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Technical glitches & tough data interpretation section troubles candidates in CAT 2017

CAT 2017 was held on November 26, 2017 by IIM Lucknow in two sessions for the candidates seeking admissions to IIMs. Around 2.3 Lakh candidates appeared for the exam. However, the students furiously reported that there were some technical glitches due to which they could not appear in Slot I at a Delhi center. The server was not working due to which about 200 candidates were not able to attend CAT as per their schedule.

Also, the students pointed that Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI) section in the paper was the toughest. Many of the questions from this section remained unsolved. However, the Quantitative Analysis (QA) section of the paper was much easier than expected. The students expressed their disappointment with the exam authority as they didn’t expect such sudden and drastic changes in the exam pattern.

Technical Glitches in CAT 2017

CAT 2017 was conducted by IIM Lucknow. About 200 candidates were not able to take the test in Slot I at the Kalkaji center of Delhi due to an unexpected server problem.

CAT 2017 was scheduled to be conducted at 140 test cities in India in two slots – forenoon and afternoon. The forenoon session or Slot I was scheduled for 9 AM to 12 noon while the afternoon session or Slot II was scheduled from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

Around 250 students were supposed to take the Slot I exam at the Kalkaji center. However, only around 60 students were able to attempt the exam here and the remaining candidates had to appear for the exam in Slot II at some other exam center.

Students complained that this incident deviated their mind and they were not able to attempt the exam with full concentration. They also refer this as an example of poor management by the exam organizing committee. IIM Lucknow, the exam conducting authority, however stated that the test was conducted in a smooth manner.

Unexpected Difficulty Level of LRDI Section

CAT exam is divided into three sections:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) containing 34 questions for 102 marks
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI) containing 32 questions for 96 marks
  • Quantitative Ability (QA) containing 34 questions for 102 marks

Candidates were allotted 60 minutes for each section. They could not switch between the sections, so they had to complete one before beginning with the other. Negative marking was also applicable for each incorrect attempt.

The students complained that the test was more challenging than ever expected. They were unable to attempt all questions even after putting up their best efforts. The questions were quite time consuming and even not much clear. The LRDI section of CAT 2017 was claimed to be the toughest this time.

LAll the questions in this section ranged from difficult to very difficult. Some of the questions were even very conspicuous and unfamiliar. In fact, many students said that it was almost impossible to classify and identify the questions related to logical reasoning and data interpretation separately in this section.

Candidates often attempt the easiest section, i.e. LRDI first in order to secure good marks through less time consuming questions. However, the difficulty pattern was absolutely different this time.

Analysis of LRDI Section

We have analyzed and reviewed the LRDI section of CAT 2017 based on the feedback shared by candidates and experts. This section carries the lowest weightage amongst all the three sections in CAT. However, it was found to be the toughest section in the exam as compared to CAT 2016.

The Data Interpretation questions are mainly related to tables, bar graphs, charts, line graph. The Logical Reasoning questions are based on the topics such as arrangements and blood relations. Experts say that all the eight sets of papers in CAT 2017 were not direct at all and were much more time consuming.

Most of the questions in all these sets were reasoning based. The cutoff for this section is expected to go quite down as compared to 2016 and previous years because of the higher level of difficulty. Refer to the following statistics:

  • Total number of questions: 32
  • Total number of MCQs: 24
  • Total number of Non-MCQ: 8
  • Overall difficulty level: Difficult

Well, it was a bit disappointing to see the reactions of students on CAT 2017 because of technical glitches at the exam centers and also the differing difficulty levels in various sections. However, consider the fact that the difficulty level even being higher, was similar for all the candidates. And hence in such a case, all the students might have faced problems in attempting the LRDI section questions. So the marking in this sections will be lower for all the students and there would not be much impact on your percentile. Good luck!

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