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CAT 2016 Paper Analysis

Last Updated - December 05, 2016

CAT 2016 which was conducted on December 4, 2016 is analyzed to be tough but still easier than previous year CAT exam. The candidates who appeared for the exam in the first or second shift say that Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation was a tough section while verbal ability and Reading comprehension was easy. The quantitative section was a bit lengthy as well but candidates went through with.

Over 2.3 lac candidates appeared for the exam this year. IIM Bangalore was the convener of CAT 2016. The exam was conducted in 2 slots (9am to 12pm) and (2pm to 5 pm). Geometry had higher weightage this year.

Check CAT 2016 Answer Key & Expected Score


CAT 2016 Paper Analysis

CAT 2016 was conducted in online mode wherein there were a total of 100 questions divided into three sections (34 questions from Verbal Ability, 34 questions from Quantitative Ability and 32 questions from Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation). The graph below shows what would be considered as a good performance in the exam as per the no. of attempts made:

CAT 2016 Paper Analysis

SectionTotal questionsGood Attempts
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation3414 - 16
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension3225 - 30
Quantitative Ability3423 - 25

If candidates have attempted nearly 80 questions and get 70-75 questions correct, they can get admission in a good B-School which accepts CAT scores. Section wise Analysis of CAT 2016 is mentioned below:

CAT 2016 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section of CAT 2016 consisted of 5 passages of 400-500 words each. 3 passages had 6 questions each related to them and 2 passages had 3 questions each. +3 marks were given for each correct answer and -1 for each wrong answer. Along with this, there were Non MCQ from the following topics:

  1. Jumbled paragraphs – 4 questions
  2. Out of context and paragraph summary – 3 questions
  3. Find odd sentences – 3 questions

Difficulty Level – Moderate


CAT 2016 Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) was the toughest section of CAT 2016. Some candidates faced problem in completing this section. The trick to score high in this section was only to identify the easier sets. If the candidates identified the easier set, the calculator would have proved useful and thus an attempt of 10-12 questions will be enough to clear the sectional cutoff.

4 sets of DILR questions were there including MCQ and Non MCQ questions. The questions were asked from following topics:

  • Line Chart
  • Table Chart
  • Set Theory
  • Arrangement
  • Cube Based Sets

Difficulty Level – High


CAT 2016 Quantitative Ability Section

The Quantitative ability Section of CAT 2016 was quiet lengthy but candidates with mathematics background did not face much difficulty in getting through with it. Geometry was given higher weightage this year. Following are the highlights of Cat 2016 QA section:

  • There were only 7 Non MCQ questions, nearly half than last year’s CAT exam
  • The square root symbol looked more like pie symbol, this caused confusion.
  • Questions from the topics – Compound Interest, Co-ordinate Geometry, geometry, Mixture and Alligation, Permutation and Combination, Partnership, Mensuration, Logarithm, Quadric Equation, Proportion and Ratio.
  • 7 questions were inclined on the tough side.

Difficulty Level – Moderate


CAT 2016 Expected Cutoff

IIMs and other B-schools, release the minimum marks at which they take admissions on the basis of CAT scores which is known as the cutoff marks. The CAT cutoff is in percentile form. The table below shows the CAT Cutoff 2016 of top IIMs – Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Calcutta for different categories:

General Category CAT 2016 Cutoff

InstituteVerbal AbilityData InterpretationQuantitative AbilityOverall Percentile
IIM Ahmedabad70707080
IIM Bangalore85808090
IIM Calcutta80808090

SC Category CAT 2016 Cutoff

InstituteVerbal AbilityData InterpretationQuantitative AbilityOverall Percentile
IIM Ahmedabad60606070
IIM Bangalore70656575
IIM Calcutta75656570

ST Category CAT 2016 Cutoff

InstituteVerbal AbilityData InterpretationQuantitative AbilityOverall Percentile
IIM Ahmedabad50505060
IIM Bangalore60606075
IIM Calcutta60656570

OBC Category CAT 2016 Cutoff

InstituteVerbal AbilityData InterpretationQuantitative AbilityOverall Percentile
IIM Ahmedabad65656575
IIM Bangalore75707080
IIM Calcutta75757585

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