The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of India’s most prestigious and competitive management entrance exams. Conducted annually by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the CAT exam is a gateway to admission into various postgraduate management programs, including MBA, PGDM, and other management courses offered by reputed business schools nationwide. To excel in the CAT exam, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of its pattern and structure. This article will delve into the CAT exam pattern, providing all the essential details to help you prepare effectively.
CAT Exam Pattern 2024 – Complete Details
The CAT exam consists of three major sections:
- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
- Quantitative Ability (QA)
CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Highlights
|Exam Name||CAT (Common Admission Test)|
|Exam Duration||120 Minutes 40 Min Per Section|
|Number of Questions and Total Marks||66 Questions 198 Marks|
|Mode of Examination||Computer Based Test (CBT)|
|Types of Questions||Both MCQ and Non-MCQ|
|Section-wise Marks Distribution||VARC – 24 Questions
DILR – 20 Questions
QA – 22 Questions
|Marking Schema or Structure||MCQ – 3 Marks for the correct answer (-1) for the incorrect answer
Non-MCQ – 3 Marks for the correct answer, no Negative marking.
|Language of Question Paper||English|
Section 1: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
The first section of the CAT exam is dedicated to testing your verbal ability and reading comprehension skills. This section aims to assess your English language command and ability to comprehend and analyse written passages. It consists of a total of 24 questions and carries a weightage of 72 marks.
Key Topics in VARC:
- Reading Comprehension: You can expect around Five passages with accompanying questions. These passages cover many topics and require a deep understanding of the content.
- Verbal Ability: This section tests your skills in grammar, vocabulary, para-jumbles, and sentence completion. Pay close attention to word usage, idioms, and phrases to excel in this section.
Section 2: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
The second section of the CAT exam focuses on evaluating your logical reasoning and data interpretation abilities. It comprises 20 questions with a total weightage of 60 marks. This section is designed to assess your analytical and problem-solving skills.
Key Topics in DILR:
- Data Interpretation: This section presents data in various formats, such as tables, graphs, and charts. You must analyze the given information and answer questions based on it. Practice interpreting complex data sets to excel in this area.
- Logical Reasoning: Questions in this section evaluate your ability to analyse patterns, make logical deductions, and solve problems. Focus on topics such as arrangements, blood relations, and puzzles to strengthen your logical reasoning skills.
Section 3: Quantitative Ability (QA)
The third and final section of the CAT exam is dedicated to testing your quantitative aptitude. It consists of 22 questions with a total weightage of 66 marks. This section assesses your mathematical and problem-solving abilities.
Key Topics in QA:
- Arithmetic: This topic covers various sub-topics such as percentages, profit and loss, time and work, ratio and proportion, and more. Mastering arithmetic concepts is crucial for performing well in the QA section.
- Algebra: Algebraic concepts like equations, inequalities, quadratic equations, and progressions are an integral part of the CAT exam. Focus on understanding the fundamental principles and practice solving problems.
- Geometry: This topic includes concepts related to lines, angles, triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures. Familiarize yourself with the basic theorems and formulas to tackle geometry-based questions effectively.
- Number System: A strong foundation in number systems, including properties of integers, rational numbers, and irrational numbers, is essential. Practice different types of number system problems to boost your confidence.
CAT Exam Duration and Format
The CAT exam is a computer-based test (CBT) conducted over a duration of 120 minutes (2 hours). Each section has a designated time limit, and candidates cannot switch between sections during the test. The duration for each section may vary from year to year, so it is essential to stay updated with the latest information.
CAT Exam Marking Scheme 2024
The CAT exam follows a scoring pattern combining raw and scaled scores to ensure fairness and accuracy. Each correct answer typically carries three marks, while incorrect answers attract a penalty of one mark. There will be no deduction of marks for incorrect answers in the non-MCQ section. However, it’s worth noting that some questions may have differential marking schemes, so paying attention to the exam instructions is vital.
Now that you are familiar with the three sections and their key topics preparing strategically is crucial. Develop a study plan, allocate sufficient time to each section, and practice regularly to enhance speed and accuracy. Additionally, solving previous years’ CAT question papers and mock tests can provide valuable insights into the exam pattern and help you identify areas for improvement.
Remember, success in the CAT exam goes beyond understanding the exam pattern. It requires consistent effort, dedication, and a well-rounded preparation strategy. With our guidance and expertise, we are confident you can achieve your goals and secure admission to your dream management program.
CAT Exam Pattern 2024 FAQS
Q: What is the total duration of the CAT exam?
A: The CAT exam has a total duration of 120 minutes (2 hours, 40 Minutes for each section). Candidates are required to complete all sections within this time frame.
Q: How many sections are there in the CAT exam?
A: The CAT exam consists of three major sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA).
Q: Can I switch between sections during the CAT exam?
No, candidates are not allowed to switch between sections during the CAT exam. Each section must be completed within its designated time limit.
Q: Is there any negative marking in the CAT exam?
Yes, the CAT exam follows a marking scheme that includes negative marking. Typically, each correct answer carries three marks, while an incorrect answer attracts a penalty of one mark. Non-MCQ Questions does not carry any negative marks for incorrect answers.
Q: How is the percentile calculated in the CAT exam?
The CAT exam uses a percentile-based scoring system. The percentile is calculated by comparing your performance with other candidates who have taken the exam. Both sectional and overall percentiles are calculated, providing a holistic evaluation of your abilities.