CAT & GRE

What is CAT?

It is a national-level management entrance exam; it is a common aptitude test that is a gateway to IIMs and other Indian B-schools. IIM conducts it in the month of November in online mode. The exam is held in two slots and the question paper comprises 100 MCQs from Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, data interpretation & logical reasoning and quantitative ability. The overall score is based on the candidate's performance in each section. There is no age limit for this test but there are qualification criteria. The test taker should be graduated with at least 50 percentages though final year of graduate student can apply. Other than graduation, holder of the professional degree, CA/ CS/ ICWA with required percentage is allowed. Test takers belong to special category require 45 percentages. The score of the test is given in percentiles, Hence there are two types of scores involved: a raw score and a scaled score. The raw score is calculated for each section based on the number of questions one answered correctly, incorrectly, or left un-attempted. Candidates are given +3 points for each correct answer and -1 point for each incorrect answer. No points are given for questions that are not answered. The raw scores are then adjusted through a process called equating. Equated raw scores are then placed on a common scale or metric to ensure appropriate interpretation of the scores. This process is called scaling. Different colleges have different cut off, even though it ranges 80 to 90 percentiles in common.

Course Overview

Duration: 3 hours
Number of questions: 100
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC): 24+10 questions, 60 minutes
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR): 32 questions, 60 minutes
Quantitative Ability (QA): 34 questions, 60 minutes

Short Look About The Topics:

  1. VARC is the first section that is given with the duration of 60 minutes. It has two parts: VA (verbal ability) + RC (reading comprehension). VA consists of 10 questions in which Para-Jumbles, Para-Summary, Sentence Completion & Correction, Odd Sentences and few others are tested. The RC consists of 24 questions based on passages that range from 600 to 900 words. The questions of the passages are based on three types: Fact-based, Inference-based and Vocabulary-based. The topics are from science, history, politics, environment, society to literature, mythology etc. the number of passages is 6 in which average 3-4 long passages and 2-3 short passages. Short passage contains 4 questions and long passage contains 6 questions on an average.
  2. DILR consists of 32 questions that are divided in two parts: 16 DI and 16 LR. DI consists of case-lets and tables. These case-lets have data in the form of bar graphs, column graphs, Venn diagrams, lines and pie charts. In short it is test of data interpretation of given data. In the logical section, questions from seating arrangement, blood relations, syllogisms, direction sense test, and other puzzles are included.
  3. There are 34 questions in QA. The topic, QA covers are: Algebra, number system, arithmetic, modern maths, and geometry. The arithmetic questions in QA are from Class X level based on tricks. Geometry questions are rule based. Algebra and Trigonometry may be used in conjunction with other topics. Sequence and Series is a topic which is occasionally tested.

What is GRE?

It is one of the world’s largest assessment programs for graduate admissions. It is a multiple-choice, computer-based, standardized exam though there is paper based too that is called the Paper-delivered GRE General Test. It is offered up to two times a year in areas of the world where computer-delivered testing is not available on the other hand a computer-delivered test is offered year-round. Its scores are accepted at thousands of graduate programs as well as master and doctorate degrees globally. Students who are seeking admission in Computer Science & Engineering colleges abroad for admissions can go for GRE, even many top Business schools and various law schools outside of Indian accepts its scores.

Types of GRE Tests

Subject Test and General Test. The Subject Test evaluates the candidates’ ability on a particular subject such as Mathematics, Literature (English), Physics and Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry (Cell and Molecular Biology). Generally, this test is required for getting admission to specialized courses. GRE General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills. The content of the GRE consists of certain specific algebra, geometry, arithmetic, and vocabulary sections. There is no age limit set for candidates wanting to appear for their GRE exam, even it has not announced any official statement regarding qualification required to appear for GRE. However, candidates are expected to possess a graduate degree in any discipline from a recognized university. There must be a valid passport. It is a Multi-Stage Test. Performance of first section determines next level difficulty in both Verbal and Quant. Score depends on number of correct answers to the questions. The score ranges from 130 to 170 in both VR and QR. The Final score is averaged, but it does not include AW. The Analytical Writing Assessment is scored from 0 to 6. The score is valid for five years.

Course Overview

Duration: 4 hours (approximately)
Number of sections: 6
AW (analytical writing): number of task: 1, 30 minutes
VR (verbal reasoning): number of sections: 2, 30 minutes each section
QR (quantitative reasoning): number of sections: 2, 35 minutes each section
Experimental or Un-scored: number of task: 1, 30 or 35 minutes
Optional Break: 12 Minutes

Let us have a short Note topic wise:

Analytical Writing (AW)

VARC is the first section that is given with the duration of 60 minutes. It has two parts: VA (verbal ability) + RC (reading comprehension). VA consists of 10 questions in which Para-Jumbles, Para-Summary, Sentence Completion & Correction, Odd Sentences and few others are tested. The RC consists of 24 questions based on passages that range from 600 to 900 words. The questions of the passages are based on three types: Fact-based, Inference-based and Vocabulary-based. The topics are from science, history, politics, environment, society to literature, mythology etc. the number of passages is 6 in which average 3-4 long passages and 2-3 short passages. Short passage contains 4 questions and long passage contains 6 questions on an average.

Argument Task

It is an argument that is a series of facts and considerations leading to a conclusion and the test taker is asked to write an essay that critiques the argument. Test expects to consider the argument's logic and to make suggestions about how to improve the logic of the argument. It is also hoped to address the logical flaws of the argument and not provide a personal opinion on the subject in 30 minutes.

Verbal Reasoning (VR)

It is a test of the ability to analyze written material, as well as relationships among component parts of sentences, including words and concepts. The questions appear in several formats. It assesses reading comprehension, critical reasoning, and vocabulary usage. Each verbal section consists of 20 questions to be completed in 30 minutes. The section consists of about 6 text completion, 4 sentence equivalence, and 10 critical reading questions.

Text Completion : It asks to fill in the blank to complete sentences. Variations include 1-, 2-, and 3-blank questions. Time per question is given about 1–1.5 minutes. Knowledge of vocabulary helps solving such questions.

​Sentence Equivalence: It requires filling in a single blank with two choices that create two coherent sentences that are logically similar in meaning. Time per question is given about 1 minute.

​Reading Comprehension : it is based on passages of one or more paragraphs that develop an explanation or argument on a topic. It expects to get central ideas presented in the text and the structure of a text, research details in the passage and draw valid inferences from it. The questions require strategic reading and paraphrasing skills. The average of 1–3 minutes on reading a passage and 1 minute per question is given.

Quantitative Reasoning (QR)

This section tests basic quantitative skills, as well as the ability to reason and solve problems with quantitative methods. The questions cover basic arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. It assesses basic high school level mathematical knowledge and reasoning skills. Each quantitative section consists of 20 questions. Each quantitative section consists of about 8 quantitative comparisons, 9 problem solving items, and 3 data interpretation questions.

​Quantitative Comparison: This section expects to compare two quantities—Quantity A and Quantity B—and to identify the relationship between the two. Problem Solving

Problem Solving: The questions are standard multiple-choice questions, with five choices and one correct answer. Variants include questions that ask to select one or more answers from a list of choices (multiple-choice all-that-apply) and questions that ask to enter the answer in a box.

Experimental section

It can be either verbal or quantitative and contains new questions that are considered to be used in future. The score is not added in main score. This section is unidentified means test takers have no definite way of knowing which section is experimental, therefore it is advised that test takers try their best and be focused on every section.