CAT Exam Pattern 2021 has been revised with the reduction in overall and section wise number of questions. IIM has reduced the overall count of questions to 66 from 76 and the section wise change in the total number of questions is as follows:
- Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension- 24 from 26
- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning- 20 from 24
- Quantitative Aptitude- 22 from 26
- No information regarding the changes in CAT Exam Pattern was mentioned in the official notification but CAT Question Paper 2021 was prepared based on the updated exam pattern. The count of sections is still the same i.e. 3 sections CAT VARC, CAT DILR, and CAT Quant.
- The time duration to complete the paper was 120 minutes i.e. 2 hours. For every correct answer candidates will get the +3 makes where are for wrong answers -1 mark will be deducted. No negative will be there for wrong TITA-type question answers. Download CAT Previous Year Question Paper
CAT Exam Pattern 2021
- Quantitative Aptitude- 22 questions from different disciplines of mathematics. Expect an increased number of non-MCQs.
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension- Total of 24 questions where RC to have high weightage in the VARC section.
- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning- 20 questions from CAT DILR were asked in CAT 2021. This section is expected to be the toughest.
|CAT Exam Pattern 2021|
|Nature of Questions||Objective (MCQ Based) and Subjective|
|Sections||Verbal & Reading Comprehension|
|Data adequacy and logical reasoning|
|Number of Questions|
|Marks Awarded||+3 Marks for every correct answer|
|Negative Marking||No Negative Marking for subjective questions|
|-1 marks for every wrong answer in objective questions|
CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Pattern
The primary motive of the CAT VARC section is to check the English language skills of the test takers, the understanding and interpretation of the paragraphs.
- CAT VARC section comprises 24 questions. The questions in verbal ability section are asked from para jumbles, sentence correction and completion, and summary based questions.
|Total Questions in VARC||24|
|Total Marks in VARC||72|
CAT Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation Pattern
This section aims to test the data interpretation proficiency of CAT test takers and their understanding of logical assumption. A total of 20 questions are asked in CAT LR & DI.
- Logical Reasoning comprises of 16 questions varying from topics like inequalities to symbol operations, direction sense test, etc. Since the questions are easy to solve, the scoring level of this section is high.
- Data Interpretation consists of many caselets which are a bit difficult and time consuming. It is necessary for the candidates to understand data caselets properly to be able to answer all the questions.
- A total of 8-9 TITA questions are included in CAT LR-DI section
|Total Questions in DILR||20|
|Total Marks in DILR||60|
CAT Quantitative Aptitude Pattern
It is the CAT quantitative aptitude section that comprises of only numerical-based questions from different maths topics. The section comprises of a total of 22 questions. The complete quantitative section consists of mainly 5 topics:
- Basic Arithmetic
- Number System
- Modern Maths
|Total Questions in QA||22|
|Total Marks in QA||66|
CAT 2021 Marking Scheme
- There will be a total of 66 questions in the CAT.
- For each correct answer, candidates will score 3 marks.
- For each wrong answer in the objective questions, candidates will get a negative marking of 1 mark.
- There will be no negative marks in the subjective questions.
Here is the section wise distribution of marks for CAT 2021 -
|Subject||Marks Allotted 2021||Number of Questions 2021||Positive Marks||Negative Marks|
|Verbal & Reading Comprehension||+3 for both MCQ & TITA type|| |
-1 for MCQ
|Data adequacy and logical reasoning|
CAT 2021 Answer Key
Based on the marking scheme and CAT 2021 Answer Key, candidates can calculate their rough scores. CAT 2021 Answer key is expected in the 1st week of December 2021 along with a response sheet. Candidates can use both to calculate raw scores which can be used to predict the list of colleges accepting that score. Also Check CAT 2021 College Predictor
CAT 2021 Overall and Sectional Time Limit
|CAT 2021 Section||Questions||Allotted Time in Minutes|
|Quantitative Aptitude (QA)||22||40|
|Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI)||20||40|
|Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)||24||40|
CAT Previous Years Exam Pattern (2011-2020)
Ever since the change of CAT exam mode from offline to online in 2009, the exam has seen several changes in the exam pattern. Read below to find out the major changes in the Exam Pattern from 2015 to 2020:
- In 2018 Non-MCQ questions in total increased to 27 as compared to 26 in 2017.
