Important Topics for CAT: Expected Subject-Wise Weightage

Abhinav Chamoli
Abhinav ChamoliUpdated On: December 18, 2023 05:43 pm IST | CAT

Being aware of the important topics for CAT can help a candidate improve his chances of scoring a high percentile in the exam. Know the section-wise important topics from CAT and boost your exam preparation!

Important Topics for CAT

The important topics for CAT should always take precedence over the entire CAT syllabus to be able to score high on the exam. It is a well-known fact that the CAT exam does not have a defined syllabus. Preparation for CAT has to be done by assuming the syllabus, as the topics included in the CAT question paper will likely follow the pattern of CAT’s previous year’s question papers. Subsequently, aspirants must be aware of all the CAT important topics and subjects that are expected to be in the CAT syllabus, to avoid confusion when preparing for the exam.

Whether candidates wish to seek admission to IIMs or other MBA colleges with the best ROI, they must make sure their CAT preparation has no gaps, so that their chances are elevated. Apart from an extensive understanding of the CAT syllabus, candidates should also know the subject-wise weightage of topics in CAT. This will help them devise an effective strategy for preparation, as well as solving the CAT question paper. With that being said, we have provided every detail related to CAT important topics and topic-wise weightage in CAT in the article below.

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Important Topics for CAT

CAT experts analyzed the previous year's question paper on CAT and put out a CAT 2023 exam analysis. Based on that analysis, experts can tell the section-wise important topics for CAT as mentioned below.

Important Topics for CAT 2023

CAT DILR Important Topics

CAT VARC Important Topics

CAT QA Important Topics

Seating Arrangement

Fill in the Blanks

Algebra

Assumption and Binary Logic

Odd Sentences Out

Geometry & Mensuration

Pie Charts

Para-Jumbles

Number System, Basic Arithmetic

Data Interpretation

Para-Summary

Permutation & Combination

Linear Arrangements

Reading Comprehension Passages

Probability

Games & Tournament

Sentence Completion and Correction

Time, Speed, and Distance

Network Flow Diagram

Word Usage (Vocabulary)

Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets

Every topic in CAT is important and you should always try to cover the complete CAT syllabus. However, having an understanding of important topics in CAT can help you prioritize and make a better study plan. While important topics can help you formulate a better study plan, they don't tell the complete story. In order to understand this in detail and form an extensive preparation strategy, one has to look at the section-wise weightage of topics in CAT.

Also Read: All About the CAT Exam

Important Topics for CAT Quantitative Ability: Topic-Wise Weightage

Abbreviated as QA, Quantitative Aptitude is a very important section of the exam. The section holds 34% weightage and can often prove to be time-consuming. Plus, QA has TITA (Type in the Answer) type questions in CAT, which can further pose problems for CAT aspirants. The following table provides the weightage of different important topics for the CAT QA section:

CAT QA Important Topics 2023

CAT QA Topics

No. of Questions

Difficulty

Geometry & Mensuration

7 - 8

Moderate - Difficult

Number System, Basic Arithmetic

5 - 10

Moderate

Algebra

6 - 7

Moderate

Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets

1 - 3

Easy

Permutation & Combination

1 - 2

Easy

Probability

1 - 2

Moderate

Profit, loss, and Discounts

1 - 2

Easy-Moderate

Time, Speed, and Distance

1 - 2

Moderate - Difficult

Time and Work

1 - 2

Difficult

Interests (SI, CI)

1 - 2

Moderate - Difficult


As can be seen, Geometry, Number System, and Algebra questions dominate the QA section of CAT. These will be the topics you must focus on to get the best results. However, the number of questions required for a good attempt in QA is 25 and it can be seen that only focusing on these topics will not get you there. Other topics will also have to be included in your study plan.

