Common Aptitude Test or CAT is an exam well known for its unpredictability.Since its commencement, every year the exam throws surprises at the aspirants leaving them flummoxed and CAT 2018 followed the same age old tradition. CAT was conducted on 25th November, 2018 and left the candidates bewildered over the changes that Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, the paper setter, brought in it.
The exam has 3 sections namely the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation and Quantitative Aptitude and 1 hour is allotted for each section. Each question in the section is of 3 marks and 1 mark is deducted for each wrong answer as a part of its 1/3 negative marking scheme. However for the ‘Type in the Text’ type questions, there is no negative marking. The four star highlights of CAT 2018 are as under:
1. HIGHER DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF QUANTITATIVE APTITUDE SECTION
Since the past few years, the Quantitative Aptitude section of CAT was a sigh of relief for the aspirants especially for the non-engineers owing to its easy-moderate difficulty level. This helped even the non-engineers to score well in this section and fetch a handsome percentile. CAT 2018 threw a googly towards the aspirants with its difficulty level being a notch or two higher than the past few years. Looking at the scenario, it is expected that the QA percentiles this year will drop.
2. THE ‘CAT 2018 IIM CALCUTTA’ WATERMARK
One new thing incorporated this year was the CAT 2018 watermark put up by the test maker- IIM Calcutta. While the watermark posed a little irritation and difficulty for some time in the VARC section of some students, they got accustomed to it later on. However, the other sections namely LRDI and QA did not have any watermark as such.
3. VARC AND LRDI DIDN’T LET BREATHE EITHER
While QA section was the toughest, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI) and the Verbal Ability section continued to be of the moderate level. While the Reading Comprehensions were lengthy and time consuming in VARC section, the puzzles and data sets of LRDI were mind boggling to an extent. The summary type questions of Verbal Ability section were also reportedly a tough nut to crack. Thus overall CAT 2018 was a tad bit difficult than the past few years.
4. THE TIME LIMITS
Just like the last few years, CAT 2018 also had sectional time limits. Candidates weren’t allowed to switch from one section to another. This plays as a levelling ground for the students who have a command on one subject and find the other one difficult. The VARC, LRDI and QA sections had 34, 32, 34 questions respectively and each of these sections had a time limit of 1 hour.
CAT 2018 has thrown its surprises. How the aspirants batted against them is yet to be seen after the authorities declare results in the first week of January.