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AIMCAT Analysis - 1520


Your journey towards cracking CAT2014 begins with the AIMCAT1520. The path ahead would be filled with
many moments of exhiliration and probably some disappointment too. The key lies in using every AIMCAT
as an opportunity to learn and grow. Make many mistakes, it is your opportunity, experiment with strategy,
but do not repeat the mistakes.
We at T.I.M.E. would like to reiterate our promise of giving you the most challenging and enriching learning
experience one that would help you crack CAT2014 and get admission into the coveted Indian Institutes
of Management!!
So fasten your seat belts and enjoy this exhilarating roller coaster ride to CAT 2014.
The first AIMCAT was very similar to the actual CAT from the last season in terms of the overall difficulty
level and the style in which the questions are framed. There were a fair number of easy and moderate
difficulty questions with the higher difficulty questions interspersed throughout. Overall the QA section
tended on tricky, DI on confusing, VA on difficult and LR on easy. Given the early stages of preparation for
most students, the overall scores would tend to be on the lower side. It would be important to discuss a
few ground rules regarding your preparation here. But before that lets look at the sections in detail.
Section 1: Quantitative Aptitide and Data Interpretation
The first section of AIMCAT1520 can be rated to be somewhere between medium and difficult. It was very
much in line with the general level of the first section of the CAT2013 test with a good balance between
concept oriented and application based questions. Though the cut off is bound to be on the lower side, the
key to crossing the cut off in this section was to read every question thoroughly and identify those
questions that were amongst the simplest and then attempt them. Only after the simple questions were
dealt with, should one have tried one's hand at the more complicated questions. Most of the concept
oriented and direct questions were pretty simple and should have definitely been attempted. Some of
them were Q. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 8, 16, 17, 19, 25, 26 and 30. The three sets on DI were of moderate difficulty
and your ability to solve them would depend on how attentive you have been in class and if you have
solved the basic SM from the study material. The remaining questions were again not very difficult, and
familiarity with the topic(s) would have made all the difference.
Section 2 : Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning
The Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning section of AIMCAT1520 can be classified as 'moderate' in terms of
difficulty. However for many students for whom this was the first real 'test' the AIMCAT would have
seemed to be of a very high order of difficulty. This section was on the lines of what has been seen in the
CAT papers of recent years. There were three RC passages with a total of 11Qs; 3 Logic puzzles with 9Qs
and 10Qs from an assorted mix of Verbal Qs types.
This paper had a good mix of medium, difficult and few very difficult questions and the key to doing well
would be a judicious selection of Qs to attempt. The RC passage on 'Newton's Public Persona' seemed
simple to read but the questions were difficult. Given that the set had 4 questions, many a student would
have tried answering the set though. The RC passage on 'Philosophical problems of public identity' was a
blend of easy, medium and difficult problems. The third RC passage on 'Development of safer nuclear
power systems' was a tad difficult to read and the questions were difficult as well.
The Logic puzzles on '4 persons going to a party' and the '5 houses in a row' were sitters and should have
helped in clearing the cut-offs in this section. The Verbal Qs on paragraph jumbles and para completion
were tricky and could have induced errors from many students.
When you look at the performance analysis on your homepage, you will also observe a tab for cut-off(s) for
the sections as well as overall. The cut-offs are decided by pegging the score against the 85 - 90 %ile
mark. As you will observe, the cut-offs for the first few AIMCATs would be on the lower side before they
increase gradually as more students start writing the tests and the levels of preparation improve.
At this stage, many students would have apprehensions regarding how to approach the paper, how to
perform better, how to direct their preparation etc. The following suggestions will help you in the process -
1. Things to be kept in mind while writing a test
1. Solve the paper in iterations - Complete your first round solving only the easier questions. If
you think you can solve a question, but it may take time, leave it for the second round. You
can always come back. This way you make sure you have not missed out on the easier
questions which could have been placed at the end of the section and you do not overspend
time on the tougher questions. Depending on your comfort level you can target completing the
first round in anything from 40 to 60 min.
2. Order of questions doesn't really make a difference As long as you are solving the paper
in iterations, it doesn't really matter. Still, it is advisable not to begin the second section with
RC as your concentration tends to be lower at the start of the section. Similarly, one would
better avoid taking up a DI/LR set in the last couple of minutes lest one should not be able to
mark answers despite having got the logic right.
3. Avoid Fluke You need to be able to revisit your performance to get an exact idea on your
accuracy, level of proficiency on a topic etc. Flukes hurt. Also, they hardly ever help.
4. Do not end the test before time Please do not end the paper before time. DI can always be
figured out given ample time. With LA, the more time you spend, the better your accuracy will
be.
2. Way forward for preparation
1. Identify your strong areas and work on increasing your attemps and accuracy. If LA is your
stronghold, you should go a little slow with the questions and think from every perspective
before marking an answer. If QA is your USP work on identifying areas/topics where you need
to do better. Also, high accuracy is a function of attention to detail A Language question
needs to thought through from every perspective. A Quant problem demands careful
understanding of every possibility and the fine definitons of terms (positive integers vs non-
negative integer type). Analyse your performance. Solve every question again after the test
window is over to look for shortcuts/methods.
2. Have a clear plan for the weak areas, discuss it with faculty, stick to it and seek feedback.
For QA, solve the study material. Seek help from the faculty if you face any issue. Solve the
online sectional tests Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels. With LA, you need a 4
pronged strategy 1. Start reading. Anything you like will do to begin with. 2. Prepare notes
on how to solve various question types in VA. 3. Practice as many questions in Grammar as
you can. 4. Spend time with the cue-cards. The DI and LR sections are more a function of
practice. Once you have put sufficient hours into them, both your attempts and accuracy will
improve. Now would be a great time to solve the Basic SMs end-to-end.
In the end, every AIMCAT is an opportunity for you to identify your strengths and areas of improvement for
the ultimate objective of acing CAT-2014. Make the most of them.
All the best!