With a change in the exam conducting body this year, it is fair to assume that CAT 2021 might see some significant changes. These changes may range from the exam date to number of test sessions to the actual pattern of the paper. Candidates looking forward to appearing in CAT 2021 should be flexible in their approach and be able to adjust to anything unexpected that CAT 2021 throws at them.
Trend Shift in Previous Years
What makes CAT one of the toughest entrance exams in the country is that it is almost impossible to anticipate anything about it. One prepares for CAT with the hope that there’s no unusual surprise for them in store, which leaves them baffled. Yet, over the year, CAT has seen varying changes in the pattern and structure of the exam, as also the marks allocation and time duration. Though, it is easy to predict the sections into which the exam is divided, there may be significant changes in any or all of the following:
- Number of questions
- Level of difficulty
- Number of Test Centres and Test Sessions
- Process followed to bring diversity
- Unexpected types of questions
- Number of MCQs and Non-MCQs
For the 4 years, that is, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, the basics remained similar, for instance, the exam comprised 100 questions, divided into 3 sections, to be done within 180 minutes. 2015 saw a lot of significant changes being made to the CAT paper. The exam shifted to computerized mode for the first time. Non-MCQ or TITA questions were introduced, on screen calculator was allowed and the duration of the exam changed to 180 minutes.
Likely Pattern of CAT 2021
The exam will be held in 28 November 2021. Although the basic structure of the exam shall remain the same, there may be a few changes in the type of questions and the scoring pattern for instance. CAT 2021 continues to be a computer based exam, comprising 100 questions divided into 3 sections, namely:
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
- Quantitative Ability
Out of the total 100 questions, 70-75 multiple type questions shall carry negative marking, while the rest 25-30 non-multiple type questions shall not be negatively marked. Each correct answer will get 3 marks and for every wrong answer one mark shall be deducted.
Besides the basics that are likely to remain consistent, CAT 2021 might see some changes, if the trends of past years are any indication.
- Some questions that are non-MCQs will require answers to be typed on the computer.
- Candidates are likely to be allotted 60 minutes to attempt each section and must complete one section before switching to the next one. They can’t switch between sections.
- Quant section is likely to be given more weightage to maintain fairness.
- The DILR section can be complicated to test the candidates’ intelligence and sharpness.
- Candidates will be allowed to use on-screen calculator for their calculations.
- As the number of CAT aspirants is likely to go up, the testing window is expected to be 2 days.
- There are likely to be 140 cities across the country, where CAT 2021 will be conducted.
Candidates can expect CAT 2021 to be quite similar to last years’ paper. However, they must brace themselves for unpredictable changes to the paper.
Stay tuned for all the latest updates regarding CAT 2020 exam.