Unlimited Access to Online Course Modules at a Click
Learn More

How Did The CAT Exam Pattern Change Over The Years? Take A Look!

Soham RoyUpdated On: November 21, 2021 | CAT

The exam pattern for CAT 2021 has been updated. While the exam pattern for 2020 is likely to be continued in 2021, the only difference this year might be a fewer number of questions in each section. See all about the changes in CAT exam pattern over the years.

How Did The CAT Exam Pattern Change Over The Years? Take A Look!

Last year, the exam pattern of CAT was drastically altered. The length of the exam was trimmed from 180 to 120 minutes. Along with that, the time per section was reduced from 60 to 40 minutes, as per the latest CAT design. The exam slots also saw an uptick - from 2 to 3. The overall number of questions also decreased in tandem with the decline in the exam duration.

The total number of questions in the CAT 2020 paper was merely 76. 
The exam's structure, however, remained unchanged, with three usual sections:

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

In the upcoming CAT 2021, the question paper is expected to be structured exactly like the question paper from 2020. 

A Brief Insight Into The CAT Exam Pattern & Marking Scheme

The table below reflects the CAT exam pattern that was introduced in the previous year(2020). The candidates who had given the exam last year believed the total number of questions in each section and the duration allotted for these sections was fair. 

Sections

Total Number of Questions

Duration

VARC

26

40 minutes

DILR

24

40 minutes

QA

26

40 minutes

Total

76

120 minutes

CAT Exam Pattern- How Did It Change Over The Years?

If we look at history, from 2014 to 2019, the CAT exam model stayed more or less constant. Apart from some modifications in the types of questions along with their distribution, the test structure and pattern did not show any significant change. 

For instance, in CAT 2018, the volume of Type-In-The-Answer (TITA) questions was higher than the number of MCQs that needed choice selection. However, TITA questions got reduced again in CAT 2019. However, in both Slot #1 and Slot #2, the VARC segment was comparatively more difficult than the other two sections.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the exam control body to revise the CAT exam pattern. The focus here was to allow maximum candidates at the limited exam centres while strictly adhering to the social distancing norms.

Also Read:Career Scope after Completing Distance MBA - Things You Need To Know

Let's take a closer look at the transformation of the CAT exam pattern over the years.

Year

Total Number Of Questions

Duration

Different Sections

2021

76

120 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

2020

76

120 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

2019

100

180 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

2018

100

180 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

2017

100

180 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

2016

100

180 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

2015

100

180 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

2014

100

170 minutes

QA & DI, LR & VARC

2013

60

140 minutes

QA & DI, LR & VARC

2012

60

140 minutes

QA & DI, LR & VARC

2011

60

140 minutes

QA & DI, LR & VARC

2010

60

150 minutes

QA, DILR, VARC

CAT Marking Scheme- Did It Change?

The CAT marking scheme has remained unchanged for the past six years. For each accurate response, three marking points are awarded. On the other hand, for each incorrect answer, one marking point is deducted. No marks are deducted for TITA questions or questions that are not attempted by the candidates. If we talk about the CAT 2020 paper, the total awardable marks were 228.

If you closely notice the trends of CAT in the last 11 years, you will observe that the CAT test structure went through an enormous change in the 2013-2014 edition, when it comes to the number of questions along with the duration. While the total number of questions in CAT 2013 was limited to 60 and the time limit was 140 minutes, it increased to 100 in the CAT 2014 edition. The time limit reflected the increase too and was raised to 170 minutes.

Also Read: List of Non-IIM MBA Colleges to Apply to Before & After CAT Exam

CAT Exam Pattern: Closing Thoughts

The CAT Convenor has said on record that no candidates had complained about the new exam pattern during the CAT 2020 exam and everyone seemed okay with it. However, as a result of the new adjustments, students might have faced time constraints to finish the exam with the new CAT exam pattern. To address that concern, the number of questions in all three sections will be lowered this year. That should be a piece of good news for you if you are appearing for the exam this year!

Related Links

Section-wise Time Management Tips for CAT 2021CAT 2021 Cutoff for Top Private MBA Colleges for General, SC/ST, OBC
CAT 2021 Preparation Tips for BeginnersCAT 2021 Cut Offs Of Top B-Schools in India

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2

/articles/how-did-the-cat-exam-pattern-change-over-the-years/

Be the First to Know

Get Access to Latest Updates

View All Questions

Related Questions

IS UPES having MBA in hr course ?

-SachinUpdated on January 14, 2022 12:14 PM
  • 10 Answers
Yash Dhamija, Student / Alumni

Dear Student

Yes, University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES) University, Dehradun offer a 2 years MBA in HR program. The minimum eligibility criteria to get MBA in HR admissions at UPES Dehradun is passing graduation, 10th and 12th examination with at least 50% marks. Besides this, you must have appeared for CAT/ MAT/ XAT/ NMAT entrance exam. In case, you have not appeared for these examinations, you must have appeared for UPES Management Entrance Test (UPESMET). Final selection will be done on the basis of performance in entrance exam/ qualifying degree followed by Personal Interview

If you have more queries ...

READ MORE...

Top ten MBA institute in India which a BSc student should join?

-PankajUpdated on January 10, 2022 09:57 AM
  • 7 Answers
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

Since the eligibility criteria for MBA admissions is a graduation in any stream, you will be eligible for almost all of the MBA specializations available in thousands of MBA colleges in India. It is best to first decide the specialization you wish to go for before proceeding further. The MBA specialization you choose can also depend on your specialization in undergraduate course. You can also take a look at our article on how to choose a b-school for more information.

If you need information about any particular college, please feel free to write back. For college admissions related ...

READ MORE...

hey i want to pursue MBA but in Punjab only so which college is best for me that assure me best job after pursuing MBA? please suggest me.

-Gurpreet KaurUpdated on January 07, 2022 02:50 PM
  • 27 Answers
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

Placements in your MBA course largely depend on various factors including your performance in the course, reputation of college etc. Hence, when choosing an MBA course from a placement point of view, it is best to check their previous year placement records to get an idea.

There are a number of colleges in Punjab that offer good placements in the MBA course. Some of the popular ones that you can consider include:

READ MORE...

Do you have a question? Ask us.

  • Typical response between 24-48 hours

  • Get personalized response

  • Free of Cost

  • Access to community

Subscribe to CollegeDekho News

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekho terms of use and privacy policy
Apply Now

Management Related News

Top 10 Management Colleges in India

View All

Know best colleges you can get with your score

Top