Common Admission Test
Common Admission Test

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Marking Scheme, Previous year's Sectional Exam Pattern

According to the CAT Exam Pattern 2023, the exam will have 3 sections– Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).
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CAT Exam Pattern 2023: The Common Admission Test is a computer-based exam conducted for admission to the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top MBA colleges in India. The CAT exam will be held on the last Sunday of November 2023. This year the exam will be conducted on November 26, 2023. The CAT exam pattern changes every year, and there is no prescribed CAT examination pattern and syllabus. However, the basic format of the exam remains the same, consisting of three sections: the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section and Quantitative Aptitude.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023 will have 3 sections – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section, which aims to test the candidate's ability to understand and analyse the English language, and includes questions on vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension. 

Secondly, the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section (DILR), aims to test the candidate's ability to understand and analyse data presented in various formats and includes questions on charts, tables, graphs, and logical reasoning. 

And lastly, the Quantitative Aptitude Section is designed to test the Mathematical and calculation skills of the candidate. 

CAT Exam Pattern is flexible and it has been witnessed that the exam conducting body i.e. IIMs frequently change the syllabus and Exam pattern of the Common Admission Test (CAT). As per the official exam notification, the duration is not set, although the usual duration is in the range of  2-3 hours, changing on a yearly basis.

The number of questions also varies from year to year. Last year, 66 questions were asked in the exam for a total of 198 marks. CAT Exam Pattern 2023 also has a negative marking scheme, the candidate will be awarded a -1 mark for every wrong answer for Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) meanwhile there is no negative marking for Type in Type Answers (TITA).

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: 

In the table below, aspirants can get a complete highlight of the CAT exam pattern 2023 which includes the types of questions asked in the paper, marking scheme, slots, and duration.

Particulars

Details

No. of Questions

66 in 2022

Sections in Exam

3 (VARC, DILR and QA)

Exam Duration

2 hours (2 hr and  30min for PwD Category)

Section Wise Time Duration 

40 minutes

CAT 2023 Exam Slots 

Mode of Exam

Computer-based Exam (CBE)

Medium of Instruction

English

Types of Questions

MCQ and Type in Type Answer

CAT Marking Scheme

+3 for every right answer

-1 for every wrong answer

TITA has no negative marking

CAT  2023 Expected Exam Pattern: Detailed Sectional Pattern

The table below is based on the previous year exam pattern, CAT 2022, representing the detailed bifurcation of CAT exam pattern in terms of section. It is to be noted that the exam also has a sectional cutoff. 

Candidates aspiring to appear for the exam are advised to understand the CAT exam pattern from the previous year 

Sections of Exam

No. of questions

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

Type in Type Answers (TITA)

Time Limit

VARC

24

19

5

40 mins

DILR

20

15

5

40 mins

QA

22

14

8

40 mins

Total

66

48

18

120 mins

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern: Making Scheme

Common Admission Tests (CAT) conducted by IIMs are considered as one of the toughest examinations in the country because there is no prescribed CAT Exam pattern. Every year nearly 2-3 lakh candidates take the exam for about 5000 seats offered by the 20 IIMs currently functioning in India. 

The difficulty level of the CAT Exams further increases due to a negative marking scheme. In the table below, aspiring candidates can find the marking scheme as per the official CAT notification:

Question Type 

Correct Answer

Incorrect Answer

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

+3

-1

Type in the Answer (TITA)

+3

0

CAT Exam Pattern: Previous year Exam Pattern 

Candidates aspiring to appear for the CAT examination must be well acquainted with the fact that IIMs frequently change the CAT exam pattern. In the table below, candidates can observe the flexibility of the CAT exam pattern by analysing the duration, number of questions, CAT Conducting body and difficulty level of the examination.

Year

Duration

No. of Questions

Difficulty Level

2021

2 hours

66

Moderate to High 

2020

2 hours

76

Moderate to High

2019

3 hours

100

Moderate to High

2018

3 hours

100

Moderate to High

2017

3 hours

100

Moderate

2016

3 hours

100

Moderate to difficult

2015

3 hours

100

Moderate to High

2014

2 hours 50 minutes

100

Moderate to Easy

2013

2 hours 20 minutes

60

Moderate to Easy

2012

2 hours 20 minutes

60

Moderate to Easy

2011

2 hours 20 minutes

60

Moderate

 

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Section-wise topic

As there is no official exam pattern and syllabus of the CAT examination, candidates are expected to have a holistic and clear understanding of the fundamentals at High school level Curriculum.

The examination conducting body i.e. IIMs has designed the exam pattern to test the candidate's logical, analytical, reasoning and mathematical skills. In the table below aspirants can check the complete section-wise topics for preparation. 

Section

Topics

Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)


Verbal Ability

English Usage or Grammar

Close Passage

Synonyms Antonyms

Facts-inferences-judgments

Jumbled Paragraph

Reading Comprehension

Verbal Reasoning

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

Caselets

Blood Relations

Calendars

Bar Graphs

Column Graphs

Tables

Cubes

Clocks

Binary Logic

Line Charts

Combination of two or more types linked to each other

Syllogism

Venn Diagrams

Pie Chart

Number and Letter Series

Seating Arrangement

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Algebra

Higher Maths

Geometry

Trigonometry

Mensuration

Arithmetic

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should I apply for CAT 2023?

The official notification for CAT  2023 is expected to be released in July 2023, and CAT registration will begin in August 2023.

What is the validity of CAT score?

CAT scores are valid for only 1 year.

How should I start preparing for CAT 2023?

Candidates should start their CAT preparation after a comprehensive understanding of the exam pattern & syllabus

How many attempts are allowed for the CAT Exam?

There is no fixed number of attempts for the CAT exam.

How many sections are there in CAT Exam

There are 3 sections in the CAT exam – VARC, DILR and QA.

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