CAT 2015 Analysis

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It is time to take a big sigh of relief. The CAT 2015 exam is done with. This year, close to 2lakh students appeared for the ‘famed’ management exam. Further, for the first time in years, the exam was conducted in a single day in two sessions. Additionally, this year, a few changes like the introduction of on-screen calculator, the adoption of non-MCQ type questions were introduced as some of the major changes in the CAT exam pattern. So, how was the exam like? What was the difficulty level? How well have you fared as compared to your peers? You are bound to face thoughts like these. Consecutively, here is the detailed analysis of the CAT 2015.

(IIM Admission Criteria)

Difficulty Level of CAT 2015

To say it in a sentence, the overall difficulty level of the exam was somewhere between moderate to difficult. The questions from the LR-DI sections were particularly difficult. The re-introduction of the sectional time limit forced the candidates to adopt a new time management strategy. If this was not enough to unnerve the students, the on-screen calculator was far from being ‘student-friendly’. The introduction of non-MCQ based questions, although, was something which was expected, however, the sheer number of questions (25) surprised us all. Overall, the paper was neither easy nor too difficult and hovered somewhere around the moderate level. That said, if you compare the overall difficulty level of this year’s exam to that of the last year, it was more difficult than that. Therefore, you can expect the overall cut-off to be on the lower end of the spectrum.

CAT 2015 Analysis (Verbal Ability-Reading Comprehension)

This section of the exam comprised of 34 questions with a difficulty level between easy to moderate. Notably, the questions pertaining to ‘parajumbles’ were a wee bit difficult. The non-MCQ based questions brought a level of uncertainty to the exam. Specifically, the questions in the verbal ability were all non-MCQ based. In a deviation from previous trend, the reading comprehension was quite easy. This year, our experts believe, the sectional cut-off of VA-RC section could shoot up.

Sectional Analysis: Data Interpretation-Logical Reasoning

This section consisted of 32 questions with a difficulty level of moderate to high. The non-MCQ based questions were predominantly complex. Moreover, this section was the most time consuming of all the other sections in the CAT 2015 exam. If compared to last year, the section was doubly more difficult this year. There is no denying the fact that the introduction of non-MCQ based questions was the most challenging part of the exam. This year, these questions were introduced to encourage deeper understanding of concepts. The test-takers faced major challenges in this section as the non-MCQ based questions forced the students to answer decimal point based questions. In the DI-LR section, these questions eliminated all scopes of guessing.

Sectional Analysis: Quantitative Ability

The overall difficulty level of this section could be attributed as easy. QA section comprised of 34 questions. Conversely, the on-screen calculator posed challenges to the students who were not versed with its usage. Our experts believe that the sectional time limit could be a boon as it allowed better time-management to the students. That said, a section of the student community felt that sectional time limit was a disadvantage as it restricted students to manage time as per their strengths.


Overall, the changes implemented from this year proved to be good for the exam. It is expected that the sectional cut-off will be on the lower side because of the overall difficulty level of the exam. Further, in this year’s exam, the students will score low caving in to the sectional time limit. For instance, last year, students with a percentile of 99 or above scored in the upwards of 190. Nevertheless, things are expected to change and a score of around 170-180 will be enough to fetch you around 99 percentile marks. The CAT 2015 results are expected in the second week of January 2016.