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CAT Exam Pattern

Exam Pattern

There are three sections:

  1. Quantitative Ability (QA, 34 questions)
  2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR, 32 questions)
  3. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VRC, 34 questions).
  • The duration of the exam is 180 minutes.
  • There is no separate time limit on sections.


CAT shall be conducted in two sessions.

Two different Test Forms shall be administered in two Test Sessions. In order to ensure fairness and equity in comparison of performances of the candidates across different test sessions, the scores of the candidates shall be subjected to a process of Normalization. The Normalization process to be implemented shall adjust for location and scale differences of score distributions across different forms. After normalization across different forms the scores shall be further normalized across different sections and the scaled scores obtained by this process shall be converted into percentiles for purposes of shortlisting. For purposes of reporting, Scaled Scores for each section (Section I: Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Section III: Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) and Total along with the Percentiles shall be published. The process of Normalization is an established practice for comparing candidate scores across multiple Forms and is similar to those being adopted in other large educational selection tests conducted in India such as Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). For normalization across sections we shall use a sort of percentile equivalence.

Total Duration - 180 Minutes

Maximum Marks - 300 Marks

Total questions - 100

Marking System - There will be negative marking, deduct one mark for wrong answer. For correct answer 3 marks will be given.

Syllabus Summary

No. Of Subject 3
No. Of Unit 4
No. Of Chapter 62
  1.  Direction and Distance Test
  2. Analogy test
  3. Classification test
  4. Number and Series Test
  5. Statements Assumption
  6. Statements Conclusion
  7. Statements Arguments
  8. Statements Action
  9. Binary Logic
  10. Blood Relation
  11. Calender
  12. Clock
  13. Cubes
  14. Logical Matching
  15. Number and letter series
  1. Comprehension
  1. Grammar
  2. Nouns
  3. Pronouns
  4. Adjective
  5. Adverbs
  6. Prepositions
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Verbs
  9. Modals
  10. Articles
  1. Algebra and Functions
  2. Geometry 
  3. Co-ordinate Geometry
  4. Arithmetic sequence
  5. Mixtures
  6. Tables Chart
  7. Multiple Graph
  8. Profit, Loss and Discount
  9. Statistics 
  10. Directions 
  11. Interest 
  12. Percentage 
  13. Trigonometry 
  14. Averages
  15. Age
  16. Speed and Distance
  17. Time, Speed and Distance
  18. Relative speed
  19. Race and Game
  20. Area Surface and Volume
  21. Partnership
  22. Stock and Share
  23. Alligation and Mixture
  24. Ratio and proportion
  25. Problem on trains
  26. Series Missing Numbers
  27. Pipes and Cisterns
  28. Simplification
  29. Venn Diagram
  30. Data Sufficiency
  31. Charts

How to prepare

Preparation Strategy
Make a proper Time Table
It is very important that you make a time table and stick to it and you will have an exact idea of what you are required to study and the time required for it.
Concept clarity rather than rote learning
It is essential that you have a clear idea of the formulas and concepts rather than rote learning of things for the papers. While you might require it for memorizing formulas it is important that for other stuff you make sure you clear your basis and concepts before moving on.
Prepare Notes
It is very important make small notes or a comprehensive list of formulas on each covered topic and chapter which will come in handy at the time of revision. This will require you to be regular with your work but will surely make things easy at the time of revision.
Revision of Class XI and XII concepts
Make sure that you revise your concepts from the syllabus of these classes before starting anything new as most of the engineering exams will be for admission to undergraduate courses and so the syllabi from class XI and XII becomes the testing ground to check students.
Seek guidance
It is not possible for you to know everything in your syllabus, at least not at the time of preparation. Sooner or later you will run into a concept or so which will give you trouble and then it is best you seek guidance from an instructor or a teacher. It is necessary that you clear your doubts at regular intervals and don’t prolong things for long. Getting into a good coaching class is nothing to be ashamed off and if anything a regular coaching class will enable you to avoid roadblocks in your preparation.
Sample Papers
Even though there may be a complete change in the exam pattern or the expected questions altogether,it is important that you practice on the sample and previous years question papers available for the engineering exam you’d be attempting. You will know the existing pattern and have a fair idea of the type of questions to expect in the paper along with the time constraint.
Mock tests
The paper pattern, duration of the paper and the number of questions to be attempted in the given amount of time is not something you will be able to pick up on the day of the examination. A Mock Test tests a student’s abilities as it not only provides a similar feel of real exams but also helps in building speed and confident to face the exam. Furthermore, they can improve their performance to get an extra edge in actual exams.  
Time management
Time management can be learnt through thorough practice and regular test taking. So it is important that you practice it and practice it well.

Duration : 180 Minutes

Take Mock Test

Take CAT Mock Tests