Like for many my CAT journey started at 5:30 AM! Yes, 5:30 AM! First, they allot me a venue 100 kms away (God knows why?) from my home and then expect me to reach there at 7:30 AM for a 9:30 AM test (God knows why). So, 5:30 it was.
When I reach the venue at 7:30 AM, I am not allowed to enter! Why did you call me at 7:30 then? But then a student (today I was one) doesn’t have a voice – at least that’s what they think. I wait and spend the next 10 minutes figuring out where the washroom is. Most engineering colleges are like a maze. You try to find one room, you keep going in circle. When I finally find and enter the great place, I become even more convinced about the importance of Swachch Bharat. I am a student, I can’t crib!
At about 8:00 AM (now, this is my guess since I didn’t have a watch) I am allowed inside. After the registration, I find my desk and sit there and stare for infinity! I have no idea what the time is and I have no idea how long before I can see the first question. The wait seems forever during which I learn the 12 points in the admit card by heart, stare at my photograph on the screen and keep wondering as to why I didn’t give a better photograph. The chair is bad. But then, I am a student, I can’t crib. The AC is not on and the noisy fan is not letting the sheet of paper rest on the desk. But again, I am a student and I can’t crib.
9:30 AM – And it starts!
This is how the 170 minutes went: [By the way, I did not mark any question – I left all questions ‘Red’, however, I did proceed as I take the mocks. By that I mean, I solved it like a real test; just that I did not mark my response on the screen. It will be interesting to see what percentile I will get since I have not marked a single question.]
My take was that CL prepared our students really well for the CAT through an absolutely awesome assessment of what the CAT would be like.
I am not bragging here – but I couldn’t help but point out how difficult TIME AIMCATs where! It was as though TIME AIMCATs were preparing the students to take the JEE! Remember, it’s easy to create a really tough paper. Your ‘claim’ is that it was for preparing the students for the worst. No! It’s really this – you don’t know how CAT will be, TIME AIMCAT. You just created tough papers so that you can hide behind this convoluted logic. It wouldn’t have mattered to those genius students. But for there are those who put their faith on our hands and are genuinely looking at prep companies to prepare them for the CAT, you failed brother. CL Proc Mocks were awesome! Period!
If someone had sincerely studied using CL resources and created strategies using CL mocks, I am sure that you would have handled the CAT reasonably well.
I clicked the question paper button and ran through the questions and saw:
- 36 questions on QA – none of them looks lengthy
- 4 DI sets with 4 questions each
- 4 RCs with 4 questions each
- 4 LR sets with 4 questions each
Phew! CL did stick to this format in the Mocks – good job CL!
If you have seen my Mock attempts, you would see this: 80 minutes for Section 2 à 80 minutes for Section 1 à 10 minutes buffer
This CAT was not different.
Verbal Reasoning/Verbal Ability
- Critical Reasoning – 4 Questions. I find the passages to be of ‘standard’ CR length and the options having the usual traps. However, there can be one or two questions where someone would get confused with the options. Me: All 4 questions.
- Summary/Essence – 3 Questions. These were manageable. The options were not tricky. If one reads the paragraph properly.
- Para Jumbled – 4 Questions. If you had practised CL Mocks, this would have been a cake walk. Not difficult; easy to make connections.
- Para Jumbled (Odd Man Out) – 4 Questions. These I felt were manageable, though I felt that there was 1 question where I wouldn’t have taken the risk and would have marked 3 questions.
- Error Detection (Grammar) – 3 Questions. These were easy. However, I was a bit apprehensive because it even asked to check spelling and punctuation. I would have avoided a couple.
Out of these 18 questions, I would have attempted 14 with good accuracy.
When I went through the 4 Logical Reasoning Sets:
- One was on circular arrangement – felt that it was manageable
- Maxima-Minia based – Aaarggh!
- Looked like some sort of a puzzle – looked tough
- It looked like a caselet – My thought was: Let’s not do R&D
So, I decided to solve 1 LR (Circular Arrangement) and then attack RCs. In fact in did that – but then I use the last 10 minutes to solve one more LR. That’s when I found that the last LR set which looked difficult was pretty pretty easy! [This is exactly how it played out in my Mock 18 attempt].
The 10 minutes buffer had gone to Section 2: 90 minutes I spent on Section 2.
Out of these 16 questions in LR, I would have attempted 8.
To sum up: 4 Passages; none of them complicated; most of the questions direct
Since I had only attempted one LR (during the first Round), I had time for all the 4 RCs. I did get confused in a few questions.
Out of the 16 questions, I would have attempted 12 questions.
Section 2 : 34 attempts
It was really like I was re-taking CL Proc Mock 18! Only that this one was a tad easier. In first round of Mock 18 I could knock off 14 questions, in the CAT I could knock off 20 (6 more, thanks to some sitters).
|Area||No. of Questions||My thought|
|Arithmetic||6||All were straightforward – a couple of the questions, I remembered seeing in our class sheets! Read, apply the basic concept and solve.|
|Algebra||10||Ok. There were traps and tricks. But manageable ones. There were 5 questions where I used SQC.|
|Numbers||7||I did see some standard questions. I also saw a few tricky ones.|
|Geometry||9||Did you notice this! Just one question with a diagram. I was cribbing while taking Proc Mock 18 that all the Geometry was without a diagram. CAT – exactly the same!Geometry is my weakness, I could manage a few but not all.|
|Modern Math||2||My favorite area. However, felt it was a bit tricky.|
I solved 27 out of the 34: 21 in Round 1 and 6 in Round 2. There was this one question on Numbers which hurt my ego. I finally didn’t solve it. Once I finish writing this blog, I shall solve that question. Unfortunately, we can’t discuss the questions. IIMs should declare the questions now that CAT is done. But then I am a student, I can’t crib.
- Set 1 : Bar Graph – I did have a look at that but felt that it was a painful one.
- Set 2 : Table – This was pretty straightforward. I wish I could share my thoughts. But all 4 questions can be cracked.
- Set 3: Table – This was not that straightforward. Needed to make some additional calculations and for each question create additional data. However, for those who are patient, this one was manageable. I was patient!
- Set 4: Table – Same story as above.
I solved 11 questions out of the 16.
Section 1 : 36 attempts
My attempts in the slot:
- Section 1: 38 Attempts
- Section 2: 34 Attempts
- Total : 72 Attempts
If you recall my attempt in Proc Mock 18 attempt, it was 64. I could hit 8 more because of easier QA.
There would be lot of noise in the social media wherein you will see people having 80+ attempts. The key would be accuracy. I don’t take risks (barring SQC techniques – which is not really risk by the way).
If you really want a near accurate estimate of your percentile, feed in the data at CL’s True CAT Percentile Predictor. Trust me, it’s pretty accurate. It is estimating that my percentile (based on my attempt and accuracy) will be between 99.94 and 99.99.
You hope for the best and continue your fight for the other tests.
Let me leave with this:
We, students, do have a voice! It must be heard. I will be heard!
GP has started this petition to make CAT more transparent. Support it…. Let our voice roar!