- Reading Comprehension was reduced to 4 from 5, each passage having 5 questions.
- Quant had a good number of 12 Non-MCQ’s. Arithmetic questions were given a good weightage.
The Computer based tests were introduced in 2009, and CAT was held in pen-paper mode earlier. Since the past 4 years the paper pattern has not been through any major changes. There were a lot of changes made in CAT Exam pattern 2020, such as a reduced number of questions(76 from 100 in previous exams), reduced duration of 40 minutes per section instead of 60 minutes due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
|Year of Exam||Number of Questions||VARC||DILR||Quant|
|CAT 2021||66||VARC - 24||DILR - 20||QA - 22|
|CAT 2020||76||VARC - 26||DILR - 24||QA - 26|
|CAT 2019||100||VARC-34; RC-24||DILR-32; DI-16 LR-16||Quant-34|
|CAT 2018||100||VARC-34; RC-24||DILR-32; DI-16 LR-16||Quant-34|
|CAT 2017||100||VARC-34; RC-24||DILR-32; DI-16 LR-16||Quant-34|
|CAT 2016||100||VARC-34; RC-24||DILR-32; DI-16 LR-16||Quant-34|
|CAT 2015||100||VARC -34; RC-24||DILR-32; DI-16 LR-16||Quant-34|
|CAT 2014||100||VARC -34; RC-24||DILR-32||Quant-34|
Before 2014 only 2 sections were there i.e. QA & DI and LR & VARC:
|Year of Exam||Number of Questions||QA & DI||LR & VARC|
Quick Links for CAT Preparation:
CAT vs XAT vs MAT vs SNAP Exam Pattern- Comparative Analysis
|Mode of Exam||Computer Based Test||Computer Based Test||Computer Based Test||Computer Based Test|
|Number of Questions||100||100||60||200|
|Total Time Duration||180 minutes||180 minutes||60 minutes||150 minutes|
|Type of Questions||MCQs||MCQ and Subjective Type||MCQs||MCQs|
|Marking Scheme||+1 mark for a correct answer||+3 mark for a correct answer||+1 mark for a correct answer||+1 mark for a correct answer|
|- 0.25 mark for an incorrect answer||No Negative Marking for subjective questions||- 0.25 mark for an incorrect answer||- 0.25 mark for an incorrect answer|
|Beyond 8 unanswered questions, 0.05 marks will be deducted for each unanswered question.||-1 marks for every wrong answer in objective questions|
|Sectional Time Limit||None||1 hour for each section||None||None|
|Sections||Verbal & Reading Comprehension||Verbal and Logical Ability||Analytical & Logical Reasoning||Indian and Global Environment|
|Quantitative Ability||Decision Making||Quantitative, Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency||Data Analysis and Sufficiency|
|Data adequacy and logical reasoning||Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation||General English: Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning, Verbal Ability||Mathematical Skills|
|General Knowledge||Intelligence and Critical Reasoning|
CAT 2021 Syllabus
CAT Syllabus 2021 is very vast and includes various topics. Some of the important topics for each section is given below:
|Data adequacy and logical reasoning||Data Interpretation||Data Sufficiency, Combination of Graphs, Bar Graph, Line Graph, Pie Chart, Caselet, and Tables etc.|
|Logical Reasoning||Seating Arrangement, Statements, Matching Puzzles, Binary Logic, Blood Relations, Family Tree, Clocks and Calendars, Proposition, Sets, Venn Diagram, Syllogism, etc.|
|Quantitative Ability||Mathematics||Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Number System, Time & Work, Mensuration, Simple Interest, Modern Mathematics and Trigonometry etc|
|Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension||Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension||Passages, Fact Inference Judgment |
Fill in the blanks
Vocab based questions, Para Completion
|English Grammar||Grammar and verbal reasoning like Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks, Direct-Indirect, Active Voice Passive Voice, Verbal Reasoning, Antonyms, Synonyms, and jumbled sentences etc|
Also Check CAT 2021 Online Preparation
CAT 2021 Recommended Books
