Common Admission Test (CAT) Exam Pattern


The Common Admission Test is carried out annually by the Indian Institute of Management for admitting candidates into their post graduate as well as fellow programs in management. The scores of this exam is considered by most of the top 50 institutes offering management programs in India. From the last two years, CAT is administered as an online test in different test centers across India on specific set of dates.

Structure and Syllabus for CAT Exam

The CAT is a test that is held manly to test or identify the aptitude of the candidate. There is no particular set or definite syllabus for the exam. The main aim of the CAT exam is to test the inclination of the aspirant towards managerial roles as well as tasks. The CAT question paper will mainly include questions on topics like:

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal Ability
  • Data Interpretation
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Problem Solving
  • Quantitative Problems

For quantitative, syllabus is usually adapted from 11th and 12th standard mathematics.

Question Pattern of CAT Exam

The CAT question paper will comprise of totally 150 marks. The candidates will have 120 minutes to answer 123 questions. Totally the candidates will be required to appear for 3 sections.

  • The first section will contain 20 questions on Data Interpretation, 6 questions on Data Sufficiency and 12 questions on Logical Reasoning. For every correct answer 1 mark will be awarded.
  • The second section of the CAT question paper will comprise of 20 questions from Maths problems that carry 1 mark each and another 15 questions from the same that will hold 2 marks each.
  • The 3rd section of the CAT paper will include 10 questions on Verbal Ability that will carry 0.5 marks each, 14 questions from the same that will carry 1 mark each and 5 questions from Verbal Ability that will carry 2 marks each. In addition to this, the paper will also include 21 questions from Reading Comprehension. This will carry 1 mark each.

Preparing for CAT Exam

CAT exam can be cracked through systematic preparation. You have to sharpen your analytical and reasoning skills and at the same time improve your hold on English language. You have to attempt as many previous years CAT papers as possible, so that you can get familiar to the different question patterns as well as attempt them with in the allowed time limits. Time management is going to be another critical success factor. There are CAT exam coaching centres like IMS, Career Launcher and TIME. Join their courses and do as many questions as possible.  Since now CAT is an online exam, one has to practice accordingly as doing a paper based test and a computer based test is different.



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6 Responses to “Common Admission Test (CAT) Exam Pattern”

  1. 6

    I am a student of part 3rd. I have given exam without english .can i appeard in cat exam .

  2. 5


  3. 4

    is there any negative marking in cat entrance exam like other entrance exam?

  4. 3

    is there any basic qualification required for clearing cat????

  5. 2

    i am a student current perusing my third year in b.arch (bachelors of architecture),my querry is that can i also appear for the entrance examinations for management courses ?.will i be considered as a non- engineering candidate ? what will be the
    credentials for me in appearing for this exam?and also i want to know about the list of premier institutions offering MBA programs in construction and building management .

  6. 1

    I am pursuing my 2nd year so wen can i give the exams and wats fee for it?????