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SimCAT 4

Experts’ Take

SimCAT 4: The Experts’ Take

TEST OVERVIEW SimCAT 4 would have been a nice breather for most test takers. The cut offs reflect the fact that this would have been the best outing for most test takers and many would have felt good because of their score moving into a higher bracket. As we had said earlier, you will encounter papers of varying difficulty like the various slots in the CAT and your task will be to clear the cut offs each and every time. Section
QA DI VA LR Overall

Level of Difficulty
Medium Easy Medium

Expected Cut off 23 40 87

TEST TAKING STRATEGY Overall In order to clear the QA-DI cut-off, 11 questions could have been solved, with an accuracy of at least 80%. Similarly, to clear the cut-off for section 2, 18 questions could have been solved, with an accuracy of at least 80%. These questions have been identified below. Section

Must Solve Questions* 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 11 31, 36, 43, 45, 59, 60

Potential Score Improvers** 4, 6, 16, 28, 30 32,33, 34, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 48, 52, 56, 58

Total Qs 11 18

* Questions that have been attempted by a majority of the top 10 %ile students, with an accuracy of at least 80%. **Questions that have been attempted by a majority of the top 10 %ile students, with an accuracy of 50-80%. In order to clear the overall cut-off, 9 more questions would have to be solved, with an accuracy of at least 80%. These questions could have been questions 1, 18, 27, 29, 37, 40, 49, 55 and 57. These questions were of an easy or medium level of difficulty. Quantitative Aptitude SimCAT 4 was a good mix of easy, medium and difficult questions, with a majority of mediumlevel questions. As a thumb rule, in order to exploit the relatively easier questions in the paper, it is imperative to skim through all the questions, at least once, to identify the potential sitters.

Most . The problem: In the figure given below. ÐTQS = ÐCZT = 45° \ ÐCTP = 180°– 45°– 36° = 99° The above mentioned three questions were placed very early in the SimCAT. was attempted by only 37% students. mustdo question 18. it has been observed that there were very few takers for the geometry-based questions. surprisingly. By now it should be mentally calculated that ÐPQS = 45° & ÐCDE = 100° Considering DCDE is isosceles. of which 71% got it right.SimCAT 4 Experts’ Take Based on our analysis of all students’ performance in this test. Considering the attempts and strike rates for these relative easy geometry questions. direct-formula-application question. of which. Another telling observation was that less than 22% of the test-takers attempted the easy. Even most of the top-scorers in SimCAT 4 did not attempt this question. ABEDC is a regular pentagon and PQRS is a square. giving students enough time to crack them. yet again. This rings alarm bells. only 57% got it right. with an accuracy of 48%. an easy question based on the application of the Pythagoras theorem. Learning 1: Do not leave questions on the basis of topics One crucial piece of advice given by almost all the Experts’ Takes has been to ‘not leave questions based on certain topics’. Q C A P B E S Z T D R Consider line CE cuts line PT at point Z. The opening question of SimCAT 4 — a geometry-based question — had only 25% takers. it is strongly advised that students that think geometry questions are difficult should revisit their Geometry & Mensuration BRMs immediately. considering it is already SimCAT 4! Question 9. But. ÐECD = 36° Also considering alternate angles of parallel lines CE & QS. If the points C and Q are vertically above the points E and S respectively. Question 8. The top 10 %ile students got above 90% accuracy in both these questions and a majority of them attempted these too. there are a few things that you can learn. again a simple. geometry-based. then find the measure of ÐCTP. was attempted by merely 24% students.

are not left unattempted. It is extremely important that you study these discomforting topics so that you don’t lose out on solving such sitters. So. Hence. And in the same case. Let us tell you how you could have easily solved this question.SimCAT 4 Experts’ Take students who attempted this question got it right. It is known that each team will play 9 matches within its group and 8 matches outside its group. Taking unnecessarily long to arrive at the right answer will cost you a question that could have been attempted instead. Learning 2: Do not leave questions because they are lengthy Question 27 was attempted by about 25% of the test-takers and only about half of them got it right. could make all the difference in the final CAT. it is very necessary to go through all the questions so that relatively easier questions. This tells us that students tend to skip questions on logarithms. Q x A P B 200 m 250 m Initially. we would be counting it twice — once from each team’s perspective. their speeds are in the ratio 50:450 i. So. If the boy runs toward B. For all you know.e. Consider question 11 as an example. it is as important to solve them in the quickest possible manner as it is to get the right answer. . There could be two possible reasons for low attempts here: A) B) it is a lengthy question (it takes relatively more time to read it) or the question is placed at nearly the end of section. Questions can be solved a lot quicker by using a logicbased approach. the bus would travel 450m more. But the question is certainly not as difficult as the statistics indicate. many students would have read this question when the time left was very less. Learning 3: Use logic to solve a question Very often. Thus. This means that each of the 12 teams will play a total of 17 matches. or they may not have read it at all. that very question could give you the competitive edge you seek. the total number of matches would be 12*17/2 = 102. 1:9. Therefore. Not attempting questions only because of the topic. the time taken by the boy to run 50 m = the time taken by the bus to travel 450m. which are placed at the end. which may not be the best way to tackle a problem. While solving questions. assume that the boy and the bus are at points P and Q respectively. he would travel 50 m more than if he runs toward A. so when we count a match. Also they will be playing against each other. students try solving a question by using a formula based approach.

