CAT Syllabus Detail Subject wise

Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national-level management entrance examination conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM). This exam is accepted for admission by the IIMs and many other management institutes across the country. under this post you will find Whole New Updated Syllabus of CAT Exam.

It is a computer based entrance exam for admission to postgraduate courses like MBA (Master of Business Administration) and PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management). It is usually conducted in the month of November every year.

The candidates who possess a Bachelor’s Degree with at least 50% marks or equivalent CGPA (45% for SC, ST, and PWD/DA category) are eligible to apply for the examination. Candidates appearing for the final year of bachelor’s degree/equivalent qualification are also eligible to apply for CAT.

The syllabus of CAT consists of three sections namely Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC).

Candidates will get 180 minutes to answer all the questions. Each section is allotted a time of 60 minutes. The candidates are not allowed to choose any section to start with or switch from one section to another.

They will have to follow the question paper chronologically, from section 1-3, as given there.

The chronology of the sections will be Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude.

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus

As per the latest exam pattern to be followed from this year, the number of MCQs may be reduced and the number of key-in questions will be increased.

Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type, thus the answers will have to be typed on the screen.

And thus the candidates need to work hard on their speed combined with accuracy for the examination as it is also a test of time management.

The syllabus for CAT is quite extensive, so the candidates need to start at a right time in order to be able to cover the whole syllabus and also keep time for revision and practice.

Here, we are going to discuss the syllabus for CAT in details and subject-wise:

  1. Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

cat syllabus for mba

CAT Quantitative Aptitude (QA) questions contribute 34% share in overall CAT exam. The syllabus for quants consists of mathematics from the school of up to class 10th.

The Difficulty Level of Quantitative Ability Questions is of Moderate to High with the total of 34 questions.

Mathematics is a tough subject for maximum students and thus it scares them even more while preparing for competitive examinations like this.

The Quantitative Aptitude section of CAT is the best defined and the most voluminous as well. Probably, that is the reason behind a large number of students making the mistake of spending too much time on it.

They sometimes end up spending more than 75% of their time preparing for just the quantitative aptitude section ignoring the other subjects.

The quants part of the CAT syllabus includes the following topics:

  • Number Systems

  • Profit, Loss, and Discount

  • LCM and HCF

  • Speed, Time and Distance

  • Percentages

  • Time and Work

  • Ratio and Proportion

  • Averages

  • Quadratic Equations & Linear Equations

  • Complex Numbers

  • Simple and Compound Interest

  • Logarithm

  • Sequences and Series

  • Inequalities

  • Probability

  • Surds and Indices

  • Set Theory & Function

  • Permutation and Combination

  • Mixtures and Allegations

  • Trigonometry

  • Coordinate Geometry

  • Geometry

  • Mensuration

Number system and number theory have a weight of 12% which forms the highest part of the total weight of this section, while geometry constitutes 10% of the weight with other topics having 6% or 4% weightage each.

Use some good coaching study modules to get acquainted with various formulas and tricks for solving various types of problems.

And then the practice for it should be done in mock tests. Taking more mocks will expose you to a vast variety of Quantitative Aptitude questions.

More the number of Mocks, the more equipped will be you with self-developed Quantitative Aptitude tips and tricks to crack the questions. Start with the basics.

Prepare a table with all important formulae, so that you have all the information stacked with you.

Focus on weak topics and practice 2-minute rules while working with the QA problems, i.e. do not spend more than 2 minutes in solving the problems. Prepare all the important topics, prime important are the number system, geometry, and mensuration.

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  1. Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

iim cat syllabus

Data interpretation and logical reasoning are considered to be the most difficult by many CAT aspirants.

But with proper and adequate practice, you can change your score drastically by getting more questions right in the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section.

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI) has now become the most grueling of all the sections in the CAT exam over the years. Normally, there are 8 sets with 4 questions each.

To score around 90 percentile you need to do 2-3 sets correctly, whereas to score around 95 percentile in the LRDI section, you need to do 3-4 sets correctly.

CAT Syllabus for the LRDI section can be divided into two levels namely:

Level 1 consists of topics that you need to do to build a base, and it includes:

  • Coding – Decoding

  • Number Series

  • Letter Series

  • Symbol Series

  • Symbol-based Logic

  • Number & Alphabet Analogies

  • Odd one out

  • Direction Sense

  • Blood Relations and Family Tree

  •     Cryptarithmetic (Verbal Arithmetic)

  • Inequalities and Conclusions – Coded Inequalities

  • Data Sufficiency

  • Approximation of Values


Level 2 consists of topics on which you can expect actual questions to be asked in the exam and it includes:

  • Bar Graphs

  • Pie Charts

  • Tables

  • Binary Logic – True / False statements based questions

  • Pan Balance / Spring Balance

  • Linear and Circular Seating Arrangements

  • Matrix and Grid-based Arrangements

  • Games and Tournaments (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

  • Sequential Output / Input-Output

  • Logical Conditions (If this, then that)

  • Logical Grouping – Questions based on Team Formation

  • Critical Path

  • Cubes based problems

  • Matchstick / Coin picking based problems

  • Dice Related Problems

  • Order and Ranking

  • Quant Based LR Puzzles

Go for at least 2-4 sets of DILR questions each day, this will help you get exposed to a variety of problems. DI questions are calculation intensive and a digital calculator is available on the computer so it is best to use it while doing mock practice as well.

