CAT exam pattern has undergone changes over the years. For the past 3 years it has remained constant in terms of marks and number of questions asked. As per the revised pattern, CAT 2019 will consist of 100 questions divided into 3 sections. It will test candidate’s verbal ability, data interpretation, logical reasoning and quantitative aptitude skills. A total of 100 MCQ and Non-MCQ type questions will be asked. The duration of exam will be of 3 hours and each section will be alloted 1 hour time limit.
CAT 2019 Exam Pattern Updates
Latest: CAT 2019 Mock Test was released on October 16, 2019. Check Here
CAT 2019 will be held on 24 November 2019.
Cat Syllabus is divided into three major portions: Verbal & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude CheckCAT 2019 Syllabus
Total 100 questions for 300 marks will be asked in exam.
Each section will contain Non-MCQ questions, that are to be directly typed.
Unlike GMAT, CAT doesn’t have a descriptive question for e.g. analytical writing assessment Check CAT vs GMAT
No option will be given to move between sections.
An on-screen calculator will be provided.
The marking scheme for this year will remain the same: +3 for a correct answer and -1 for a wrong answer. Check CAT Score Calculation
According to the previous year papers, Collegedunia has created a model paper for CAT 2019
As per the analysis for CAT 2019 by Collegedunia team, DILR is expected to be the toughest, VARC to be moderate and QA should be the easiest. An attempt at total 63-67 will be considered reasonable. CAT has a success rate of 1 in 200.
CAT 2018 Exam Pattern Analysis for Quantitative Aptitude
The quantitative ability section of CAT 2018 was quite lengthy, but candidates with mathematics background did not face many difficulties in getting through with it. Geometry was given more weightage this year. The overall difficulty level of the exam was moderate.
Following are the highlights of Cat 2018 QA section:
There were only 7 Non MCQ questions, nearly half than last year’s CAT exam
The square root symbol looked more like the pie symbol; this caused confusion.
Questions from the topics – Compound Interest, Coordinate Geometry, geometry, Mixture and Allegation, Permutation and Combination, Partnership, Mensuration, Logarithm, Quadric Equation, Proportion, and Ratio.
Difficulty level in CAT varies from section to section. Going by the trend Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension are easy to moderate, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning is on the tougher side whereas Quantitative Aptitude is moderate. The overall difficulty level of the exam is moderate. The amount of competition candidate faces in CAT makes it difficult to crack.
Does CAT exam pattern vary from year to year?
CAT exam pattern has changed over the years but since past 3 years it has been constant. CAT 2019 will have 3 sections Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC-34 questions), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR-32 questions), Quantitative Ability (QA-34 questions). Though the number of questions may slightly vary from year to year.
CAT 2019 Marking Scheme
CAT will have two types of questions– MCQs and Non-MCQs. Both the type of questions will carry equal marks. Here is the CAT Marking Scheme for your reference:
Total Questions- 100
Total Marks- 300
Marks for Each Correct Answer- +3 marks
Marks for Each Incorrect Answer- -1 score.
Negative Marking for Non-MCQs- No
Questions Left Blank- No mark
The table given below provides a brief of the marking scheme, expected to be followed for CAT 2019.
Type of Question
Candidates get 60 minutes to complete each section.
Even if candidates complete a section before 60 minutes, they cannot switch/ start with the next section.
However, candidates can attempt any of the section first and can also answer the questions out of sequence.
Changes in CAT exam pattern over the years 2015-2018
Ever since the change of CAT exam mode from offline to online in 2009, the exam has seen several changes in its pattern. Given below is the trend analysis of the CAT paper pattern for the past three years. This will help you predict the expected CAT 2019 Question Paper:
In 2018 Non-MCQ questions in total increased to 27 as compared to 26 in 2017.
Reading Comprehension were reduced to 4 from 5, each passage having 5 questions.
Quant had a good number of 12 Non-MCQ’s. Arithmetic questions were given a good weightage.
Some of the Non-MCQ questions had options also, with space provided to write the correct option.
With computer based test introduced in 2009. CAT exam pattern has undergone several changes. Prior to 2009 the exam was held in pen-paper mode. Since past 4 years the paper pattern has not gone under major alterations.
Year of Exam
Number of Questions
Level of Difficulty
VARC-34 RC-24 (MCQs Only) VA-10 (2 MCQs and 7 NON-MCQs)
DILR-32 DI-16 LR-16 MCQs-24 NON-MCQs-8
Quant-34 MCQs-22 NON-MCQs-12
Moderate to high
Same pattern like last year.
Canges in number of MCQ and NON-MCQ question in sections
VARC-34 RC-24 (All MCQs) VA-10 (3 MCQs and 7 non MCQs)
DILR-32 DI-16 LR-16, MCQs-24 NON-MCQ-8
Quant-34 MCQ-23 Non-MCQs-11
Same pattern like last year.
Changes in number of NON-MCQ questions
VARC-34 RC-24 (MCQ) VA-10 (NON-MCQs only )
DILR-32 DI-16 LR-16, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Quant-34 MCQ-27 Non-MCQs-7
Moderate to difficult
Same pattern like last year.
NON-MCQ in quant reduced
VARC -34 RC-24 (MCQs) VA-10 (Non MCQs)
DILR-32 DI-16 LR-16 MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8
Quant-34, MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-10
Moderate to difficult
Time limit increased to 180 minutes.
