CAT 2023 Exam Analysis (Slot 1,2): Check Difficulty Level, Questions with Solutions, Good Attempts
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The 1st and 2nd slots of CAT 2023 exams have concluded, and it’s time for students who participated in this session, as well as those gearing up for the 3rd slot, to delve into the CAT 2023 slot 1 & 2 analysis.

CAT 2023 Slot 1 Exam Breakdown

IIM Lucknow has successfully wrapped up the initial session of CAT 2023 exams. The examination commenced at 8:30 am and concluded at 10:30 am on November 26, 2023. Participants of the first slot and those awaiting the second (12:30 pm) and third (4:30 pm) slots can now review the comprehensive analysis, gauge the difficulty level, explore the question types, and assess the preliminary responses of slot 1 candidates.

In accordance with the outlined schedule, the CAT 2023 exam unfolds across three slots. The first slot concluded at 10:30 am, with the second slot scheduled from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, and the third slot from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Participants are tasked with tackling questions from three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Quantitative Aptitude (QA), and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR). The total duration of the exam remains set at 120 minutes.

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Also, read Free CAT 2023 Mock Test: Your Key to Success!

CAT Exam Pattern 2023

For the third consecutive year, CAT maintains a consistent exam pattern: 66 questions in 2 hours. Overall difficulty surpassed CAT 2022 – section 1.

The CAT exam pattern assesses candidates’ speed and accuracy in solving mathematical and reasoning problems. Emphasizing aptitude and logical reasoning skills, it’s crucial for CAT 2023 aspirants to familiarize themselves with the latest exam pattern. This understanding aids in navigating the CAT question paper structure and marking scheme.

The CAT 2023 question paper will consist of three sections:

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

3. Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

In CAT 2023:

  • VARC features 24 questions with a weightage of 72 marks.
  • DILR includes 20 questions with a weightage of 60 marks.
  • Quantitative Aptitude comprises 22 questions with a weightage of 66 marks.

CAT Exam 2023 Slot Schedule and Initial Response

It is crucial for students to take note of the CAT exam schedule, particularly the timings for the first slot commencing at 8:30 AM. Candidates slated for subsequent slots should refer to the details below, including slot timings, reporting times, and the last permissible entry time before the exam kicks off.


  1. Slot Timings:
  • 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
  1. Reporting Time:
  • Slot 1: 7:00 AM
  • Slot 2: 11:00 AM
  • Slot 3: 3:00 PM
  1. Last Entry Permitted:
  • Slot 1: 8:15 AM
  • Slot 2: 12:15 PM
  • Slot 3: 4:15 PM

Types of Questions Asked

There is no alteration in the number of questions. The exam pattern/structure remained consistent with that of 2022, with Arithmetic and Algebra continuing to play a significant role as dominant factors in the examination, as has been the norm. The majority of the questions came from the Arithmetic section.

In the questions, Previous Year Questions (PYQs) were included. However, there were one to two surprising elements, such as a Clock question (involving finding angles) that appeared. This falls under Logical Reasoning and involves calculations. It reappeared in the paper after several years, so students should anticipate similar surprises in Slot 2 and Slot 3. However, there’s no need to worry; the good news is that no changes have been made, bringing considerable relief to students preparing for Slot 2 and Slot 3. Therefore, stay calm, take a deep breath, focus, and excel in the exam.

The Quant section was deemed moderate, with some students finding it easy and others challenging. Approach the exam with confidence. The Reading Comprehension (RC) section featured a challenging passage on Literature and a straightforward one on the Village of France, along with one centered on Culture. A passage on Natural Sciences (Ocean World), a favorite CAT topic, was also included. LRDI was challenging, but it may be easier in the next slot.

SectionDifficulty LevelQuestionsTime LimitAdditional Notes
VARCModerate to Difficult2440 minutesComparatively easier than the previous year
DILRModerate2040 minutesEchoing the difficulty level of the previous year
QADifficult2240 minutes8-9 doable questions, especially challenging in the Algebra section
TakeawayChallengingSurpassed the difficulty of the previous year

CAT 2023 Slot 1 Exam Analysis: Section-wise Breakdown

The CAT 2023 Slot 1 was scheduled for November 26, 2023, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. The overall difficulty level is expected to be moderate to high, with 66 questions to be attempted in 2 hours.

CAT 2023 Slot 1 Exam Pattern

SectionNo. of QuestionsDifficulty LevelTime Allotted
VARC24Moderate40 minutes
DILR20Moderate40 minutes
QA22Moderate to High40 minutes

Now, let’s delve into the detailed analysis of each section:

CAT 2023 Slot 1 VARC Analysis

The VARC section had an overall difficulty level ranging from easy to moderate. It consisted of 24 questions, with 16 from Reading Comprehension (RC) and 8 from Verbal Ability (VA).

