CAT 2020 Exam Pattern (Revised)

Updated By Shreya Sareen on 29 Nov, 2020 15:07

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CAT 2020 Exam Pattern (Changed)

IIM Indore has introduced a number of changes in the CAT 2020 exam pattern. CAT 2020 is being conducted in three shifts and has a time duration of 120 minutes as compared to 180 minutes earlier. The number of test centres for CAT 2020 has also been increased. Candidates can take a look at the CAT 2020 slot wise exam and question paper analysis, answer key and solutions here.

CAT 2020 Slot 1 Exam & Question Paper Analysis, Answer Key, Solutions

CAT 2020 Slot 2 Exam & Question Paper Analysis, Answer Key, Solutions

CAT 2020 Slot 3 Exam & Question Paper Analysis, Answer Key, Solutions

 

Earlier, there were speculations regarding any changes in the CAT 2020 exam pattern and IIM has revealed the changes in the CAT 2020 exam pattern. Candidates must be aware of the exact exam pattern of CAT 2020 to know what exactly has to be prepared for the entrance examination. CAT 2020 exam date is November 29, 2020. 

Table of Contents
Highlights of CAT 2020 Exam PatternCAT 2020 Revised Exam Pattern Overview
CAT 2020 - Overall and Sectional Time LimitExpected Number of MCQs & TITA Questions in CAT 2020
Section Wise Exam Pattern For CAT 2020: Sections, Sub-sections, Expected difficulty levelCAT 2020 Marking Scheme
How to answer Questions in CAT 2020What each colour on the palette indicates in CAT 2020?
How to Tackle TITA Questions in CAT 2020CAT Vs Other Top MBA Entrance Exams: Comparative Analysis
Changes in CAT Exam Pattern Over the Years--

Highlights of CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

Some of the major highlights of CAT exam pattern 2020 can be checked below.

CAT Exam 2020 HighlightsDetails
CAT 2020 Test Duration120 minutes
Number of Sections in CAT 20203
Total number of questions in the CAT 2020 exam76
Revised number of questions in CAT 2020Check Here
Each CAT 2020 question carries3 marks
Marks deducted for each incorrect answer in CAT 2020-1

CAT 2020 Revised Exam Pattern Overview

Check the important points about the revised exam pattern of CAT 2020 given below.

Changes in CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

CAT is an exam conducted in the online mode. The CAT question paper contains a total of 100 questions. Two types of questions appear in CAT -- the Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs) and the TITA (Type In the Answer) questions, which are of the non-MCQ type.

Revised Number of Questions in CAT 2020

The total number of questions in CAT 2020 slot 1 was 76. VARC had 26 questions, DILR had 24 questions and QA had 24 questions. The TITA questions were easy.

CAT 2020 Exam LIVE UpdatesCAT 2020 Exam Duration Reduced: More Changes Expected Soon
CAT 2020 Dress Code: What to Wear to The CAT Exam CentreHow to Approach CAT 2020 Question Paper?
CAT Predicted Question Paper 2020 - Important Topics, Chapters, Analysis 

Similar Exams :

CAT 2020 - Overall and Sectional Time Limit

The table provided below will help you understand the number of questions asked in each section of the exam as well as the time allotted to each section.

SectionsNo. of QuestionsMarks AllocatedTime Duration
UPDATED
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension267840
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning247240
Quantitative Ability267840
Total76228120

Candidates will get 40 minutes per section in the CAT 2020 exam. CAT does not allow you to switch sections in the middle of the question paper.

Number of MCQs & TITA Questions in CAT 2020

In order to attempt the CAT 2020 questions within the given time frame, it is important to know the number of questions that will be asked in each section of the CAT 2020 exam question paper. The details of the number of MCQs and TITA Questions/ Non-MCQs in CAT 2020 exam has been described below:

Name of the Section

Number of MCQs

Number of TITA Questions

Quantitative Ability (QA)

26

8

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

26

5

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

24

6

Total

76

19

Time management throughout the exam and maintaining a good solving speed is important to score well in the CAT exam. A proctored mock test will help you in understanding the pattern better. 

Points to Remember:

  • In each section, some questions may not be of multiple-choice type. Instead, direct answers will have to be typed on the screen. Also, the use of the basic onscreen calculator for computation is allowed. The calculator is provided on the screen of the exam window to ease up calculations during the exam. Computations can be done by scrawling the mouse on the screen on the computer.
  • Candidates will get exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section in the CAT exam 2020.
  • Switching from one section to another while answering questions in a section is not allowed.
  • To understand the format of the test, candidates are advised to work on tutorials, which are available on the CAT 2020 website.

