New VARC question stumps candidates as CAT 2022 held across India

This year the test was conducted in three 120-minute slots staggered throughout the day- forenoon(8:30 am - 10:30 am), afternoon(12:30 pm - 2:30 pm), and evening(4:30 pm to 6:30 pm).

Aditi AlurkarUpdated: Monday, December 19, 2022, 05:28 PM IST
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Mumbai: Administered by India's premiere Business schools, the IIMs, Common Admission Test(CAT) 2022 was conducted in more than 150 cities this Sunday, November 27.  

This year the test was conducted in three 120-minute slots staggered throughout the day- forenoon(8:30 am - 10:30 am), afternoon(12:30 pm - 2:30 pm), and evening(4:30 pm to 6:30 pm). These three slots proved that the exam is still a significant aptitudinal challenge for thousands of aspirants.

In line with the previous year, CAT 2022 consisted of 66 questions, divided into three sections- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability(QA).

New VARC question makes an already difficult section, tougher

In an unexpected move for the students, the exam introduced a new VARC question for all 3 slots, wherein students were asked to add the given sentence appropriately in a paragraph presented to them.

The usual problem of ‘finding the odd one out was omitted in this annual CAT session, making VARC a game changer for the aspirants. "This change caught me off-guard. I had to skip the entire set with these questions to keep pace. I was also running the risk of negative marking as the questions were presented in an MCQ format," said a Mumbai student.

This year, there has been a noticeable increase in the level of difficulty of the VARC section as well, stated MBA aspirants. “Questions from Reading Comprehension were tough and it took me nearly 7 minutes to complete that question, which is a lot when you are giving CAT," said Vrushti Shah.

Quant section leaves students divided

The Quantitative or ‘quant’ section led to a rife debate between students as slot 2 presented the toughest QA problems, whereas the other two had it much easier.

“I have attempted several mocks and have gone through the previous question papers. Compared to all of them, the QA section was tougher, it was not possible to attempt every single question. The general sentiment is that slot 2 seems to be more difficult than what we heard of slot 1," said Vidyanshu Shekhar, a B-school aspirant.

DILR section a more convenient puzzle for candidates

The DILR section varied for all three slots, ranging from moderately tough for slots 1 and 3, to comparatively more straightforward caselets in slot 2. The section presented variations in the number of non-MCQ problems. The second and first slots had a relatively high number of non-MCQ questions, which were negligible in the third slot.

11% increase in CAT registration in 2022

As per the norm, three points are awarded for every correct answer, whereas one point is deducted for each mistake. 

CAT is held annually at the national level with nearly 5000 MBA/PGDM seats up for grabs. The value of this examination has remarkedly increased since the pandemic hiatus. “The CAT registration this year is more than 2.56 lakh. There is an 11% increase in CAT registration compared to last year,” CAT Convenor Ashis Mishra said while speaking to the Free Press Journal in early November 2022.

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