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CAT 2018 Analysis – IIM Calcutta has released the CAT 2018 result on January 5, 2019. CAT 2018 was conducted on November 25, 2018, Sunday, in two slots. The first slot was conducted from 9 Am to 12 PM and the second slot was conducted from 2.30 PM to 5.30 PM. As per the analysis of CAT 2018 by experts, the overall difficulty level of the exam was moderately tough. On the contrary, according to some of the candidates, VARC section was difficult, whereas the QA was easy. Stating the CAT 2018 analysis, Arks Srinivas, Head, National Test Prep, Career Launcher, says, "The overall difficulty level was a little higher than that of last year. The Quantitative Ability (QA) section was tougher than that of last year. The Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC) was easy. Unlike last year, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) section was of moderate difficulty level." Careers360 brings the complete analysis of CAT 2018 exam on the basis of the feedback from the CAT aspirants and academic experts from various renowned MBA coaching institutes. It will allow them to know their expected score and which B-school they can probably apply for on the basis of their cutoff. IIM Calcutta has released the CAT 2018 answer key for both the slots (Forenoon and Afternoon) on December 7, 2018. Latest: CAT 2018 Result is available now
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Before moving ahead, let’s have a look at the exam pattern of CAT 2018.
CAT 2018 Exam Pattern
Marking Scheme - The exam included negative marking as well. Every correct answer gets 3 marks and each incorrect answer will deduct one mark. Now, let’s move to the analysis of CAT 2018.
There were no major technical glitches in the exam for CAT 2018. However, in a few test centres, some candidates faced difficulty before the test commenced as their computer screens became blank. The issue was resolved soon and they did not face difficulty during the test or while submitting it.
CAT 2018 Analysis
Slot 1 of CAT 2018 was conducted from 9 am to 12 noon and the timing of slot 2 was 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm. The difficulty level of the test in both the slots was moderately tough. As per the students and the academic experts, Quantitative Ability was the toughest section in the exam. The Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) was moderately tough on the difficulty level and VARC was comparatively on the easier side. Let's have a look at the section-wise analysis of CAT 2018 in both the slots.
CAT 2018 Analysis - VARC
This section was easy to solve in both the slots. There were five Reading Comprehension passages, out of which four passages had five questions each and one passage had four questions. The section has 24 RC questions and 10 VA questions related to Para Jumbles, Summary and Odd Sentence Out. The table below explains the VARC structure and the difficulty level of the questions.
CAT 2018 Analysis Slot 1 & 2 - VARC
All the questions in the section were doable. So, scoring a high percentile in this section should come easy for most of the aspirants who appeared for the exam.
CAT 2018 Analysis - DILR
The difficulty level was this section was easier than that of last year but it was moderate on the difficulty scale. The sets given in the section covered a large number of topics. However, the DI sets were not calculation intensive at all. This section had a total of 32 questions - 24 MCQs and 8 non-MCQs. Let's understand the difficulty level of the section in both the slots through the tables given below.
CAT 2018 Slot 1 Analysis - DILR
CAT 2018 Slot 2 Analysis - DILR
Around 15-17 questions in this section with 90 percent accuracy are good enough to fetch a high percentile.
CAT 2018 Analysis - QA
This was the toughest section of the exam in both the slots. However, many candidates found the QA section to be easy, especially from engineering background students. The questions were calculation and logic-intensive and not theory based. The topics included Number System, Algebra, Arithmetic, Modern Math, Geometry and Mensuration. Let's have a look at the detailed topic-wise analysis of QA. The section had a similar number of questions in both the slots. The table below explains further.
CAT 2018 Analysis Slot 1 & 2 - QA
Candidates who have attempted 18-20 questions with around 85 percent accuracy can expect a good score in this section.
CAT 2018 Expected Cutoff
According to Career Launcher CAT 2018 expected cutoff, a score of 155 would ensure 99 percentile. Since QA was the toughest section, the CAT 2018 cutoff for the section would be lowest. "A score of 50 or lower would ensure 99 percentile," says Arks Srinivas.
The cutoff marks/percentile are the minimum marks/percentile required to qualify the exam in order to move to the next round of the selection process. Apart from 20 IIMs, around 100 B-schools across the country accept CAT scores for their admission process. Few IIMs including IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore, IIM Udaipur, etc. have already released their CAT Cutoff 2018 for the selection process.
CAT Expected Cutoff by Experts
Let us take a look at the trends of the past five years of CAT in the table below. Over the past years, the test has undergone various changes in terms of exam pattern, structure, difficulty level etc. The table brings all the details.
Total number of sections
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (In first and second order)
Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
Number of questions
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation - 30 Verbal Ability &
Logical Reasoning - 30
Total - 60
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation – 50
Verbal Ability &
Logical Reasoning - 50
Total - 100
Verbal Ability – 34
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning – 32
Quantitative Ability - 34
Total number of non-MCQs
+3 1, no negative marking for non-MCQs
Number of answer options
MCQs - 4
Non-MCQs – NA
Non-MCQs – NA
Moderate to tough
Easy to moderate
October 16 to November 11
November 16 and November 22
New Things in CAT 2018
The total number of registrations for the exam has increased this year. As many as 2.41 lakh candidates have applied to CAT 2018. Also, seven new exam cities have been added to the list of CAT 2018 exam cities. The exam was conducted in 147 cities this year (2 new states added - Mizoram and Nagaland).
The application fee of CAT has also been increased to Rs. 1900 for General/ NC-OBC candidates and Rs. 950 for SC, ST & PWD candidates. Earlier the CAT registration fee was Rs. 1800 and Rs. 900 respectively. New payment modes have been added this year including BillDesk, PayU and Paytm.
From this year onwards, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, will also accept the CAT score for admission to its MBA programme.
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