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CAT Exam Pattern 

CAT Exam Pattern 

We all know that CAT exams 2023 are knocking at the door and the CAT aspirants are making themself ready for it. As this article is all about the CAT Exam pattern so let me tell you about it first. There is a piece of good news for the CAT aspirants as there is no […]

 Alisha Kumari
 Alisha Kumari 06/11/2023
I'm Alisha Kumari, Versatile Content Writer proficient in researching, writing and editing diverse content. Works with minimal input to produce engaging, authoritative and error-free more

We all know that CAT exams 2023 are knocking at the door and the CAT aspirants are making themself ready for it. As this article is all about the CAT Exam pattern so let me tell you about it first. There is a piece of good news for the CAT aspirants as there is no changes made to the CAT exam pattern 2023 from the last 2 years. Let me also tell you that the candidates prefer looking at the CAT exam pattern 2023 because it makes good strategies for facing the CAT exam paper. Below in this article through the research and knowledge we have provided deep information about the CAT exam pattern 2023.  

As said the CAT Exam pattern 2023 will be the same as the last 2 past years because the conducting body has not made any relevant changes in the CAT exam pattern of the years 2021 and 2022. IIMs every year authorize the CAT exam pattern and as pet its latest test pattern, there will be a total of 66 multiple questions (MCQs) and the candidate has to solve this within 120 minutes. And there are a total 3 sections and each section has 40 minutes to be solved. Therefore the CAT exam pattern has been already released on 30th July along with the CAT 2023 Registration announcement. 

All the latest updates and information regarding the CAT Exam pattern 2023 is mentioned below so that the CAT aspirants can prepare themself. How many questions are in the CAT exam? This year there will be 66 questions and the total marks of the CAT exam is 198. And we all know that the mode of the CAT 2023 Exam is CBT (Computer-Based Mode). 

CAT Exam Pattern 2023 Overview (Expected)

We all know that the CAT Exam is the 5th toughest exam in India and let me also tell you that this exam neither have pre-defined syllabus nor a set exam pattern. But from the last 2 years the pattern has not been changed so it expected to be same this year. Below we have provided the CAT exam pattern overview in the table format: 

CAT Exam Duration2 Hours
CAT Exam Making Scheme+3 For Correct Answers-1 For Incorrect Answers0 For Unattempted Questions
CAT Exam Section NamesQuantitative AptitudeVerbal Ability & Reading ComprehensionLogical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
Mode of PaperOnline Only
Question TypesMCQs and Non-MCQs (TITA)
Total CAT Exam Sections3
Total Marks198
Total Questions in CAT Exam66

Latest Updates of CAT Exam Pattern 

  • On 7th of November the CAT aspirants will be able to download the CAT 2023 admit card though the official website of CAT that is  
  • Talking about the CAT exam pattern then there are total 3 exam portions according to the official CAT exam pattern. If you are appearing for the CAT exam then you must keep CAT Exam Pattern at the first priority.

They distributed in 3 different sections which are mentioned below: 

  • VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)
  • DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning)
  • QA (Quantitative Ability)

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern List 

As said earlier that the exam pattern of the CAT exam are divided into 3 different sections that are VARC, DILR and QA. The candidates prepare themself just for to take admission in the Top IIMs College in India or in Best MBA Colleges in India. Therefore below are the list of the CAT 2023 exam pattern list in detailed manner: 

SectionCAT Exam DurationMCQsNon-MCQsTotal No. of Questions
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)40 min21324
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)40 min14620
Quantitative Ability (QA)40 min14822
Total120 (2 hours)491766

Important Points for CAT Exam Pattern 

  • It is a computer based exam 
  • There will be all total 66 question that will be MCQs and non MCQs
  • The exam will be of 198 marks and the candidates are not allowed to switch between the sections. 
  • The candidates are allowed 40 minutes for every sections and the total duration for the CAT exam is 120 minutes or you may say 2 hours. 
  • 1 marks will be dedicated for each incorrect attempt. 
  • No electronic devices are allowed in the exam room and only the  non-scientific and onscreen calculator will be provided to the students. 
  • Talking about the time duration then it will be displayed on the computer screen till the exam gets over. 

