CAT Exam Analysis 2023 [Slot-Wise] Check Difficulty Level, Questions Asked [Question Paper Review]

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

Updated On : December 26, 2023

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Summary: To succeed in CAT 2023, dive into the trends of the last ten years, uncover significant insights, and plan for the unexpected. With CAT 2023 here, it's time to check out the CAT Exam Analysis for this year! What did students have to say? How tough was the CAT exam in 2023? Let's find out!

The Common Admission Test (CAT), administered by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), is a major exam for aspiring MBA applicants.

UPDATE: The CAT 2023 Exam is ON! Continue reading for the Live Updates and Slot-wise Analysis for each section, WITH a prediction on scores and cut-offs!

In this article, "CAT Exam Analysis 2023, " we examine the trends and patterns of the past ten years, providing vital insights to help aspirants prepare. 

CAT Exam Analysis 2023: Shift-3

Overview of CAT Exam Shift 3

In this session of the CAT 2023 exam, the difficulty level of the paper was medium compared to the other two slots during the day. Here an overview of what experts suggest are good attempts:

SECTION NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ASKED GOOD ATTEMPTS
VARC 4 16-18 Qs
DI/LR 20 9-11 Qs
QA 22 9-11 Qs

CAT Exam Shift 3 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Section

In the CAT 2023 Exam Slot 3, there were 6 TITA questions and the rest were MCQ. There were 4 reading comprehensions, each with 4 questions. Out of the 4 RCs, 2 were based on philosophy topics. The Verbal Ability section had 2 para jumbles which were reported to be easy by the students. In addition, there were 2 eliminate the wrong sentences and 2 sentence positioning questions which were also reportedly easy in terms of difficulty level.

CAT Exam Shift 3 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section

The DI/LR section for the third shift of the CAT exam contained 4 sets of questions, each with 5 questions. Eight of these were TITA-format questions. Three of the sets were LR-based, while one was calculation-based.

During a calculation-based question, a scenario was presented about coaching admissions over a period of 5 months. Data was given comparing online and offline admissions, but some information was missing. A table was provided that showed the minimum, maximum, and median number of admissions for each month, as well as the total number of admissions for both online and offline. The task was to determine 3 exact values and 2 approximations using the comparative data given in variable form. This question was considered to be highly solvable.

CAT Exam Shift 3 Quantitative Aptitude Section

During Slot 3 of the CAT 2023 exam, around 6 TIT questions were asked. There were no questions on Simple Interest or Compound Interest, and no clock-based questions either. Only one or two questions were asked for each of the following topics: Linear and Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Logarithm, Special Series, Averages, Mixtures, Percentage, Ratio, Numbers, Polygons, Geometry, and Mensuration. One functional equation and one boat and stream-based question were also asked. However, students reported that not all questions were direct, which made them slightly more time-consuming to solve.

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

CAT Exam Analysis 2023: Shift-2

Overview of CAT Exam Shift 2

This session of the exam was conducted between 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm on November 26, 2023. Comparing today exam with last year exam, we can say it was quite similar. There were no surprises or changes in terms of the number of questions. Good attempts would be as follows for each section:

SECTION NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ASKED GOOD ATTEMPTS
VARC 24 17-19 Qs
DI/LR 20 10-12 Qs
QA 22 9-11 Qs

NOTE: In this session of the exam, questions were asterisked as well, which means, they were mandatory to attempt!

CAT Exam Shift 2's Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section

The exam consisted of 16 RC questions that were heavily focused on critical reasoning. There were 2 passages that were tough but had easy questions, and 2 passages that were easy but had tricky questions. There were also 2 TITA questions on Para Jumbles, 2 TITA questions on Para Jumbles Odd Variety, 2 questions on Para Summary, and 2 questions on missing sentences.

CAT Exam Shift 2's Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section

Out of the four sets of questions, each set had five questions. Two of the sets had four out of five questions that were Type in the Answer (TITA) questions. One of the sets was about a 3x3 grid with a box containing coins from 1 to 9 and the median values were given. Another set was about three people taking rides from 9 am till 5 pm. The third set was about companies generating revenue from start year till end year with some missing values. The fourth set was about three people getting numbers between 1-9 and calculating the two-day average. Only two sets were easily doable.