Also Read:How to Prepare for CAT Quant

CAT Important Topics for VARC: Topic-Wise Weightage

The Verbal Ability section in CAT also contains 24 questions and hence holds an equal weightage to QA. Most of this section is made of Reading Comprehension. Usually, around 4 to 5 passages are seen in this section every year and every passage contains 3 to 6 questions. The remaining tests the Verbal Ability of the candidates and can be asked from a wide range of topics. The important topics for CAT VARC and the expected topic-wise distribution of questions in CAT can be found in the chart given below:

CAT VARC Important Topics 2023

CAT VARC Topics

No. of Questions

Difficulty

Reading Comprehension Passages

16 - 24

Moderately Difficult

Para Jumbles

2 - 4

Moderate

Para Summary

2 - 3

Moderate

Sentence Completion and Correction

2 - 3

Moderately Easy

Sentence Elimination

1 - 2

Moderate

Fill in the Blanks

1 - 2

Easy

Word Usage & Vocabulary

1 - 2

Easy


Developing the skill to crack RC questions quickly is vital in this section. Develop a reading habit (start with light material and move on to more complicated content such as editorials of English dailies), and try to remember the details you went through. Attempt 25 - 27 questions to get a good score in this section.

Also Read:How to Prepare for CAT VARC

Important Topics for CAT DILR: Topic-wise Weightage

Much like VARC, the DILR section of CAT consists of two parts -- DI and LR. Even though the section contains 32% overall weightage in CAT, it does not fail to stump the candidates with its tricky questions and lengthy puzzles. Arrangements (Seating & Data) and questions based on Graphs form the core of cracking DILR. Blood Relations, Tables & Caselets, and Data Sufficiency questions are also 

CAT DILR Important Topics 2023

CAT DILR Topics

No. of Questions

Difficulty

Graphs

6 - 8

Moderate

Arrangement

5 - 6

Moderate - Difficult

Data Sufficiency

3 - 5

Moderate

Tables and Caselets

2 - 5

Moderate - Difficult

Blood Relations

1 - 3

Easy-Moderate

Puzzles

1 - 2

Moderate - Difficult

Clocks & Calendars

1 - 2

Easy-Moderate

Assumption and Binary Logic

1 - 2

Easy

Syllogisms and Venn Diagrams

1 - 2

Easy

Practising as many questions as possible is the only way that works best when preparing for DILR. There can be a wide gap between the type of questions asked and shortcuts fall flat on their face when it comes to this section. To improve in DILR, you literally have to increase your brainpower and problem-solving ability through consistent practice. Only a candidate who has developed the ability to recognize patterns and approach a question from different angles will be able to make a good attempt at 20 to 22 questions in DILR.

Also Read:How to Prepare for CAT DILR

CAT Section-wise Syllabus

Before moving on to the CAT important topics 2023, let us check the overall CAT syllabus. Although the syllabus for CAT is not defined, certain topics have been included in the CAT exam for many years. 

CAT Sections

Topics Included

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Fill in the blanks

  • Completion of Paragraph

  • Para Summary

  • Jumbled paragraphs

  • Analogies

  • Assumption

  • Inferences, Statements, Arguments

  • Synonyms

  • Antonyms

  • Phrasal Meaning & Usage

  • Odd Sentence Out

  • Error Corrections

  • Sequence of sentences

  • Vocabulary usage

  • Critical Reasoning

  • Main idea in the passage

  • Sentence Completion

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Seating Arrangement

  • Blood Relation

  • Clocks

  • Calendars

  • Data Comparison

  • Set Theory

  • Venn Diagrams

  • Graphs

  • Bar Charts

  • Pie charts

  • Caselets

  • Linear and matrix arrangement

  • Input-Output

  • Series

  • Syllogism

  • Cubes

  • Rows

  • Data Analysis

  • Direction sense

  • Team formation

  • Binary logic

  • Logical Sequence

  • Assumption

  • Premise

  • Conclusion

  • Network Diagrams

  • Quantitative Reasoning

  • Puzzles

Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Number System

  • Algebra

  • Geometry/Mensuration

  • Binomial Theorem

  • Surds and Indices

  • Inequalities

  • Speed, Time and Distance Time and Work

  • Averages

  • Ratio & Proportion

  • LCM and HCF

  • Percentages

  • Profit and Loss

  • Interest (Simple and Compound)