 Increase your calculation speed on the virtual computer by making daily use of it.  As there are no theoretical questions, so all you need to do is plenty of practice.

 Problems will come focused on interpreting different patterns and number sequence. The data sufficiency questions make 20% of the weight of this section of the question paper while the Tables and caseless form 14% of the weight.

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  1. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

cat syllabus pdf

The verbal ability for CAT along with reading comprehension is a separate section in the examination. Every year 10 questions are included from the CAT verbal ability section and the verbal ability syllabus includes basic topics from grammar and vocabulary.

So basically this section has two parts i.e. Reading comprehension and English usage where the RC section will have 4-5 questions following each passage.

This section will contain a total of 34 questions out of which there will be a total of 24 MCQ based questions and 10 non-MCQ based questions.

The topics included in this section are:

  • Reading Comprehension Passage

  • Para-Jumbles

  • Para-Summary

  • Odd Sentences

  • Fill in the blanks

  • Sentence completion

  • Grammar

  • Syllogisms

  • Para Completion and inference

  • Contextual usage

  • Foreign language words used in English

  • Analogies

  • Sentence correction

  • Verbal Logic

  • Different usage of the same word

  • Idioms

  • Antonyms

  • One word substitution

Reading comprehension and Paragraph Jumbles form 16% and 14% respectively of the total weight of this section and thus are very important topics to be focused on.

While Analogies and Basic grammar both make up for 8% of the weight each.

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It is best to learn 5- 10 new words each day rather than trying to grasp 1000 words in a day, during the last few days of the preparation.

Spend at least half an hour on a daily basis in order to improve your vocabulary and increase your reading speed.

Reading the editorial section in the newspaper is a good way to improve the vocabulary and also take at least 1 or 2 slip tests each day to improve your efficiency of the VA section.

CAT verbal ability questions are there to test a candidate’s command over the English language and how good one is at using the language in a logically appropriate and contextually correct manner.

One of the advantages of Verbal questions is that the questions can be solved quickly without any requirement of formulae and calculations.

So, this is easily one of the high-scoring parts of the exam as it generally relies on the grammatical and reading skills of the candidate.

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To ensure a high score in this section of the exam, it is good to further brush up the personal grammar and vocabulary skills.

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Non- MCQ type of questions

new cat syllabus

These types of questions were actually introduced in 2015 CAT by IIM Ahmadabad. Non- MCQ questions are different and require you to type the actual correct answer.

 Knowledge of basic fundamentals is needed to solve these types of questions and also there is no negative marking in these.

Since you need to actually type the answer in the nation- MCQ type question, it is advised to first note down all the relevant information from the question on a piece of paper and focus on the same.

This will give you the time to expand the idea and will help you solve the answer logically in less time. First, identify if two questions are interrelated and then solve them accordingly.

You need to frame your answer comprehensively, type it quickly and make sure that you read it twice before submitting.

If attempted precisely, non- MCQ questions will help you to score greater percentile as compared to the MCQ questions. As there is no negative marking in the non- MCQ questions so no marks are lost or deducted because of incorrect answers.

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These questions can be answered easily indiscriminately but do not write vague answers just because there is no negative marking for the non- MCQ based questions, as these marks do add in creating a better percentile.

CAT syllabus does not have any predefined or specific topic or chapter on which the questions will be asked.

One has to have a good fundamental knowledge of all the topics given in the syllabus to be able to swiftly and accurately work out the problems related to respective section topics.

CAT is an exam where success comes from solving a maximum number of questions in a minimum possible time. And this one needs to cover the entire CAT syllabus in an extensive yet comprehensive manner.

You need to get hold of some good study material from a coaching center, if you went for classes you will have it with you and in case you have opted for self-study then you can arrange it from your friends.

Collect some good preparation books from known authors whose language and methods are easy for you to understand.

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First, prepare the basics for each and every topic and then go for practicing the questions that are a level harder. Solve as many practice papers and mock tests as possible. Practice with precision is the key to crack this examination.

 Keep reading newspapers and magazines as it will help you in improving your current affairs knowledge as well as the vocabulary. Just keep up the hard work with proper strategy and you will achieve your dream of enrolling in a top business school.

 Also Read:- Top 20 Best CAT Coaching Institutes in Delhi

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