CAT 2015 changes will favour well-prepared students: Gautam Puri, VC, Career Launcher
Sreetama Datta, 29 Jul 2015, #CAT
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CAT 2015 brings changes in paper pattern besides introducing a single-day testing window. Careers360 brings you expert insights on possible impact of pattern changes on your preparation strategy.

In this expert interview, Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher elaborates on the new pattern and explains how evolution of CAT pattern over the last 6-7 years has only made it closer to its pattern of 1990’s.  He, however, believes that the changes are for good and the single day-testing will help minimize controversies around normalization processes. He also shares tips on sectional strategy and predicts the cutoffs for CAT 2015.

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Read the interview:

Careers360: CAT 2015 has been announced with some major changes. What is your view on the new pattern?

Gautam Puri: The changes announced for CAT 2015 means that this edition of CAT will be significantly different from CAT 2014. However, most of the changes will favour a well prepared student. 

Careers360: Now that there are sectional time limits once again, how will it impact the aspirants?

Gautam Puri: I think this introduction of sectional time limits (60 minutes for each section) has both positive and negative implications for the students. The good thing is that they now need not worry about how much time to be given to a section and can just focus on maximizing their attempts in each of the three sections in 60 minutes.

On the flip side, it will now not be possible for students to save time in one section and use it in another. In this kind of paper with sectional time limits, the overall cutoff tends to fall because students cannot use the time saved in one section in another one. However given that most students are poor at time management across sections, this will work in their favour.

Gautam-Puri“It’s a good change and I think we are moving in the right direction. It would be ideal to have an exam pattern with questions equally divided between English and Maths,”

Gautam Puri,

Vice Chairman, Career Launcher.

Careers360:  What should be the sectional preparation strategy for CAT 2015?

Gautam Puri: Assuming CAT 2015 to be similar to CAT 2014 in terms of difficulty level, I feel that the optimum attempts will be:

  • Section 1 (QA):      25 -30 question
  • Section 2 (DILR):   20-25 questions (6 out of 8 data sets)
  • Section 3 (VRC):    25  questions (2-3 RC passages and 12-15 Verbal)

If one looks at the CAT 1999-2008 papers, most of which were similar to CAT 2015 pattern, the sectional cutoff was in the range of 33% to 40% and I expect the same would happen in CAT 2015 also. Thus around 12-14 net correct answers would be sufficient to clear the sectional cutoffs.

Hence, while In CAT 2015 a score of around 190 was required for 99%ile, my estimate for CAT 2015 will be around 175.


Careers360: For the first time, there will be on screen calculator and some direct questions which would not have answer choices. How far will it be advantageous for the candidates?

Gautam Puri: This, I am sure will be welcomed by almost all the candidates.  A basic on screen calculator is provided in GRE also and in SAT too students are allowed to use a basic calculator. While many students might interpret that the provision of calculator will mean that questions will be more calculation intensive but that is unlikely. CAT has over the years transformed itself to a logic based paper and that is unlikely to change.

Careers360: Based on the new pattern, do you think it would be able to increase the diversity of the management classroom, as hoped by the CAT 2015 Convenor?

Gautam Puri: I don’t think the new pattern of CAT should have an impact on either gender diversity or academic background diversity.

Careers360: Do you think the single day window of CAT 2015 is a positive development? How?

Gautam Puri: Absolutely Positive. No fears of normalization and no un-due advantage to students who would have taken CAT at a later date. Considering it’s a single day test, students get an extra fortnight to prepare.

Careers360: Anything else you would like to share about CAT 2015?

Gautam Puri: It’s a good change and I think we are moving in the right direction. It would be ideal to have an exam pattern with questions equally divided between English and Maths, like the pattern till CAT’98.

Also Read

CAT 2015 Pattern: ‘Not too short, not too lengthy, but balanced’, says SandeepManudhane, Chairman, PT Education

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