Section Wise Exam Pattern For CAT 2020: Sections, Sub-sections, Expected difficulty level

Check the table provided below to know the difficulty level and expected questions in each section of the CAT exam

SectionTotal Questions Level of DifficultySection Highlights
VARC26Difficult
  • No Vocabulary based or Grammar questions in CAT 2020
  • Verbal ability questions were asked from three topics namely Para summary; jumbled paragraph; picking the odd sentence out
DILR24Easy
  • DI questions are asked in a set of 4
  • Questions from this section are time-consuming. Time management skill is required to answer DI questions. 
QA26Easy
  • Majority of the questions are asked from Geometry and Number system
  • Algebra, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Work/days, Compound interest are some important topics for this section

Marks Distribution of CAT QA Section 2020

Around 30% of the total questions from this section are expected to be asked from the arithmetic section. Candidates can check the expected marks distribution of the Quantitative Section of CAT 2020 examination here.

CAT Exam Pattern: Number of questions in QA

Marks Distribution of CAT VARC Section 2020

70% of the questions from this section are from reading comprehensions. All the RCs questions are asked in the set of 4. The graph provided below will allow you to know the marks distribution of the CAT 2020 VARC section

CAT Exam Pattern: Number of questions in VARC

Marks Distribution of CAT DI LR Section 2020

Questions for the DI LR section are not fixed. However, candidates can check the graph provided below to get an idea about the expected questions from DI LR section.

CAT Exam Pattern: Number of questions in DILR

CAT 2020 Type of Questions

CAT exam comprises mainly two types of questions i.e. multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and non-MCQs.

MCQs – These types of questions will comprise the text that you have to read and find the answer to. You will be given four options from which you will have to choose the correct answer.

Non-MCQs – These will comprise question texts that you will have to read in order to understand the question, and type your answer in the box provided on the screen.

CAT 2020: Computer-Based Exam But Not Online Test

Is CAT an online test? Responding to this query regarding the CAT exam pattern, IIM said that the CAT is not an online test but it is a computer-based test.  Candidates will have to answer the questions of CAT exam by clicking on the correct option provided on the computer screen, They will have to visit the exam centre to give the exam as it cannot be taken on an internet site. 

So the CAT exam despite being a computer-based (CBT) examination is not an online exam. A timer will be provided on the computer screen that will allow the candidates to check the time remaining for the exam. The computer screen will also show the status of all the questions and important instructions to answer the questions in the CAT exam.

How many Questions to Expect in CAT 2020?

Since the exam pattern of CAT has been changed, candidates can expect a change in the total number of questions in the CAT 2020 examination. However, the number of questions are not disclosed yet. On being asked about the total number of questions in CAT exam, the examination authority of CAT said that students should only focus on preparing for the exam. Candidates will face the changed exam pattern of CAT directly in the exam.  

CAT 2020 Marking Scheme

To attempt the most competitive management entrance exam, it is very important for the candidate to be aware of the marking scheme of CAT 2020 exam. Some of the important points that you should keep in mind are as follows:

  • Total marks out of which a student is evaluated is 228 marks.
  • Each question in CAT 2020 will carry three marks.
  • For every correct answer, the candidate will be awarded 3 marks.
  • For every incorrect answer, one mark will be deducted.
  • In case a student does not attempt a question, no marks will be deducted.
  • This marking scheme is applicable only for multiple choices questions.
  • For Non-MCQs, there is no negative marking and the marks allotted to every question is three.

Summary of Marking Scheme of CAT 2020 Exam

Type of QuestionCorrect AnswerIncorrect Answer
MCQ+3-1
Non-MCQ or TITA Questions+30

* On the basis of the understanding of the detailed CAT 2020 exam pattern, one can estimate the time required to prepare for CAT exam.

How To Navigate between the sections while answering CAT 2020?

Candidates should follow the instructions provided on the computer screen while answering the questions in CAT 2020. Candidates should note that the timer of the clock provided on the upper right-hand side of the screen once the exam starts. They will not be allowed to switch between sections. There will be a sectional time limit of 40 minutes for all the section. Once the 40 minutes for one section are complete, candidates will not be able to answer more questions from that section.

How to answer Questions in CAT 2020

The computer screen of CAT 2020 will be provided with the following options. Candidates may access these options while answering the questions in CAT 2020.

Save and next: This option will allow the candidates to choose the correct answer and skip to the next question

Clear response: This option will allow the candidates to clear the response to the question that they have answered

Mark for review and next: This option will allow the candidates to mark the questions for which they are not sure about the response. Candidates can answer the questions marked as "Mark for review" after completing rest of the questions

Candidates should note that they will not be allowed to use the keyboard while answering the questions in CAT. They can answer the questions using the mouse only.

What each colour on the palette indicates in CAT 2020?

