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CAT 2023 Analysis: A Comprehensive Overview of Difficulty Levels and Strategic Approaches Across Three Slots

CAT 2023 maintained a consistent level of moderate difficulty across all three slots, making it crucial for aspirants to possess a comprehensive understanding of underlying concepts and topics. Those well-versed in the fundamental principles should have found it manageable to meet the average attempt requirements necessary for achieving a commendable 99+ percentile.

Notably, while the overall complexity of the exam was within the moderate spectrum, the Quantitative Ability Section stood out as a noteworthy challenge. The questions posed in this section, spanning all three slots, exhibited a higher level of difficulty compared to previous iterations of the CAT Examination. This unexpected elevation in the complexity of the Quantitative Ability Section added an element of surprise for students, necessitating a deeper analytical approach and a more robust problem-solving skill set.

For aspirants aiming for a 99+ percentile, it has been speculated that achieving correctness in 37-40 questions overall would be a favorable benchmark. This implies that a well-rounded and accurate attempt in this range could serve as a strategic approach to secure a percentile score in the upper echelons. The CAT 2023 thus demanded a balanced and proficient performance across all sections, with particular attention to the challenges posed by the Quantitative Ability Section.

CAT 2023 Percentile Slot-1 CAT 2023 Score Slot-2 CAT 2023 Score Slot-3 CAT 2023 Score
99.5 %ile 89 91 87
99 %ile 80 81 77
98 %ile 71 73 70
95%ile 57 59 56
90%ile 49 50 48
85%ile 40 41 39
80%ile 36 36 35
75%ile 31 32 30
70%ile 29 30 28

 

SLOT 1

Section No. Section Name Duration MCQs TITA Total
I VARC 40 min 20 4 24
II DI and LR 40 min 12 8 20
III QA 40 min 15 7 22
Total 120 min 49 17 66

In the VARC section, candidates encountered four 500-700 word passages covering Science, Geography, Literature, and Philosophy, along with questions on Para Jumbles, Odd One Out, Para Summary, and Sentence Completion. The DILR section excluded Pie Chart and Graph-related questions, offering four problem sets with five questions each. The QA section featured more Algebra questions than the previous year, followed by an emphasis on Arithmetic. Both the DILR and Verbal sections saw changes in segmentation and the number of MCQs and TITA. The Verbal Section saw a minor change, reintroducing Odd Sentence Questions after their absence since 2021.

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The VARC section comprised four reading comprehension (RC) passages, ranging from 500 to 700 words, accompanied by 16 questions. Verbal Ability questions covered four topics, including Para Summary, Odd One Out, Para Jumble, and Sentence Correction, totaling eight questions. VARC presented a moderate to difficult challenge, with Verbal Ability questions leaning slightly towards the more challenging side. A commendable performance in VARC involved attempting 15 to 17 questions, and accurately answering around 15-16 questions could secure a 99.5+ percentile. Notably, VARC included four Non-MCQ Questions, and there was no negative marking for this section.

Section-2 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

In the CAT 2023 slot-1, the DILR section featured four sets, comprising two sets on Data Interpretation (DI) and two on Logical Reasoning (LR), with each set consisting of five questions. The questions were centered around topics such as Distribution, Statistics, Maps, and Networks. The overall difficulty of this section ranged from moderate to difficult, resembling the unexpected challenge seen in previous editions. Despite minimal variation in difficulty, the section proved to be a notable aspect of the exam. Attaining a 99+ percentile in DILR was achievable with a strategic attempt of 10-12 questions, emphasizing the importance of high accuracy in the overall performance.

Section-3 Quantitative Ability (QA)

The Quantitative Ability (QA) section in CAT 2023 was characterized by a predominant focus on Algebra, featuring eight questions covering Quadratic Equations, Linear Equations, Modulus Functions, and Polynomials. Additionally, the Arithmetic component comprised seven questions encompassing SICI, Time and Work, Time-Speed-Distance, Clocks, Averages, Mixtures and Allegations, and Profit and Loss. Geometry accounted for four questions, addressing topics like Triangles, Coordinate Geometry, and Cyclic Quadrilaterals. Modern Math contributed two questions, while Numbers and Indices each had one question. Despite being rated as slightly more difficult, aiming for an overall attempt of 12-13 correctly answered questions was deemed sufficient to secure a 99+ percentile in this section.

Overall-

Overall, out of 66 Questions, an overall attempt of about 37-40 Questions attempted correctly will get you a score of 99+%ile.

