CAT 2021: No. of questions are likely to reduce this year; Changes to be introduced in paper pattern

IIM Ahmedabad is going to reduce the number of questions in the CAT exam this year. Here are all details on the expected CAT 2021 exam pattern.

CAT 2021: No. of questions are likely to reduce this year; Changes to be introduced in paper pattern Representational Image (Source: Shutterstock)
Sundararajan | Sep 20, 2021 - 6:51 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad is going to conduct the CAT 2021 on November 28, 2021. As per the media reports, the CAT 2021 convener MP Ram Mohan has stated that the CAT exam pattern is likely to see some changes this year. The total number of questions may be reduced in all sections of the CAT exam for MBA. According to reports, the decision to reduce questions at CAT exam 2021 was made to reduce the stress of students who have less time to complete the course due to the COVID pandemic.

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MP Ram Mohan, Convener CAT 2021, said there was no problem for students who wrote the exam last year. However, citing the imposition of locking, the pressure to complete the CAT exam syllabus has become a nightmare for some. The epidemic has negatively affected the performance of students as coaching classes have been closed and there is a sense of uncertainty in their minds.

Therefore, reducing the number of questions from the three sections of VARC, QA, and DILR in the CAT 2021 exam is the best solution to reduce the stress and burden of the students. Apart from this, all other aspects of the examination i.e. 2-hour time limit, syllabus, and conducting the examination in 3 phases per day will not be changed.

CAT exam pattern 2021



Duration of the CAT exam 2021

2 Hours (120 Minutes)

Name of the section in the CAT 2021

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Section-wise duration of CAT 2021

60 minutes per section (Total 180 minutes)

  • 40 Minutes for Each Section (VARC, DILR, QA).

  • 53 Minutes 20 Seconds for PwD candidates for each section.

Slot-wise Session

  • Slot 1: 8:30 am - 10:30 pm (Morning Session)

  • Slot 2: 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm (Afternoon Session)

  • Slot 3: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm (Evening Session)

Number of Questions in CAT 2021

76 Questions (54 MCQs and 22 Non-MCQs)

NOTE: Expected to be 64 to 66 questions

CAT exam total marks

228 marks

NOTE: Total marks will vary based on reduced questions

Mode of the CAT 2021 exam

Computer-Based Mode (CBT)

CAT 2021 marking scheme

  • For every right answer, +3 will be awarded

  • For every wrong answer in MCQs, -1 will be deducted

  • No negative marks for Non-MCQs

However, according to CAT experts, only 3 to 4 questions per section are expected to be reduced. This means that this year, only 64 to 66 questions are likely to be asked in the CAT 2021 exam. An official announcement on the revised CAT 2021 pattern is expected to be made in the coming weeks.

Section-wise CAT 2021 exam pattern

Section as per IIM CAT 2021 exam pattern

Total Questions



Maximum Marks

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)





Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)





Quantitative Aptitude (QA)










As per the recent changes in the CAT 2021. IIM Ahmedabad will conduct the CAT entrance exam 2021 at over 400 centres across 159 cities of the country. This year, 3 CAT cities have been added to the list as compared to last year. Now, students can also choose "Srinagar'' as a preferred city for CAT 2021.

IIM CAT registration 2021

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad is going to close the CAT 2021 registration portal on September 22. CAT exam form can be filled online only at the CAT 2021 official website - Students can refer to the following steps while registering for CAT 2021.

  • Go to the CAT 2021 official website.

  • Fill in all the required details in the CAT exam registration form to generate login credentials.

  • Re-login and fill the CAT exam form by entering the valid details.

  • Upload requisite documents and pay the CAT exam fees.

  • Finally, submit the CAT 2021 application form and take a printout of it for future reference.

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