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CAT 2018 Slot 1 Analysis

CAT 2018 Slot 1 Analysis

TestFunda ,  27-Nov-18
The first slot examination for CAT 2018 was conducted on 25 Nov between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m.

Based on feedback from our students and faculty, we compared the difficulty of each section: 


Compared to CAT 2017




Marginally Easy


Significantly Tough

The overall test taking experience was similar in terms of logistics to the previous years. Though glitches were reported from a few centres, the overall experience was smooth for most students. Apart from the admit card and one photo-ID proof, no other object was allowed in the computer lab. So you had to be careful of leaving your valuables outside. Here, slot 1 students would have had a disadvantage as they would have not known what arrangements their centre would have made for valuable storage. The scratch pad given during the test and the admit card were both taken away at the end of the test. 

The test interface was similar to last year. Like CAT 2015, all the RC questions were together (1-24), but were not represented as a separate section. These were followed by the 10 non-RC questions. Like CAT 2017, the DILR sets had a mix of MCQ and NE type questions. 

The calculator provided was a simple calculator, rather than a scientific one. One addition to the interface was the presence of a watermark with the candidate’s registration number behind the text on the screen. This was marginally distracting, especially if you had to be scroll up and down for a long RC or DILR set. The overall interface replicated the official CAT player provided by the CAT authorities

Overall Breakup 


Section Name






Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension






Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning






Quantitative Ability





Section I – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • LOD – Easy to Moderate
  • A major change was that CAT 2018 moved the structure of RCs from 3 and 6-question passages to 5 and 4-question passages. The overall breakup was : 4 RCs of 5 questions each and 1 RC of 4 questions each.
  • The other question types – Jumbled Sentences, Paragraph Summary and Contextual Odd Man Out questions – were similar to previous CATs. Like CAT 2017, the Paragraph Summaries were MCQs and on the tougher side. 
  • The RCs were mainly in the 500-800 word length range and based on contemporary issues. Hence, they were readable. Though most questions were inferential in nature, they were relatively easy as options could be eliminated. 
  • The Jumbled Sentences were easy while Contextual Odd Man Out questions were easy to moderate.    
  • RC topics ranged from diverse topics ranging from socially relevant topics (happiness and economics, single use plastic) to anthropology (parental gene in mice, humans and elephants) and culture (WWII memorials in India). 
  • It was possible to attempt 28 to 30 questions with high accuracy.  26 attempts with 80 percent accuracy could fetch 95 percentile, and 30 attempts at similar accuracy could get around 99 percentile. .
Section II: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 
  • LOD – Moderate
  • The section was slightly easier compared to CAT 2017. 
  • Like CAT 2017, the sets had a mix of both MCQ and NE questions. Some of the sets were a combination of both LR and DI, though their proportion was slightly less this year. 
  • Selection of the right set was critical to maximizing your attempts. There were 3-4 sets that could be classified as easy to moderate while the rest were moderate to tough. So you had to be choosy in your attempts. 
  • The sets on arrangement of eight students on four parameters, committee selection, pie chart on LED sales and marks in three subjects were the easiest ones; while the sets on satellite and ATM money disbursal were on the tougher side. The set on magic square was similar to the sets covered in the iCATs. 
  • It was possible to attempt 18-19 questions in this section to get a 98 percentile or above. 
Section III - Quantitative Ability 
  • LOD – Moderate to Tough
  • Unlike CAT 2015, CAT 2016 and CAT 2017, the QA section was definitely tougher compared to the previous three years. There were fewer sitters and easy questions. 
  • A key feature of the questions this year was that a number of questions tested a mixture of concepts. So, candidates had to qualitatively know the significance of various properties and concepts, and apply them accordingly. 
  • The section was dominated by Arithmetic (14 questions), followed by Modern Maths (10 questions); Geometry (6 questions) and Algebra (4 questions). 
  • Solving 18-20 questions with 85-90% accuracy would be a good performance of this section. 
On the whole, the morning slot of CAT was similar to CAT 2017. However, individually the difficulty level of sections varied. A redeeming feature for students was that no new question types were reported.

An overall performance of 66-68 questions with 85-90% accuracy can be considered a good performance for this slot. 

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