Reasoning is crucial

Reasoning is crucial

New Delhi: After several years of a Common Admission Test weighted towards quantitative skills, the 2008 exam, taken on 16 November by around 290,000 students seeking MBA seats at the Indian Institutes of Management, marked a noticeable shift to emphasizing verbal reasoning and language.

The test, commonly referred to as CAT, had an English section with 40 questions, up from 25 in last year’s exam.

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“It is a good thing to have, because (otherwise) you get students with good quantitative skills but not good English," says Gautam Puri, who is vice-chairman at the coaching company Career Launcher. “In the last few years, it became more of an engineering paper."

Puri, who has taken the exam every year since 1995 to keep a tab on it, says the verbal reasoning questions were also less ambiguous, and therefore easier than before. The increased number, though, made the section crucial to making the cut-off for getting into the much sought after IIMs.

Career Launcher pegged the number of points needed in each section to pass the exam at 30-32 in the quantitative section, 46-48 in the verbal analysis section, and 28-30 in the data interpretation section.

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