CAT Question Papers (2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017) - Download PDFs

Yash Dhamija
Yash DhamijaUpdated On: December 18, 2023 05:20 pm IST | CAT

CAT question papers from previous years are a great source for exam preparation. Download the CAT question papers with solution PDF for 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018 & 2017 provided on this page.

CAT Question Papers and Solutions

CAT question papers 2023 based on memory-based questions have been provided here. CAT question papers from previous years are considered one of the best sources for exam preparation. Practising CAT question papers can help a candidate understand the exam pattern, important topics, the distribution of questions in each section, and more. The best part about solving CAT question papers is that you will get to know a variety of problems from all the sections. They will help you add a final touch to your preparation and will strengthen your concepts.

Candidates can also utilize the CAT Previous Year Papers to identify their strong and weak areas so that they can prepare their CAT 2023 preparation schedule accordingly. The CAT 2023 exam was conducted on November 26, 2023, by IIM Lucknow in 167 test cities across India. Find below the CAT question paper 2023 with solution PDF along with CAT question papers of 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017.

Also Read:

How to Start CAT Preparation from Scratch

Stress Management During CAT Preparation 2023

Importance of Soft Skills in MBA Admissions

Is the CAT Exam Tough?

CAT Question Papers PDF (2017-2023)

Candidates appearing for the CAT 2023 exam may download the CAT question papers PDF provided below to boost their CAT 2024 preparation. They can click on the direct links provided with each year in order to download the question paper of that particular year.

CAT 2023 Question Papers

CAT 2023 was conducted on November 26, 2023, in online mode. CAT 2023 question papers for all three slots have been updated below:

CAT Question Paper

PDF Download Link

CAT 2023 Slot 1 Question Paper

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CAT 2023 Slot 2 Question Paper

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CAT 2023 Slot 3 Question Paper

Click Here

CAT 2022 Question Papers

CAT 2022 was conducted on November 27, 2022. The exam was conducted in online mode. CAT 2022 question papers can be found at various sources online since they have been released by the CAT conducting authorities. CAT 2022 question papers have been provided here:

CAT Question Paper

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CAT 2022 Shift 1

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CAT 2022 Shift 2

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CAT 2022 Shift 3

Download Here

CAT 2021 Question Papers

CAT 2021 was conducted on November 28, 2021, in online mode. Candidates can download CAT 2021 question papers from different shifts provided below.

Quantitative Aptitude


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CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Shift 1 

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CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Shift 2

Download Here

CAT 2021 Quantitative Aptitude Shift 3

Download Here

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning


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CAT 2021 DILR Shift 1 

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CAT 2021 DILR Shift 2

Download Here

CAT 2021 DILR Shift 3

Download Here

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension


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CAT 2021 VARC Shift 1 

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CAT 2021 VARC Shift 2

Download Here

CAT 2021 VARC Shift 3

Download Here

Also Read: CAT Sample Papers

CAT 2020 Question Papers 

CAT 2020 was conducted on November 20, 2020, in 3 shifts. Given below are the CAT 2020 question papers which can be the second-most significant practice papers for the exam after having practised the CAT 2021 question paper. Also, find the answer keys for the three shifts:

CAT 2020 Section

Question Paper

Answer Key

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) - Slot 1

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Download Here

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) - Slot 1

Download Here

Download Here

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) - Slot 1

Download Here

Download Here

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) - Slot 2

Download Here

Download Here

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) - Slot 2

Download Here

Download Here

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) - Slot 2

Download Here

Download Here

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) - Slot 3

Download Here

Download Here

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) - Slot 3

Download Here

Download Here

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) - Slot 3

Download Here

Download Here

CAT Previous Year Question Papers 2019 - 2017


Direct Links to Download CAT Question Papers

CAT 2019 (Morning Shift)

CAT 2019 Question Paper with Solutions Slot 1

CAT 2019 (Evening Shift)

CAT 2019 Question Paper with Solution Slot 2

CAT 2018 (Morning Shift)

CAT 2018 Question Paper Slot 1

CAT 2018 (Evening Shift)

CAT 2018 Question Paper Slot 2

CAT 2017 (Morning Shift)

CAT 2017 Question Paper Slot 1

CAT 2017 (Evening Shift)

CAT 2017 Question Paper Slot 2

Also Read: How to Approach CAT 2023 Question Paper?

