CAT Exam Syllabus, Pattern & Analysis

CAT – Common Admission Test- CAT Exam Syllabus, Pattern & Analysis.

Conducted by
Indian Institute of Management,Calcutta



CAT Exam is national-level management entrance examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). Apart from 20 IIMs, CAT scores are used for admission to various management institutes across the country.

CAT 2018 will be conducted on November 25, 2018. The detailed notification for CAT 2018 will be released in July/August. This year CAT exam will be conducted by IIM Calcutta.

CAT 2017 was conducted sucessfully on November 26, 2017 (Sunday) by IIM Lucknow.
The CAT 2017 results were announced on January 8, 2018. 20 candidates scored 100 percentile yet again. The candidates can download their scorecards from the official website. Admission process through CAT at IIMs and other B-Schools is currently underway.

The CAT question paper and answer keys were released for the first time in 2018 (for CAT 2017 exam) and the candidates were allowed to raise objection to answers they found any incorrect.

Subscribe to get latest news and updates!


Eligibility criteria for CAT 2018:
1.The candidate must possess a Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% for SC, ST and PWD/DA category).
2.Percentage obtained in bachelor’s degree would be calculated on the basis of practice followed by the concerned university/institution. In case of grades/CGPA, the conversion would be based on the process defined by the concerned university/ institution.
3.In absence of any percentage conversion scheme, candidate’s CGPA will be divided by maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100.
4.Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification are also eligible to apply for CAT.

Exam Dates

Get detailed information about all CAT 2018 important dates such as exam date, registration date, application date, result date and much more on CATKing.

[table id=55 /]


STEP 1: CAT 2018 Application Procedure
CAT 2018 application form is to be submitted online with payment of application fee through Credit Card, Debit Card or Net Banking.

STEP 2: CAT 2018 Admit Cards
CAT 2018 admit cards will available for download on the official website. CAT aspirants must download their admit cards from the official website as they won’t be sent to them by post.

STEP 3: CAT 2018 Results
CAT 2018 result will be declared in January 2019. The test takers can check their scores and download their scorecards from the official website. Based on their scores they will be invited by the IIMs for GD/PI rounds. CAT score is accepted by most of management institutes in India.

Verbal Ability:

CAT Exam Syllabus

CAT analyses the skills of the aspirant in four sections: Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability, Logical & Analytical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. It is also a test of time management.

1. Mathematics or Quantitative Section
Some of the core concepts in maths and quant subjects are:

[table id=50 /]
2. English or Verbal Section
Prominent topics in this section are:
[table id=51 /]
3. Analytical Reasoning Section
Important topics under AR are:
[table id=52 /]
4. Data Interpretation Section
Problems related to organised and unorganised data are quite common in this section. Core topics are as follows:
[table id=53 /]

CAT Preparation:

Exam Pattern

1.Candidates will be given 180 minutes to answer the questions. Each section is allotted 60 minutes. The candidates cannot choose any section to start with or switch from one section to another. They will have to follow the question paper chronologically, from section 1-3.
2.Total marks of CAT 2018 paper will be 300. Each question will carry 3 marks. There will be negative marking of -1 for each wrong answer. There will be no deduction of marks incase a candidate chooses not to attempt a given question.
3.Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type, thus the answers will have to be typed on the screen.
4.Use of basic onscreen calculator will be allowed for computation.

[table id=54 /]

CAT D-DAY Strategy:

Exam Analysis

The CAT is India’s top management entrance exam and it is a gateway to 20 IIMs and over 8000 other business schools in India.
The CAT 2017 exam was held in two sessions on Nov 26, 2017. The first session was held from 10 am to 1 pm and the second session will be held from 2 pm to 5 pm.
The question paper of CAT 2017 first slot consisted of 100 questions. There were 34 Quantitative Ability (QA) questions, 34 Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) questions and 32 Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning questions (DILR).

In the QA section of the first slot of CAT 2017, there were 11 MCQs with more arithmetic questions, while in DILR section was equally divided between DI and LR questions. 16 questions were on DI and 16 on LR. There were 8 MCQs out of 32 questions in this section. The difficultly level in DILR section was high while, in QA section it can be termed as easy.
The VARC section in the first slot of CAT 2017 was of moderate difficulty with 24 questions on RC (5 passages). 10 questions were from grammar out of which 7 were non-MCQs.
The first slot question paper of CAT 2017 indicates that the DILR section will prove crucial in terms of scoring
CAT 2017 slot 2 analysis
The second slot of CAT 2017 was easier than the first one. The questions focused more on basics and were on the same lines as slot one, i.e. same break up in terms of MCQs and non-MCQs.
DILR section in the second slot was slightly easier than the first slot but was lengthy and time taking. Difficulty level of QA and VARC section was same as slot 1.
VARC:There were total 34 questions out of which 24 were on RC (5 passages). Rest of the 10 questions were from VA, out of which 7 were non-MCQs. The para summary questions were MCQs with negative marking. In the VA section parajumbles were somewhat time consuming, while rest were doable.
DI-LR:Like the first slot, DI-LR in slot 2 had 32 questions as well. 16 questions were of DI and 16 of LR, with 12 MCQs and 4 non-MCQs in both sets. The difficulty level in this section was higher in slot 2 as compared to slot 1.
QA:The Quantitative Ability section in slot 2 of CAT 2017 was of easy to moderate difficulty with more questions from Arithmetic. Out of 34 questions 11 were non-MCQs. The questions ranged from topics like Arithmetic, Geometry, Mensuration, Algebra to Series & Sequence, Modulas, Number System etc.
Student Reaction:
CAT 2017 was conducted successfully on November 26, 2017 by IIM Lucknow. Shiksha got in touch with a few CAT aspirants to know about their exam experiences.
Here’s what CAT 2017 test takers had to say about the question paper:
Aspirants found CAT 2017 relatively easier than last year’s exam. However, where Quant and Verbal Ability sections were a cakewalk, DI and LR acted as a speed-breaker for many students. Overall, majority of test-takers found the paper easy to moderate.

