CAT 2016 Analysis

CAT 2016 analysis


Mr Gagan Girotra

IIM Calcutta 2005

Head Faculty – PRXA


We present below the CAT 2016 slot 2 analysis.

Some students who took CAT this year, have reported horror stories about the adequacy of the test centres – there were computer-related glitches, the venue was too dark, staff was not adequately trained, etc. These aside, the overall CAT 2016 difficulty level for DILR was tough, QA moderate and VARC easy. It had both MCQ & Non-MCQ questions based on the subjects of – QA, VARC, DIRC. Each question carried +3 marks for correct answer and -1 mark for wrong answer. There were no negative marks for the Non-MCQ questions. On screen calculator was also available.

Summarizing some of the key things about CAT 2016:

  • Overall, CAT 2016 difficulty level was Moderate.
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) was not difficult and could be completed in the stipulated time.
  • DI & LR section was difficult for most students. Every question in this section is going to play a crucial role in counting towards the final percentile score.
  • Quantitative Section has given more stress to Geometry this year as compared to previous years with as many as 6 questions from the section.
  • There were no questions from trigonometry or probability.

CAT 2016 Slot 2 Questions Summary: 

S. No Sections Total Questions Non-MCQ’s MCQ Level of Difficulty Ideal Attempts
1 VARC 34 10 24 Moderate 28+
2. DI & LR 32 8 24 Tough 16+
3 QA 34 7 27 Tough to Moderate 19+
  Total 100 25 75

Verbal and Reading Comprehension Analysis

According to the applicants, the level of difficulty was easy to moderate. There were 6 Reading Comprehension passages – they were fact-based and therefore, students are likely to achieve high accuracy in this section.

The Verbal Ability was dominated by verbal logic and question types were:

  1. Parajumbles – moderate in difficulty
  2. Summarize the paragraph – easy
  3. Pick the odd sentence from a randomly arranged paragraph – tough
Area No of MCQ’s No of Non-MCQ’s Total
RC – Govt. Definition of Poverty and treatment of Household work 3 3
RC – Education System 3 3
RC – Sustainable Economic Development 6 6
RC – Anthropology /Excruciating Rituals & Reasons 6 6
RC – Status of Languages in 2115 6 6
Pick odd sentence in Para Jumbles 3 3
Para Jumbles 4 4
Para Summary/ Essence of Passage 3 3
Total 24 10 34

Because of the overall level being easy, a lot of questions from this section were attempted by the applicants. An attempt of 28 or above would be ideal.

Date Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Analysis

This section was evenly split across DI and LR as follows:

Area No of MCQ’s No of Non-MCQ’s Total
LR – Distribution / Arrangement 4 0 4
LR – Venn Diagrams 2 2 4
LR – Arrangement of files in folders 3 1 4
LR – Students using various trains and the fares for the same 3 1 4
DI – Table (Student Pass percentages over 5 years) 3 1 4
DI – Comprehension (Marks obtained across two sections of a paper) 3 1 4
DI – Films (Launch, Completion, Release and Profits) 3 1 4
DI – Table on Consumption of Veg and Non-Veg Protein 4 1 5
Total 24 8 32

Two sets of Data Interpretation were easy while there were two sets that were considered difficult and required a lot of calculations. Data Interpretation questions were lengthy. In Logical Reasoning, two sets were easy for the applicants. 16 attempts is ideal.

Quantitative Ability Analysis

Area No of MCQ’s No. of Non-MCQ’s Total
Arithmetic 8 3 11
Numbers 4 1 5
Algebra 5 2 7
Geometry/Mensuration 8 8
Pure Math/CG 1 1 2
Venn Diagram 1 1
Total 27 7 34

Trigonometry questions were expected by students this year (because of CAT 2015) but none were present in the 2016 question paper. No Trigonometry questions were present in any of the CAT question papers before 2015 either.

Overall, the level of difficulty for this section was medium. The questions which were designed to test the applicant’s knowledge of basic fundamentals were divided into 7 non-MCQ’s and the remaining was of MCQ format. Some questions were straight from the textbook while other were found to be tricky by many applicants. 19 attempts are considered ideal for this section.

Hope this analysis was useful. Please share your feedback at All the best for all those awaiting the results and future aspirants.

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