The CAT (Common Admission Test) aims at testing candidates on different parameters and topics. The overall structure of the CAT test remains same. the test allows one to take admission not only in IIMs but also other top notch B-schools like MICA and SP Jain.
Verbal Ability and Reasoning:
This section of the test accounts for more than half of the verbal section. It is 50 marks and comprises 'verbal ability and reasoning' section as well as 'Reading Comprehension'. About 25 to 30 marks questions are on verbal ability while the remaining 20 to 35 marks will be by answering reading comprehension questions.
The questions asked in the verbal section can be categorized in one of the types mentioned below:
Vocabulary Based Questions: Questions based on testing vocabulary of candidates can be simple 'synonyms-antonyms' types. While on the other hand, questions asked in vocabulary can also be in the form of fill in the blank with the most suitable word. It has appeared as part of the marks section in the year 2004 and the 2 marks section in the year 2005.
However, it is noteworthy that the emphasis on vocabulary in the test is declining each year and one is not required to learn the meanings of words like 'pleonasm' etc. to crack such questions in the test.
Correct Usage of English or Grammar:You will find questions based on the sentence or grammar correction in different forms. In these questions, you will be required to find out the incorrect par of the sentence or a part of the question will be underlined with 4-5 options. You need to make right choice to correct the error in the sentence.
To prepare for these types of questions you need to have a good understanding of the basic of English grammar. Do adequate number of exercise on the various common errors which tend to appear in the test. Thus, you will be able to sail through these types of questions in CAT.
Verbal Reasoning: Questions in verbal reasoning can be in different forms. However, the most common one is rearranging the jumble words of a paragraph. You might also be asked to paraphrase the paragraph. Also, you can be provided 3 to 4 sentences and then asked to select which sentence is fact, which one is an inference or a judgment.
In brief you need to work on verbal reasoning, contextual usage, antonyms, fill ups, syllogisms, sentence correction, familiarity with common foreign language words used in English, idioms, one word substitution.
Again, as there is not as such fixed structure of CAT. The pattern tends to differ every year.
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Reading comprehension section of CAT is typically of 100 marks. This section includes verbal ability and reasoning section, and the reading comprehension section.
Verbal ability section carries 40 to 60 marks questions while the reading comprehension section carries 60 to 40 marks. In the year 2005, 15 out of total of 25v questions in the verbal sections were based on comprehension while the number of 12 out the 25questions in the year 2007.
Questions based on 'reading comprehension' are often in groups for 4 to 8 questions. The length of these reading passage ranges from 250 words to 750 words.
Here is a way to do this section successfully:
- Read the entire passage for once quickly so t hat you are able to grasp the central idea of the passage.
- Eradicate answer choices which are sure of not to be correct.
- Make use of outside knowledge.
- Make use of inside knowledge
Passage Types in CAT: Passages t hat appear in the test are basically can be basically from one of the types mentioned below:
Social Science Passage: This type of passage is often about a social or historical issue.
Science Passage: This type of passage gives information on a scientific phenomenon like aviation or plate tectonics.
Business Passage: This passage includes a business related topic like passages on the privatization of state-owned industries or the causes of inflation.
Entertainment Passage: This type of passage if of entertainment, sports or leisure related. The passages can be on Hollywood or Bollywood celebrities or other prominent people in various fields.
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This section of Cat which is vastly categorized as Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry aims to gauge quantitative ability of a candidate from more than 25 topics. All of these topics are of high school level.
Let's see the topics in different categories in this section:
Arithmetic: Number system and number theory, profit and loss, interest, speed, time and distance, averages, ration and proportion, mixtures and alligations, pipes and cisterns
Algebra: Linear and quadratic equation, inequalities, function, permutation and combination, set theory, logarithm, binomial theorem, function, probability, progressions
Geometry: Geometry, coordinate geometry, mensuration, trigonometry
Data interpretation section in CAT is of 50 marks since the year 2001. Most of the questions in this section are of 2, 3 or 4 marks.
Date interpretation section in CAT often carries two types of questions:
Date Interpretation: In these types of questions date is presented in the form of a table/pie chart/a graph. On the basis of each presentation, the candidate is required to answer 4 to 6 questions. You need to interpret the format and answer the questions accordingly as per the date given in the table or chart.
Date Sufficiency: Every date sufficiency problem in CAT comprises questions with two statements. Here the point is that you are required to decide whether the question can be answered or not on the basis of provided information in the given statements instead of pondering over the answer of he question.
For this, you need to keep yourself updated with current news and affairs around the world.
You need to be informed about:
- Current affairs, prominent corporate events, punch line of companies
- Books and their authors' name
- Important quotes
- Social issues, finance, automobile, entertainment etc.
- World records
- Renowned awards and prizes.
- Science, history, geography