CAT Exam Shift 2's Quantitative Aptitude Section

In the QA section, the questions were mainly focused on several topics including Geometry, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Time and Work, Factor Theory, Ratio and Percentage, the concept of difference between maximum possible and minimum possible values, Numbers, and Averages. The questions were heavily concentrated on algebra and were quite time-consuming in nature, requiring a lot of attention and effort to solve.

Estimated Cut Offs for Each Percentile Range as per CAT Exam 2023 Slot 2

PERCENTILE RANGE MARKS IN VARC MARKS IN DI/LR MARKS IN QA TOTAL MARKS IN CAT EXAM 2023
99.9 50 38 46 108
99.5 46 34 30 91
99 42 30 26 81
98 38 26 23 73
95 32 20 18 59
90 26 17 14 50
85 22 13 12 41
80 20 11 10 36
75 18 10 9 32
70 16 9 8 30

CAT Exam Analysis 2023: Shift-1

Overview of CAT Exam Shift 1

The first Shift of the CAT exam 2023 was conducted between 8:30 am and 10:30 am by IIM Lucknow. On the whole, this year CAT exam for Shift 1 was easier than last year exam. In fact, many students have reported that it was the kind of paper which could be solved with prior preparation for the exam. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension were slightly easier than last year exam, while Quantitative Ability was more difficult. Overall, attempting 37-39 questions can be counted as a good number of questions to try.

SECTION NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ASKED GOOD ATTEMPTS
VARC 24 16-18 Qs
DI/LR 20 9-11 Qs
QA 22 9-11 Qs

CAT Exam Shift 1 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Section

Similar to last year CAT exam Shift 1, there were 4 passages with 4 questions each to answer, i.e. a total of 16 questions. In 2022, odd-sentence questions were absent. They returned this year. The level of difficulty in the VA part of this section was expected.

Starting with RCs, the best way to attempt was with the passages on wolves predation and the current economies of the two Koreas. The one based on Indian Ocean literature was medium difficulty in level and could be taken up next - simply because it required some understanding of literature, and a lack of that could make even understanding the next in the passage a bit complex. The fourth and final passage on ancient vs modern societies was undoubtedly the most challenging, both in terms of the abstract nature of the passage and the level of questions asked.

There were 8 verbal ability questions total, evenly split between para jumbles, paragraph completions, summaries, and odd sentences. The first and fourth topics were Type in the Answer or TITA, and the second and third were MCQs. In each case, there was 1 easy and 1 medium difficulty question. This means a high number of attempts are likely, and a good score can be achieved with a minimum of 70% accuracy.

CAT Exam Shift 1’s Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section

This was the second section. Selection is the key to success in DI/LR. There were 4 sets here with 5 questions in each, the same as last year's CAT exam Shift-1.

Out of the 4 sets, the arrangements-based set on professors was the easiest, according to student reports. All 5 questions were asked in MCQ format. The remaining 3 sets were medium to high levels of difficulty. The set on gig workers was based on central tendencies (mean, mode and median) and being good at these topics would have certainly helped solve the 5 MCQ and 5 TITA questions. The final 2 sets were based on the sale of houses and a visa line order, both of which had 3 MCQ and 2 TITA questions, respectively.

Ideally, students should have focused on attempting 1 complete set with up to 85% accuracy and then tried to solve a second set with at least 70% accuracy. The cut-off might be similar to last year's.

CAT Exam Shift 1’s Quantitative Abilility Section

The biggest surprise was this section. There was an increase in the share of algebra. With 8 questions from this topic, the challenge for students in this slot of the CAT exam was considerable. Another issue this time has to be the length of questions – with several being quite lengthy in nature. Which means even cracking the question was not going to help since that process itself would eat away a lot of your time.

Overall, this section has 15 MCQs and 7 TITA questions. All the TITA questions were covered by arithematic questions, while MCQs were split between algebra (8 questions), geometry (4 questions), modern math (2 questions) and numbers (1 question).

