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CAT 2006: Penalty for wrong answers
IMS Learning Services
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November 20, 2006

CAT 2006 is finally over, and here is a look at what this year's paper was all about.

What was the change?

Apart from the fact that CAT 2006 was two and a half hours long, the test saw many other changes. Firstly, the number of questions reduced from 90 (CAT 2005) to 75. There were five options for every question. The marking scheme was also different. There was no differential marking. Every question carried four marks and the penalty for every wrong answer was one mark ie, 25 per cent.

The verbal ability section was very tough and the problem solving section was quite simple compared to previous years.
The DI section was as difficult as it was in CAT 2005. As we have always maintained, the test focused on reasoning and comprehension skills and discouraged "mechanical preparedness".

Section I: Data interpretation and logical reasoning

This section comprised 25 questions based on DI (20 questions) and LR (5 questions). Out of the four sets in DI, two were reasoning -- based and two were calculation-based. One should have attempted the set based on traffic flow and the set based on board exams. The set based on Erdos numbers was difficult to interpret but easy to solve. The LR set was the easiest set in the section. The breakup of questions was as follows:

Subtopic

Construct

Number of questions

Data interpretation

Observation based

1

Reasoning based

10

Simple calculation

9

Logical reasoning

Mechanical solution

5

Section II: Verbal ability/ reading comprehension

Reasoning ruled the roost in the English section. Old favourites like vocabulary-based and grammar-based questions and jumbled paragraphs were given a burial. Instead, we had five fact-inference-judgement questions, which were definitional in nature.

Once you were clear about the stated definitions, you could have solved the questions confidently. 'Providing the conclusion' type questions were five in number and tested your understanding of the given text. Reading comprehension comprised three dense passages that had mostly interpretative and inferential questions. If your logical skills were in place, you could have solved this section without any glitches.

The breakup of questions was as follows:

Subtopic

Construct

Number of questions

Reading comprehension

Direct

1

Indirect - inferential

4

Indirect - interpretation

7

Indirect - comprehensive interpretation

3

Verbal ability

Logic based

5

Contextual placement

5


Section III: Problem Solving

The section covered all the four areas of math viz, arithmetic, algebra, modern maths and geometry. Thus to perform well, a student needed to be equally competent in all the four areas. The questions tested basic fundamentals as well as strong reasoning skills and decision-making abilities. It was crucial for a student to know when to apply conventional methods and when to evaluate options for managing time efficiently.

The breakup of questions was as follows

Subtopic

Construct

Number of Questions

Algebra

Equations

1

Inequations

1

Arithmetic

Equations - word problems

2

Indices

3

Numbers

3

Ratio

1

Time, speed, distance

1

Geometry

Circle and square

2

Circle and triangle

1

Mensuration

1

Triangle + square

1

Triangle + square

1

MM

Arithmetic progression

1

Functions

2

Logarithms

1

P and C

1

Sequences

1

Series

1

Venn diagram

1

-- IMS is an educational services provider which prepares candidates for leading competitive examinations like CAT, GRE and GMAT.



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