It can't be a Common Admission Test if there are no surprises and CAT 2008 was no different. The toughest test for entry into any academic institution in the country had 90 questions this year compared to 75 last time. The number of questions in quantitative aptitude, and logic and data interpretation remained 25 each, but the verbal ability section had 40 questions instead of 25. The marks went up to 360 as against 300 in CAT 2007. Each question carried four marks and one negative mark for every incorrect answer. The total marks have seen significant changes in the last five years: 123 questions and 150 marks in 2004, 90 questions and 150 marks in 2005 and 75 questions and 300 marks last year. But CAT is not just a number game. Sandeep Manudhane, founder chairman of PT, a coaching institute, said in Delhi, 'It was tougher than last year's. CAT is more of a mind game now. The questions were tricky and indirect and meant to confuse students who have weak analytical skills.'
Ulhas Vairagkar, director of TIME, another coaching institute in Delhi, said the highest number of questions were in the verbal ability section. 'This was last seen in 1998. The logic and data interpretation section this year was much similar to that of 2007. Quantitative aptitude was the toughest section this year. There were fewer questions on arithmetic, but more on 'higher maths' like functions and indices,' said Vairagkar, who was a candidate himself. Many candidates said the verbal ability and reading comprehension section was the toughest. But experts disagreed saying the passages were shorter and had higher level of vocabulary-based questions. The IIMs have also implemented the OBC quota from this year and have increased their seats.