  • Pure Math

  • Venn Diagrams

  • Linear Equations

  • Quadratic Equations

  • Complex Numbers

  • Logarithm

  • Progressions

  • Permutation and Combination

  • Probability

  • Functions

  • Set Theory

  • Mixtures and Alligations

  • Co-ordinate Geometry

  • Trigonometry

Also ReadStress Management During CAT Preparation

Importance of Previous Year Papers for CAT Important Topics

The examination structure of the CAT, including the distribution of questions among sections, the types of questions (MCQs and non-MCQs), and the degree of difficulty of each section, may be better understood through reviewing previous year papers. Candidates can learn more about what to anticipate on exam day by doing this.  Candidates might discover the important topics for the CAT from which the majority of the questions are asked in the exam by analyzing CAT previous year question papers.

An indication that a topic is important for CAT preparation is that it frequently comes up over the years. Apart from this, candidates can determine the various degrees of difficulty in every section and topic by reviewing previous year questions as well as CAT sample papers. They can manage their preparation more effectively and devote more time to difficult areas with the aid of this knowledge. Candidates might also attempt to predict trends in the weightage of questions by analyzing papers from previous years.

CAT Preparation Timeline

Lastly, let us take a look at what would be some of the important dates for candidates preparing for CAT:

Event

Date

Start CAT Preparation with a 6-Month Study Plan

May 2024

CAT Application Starts

August 2024

Start CAT Preparation with a 3-month Study Plan

August 2024

Last Date to Apply for CAT

September 2024

Start 15-day Revision Plan for CAT

2nd week of November 2024

CAT Exam Date

November 24, 2024

CAT Exam Pattern 

The CAT exam was conducted as a computer-based test mode and the CAT questions vary in difficulty from moderate to very challenging. The CAT exam pattern can be summarized as follows:

  • A total of 66 questions will be asked in the CAT exam in 3 sections.

  • Each section will have a specific time limit and candidates must complete each section within the specified time limit. After the time for a particular section is over, candidates will not be allowed to go back to that section.

  • The total marks of the CAT exam stand at 198.

  • Different types of questions can be asked from important topics for CAT, which may be multiple-choice questions (MCQs) or non-MCQs (also known as TITA or Type-In-The-Answer questions). MCQs have multiple answer choices, while for non-MCQs, candidates are required to type in the answer using an on-screen keyboard.

  • 3 marks will be awarded for each correct answer in MCQs.

  • 1 mark will be deducted for every incorrect MCQ answer.

  • Non-MCQs do not have negative markings. 3 marks are awarded for each correct answer.

​​​​​Changes in the CAT Exam Pattern

The table below provides the changes observed in the CAT exam pattern over the years.

Year

Total Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Duration of CAT Exam

Conducting Body

202366Moderate to High (Expected)2 hoursIIM Lucknow
202266Moderate2 hoursIIM Bangalore

2021

66

Moderate to High 

2 hours

IIM Ahmedabad

2020

76

Moderate to High

2 hours

IIM Indore

2019

100

Moderate to High

3 hours

IIM Kozhikode

2018

100

Moderate to High

3 hours

IIM Calcutta

2017

100

Moderate

3 hours

IIM Lucknow

2016

100

Moderate to difficult

3 hours

IIM Bangalore

2015

100

Moderate to difficult

3 hours

IIM Ahmedabad

2014

100

Moderate to Easy

2 hours 50 minutes

IIM Indore

2013

60

Moderate to Easy

2 hours 20 minutes

IIM Indore

2012

60

Moderate to Easy

2 hours 20 minutes

IIM Indore

2011

60

Moderate

2 hours 20 minutes

IIM Calcutta

These were the topic-wise weightage of different sections in CAT. Here are some other articles that you should check out for the best CAT study plan.

