The Common Aptitude Test (CAT), the all-India national level computer based test conducted by IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) as entrance exam for admission to various management programs for IIMs and other B-School.
This test consists of following sections – Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC), Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR).
The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) started this exam and use the test for selecting students for their business administration programs. The test is conducted every year by one of the IIMs based on a policy of rotation. This time, IIM-B is conducting the test , that to be held on December 4, 2016.
CAT 2016, while having no specific syllabus, is divided in three sections – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability.
Some of the questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen. All the rules and conditions will be explained in the Tutorials, to be released on October 18, on the CAT 2016 official website.
The tutorials are to help the candidate understand the format of the examination. They are also advised to work on the tutorials, well in advance. Use of basic on-screen calculator for computation is also allowed during the test.
Candidates will be allotted exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and they cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section.
Now, let us take a look at each of the three sections in detail.
Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
This section is divided into 2 parts, Reading Comprehension and English Usage. The Reading Comprehension has around 5 passages followed by 3 to 5 questions from each passage.
English Usage includes questions on grammar, vocabulary etc. It would have sections on Fact inference judgment, Fill in the blanks, Para completion, Para jumble, Grammar, Sentence correction, Verbal reasoning and Word usage (vocabulary).
Reading the editorials of the newspapers is one of the ways of improving comprehension. Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension require candidates to become familiar with the type of questions and paragraphs.
Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)
While having only limited inputs,this section tests the candidate’s ability to take quick decisions . It takes practice and speed to complete within the prescribed time limits.
The topics included in DI are Data Sufficiency, Bar Graphs, Tables, Case-lets and Pi-charts. The on-screen calculator becomes useful in this section as most answers involve calculations. Intense practice is required and candidates would do well to solve at least 3-4 sets every day after setting a time limit.
Candidates could enhance their Logical Reasoning skills through solving crossword puzzles, Sudoku, riddles, family tree etc.
Section III: Quantitative Ability
The level of difficulty in this section is difficult to moderate. This is a key area and candidates should take care to practice a lot to earn rewards in the form of good percentile points.
The section has the Number System, Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry (lots of questions in the past 3 years), Permutation & Combination/Probability. Questions on miscellaneous topics like Set Theory, Trigonometry, and Logarithms can also be expected.