Shift-1 in CAT 2023 exam was tougher than CAT 2022 exam, as far as this section is concerned. 75-85% accuracy while attempting 9-11 questions would be a good attempt.

Estimated Cut Offs for Each Percentile Range as per CAT Exam 2023 Slot-1

The Quant and DI/LR sections of this year's exam were unquestionably more challenging when compared to the previous year's paper. This is undoubtedly reflected in the percentiles, which are expected to decrease as a result of the increased difficulty level.Higher accuracy was very important in this shift of the exam since number of attempts could not be increased due to length of questions across sections.

PERCENTILE RANGE MARKS IN VARC MARKS IN DI/LR MARKS IN QA TOTAL MARKS IN CAT EXAM 2023
99.9 48 36 48 106
99.5 44 32 32 89
99 40 28 28 80
98 36 25 24 71
95 30 19 19 57
90 25 16 15 49
85 21 13 12 40
80 19 11 10 36
75 17 10 9 31
70 15 9 8 29

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

CAT Exam Analysis 2023 Check Exam Pattern 

As of now, IIMs have not announced any significant changes to the CAT 2023 exam pattern.

Before entering into the CAT exam result analysis for previous years, it is critical to be well-versed in the current trend.

The test will consist of 66 questions divided into three sections as per CAT 2023 Exam Analysis:

Verbal and reading comprehension (VARC), data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR), and quantitative ability (QA).

The exam lasts 120 minutes, with 40 minutes allotted for each section. 

The structure of the CAT 2023 exam will be as follows: 

CAT Question Paper Analysis - Number of Questions CAT Exam Analysis of each Section - Sections Marking Scheme CAT Exam Result Analysis - Duration
66 questions (VARC: 24, DILR: 20, QA: 22)

=> Verbal & Reading Comprehension

=> Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

=> Quantitative Ability 

=> +3 - for the right answer

=> -1 - for incorrect answer

=> No negative marking for TITA questions 

=> 120 minutes (40 minutes for each section)

=> Additional 53 Minutes 20 Seconds for PwD candidates for each section

Check: CAT 2023 Exam Marking Scheme

Overview CAT Previous Year Exam Pattern 

Before delving into the trends, let's take a quick look at the CAT exam analysis of each section over the last 10 years. 

Year No. of Questions Sections Marking Scheme Duration Difficulty Level
2022 66 VARC, DILR, QA +3, -1 120 mins Moderate to Difficult
2021 66 VARC, DILR, QA +3, -1 120 mins Moderate to Difficult
2020 76 QA, VARC, DILR +3, -1 120 mins Moderate to Difficult
2019 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Easy to Moderate
2018 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Moderate to Difficult
2017 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Moderate to Difficult
2016 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Moderate
2015 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Easy to Moderate
2014 100 QA & DI, VA & LR +3, -1 170 mins Moderate to Tough
2013 60 QA & DI, VA & LR +3, -1 140 mins Moderate to Difficult

CAT Exam Analysis 2023 

CAT Exam Analysis 2023 will be provided here following the November 26, 2023 exam.

The CAT exam question paper analysis will also provide the expected sectional cut-offs for CAT 2023.

Check out the CAT 2023 cut-offs based on the exam analysis of CAT for the last 2 years: 

  • VARC consisted of 4 RCs with 4 questions each, 3 summary-based questions, and 2-3 questions from para jumbles and para completion. 
  • QA was considered to be the most difficult, while DILR questions were said to be time-consuming. 
  • In QA, 15-16 questions from Algebra and Arithmetic were asked. 

Candidates can go through the CAT exam analysis from past years provided in this article to gain insight into what to expect in the CAT 2023 exam. 

Check: CAT 2023 Exam Result

CAT 2023 Exam Shift Timings [Slot-Wise]

CAT 2023 Exam Analysis - Slots CAT 2023 Exam Analysis - Timings
Slot 1 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Slot 2 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Slot 3 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

The slot-wise CAT 2023 exam analysis is available here, and it includes information about the difficulty level, section-wise question distribution, changes in the paper pattern, the number of MCQs and TITA questions, weightage of topics, and correct attempts. 