Also Read:

What is a Good CAT Percentile/ Score?

CAT Predicted Question Paper

Importance of CAT Mock Test

How to Approach CAT Question Paper?

Importance of Soft Skills in MBA Admissions

Important Topics for CAT Algebra and Modern Maths


If you have any queries, write to our experts on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone. For personalized assistance with admission to your chosen MBA college, fill out our Common Application Form (CAF) or call our helpline number 1800-572-9877.

FAQs

What are the important topics for CAT 2023?

The important topics for CAT 2023 for each section are as follows:

Section

Important Topics

QA

Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration, Number System, Modern Math, Probability, and Permutation and Combination

DILR

Bar Graphs, Pie Charts, Tables, Line Charts, Caselets, Blood Relations, Seating Arrangements, Puzzles, Venn Diagrams, and Clocks

VARC

Reading Comprehension, Para Jumbles, Critical Reasoning, Grammar, Vocabulary, Sentence Correction, and Para Completion

What is the expected weightage of each section in CAT 2023?

The expected weightage of each section in CAT 2023 can vary from year to year. However, based on the previous years' trends, the expected weightage of each section is as follows:

Section

Expected Weightage

Verbal Ability

10%

Data Interpretation

16%

Quantitative Aptitude

34%

Reading Comprehension

24%

Logical Reasoning

16%

How can I prepare for CAT 2023?

To prepare for CAT 2023, you can follow these tips:
1. Understand the exam pattern and syllabus thoroughly.
2. Practice regularly and solve previous year question papers and mock tests.
3. Improve your time management skills.
4. Focus on your weak areas and improve them.
5. Read newspapers and books regularly to improve your reading and comprehension skills.
6. Join coaching institutes or online platforms for expert guidance and mentorship.

What is the difficulty level of CAT 2023?

The difficulty level of CAT 2023 can vary from year to year. However, generally, the exam is considered to be of moderate to high difficulty level.

What is the marking scheme of CAT 2023?

The marking scheme of CAT 2023 is as follows:
1. Three marks will be awarded for every correct answer.
2. One mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer.
3. No marks will be deducted for unattempted questions.
4. The questions can be of different marks, and there is no fixed marking scheme for the exam.

Is there any sectional cut-off in CAT 2023?

Yes, there is a sectional cut-off in CAT 2023. Candidates need to score minimum marks in each section to qualify for the next round of selection process.

What is the selection process for CAT 2023?

The selection process for CAT 2023 can vary from institute to institute. Generally, the selection process includes a Written Ability Test (WAT), Group Discussion (GD), and Personal Interview (PI). Some institutes may also consider past academic records, work experience, and extracurricular activities for the selection process.

What are the important topics for CAT VARC 2023?

The important topics for CAT VARC 2023 are Reading Comprehension Passages, Para Jumbles, Para Summary, Sentence Completion and Correction, Sentence Elimination, Fill in the Blanks, Word Usage & Vocabulary, etc.

What are the important topics for CAT QA 2023?

The important topics for CAT QA 2023 are Geometry & Mensuration, Number System, Basic Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Logarithms, Sets, Permutation & Combination, Probability, Profit, Loss, Discounts, Time, Speed, Distance, Time and Work, Interests (SI, CI), etc.

What are the important topics for CAT DILR 2023?

The important topics for CAT DILR 2023 are Graphs, Arrangement, Data Sufficiency, Tables and Caselets, Blood Relations, Puzzles, Clocks & Calendars, Assumption and Binary Logic, Syllogisms and Venn Diagrams, etc.

What are the best sources to know the important topics for CAT 2023?

The best sources to know the important topics for CAT 2023 are the syllabus, previous year question papers, sample papers, books, and mock tests. If students utilize these sources, they will have the idea of all the CAT important topics and be able to prepare for the exam.

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