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Pattern & Syllabus – CAT

The CAT (Common Admission Test) is an online system based test held every year by one of the IIM’s. This test evaluates the candidates based on their quantitative ability, verbal ability, data interpretation and logical reasoning ability. This test is conducted to select students for various business administration programs of IIM’s. Some other premier institutes also accept CAT score for admissions.

To crack the CAT exam, it is extremely crucial to know the important topics from each section of the test paper and the pattern of the test paper. The generalized syllabus and weightages given to the various sections is described in the table below. Pl. note that these details are based on the analysis of previous years exams by our experts. The actual test paper may be slightly different than this pattern.

Syllabus & Pattern of Test

CAT Syllabus changes with each CAT exam.  The overview of section wise CAT syllabus is as below:

Section No. of Questions Weightage
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
VA (Sectional -30% Overall: 10%)
RC: Sectional-70% Overall-24%
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
DI: Sectional-50%, Overall-16%
LR: Sectional-50%, Overall-16%
Quantitative Ability
Sectional-100% Overall-34%
Total 100 Questions (72 – 75 MCQs & 25 – 28 Non MCQs or TITA Questions)

 Important Details:

Reading Comprehension: The  Reading Comprehension passages Topics are generally based on Current affairs; Social and Economic issues; Literature; Science & Culture; Abstract topics,  History & Fiction, News paper Articles etc.  Longer passages consist of around 800 – 900 words and the shorter passages are of around 500 – 600 words.

Verbal Ability: The questions are based on essence of short paragraph/Para summary (2- 3 questions); Jumbled Paragraphs (2-3 questions) Jumbled paragraphs with out of context sentence (1-2 questions)

Short paragraph questions are based on around 5-6 sentences; Jumbled paragraphs questions and out of context jumbled paragraphs have 4 -5 jumbled sentences which are to be placed in a coherent manner. The out of context (odd) sentence has to be picked out.

You may also get 2-3 questions based on English Usage, Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks, Vocabulary-usage etc.

Number of Questions in VARC: 34 MCQs

Data Interpretation: The questions are generally based on Data Tables, Line graphs, Bar diagrams, Pie charts, Radar Chart, Venn diagram, Area graph Mixed graphs/charts etc. Questions are in the set of 4-5 questions.

Total DI questions: 16 (12 MCQs + 4 TITA)

Logical Reasoning: The questions are based on Clocks, Calendars, binary logic, seating arrangement, blood relations, logical sequence, logical matching, assumption, premise, conclusion, linear and matrix arrangement, syllogism etc. Some of the questions may be in the set of 4 questions.

Total LR questions: 16 (12 MCQs + 4 TITA)

Total Number of Questions in DILR: 32 (24 MCQs + 8 TITA questions)

Quantitative Ability (QA): Syllabus for QA covers a wide range of Math topics from Number System (4 – 5 Q), Arithmetic (10 – 12 Q), Algebra (6 – 7 Q), Geometry & Mensuration (7 – 8 Q) and some other topics (2 – 3 Q)

General Range of Topics (QA): LCM and HCF , Percentages, Profit and Loss, Simple and Compound Interest, Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work; Averages; Ratio and Proportion and others, Number System, Algebra, Geometry/Mensuration, Pure Math, Venn diagrams and other topic, Linear Equations; Quadratic Equations, Complex Numbers, Logarithm; Progressions, Binomial Theorem, Surds & Indices, Inequalities, Permutation and Combination, Probability Functions, Set Theory, Mixtures and Alligations, Co-ordinate Geometry, Trigonometry

Number of Questions in QA: 34 (24 – 28 MCQs and 6 to 10 TITA Questions)

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