Let's look at a detailed exam analysis of the CAT exam over the last few years. 

Check: CAT 2023 Exam Notification

Previous Year CAT Exam Analysis [Last Ten Years]

CAT 2023 Exam Analysis can be similar to that of previous years. 

CAT 2022 Exam Analysis

Stability was the hallmark of CAT 2022, with no major surprises. The exam was conducted by IIM Bangalore and featured 66 questions across the three sections. The Verbal Ability section was moderate, while Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning posed the most challenges for candidates. 

CAT 2021 Exam Analysis

CAT exam 2021 reduced the number of questions from 76 to 66. The exam's difficulty level varied, with the verbal section being moderate, DILR being the toughest, and quantitative ability ranging from moderate to difficult. 

Read more: CAT Exam Admission

CAT 2020 Exam Analysis

IIM Indore conducted CAT 2020 with a new pattern featuring moderate to difficult difficulty. While the quantitative ability and data interpretation section was moderate, the verbal ability and logical reasoning section posed a moderate to difficult challenge. 

CAT 2019 Exam Analysis

Conducted by IIM Kozhikode, CAT 2019 was easy to moderate. Quantitative ability presented some tough and time-consuming questions, while verbal ability and logical reasoning were moderate. The overall test did not encounter technical glitches. 

Preview Expected Cut Offs: CAT Exam Cut Offs for Various CollegesE

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

IIM Calcutta conducted CAT 2018 with a difficulty level ranging from moderate to tough. Quantitative ability and data interpretation were moderate, while verbal ability and logical reasoning were moderate to tough. Logical reasoning proved to be the toughest section. 

CAT 2017 Exam Analysis

IIM Lucknow conducted CAT 2017, maintaining a structure similar to CAT 2016. The difficulty level ranged from easy to moderate, with the verbal ability section being easier and the quantitative ability section posing a tougher challenge. 

CAT 2016 Exam Analysis

CAT 2016, conducted by IIM Bangalore, featured an easy difficulty level. Quantitative ability and data interpretation were moderate, while verbal ability and logical reasoning were easy. Logical reasoning presented a moderate challenge. 

Learn more: How do you analyse CAT mock tests?

CAT 2015 Exam Analysis

Conducted by IIM Ahmedabad, CAT 2015 was moderately difficult. The overall difficulty level was moderate, with a duration of 3 hours. 

CAT 2014 Exam Analysis

CAT 2014, conducted by IIM Indore, introduced a new pattern. The difficulty level ranged from moderate to tough, with logical reasoning being the toughest section. 

CAT 2013 Exam Analysis

IIM Indore conducted CAT 2013, featuring a moderate to tough difficulty level. Controversy ensued over normalization issues, leading to legal actions. The section-wise analysis revealed a mix of challenging and time-consuming questions.

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

Advantages of Checking CAT Exam Analysis [Paper Analysis]

Examining the analysis of previous CAT papers provides several advantages: 

  • Understanding the Pattern: Insights into the actual pattern of the exam aid in devising effective test-taking strategies. 
  • Knowing the Difficulty Level: Detailed analysis describes the difficulty of individual sections, highlighting areas where more challenging questions are asked. 
  • Identifying Important Topics: Recognition of important topics with higher weightage facilitates focused preparation, ensuring candidates are well-prepared for crucial areas. 

Read more: CAT Exam 2023 Preparation Strategy

Conclusion 

Finally, strategic preparation requires a detailed awareness of the CAT exam's prior trends and patterns. To successfully navigate the challenges CAT offers, aspirants must harness the insights from previous CAT 2023 exam analysis. Best wishes to everyone. 

Click here to enrol: CAT Online coaching Classes by Supergrads

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is understanding CAT exam analysis important for aspirants?

How can analyzing past CAT exams help me improve my performance?

Are there specific sections that consistently pose more challenges in CAT exams?

How frequently does the CAT exam pattern change?

What advantages does knowing the difficulty level of each section offer?

