This question is haunting many CAT’14 aspirants. The new CAT pattern this year does not have any precedence and implies that we do not have any data to estimate the attempts (or score) required to get an IIM call. Also one will not know the level of difficulty of the paper till it is conducted. Most of the “experts” in the test prep arena in any case do not want to stick their neck out and take a stand and hence in CAT’14 hence this lack past data is as good an excuse as any.
Let me share my thoughts on these two issues of degree of difficulty and lack of data.
A change in the pattern/structure is usually accompanied by easier questions. Hence I expect this paper to be easier than CAT 2011-13 papers and somewhat similar to CAT 2003-08 in terms of degree of difficulty. Thus my estimate is that the difficulty level of questions in CAT’14 is likely to be similar to Mock CATs 3, 5 & 7.
Do we have data? Yes we have the data of Mock CATs and also the actual performance of students in CAT 2006 – 08. These CAT papers had between 75-90 questions to be attempted in 2 hours 15 minutes but were paper based tests. So using these two data sets I have tried to estimate the raw score Vs percentile correlation.
The table below gives the net correct attempts required for a given sectional and overall percentile. Net correct attempt is calculated after applying a +3 for a correct answer and a -1 for an incorrect answer hence based on your estimated accuracy you should calculate the your required attempts.
Thus an attempt of 24 questions with 21 correct & 3 incorrect answers will lead to a net correct attempt of 20 and if you accuracy in a section is usually 80% then you should be attempting about 27 questions. Multiplying net correct attempts with 3 will give you the target score. While I have given the same net correct attempts for both the sections in reality it could be slightly different for the two sections.
|Percentile Score||Net Correct Attempts|
|60||9 – 10|
|65||10 – 11||20 – 21|
|70||12 – 13||22 – 23|
|75||13 – 14||26 – 27|
|80||14 – 15||28 – 29|
|85||17 – 18||31 – 32|
|90||18 – 19||35 – 36|
|92||36 – 37|
|95||19 – 21||38 – 39|
|96||21 – 22|
|97||22 – 23||40 – 41|
|98||41 – 43|
|99||44 – 46|
|99.5||48 – 50|
Finally a word of caution; this is my estimate based on certain assumptions and when you start attempting the section in the first 15 minutes you should be able to estimate the degree of difficulty of the section and moderate your attempts accordingly. You go in the paper with a plan should be ready to modify it based on the situation.
All the best for CAT ’14.