CAT 2015 Analysis – First look at Cutoffs, Expected Percentiles

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

First look at the predicted cutoffs and percentiles for CAT 2015

I spoke to a bunch of students over the last half an hour and given below is the information that I could gather. I will continue to update this post as and when more information comes in.

Overall CAT 2015 Analysis

Paper was more or less of the same difficulty level as last year. That is one way of saying that it was easy.
60+ attempts with 90%+ accuracy should lead to 98+ %ile.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension was probably the easiest section of the lot.
There were 24 questions on RC. Passages with 5/6 questions had 1/2 questions which were simple and direct and you could find their answers easily.
There were 10 questions on Parajumbles, odd one out, and summary related questions. All these 10 were direct answer type questions.
Surprisingly, there were absolutely no questions on Grammar or Vocabulary.

Good number of attempts: 26 (same for slot 2)
I will like to add here that if you have just filled in the direct answer type questions without putting in too much thought or effort because there is no negative marking, please do not consider them as genuine attempts.

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

There were 4 sets of Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation each.
Overall, it was the hardest section of the lot.
Any one who could attempt 4 sets out of 8 is pretty safe.
One set of Data Interpretation was of direct answer type and overall there were around 8-9 questions of this type.
Good number of attempts: 16 (same for slot 2)

Quantitative Aptitude

Quant was slightly harder than last year but still easy.
5-6 questions were direct answer type
Algebra and Geometry were still slightly more important than other areas. Having said that, the paper was fairly balanced.
4-5 questions were sitters. Those could be solved in less than a minute.
8-10 questions were really simple.
Good number of attempts: 22-24 (18-20 for slot 2)
Quant in Slot 2 was a little bit harder because of lesser number of simple questions. Also, it had some long questions which took a long time to solve.

What does the good number of attempts mean?
I believe this number of attempts with 90%+ accuracy should get you an overall 98+ %ile after clearing all sectional cutoffs. Let me add, I have spoken to 6 students till now (2 PM) and I will update / tweak this information as I speak to more candidates and read more information about it online.

If you have any further information to share, do use the comment section.

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  • What students had to say about CAT 2015?

    Email from Satadru Chakraborty – Morning Slot

    Hi Sir,

    It was certainly a pleasure to be your student . Here is my take on CAT 2015 First slot. I found the VA RC to be slightly easy. Attempted 16 RC and 9 VA questions. You asked us to follow IMS mocks. Questions were at par with the SIMCAT level I felt. The parajumbles without option were a bit tricky. In the quant part I answered 24 questions. Surprisingly I did it very fast.. therefore now I am feeling a but worried(whether the paper was easy or I could not make out any hidden trap). Though I found it was a bit easier. Like the arithmetic questions( percentage,time and work) were good. A few odd questions were there on inequality or geometry which I thought won’t be very judicious to answer- So left them. But the LRDI part was the most dreaded one I found. Could only manage 15 and no Idea how many would be correct. one set was direct-to be answered from graph. rest all had fairly large amount of logical twist attached to it. One set had issues of news paper which i felt was a mix of venn diagrams and good quality logic…in addition to that sets were very lengthy as well. the primary point is most of them did not have direct answer type options.the questions were mostly conditional… like if this happens then how many of the given options will be true.

    Thanking again

    Review of CAT 2015 by Lavanya Singh – Morning Slot

    Today, I gave CAT examination in the forenoon slot. Here is my review of the exam.

    Verbal :-

    This section was probably the easiest of all three. Unlike previous years, this year’s test had 24 question of
    Reading Comphrehension.A total of 5 passages were there, 3 of which consisted of 6 questions each and rest had 3 questions each.
    Most of the questions were factual and were easily solvable. Even those based on Critical Reasoning were on the easier side.
    Overall, 8-9 questions were Critical Reasoning based and rest were fact based.

    Apart from these 24 RC questions, there were 10 type-in questions, out of which 4-5 were Parajumbles,2-3 were pick the odd one odd.
    2-3 were Inference based(don’t remember the exact number of questions of each topic.)

    Parajumbles was the toughest part of this section as we had to arrange 5 sentences in a logical manner. Pick the odd one of out and Inference based questions were moderately tough.

    I attempted 27 in this section with 21 in RCs and 6 in others.

    LR DI:-
    This was the toughest part of the examination.
    This section claimed to have 4 questions of LR and 4 of DI but for me this was a pure illusion as according to me this section had 6 LR questions and only only 2 DI questions.
    Only one set of DI had those traditional graph questions which eventually was the easiest set of this section.

    Out of the 6 sets of LR, 1 set was unsolvable in the given time frame. The level of difficulty of other 5 sets too was very high, though if one didn’t panic after going through all
    the questions, 2 or 3(in some cases)sets could have been solved.

    The other set of DI had moderate difficulty level and could have been solved.

    Overall I attempted 15 questions in this section.


    If you were basics were clear, this section was pretty easy too. Though the distribution of questions were very unbalanced. There was not a single question on Number System.
    There were about 12 questions on algebra. Arithmetic contributed some 6-8 questions. Geometry too contributed some 6-7 questions and 2-3 were based on general mental ability.
    The level of difficulty of 4-5 questions was very very easy. about 10 questions were fairly easy. and about 15 questions were of moderate level. Speed was the main factor in this section. Those with a strong background in Maths
    would have easily attempted more than 25 questions.

    I attempted 22-23 questions in this section.

    Email from Sanjay Chandra – Afternoon Slot

    I got evening slot. Overall, the paper felt tough for me.