CAT Exam Pattern

Have a look at the CAT exam pattern to get an idea of the distribution of questions in each section.


Number of Questions



Total Marks

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 

24 questions




Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

20 questions




Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

22 questions




The expected pattern of the CAT 2023 question papers as well as the pattern of previous year question papers and the total time duration has been provided below:

Year of CAT Exam

Total Number of Questions in Each Section

Total Time Duration

CAT Exam Paper 2023 (Expected)

  • VARC - 24

  • DILR - 20

  • QA - 22 

  • Total Questions - 66


CAT Exam Paper 2022

  • VARC - 24

  • DILR - 20

  • QA - 22 

  • Total Questions - 66


CAT 2021 Paper

  • VARC - 24

  • DILR - 20

  • QA - 22 

  • Total Questions - 66


CAT 2020 Paper

  • VARC - 26

  • DILR - 24

  • QA - 26

  • Total Questions - 76


CAT Exam Paper (2019-2015)

  • VARC - 34

  • DILR - 32

  • QA - 34

  • Total Questions -100


Also Read: Best Books for CAT 2024

Key Features of CAT 2023 Question Paper

Students must be intimately aware of the CAT 2023 exam's key features for the entire examination timeline. The most important features of the expected CAT 2023 Question Paper have been tabulated below:

CAT 2023 Question Paper Particulars

CAT 2023 Question Paper Details

Number of Sections

Three, namely, 

  • VARC (24 questions)

  • DILR (20 questions)

  • QA (22 questions)

Total Number of CAT Questions


CAT 2023 Exam Duration

120 minutes (2 hours)

CAT 2023 Exam Sectional Time Limit

40 minutes

CAT Exam 2023 Marking Scheme

  • 3 marks are awarded for every correct answer

  • 1 mark is deducted for every wrong answer

  • No negative marking for non-MCQs (TITA questions)

Total Marks

198 marks

Also Read:CAT Predicted Question Paper 2023

CAT 2023 Question Paper: Important Topics

CAT exam 2023 covers a vast range of topics and subjects across its entire syllabus. A comprehensive understanding of the CAT 2024 syllabus is necessary to formulate an effective preparation plan. The CAT question papers from past years can be the best way to get a clearer idea of the same. Here are the important topics for all three sections of the CAT exam 2023:

Quantitative Ability (QA) Important Topics


Ratio & Proportion



Profit and Loss

Interest (Simple and Compound)

Speed, Time, and Distance

Time and Work

Geometry/ Mensuration

Number Systems

Venn diagrams

Linear Equations and Quadratic Equations

Complex Numbers



Binomial Theorem

Surds and Indices

Permutation and Combination

Mixtures and Alligations


Coordinate Geometry

Functions and Graphs



Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) Important Topics


Bar charts - Simple, Stacked, Composite Bar charts

Pie charts

Data comparison from Table


Data Analysis

Direction sense

Team formation

Seating Arrangement

Blood Relation



Binary Logic




Linear and matrix arrangement




Set Theory

Venn Diagrams



Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) Important Topics


Main idea in the passage


Inferences, Statements, Arguments

Phrasal Meaning & Usage

Jumbled paragraphs 

Para Summary

Odd sentence out of a Jumbled paragraph

Error Corrections

Sequence of sentences

Fill in the blanks

Vocabulary usage


Completion of Paragraph

Critical Reasoning

Sentence Completion

Reading Comprehension Important Topics 

Important Topics


  1. Current affairs making impact on Social Life, International Affairs

  2. Govt policies and Schemes for example New Education Policy

  • Triple Talaq

  • CAA

  • Covid 19 Pandemic

  • Clean India Mission

  • Migration of people from one country to other

  • Growing intolerance across the Globe

Business & Economy

  • Global economic changes

  • economic development at the cost of environment

  • Impact of Demonetization in India

  • Wasteful expenditure by Governments

Articles from English Literature books authored by great philosophers, thinkers, from various speeches of great personalities

  • Charles Dickens

  • Aristotle

  • Martin Luther King

  • Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi

  • Churchill, etc.