Check the table provided below to know what colour on the panel indicates

IconColour on the panelWhat it indicates

Question Not Visited in CAT 2020

 

GreyThe question has not been viewed or visited

Question Visited But Not Answered in CAT 2020

 

RedQuestion has not been answered not has it been marked for review

Question Answered and Saved in CAT 2020

 

GreenQuestion has been answered and not marked for review

Question Marked for Review and Not Answered in CAT 2020

 

VioletQuestion has been marked for review and not answered

Question Answered and Marked for Review in CAT 2020

 

Violet with green tickQuestion has been marked for review and answered

CAT 2020 MCQs Vs TITA Questions

The CAT 2020 exam pattern comprises of both MCQ and non-MCQ questions, which are called TITA (Type in the Answer Questions). Here is the detailed division of marks for MCQ and non-MCQ questions in CAT 2020.

Name of Section

Total number of Questions

Total number of Multiple Choice Questions

Total Number of TITA Questions

Quantitative Aptitude

34

26

8

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 

30

24

6

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 

31

26

5

How to Tackle TITA Questions in CAT 2020

TITA Questions or Type in The Answer Questions are non-MCQ type questions in which a candidate has to type in their answer using an on-screen keyboard in the CAT exam. TITA questions were first introduced by IIM Ahmedabad in 2015 as non-MCQs in which direct answers are to be typed in on the screen. TITA is not an official name for these questions and has only caught on as an acronym after their introduction.

Solving TITA Questions or non-MCQs in CAT requires a different mindset and strategy than MCQs. Previous test results have shown that the accuracy of candidates in the TITA questions in CAT is lower than that in MCQs. Hence, candidates have to approach these questions much more carefully. While there is no negative marking for TITA questions in CAT, they can be more time-consuming to solve and hence still cost you marks in the exam.

Tips to Solve TITA Questions in CAT 2020

When solving TITA questions, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  • Always be aware of the time consumed when solving TITA questions. Keep a close look at the clock and make sure you don't get carried away and spend more time than necessary.
  • Guesswork is a bad idea when solving TITA questions. Even though it will not cost you any marks if you attempt incorrectly, it might waste your time. Work through the question and try arriving at the correct answer before you attempt.

  • Keep your concepts clear. Having clear concepts is important when attempting TITA questions as you have fewer shortcuts and tricks to solve them as compared to the MCQs.

  • Keep TITA questions for the last. Some TITA questions can be attempted along with the rest of the question paper but it is better to leave these questions for the end. This will help you in time management and prevent any unnecessary wastage of time.

CAT Preparation Strategy - What the Toppers Think

Candidates may check the preparation tips provided by the toppers after going through the CAT exam pattern. Some of the toppers tips for CAT 2020 are provided below.

  • Candidates should practise the maximum number of CAT mock test papers. This will allow them to practice more type of questions and get familiar with the exam structure
  • Some of the toppers also said that candidates should select the books for CAT exam wisely. They can choose the books that contain sample papers of CAT and some practise questions for each concept.
  • Candidates should plan a proper schedule for their preparation. This will allow them to dedicate enough time to all important sections of the CAT exam
  • The previous years' papers of CAT will allow the CAT aspirants to know what type of questions were asked in the CAT exam
Also Read: Toppers Tips for CAT 2020: Check How Toppers Prepare for CAT, Strategy & Study Tips to Score 99 Percentile

CAT Vs Other Top MBA Entrance Exams: Comparative Analysis

The exam pattern of CAT 2020 is different from all other MBA entrance exams. Candidates can check the comparison between all the major MBA entrance exams from the infographics provided below.

CAT 2020 Vs XAT 2021

Here is the comparison between CAT and XAT exam.

CAT vs XAT

CAT 2020 Vs NMAT 2020

Check the table below to know the difference between the exam pattern of IIM CAT and NMAT

CAT vs NMAT

CAT 2020 Vs SNAP 2020

Provided below is the comparison between SNAP and CAT exam pattern

CAT Vs SNAP

IIM CAT Vs MAT

Check the table provided below to know the difference between the exam pattern of MAT and CAT

CAT vs MAT

Candidates may check the article provided below to know more about the difference between the exam pattern of all MBA entrance exams.

CHECK: CAT vs CMAT, NMAT, XAT, SNAP, IIFT & Other MBA Entrance Exams

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern Over the Years

The CAT exam pattern has changed several times over the years. Here are the changes which took place in the CAT exam pattern in the past ten years. Candidates can go through this table and find out the minute changes in the exam pattern which has been made in the past few years. 