CAT Syllabus 2023 

The syllabus 2023 contains are divided into 3 sections that are Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). and we all know that CAT syllabus is huge and lengthy. The main topic that the candidate must cover before appearing at the CAT exam is Geometry, Arithmetic, Percentage, Algebra, Coding-Decoding, Graphs,  Series Completion, etc as most of the questions are asked from these sections. Below we have provided the CAT Syllabus 2023 sectional wise so lets see them: 

CAT Syllabus 2023 for VARC Section

CAT VARC Syllabus
Errors in tensesPhrases modifiersArticle usage
Foreign language words used in EnglishSentence completionDifferent usage of the same word
IdiomsGrammarReading Comprehension
Para completion and inferencePhrasal VerbsFill in the blanks
Sentence correctionJumbled ParagraphsOne word substitution
Subject-verb agreementPara jumblesVerbal reasoning
Types of clausesParts of speechPreposition

CAT Reading Comprehension (RC) Passages of Previous Years

We have also mentioned some of the main concepts of the RC that is the part of the VARC.

Below are the previous year details on the CAT RC

CAT RC Passages
CAT 2022
Slot 1Two levels of emotional thinking
Ghosts and their mysteries how we can’t find their history
Chinese Copy of articles
Slot 2Philosophy
Engineering technology
Slot 3Software if more easy humans are not capable of getting solutions)
Social reorganization increasing crime rate
Indian history
American migration/ urbanization increasing
CAT 2021
Slot 1Utopia and Dystopia
Mayan Civilization
Marshmallow Experiment
Evolution of Tea as a Drink
Slot 2Why Fiction Trumps Truth
Language/ Indigenous People
Knowledge and Problems of Knowledge is a Scandal to Philosophy
Colonialism/ Nationalism
Slot 3Unconscious and Psychoanalysis
Time Accuracy Entropy
Language Instinct
CAT 2020
Slot 1Migration of Northern Seals
Grammar/ Vocabulary
Currency of the Tang Dynasty
Slot 2Piracy in International Trade
Investing in Renewable Energy Technologies
Freudian Models of Aggression
A Study of Visualisation
Slot 3Travel Writing and Feminism During Colonial Times
The Need for Economic Literacy in the General Population
Screen Time and Undercurrents of Social Class
An Analysis of Human Nature

CAT Syllabus 2023 for DILR Section

CAT DILR Syllabus
StatementsVenn DiagramSeries
Seating ArrangementsAssumptionsData Sufficiency
Pie ChartsCoding-DecodingBinary Logic
Family TreeTablesDirection Sense
Data ArrangementPropositionsData Structure
Clocks and CalendarsSyllogismBlood Relations
Bars & Line GraphsPuzzlesSeta & Caselets

CAT Syllabus 2023 for QA

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) is the last section of the CAT question. Below are the details of the  CAT Syllabus 2023 for QA.

CAT Quant Syllabus
TrigonometrySimple interest and compound interestWork and Time
Profit & LossRatios and ProportionGeometry
ProbabilityPartnership (Accounts)Square Root and Cube Root
Permutation & CombinationSurds and IndicesPercentages
Mean, mode, medianBinomial theoremGeometric Progression
LogarithmsNumber SystemInequalities
In-equations Quadratic and linear equationsTime-Speed-DistanceMensuration

CAT Exam Pattern for MBA

MBA is one of the most opt courses in India. And there are many MBA Colleges in India that provide this course for 2 years. Talking about the CAT Exam pattern for MBA then below is the list of it in detailed manner: 

Section as per IIM CAT Exam Paper 2023Total QuestionsAllotted Time
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)2040 Minutes
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)2240 Minutes
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)2440 Minutes
Total66120 Minutes

