CAT exam Syllabus

CAT exam Syllabus

The Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), is a national level exam. One of the first steps to start your preparation for CAT is to have an overview of the CAT exam syllabus.

Apart from admission to the 20 IIMS, the CAT scores are used to many b-schools across the country. The CAT Syllabus is designed to test the admission-seekers suitability. The Syllabus hasn’t been specified, however based on past papers, a list of important topics and subtopics are compiled by experts.

With the help of the CAT exam syllabus, aspiring management candidates can prepare for the exam. The main point is that the questions don’t get repeated in the exams although the difficulty level of the questions will remain within the CAT exam syllabus.

The CAT exam syllabus is divided into three parts:

  1. Verbal and Reading Comprehension
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  3. Quantitative Ability

CAT exam syllabus covers all the major topics on the above three sections.

The Verbal and Reading Comprehension section is divided into 2 parts – the 1st part covered Reading Comprehension and the 2nd part is based on topics of Verbal Ability.


Reading Comprehension

  • The passages usually have a medium length of 250 to 500 words.
  • Total number of passages are 5 which can be based on various topics like Social issues, Economic issues, Current affairs, abstract topics etc.
  • Most cases are usually 3 Long passages and 2 short passages
  • The division of questions are 6 questions on each long passage and 3 questions on each short passage

Verbal ability

  • Number of Verbal ability questions are around 10
  • Basic Topics covered include:Fill in the blanks, Grammar, Sentence Correction, Synonyms, Antonyms, Verbal reasoning, Paragraph Completion, Critical Reasoning, Fact inference

Grammar-based questions test the student’s capability to correct grammatical errors. CAT usually tests knowledge of grammar that  includes areas like use of articles, subject-verb agreement, parallel construction, phrasal verbs, use of modifiers, redundancy, prepositions etc.

The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section is divided into 2 parts – the 1st part covered Data Interpretation and the 2nd part is based on topics of Logical Reasoning.

Data Interpretation

  • Number of Data Interpretation questions are around 16
  • Past trend of topics include: Caselets, Line Graph, Bar Graph, Pie Charts, Tables, Data Sufficiency, Combination of Graph, Venn Diagrams, Column Graphs etc.

Logical Reasoning:

  • Number of Logical Reasoning questions are around 16
  • Topics included are: Blood Relations, Binary Logic, Seating Arrangement, Sets, Family Tree, Clocks and Calendar, Assumptions, Data Arrangements, Venn Diagrams, Syllogism, Puzzles, Constraint – based puzzles, Data Arrangement, Matching Puzzles, Proposition, Games and Tournaments, Cubes, Logical Sequence, Number and Letter series, Logical Connectives etc.

Also read: CAT exam coaching centres

The Quantitative Ability section is the last section. The syllabus for the Quantitative Ability section is very vast and covers almost everything in Mathematics.

  • This section consists of 34 questionsQuantitative Ability
  • Topics includes major ones and sub topics.
  • Major Topics: Geometry, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Number System, Algebra, Modern Mathematics, Higher Mathematics, Modern Mathematics etc.
  • Sub Topics: HCF and LCM, Speed and Distance, Arithmetic progression, Geometric progression, Time and Work, Ratios and Proportion, Profit and Loss, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Pipes and Cisterns, Clocks, Arithmetic Mean, Harmonic Mean, Partnerships, Geometry, Lines, Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Logarithm, Binomial theorem, Surds and Indices, Probability, Set Theory, Coordinate Geometry, Averages, Complex Numbers, Sequences and Series etc.

The best way to prepare for the Common Admission Test (CAT) is to solve as many practice and mock tests and through these you will be able to cover all the topics.

Also, in order to improve your score, you should keep yourself updated with the CAT exam syllabus and practice as much as possible.


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