Getting the right books for each subject can be a difficult task, as there are so many different books in the market. Different books suggest different methods, so it becomes very important to find the right books according to your preferences and understanding and use those books to study for the CAT exam. We have curated a list of books for each section, which you can refer to for preparation. Check CAT 2021 Important Books by Nishit Sinha
|Section||Book Name||Author Name/Publisher|
|Quantitative Ability||How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT||Arun Sharma|
|Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs||Sarvesh K. Verma|
|Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT||Nishit K. Sinha|
|Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension||How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT||Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant|
|30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback||Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster|
|How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT||Sharma and Upadhyay|
|PSC for VA for CAT Exam||Nishit Sinha|
|Data adequacy and logical reasoning||CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning||Gautam Puri|
|Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT||Nishit K. Sinha|
|Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency||Ananta Ashisha|
|How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT||Arun Sharma|
|CAT 2021 VARC Practice Papers||CAT 2021 LR & DI Practice Papers||CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Practice Papers|
CAT Exam Pattern 2021 FAQs
Ques.: Can I take the CAT 2021 exam from any computer?
Ans. A candidate will take the exam on a workstation assigned at the test center. No candidate can take the exam on their personal laptop or computer system.
Ques.: Are there negative marks for questions other than MCQs in CAT 2021?
Ans. No, there are no negative marks for non-MCQ type questions.
Ques.: How many non-MCQs are there in each section of CAT?
Ans. The number of questions as Non-MCQs may vary in each section. Generally- VARC has 7 Non-MCQs and 27 MCQs, DILR has 8 Non-MCQs and 24 MCQs whereas Quants ahs 12 Non-MCQs and 22 MCQs
Ques.: Is there a specific order for answering sections?
Ans. You must answer the sections in a pre-specified order, and this order will remain the same for all the candidates. The time duration is 180 minutes.
Ques.: What is the difference between the Computer-Based test and Pen-paper Based Test?
Ans. The Computer-based test is where the applicants read the questions on a computer terminal and click on the right answer. In the Pen-Paper based test, the applicants will be provided with a paper booklet, and they are needed to use a pencil or pen and darken the ovals against the right answers.
Ques.: How to know more about the CBT?
Ans. For more details on the CBT, check out the CAT 2021 Practice tests and the CAT 2021 Mock Test.
Ques.: What are the sections in CAT 2021?
Ans. There are three sections in the CAT 2021 question paper –
- Section I – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
- Section II – Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
- Section III – Quantitative Ability. Check CAT 2021 Syllabus
Ques.: Can I Bring a calculator to the exam?
Ans. No, the applicants are not allowed to bring in any electronic devices to the exam center. An on-screen calculator will be provided in the exam.
Ques.: How many MCQ and Non-MCQ in CAT?
Ans. There are 59 MCQ and 17 Non MCQ Questions.
Ques.: Do the MCQs and non-MCQs carry equal scores?
Ans. Yes, all the questions carry equal scores.
Ques.: What is the syllabus for CAT? How should I prepare?
Ans. There is no fixed syllabus for CAT. However, applicants can check the numerous tips provided by professionals or join a coaching Institute. Also, the applicants can also check the numerous CAT preparation tips accessible online.
Ques.: What is the marking scheme for CAT? Is there any negative marking?
Ans. For every right answer, the applicants will be awarded 3 marks. However, an insight answer will fetch -1 mark.
Ques.: What is the weightage of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension?
