – Anthropology /Excruciating Rituals & Reasons 6 6
READING COMPREHENSION – Status of Languages in 2115 6 6
Odd Para Jumbles 3 3
Para Jumbles 4 4
Para Summary/Essence of Passage 3 3
Total 24 10 34

As with this section last year, this section was again lengthy and time-consuming in nature. Overall, this was the toughest section in the exam.

Both the slots have reported that Logical Reasoning-Data Interpretation was the toughest section in the exam. Students found it extremely time-consuming and you can expect the lowest cut-off for this section.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Area No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Total Que.
LOGICAL REASONING – Distribution/Arrangement (TShirts) 4 4
LOGICAL REASONING – Venn Diagrams 2 2 4
LOGICAL REASONING – Arrangement of files in folders 3 1 4
LOGICAL REASONING – Students using various Trains and the fares for the same 3 1 4
DATA INTERPRETATION – Table (Student Pass percentages over 5 years) 3 1 4
DATA INTERPRETATION – Comprehension – Marks in Two sections of papers 3 1 4
DATA INTERPRETATION – Films, Launch, Completion, Release and Profits 3 1 4
DATA INTERPRETATION – Table on Consumption of Veg and Non-Veg Protein 4 1 4
Total 24 8 32

In terms of level of difficulty, the section was of moderate nature but the section was trickier in comparison to the last year. Therefore, you can expect the cut-offs to be slightly lower than the last year.

Overall, in the Quant Section there was a representation of almost all the areas. Commercial Math (Percentage, Profit & Loss & Ratio) had good number of questions. Surprisingly, there was not a single question on probability. However, there was a one question on Permutation and Combination. Time and Distance also had very few questions but otherwise traditional areas like Number System, Algebra & Geometry were present in a good number.

Quantitative Ability

Area No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Total Que.
Arithmetic 8 3 11
Numbers 4 1 5
Algebra 5 2 7
Geometry/Mensuration 8 8
Pure Math/CG 1 1 2
Venn Diagram 1 1
Total 19 7 34


Overall, this was slightly difficult paper as compared to exam previous year. The Quant section was Moderate to difficult, Verbal was moderate & Logical Reasoning was difficult. Those who attempted 69+ questions with decent accuracy can expect multiple IIM calls with 99.5+ percentile. For lot of students, the Logical Reasoning-Data Interpretation section will be make or break section. The cut-off for this section is expected to be low.