7 Key Points to Learn from CAT 2017

CAT 2018 is going to take place soon on November 25. Candidates are in much anticipation what type of questions can appear in the exam. Recently, with the release of CAT 2018 Admit Card, test takers are having discussions which session will be easier this year. Since CAT is always full of surprises, what’s new that will come this year will be known after the exam only. Still, candidates can learn a few things from the CAT 2017 experience. Importantly keep taking the mock test which is a secret of success of every top percentiler.


7 Key Points to Learn from CAT 2017

Here are seven key points that you learn from CAT 2017.

Read: Success Stories CAT 2017 100 Percentilers.

#1. Exam Pattern

CAT 2018 expects to be the same in terms of the test pattern of CAT 2017. The number of questions in a section may vary from +4 or -4 from last year pattern.

Exam Pattern

Section Total Number of Questions in CAT 2017 Expected Number of Questions in CAT 2018
Quantitative Ability 34 30-34
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 34 30-34
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32 30-34
Total 100 100-102

#2. Number of Non-MCQ Questions

The one thing to learn from previous year exam is the number of Non- MCQ based questions. There were 26 questions of this type, that means 78 marks without negative marking. So attempting maximum number of Non-MCQ is a must do.

Section Total Number of Non-MCQ Questions in CAT 2017 Expected Number of Non-MCQ Questions in CAT 2018
Quantitative Ability 07 06-08
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 10 09-11
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 08 07-09
Total 26 22-28

Read: How to Prepare for CAT Non-MCQ type questions?

#3. Taking Mocks Help to Crack the Exam

Appearing for CAT exam is not just all about aptitude, it also how you are strategically planning to attempt the test. So, taking a good quality mocks helps you to make strategy according to the difficulty level of the exam.

For example, last year data interpretation was quite difficult due to which students panicked and could not able to give their best in the quant section. So, candidates must treat section separately. You must keep in mind that low performance can only be balanced when you put your best in another section.

In the exam, you will always find atleast one section in the exam difficult and rest of the sections will be easy. So, give your best in easy sections to balance the difficult ones.

Practise Previous Year papersGet CAT 2017 Paper Here.
CAT 2018 Official Mock TestGet Links for Mock Here.

#4. Learn from Data Interpretation Section

Data Interpretation always tends to get tougher. It is expected that this year also, DI will throw surprises. So, always remember if the section is difficult for you then it is difficult for everyone. So, if the same situation arises in CAT 2018, then always try to attempt questions with 100% accuracy. Last year, with two sets right candidates could able to secure above 90 plus percentile.

So, the trick to handle this section is segregate the questions in three sections. Read the question and divide them in the easy, moderate, and difficult category. The ability to do so will automatically come to you when you have attended enough number of mocks.

Some important tips to crack DILR section.

  • Choose the Right Set – Spend atleast 5 mins in the beginning and analyse the questions to be done in first and second half.
  • Time Managment – To get 95+ percentile, try to solve atleast 15-20 questions. So to do that, do not spend more than 12-15 minutes in a set.
  • Solve Easy Questions Ones – It is not necessary to solve every question from a set. Choose the easy ones and solve them first.
  • Smart Work by Solving via Options – Sometimes questions can be solved by taking hints from the options. Also, you can put direct values sometimes or can also use the elimination method.
  • Be Tidy – Solve questions neatly, you may need calculation of one questions in another one. It will save lots of your time in the paper.

Importantly, do not afraid from lengthy passage-based questions. Such questions seem long but often easy to solve. The distribution of questions in CAT 2017 is as follows.

Section Type of Questions Sub-Questions
Data Interpretation (16 questions) Happiness Based Index Questions 4
Data Table 4
Text with data 4
Logical Reasoning (16 Questions) Seating arrangement 4
Direction sense based 4
Ranking/Ordering 4
Distribution 4
Chess Board Questions 4

#5. Easy Passage and Para Jumbles

From the last two years, English Sections is proving to be an easy section. Passages length were not much and were easily comprehensible. In case, this section comes difficult in CAT 2018, then you must target to score high in DILR and Quant. It is expected that this section will be easy in CAT this year also.

Do not ignore the Verbal Ability section, as the maximum number of Non-MCQ questions are present here. With the careful reading of questions, this section proves to be scoring.

Some important tips to crack VARC.

  • Read the passage carefully – Also, Briefly have a glance over the questions to know the type questions from a passage.
  • Solve direct questions first – Leave inference based, topic title, the tone of passage like questions for later (especially if they are taking a lot of time).
  • Don’t be afraid of passage length  – Questions from long passages tends to be easier from questions of short passages.

Questions distribution in CAT 2017 were as follows.

Type Sub-Type Number of Questions
Reading Comprehension (5) Long Texts (3) 6 Questions each
Short Texts (2) 3 Questions each
Verbal Ability (7 Non-MCQ and 3 MCQ) Parajumbles 4
Odd one out 3
Paragraph Summary 3

#6. For quant – Be Pro with Formulas

Last year lots of questions are from the arithmetic section, making the problems easy to solve by applying direct formulas. So, keep revising the formulas and keep taking the mock tests.

Some tips to crack quantitative ability section.

  • Revise Formulas – Revise the formulas atleast two times a week.
  • Learn conversions – you must learn small percentage conversions and vice versa. Also, have a command on tables, squares, and cubes. It will save time during the test.
  • Revise Tricks – For example successive discounts tricks etc.
  • Solve direct questions first – Solve passage based later or data sufficiency questions later if they are taking lots of time.

Questions distribution in CAT 2017 were as follows.

Topic Number of questions
Arithmetic ( T&D, Interest, Profit-Loss, Work and time etc) 10
Series and Sequence 3
Geometry 3-4 Questions
Mensuration 2
Logs and Inequality 1
Modulas 2
Algebra 4
Number system, P &C 3

#7. Number of Attempts vs Accuracy

Last year, even attempting few questions but with 100% accuracy, candidates could able to get good percentile in the exam. So, in the exam stay away from blind guessing. Even if you’re confused with 2 options, then only you can take your chances with a maximum of two questions in a section.

After CAT 2018 Exam: Check CAT 2018 Answer Key

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CAT 2018 CAT 2018 Complete Preparation

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