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CET 2011: Overall difficult with lots of surprises

CET 2011: Difficult, yet surprising
The Maharashtra MBA CET 2011 that was held today surprised quite a few test takers. After an easy paper in 2010, which saw records being shattered and soaring cut-offs, CET 2011 struck back with one of the more difficult papers in recent years.

The questions weren"t straightforward, there were plenty of Analytical Reasoning cases and short Reading Comprehension passages made their presence felt. And to add to it were the familiar and rather confusing Visual Reasoning questions.

Quantitative Aptitude:
No questions on approximations and no questions on pure calculation appeared in the paper. Only a set on number series where, the operations had to be performed for a maximum of five times to get to the answer. At least three of the questions were high on difficulty level and difficult to crack for many.

There were many single questions which were of a moderate difficulty level. There were a few sitters interspersed in between from basic geometry, percentages, averages, share of profit, ratios, etc. Most of these were do-able but would require some time to crack. There was a question on finding the circum-radius where, two sides and the altitude was provided. The question looked difficult but was a sitter.

Few of the questions were very high on the difficulty level and could have been left for later. Many would have guessed the options with time running out.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning:
Last year, the data interpretation sets were straightforward and were cracked with minimum effort. This year saw some calculation intensive sets. The test that was based on two pie-charts depicting distribution of revenue across various sectors was difficult. The one based on the four families and their incomes was easy to crack. The one based on the student"s scores in eight mocks was a sitter. The one based on A, B and C line graphs was moderate to do and involved a little bit of calculation. There were quite a few questions based on unit conversion (options like 19.25 million, 192.5 million, 1925 million and other similar questions) regarding which one had to be careful.

Logical reasoning was the part which made life difficult for a candidate. The questions involved multiple logic (arrangements and directions combined in one), involved lengthy and tedious rough work. The set based on circular arrangement involving the family of eight was a scorcher and not many would have cracked it (not that they needed to as it would have eaten up into a large share of the test-taker"s time). The one based on seven floors was moderate. The one based on arrangement of 12 cars was difficult. The set based on the days of the week was moderate. Another one based on circular arrangement was moderate in nature. One set was based on the input-output type which was easy but lengthy. Another was on coding which was again lengthy. There were plenty of questions on data sufficiency which were moderate to difficult. One set was based on comparison of weights.

Another set was there which required candidates to compare two items a and b. There was also a set of four questions where it was required to find the odd man out.
Overall, this part of the paper could make or break a person. One who was quick to attempt/leave these questions probably had valuable time to solve other questions. One who didn"t attempt many must have got stuck somewhere in these sets.

The logical reasoning singlets were easy to solve and will help in building a good score. The questions on syllogisms were easy to do.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension:
CET shrugged off the traditional 15-question RC in pursuit of multiple short passages and accompanying questions. There were also plenty of questions on critical reasoning. A new type of questions, these involved a short paragraph of  2-3 lines followed by five statements. One was required to find out which of them was an inference/assumption, which strengthened the paragraph, which one was a course of action and so on.

The question type though novel, these were the questions which were seen in CET in a different format before.

There were questions on spotting the grammatical errors which were straightforward and could have been solved easily. The questions on fill in the blanks were of moderate difficulty level with around 6-7 out of 10 being doable. Parajumbles were conspicuous by their absence. The verbal part focused more on logic than actual verbal knowledge and was easy to moderate in difficulty level if one was able to solve it.

Visual Reasoning:
The set of questions unique to CET and feared by most of the candidates was on similar lines of last few years" VR section. There were questions on analogy, series completion, odd man out. The level of difficulty was moderate to tough and with most of the questions involving a multiple number of elements, cracking the section was going to take up time.

None of these:
A significant number of questions had answer option as none of these. This was a tricky area in the paper and one had to be brave enough to mark this option.

Overall:
The paper was definitely more difficult than that of last year and according to few, one of the more difficult ones to come out in recent years. The lengthy LR sets and plenty of questions involving application of thought will translate into not-so-high-scores. At first glance, a score of 140 looks good. 145 should have a decent shot at JBIMS and 150+ should make it comfortably into JBIMS. The overall cut-off out of 240 could be somewhere in the higher 170s or lower 180s at most.

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