CAT 2020 Slot 1 Review: 76 Qs, Tougher than 2019, DILR and VARC Time Consuming, Ideal Attempts 50+

CAT 2020 Slot 1 Review

CAT2020 is being conducted under the COVID Pandemic in 430 centers across 156 cities with 2.27 Lakh aspirants. Social distancing and COVID guidelines being strictly followed across centers so please reach on time with all the 7 essential items with you. CAT 2020 has been the year of surprises. Cut offs may vary a lot this time in CAT 2020 result. In the exam, the biggest change was the reduction in time of CAT from 3 Hours to 2 Hours. The shortening of exam duration impacted the paper pattern too in the following manner –

Revealing the CAT 2020 exam pattern

SectionNo of Questions
VARC26 Questions
DILR24 Questions
QA26 Questions

Overall the exam was Tough as compared to 2019 with DILR and VARC both being Time consuming and lengthy. 

CAT 2020 tested students on Speed, Logic and Analytical skills. A sincere student with well rounded preparation across three sections would make their way to the IIMs . CAT tested students on their actual knowledge instead of mere guesswork.

It was an exam with the twist , Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section was really difficult and time consuming.

We saw the changes in Reading comprehension passages with 5 Questions and DI LR Sets with 6 Questions. But this would not affect the overall criteria for a student selection in IIMs.

Negative marking existed for the Multiple choice questions; 1/3rd ie 0.33 negative marks. Type in The answer Questions didn’t have any negative marking similar to the CAT 2019. 

The exam was not very difficult, it was manageable provided your concepts were clear. CAT has always been an ardent lover of concepts and logic than calculations, speed and time when compared to other competitive exams.

CAT 2020 Slot 1 Review – Feedback from some of the students after the CAT 2020:

“The paper was overall easy, pretty much similar to CAT2019. Thankfully the verbal section went off well to kickstart the exam on a good note. What was surprising was to see no conventional data interpretation questions like the tables, graphs and pie charts. The exam has been as per the expectations so hoping to get good results and making all proud. Awaiting for IIM-A” – Harshit

“The paper was very structured but lengthy and time crunching. VARC was time consuming with concerns with the inference based questions in all Reading comprehensions not many factual questions. LR/DI was the trick section set selection was the key so now let’s hope for the best.” – Sabuj

“A not very tough paper, overall moderate with verbal coming only from 3 areas of RC, parajumbles and inference based questions. DI was time consuming but manageable. Overall moderate difficulty level so hoping for some good result” – Sarthak

CAT 2020 Slot 1 Review – Sectional Analysis

Overall Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

VARC (26 Questions): Reading comprehension was dominated in the verbal section. There were two passages with 5 Questions remaining all had 4 questions in each passage. More inference based questions and not factual. There were a lot of author based questions.

Parajumbles were tough. 3 questions on Parajumbles, 3 Questions on Parasummary, 2 Questions on Odd one Out.

Summary of Questions

Reading Comprehension18 Questions
Verbal Ability08 Questions

DILR 24 Questions: LR/DI being Tough, lengthy and time consuming with having a variation with 2 Sets coming with 6 questions each and 3 sets with 4 Questions each. Here the success mantra was the set selection as the 6 questions sets were the toughest and time consuming, so the students should first wrap up the easy ones and grab a good base and then move to the trickier ones.

Summary of Questions

DILR Sets with 6 Questions2 Sets = 12 Questions
DILR Sets with 4 Questions3 Sets=12 Questions

Quants 26 Questions: Quants was the easiest out of the three sections with direct formula application and concept based questions dominated by arithmetic and little Geometry and algebra. There was no need for having a lot of shortcuts and tricks, your solving speed and your temperament to understand what the question is asking was the main focus. The Questions based on the Venn diagram were tough. Arithmetic dominated the paper then algebra and numbers, geometry saw a lesser visibility with just 3-4 questions and modern maths was negligent in the paper.

Summary of Questions:

Arithmetic10 Questions
Algebra08 Questions
Numbers05 Questions
Geometry03 Questions

CAT 2020 Slot 1 Review – Ideal Attempts

Keeping the new pattern in focus a 99%ile would be an Ideal Attempts 50+ with 90% accuracy 

Overall a happy day for students who know their basics and have preached their books with building conceptual clarity and like Rahul Sir always says “Success comes to those who work for it. Keep working hard and you will see the results !” The exams in terms of difficulty level were very close to our Real CAT Exams and closest to RC 18. 

For an in-depth analysis on each section, overall cut-off, which colleges to apply and how to gear up ahead stay tuned to the CATKing Youtube Channel.

Those going in for Slot 2 and 3, Stay confident you know your stuff and just give the best shot at it. Would recommend all students to relax, chill and take a break. You have worked real hard for the exam and done your best. Now let the karma play its role, party tonight and come back with a bang for the series of exams lined up ahead, one day one exam can never give an idea about one’s aptitude nor decide your career path. So stay glued and keep rocking !

All the Best to all MBA Aspirants! Punch in your thoughts and concerns and we shall sort you up.

Analysis By:

Rahul Singh ( Director CATKing ) – CATKing is a premier MBA Coaching institute of Maharashtra which  focuses on strategic, engaging and high quality education (

Brief Profile of the Author:

Education :

  • Harvard Business School (SPNM)
  • MBA :SP Jain Institute of Management &  Research 
  • Master of Information Technology, Virginia Tech

TEDx Speaker at IIM Calcutta and NMIMS inspiring young minds on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership

  • Awarded Best Online CAT Coaching in India 2020
  • Awarded Leader in Digital Engagement Strategy  Consulting (Engage7x) 2019
  • Awarded Management Coaching Institute Of the Year – Entrepreneur India Education Congress 2018 
  • Awarded Coaching Institute Of the year 2017 – Higher Education Review
  • Published in Harvard Business School’s “The 20 Years of Impact” across the Global
  • Digital  Entrepreneur of the Year  Awarded for Skill Development & Employability by Times Network, Digital India Summit 2016
  • Social Entrepreneur Award 2015 by Entrepreneurs India

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