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Know Everything About CAT Exam Pattern 2023

The Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIM Lucknow) has opened the registration window for the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2023. The registration began on August 2, 2023 and will close on September 13, 2023. The CAT 2023 exam will be held on November 26, 2023, in three sessions at around 300 test centers spread across…

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The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a highly anticipated examination for students aspiring to enter prestigious management institutes across India. In recent years, the CAT exam pattern has undergone significant changes, aiming to create a more comprehensive and reflective assessment of a student’s aptitude and potential. As the CAT exam is a gateway to top-tier B-schools, understanding the evolving pattern and its implications is crucial for prospective candidates. This article delves into the details of the CAT Exam Pattern 2023, its benefits for students, and essential information about CAT 2023 dates and admit card release dates.

Also Check: CAT Syllabus 2023

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: An Overview

The CAT Exam Pattern has evolved beyond a mere test of mathematical and verbal skills. The modern CAT examination emphasizes evaluating candidates’ overall aptitude, analytical reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. 

The following are key aspects of the current CAT exam pattern:


Sections and Time Duration

The CAT exam is divided into three sections—Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). Candidates are allotted 40 minutes for each section, leading to a total test duration of 120 minutes.

Type of Questions

While the majority of questions are Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), the CAT exam pattern now includes Non-MCQs, where candidates need to type the answer directly. This shift emphasizes not only accurate answers but also the ability to solve problems creatively.

Sectional Time Limit

The CAT exam is a 3-hour test with 120 minutes of total time. Each of the three sections, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA), has a sectional time limit of 40 minutes. Candidates are not allowed to move from one section to another during the testing period, so it is important to manage their time wisely and answer as many questions as possible within the allotted time.

Scoring System

The CAT exam follows a differential marking scheme. Correct answers fetch positive marks (+3 marks) while incorrect answers (except in Non-MCQs) lead to negative marks (- 1 mark). This encourages candidates to strategize their attempts thoughtfully.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Basis of Assessment

The CAT exam pattern has been designed to holistically test the candidates in terms of their time management and problem-solving skills.

The CAT 2023 exam pattern helps with

Holistic Assessment

The latest CAT exam pattern evaluates candidates based on a wide range of skills. This shift ensures a holistic assessment, reflecting the multi-faceted abilities required in the dynamic business world.

Real-world Problem Solving

The inclusion of Non-MCQs emphasizes practical application and problem-solving. This aligns with the demands of the professional landscape, where innovative thinking is highly valued.

Time Management Skills

The introduction of sectional time limits necessitates effective time management skills. This ability is a valuable asset in both the examination hall and real-life scenarios.

Adaptive Learning

CAT’s evolving pattern encourages candidates to engage in adaptive learning, where they strengthen their weak areas while refining their strengths. This approach promotes a balanced skill set.

Reduced Guesswork

The differential marking system discourages random guessing and encourages candidates to answer questions they are reasonably confident about. This ensures a more accurate reflection of knowledge.

The dynamic changes in the CAT exam pattern highlight the adaptability of the Indian education system to meet the evolving needs of the business world. The revamped pattern assesses not only the knowledge of candidates but also their ability to think critically, solve problems, and manage time effectively. This approach aligns perfectly with the skills demanded by modern industries, empowering candidates to excel in their careers.

As CAT 2023 approaches, prospective candidates should immerse themselves in a comprehensive preparation strategy that aligns with the updated exam pattern. A deep understanding of the exam structure, along with consistent practice and adaptive learning, will undoubtedly enhance candidates’ chances of success. The CAT exam pattern is a reflection of the evolving landscape of education and industry, and those who master its intricacies are poised for a bright future in the business realm.