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First Hand Experiene

Let’s call it the return of the aptitude test. For sometime now CAT has had a strongly technical flavor about it. Questions tend to demand too much mathematics and English knowledge from students. Last years (first ever CBT CAT) was a welcome relief from this trend. The trend seems to have been maintained this year as well.

The first slot experience of CAT at Indore strengthens the perception that the CAT has returned to being a good aptitude test. The questions were not tough or simple – they required thinking, modeling (structuring) of questions and an ability to arrive at the answer.

A fair balance between the three sections – all three with more or less similar toughness levels and well spread across areas to test almost all faculties of aptitude. Approx. 5 odd Questions in mathematical areas and a couple of them in Language sections are what might create troubles to a CH EdgeMakers student (of course assuming that the student has practiced the material thoroughly). So may be someone should attempt upto 50-52 Qs. Confidently and can easily get upto 45-50 of them correct. May be that’s what you can target for the top ranked IIMs.

No software hiccups, smooth and efficient supporting staff made it a friendly process overall.

Moderate level of difficulty, 3-4 Questions from geometry, almost 7-8 from arithmetic and Number theory and 5-6 from algebra. Rest a mix of higher math & modern math even a small application of logarithms. The message: if you worked through your material all round, you might feel some questions are an injustice. Here was the section where choice of questions could do wonders. From the standard to quite abstrusely worded the section had all variety. Especially the return of the language of sets/functions to ask a simple question on permutations can be confounding to students. Questions also tested fundamental understanding – like ratios and percentages, Pythagoras triplets, Volumes of solids etc.

All in all, a manageable section. Surely one can get 12-15 questions confidently right – and depending on one’s width that number could be as high as 15-17.

Oh!! BTW in the morning slot on 27th Oct 2010 (today) there was one question on sets the right answer for which was not available as an option.

Like last year, three RCs (manageable size) with three questions each, questions from paragraph completion, jumbled up paragraphs, error in contextual usage of words, even one on grammar made it a familiar and manageable section. In fact if you have done the material thoroughly there was no negative surprise. Like last year, the options in Reading Comprehension questions were not confounding by syntactical difference in language rather they tested the understanding if the reader in the sense that he/she should grasp the theme or direction of the author.

Aspire to attempt almost all questions (unless of course you have no clues to the questions at all – which by the way can only be if you have not really prepared) except for a couple of those bad ones. Mine was the one which asked me to identify the part(s) of a (really) compounded sentence that was appropriate by way of Punctuations, Spelling and logical consistency. That was a really tough one.  This can be good scoring section.

Two sets on pure Data Interpretation - a Table based and another bar graph based – needed application of definition of terms with fairly tedious calculations involved. If you are one who did not care for working through your tables – this could be the sad surprise for you. Reasoning caselets were standard variety - a 5 parameter puzzle, a missing data table to be reconstructed, data sufficiency, flow charting, grouping and sequencing. In nutshell if you have been following your reasoning gurus at CH Edgemakers closely – this should be sitters.

The only thing to point out is – keep the patience to model and structure the problem before jumping to answer the questions. That will save a lot of time for you. My suggestion would be to try and go all out for all 20 qs. At the worst leave one of the more tedious DIs. Definitely a scoring section if you worked with the CHEM faculty. Target almost 15 correct answers.