CAT 2017 Analysis – Slot 1 – Career Launcher

CAT 2017 Exam Pattern

CAT 2017 was similar to the CAT 16 in terms of the paper format. The difficulty level, however, was different. VARC continued to be easy, DILR was arguably the most difficult in the CAT history with almost all sets based on reasoning. QA was easier and like CAT 2015 in level and marginally easier than 2016. On first impressions, an overall raw score of around 160 should fetch a student a 99%ile in CAT 2017. LRDI will not be the deciding factor as the different the marks difference would not be great between a topper and an average student because of the difficulty level. QA, however, will have a wide variation in marks as the section was easy and would be the deciding factor. The overall structure of the CAT paper was as follows:

Section No. of Questions No. of non-MCQ questions Difficulty Level Good Attempts
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 34 7 Easy-moderate 26-27
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 32 7 Difficult 12-14
Quantitative Ability 34 7 Easy-Moderate 25-26
Total 100  21 63-67


CAT 2017 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Analysis

The section was similar to CAT 2016 with the exception that the passage summary questions were MCQ instead of TITA. So the total MCQs were 27 and TITA were 7.

Reading Comprehension

There were 5 RC passages in all. Three of them had 6 questions each, whereas the remaining two had 3 questions each. A couple of passages were from familiar areas, like Economics and Culture. Even the passages from areas like Biology were easy to read for someone who does not belong to that background but is otherwise well read.

The questions were spread over different varieties. There were 3 questions that were information based and could easily be answered by every diligent reader.  However, a majority of the questions tested an aspirant’s ability to interpret the passage thoroughly. A couple of questions also tried to gauge a deeper understanding of the structure of the passage. Three questions in the exam were inferential in nature. On the whole, six RC questions were easy; and six questions had very close answer choices making them difficult. The remaining 18 questions were easy to moderate for those who have practised the CL mocks.

Verbal Ability

The questions in Verbal Ability were dominated by Verbal Logic and did not carry any negative marking, though they needed prior practice to aim for a high percentile. The paper had 4 non-MCQ subjective para-jumble questions which were difficult. These questions should have been attempted at the end, allocating time to them only if one was through with the other question types. There were 3 non-MCQ TITA Paragraph Odd Man Out questions. Even these questions had close options making them moderate to difficult. Additionally, the section had 3 summary questions. These questions, unlike the previous two years, were MCQ based and thus carried negative marking. Two of these questions can be termed easy whereas one was easy to moderate primarily because of the subject matter and language used.

With a moderate level of paper, many students ended up attempting quite a few questions from RC passages and all the Summary based questions. As the non-MCQs didn’t have any negative marking, a student could have guessed an additional three questions.

All in all, for a 95+an attempt of 21-23 will be good for this section.  An attempt of 26-27 was required for a 99 percentile.



Area Topic No. of Questions Description
Reading Comprehension
(24 Questions)
Reading Comprehension 24 There were total 5 passages – three 6 question passages (539-600 words in length) and two 3-question passages (299 and 363 words each). No passage can be termed very challenging to read. The difficulty level of the passages varied from easy to moderate. Any serious aspirant could have easily attempted around 18 questions with about 75% accuracy.
Verbal Ability
(10 Questions)
Para-jumble 4 5 Sentence type. All the four questions were difficult. There were many ambiguous sentences too. Hence, a student should have been careful in time management. The questions could have led to wastage of time. The four questions should have been attempted in around 6 minutes with two correct answer.
Summary (MCQ Based) 3 Small paragraph of about 100 words followed by four options. Elimination of options made the task easy. Only one question had a challenging text. The other two were easy.
Para-jumble (Odd sentence out) 3 5 sentence paragraphs and one was the odd sentence. These questions were moderate to difficult.


CAT 2017 Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Analysis

In this section two sets were easy (Survey of students, Burgers and Fries) Routes between two cities, flight operations and Square matrix of pillar heights were of medium difficulty level. A couple of sets had 1 question each which were difficult to crack and students would have been wise to leave those questions out. Calculation wasn’t much required in the DI sets. Logical reasoning questions were easy-moderate level of difficulty. 3 – 4 sets in this section could be attempted, so to get a 99%ile a score of 35-37 (raw score).


Section Topic No. of Questions Doable
Data Interpretation Happiness index- difficult 4 2
Matrix- moderate 4 3
Routes – moderate 4 2
 Flight operation – Moderate 4 2
Logical Reasoning Projects – Difficult 4 1-2
Burgers/Fries – Easy 4 4
Children survey – Easy 4 4
PCM – difficult 4 1


Picking sets was the key. In general, students would have picked 4 sets out of the 8 above and thus doable questions would be around 12-14.

CAT 2017 Quantitative Ability Analysis

There were 34 questions of QA. There were 7 Questions of Non-MCQ type and the rest were MCQs. The difficulty level was lower than that of CAT 2016 and similar to CAT 2015. The questions were designed to test the grasp of basic fundamentals. Two thirds of the questions were from Algebra and Arithmetic. In some of MCQs, options were very helpful to get the answer. 6-7 questions were from Geometry and Mensuration, more than the previous year. Modern Maths had 3 questions, one included Geometry.

Section Topic No. of Questions Doable
Quantitative Ability Number System 4 4
Algebra 10-11 8-10
Arithmetic 11 7-9
Modern Math 2 2
Geometry and Mensuration 6-7 4-5


Questions in Algebra were focused on Inequalities and Quadratic Equations. Arithmetic questions were focused on Profit Loss and TSD. There were a good number of questions from Geometry with one question from including Modern Math as well. 25-26 attempts with 90% accuracy would be needed for 99%ile.

Please Note: All information on analysis and scores are based on the accuracy of attempts provided by you as well as independent analysis and evaluation made by Career Launcher Academic Team. We do not take responsibility for any decision that might be taken, based on this information.

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ARKS Srinivas

ARKS Srinivas is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and has been the All India CAT Director at TIME. He is currently the National Head for MBA Prep at Career Launcher.


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