IIM CAT 2021: Here's the exam pattern and some important topics to prepare

Check out the IIM CAT 2021 exam pattern and important topics to prepare verbal ability and reading comprehension; data interpretation and logical reasoning and quantitative aptitude sections. CAT exam 2021 on November 28.

IIM CAT 2021: Here's the exam pattern and some important topics to prepare
Divyosha Banda | Aug 12, 2021 - 6:58 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: IIM Ahmedabad will be conducting the Common Admission Test (CAT) this year. CAT exam date 2021 is November 28. It is important to have a good understanding of the exam pattern and CAT syllabus 2021 to prepare and ace this MBA entrance test. No changes have been made to the CAT exam pattern 2021. The exam will be of 2 hours duration and will have MCQs and non-MCQs from three sections - verbal ability and reading comprehension; data interpretation and logical reasoning and quantitative aptitude.

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CAT 2021: Exam Pattern


CAT 2021 Pattern

CAT 2021 duration

2 Hours (120 Minutes)

Name of sections in CAT exam

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Section-wise duration

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.

CAT 2021 slots

  • 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 CAT 2021 questions

76 Questions (54 MCQs and 22 Non-MCQs)

CAT exam total marks

228 marks

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

MBA CAT Test Pattern 2021: Section-wise details

CAT Sections 2021

Number of questions (Expected)

CAT 2021: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)


  • MCQ - 18

  • TITA - 8

CAT exam: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)


  • MCQ - 18

  • TITA - 6

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) of CAT


  • MCQ - 18

  • TITA - 8

Total no. of questions


CAT Syllabus 2021: Important topics to prepare for the exam

CAT exam pattern and syllabus go hand in hand. It is important for candidates to know the CAT exam syllabus and prepare accordingly to crack this entrance test with a 99+ percentile. CAT syllabus is not officially released but is formulated based on the topics and questions usually asked in the exam. The syllabus of CAT comprises all the CAT important topics that one must prepare thoroughly for this MBA entrance exam.

Section-wise syllabus for CAT 2021

  1. Important topics for CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension:

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Paragraph Summary

  • Para-jumbles & Misfit Sentences

CAT Important Topics of VARC include -

  • Sentence Completion

  • Verbal Reasoning (Fact & Judgment)

  • Grammar & Usage (including questions based on common Grammar errors, Sentence Correction, Confusing Words, & Phrasal Verbs).

  • Vocabulary based questions (mainly Fill in the blanks, Synonym-Antonym based questions, Cloze Passage, Analogies, etc.).

  1. CAT 2021 Important topics for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:

DILR questions appear in CAT in the form of sets with 3-4 questions each. The topics are -

  • Caselets, Tables, Bar Graphs, Column Graphs, Line Charts, Venn Diagrams, Pie Charts, Combination of two or more types linked to each other Games & Tournaments, Number and Letter Series, Calendars; Cubes, Clocks, Venn Diagrams, Binary Logic, Seating Arrangement; Syllogism; Logical Sequence; Blood Relations.

  1. Important CAT Topics for Quantitative Ability:

  • Number Systems; LCM and HCF; Profit, Loss and Discount; Percentages; Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work; Simple and Compound Interest; Ratio and Proportion; Averages; Quadratic Equations; Linear Equations; Complex Numbers; Logarithm; Binomial Theorem; Sequences and Series; Surds and Indices; Inequalities; Probability; Permutation and Combination; Set Theory; Functions; Geometry; Mixtures and Alligations; Trigonometry; Coordinate Geometry; and Menstruation.

About CAT 2021

Common Admission Test, popularly known as CAT, is conducted by different IIM each year at a national level in a computer-based mode for admission to the MBA/PGDM and other postgraduate management programmes offered by IIMs and other top management institutes across the country. CAT 2021 will be held in 158 cities at over 400 exam centres.

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