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CAT 2008: A comparative study of sections, topics
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June 27, 2008

CAT has always lived up to its expectations of being the most uncertain examination held in India, and come November and all the MBA aspirants in the nation will be set to face the CAT-astrophic storm of 2008. And it's not always the changing pattern that students face as the demonstration of CAT-astrophy.

For instance, CAT 2007 did not surprise the takers with its pattern, though it's Quantitative and Verbal sections certainly gave the test takers a hard time.CAT 2007 was characterised by a tough Quantitative section, a lengthier (over 180 words per question) Verbal section and the only life saver in the form of DI section.

The test security was unbeatable with four sets of question papers having answer options jumbled even for the same questions in all the four sets. That is, if your answer in Series 111 for a particular Quant question was Option 4, the answer for the same question in Series 222, 333 and 444 may not be the same (ie Option 4).

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This was a proactive step taken by the exam setters because, since CAT 2006, students are getting more than two minutes per question (considering the fact that no one attempts all the questions) increasing the possibility of copying.

To help this year's test takers crack CAT 2008, experts from have analysed the last 4 CATs in the deepest possible detail. Let's analyse the components one by one:

CAT Quantitative Section
This section was the toughest of all. The topic wise break-up of the Quantitative section is as follows:








Once again, the greatest share was of Number theory. Surprisingly, Higher Math occurred second as regards the share in total number of questions. A comparison of the CAT 2007 with the previous 4 CATs (Chart No 2) shows that Number Theory and Geometry are becoming hot favourites of the exam setters. On the other hand the number of Area/Volume questions has fallen drastically since last CAT.










CAT Verbal Section
Though seemed similar from the outset, CAT 2007 verbal was much different from CAT 2006. The return of Grammar; a new creative face of vocabulary under the guise of sentence completion and lengthier Para jumbles as compared to the earlier versions. An overview of CAT 2007 verbal is given below:






As one can see from the pie chart, reading comprehension had a clean sweep over the rest in CAT 2007. This section seemed difficult with the number of RC passages going up from 12 in CAT 2006 to 15 this year and the number of RC questions going down from 15 in CAT 2006 to 12 this year.

Para Jumbles took the RC avatar with long paragraphs in place of sentences as jumbled parts. A careful comparison ofCAT 2007 with the past 4 CATs (Chart No 4) shows that RC is the hot favourite of the verbal exam setters. On the other hand, Para Jumbles appeared as an important ingredient of CAT only after CAT 2004.








CAT DI Section
This was the only scoring section in the
CAT 2007. The questions were easier but trickier as compared to CAT 2006. Data Sufficiency appeared in this section after a long absence. But the most important fact is that Logical reasoning is getting more and more preference of the test takers (see Chart No 5). Moreover, it is retaining the trend since CAT 2005.












Top Careers & You ( prepares national and international candidates for high-end tests viz. CAT, XAT, JMET, SNAP, CET, FMS, IIFT and GMAT. Visit for free access thousands for these tests.

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