CAT 2018 Exam Analysis by IMS: Know Expected Cutoff

The CAT 2018 exam for the slot 1 was conducted successfully at various test centers across India. Here is the CAT exam analysis shared by IMS Learning Resource. Read on to find out the important aspects of the CAT exam.

Updated: Nov 25, 2018 17:58 IST
CAT 2018 Exam Analysis by IMS Slot 1
CAT 2018 Exam Analysis by IMS Slot 1

CAT 2018 exam for slot 1 / forenoon session was conducted successfully with no technical glitch. IMS Learing Resources has shared the final analysis of CAT 2018 slot 1 exam.

The CAT 2018 exam is conducted by IIM Calcutta this year and the exam is being conducted in the computer based mode across 374 exam centres in 147 cities in the country. As per the statistics shared by IIM Calcutta, almost 2.41 Lakh students have applied for CAT 2018. The CAT 2018 exam analysis talks about the number, type and difficulty level of the questions that were asked in the exam to help the CAT exam takers analyse their performance in the exam. Candidates who appeared in the first slot which was conducted from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm can now check the detailed analysis shared by the CAT exam experts.


CAT 2018 Exam Analysis by IMS Learning Resource (Slot 1)

CAT 2018 Analysis – Slot 1

VARC was slightly easier than VARC of 2017. DI LR section too was generally reported to be easy. This was in stark contrast to the rather difficult DILR of last year. The QA Section was reported by many students as difficult.  Last year students had found QA rather easy.

The Process

The administrative process of the test in the first slot was mostly smooth with a few centers experiencing glitches.

As in the past the policy of no-shoes no metallic objects including metal jewelry prevailed. Only the admit card and the ID proof were allowed. Nothing else!

As in the previous year, the authorities took possession of the admit cards. The candidates were given a small pad with IIM CAT Logo on the cover (32 pages) for rough work and a pen – which were also taken away at the end of the exam.

So, one came out of the CAT with no proof of having appeared for the CAT except for good memories this time. We will go into the memories part a little later.. 

Test Interface

The test interface was exactly what IMS students are used to in the SimCATs and specifically in the PreCAT. In fact, the screen had the watermark of the text “CAT 2018 S1” followed by a unique code including the candidate’s registration number, very similar to what the students experienced in the IMS Pre-CAT 2018.

It was a very user friendly interface and exactly the one provided in the official CAT Mock Test.

There were no sub-divisions within each section. The VA-RC questions were NOT interspersed within the section. Questions 1 to 24 were RC. However, the different VA question types were shuffled.

Similarly the DI-LR questions were also NOT interspersed.

A simple calculator was provided, and not a scientific one. There was an arrow provided near the question palette which when clicked expanded the question window to full screen view by hiding the question palette & vice versa.

At the end of the test, a summary of number of questions attempted, visited and not visited was displayed for each section.

There was a button marked ‘Question Paper’ which opened up a screen containing all the questions of the section. This was used by students for planning their approach for the section.

CAT 2018 Exam Analysis Slot 1: Quant Toughest, DI LR Tricky

Overview of the Test

CAT 2018 in the first slot was an extremely student friendly test!

The overall structure of CAT 2018 was exactly similar to that of CAT 2017. The test started with the Verbal Section, which had 34 questions - 24 RC and 10 VA – 27 MCQs and 07 TITA.

The second section was the DI-LR with 32 questions. There were 8 TITA questions across 4 sets, while the rest of the 4 sets had only MCQs.

The third section was the Quantitative Ability section which also had 34 questions with 22 MCQs and 12 TITA questions.

Each section was timed for 60 minutes.

One could not go back and forth between sections.

The marking scheme was also similar to last year with +3 for every correct & -1 for incorrect answers for MCQs.

There was no negative marking for TITA questions. However since the ratio remains the same we do not see this as a major cause of concern.

Here is the break–up of questions section-wise:

Section No.

Section Name

Total Number of Questions

Number of MCQs

Number of TITA Questions


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension





Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning





Quantitative Ability








VA-RC Section

The VA-RC section was a replica of the CAT 2017 section in terms of question types. Grammar and Vocabulary questions were again conspicuous by their absence. RC had 4 passages with 5 questions & 1 passage with 4 questions - most of these questions were direct and could have been solved within the given time-limits. Generally IMS students have reported that as many as 16 questions were easy, and the remaining were Medium difficulty questions. However, the difference from the last year’s CAT was that there were about 5 questions which appeared like Critical Reasoning (or Application) questions, and unlike in the last year there were a couple of Contextual Vocabulary questions.

The length of the passages varied from 450 to 500 words/ 550 to 600 words and 750 to 800 words. This length of the passages was also a departure from the previous year CAT in which the maximum number of words was around 550.

Of the 10 VA questions, 7 were TITA and 3 MCQs.

3 Out-of-context sentence – TITA (Easy to Medium)

4 Paragraph Jumbles – TITA (Medium to Difficult). In paragraph Jumbles too students were pleasantly surprised to find only 4 sentences in each question instead of the usual 5 sentences, which made these questions refreshingly easy.

3 Paragraph summary/Author’s opinion questions – MCQs. (Easy to Medium) (With negative Marks)*

It was possible to attempt 28 to 30 questions which should give you a competitive score.

Overall the VARC section was easy – easier than 2017 CAT – and IMS students reported that the section posed no challenges at all and are confident of good scores.

DI-LR Section

The DI-LR section had a total of 8 sets with 4 questions in each set. There were 3 sets of Data Interpretation and 4 sets of Logical Reasoning while 1 set was a combination of DI and LR. There were 4 easy sets, 2 easy to moderate and 2 difficult sets.

Some of the sets were time consuming as they had questions which had additional information to be taken into account while solving. So Selection of the right sets to solve was key to a good performance in this section.

Just like last year, no Set was completely TITA - the TITA questions were dispersed across 4 individual sets with 2 TITA each. 4 sets were completely MCQ. There were a total of 8 TITA questions.

Overall the section was marginally easier as compared to last year slot 1. If you would have solved around 5 sets (18-20 questions) in this section with 85% accuracy, then you would be in the safe zone.

QA Section

This section was moderate to difficult. In fact as per student feedback it seems to be amongst the toughest QA section in recent years.

This section was dominated by Arithmetic with 14 questions  followed by Modern Math with 10 questions, Geometry with 6, with a couple of questions from Algebra and Numbers each.

There were 12 TITA questions this year

If one went through the entire section, there were only 8 to 10 sitters for the taking while 6-8 questions that made students sweat. An attempt of 19 to 21 questions in this section with 85% accuracy should be a good bet. 


The first slot of CAT 2018 has been reported to be more or less similar to last year with no surprises. No new question types were seen in any of the sections. An overall attempt of 68-70 questions with an accuracy of 85 percent should be classified as a good performance in this test.

IMS will soon put up a detailed analysis of the Slot 1, followed by Video Analysis of slot 1 & expected sectional and overall cut-offs based on both the slots. Watch out this space for more.

IMS students have found a great deal of similarity between the SimCATs and the CAT. Several students gave the feedback that the CAT appeared an extension of the SimCATs and the e-Maxmiser Workshops.

For more updates on CAT 2018 exam, keep visiting MBA section of!

Also Read

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