Science & Culture

  • Journey to Modern world

  • Fading culture with the advancement of technology

Historical events leading to social changes 

  • French Revolution

  • War of Roses

Also Read: Important Topics for CAT 2023

How to Download CAT Question Papers?

Candidates are advised to solve the maximum number of CAT question papers provided on this page to strengthen their exam preparation. You can download the CAT 2022 question paper or that of 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2017 from the table provided above. The steps for downloading the question papers of CAT are listed below:

  • Click on the direct link of the CAT question paper for a particular year provided above.

  • You will be redirected to the question paper.

  • You can then download the CAT question paper after clicking on the download button provided on the page.

  • You can also take a printout of the question paper.

Advantages of Solving CAT Question Papers

There are many advantages to attempting CAT question papers with solution PDF. Some of them are provided below:

  • The question papers of CAT exam will help you improve your time management skills. Since the duration of the CAT exam is 2 hours, candidates must work on their time management skills so that they can complete the exam on time.

  • CAT question papers can help you ‌check your preparation level. You can solve the question papers to know which section requires more preparation.

  • Solving question papers of CAT can help you develop shortcuts to solve the same kinds of problems quickly. 

  • CAT question papers can help you practice a maximum number of question papers from a topic. 

  • One of the major advantages of the CAT question paper 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, etc. is that it helps in understanding the difficulty level. The CAT previous year papers will give you an idea of the difficulty of each topic mentioned in the syllabus of CAT 2023.

  • While solving a CAT question paper, you will face problems randomly. This will help you be prepared for each type of question.

  • Some of the topics, such as Critical Reasoning, Data Interpretation, and Reading Comprehension require a lot of practice. You can solve questions from the previous year papers of CAT to have more practice questions for these kinds of concepts.

Importance of Solving CAT Question Papers

When Should I Begin Solving Previous Year CAT Question Papers?

There is no fixed time for solving the question papers of CAT as it all depends on your preparation. You are advised to start solving question papers as soon as possible in order to enhance your CAT 2023 exam preparation. You can either solve the section-wise or topic-wise question papers. Those who are not good at any particular topic or section may download the section-wise question papers from the internet and start solving them. It will help you ‌strengthen a wide range of concepts and topics included in the CAT 2023 syllabus. You are further advised to analyze what mistakes you have made and try to work on them.

Who Should Solve CAT Question Papers?

All the CAT exam 2023 candidates are advised to solve the CAT question papers and take mock tests. The question papers will be beneficial for the candidates who are appearing for the CAT 2023 exam for the first time. They can download the question papers to know what type of problems they can face in the exam. Besides this, it will also help them to get an idea about the time required to solve each type of question. 

How to Use CAT Previous Year Paper Effectively

To make effective use of CAT previous year papers, you must first familiarize yourself with the fundamental ideas of each portion of these papers to gain maximum advantage. After going over the fundamental ideas, you should attempt section tests from different sources that are reliable and follow the latest CAT 2023 exam pattern. Make sure to answer questions of every degree of difficulty while completing the section tests. Questions in the CAT exams from the previous year range in difficulty. You will be confidently able to answer the questions from the previous year's cat papers because of your grasp of the concepts and capacity for tackling problems of various degrees of difficulty.

Preparation Tips for CAT 

You are advised to plan a schedule before starting your CAT exam preparation. You can go through the CAT syllabus to know all the topics that will be covered in the entrance exam. After that, you can start your preparation according to the schedule. You can solve CAT mock test papers to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Some of the articles provided below will help you know some preparation tips for the CAT entrance exam.

Candidates may check their exam centre and exam day guidelines from the CAT admit card. Through the CAT 2024 College Predictor and the CAT 2023 Percentile Predictor, candidates can get an idea of the percentile they will score and the colleges that can call them for admission. Candidates may also check out the articles mentioned below to learn more about CAT 2023!

