Barring Quant, a shortened CAT 2020 turns out slightly more difficult

Barring a few stray cases of social distancing norms being reportedly violated, aspirants found the test being conducted with safety measures intact
A shortened Common Admission Test (CAT) 2020 turned out to be a tad more difficult for aspirants in varying degree across the three slots conducted on Sunday, November 29. 

Gateway to the 20 premier Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and over 110 non-IIM B-schools, the computer-based entrance test is usually divided into three sections, including Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA). Of these, aspirants and CAT experts found VARC and DILR to be a bit more difficult than previous year across slots.

While CAT aspirant Gavin Wagh found the paper "overall moderate with QA being difficult in the second slot, Sarthak Mehta found DILR a bit tough and lengthier than before. Each of the three sections were allotted 40 minutes with 26 questions in VARC, 24 in DILR and 26 in QA. 

According to CAT experts, the level of difficulty varied from slot to slot.

"Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension this year were slightly more difficult than that of last year in the morning slot and grew even more difficult in the afternoon slot. This is because of two factors including higher level of difficulty of the questions and reduced time for answering questions. The DILR was of higher difficulty level compared to that of CAT 2019. While there were at least two easy-moderate sets last year, this year provided only one such set. All the other sets were challenging and there were no low hanging fruits among these sets," said Ramnath Kanakadandi, National CAT course director, T.I.M.E.

On the other hand, Vijitha Kamath - Product Head - Verbal Ability, Endeavor Careers found that not only were the arrangements smooth with Covid 19 regulations strictly observed, the test also did not throw major surprises in terms of number of questions and types of questions.

Unlike the DILR and VARC, QA section was a relief after two heavy sections this year, Kanakadandi added.

This year, CAT 2020 was held at 430 centres in 159 cities, up from 376 centres in 156 cities in two sessions last year. In an attempt to maintain social distancing norms amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the entrance paper was held in three sessions, starting from 8:30 am to 10:30 am, followed by 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm unlike three hour test across two sessions in previous years. As a result, number of questions were also reduced from 100 to 76 this year.

Meanwhile, barring a few stray cases of social distancing norms being reportedly violated, aspirants found the test being conducted with safety measures intact.

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