The CAT Experience - By Patrick D'Souza
Had my exam on 29th Oct 3:30pm slot. My background – Got a overall 100%ile in CAT07 and CAT09.
Strong areas are Math and DI. Both of these sections I have scored 100%ile in CAT07 and CAT08. In CAT09 I had solved the whole paper with ½ an hour to spare. I had heard from the 1st slot students that the paper was easier this year as compared to last year. So I had gone with the idea of solving all 60 questions easily without much hiccup. What transpired was quite different.
There was a long wait period before the test started. At this time either strike a conversation with your neighbor or go to sleep.
When the paper started I started with Math and then moved to DI and last Verbal. I had not planned for any time limits as I thought the paper will get complete easily.
Time taken – Math – first 50 mins, DI – next 40 mins, back to Math for 5 mins, Verbal for 30 mins, back to Math for 5 mins. Finished the paper 5 mins before time.
I unnecessarily got stressed in the exam. The reason for the same was that I had heard the 1st days paper was easier than last year. Also the first part of Math paper had the tougher questions which slowed me down and by the time I reached the 10th question, around 30 minutes were
up and I was left with 3 questions out of first 10 unsolved (which is unusual). I wasted too much time on a question where I had an ego issue presuming that I would complete the paper easily. That cost me a lot of time. Anyways I had to leave the question and move on. By the time I had finished the Math section I had left 5 questions unsolved. Math paper had a mix of questions. There were a couple of questions which I thought were familiar, I thought they were
similar to the previous CAT papers. In the second half of the Math paper there were some simple questions one of which I had solved earlier. I was able to complete the section in 50 minutes with 5 questions left unsolved. A bad start with solving only 15 questions in 50 minutes. I was later able to come back and took me two rounds before I could get answers to 4 of the question and intelligently guessed the 5th one.
CAT is still full of surprises and quite unpredictable.
Don’t have an ego issue with a question. You will end up wasting precious time.
It makes sense to go through the previous 10 to 15 years CAT paper before you go for the exam.
If you do not get the answer to any question or are stuck up, leave it and then come back to it at a later stage.
DI required a lot of time. Each question had a lot of instructions with only 1 or 2 questions. As a matter of fact I later realized that some questions could be solved without going through all the data. There was a set in DI with 2 questions which I did not understand at all at first. I came back after the whole DI was over and was able to solve it. Because of lot of data, DI set s took time and there were a few questions which were extremely hard and would take a lot of time to solve. There were a few logic questions of simple type but had only 1 or 2 questions. One of the DI question had a mistake. DI being a very strong section of mine was able to complete the section in 40 minutes.
1. If you get lengthy questions then go through the questions first and then see if you can directly solve the set or just look at relevant data.
2. Don’t get worried with wrong question or option, it is there in almost every CAT paper in its online format.
Verbal was easier, but since I was already hassled with my Math set not going good, I did have difficulty in comprehending the passage. Three sets of 4, 3 and 2 questions with same length. The questions were both direct and inferential type. Passage with 2 questions was long and the answers could be got by just reading the questions and searching it in the passage as it was more or less direct questions. The verbal on the whole was simple Apart from that there were
questions on para-jumbles, fill in the blanks, homonyms, proper usage of words. Though the answers were confusing, but it was easy.
1. If the number of questions in an RC is less then it is better to read the questions before reading the passage.
Overall I felt the paper was difficult as compared to last year. Math was tougher, DI was lengthy, verbal was of same level. As I said last year the my paper was complete half an hour before time, this time I had only 5 minutes to spare.
This was my experience of CAT. All the best for your exams.