CAT Exam Pattern

cat exam pattern

CAT Exam Pattern

What is the CAT exam? 

Common Aptitude Test- CAT is a computer-based test for admission in postgraduate management programs in India. CAT provides admissions for more than 500 MBA colleges in India including All 20 IIMs, FMS, JBIMS, SPJIMR, MDI, IMT, DoMS IITs, IISc, etc. The most awaited MBA exam of the year, for which lakhs of students prepare for, is none other than CAT. The Common Admissions Test, also famously abbreviated as CAT is one of the most difficult MBA exams as it is the gateway to the coveted IIMs. In this article, we will know more about the exam and the CAT exam pattern.

CAT online courses

The paper pattern over the years

CAT exam pattern has gone with perceptible changes since 2014 not only in CAT structure but also in content. Going by the tradition in changes in different types of questions in CAT, you cannot rule out a different CAT 2020 Exam pattern. CAT 2020 exam is expected to be held in the month of November/December 2020. The next 6 months will be a crucial period to devise a well chalked out plan for your CAT preparation as per the CAT 2020 pattern.

What will be the CAT 2020 exam pattern

Be that as it may, regardless of a number of changes achieved amid the most recent 4 years in CAT exam design, the nuts and bolts of the CAT exam have not changed. CAT exam design since 2015 has stayed on similar lines. Feline 2020 exam design is additionally anticipated that would stay according to the most recent 3 years CAT design, in spite of the fact that there could be some minor changes in number and kind of inquiries and their sectional synthesis. To make a point to ringer the CAT 2020 with a high score you have to start your CAT exam readiness 2020 without holding up any more.

CAT mocks

According to the overhauled CAT exam design 2019, CAT 2020 will comprise of 3 segments with a sum of 100 inquiries. Each area is planned with the individual time point of confinement of 60 minutes. You have to guarantee a high score in every one of the 3 segments as there is additionally a sectional score cut off in IIMs for shortlisting.

CAT paper pattern

  • Total Questions: 100
  • Number of sections: 3
  • Questions with negative marking (MCQs): 75
  • Questions without negative marking (Non-MCQs): 25
  • Score awarded for each correct answer: 3 marks
  • Negative marking (Applicable for  wrong answers in MCQs): -1 mark

CAT Syllabus

Sectional composition

Section name
No. of questions
Total MCQs (With negative marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)
Maximum marks
24 to 27
7 to 10
23 to 27
7 to 11
  1. VARC: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
  2. DILR: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
  3. Quant: Quantitative Ability

CAT 2020 exam will be directed on the third or fourth week of November 2020 of every a solitary day isolated in morning and evening sessions. One of the best six IIMs will be the Convener for CAT 2020 and has reported that CAT 2020 exam example will stay unaltered.

Free CAT study material

Is the CAT online test? Reacting to this inquiry IIMs, in spite of the fact that acknowledge that CAT paper design is PC based however whether CAT is an online test, they say ‘No.’ Regarding the CAT exam design, IIMs say “Feline isn’t an online exam. It is an advanced or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT); that is, an applicant won’t take the exam on a web website. Rather than perusing the inquiries in a paper booklet and obscuring the ovals on the appropriate response sheet, a hopeful will read the inquiries on a work station and pick an answer by tapping on the right choice.”

So the CAT exam design 2020, regardless of being a PC based exam, won’t be an online exam. Sharing the key contrast and USPs of CAT exam design, IIMs additionally expand “In the PC based arrangement, the hopeful peruses an inquiry on a work station and taps on the right answer. Moreover, the clock on the PC screen discloses to you the rest of an opportunity to finish the present segment.”


CAT 2020 exam: Sections: sub-sections, Expected difficulty level

CAT exam pattern was totally revamped in CAT 2015 by IIM Ahmedabad and since then the CAT exam pattern has followed the same CAT pattern for all the 3 sections. The key features of CAT 2019 sectional exam pattern are:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: 

Add up to questions: 34

MCQs: 24 to 27

Non-MCQs: 7 to 10

RC entries: 5

RC Based inquiries (All MCQs): 24

VA questions (Mix of MCQs and non-MCQs): 10

LOD: Moderate to Very troublesome

Segment Highlights:

No Grammar or vocabulary based inquiries since CAT 2015

Verbal Ability questions stay restricted to 3 subjects just – Jumbled section; Para outline; selecting an odd sentence from the muddled sentences.

  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning:

Add up to questions: 32

MCQs: 28

Non-MCQs: 8

An offer of DI questions: 16

An offer of LR questions: 16

LoD: Moderate to troublesome

Area Highlights:

Inquiries show up in a set of 4

The time crunch is looked by test takers as inquiries are additional tedious

CAT 2020 improve logical reasoning

  • Quantitative Ability:

Add up to questions: 34

MCQs: 23 to 27

Non-MCQs: 7 to 11

LoD: Moderate to troublesome

Area Highlights:

More inquiries are on Arithmetic – Percentage, Profit and Loss, Time and speed, Work/days, Compound intrigue.

CAT Exam: Key Facts

The entrance exam is a Computer-based Test (CBT) of 3 hours length.

CAT exam is separated into 3 primary areas of an hour each

The 3 segments in CAT exam 2019 example are – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC); Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR); Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

There will likewise be sub-segments inside the 3 segments in updated CAT exam 2020 example. For instance, the patched-up CAT exam design for VARC comprises of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension sub-segments; DILR contains inquiries on Data Interpretation and Logical thinking.

Also read: CAT Preparation beginners

  • Applicants are not permitted to move between one segment to others amid the 1 hour relegated to the specific area.
  • CAT Test takers can’t leave their seats amid the exam.
  • MCQs in CAT 2020 exam example will require you to choose 1 rectify answer decision out of 4
  • Non-MCQs in the CAT exam example will expect you to type in the right answer on the PC screen.
  • There may not be any answer decisions for Non-MCQs in an amended example of CAT 2020.
  • Each right answer in CAT exam example will be granted 3 marks whether it is MCQ or Non-MCQ
  • Each wrong response for MCQ in CAT exam 2020 will be forced punishment of 1/3 negative check (- 1 stamp)
  • There will be no punishment of negative checking on wrong responses to Non-MCQs in CAT 2020 exam design
  • CAT exam design stays on the lines of the CAT official Mock test discharged by IIMs a month prior to the CAT exam.

CAT exam changes since Computerization

The exam design in the course of recent years since it was automated in 2009 has gone for detectable changes. Feline paper design before 2009 was paper-pen based. Feline exam design was changed from paper-based exam to CAT online PC based test in 2009. Indeed, even after that CAT paper design kept changing from 3 areas to 2, and after that CAT design was changed to 3 segments in 2015. From that point, forward CAT is following a comparable example. Feline 2020 example likewise continues as before as that of CAT exam 2019 example with 3 segments and 3 hours time in spite of the fact that the quantity of MCQs and Non-MCQs may change.

I hope this article helps you with your preparations!

All the best and Happy Learning!

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