Year of Examination

Section Details

Marking Scheme

Duration

Total Number of Questions in the question paper

Exam Conducting body that respective year

2010

Quantitative Ability

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension

3 marks for every correct answer

 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

2.5 hours
(150 minutes)

60IIM Lucknow
2011

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

 

Logical Reasoning & Verbal and Reading Comprehension

3 marks for every correct answer

 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

2.20 hours 
(140 minutes)
60IIM Calcutta
2012

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

 

Logical Reasoning & Verbal and Reading Comprehension

3 marks for every correct answer

 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

2.20 hours 
(140 minutes)
60IIM Kozhikode

2013

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning

3 marks for every correct answer

 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

2.20 hours 
(140 minutes)

60

IIM Indore

[Two day Test window]

2014

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning  

3 mark for every correct answer

 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

2.70 hours (170 minutes)

100

IIM Indore

[Two day Test window]

2015

Quantitative Ability 

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

3 mark for every correct answer


 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

 

No Negative marking for Non-MCQ

3 hours
(180 minutes)
100IIM Ahmedabad
2016

Quantitative Ability 

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

3 mark for every correct answer


 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

 

No Negative marking for Non-MCQ

3 hours
(180 minutes)
100IIM Bangalore

2017

Quantitative Ability 

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

3 mark for every correct answer


 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

 

No Negative marking for Non-MCQ

3 hours
(180 minutes)

100

IIM Lucknow

2018

Quantitative Ability 

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

3 mark for every correct answer


 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

 

No Negative marking for Non-MCQ

3 hours
(180 minutes)

100

IIM Kolkata

2019

Quantitative Ability 

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

3 mark for every correct answer


 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

 

No Negative marking for Non-MCQ

3 hours
(180 minutes)
100IIM Kozhikode
2020

Quantitative Ability 

 

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

 

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

3 mark for every correct answer


 

-1 mark for every wrong answer

 

No Negative marking for Non-MCQ

2 hours
(120 minutes)
100IIM Indore

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Hi, I am candidate of Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC). can i apply for CAT 2020 from SEBC category?

-noUpdated on September 18, 2020 03:51 PM
  • 1 Answer
Abhinav Chamoli, CollegeDekho Expert

Dear Student,

CAT 2020 does not have any seat reservations for Socially and Economically Backward Students (SEBC). You can find more information about the same in our article on the CAT 2020 seat reservation policy.

Please feel free to write back to us if you require any other information. For help with admission to MBA colleges in India, please fill our Common Application Form (CAF) or call our helpline number 18005729877.

Thank you.

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I don't have any old EWS certificate and my new certificate will come after 16th sept. Can I submit the undertaking without any old certificate as of now??

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Dear Student,

You have to submit any available certificates with the CAT 2020 undertaking. However, CAT 2020 exam dates have now been revised and the deadline to submit the CAT 2020 application form has been extended to 23rd September to help candidates get sufficient time to arrange any certificates.

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Dear Student,

Yes, the syllabus of banking and CAT exam is almost the same. However, the level of difficulty of the CAT exam is very difficult compared to the banking exam. The SSC or IBPS PO coaching will help you understand the basics of Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning Ability and English Language. You can directly proceed to solve the advance level questions of CAT exam without going through the basics. The coaching will help you while preparing for other MBA entrance exams such as MAT, CMAT, GMAT or XAT. You can check the detailed syllabus of CAT exam provided here. Besides ...

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FAQs about CAT Exam Pattern

What is the maximum limit to appear for CAT?

There is no limit as such. You can appear for CAT any number of times.

What is the marking scheme of CAT?

Candidates will be awarded three marks for each correct answer and one mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer. The marking scheme is prepared by the conducting body.

How can I answer the questions of CAT?

You can answer the questions of CAT in any order. However, you can not move ahead to the other sections before 60 minutes. Link for all questions will be available on the right side of your screen. You can click on the box to skip a particular question.

What is the sectional time limit in CAT exam?

Maximum time limit for each section is 60 minutes.

How many non-MCQs will be covered in CAT?

Around 25 questions will be non-MCQs. There will no negative marking for these type of questions.

Is there any negative marking in CAT?

Yes, 1 mark will be deducted from the scores of the candidate in case of any incorrect answer. However, no mark will be deducted if the question remains unanswered.

What is the total duration of CAT?

Total duration of CAT is 180 minutes. Candidates will have to complete the exam within the stipulated time.

How many questions will be asked in the Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section of CAT?

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) of CAT will cover 34 questions. Besides this, Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI) will cover 32 questions and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) will cover 34 questions.

What type of questions will be asked in CAT?

The question paper of CAT will cover multiple-choice questions. Candidates will have to select one option from the four choices available. Besides this, there will be some non-mcq questions also.

What is the exam pattern of CAT?

CAT will be divided into three sections namely Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Quantitative Ability (QA). Each section will cover different type of questions.

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