Can analyzing previous CAT exams predict the difficulty level of the upcoming exam?

Is it necessary to download and review past CAT question papers for effective preparation?

CAT Exam Analysis 2023 [Slot-Wise] Check Difficulty Level, Questions Asked [Question Paper Review]

Author : Akash Kumar Singh

December 26, 2023

SHARE

Summary: To succeed in CAT 2023, dive into the trends of the last ten years, uncover significant insights, and plan for the unexpected. With CAT 2023 here, it's time to check out the CAT Exam Analysis for this year! What did students have to say? How tough was the CAT exam in 2023? Let's find out!

The Common Admission Test (CAT), administered by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), is a major exam for aspiring MBA applicants.

UPDATE: The CAT 2023 Exam is ON! Continue reading for the Live Updates and Slot-wise Analysis for each section, WITH a prediction on scores and cut-offs!

In this article, "CAT Exam Analysis 2023, " we examine the trends and patterns of the past ten years, providing vital insights to help aspirants prepare. 

CAT Exam Analysis 2023: Shift-3

Overview of CAT Exam Shift 3

In this session of the CAT 2023 exam, the difficulty level of the paper was medium compared to the other two slots during the day. Here an overview of what experts suggest are good attempts:

SECTION NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ASKED GOOD ATTEMPTS
VARC 4 16-18 Qs
DI/LR 20 9-11 Qs
QA 22 9-11 Qs

CAT Exam Shift 3 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Section

In the CAT 2023 Exam Slot 3, there were 6 TITA questions and the rest were MCQ. There were 4 reading comprehensions, each with 4 questions. Out of the 4 RCs, 2 were based on philosophy topics. The Verbal Ability section had 2 para jumbles which were reported to be easy by the students. In addition, there were 2 eliminate the wrong sentences and 2 sentence positioning questions which were also reportedly easy in terms of difficulty level.

CAT Exam Shift 3 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section

The DI/LR section for the third shift of the CAT exam contained 4 sets of questions, each with 5 questions. Eight of these were TITA-format questions. Three of the sets were LR-based, while one was calculation-based.

During a calculation-based question, a scenario was presented about coaching admissions over a period of 5 months. Data was given comparing online and offline admissions, but some information was missing. A table was provided that showed the minimum, maximum, and median number of admissions for each month, as well as the total number of admissions for both online and offline. The task was to determine 3 exact values and 2 approximations using the comparative data given in variable form. This question was considered to be highly solvable.

CAT Exam Shift 3 Quantitative Aptitude Section

During Slot 3 of the CAT 2023 exam, around 6 TIT questions were asked. There were no questions on Simple Interest or Compound Interest, and no clock-based questions either. Only one or two questions were asked for each of the following topics: Linear and Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Logarithm, Special Series, Averages, Mixtures, Percentage, Ratio, Numbers, Polygons, Geometry, and Mensuration. One functional equation and one boat and stream-based question were also asked. However, students reported that not all questions were direct, which made them slightly more time-consuming to solve.

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

SuperGrads CAT 2023 Toppers

CAT Exam Analysis 2023: Shift-2

Overview of CAT Exam Shift 2

This session of the exam was conducted between 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm on November 26, 2023. Comparing today exam with last year exam, we can say it was quite similar. There were no surprises or changes in terms of the number of questions. Good attempts would be as follows for each section:

SECTION NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ASKED GOOD ATTEMPTS
VARC 24 17-19 Qs
DI/LR 20 10-12 Qs
QA 22 9-11 Qs

NOTE: In this session of the exam, questions were asterisked as well, which means, they were mandatory to attempt!

CAT Exam Shift 2's Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section

The exam consisted of 16 RC questions that were heavily focused on critical reasoning. There were 2 passages that were tough but had easy questions, and 2 passages that were easy but had tricky questions. There were also 2 TITA questions on Para Jumbles, 2 TITA questions on Para Jumbles Odd Variety, 2 questions on Para Summary, and 2 questions on missing sentences.

