Will IIM Ahmedabad introduce changes in CAT exam pattern this year?

CAT 2021 exam pattern may see some changes as per the past trends. Check here for changes introduced in CAT 2020 and the evolution of CAT exam pattern in the past ten years.

Will IIM Ahmedabad introduce changes in CAT exam pattern this year? Representational image (Source: Shutterstock)
Prerna Goel | Jun 1, 2021 - 2:53 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: IIM Ahmedabad will be conducting the Common Admission Test 2021 (CAT 2021). MP Ram Mohan, an assistant professor at the institute, was recently appointed as the convenor of CAT 2021. IIM Ahmedabad conducted the first online CAT in 2009 and then in 2015. Every year CAT exam is conducted by one of the IIMs for over 2 lakh candidates to offer MBA/ PGDM admission against 5000+ seats.

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The official CAT notification 2021 is likely to be released in August as per the previous year’s trends. However, due to the severe outbreak of coronavirus this year in the country, holding CAT 2021 remains a question to be answered.


So far, no details regarding the CAT 2021 exam pattern have been released by the authorities. However, considering IIM Ahmedabad is conducting CAT this year, a few changes are expected to be made in the exam pattern of CAT.

Changes introduced in CAT exam last year

  • The duration of CAT exam was reduced to 120 minutes from 180 minutes, hence giving candidates 40 minutes as the sectional time limit.

  • CAT application fee was increased to Rs 2,000 from Rs 1,900 for general category candidates and from Rs 950 to Rs 1,000 for SC/ ST candidates.

  • The testing slots were increased to three as compared to previous years where the test was conducted in two slots. This was due to the covid-19 pandemic situation and to ensure safety of all stakeholders.

IIM Ahmedabad may or may not have plans to change the CAT 2021 test pattern. However, if it changes, it is likely to have either of the following test patterns.

Expected CAT Pattern 2021

CAT Particulars

Likely CAT 2021 Pattern (if covid situation does not improve)

Likely CAT 2021 pattern (if covid situation improves)

Test duration

2 hours

3 hours

Test slots

3

2

Total number of questions

76

100

Total marks

228

300

No. of questions in VARC section

26

34

No. of questions in DILR section

24

32

No. of questions in QA section

26

34

Evolution in CAT exam over the years

The CAT exam has undergone conspicuous changes since 2009 when it was first computerized. Before 2009, CAT was conducted as a paper-based test. The table below details the evolution of CAT over the past 10 years and all details regarding the CAT conducting IIMs.

CAT evolution over the years

Year

Number of Questions

Sections

Marking Scheme

Duration

Conducting Body

Other Element

2020

Total 100 questions (32 in one section and 34 in the other two sections)

Verbal & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude

3 positive marks for each correct answer and minus 1 mark for each wrong answer

120 Minutes


IIM Indore

-

2019

Total 100 questions (32 in one section and 34 in the other two sections)

Verbal & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude

3 positive marks for each correct answer and minus 1 mark for each wrong answer

180 Minutes

IIM Kozhikode

-

2018

There were a total of 100 questions (32 in one section and 34 in the other two sections)

Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

+ 3 marks for every correct answer and -1 for every incorrect answer (No negative marking for non-MCQs questions)

180 Minutes

IIM Calcutta

-

2017

Total number of questions were 100 (32 in one section and 34 in the other two sections)

Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

+ 3 Marks for every correct answer and -1 for every incorrect answer (No negative marking for non-MCQs questions)

180 Minutes

IIM Lucknow

-

2016

The number of questions was 100 divided into three sections (32 in one section and 34 in the other two sections)

Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

3 Marks for each correct answer and 1 mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer (No negative marking for non-MCQs questions)

180 Minutes

IIM Bangalore

-

2015

Total number of questions were 100 (32 in one section and 34 in the other two sections)

Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

+ 3 Marks for every correct answer and -1 for every incorrect answer (No negative marking for non-MCQs questions)

180 Minutes

IIM Ahmedabad

Introduced On-Screen Calculator/ Induction of Non-MCQ

2014

Total 100 Questions (50 per sections)

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (Not in order)

+ 3 Marks for every correct answer and -1 for every incorrect answer

170 Minutes

IIM Indore

The test was divided into two sections

2013

Total 60 Questions (30 per section)

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (QA & DI), Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

3 Marks for each correct answer and 1 mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer

140 Minutes

IIM Indore

-

2012

Total 60 Questions (30 per section)

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (QA & DI), Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

3 Marks for each correct answer and 1 mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer

140 Minutes

IIM Kozhikode

-

2011

Total 60 Questions (30 per section)

Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation (QA & DI), Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

+ 3 Marks for every correct answer and -1 for every incorrect answer

140 Minutes

IIM Calcutta

-

Since 2015, when IIM Ahmedabad conducted CAT, several changes were made in the CAT exam pattern increasing the number of CAT sections from two to three; introducing descriptive questions. After which, the CAT test pattern has stabilized to a great extent. IIM Ahmedabad is yet to announce the changes or update for CAT 2021 this year.

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