Related Articles:

Tips to Answer Logical Reasoning Questions in CAT

CAT 2023 Study Plan for Students in Final Year of Graduation

Common Mistakes to Avoid During CAT Preparation

Tips to Improve GK for MBA Entrance Exams

How to Improve English for MBA Exams

CAT Preparation Tips for Non-Engineering Students

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability

How to Prepare for CAT VARC

Those who have any queries related to the CAT 2023 exam can ask questions on our Q&A zone. For admission-related assistance or more about CAT question papers, call on our toll-free number 1800-572-9877, or fill out our Common Application Form. All the Best for CAT 2023!


What are the types of questions asked in the CAT question papers?

The CAT question paper consists of Multiple Choice questions from different types of topics covered in the CAT syllabus. Candidates will find questions related to topics that fall under the three broad categories into which the CAT syllabus is divided which include Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude.

What is the structure followed by CAT question papers?

The CAT question paper is divided into three sections which include Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude. There are a total of 66 questions on the CAT question paper which are divided into three sections. There are a total of 24 questions in the VARC section, 22 questions in the Quantitative Aptitude section, and 20 questions in the DILR section. There is a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for each section of the question paper and total duration of the question paper is 2 hours.

Which CAT question paper is the toughest among the three exam slots?

Every slot's CAT exam contains different questions. The exam conducting body makes an effort to keep the paper's degree of difficulty consistent across all time slots, however, it is possible for one question to be more challenging than another. It has been observed that the testing authority modifies the topic-wise weighting somewhat throughout the exam slots in order to maintain the uniqueness of the question paper. Candidates shouldn't worry about the difficulty level of the slots, though, as all candidates' scores are normalized on the same scale to eliminate any chance that any student would have an advantage or disadvantage due to a difference in difficulty level.

What are the advantages of solving CAT question papers?

From the perspective of preparation, answering the CAT question papers are crucial. One must have prior experience with this because the CAT is a speed-based test that requires candidates to read lengthy paragraphs, tables, and charts, perform numerous computations, and solve challenging riddles. The CAT question papers are used for this. However, you must complete the CAT question papers from prior years' exams in order to know what kinds of passages and riddles are included in the CAT exam.

What is the sectional weightage in the CAT question papers?

According to the section-wise division of questions in the CAT question papers, the number of questions in each section is as follows:

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: 24
  • Quantitative Aptitude section: 22
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning: 20

Where can candidates find the CAT question papers?

Within a week of the test, CAT question papers with a response sheet and an answer key are made available as a PDF. The CAT question paper and answer key are accessible to candidates who took the test. Every slot's exam questions, applicant response forms, and official answers are all made available on the same day. If a candidate requires old CAT test questions for practice, they can get them from a number of websites, including CollegeDekho. For candidates to download and practice, we have published the CAT exam papers from the last five years. These authentic CAT test questions are freely downloadable in PDF format.

Who sets the CAT question papers?

The Indian Institutes of Management conduct the CAT exam and prepare the CAT Question Papers on a rotating basis each year. For instance, the CAT question paper was established by IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Indore, respectively, in 2021 and 2020. IIM Bangalore created the CAT Question Paper for 2022.

Can CAT question papers be solved online?

Yes, CAT Question Papers can be solved and practiced online, in terms of previous year’s question papers and mock tests. Additionally, the CAT Question Paper PDFs for 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018 in addition to the in-depth analysis and solutions can also be accessed by students.

Are CAT question papers enough to score well on the CAT exam?

Given that the number of questions in the CAT exam has changed over the past three years, it is challenging to provide an exact figure when it comes to questions required to solve for a good score. Additionally, the CAT percentile is influenced by the complexity of the exams as well as the number of test takers in a given year. To be safe, one should attempt to answer at least 2/3 of the questions in each part of the CAT.

Are CAT question papers tough?

The CAT Question Papers are simple to tackle if a candidate is properly prepared. The majority of applicants, however, find the CAT Question Papers to be of a moderate difficulty level because the questions were a little challenging.

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