CAT Exam Shift 2's Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section

Out of the four sets of questions, each set had five questions. Two of the sets had four out of five questions that were Type in the Answer (TITA) questions. One of the sets was about a 3x3 grid with a box containing coins from 1 to 9 and the median values were given. Another set was about three people taking rides from 9 am till 5 pm. The third set was about companies generating revenue from start year till end year with some missing values. The fourth set was about three people getting numbers between 1-9 and calculating the two-day average. Only two sets were easily doable.

CAT Exam Shift 2's Quantitative Aptitude Section

In the QA section, the questions were mainly focused on several topics including Geometry, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Time and Work, Factor Theory, Ratio and Percentage, the concept of difference between maximum possible and minimum possible values, Numbers, and Averages. The questions were heavily concentrated on algebra and were quite time-consuming in nature, requiring a lot of attention and effort to solve.

Estimated Cut Offs for Each Percentile Range as per CAT Exam 2023 Slot 2

PERCENTILE RANGE MARKS IN VARC MARKS IN DI/LR MARKS IN QA TOTAL MARKS IN CAT EXAM 2023
99.9 50 38 46 108
99.5 46 34 30 91
99 42 30 26 81
98 38 26 23 73
95 32 20 18 59
90 26 17 14 50
85 22 13 12 41
80 20 11 10 36
75 18 10 9 32
70 16 9 8 30

CAT Exam Analysis 2023: Shift-1

Overview of CAT Exam Shift 1

The first Shift of the CAT exam 2023 was conducted between 8:30 am and 10:30 am by IIM Lucknow. On the whole, this year CAT exam for Shift 1 was easier than last year exam. In fact, many students have reported that it was the kind of paper which could be solved with prior preparation for the exam. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension were slightly easier than last year exam, while Quantitative Ability was more difficult. Overall, attempting 37-39 questions can be counted as a good number of questions to try.

SECTION NUMBER OF QUESTIONS ASKED GOOD ATTEMPTS
VARC 24 16-18 Qs
DI/LR 20 9-11 Qs
QA 22 9-11 Qs

CAT Exam Shift 1 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Section

Similar to last year CAT exam Shift 1, there were 4 passages with 4 questions each to answer, i.e. a total of 16 questions. In 2022, odd-sentence questions were absent. They returned this year. The level of difficulty in the VA part of this section was expected.

Starting with RCs, the best way to attempt was with the passages on wolves predation and the current economies of the two Koreas. The one based on Indian Ocean literature was medium difficulty in level and could be taken up next - simply because it required some understanding of literature, and a lack of that could make even understanding the next in the passage a bit complex. The fourth and final passage on ancient vs modern societies was undoubtedly the most challenging, both in terms of the abstract nature of the passage and the level of questions asked.

There were 8 verbal ability questions total, evenly split between para jumbles, paragraph completions, summaries, and odd sentences. The first and fourth topics were Type in the Answer or TITA, and the second and third were MCQs. In each case, there was 1 easy and 1 medium difficulty question. This means a high number of attempts are likely, and a good score can be achieved with a minimum of 70% accuracy.

CAT Exam Shift 1’s Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Section

This was the second section. Selection is the key to success in DI/LR. There were 4 sets here with 5 questions in each, the same as last year's CAT exam Shift-1.

Out of the 4 sets, the arrangements-based set on professors was the easiest, according to student reports. All 5 questions were asked in MCQ format. The remaining 3 sets were medium to high levels of difficulty. The set on gig workers was based on central tendencies (mean, mode and median) and being good at these topics would have certainly helped solve the 5 MCQ and 5 TITA questions. The final 2 sets were based on the sale of houses and a visa line order, both of which had 3 MCQ and 2 TITA questions, respectively.

Ideally, students should have focused on attempting 1 complete set with up to 85% accuracy and then tried to solve a second set with at least 70% accuracy. The cut-off might be similar to last year's.

CAT Exam Shift 1’s Quantitative Abilility Section

The biggest surprise was this section. There was an increase in the share of algebra. With 8 questions from this topic, the challenge for students in this slot of the CAT exam was considerable. Another issue this time has to be the length of questions – with several being quite lengthy in nature. Which means even cracking the question was not going to help since that process itself would eat away a lot of your time.