CAT Exam Pattern and Cut off Marks

CAT Cut off marks varies from the colleges to colleges also in IIMs and Non IIMs. It is very hard to crack the CAT Exam by bringing the 99+ percentile. But though the CAT aspirants try its best to take admission in the top IIMs in India. Therefore belew are the list of the IIMs CAT cut off percentile 

IIMsCAT Cut Off Percentile
IIM Vizag92-94
IIM Udaipur92-94
IIM Trichy94-95
IIM Sambalpur95-96
IIM Rohtak92-94
IIM Ranchi94-95
IIM Raipur94-95
IIM Nagpur95-96
IIM Lucknow97-98
IIM Kozhikode97-98
IIM Kashipur94-95
IIM Indore97-98
IIM Calcutta99
IIM Bangalore99-100
IIM Amritsar95-96
IIM Ahmedabad99-100

Non IIMs CAT Cut off Percentile List: 

Non IIMsCAT 2022 Cut Off (Percentile)
MDI Gurgaon95
IMT Ghaziabad93
IIT Madras95
IIT Delhi98

CAT Sectional Cut Off

The colleges accepting CAT Score are many in India or we may say that most of Colleges Accept CAT Score for the admission process. These colleges look upon the CAT sectional cut off to shortlist the candidates on the basis of the CAT percentile. In the below table we have provided the list of the CAT sectional cut off for the general category candidates so please refer:

Name of the InstitutesCAT Sectional Cut Off
IIM Ranchi808080
IIM Raipur>=70>=70>=70
IIM Nagpur727272
IIM Lucknow (PGP)858585
IIM Kozhikode757575
IIM Kashipur707070
IIM Jammu707070
IIM Indore808080
IIM Calcutta≥80≥80≥75
IIM Bodh Gaya707070
IIM Bangalore807575
IIM Amritsar757580
IIM Ahmedabad707070

CAT Exam Time Duration

Each section are divided into the particular time that is 40 minutes. As per the CAT Exam pattern 2023 the slot-by-slot information and the sectional timings are listed below:

  • Evening session: 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
  • Afternoon session: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Morning session: 8:30 am – 10:30 pm
CAT Exam SectionsCAT Exam Time Duration
CAT Exam SectionsCAT exam time duration
VARC40 Minutes
DILR40 Minutes
QA40 Minutes
Total120 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions about CAT Exam Pattern 

Q. What are the 3 subjects of CAT exam?

Ans. The 3 subjects of CAT exam are mentioned below: 

  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.
  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension.
  • Quantitative Ability.

Q. Which is tough CAT or IIT?

Ans. These question start coming in the mind of the students of the clases 11 and 12 Maths, Physics and Chemistry. And we all know that CAT is the 5th toughest exams in India and IIT is much tougher than the CAT Exam

Q. Is CAT exam very easy?

Ans. CAT exam comes in the list of the 5th toughest exam in India and it is a moderate difficulty level exam but the candidates who has start the preparation early can crack this exam very perfectly. If the candidates are well planned, doubts are are cleared or has covered the whole syllabus can easily crack the CAT Exam

Q. What is the total marks of CAT exam?

Ans. From the last 2 years there have been no changes made in the CAT exam pattern so for this year the candidates can prefer the last years exam patter for the preparation. Talking about the total marks of CAT exam the it is of 198 marks. 

Q. Is 70 a good score in CAT?

Ans. 70-80 percentile are considered to be a moderate score in CAT exam and can be considered above average. 

Q. Does CAT have negative marking?

Ans. As per the CAT exam pattern, then yes CAT have negative marking that for one incorrect answer 1 marks will be deducted. So candidates must be very careful while answering the questions.   

Q. Is calculator allowed in CAT?

Ans. The candidates are not allowed to bring up the calculator with themself as an on-screen calculator is already provided by the conducting body.  

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