Percentile Score VA-RC Score DI-LR Score QA Overall Score
99.9 %ile 50 38 46 108
99.5 %ile 46 34 30 91
99 %ile 42 30 26 81
98 %ile 38 26 23 73
95%ile 32 20 18 59
90%ile 26 17 14 50
85%ile 22 13 12 41
80%ile 20 11 10 36
75%ile 18 10 9 32
70%ile 16 9 8 30

 

SLOT 2

Section No. Section Name Duration MCQs TITA Total
I VARC 40 min 20 4 24
II DI and LR 40 min 12 8 20
III QA 40 min 14 8 22
Total 120 min 49 20 66

The overall difficulty level of Slot 2 was slightly lower as compared to Slot 1. The questions in the VARC section were majorly inference-based. The questions were of moderate difficulty level. The DILR Section and QA Section, however, were comparatively more difficult than the SLOT 1 Sections. Although the questions in both DILR and QA were lengthy, but easy to solve, if your concepts were clear and if you had a sound knowledge of the concepts.

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

In the second slot of CAT 2023, the VARC section was assessed as having an overall Easy to Moderate difficulty level. The section comprised four Reading Comprehension (RC) passages, with three falling into the Easy to Moderate difficulty range and one presenting a Difficult level of challenge. The Verbal Ability component featured eight questions spanning from easy to medium difficulty. To achieve a 99+ percentile in this section, a recommended strategy involved aiming for an overall attempt of 17-19 questions with a focus on high accuracy.

Section-2 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The section consisted of four sets, each comprising five questions. While one set posed an Easy to Moderate level of difficulty, the remaining three sets presented challenges at a Moderate to Difficult difficulty level. Overall the section was of Moderate to Difficult. Overall attempting 9-11 questions correctly will fetch you a score of over 99%ile.

Section-3 Quantitative Ability (QA)

The Quantitative Ability section emerged as one of the more challenging sections across all three slots, this section maintained a consistent question pattern and distribution as observed in Slot 1. Achieving a 99+ percentile in this section was deemed feasible with a minimum attempt of 11-13 questions.

Overall-

Percentile Score VA-RC Score DI-LR Score QA Overall Score
99.9 %ile 50 38 46 108
99.5 %ile 46 34 30 91
99 %ile 42 30 26 81
98 %ile 38 26 23 73
95%ile 32 20 18 59
90%ile 26 17 14 50
85%ile 22 13 12 41
80%ile 20 11 10 36
75%ile 18 10 9 32
70%ile 16 9 8 30

The Slot 2 exam was of the same difficulty as Slot 1 more or less. The QA Section was slightly more difficult, but with a focused approach, even QA was doable. The questions were lengthy but not difficult. The DILR Section again was of comparable difficulty level in comparison with Slot 1. Overall, if a student solved about 38-41 Questions with high accuracy, he/ she should be able to score a 99+%ile.

SLOT 3

Section No. Section Name Duration MCQs TITA Total
I VARC 40 min 20 4 24
II DI and LR 40 min 12 8 20
III QA 40 min 14 8 22
Total 120 min 49 20 66

 

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The overall difficulty level of the exam was moderate. It comprised four Reading Comprehension (RC) passages with a total of 16 questions, along with an additional 8 questions in the Verbal Ability segment. The Verbal Ability questions were also of a medium difficulty level, making it relatively achievable to score well in the VARC Section. Aiming for accuracy in 15-16 questions was considered sufficient to secure a 99+ percentile in this section.

Section-2 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The overall difficulty of the section ranged from moderate to difficult, maintaining the same pattern observed in previous slots, featuring four sets, each containing five questions. To secure a 99+ percentile, a strategic approach involved aiming for 11-12 questions with high accuracy.

Section-3 Quantitative Ability (QA)

Once more, this section proved to be among the most challenging across all three slots. The overall difficulty of the questions ranged from moderate to difficult. Attaining a 99+ percentile in this segment was deemed achievable with a recommended attempt of 14-15 questions answered correctly.

Overall

Percentile Score VA-RC Score DI-LR Score QA Overall Score
99.9 %ile 46 36 46 104
99.5 %ile 42 32 30 87
99 %ile 38 28 26 77
98 %ile 34 26 25 23
95%ile 28 19 18 56
90%ile 23 16 14 48
85%ile 20 13 12 39
80%ile 18 11 10 35
75%ile 16 10 9 30
70%ile 14 9 8 28

Overall, slot 3 of the CAT 2023 exam was also of similar difficulty level to Slot 1 and 2 of the test. In total, if you solve between 37-40 Questions again to score 99+%ile.

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