Overall, this section has 15 MCQs and 7 TITA questions. All the TITA questions were covered by arithematic questions, while MCQs were split between algebra (8 questions), geometry (4 questions), modern math (2 questions) and numbers (1 question).

Shift-1 in CAT 2023 exam was tougher than CAT 2022 exam, as far as this section is concerned. 75-85% accuracy while attempting 9-11 questions would be a good attempt.

Estimated Cut Offs for Each Percentile Range as per CAT Exam 2023 Slot-1

The Quant and DI/LR sections of this year's exam were unquestionably more challenging when compared to the previous year's paper. This is undoubtedly reflected in the percentiles, which are expected to decrease as a result of the increased difficulty level.Higher accuracy was very important in this shift of the exam since number of attempts could not be increased due to length of questions across sections.

PERCENTILE RANGE MARKS IN VARC MARKS IN DI/LR MARKS IN QA TOTAL MARKS IN CAT EXAM 2023
99.9 48 36 48 106
99.5 44 32 32 89
99 40 28 28 80
98 36 25 24 71
95 30 19 19 57
90 25 16 15 49
85 21 13 12 40
80 19 11 10 36
75 17 10 9 31
70 15 9 8 29

 CAT Online Coaching

 CAT Online Coaching

CAT Exam Analysis 2023 Check Exam Pattern 

As of now, IIMs have not announced any significant changes to the CAT 2023 exam pattern.

Before entering into the CAT exam result analysis for previous years, it is critical to be well-versed in the current trend.

The test will consist of 66 questions divided into three sections as per CAT 2023 Exam Analysis:

Verbal and reading comprehension (VARC), data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR), and quantitative ability (QA).

The exam lasts 120 minutes, with 40 minutes allotted for each section. 

The structure of the CAT 2023 exam will be as follows: 

CAT Question Paper Analysis - Number of Questions CAT Exam Analysis of each Section - Sections Marking Scheme CAT Exam Result Analysis - Duration
66 questions (VARC: 24, DILR: 20, QA: 22)

=> Verbal & Reading Comprehension

=> Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

=> Quantitative Ability 

=> +3 - for the right answer

=> -1 - for incorrect answer

=> No negative marking for TITA questions 

=> 120 minutes (40 minutes for each section)

=> Additional 53 Minutes 20 Seconds for PwD candidates for each section

Check: CAT 2023 Exam Marking Scheme

Overview CAT Previous Year Exam Pattern 

Before delving into the trends, let's take a quick look at the CAT exam analysis of each section over the last 10 years. 

Year No. of Questions Sections Marking Scheme Duration Difficulty Level
2022 66 VARC, DILR, QA +3, -1 120 mins Moderate to Difficult
2021 66 VARC, DILR, QA +3, -1 120 mins Moderate to Difficult
2020 76 QA, VARC, DILR +3, -1 120 mins Moderate to Difficult
2019 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Easy to Moderate
2018 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Moderate to Difficult
2017 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Moderate to Difficult
2016 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Moderate
2015 100 QA, VRC, DILR +3, -1 180 mins Easy to Moderate
2014 100 QA & DI, VA & LR +3, -1 170 mins Moderate to Tough
2013 60 QA & DI, VA & LR +3, -1 140 mins Moderate to Difficult

CAT Exam Analysis 2023 

CAT Exam Analysis 2023 will be provided here following the November 26, 2023 exam.

The CAT exam question paper analysis will also provide the expected sectional cut-offs for CAT 2023.

Check out the CAT 2023 cut-offs based on the exam analysis of CAT for the last 2 years: 

  • VARC consisted of 4 RCs with 4 questions each, 3 summary-based questions, and 2-3 questions from para jumbles and para completion. 
  • QA was considered to be the most difficult, while DILR questions were said to be time-consuming. 
  • In QA, 15-16 questions from Algebra and Arithmetic were asked. 

Candidates can go through the CAT exam analysis from past years provided in this article to gain insight into what to expect in the CAT 2023 exam. 