Ans. There are 26 questions for 78 marks for 40 minutes.
Ques.: What is the Weightage of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning?
Ans. There are 24 questions for 72 marks for 40 minutes.
Ques.: What is the Weightage of Quantitative Ability?
Ans. There are 26 questions for 78 marks for 40 minutes.
Ques.: What is the syllabus for Quantitative Ability?
Ans. There are important topics for quantitative ability:
|Linear and Quadratics Equations||Time and Work||Inequalities|
|Variation||Mensuration and Geometry||Time, Speed and Distance|
|Probability/ Profit or Loss||Surds and Indices||Tables and Case lets|
|Logarithms||Critical Path||Averages and Partnerships|
|Allegations and Mixtures||Algebra||Percentage|
Ques.: What is the CAT Exam Pattern for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning?
Ans. These are the important topics to cover in Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:
|Bar Graph||Case lets||Seating Arrangement||Blood Relations||Statements|
|Line Graph||Combination of Graphs||Syllogism||Venn Diagram||Sets|
|Pie Chart||Data Sufficiency||Propositions||Data Arrangement||Clocks and Calendars|
Ques.: What is the CAT Exam Pattern for Verbal & Reading Comprehension?
Ans. These are the major topics to cover in Verbal & Reading Comprehension:
|Sentence Correction||Word usage|
|Fill in the blanks||Para Jumble|
|Para completion||Fact Inference Judgement|
Ques.: Is there any help for computation in CAT Exam?
Ans. To help applicants with general computations, a non-scientific on-screen calculator is offered. Candidates have to use the mouse to carry out calculations on the on-screen calculator.
Ques.: From where can I get the list of exam centers?
Ans. The list of CAT 2019 exam centers will be accessible on the official website iimcat.ac.in. Currently, applicants can see the test cities where CAT 2019 will take place.
Ques: What are TITA questions?
Ans: TITA or “Type in the answer” type questions are those questions in which no options are provided. Candidates have to go through the questions and solve the same to type the answer in the text box provided. These are also referred to as Non-MCQs. 25-30% of the questions asked in the paper are non-MCQs.
Ques: Which among TITA and MCQs, help in gaining a higher score in CAT?
Ans: If we analyse the CAT exam paper, the percentage of MCQs are more than that of non-MCQs. But there is a negative marking of -1 in MCQs for each correct answer while no negative marking in non-MCQs. Therefore, if the non-MCQs do not add one to your number, it won’t decrease your number as well. Therefore, candidates may get a good score if they answered each and every TITA question correctly along with more than 60% right multiple-choice questions.
Ques: Which is more time consuming among CAT MCQs and TITA questions?
Ans: TITA questions are more time consuming than that of traditional non- MCQs and there are chances that these questions do not give accurate answers.
Ques: Is there any specific section in which only MCQs are asked?
Ans: No, CAT exam contain both MCQs and non-MCQs type questions in each and every section.
Ques.: What are the time slots for the CAT 2021?
Ans. CAT 2021 will be conducted in two sessions or time slots. Applicants will be allotted a single session time slot based on the availability of test center and city of selection.
Ques.: Can I appear for more than one slot for CAT 2021?
Ans. No, you cannot appear for more than one slot for CAT 2021. If any applicant attempts to appear for CAT 2021 in two distinctive time slots, it would be considered as a fraudulent activity. To maintain the distance from any fraudulent activity on this front, CAT 2021 applicants will be subject to verification of Admit Cards, applicant pictures, photo IDs, and biometric verification.
Ques.: Where can I select my preference for shift and test date?
Ans. The examination shift (forenoon or afternoon) is distributed to each registered applicant based on the selection of the city, which was made at the time of application. An applicant cannot select the shift.
Ques.: What are the timings to contact the Applicant Helpdesk?
Ans. CAT 2021 help desk is accessible to applicants via telephone from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CAT Applicant Helpdesk is shut on Sundays and National/Public holidays.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.