CAT Exam Slot 1 Analysis 2021: Exam Review, Questions Asked, Good Attempts, Expected Cut Off

By Aditi Joshi|Updated : November 28th, 2021

CAT Exam Slot 1 Analysis 2021: IIM Ahmedabad has successfully conducted the Slot 1 of the  Common Admission Test (CAT) 2021. Slot 1  was conducted today from 8:30 am -10:30 am. As per the official CAT media release earlier, it was suggested that the CAT Committee was attempting to reduce the number of questions across all three sections. As expected and discussed by the BYJU’S Exam Prep Experts, the number of questions was reduced to 66. As per the CAT 2021 Analysis, given by the BYJU'S Exam Prep Experts this year the difficulty level was slightly easier than CAT 2020. We at BYJU’S Exam Prep will be covering the CAT 2021 Analysis for all three slots.

CAT 2021 Score Calculator

Table of Content

In the following CAT Analysis article, we are sharing the exam highlights, the exam pattern, the section-wise review, questions asked, difficulty level, good attempts, and the expected cut-off scores for the IIMs.

Important Highlights of CAT 2021 Exam 

  • The total number of questions in CAT 2021 was reduced to 66.
  • There were a total of 18-Non MCQs and 48 MCQs.
  • CAT 2021 was similar to CAT 2020. However, it was slightly easier than CAT 2020.
  • Due to the pandemic situation, CAT 2021 was conducted at over 400 centres, spread across 159 cities.
  • The duration of the exam was 2 hours and the paper was spread across 3 sections - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, ii) Quantitative Ability, and iii) Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
  • CAT 2021 is being conducted in 3 slots of 2 hours each:

           -Slot 1 - 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

           -Slot 2 - 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM

           -Slot 3 - 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

The sectional duration for CAT 2021, was 40 minutes instead of the traditional 60 minutes, thus making the total duration of the test to be of 120 minutes (consisting of 3 sections of 40 minutes each)

 CAT 2021 Analysis - Live session. Watch Now!

CAT Exam Pattern 2021

The CAT 2021 Exam pattern was different than that of CAT 2020 exam pattern in terms of number of questions. Each section had a sectional time of 40 minutes each (53 Minutes 20 seconds for PwD candidates) with the following breakup:

CAT Paper Pattern - Slot 1 



TIME (in minutes)

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension



Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning



Quantitative Aptitude







  • For MCQs:  +3 marks for every correct answer and -1 marks deducted for every incorrect answer.
  • TITA (Non-MCQ): There is No Negative Marking for TITA-type (Non-MCQ) questions.

Highlights of CAT 2021 Analysis Slot 1

The overall difficulty level of CAT 2021 (Slot 1) was similar to CAT 2020. However, it was slightly easier than CAT 2020.

Most Difficult Section


Easiest Section


Total Number of MCQs


Total Number of TITA Questions


CAT Slot 1 Sectional Analysis 2021:

The section-wise analysis of CAT 2021 (Slot 1) is given below:

CAT 2021 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) Analysis

The overall difficulty level of the VARC section was  Easy to Moderate. Most of the questions asked were from RCs. The topics of the RCs were Utopia Dystopia, Tea trade, What Mayans considered a 'person', and Cuttlefish. Para Summary was doable. 


Number of Questions (MCQ and Non-MCQ)

Level of Difficulty

Reading Comprehension

 16 (4 Sets  of 4 questions)  2 Easy, 1 Moderate, 1 Difficult

Para Jumbles

 3  2 Easy 1- difficult (sequence Para jumble)

Odd sentence out (PJ)

 2  1 - Easy,  1- Difficult 

 Para Summary

 3  Easy

CAT Slot 1 Quantitative Ability (QA) Analysis 2021

The QA section was Easy to Moderate. The majority of the questions were from Arithmetic and Algebra. Following is the topic-wise breakup of the questions.


Number of Questions (MCQ and Non-MCQ)






Time and Work


Ratio and Proportion








Number System









Simple Equations


Modern Maths

Permutation and Combination




Geometry & Mensuration



CAT Slot 1 Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) Analysis 2021

In the DILR section, the level of difficulty of DI was Easy to Moderate and LR was Moderate to DifficultThe total number of questions was 20 out of which 5 were Non-MCQs and 15 were MCQs.The questions asked included:

  • Table - Arranging People into Countries & Categories
  • Bar Graph - Percentages (The bar graph wasn't clear)
  • Table - 3 Girls making a drink
  • Table - Relationship (Acquaintance, Friend, and Stranger)

Among the 4 DILR sets asked in the CAT 2021 Slot 1, 1 set was easily doable whereas the other 3 were lengthy and difficult to solve.

The CAT 2021 DILR Question wise breakup is:


Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Data Interpretation

 2 sets- 6+4 Questions


Logical Reasoning

 2 sets i.e 10 Questions Moderate-Difficult

CAT Slot 1 Exam Analysis 2021: Good Attempts/Score

CAT Good Attempts/Score - Slot 1

As per the CAT 2021 Analysis of Slot 1, a raw score of 99-104 is considered to be a good score to get a call from the IIMs and other Top B schools.

CAT 2021 Good Attempts (Slot 1)

The expected good attempts of CAT 2021 for 99 %ile is mentioned below:


Good attempts







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  • The total number of questions in CAT 2021 was 66

  • CAT 2021 was similar to CAT 2020 in terms of difficulty level. However, as per the feedback given by aspirants for Slot 1 was the easiest section was VARC and the most difficult was DILR.

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