IIM CAT Syllabus

The Common Admission Test is one of the toughest exams in India after graduation. It also provides opportunities to students from all streams and courses. All top institutions offering MBA in India accept CAT Score.

To qualify this exam one needs to prepare smartly with full concentration and to prepare smartly one needs to inspect the syllabus thoroughly. CAT syllabus can be completed in 3 months if  a proper study plan strictly based on the syllabus is implemented.

CAT Paper Section Wise Marks Distribution

The paper of CAT is conducted for a total of 66 questions for which 120 minutes is allotted and a student can get a maximum of 198 marks . The 120 minutes allotted for this exam is subdivided in three sections with 40 minutes for each.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)


Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)


Quantitative Ability (QA)


All sections have approximately  equal weightage in the marks distribution .There are 24, 20, 22 questions in the VARC, DILR and QA sections respectively .

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Major part of this section is covered by questions of Reading Comprehension. There are a total of 4 passages with 4 questions in each section. Apart from RC, there are 4 questions each form

Paragraph summary and Paragraph jumbling.  To tackle these types of questions students must study the following topics.




Phrases Modifiers

Errors in tenses

Articles usage

Sentence completion

Foreign language words used in English

Different usage of the same word

Fill in the blanks

Para Completion and inference

Verbal Logic

Parts of speech


Types of Clauses


Reading Comprehension


Jumbled paragraphs

Sentence correction

One word substitution

Verbal Reasoning

Subject-verb agreement

Para jumbles

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

The section is one of the most unique sections of this exam. Visual interpretation of graphs and charts is needed for this part.  Out of 20 questions, most questions are from Graphs & Charts while about 6 questions come from Graphs & Bar diagrams. Other important topics include Pie charts and Table & Charts.

Column Graphs

Venn Diagrams

Logical Connectives


Seating Arrangement

Logical Matching

Bar Graphs

Line Charts


Number and Letter Series


Binary Logic



Logical Sequence

Pie Charts


Blood Relations

Quantitative Aptitude

This section is very similar to mathematics with major questions from arithmetic and algebra topics. This part consists of more conceptual questions with some questions from geometry also.





Surds and Indices



Ratios and Proportion


Partnership (Accounts)

Number System

Square Root and Cube Root


In-equations Quadratic and linear equations

Work and Time

Profit & Loss

Geometric Progression


Mean, mode, median

Binomial theorem

Simple interest and compound interest

There is negative marking for MCQs questions but not for descriptive questions. Students must have a good command on school level basic mathematics to clear this exam. Applicants can start their preparations by revising class 7 to 10 NCERT mathematics. After That they just need to practice questions and previous year papers.


How many maximum attempts are allowed in CAT ?

CAT is one of the unique exams which don’t impose such restrictions for applicants. Students can apply for this exam as long as they meet all educational qualifications. There is no age limit for CAT.

Are calculators allowed in the CAT exam ?

No, candidates are not allowed to bring calculators to the examination hall, however they can use virtual calculators on the screens of computers.

Do I need to write answers to descriptive questions on paper ?

No, candidates have to just type answers for the descriptive questions in the main exam .