VARC PartNo. of QuestionsDifficulty Level
Reading Comprehension15-16Moderate
Verbal Ability7-8Moderate to Difficult

The RCs covered diverse topics with a moderate difficulty level:

RC TopicsDifficulty LevelNo. of Questions

CAT 2023 Slot 1 DILR Analysis

The DILR section’s overall difficulty ranged from moderate to high, featuring 4 sets with 7-8 TITA questions.

TopicSetDifficulty Level
DistributionSet 1Moderate to Difficult
StatisticsSet 2Moderate to Difficult
Maps and NetworksSet 3Moderate to Difficult
ArrangementSet 4Moderate to Difficult

CAT 2023 Slot 1 QA Analysis

The QA section posed a moderate to high difficulty level, with a focus on Algebra and Arithmetic. It included 22 questions, with 8-9 considered doable.

TopicNo. of QuestionsDifficulty Level
Arithmetic7-9Moderate to Difficult
Algebra5-7Moderate to Difficult
Number System2-3Moderate to Difficult
Geometry2-3Moderate to Difficult
Modern Maths3-4Moderate to Difficult

CAT 2022 Slot 1 Exam Analysis

CAT 2022 slot 1 exhibited a slightly higher difficulty level compared to CAT 2021. VARC included varying difficulty levels, with para-completion questions replacing odd-sentence-out questions.

SectionIdeal Raw Score for 99 Percentile

CAT 2022 Slot 1 VARC Analysis

VARC TopicsNo. of QuestionsIdeal Attempts
Reading Comprehension1514
Odd-sentence out22
Para Jumbles33
Para Summary33

CAT 2022 Slot 1 DILR Analysis

DILR TopicsNo. of QuestionsIdeal Attempts
University team data53
Girls Graph54

CAT 2022 Slot 1 QA Analysis

QA TopicsNo. of QuestionsIdeal Attempts
Number System11
Modern Maths22

In summary, CAT 2023 Slot 1 maintains a challenging pattern, while CAT 2022 Slot 1 presents increased difficulty, emphasizing the need for strategic preparation.

CAT 2023-LRDI (Slot 1)

Advice for Slot 2 & 3 Students

Don’t get too comfortable. The VARC in Slot 1 was moderately difficult, while LRDI posed a slight challenge. Although you may have prepared well for Quant by following our Mock Tests, remember that the difficulty level can change, as has always been the case with CAT. This is why there’s a concept of scaled scores and normalization, as all three slots are not equal, akin to the diversity of our fingers (please change this example). Your exam strategy for Slot 2 and Slot 3 should involve a wise selection of all three sections. Avoid traps and choose questions carefully. The positive aspect is that there are no brand new questions, and there’s no change in the CAT exam paper pattern.

Students are encouraged to revisit this page for the latest updates, including initial responses from candidates and individual CAT slot analyses.👈

CAT 2023 Slot 2 Exam Analysis

The second session occurred from 12:30 to 14:30 pm, maintaining a difficulty level similar to Slot 1 but slightly higher than 2022.

Exam Pattern & Difficulty Level

Following the trend of Slot 1, CAT 2023 Slot 2 maintained a comparable overall difficulty level, featuring Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).

Section-wise Doable Questions

VARC: Similar to Slot 1 but easier than 2022 Slot 2, this section had 24 questions with a 40-minute time limit (1 mandatory question). Around 12-14 questions were deemed doable.

DILR: Maintaining Slot 1’s difficulty, CAT 2023 DILR was considered tougher than 2022 Slot 2. With 20 questions and 40 minutes allocated, around 8-9 questions were considered doable.

QA: Slightly more challenging than Slot 1, the QA section in CAT 2023 featured 22 questions within a 40-minute timeframe, with around 9-10 questions considered doable.


Overall, the paper mirrored Slot 1’s difficulty level and leaned slightly towards the challenging side compared to CAT 2022 Slot 2, with approximately 30 doable questions.

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By Asad Yar Khan

I write and oversee the creation of informative educational blogs centering around study strategies, exam techniques, and more, to guide aspirants in clearing SSC, banking, engineering, and other competitive exams. I ensure a range of subjects are covered with precision and clarity. With over 7 years of diverse writing experience, I share a wealth of wisdom and expertise with thousands of students, through PracticeMock every day, helping them achieve their goals.

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