CET 2010 Analysis: The usual, expected pattern continued

 | January 31,2011 01:25 pm IST

If there is one thing that is very much predictable these days, it is the Maharashtra MBA CET. The CET paper of 2010 wasn’t an anomaly either.

The first expression that any student who has prepared well would give after just glancing at the paper is, “This was fairly expected”.


The paper, following the trends of most of the previous years, was not broken down into sections. There were sets of either 5/10/15 questions each consisting of verbal reasoning, visual reasoning, grammar, quantitative aptitude, logical reasoning and Data Interpretation questions. For ease of analysis, I shall divide the paper into Verbal, Quant and Logic sections respectively.


In the 2010 paper, some of the sets were also divided into 3-4 questions per set unlike previous years, and due to this distribution, there were 66 questions on Verbal ability. The Reading Comprehension was again, predictable, with 15 questions that you can read and answer in about 5-6 minutes, thus saving time. There was a jackpot awaiting an aspirant later in the paper, with 10 questions on error spotting. This set could easily have been solved with 100% accuracy and quick speed. In addition, there were 2 sets of 5 questions each on replacing the underlined set of words by another appropriate phrase and a very simple set on “Fill in the blanks”. The three sets of para-jumbles, cloze comprehension and course of actions were moderate to easy and could have been easily solved with over 90% accuracy. This completes a round of extremely easy verbal questions. The remaining 16 questions were all based on critical reasoning, assumptions-conclusions based questions which were quite difficult and time consuming at the same time. In one set of critical reasoning, there were around 10 lines of factual data and only 3 questions based on it.


Strategy for verbal questions: Solving 35 out of the 50 easy questions of verbal, along with 15-20 questions of other areas in the first 30 minutes and keeping the RC to a later stage was a rewarding strategy. The 16 moderately difficult critical reasoning questions were better left to be solved in the last one hour. Overall, an attempt of about 62 questions and 58-59 correct questions including random guesses out of a total of 66 would be a “JBIMS winning score” in this section.


Quant and DI
There were overall 43 questions in the Quant and DI section. Most of them were a bit calculation intensive, although there were 10 BODMAS questions in separate sets of 5 questions each and if allowed 8-9 minutes, any average solver could have scored all correct. In addition to these, there were 10 individual questions on simple quant topics like triangles, linear equations, area, ratios and percentages, time and speed, simple calculations of arithmetic like percentages and permutations and combinations. I particularly remember a question that required calculating the area of a rectangle by using the “length X breadth” formula. There were 4 sets of Data interpretation. Two sets carried 5 questions each and two sets carried 4 questions each, something to cheer for those who like variety. All were pretty easy, except for one question on line graph that was time consuming owing to calculations. That leaves us with 1 set of Data sufficiency which was again a cakewalk if practised before.

Strategy for Quant and DI section: It would have been a great idea to take up the data sufficiency set and one easy DI set in the first crucial half an hour along with a major chunk of verbal. The other questions could have been solved anytime during the 150 minutes depending on the comfort of the solver. Overall, an attempt of 40 questions with 36 correct attempts would have brought the coveted, dream colleges closer!


Visual, analytical and logical reasoning
This section made up for the “too much ease” that floated in the quant and verbal section questions, with the visual reasoning questions of high complexity. The objects in a particular set of picture series, I remember, were not even clearly visible. This section was predictable as well, with 30 questions. Anyone who did well in verbal and quant in the entire paper could heave a sigh of relief, as even a correct attempt of 15-16 questions on 30 would have sealed the path for JBIMS. The number series questions were again, a little confusing and more time would have had to be devoted to get at least 4 of these right. This difficult portion of the paper would have been again, compensated by 61 fairly easy logic based reasoning questions, with some real sitters based on logical arrangements, symbol based coding, puzzle based sets and alphanumeric series. Even ONE QUESTION wrong would have been a crime in this assorted set of 61 questions.


Overall strategy for reasoning section: The visual reasoning section is always better utilised by solving half the questions in the middle half of the paper, and keeping the “unsolvable” 15 right at the end. More or less, these are the 15 scapegoats that go under the knife for the “last 3 minutes” random guessing. Out of the remaining 61 questions, nothing less than 57-58 correct attempts would have saved you!


Summing it all...
The overall paper was definitely an aspirant’s dream with the overall difficulty level much lower than the usual coaching classes’ mock CET’s and even the previous years’ CET papers. However, as each coin has a flip side, the cut offs were expected to be much higher, with a score of around 161-162 for the Mumbai University Open category and around 163 sufficient to take one to the coveted doors of JBIMS. However, after the written test results were out, one realised that even a person with a score of 164 was not sure about his entry to JBIMS and hence, a lot of close battles were fought 2 weeks later in the GD-PI rooms.