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CAT 2011: Changes introduced in paper format

by Pritika Ghura

The Common Admission Test (CAT), gateway to prestigious B-schools of India, is getting a format makeover. The exam will be conducted between October 22 and November 18, 2011.

Though the number of questions asked in the exam remains the same, CAT 2011 will have two sections instead of three, and students will get an additional five minutes to solve them.

The duration of the CAT 2011 exam is 140 minutes. Candidates will have 70 minutes to answer 30 questions in each section, which will have an on-screen countdown timer. As soon as the time for the first section ends, the test takers will move on to the second section without having the option of being able to go back.

As per a statement released by testing agency Prometric and IIMs, this new format is new in the computer-based version of CAT. However, it was previously used in some of the earlier paper-and-pencil years.

The first section will focus on quantitative ability and data interpretation while the second will be on verbal ability and logical reasoning. These two sections will be implemented sequentially with separate time limits.

Hailing this change as necessary and student-friendly, Prof Janakiraman Moorthy, convener, CAT 2011, says, "The change is important for the entrance test as admission to IIMs is based on sectional cut-offs." There are many students who lose out on a seat as they would have failed to perform in one of the sections.

Students taking CAT 2011 will get five additional minutes to the existing two-and-half hours available to students. This includes a 15-minute tutorial that will guide students through the process. Prometric will take all measures to ensure that a similar level of difficulty across papers is maintained.

The CAT organisers have taken the exam closer to north India with Bhilai, Jammu and Dehradun being added to the existing 33 test locations.

Students appearing for CAT 2011 should not worry about the following changes. A practice test to help candidates familiarise themselves with screens, layout and navigation will be made available in the coming weeks and a video on the conversion of CAT to a computer-based test and candidate views of this transition will be available on YouTube by the end of this week.

Changes incorporated in CAT 2011 format-:

1) Three sections have been reduced to two-:

  • A) Quantitative ability and Data Interpretation
  • B) Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

2) Additional 5 minutes

3) No option of going back and forth between sections

4) 30-minute reduction in reporting time

5) 30 more outlets to sell vouchers

6) Three new examination centres in North India

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    anvesha_shah
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    anvesha_shahWed, 04 Jun 2014 04:43:13 -0000

    How To Plan Your Preparation Right For CAT?

    CAT is an exam which not only tests the skills and abilities of the aspirant in the various sections namely Quantitative aptitude, Verbal Ability, Logical and Analytical Reasoning and Data Interpretation but also the ability of the person to make the maximum out of the time allotted. Hence, the ideal way ahead would be to get to know the basics and get them right.First things first, What all is covered in CAT? Essentially CAT is an aptitude test, which, basically is Mathematics, English and Reasoning.Whatever is covered, is supposed to test all aspirants on equal basis and hence, it has to be something that everyone did till Std X. Since, after that everyone chose their own very way so no point in giving anyone any due advantage. Coming to the topics covered in Std X subject-wise which is covered in CAT:

    1. Mathematics or Quantitative Section: Basically covered in the following five broad topics:

    a. Percentages and Its applications
    i. Percentage, Profit and Loss
    b. Ratio and Its applications
    i. Ratio, Variation, Time and Work, Time, Speed and Distance, Averages and Partnerships, Alligations and Mixtures
    c. Algebra
    i. Linear and Quadratics Equations, Surds and Indices, Inequalities, Logarithms
    d. Numbers and its applications
    e. Geometry and its applications
    i. Geometry, Trigonometry, Mensuration

    The important point to note is that these are the basic topics and a majority of the questions are covered from these topics maybe directly or as an application of the basics.CAT however does not focus on the asking the concepts directly but the idea is to test the application of the concepts thoroughly.To understand the details better here is a video as well.

    Video example for Quantitative Ability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaeAeWOq1Ec

    2. English or Verbal Section:

    This section does not leave any part of application of English as a language or the various ways in which it can be tested. However, there is no such exhaustive list of topics as every year there are few new types of questions which come out of the blue. Still in order to enumerate Grammar, Vocabulary, Critical Reasoning (and its numerous applications), Reading Comprehension are the prominent ones. Grammar for example can be tested by word usage, Fill in the blanks, choosing the correct/incorrect sentence etc. Vocabulary can be tested by choosing the correct meaning, synonym, antonym and analogies to name a few. Critical Reasoning has the widest range of applications across and the best way to understand it would be by practicing.

    Video example for Verbal Ability: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DCM_5akLvI

    3. Analytical Reasoning Section: Here we have a lot of things random and otherwise which come from some nook and corner of the world and all we need to do is to figure out how to solve them. There may not be a standard approach or the best way to go about it, but yes there is a lot of brainstorming to be done. Some of the commonly known topics are Blood Relations, Direction Sense, Puzzles, Arrangements, Data Structures, Series, Coding-Decoding, Clocks and Calenders. For these topics one can figure out an approach which suits them best, but, it is always better to get the analytical bent by practicing in order to tackle the unthinkable!!

    Video example for Logical Reasoning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlPmWBxB9-o

    4. Data Interpretation Section:

    What we get in this section is a lot of data organized in a different ways eg. Table, Bar, Pie, Line graphs etc. or sometimes unorganized in caselets. A quick look may not yield any results but practice can help you understand data FAST! And solve it thereafter. A Good knowledge of basic maths and quick fire mental calculations are required in order to crack this section.

    Video example for Data Interpretation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4WXzTVHf5c

    Now, let us shed all inhibitions of ourselves being good in one area and not so good in another. Let us take an aptitude test at catgurus.com in order to understand our current understanding. Hence, we have a starting point.

    All the Best!!

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pritika Ghura
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Last Updated At Dec 07, 2012


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