Check: CAT 2023 Exam Result

CAT 2023 Exam Shift Timings [Slot-Wise]

CAT 2023 Exam Analysis - Slots CAT 2023 Exam Analysis - Timings
Slot 1 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Slot 2 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Slot 3 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

The slot-wise CAT 2023 exam analysis is available here, and it includes information about the difficulty level, section-wise question distribution, changes in the paper pattern, the number of MCQs and TITA questions, weightage of topics, and correct attempts. 

Let's look at a detailed exam analysis of the CAT exam over the last few years. 

Check: CAT 2023 Exam Notification

Previous Year CAT Exam Analysis [Last Ten Years]

CAT 2023 Exam Analysis can be similar to that of previous years. 

CAT 2022 Exam Analysis

Stability was the hallmark of CAT 2022, with no major surprises. The exam was conducted by IIM Bangalore and featured 66 questions across the three sections. The Verbal Ability section was moderate, while Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning posed the most challenges for candidates. 

CAT 2021 Exam Analysis

CAT exam 2021 reduced the number of questions from 76 to 66. The exam's difficulty level varied, with the verbal section being moderate, DILR being the toughest, and quantitative ability ranging from moderate to difficult. 

Read more: CAT Exam Admission

CAT 2020 Exam Analysis

IIM Indore conducted CAT 2020 with a new pattern featuring moderate to difficult difficulty. While the quantitative ability and data interpretation section was moderate, the verbal ability and logical reasoning section posed a moderate to difficult challenge. 

CAT 2019 Exam Analysis

Conducted by IIM Kozhikode, CAT 2019 was easy to moderate. Quantitative ability presented some tough and time-consuming questions, while verbal ability and logical reasoning were moderate. The overall test did not encounter technical glitches. 

Preview Expected Cut Offs: CAT Exam Cut Offs for Various CollegesE

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis

IIM Calcutta conducted CAT 2018 with a difficulty level ranging from moderate to tough. Quantitative ability and data interpretation were moderate, while verbal ability and logical reasoning were moderate to tough. Logical reasoning proved to be the toughest section. 

CAT 2017 Exam Analysis

IIM Lucknow conducted CAT 2017, maintaining a structure similar to CAT 2016. The difficulty level ranged from easy to moderate, with the verbal ability section being easier and the quantitative ability section posing a tougher challenge. 

CAT 2016 Exam Analysis

CAT 2016, conducted by IIM Bangalore, featured an easy difficulty level. Quantitative ability and data interpretation were moderate, while verbal ability and logical reasoning were easy. Logical reasoning presented a moderate challenge. 

Learn more: How do you analyse CAT mock tests?

CAT 2015 Exam Analysis

Conducted by IIM Ahmedabad, CAT 2015 was moderately difficult. The overall difficulty level was moderate, with a duration of 3 hours. 

CAT 2014 Exam Analysis

CAT 2014, conducted by IIM Indore, introduced a new pattern. The difficulty level ranged from moderate to tough, with logical reasoning being the toughest section. 

CAT 2013 Exam Analysis

IIM Indore conducted CAT 2013, featuring a moderate to tough difficulty level. Controversy ensued over normalization issues, leading to legal actions. The section-wise analysis revealed a mix of challenging and time-consuming questions.

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Advantages of Checking CAT Exam Analysis [Paper Analysis]

Examining the analysis of previous CAT papers provides several advantages: 

  • Understanding the Pattern: Insights into the actual pattern of the exam aid in devising effective test-taking strategies. 
  • Knowing the Difficulty Level: Detailed analysis describes the difficulty of individual sections, highlighting areas where more challenging questions are asked. 
  • Identifying Important Topics: Recognition of important topics with higher weightage facilitates focused preparation, ensuring candidates are well-prepared for crucial areas. 

Read more: CAT Exam 2023 Preparation Strategy

Conclusion 

Finally, strategic preparation requires a detailed awareness of the CAT exam's prior trends and patterns. To successfully navigate the challenges CAT offers, aspirants must harness the insights from previous CAT 2023 exam analysis. Best wishes to everyone. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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