Difficult IIM Interview Question:

Exam Centers

CAT 2018 was conducted at 140 exam centers across India.

CAT 2018 will be conducted at the following centres:
[table id=20 /]
However, the final allotment of seats shall be done on the basis of the total number of applicants.

Application Form

CAT 2018 application form is to be submitted online with payment of application fee through Credit Card, Debit Card or Net Banking.
CAT registration process is a three-step online process.
The three step registration process involves – registration, log in and filling the application form. After registering, applicants have to fill the application form on the official website.
As per the rules:
Candidates will have four options to select the test cities in order of preference. Candidates need not to rush during the initial registration days to block slots.
Candidates do not have the option to choose exam centre. They will be granted their first preferred city as test centre. In case, they do not get the first preference, the same process will be repeated for the second, third and fourth preferred city.

Test Fees
The registration fee is Rs 1800 for General and NC-OBC candidates and Rs 900 for SC/ST/PWD (DA) categories.
Mode of Payment
The test fee can be paid via Debit/Credit cards or through internet banking.
To register for CAT 2018, the aspirant will have to log in to the official website as new user. On successful registration, user ID and password will shared with the aspirant on email. Thereafter, the applicants can fill the form using the user ID and password.
Candidates will have four options to select the test cities in order of preference. Candidates do not need to rush during the initial registration days to block slots.
Candidates will be given their first preferred city. In case, they do not get the first preference, the same process will be repeated for the second, third and fourth preferred city. It will be allotted by CAT Centre on random basis. Candidates do not have the option to choose.
Things to keep in mind:
1.Do not leave vacant any field that is marked mandatory
2.Incomplete forms will be rejected
3.Enter correct information as if any information is found to be incorrect, candidate’s admission can be cancelled
4.Cross check all the information filled thoroughly before hitting submit/save key
5.Once submitted, the form cannot be edited

Admit Card

Admit card for CAT 2018 will be available for download from the scheduled date till the examination date. Registered candidates can download their admit cards by using their login ID and password.
The test takers must download their admit cards and take a printout of it before the last date as no hard copies will be sent by post.
Admit card is a mandatory document to be carried to the exam hall. Any candidates found without the admit card will not be allowed to take the test. Thus, the candidates must keep their admit cards safe.
To download the admit card, a candidate needs to follow the below mentioned steps:
1.Visit the official website
2.Enter registration ID and password
3.Once logged in, click on CAT 2018 Admit Card tab
4.Download the admit card
5.Take a print out of the admit card

The admit card will carry following details:
1.Candidate’s name
4.Registration Number
5.Date and time of exam
6.Instructions regarding exam
The candidates must check the information printed on the admit card and incase of any error, must immediately contact the exam conducting body to get it rectified or obtain a duplicate card.
Paste a recent passport size colour photograph on the admit card and sign it.
Candidates appearing for the exam must ensure that they preserve the admit card even till the end of admission process.
Candidates also need to carry an identity proof along with the admit card to the exam centre. They are advised not to carry mobile phone, calculator, IPad or any other gadget to the exam hall. Anybody found carrying any such article will be barred from the exam.

Articles Related to CAT

MBA exams you should not miss

MBA exams you should not miss!!! CAT CAT will be hung on around November. Common Admission Test (CAT) is the major... read more

Why you should target CAT before CET

Here are a few reasons for you to target CAT before MH-CET: Conclusions: 1. There is more competition for CET compared... read more

How to Analyze CAT Mocks ?

Step-wise approach for CAT Mock Analysis With few months left for the CAT Exam, all candidates should start giving their... read more

How To Analyse Your Mocks

How To Analyse Your Mocks With few months left for the CAT Exam, all candidates should start giving their CAT... read more

How much time should one allocate daily to crack the CAT?

The answer to this question depends on your current level of preparation and your motivation to achieve bigger goal. First and... read more

How many months are required to prepare for CAT?

CAT Preparation Answer to this question depends on an individual’s current intellectual level and the commitment a person can give... read more

Competition in CAT Exam

Understanding the Competition in CAT Exam will help you to know where you stand and how much more effort... read more

Online Coaching for CAT

CAT Online Coaching Common Admission Test or commonly known as CAT exam is one of the most important entrance exam... read more