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CAT’21 First analysis is out—the surprise of the number of questions is out, we saw 66 total questions, 10 questions reduced from CAT’20, and that provided a good time for the students to give a better performance

SectionNo of Questions
VARC24 Questions
DILR20 Questions
QA22 Questions
Total66 Questions

Overall the exam was doable, not very tough compared to 2020, with DILR being little time-consuming. VARC was more inference-based. With total 66 Questions, and Im proud this is what I had predicted. Our students gave 6 mocks of the total of 66 questions in the last 2 months.

CAT 2021 tested students on actual knowledge, speed, logic, and analytical skills. A sincere student with well-rounded preparation and practice of concepts and mocks would make their way to the IIMs. The reduction in questions from CAT 2020 allowed students better time management.

It was an exam with no twist; well-prepared students should outperform. The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning sections were a little difficult and time-consuming. Reading comprehension passages had dominance of inference-based  questions. But this wouldn’t affect the overall criteria for a student selection in IIMs.

Negative marking existed for the Multiple choice questions; 1/3rd, i.e., 0.33 negative marks. Type in the answer questions didn’t have any negative marking, like CAT 2020.

Feedback from some of the students after the CAT 2020:

“The paper was overall easy, pretty much similar to CAT2020. Thankfully the verbal section went off well to kickstart the exam on a good note. The absence of conventional data interpretation questions like the tables, graphs, and pie charts was surprising. The exam was as per the expectations so hoping for good results and make all proud. Awaiting for IIM-A” – Nikhil

“The paper was very structured but lengthy. VARC was time-consuming with concerns with the inference-based questions in all reading comprehensions, not many factual questions. LR/DI was the trick section set selection was the key. Let’s hope for the best.” – Shreya

“Not a very tough paper, overall moderate with verbal coming only from 3 areas of RC, para jumbles and inference based questions. DI section was time-consuming but manageable. Overall moderate difficulty level. Hoping for some good result” – Sumeet

Sectional Analysis:

Overall Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

VARC 24 Questions: Reading comprehension was dominated in the verbal section. There were 4 passages with 4 Questions each—more inference-based questions and not factual. There were close options too that needed little focus while solving.

TITA Verbal ability was overall easy.

 3 questions on Para jumbles, 3 Questions on Para summary, 2 Questions on Odd one Out—odd one out was tougher than always

Summary of Questions

Reading Comprehension 16 Questions

Verbal Ability 8 Questions (TITA)

The Reading comprehension was based on the following themes:

Passage 1: Cattle Fish Self control of food

Passage 2: History-based Tea history

Passage 3: Maya personality

Passage 4: Eutopia

Ideal attempts in VARC Section: 18 Questions

DILR 24 Questions

LR/DI is tough, lengthy, and time-consuming with a variation with 2 Sets coming with 6 questions each and 2 sets with 4 Questions each. Here the success mantra was the set selection as 1 4 Questions set & 1 6 Questions set were the toughest and time-consuming, so the students should first wrap up the easy ones and grab a good base and then move to the trickier ones.

Summary of Questions

DILR Sets with 6 Questions: 2 Sets = 12 Questions (LR Sets)

DILR Sets with 4 Questions: 2 Sets= 8 Questions (DI Sets)

Ideal attempts in DILR Section: 13 Questions

Quants 22 Questions: (TITA 8)

Quants were the easiest out of the three sections with direct formula application and concept-based questions. No shortcuts & tricks were needed. Your solving speed and your temperament to understand what the question is asking were the main focus. The questions based on the Venn diagram were tough. Arithmetic dominated the paper, then algebra and numbers, geometry saw lesser visibility with just 3-4 questions, and modern maths was negligent in the paper.

Summary of Questions:

Keeping the new pattern in focus a 99%ile would be an ideal attempts 45+ with 90% accuracy

Happy day for students who know their basics and have preached their books with building conceptual clarity, and like Rahul Sir always says, “Success comes to those who work for it. Keep working hard, and you will see the results!” The exams in terms of difficulty level were very close to our Real CAT Exams and closest to RC 19.

For an in-depth analysis on each section, overall cut-off, which colleges to apply and how to gear up ahead, stay tuned to the CATKing Youtube Channel.

Those going in for Slot 2 and 3, Stay confident give your best.

I’d recommend students to relax and take a break. You have worked hard for the exam and done your best. Let karma play its role; party tonight and come back with a bang for the series of exams lined up ahead!

All the Best to all MBA Aspirants!

Analysis By:

Rahul Singh ( Director CATKing ) – CATKing is a premier MBA coaching institute of Maharashtra that focuses on strategic, engaging, and high-quality education (www.catking.in)

Brief Profile of the Author:

Sumit Singh Gandhi (Rahul)

CEO, Director CATKing

Education :

•Harvard Business School (SPNM)

•MBA: SP Jain Institute of Management &  Research

•Master of Information Technology, Virginia Tech

TEDx Speaker at IIM Calcutta and NMIMS inspiring young minds on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership

  • Awarded Best Online CAT Coaching in India 2020
  • Awarded Leader in Digital Engagement Strategy  Consulting (Engage7x) 2019
  • Awarded Management Coaching Institute Of the Year – Entrepreneur India Education Congress 2018
  • Awarded Coaching Institute Of the year 2017 – Higher Education Review
  • Published in Harvard Business School’s “The 20 Years of Impact” across the Global
  • Digital  Entrepreneur of the Year  Awarded for Skill Development & Employability by Times Network, Digital India Summit 2016
  • Social Entrepreneur Award 2015 by Entrepreneurs India

Today 1 lakhs CAT aspirants would be joining in Rahul sir live by CATKing!

Slot 1 – 10:45 am https://youtu.be/iUSeldySBSc

Slot 2 – 2:45 pm https://youtu.be/k9ek4935A54

Slot 3 – 6:45 pm https://youtu.be/zu4Hkjc7gTQ

Complete analysis at 10 pm


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