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2016 CAT Exam Pattern: Be Ready for Surprises

October 26, 2016 12:40 PM 5 minute read , Management - BBA / MBA / Diploma , CAT , CAT - 2016

2016 CAT Exam Pattern: Be Ready for Surprises

Many of you are at the brink of changing your lives. How, you ask? Those of you appearing for CAT 2016, your life are going to change forever. You are entering into the most rigorous 2 years or 1 year of your lives, where you can bid goodbye to sleep, rest & enjoyment and say hello to presentations, case studies and back to back papers. But you already knew that when you signed up for CAT, didn’t you?

You will forget all you fatigue once you crack that job interview at an unimaginable CTC. It’s all worth it let me tell you. But to get there is not an easy task. In 2015, 2.1 lakh (approximately) candidates filled the CAT application form and about 179602 candidates took the exam. While official figures for 2016 CAT is not available yet, but you can expect around the same number of candidates in 2016 as well. So, technically, you competition is about 2 Lakhs!

Also Read: What Happens After I give my CAT exam?

We are sure that you are at the final stages of your CAT preparation right now, but there is one important aspect that you should not ignore – What to expect in the CAT exam?

You are familiar with the paper pattern, but there are some cheats that can help you take a lead against your competition. CollegeDekho lists out some of the important points about the CAT exam pattern that you should know about and be prepared for changes, just in case. You don’t want to be taken by surprise while giving the CAT exam!

Also Read: Do’s & Don’ts for Writing the CAT 2016 Exam

In 2015 CAT paper, the distribution of Verbal Ability (VA) and Reading Comprehension (RC) were 10 questions and 24 questions respectively, which experts are presuming can change in CAT 2016. Similarly, the distribution of Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI) in CAT 2015 was 16 questions each, which may change in 2016.

How many sections are there in the test?

CAT 2016 will have three sections:

  • Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  • Section III: Quantitative Ability

How many questions are there in each of these sections?

There will be 100 questions in three sections:

  • Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension has 34 Questions
  • Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning has 32 Questions
  • Section III: Quantitative Ability has 34 Questions

What is the duration of the test?

  • The exam will be held for 180 minutes on 4 December 2016.
  • The candidate will have three sections of 60 minutes each and they cannot shift from one section to another in each 60 minutes.

How will I know how much time I have for a particular section?

The CAT 2016 paper has been designed in a manner such that you will not be able to end the first section before the first 60 minutes are up.

Similarly, before the second 60 minutes are up, you cannot attempt the third section.

Candidates will be allotted exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and they cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section.

Also Read: Indian Education Needs Revamp! Here’s what Our System Requires

What is the concept of non-MCQ type questions?

CAT has some questions that are Non-MCQs (multiple choice questions) in which, a student has to respond on their own. Aspirants are suggested not to miss answering any of the non-MCQ, as there is no negative marking in it.

Does the non-MCQ type questions carry equal marks as MCQs?

Yes, all questions carry equal marks. However, for all non-MCQ type questions, you must type the answer.

There are no negative marks for non-MCQ type questions.

How many non-MCQs can I expect in each section?

The number of questions varies and cannot be disclosed. In CAT 2015, VARC contained 34 questions out of which 24 were MCQs and 10 Non-MCQs. Out of 34 questions in Quant, the last section to attempt in 2015 CAT there were 10 Non-MCQs. In DI, 4 Non-MCQs and 12 MCQs were asked.

Does 2016 CAT have a syllabus for exam preparation?

No, the 2016 CAT exam does not have a defined syllabus for CAT preparation. You can, however, attempt the mock test to understand the pattern of exam and types of questions. Check the CAT mock test here.

For your benefit, check topics covered in CAT 2015.

What is the marking/grading scheme for CAT?

The scoring scheme for Multiple-Choice Questions or the MCQs is as follows:

  • Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks
  • An incorrect answer will deduct 1 mark (-1)
  • No marks are awarded or deducted for un-attempted questions

Is there negative marking for a wrong answer?

Yes. -1 mark for ‘incorrect answer’. However, there is no negative mark in the Non-MCQ questions.

Falguni Goswami is the Head of TestPrep Division of and an Expert in Career Counselling.

2016 CAT Exam Pattern: Be Ready for Surprises | CollegeDekho