CAT Exam: Details, Syllabus, Pattern, Eligibility, Important Dates, Purpose!

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national-level entrance exam conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) every year on a rotational basis.

It is designed to assess the aptitude of graduates who wish to pursue management education and is a prerequisite for admission into IIMs and other top business schools in India.

The exam is divided into three sections: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA) – and carries a total of 200 marks. The examination is conducted in the English language and has a time duration of 120 minutes.

The CAT exam has a few eligibility criteria for candidates to qualify for admission:

  • Firstly, the candidate must have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks.
  • Secondly, the exam can only be attempted in the English language.
  • Additionally, CAT grades come with one-year validity.

However, few Indian business schools do not accept CAT grades and require candidates to take their own entrance exam.

From CAT 2021, there have been a few changes made to the exam format such as the number of examination slots, exam duration, sectional time limit, total number of questions, total marks, and the number of questions in each section.

To be successful in the CAT exam, it is important to have a good grasp of the exam syllabus. The VARC section assesses applicants’ linguistic abilities and includes questions based on Vocabulary, Grammar, and Reading Comprehension. The DILR section is moderately difficult and requires some computation and counting. The QA section covers questions based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Advanced Mathematics, and Geometry.

The key to success in the CAT exam is practice, practice, practice! Solving sample question papers and taking online mock exams are essential parts of CAT preparation.

It is recommended that candidates undergo 35-40 CAT mock examinations during their preparation period. This will help increase their speed and accuracy for the exam. It is also important to analyze one’s performance after each mock test and focus on the sections that require improvement.

CAT 2022 Exam Details

CAT exam is conducted for admission into IIMs, SPJIMR, FMS, MDI, IMT and over 1,200 B-Schools in India. Aspirants generally aim to get into Top 50 B-Schools of India.

This year, the CAT exam will most likely be conducted in the last week of November. The CAT exam is conducted by the top IIMs of India. The exam is conducted once a year every year. There were more than 2.3L aspirants for the CAT exam conducted in 2021.

The fee for the exam is INR 2,200 (General category) and INR 1,100 (Reserved category). The eligibility criterion is also very simple: Graduation with 50 % aggregate, that is it.

CAT Exam Details

CAT 2022 Important Dates

CAT Exam Syllabus

To prepare for CAT, aspirants look out for a Coaching institute like iQuanta which helps them give a crisp Conceptual Clarity, help them apply in CAT Level Questions, Clarify Doubts 24 x 7 etc and Good quality Practice Questions.

(one-click to view details of iQuanta CAT Full course. Click the banner above)

Detailed Syllabus:

Check the number of questions and the sectional weightage in the table below:

A. Verbal Ability

Total Questions: 7-11
Sectional Weightage: 30%


  • Gist of Short Para’s: based on 3-4 sentences
  • Para jumbles: 3-4 jumbled sentences to be arranged logically/sequentially
  • Sentence Exclusion: pick the out-of-context sentence between 1-2 sentences
  • Others (Sentence Completion or Correction, Fill in the blanks, Vocabulary Based, etc.): 0-1

These questions are generally NON-MCQ with no penalty for the wrong answer

B. Reading Comprehension

Total Questions: 16
Sectional Weightage: 70%


  • 5 RCs – 3 Long, 2 Short
  • Long Para [800-900 words]: 6 Questions in each
  • Short Para [500 words]: 3 Questions in each
  • RC Areas – Business, Social Sciences, Economics, Humanities, Science, Current Affairs, Literature, History, Abstract [These are not exhaustive, and only indicative]
  • Type of Questions – True/False statements, phrase/word explanation, author’s view, the main idea of RC, the purpose of the passage, inference-based questions, data-driven questions, vocabulary based
Topic-wise distribution in VARC section

C. Data Interpretation

Total Questions: varies (8 to 10 questions in CAT 2020 & 21)
Sectional Weightage: 40% to 50%

Recent Topics:

  • Tables
  • Bar graphs
  • Pie charts
  • Mixed Graphs
  • Caselets
  • Arithmetic-based

Format: The questions utilize – text, tables, graphs (line, area), charts (column, bar, pie), and Venn diagrams, are asked. Data could be given in form of tables, charts or graphs.
The motive is to check the candidate’s ability to interpret data and derive insights from it.

Topic-wise distribution in DI section

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CAT preparation Fb group

D. Logical Reasoning

Total Questions: varies (10 to 12 questions in CAT 2020 & 21)
Sectional Weightage: 50% to 60%

Recent Topics:

  • Linear arrangement,
  • logical sequence,
  • Assumption,
  • Premise,
  • Conclusion,
  • Linear and matrix arrangement,
  • Distribution,
  • Rankings & Ratings,
  • Games & Tournaments
Topic-wise distribution in LR section

E. Quantitative Aptitude 

Quant undoubtedly has the widest syllabus when it comes to CAT. But the good part is that, despite being wide, it is well defined thus allowing candidates to take a structured approach

Total Questions: 22 questions: 8 Non-MCQs, 14 MCQs
Overall Weightage: 33.33%

Quant is divided into 5 major pillars:

