The data interpretation/ logical reasoning section of the Common Admission Test (CAT) was tougher beyond expectations, said many of the students who took the exam this time.

“The DI/LR part was toughest in the paper; it was beyond my expectations. There were no pie-charts or bar charts in the paper, and the questions asked were more related to data analysis instead of data interpretation,” said Ambuj, whose third attempt it was. The other two sections — verbal ability/reading comprehension and quantitative aptitude — were easier than 2016 levels, he said.

Of the around 2.30 lakh who registered for CAT 2017, 1.99 lakh appeared. This year’s exam was conducted by Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Lucknow. The exam is divided into three sections: data interpretation/ logical reasoning, verbal ability/ reading comprehension and Quantitative Aptitude.

For a 99 percentile score “Since, LR/DI was very difficult, if one would get 12 out of 32 questions right in the section, the student will be able to secure 99 percentile this time. But, last year, those who got 99 percentile had 16-17 right answers,” said Gautam Puri, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Career Launcher. Puri, an alumnus of IIM-Bangalore, has been taking the exam since 1995.

Puri said 27-28 right answers in the Quantitative Aptitude section and 30-plus in verbal reasoning/reading comprehension would be good enough this time. For a call from the top IIMs, management aspirants need to secure at least 99 percentile.

The exam was held in two slots, one in the morning and the other, in the afternoon. When asked if there was a difference in the question pattern in the different slots, Puri said, “Not much. There might be one or two questions [different] here or there. The level of difficulty is maintained by the IIMs.”

When asked if the questions seemed any different from last year’s, a second-timer said: “This year, in the verbal ability and the reading comprehension section, not only were the paragraph summary questions classified as Multiple Choice Questions , but there was also a negative marking, unlike in 2016.”

The CAT results are expected to be out in the second week of January.