CAT 2020 – What does the change of pattern mean for you?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020


CAT 2020 What does the change of pattern mean for you

On the official CAT website, a media release was put out last night highlighting some of the changes for the CAT 2020 exam. Since then, I have gotten a couple of emails, a few phone calls, and a lot of whatsapp messages about it. I thought it would be a good idea to pen down my thoughts about the same and hopefully, calm down a few CAT aspirants who are panicked, unnecessarily in my opinion.

What are the changes in CAT 2020?

  1. The deadline has been extended to 5 PM of 23rd September
  2. CAT 2020 will be conducted in 3 sessions (unlike 2 last year)
  3. CAT 2020 will be a 2 hour exam (unlike 3 hours last year), which means 40 minutes per section (unlike 60 minutes last year)

That’s it. Nothing major. Nothing earth shattering. But we also need to understand what are its implications. Let’s look at them one by one.

Extension of deadline

This is not new. Every year, the form submission deadline gets extended by a week. A lot of people leave their registration for the last day and somehow it gets messed up. Also, this extension helps increase the number of applicants and that means more money for the body that conducts the exam. It gives a breather to aspirants who were on the edge. So, this is an overall good thing for nearly everyone involved.

Three sessions

For the last decade or so, CAT has been conducted in two sessions on a single day. There are roughly 2 Lakh aspirants every year, which means 1 Lakh people on average in every slot. I believe this has been done to take care of social distancing norms. Splitting the candidates across three slots would reduce the burden on testing centers.  Once again, a good thing for everybody.

Some CAT aspirants think that people who will take the exam in the third slot would have an advantage because they would know the pattern of the paper a bit in advance. Well, it doesn’t make that much of a difference because of two reasons:

  1. Scores will get normalized across the three slots. So even if there is some advantage it would get negated.
  2. For the last 5 years, people in the second slot have known the exact pattern / slight changes that have taken place. It hasn’t made much of a difference.

Exam duration changed to 2 hours

Now this is something that as a CAT aspirant you should be concerned about. It means that you will have to change your test taking strategy a little bit. Please note that I am not asking you to change your preparation strategy. I am just asking you to change your ‘test-taking’ strategy. The cutting down of time would mean cutting down of questions as well. The announcement about the number of questions can come in a few days / weeks. It is also possible that the number of questions is not officially declared. Let us look at three possible scenarios:

Scenario 1 – 60 questions

This is the most likely scenario in my opinion. This would mean 20 questions in each section. This would also mean that the difficulty level of the questions goes a bit higher considering that you have an average of 120 seconds per question vs 105-110 seconds earlier.

Verbal Ability –

3 Passages of 4 questions each or 4 passages of 3 questions each.

3 questions on Parajumbles

2 or 3 questions on Sentence Exclusion (Odd one out)

2 or 3 questions on Summary

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation – 

5 sets of 4 questions each.

1 or 2 sets which are based on graphs / tables

1 or 2 sets which are based on Logical DI. Some part of the table is given and you need to fill it up

2 or 3 sets on new type of Logical Reasoning Problems

Quantitative Ability –

Not much change in it.

20 questions spread across the Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Numbers, Modern Math

Scenario 2 – 75 questions

This is slightly less likely. This would mean 25 questions in each section. This would also mean that the difficulty level of the questions goes a bit lower considering that you have an average of 96 seconds per question vs 105-110 seconds earlier.

Verbal Ability –

4 Passages of 4 questions each.

3 questions on Parajumbles

3 questions on Sentence Exclusion (Odd one out)

3 questions on Summary

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation – 

5 sets of 4 questions each. 1 set of 5 questions

1 or 2 sets which are based on graphs / tables

1 or 2 sets which are based on Logical DI. Some part of the table is given and you need to fill it up

2 or 3 sets on new type of Logical Reasoning Problems.

The 5 question set would be long and scary, but not that difficult to solve.

Quantitative Ability –

Not much change in it.

20 questions spread across the Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Numbers, Modern Math

Scenario 3 – Number of questions is not announced

This is extremely unlikely. However, in case the number of questions is not officially announced it would be best that you practice from a lot of mocks and be prepared for a variety of patterns. It is easier said that done, specially in the scenario when CAT aspirants have become accustomed to a certain level of predictability with the CAT exam.

How will HandaKaFunda help with the new pattern?

We have temporarily suspended our mock test series. Once the number of questions is announced, we will re-start it within 1 week of announcement. If the number of questions is not announced by 1st October, we will re-start it on 5th October based upon our guess.

All students will get 10 mock tests in the latest pattern. If you are an existing student and have taken a couple of mocks – your account will be reset. Once the new mocks are live, you will get them at no extra charge.

If you are not subscribed to our mock tests, you can do that from here: Mock Test Series. You can get 10 full-length mocks in new pattern for Rs 1499.

If you have not subscribed to any of our course, you can subscribe to our Crash course given below. This will be helpful to students who have just started preparing / are getting less than 90%ile in mocks.

 

Online Coaching Course for CAT 2021 + Test Series

a) 1000+ Videos covering entire CAT syllabus
b) 2 Live Classes (online) every week for doubt clarification
c) Study Material & PDFs for practice and understanding
d) 10 Mock Tests in the latest pattern
e) Previous Year Questions solved on video


 

I hope with this, some of your queries about the change in pattern would be clarified. If you still have any questions about the same, please feel free to reach me on [email protected] / 9765142632.

 

Regards,

Ravi Handa,

Founder

Handa Ka Funda

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