  • Algebra: 6-7 Questions; –Topics: Linear Equations, Quadratic Equations, Inequalities, Logarithms, Sequence & Series, Functions
  • Arithmetic: 8-9 Questions; –Topics: Percentages, Ratio & Proportions, Profit & Loss, Interest (SI & CI), Averages, Time Speed & distance, Mixtures & Alligations, Time & Work
  • Modern Math: 1-2 Questions; –Topics: PnC & Probability
  • Number System: 1-2 Questions; –Topics: Divisibility Rules, Factors, Classifications of numbers, LCM & HCF, Remainders, Factorials, Unit digits & Last 2 digits
  • Geometry: 4-5 Questions; –Topics: Triangles, Circles, Mensuration, Co-ordinate Geometry, Trigonometry, Solids, 3D Geometry, Lines & Angles

CAT Quant Topic Wise Weightage : 

Topic-wise distribution in Quants section of CAT Exam

Past Year CAT Papers : Topic wise & Year wise

Must Read: Inspirational Fighting Autism, CAT Topper (99.97%le) Mihir Kapse, lands at IIM Ahmedabad

CAT Preparation Tips for Beginners – Batch 2022

Number of registration over the years in the CAT exam

CAT Exam Pattern

CAT Exam Strategy

CAT Exam sections

Understanding the CAT exam syllabus is crucial before you directly jump into your preparation. After that, analyse the paper pattern by referring to the CAT Past year papers. This analysis will help you identify your weak and strong areas. Using this information, you will understand which area will require more effort from your side.

In Brief: 1 set of material (softcopy/hardcopy) for practice+ Take two standard mocks for analysing + 1 course for application, doubt clarification and concepts. Be consistent and motivated throughout.

In Detail:

Practice is the Key: Build Concepts, Practice on them. Ask in case of doubts. Make note of any new things you learn. Repeat. As Arithmetic has the highest weightage, ie 12/34 questions, doing them completely will give you an edge. Solving 12 out of 34 questions can give you a 90%Le in the CAT exam.

For the same reason, we will be solving more than 1000 questions in arithmetic at iQuanta. Followed by Algebra, Geometry, Numbers & PNC. If you get any doubts while solving them, Ask doubts on the iQuanta platform, and we will help you.

Expert Tip: No book is enough, just solve as many as you can and most importantly solve all questions being posted in the free-to-join CAT Preparation – iQuanta group.

  • Di/Lr: All you need for cracking LRDI is familiarity with CAT Type LRDI Sets. This means if you have solved 300-400 CAT Type LRDI sets till CAT you will be able to solve at least 50% of the sets in CAT 2022. And how much you can get by solving 50% of LRDI sets in the CAT exam? More than 99 %le, in a few extreme cases ex, CAT 17, solving 3 Sets out of 8 could give you a 99 %le.

So all you need to do is select the sets you can solve and solve them with patience. And to get that familiarity all you need is practice.

CAT LRDI level changed from the year 2015, even though they are tough they are just lengthy puzzle and doesn’t need a lot of concepts or tricks to solve them.

Start with remembering squares and the reciprocal of fraction and percentage calculations. Then move to basic conceptual questions.

Read “LRDI Strategy by iQuanta” for detailed strategy:

  • CAT VARC: I am assuming this year CAT will be of 2 hours, and hence there will be 16 questions on RC, which is 70% of the total VARC questions. This is a section which checks your comprehension the most, and not the vocab or the grammar. The first step towards comprehension is how you can retain what you have read.

The best way to exercise your mind is to start reading articles from reputed newspapers and summarise them in your mind. At the end of 2 months, you’ll be able to retain the majority of the points from the article and if complemented with Past papers practice is well and good. (Past CAT Papers:

If you have joined the CAT preparation group, you can check the combined CAT strategy here.

For more CAT 2022 Detailed Eligibility, Pattern & Syllabus, visit the link:

Detailed VARC Strategy by 100%iler:

Detailed Quants Strategy by 100%iler:

Detailed LRDI Strategy by 100%iler:

Year-wise Conducting IIMs

As mentioned before, the CAT exam is conducted by different IIMs on a rotational basis. Check the history:

Programs Offered by IIMs

After CAT, aspirants can choose from certain available choices of courses from the top IIMs, check the courses list below:

iQuanta’s CAT 2021 Results

iQuanta’s quality preparation materials are reflected in their result with more than 60 students getting 99+%ile. It is important to note that this result came from a single place. At iQuanta, our aim is to provide you with value to enable you to get into your dream bschool.

iQuanta is deeply happy for its students. After burning the midnight oil and after a year of hard work, lots of rigorous sessions, and unlimited doubts solving, 400+ iQuanta students got 95%ile+ and 225 got 97+%ile. 

We believe that we worked hard but our students worked harder in achieving the results. iQuanta is immensely proud of them and congratulates them.

(click on the banner below for detailed results statistics)

CAT results

CAT Exam Centres

CAT exam centres are located at a number of important locations across India. We have compiled a list below of the cities where you can take the CAT test. Check below:

CAT is a lucrative opportunity for you. As you saw above, the opportunities are limitless and the syllabus is not too difficult (if you follow the strategies mentioned above). Therefore, you can easily sit for the exam, and increase your value in the marketplace by skilling yourself in the art of business and management.

You can visit the embedded link to know more about the advantages of an MBA degree and answer the burning question, ‘why MBA?’.

For comprehensive guidance on CAT 2022 course and other details make sure that you follow the link mentioned below. A limited period discount coupon is running:

CAT exam

For 24*7 doubts-solving, FREE guidance and counselling and peer to peer learning, join the CAT preparation Fb group below:

CAT preparation Fb group


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