    RC and VA Section :
    When I first saw the RC section, I felt very happy because of two reasons : It was simple and each RC had 6 questions. So, I will have 12 minutes for each passage if I spend 2 minutes/question. So, time will be sufficient for attempting 18 questions at least. Second part is Verbal Ability which felt moderate. I attempted odd man out and summary questions which felt ok-ish. I could solve only 1 PJ before the timer ran out. Surprisingly, PJs felt very tough.

    DI and LR Section :
    I was expecting easy questions for DI and tough questions for LR. I got my mind blown when I started reading the DI questions. I couldn’t attempt even half of the total DI section. Only one set of DI questions was easy and direct. Other sets are laborious having some hidden logic and some surprises. I switched to LR because time was running out, LR didn’t surprise me because I was expecting toughness. Again, I couldn’t attempt even half of the questions. There was tough problem where we need to match 3 sets of data using the conditions given. Overall this section is the toughest part of CAT 2015.

    Quant Section :
    Speed and accuracy are the main things needed for this section. I attempted less than 18 questions. I am not strong in Quant especially Geometry and Algebra. I don’t know why but Number System questions are not present in the paper (I didn’t see last 7-8 questions, perhaps NS questions might have been pushed to the last. I don’t know). Questions felt ok-ish but I took way more time than necessary for each question.

    Email from Ravpreet Singh – Afternoon Slot


    RC questions were direct… no inference based questions…some passages were difficult to read though.. topics that i can recall are inca road, dress code for women in corporate sector, regarding the country congo.
    VA was tough.. all questions being TITA accuracy could go very low in it for me…
    Attempted total of 21 questions in this section.


    Started with LR.. did 3 complete sets out of 4.
    3 sets which i did were of auction, marks problem and project problem. Didnt see the 4n set and switched to DI.. 1 set of DI was very direct (names one). Other sets were having some logic which i wasnt able to comprehend..
    Did 17 questions in this set.

    I started slow in QA.. Thats where i made a mistake in this section.. questions were simple and some were direct.. non mcq question took some time… my speed lagged in this section so attempted only 20 questions.. if i would have maintained a decent speed from beginning 25-27 questions could have been attempted easily..

    Nevertheless, thank you sir for all the help. My concepts and fundas got improved from last year. Will now focus on snap and xat

    Chirag Jain via email – Afternoon slot

    Hello sir,
    First of all,I would like to thank you for your support all throughout this period of my preparation for CAT.

    I appeared for CAT2015 in the afternoon session.
    The paper,if your remove DI/LR, was a fairly balanced one with VA-RC being slightly on the easier side and quant being moderately tough.
    DI/LR,for me,was the game changer and all the happiness of VA-RC being easy was taken away by DI/LR.

    VA-RC – The RCs were easy,had clear data and weren’t something that needed too much brain scratching to reach the answers.Some questions were direct and should have been attempted with 100% accuracy.
    The critical reasoning part wasn’t a surprise for me and was on expected lines.I found the para-jumbles easy to moderate and attempted most of them.
    There were 3-4 questions (don’t remember the exact number) on capturing the essence of the text and they were easy in my opinion.
    I attempted over all 24 questions in this section.

    This section was the turning point in the paper and anyone who panicked here(I did),would have found it difficult to complete the section with good overall attempts.
    I started with my planned strategy of starting with the DI sets.Barring one,all the other three sets required good logic and were time consuming.
    Same case with the LR sets too.I made the mistake of panicking in one of the DI sets in which I noted the data wrongly and wasted a lot of time in rectifying my mistake.This badly affected my progress in the other sets and I wasn’t able to deduce the logic thus resulting in low overall attempts.
    I attempted somewhere between 12-14 questions in this section.
    I must add here that I hadn’t come across with such uniform level of difficulty in all the sets of a section in any of the mocks.

    Quant was moderately tough as stated above.If one had a good practice of spotting the sitters in the mocks,they must have done all the sitters very quickly.A few questions were lengthy and took time to solve.
    Clarity of basics was the key coupled with speed in the quant section.Though like many others,I too felt that the questions weren’t evenly distributed,if one looks at the entire syllabus of quant.20-22 attempts were good enough.
    Since my DI/LR section didn’t go well,it affected my performance in the quant section and I could manage 18 attempts in this section.

    Looking forward to XAT now and hopefully will make up for the mistakes made in CAT.

    Student via Twitter – Afternoon slot

    VARC: Attempted all the VA questions. 10 subjective questions. 1-2 parajumbes puzzled me while deciding close options. Without options, gauging the accuracy is tough. RCs were not lengthy. But most questions were inference based. Also, questions like “The author’s view on this thing was all of this EXCEPT 2 passages had this question. No questions of Title of the passage, what this word means or any fact based question. One passage was on Inca civilization, one on Women dress code in corporate world, one on scarcity of ground water in UP.

    My attempts: 17/24 RC, 10/10 VA Total: 27


    Mayhem. I attempted 2 LR sets. One I am sure about. In other, I didn’t get sure shot answers. DI also one set went well and in another I am not sure. Even attempted a question of decrease in age using steepness of a slope. If my attempts go wrong, I am in deep shit.
    Total attempts: 18


    After the DILR debacle, I wanted to attempt atleast 20. But, I sort of lost of my focus. Again, it was not that easy. I got stuck at 2 questions after which I felt like I’m losing a lot of time. In the end when I was scrolling, I felt like questions were easy but I had no time. So, if accuracy is there I have some scope.
    Total attempts: 18

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