It is important to realize that the pay off in vocabulary is extremely high. you would have fared much better. that in your attempt to solve a question quickly. If you had been improving your vocabulary regularly. after considering that the wire can be cut only from one end. The answer to this question can easily be arrived at in the following way. These questions did not put forth difficult or esoteric words. and one was of a medium level of difficulty. students’ accuracy goes out the window. This held true for even those students that constituted the top 10 %ile. by 40% of the test takers. the cut could be from either end making the probability (2+2)/6 = 2/3. Verbal Ability In SimCAT 4. It is a good idea to look for the easiest DI set amongst sets. This reiterates the point about not losing your focus and not missing out on sitters because of silly mistakes. We suspect that this is exactly what many students did while solving question 4. Possibly. The last set (questions 28-30) which was actually a sitter was left out. which were actually more solvable than questions 12-14 but were barely attempted by 15% students.SimCAT 4 Experts’ Take You should take care. Possibly because many students would have marked 1/3 as the answer. you don’t overlook small details and make silly mistakes. surprisingly. So 120 could eat both kulfi and and gulab jamuns. The questions take very less time to answer and the skill required mostly is knowing the basic meanings of the words. those who attempted these got most questions correct. many students divided 240 in the ratio of 1:2 and marked the answer as 80. without using a pen: The number of people who ate gulab jamuns is more than the number of people who ate kulfi. one was difficult. 54 and 55) proved that when the going gets tough. 47. on an average. Out of the top-10-percentile students. Data Interpretation Learning 4: Always pick the easiest DI set first It has been observed over the last two years that one DI set in the CAT exam was always a sitter (and solvable within 3-4 minutes). The overall accuracy for 4 of these questions was less than 25 %. The former will be maximized when all the people eat gulab jamuns. Many students got question 17 wrong too. which was a very easy question but. however. indicating that this section was relatively easy. This tells us three things: . Actually. was solved incorrectly by most students. the cut-off for this section has been markedly higher than it was in the previous SimCATs. Many students tried attempting DI questions 12-14 (more than half of you attempting the first question) which was the toughest. This would not take more than 60-90 seconds per set. In the process. 38. Half of them could also eat kulfi. An analysis of students’ performance in the verbal reasoning and grammar questions (questions 37. The low percentage attempts and accuracy for questions 39 and 40 reiterated students’ lack of preparation in vocabulary. tests takers even left out questions 19-21.

You also need to develop cast-iron stomachs for becoming comfortable with reading and comprehending challenging text and ideas. do not guess. So when you finding it really difficult to zero in on an answer to a VA question. Even when you are caught just between 2 options. For example. An exception to this is Question 57. Data-heavy questions are not necessarily tough. there is no rule which says that you MUST answer all questions in an RC passage. to developing a sense of the language and imbibing the essence of the syntax. even if they are not quite sure of why the option they have chosen is correct. which although easy. You need go beyond mugging up basic grammatical rules. it makes a lot of sense to be open with your VA strategy. it is advised that students remain sharp till the very end of the paper and also that they do not panic after looking at the amount of data given in a question. question your logic before deciding to mark an answer. but that shouldn’t hinder your speed and understanding in any way. 2. . with an accuracy of 48%. as it comes at the end of the section. since the odds are not in favour of you getting it right. The top 10 %ile students’ report was almost identical. has not been attempted by many. Another possible reason could be the large amount of data in the question. One possible reason could be the placement of the question. with only 20 % accuracy. there is only a 50% chance of getting it right. Some strange profligacy afflicts most test takers as far as VA is concerned. Logical Reasoning SimCAT 4 had relatively easier LR sets. very stringently. Just because you spend 1 minute reading a question does not mean that you have to somehow mark an answer. Good test taking is as much about avoiding negatives as it is about scoring. In SimCAT 4. So. Most test takers are happy attempting. Questions 49 and 55 dealt with easy-tospot prepositional errors. You need to.SimCAT 4 Experts’ Take 1. Also. You may never have been interested in reading about ‘post-medieval perceptions of individual liberty and their impact on the role and profession of residential domestic servants’ or ‘the differences between Roman and Mediterranean architecture’. It seems that students are very trigger-happy when it comes to verbal ability. 63% of the test takers attempted question 50. which most students do not prepare themselves for. test takers attempted 13 out of the 20 VA questions. most of which have been generously attempted with a decent accuracy. on average. 3.

For best results. You shall not have unread questions at the end of 70 minutes. 7. 5. You shall not try to fill up empty DI LR tables without looking at what the question is asking. start using them straight away. 3. You shall not put pen on paper unless required. 4. 8. You shall not make wild guesses in VA. 10. 2. 9. 6. if it is tougher for you it is tougher for everyone else. You shall not leave a question based on its length. All the Best! . the mind is mightier than the pen. You shall not multiply and divide using methods taught in school. You shall not panic. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 1.SimCAT 4 Experts’ Take MISCELLANY We thought we should put together a sort of a list of Dos and Don’ts of test taking that you should try to incorporate into your preparation. You shall not leave a question based on its area. You shall not read entire RC passages twice. You shall not go unprepared and expect a miracle.