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CAT 2016 Paper Analysis: Check Exam pattern, Quantitative Ability

Common Admission Test 2016 was conducted on December 4th, 2016 for admission to various IIMs, NITs, IITs and other various management colleges. Conducted by Indian Institute of Management, CAT it comprised of 100 questions and is held offline.

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  • Paper is divided into 3 sections- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability.
  • There were various questions ranging from easy to moderate to a difficult level which is discussed below.
  • It has been analyzed that Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section was easiest of all.
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning was the toughest and quantitative ability was of medium difficulty level.
  • The overall paper was analyzed as moderate to difficult


Know About CAT 2016 Exam Pattern

Total number of questions in the exam 100
Number of sections in the exam 3
Number of answer options per question 4
Maximum Marks per question 4 marks
Negative Marking 1 mark for every wrong answer. (No negative marking for non-MCQ questions)
Total maximum scaled score out of which percentile score will be awarded 400

Overall Difficulty Level

Overall difficulty level was Moderate to Difficult as mentioned above in the quick points. Questions were awarded 4 marks each for every correct answer and each incorrect answer in the MCQ section was to be awarded 1 negative mark.

The toughest section from all was Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning no doubt but the attempts can be compensated with Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension which was the easiest of them all.

Section No. of Questions No. of non-MCQ questions Difficulty Level Good Attempts
Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension 34 10 Easy 27-28
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32 8 Moderate – Difficult 14-16
Quantitative Ability 34 7 Moderate – Difficult 22-25
Total 100 68-72

Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension

This section of the paper was of easy to moderate level and was pretty much like the last year CAT exam question paper. Reading comprehensions posed tricky challenges in front of the candidates but were not difficult to deal with.

There were many logical structure questions in the section. Reading comprehensions were majorly factual. Para-Jumble sentences and Odd one out question were comparatively tough while subjective Para-jumble was very easy.


Topics RC/VA MCQ Non – MCQ/ TITA Total
Definition of Poverty and treatment of Household work RC 3 0 3
Education System RC 3 0 3
Sustainable Economic Development RC 6 0 6
Anthropology /Excruciating Rituals & Reasons RC 6 0 6
Status of Languages in 2115 RC 6 0 6
Odd Para Jumbles VA 0 3 3
Para Jumbles VA 0 4 4
Para Summary/Essence of Passage VA 0 3 3
Total 24 10 34

Data Interpretation And Logical Reasoning Analysis

Questions that were theory based on the section were moderate to difficult. The question paper was divided into 4 sets which had bar diagrams, data tables, pie charts, Venn diagrams and also numerous graphical representations in which there was no DS question. 4 – 5 sets in this section should be attempted, so to get a 99%ile a score of 46-48 (raw score) should suffice.

Topics DI/LR MCQ Non – MCQ/ TITA Total
Distribution/Arrangement LR 4 0 4
Venn Diagrams LR 2 2 4
Arrangement of files in folders LR 3 1 4
Students using various Trains & fares for the same LR 3 1 4
Table (Student Pass percentages over 5 years) DI 3 1 4
Comprehension DI 3 1 4
Films, Launch, Completion, Release, and Profits DI 3 1 4
Table (Consumption of Veg and Non-Veg Protein) DI 4 0 4
Total 24 8 32

Quantitative Ability

This section of paper carries 34 questions where there was a lot of emphasis on Arithmetic and Geometry. There were very straight forward and simple questions in Numbers and the standard of these questions were definitely below the ideal CAT exam. There were a good number of questions from Geometry with one question from Pyramids as well.

This section also included 2 wrong questions with printing mistakes leading to candidates wasting a lot of time solving them.

A total of 22-25 attempts with 90% accuracy should suffice for 99 percentile.

Area No of MCQs No of Non-MCQs Total
Arithmetic 8 3 11
Numbers 4 1 5
Algebra 5 2 7
Geometry/Mensuration 8 8
Pure Math/CG 1 1 2
Venn Diagram 1 1
Total 19 7 34


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