Sectional time restriction of 1 hour.
NON-MCQs with no negative marking
CAT Topper's Section Wise Preparation Strategy
Swapnil Suman scored 100 percentile in CAT 2018. His section wise strategy is as follows:
VARC- He read fiction and non-fiction text to improve reading speed, vocabulary and grammar. He also went for reading The Hindu newspaper and watched video solutions by TIME mocks.
DILR- Swapnil says solving puzzles and regular practice will make this section interesting.
Quant- It was an easy section for him as he belonged to engineering background. He went for tricks and revised the concepts often.
Manaswi Kumar scored 99.14 percentile in CAT 2018 . Here are some insights on his sectional preparation strategy:
VARC- He noted down 21 new words everyday, read newspapers and novels in addition.
DILR- Mock test proved to be helpful to him for preparing this section. He constantly reviewed his preparation level through practice tests.
Quant- He went for doubt clearing sessions and consulted previous year question papers to master quants.
A month before the main Exam, IIM Kozhikode which is conducting CAT 2019 will provide the facility of Mock Test in order to provide an idea to the candidates about to appear in the exam about the online exam pattern details and the way to answer in exam. CAT 2019 will be held on 24 November 2019.
It is advisable to practice Mock Test along with Previous Year Question Papers as much as possible. Most of CAT Coaching Centers also release their test papers or series for MBA aspirants. Practicing rigorously is the only key to crack CAT exam. Make sure you leave no stone unturned during your preparation strategy.
CAT Exam Pattern FAQs
Ques.: When will CAT 2019 take place?
Ans. CAT 2019 will be conducted on 24 November 2019. the application process is open and candidates can fill the forms till 18 September 2019. CheckCAT 2019 Application Process
Ques.: Who will be conducting CAT 2019?
Ans. IIM Kozhikode will conduct CAT 2019 on 24 November 2019. Application forms were made available on 7 August 2019 and candidates can fill up CAT 2019 application form till 18 September 2019.
Ques.: Is CAT an online exam?
Ans. CAT is not an online exam. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT), i.e., a candidate will not take the exam on an internet site.
Ques.: Is there any change in CAT 2019 exam pattern?
Ans. As per the official notification released by IIM Kozhikode there is no major change in CAT 2019 exam pattern and syllabus. The pattern will be same as last year. The difficulty level and number of questions in each section may vary and not necessarily be the same as in previous years. Check DetailedCAT Exam Pattern
Ques.: Can I take the exam from any computer?
Ans. A candidate will take the exam on a workstation assigned at the test center.
Ques.: Are there negative marks for questions other than MCQs?
Ans. No, there are no negative marks for non-MCQ type questions.
Ques.: How many non-MCQs are there in each section?
Ans. The number of questions as Non-MCQs may vary in each section. Generally- VARC has 7 Non-MCQs and 27 MCQs, DILR has 8 Non-MCQs and 24 MCQs whereas Quants ahs 12 Non-MCQs and 22 MCQs
Ques.: Is there a specific order for answering sections?
Ans. You must answer the sections in a pre-specified order, and this order will remain the same for all the candidates.
Ques.: What is the time duration of the Exam?
Ans. The time duration is 180 minutes.
Ques.: What are the total marks for the CAT 2019 exam?
Ans. The CAT exam total marks are 300.
Ques.: What is the language of the CAT 2019 paper?
Ans. The language of CAT 2019 is English.
Ques.: What is the difference between the Computer-Based test and Pen-paper Based Test?
Ans. The Computer-based test is where the applicants read the questions on a computer terminal and click on the right answer. In the Pen-Paper based test, the applicants will be provided with a paper booklet, and they are needed to use a pencil or pen and darken the ovals against the right answers.
Ques.: How to know more about the CBT?
Ans. For more details on the CBT, check out the CAT 2019 Practice tests and the CAT 2019 mock test.
Ques.: What are the sections in CAT 2019?
Ans. There are three sections in the CAT 2019 question paper –
Section I – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Section II – Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
Ans. No, the applicants are not allowed to bring in any electronic devices to the exam center. An on-screen calculator will be provided in the exam.
Ques.: How many MCQ and Non-MCQ in CAT exam?
Ans. There are 72 MCQ and 28 Non MCQ Questions.
NUMBER OF MCQ QUESTIONS
NUMBER OF NON-MCQ QUESTIONS
Verbal and Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
Ques.: Do the MCQs and non-MCQs carry equal scores?
Ans. Yes, all the questions carry equal scores.
Ques.: What is the syllabus for CAT? How should I prepare?
Ans. There is no fixed syllabus for CAT. However, applicants can check the numerous tips provided by professionals or join a coaching Institute. Also, the applicants can also check the numerous CAT preparation tips accessible online.
Ques.: What is the marking scheme for CAT? Is there any negative marking?
Ans. For every right answer, the applicants will be awarded 3 marks. However, an insight answer will fetch -1 mark.
Ques.: What is the weightage of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension?
Ans. There are 34 questions for 102 marks for 60 minutes.
Ques.: What is the Weightage of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning?
Ans. There are 32 questions for 96 marks for 60 minutes.
Ques.: What is the Weightage of Quantitative Ability?
Ans. There are 34 questions for 102 marks for 60 minutes.
Ques.: What is the syllabus for Quantitative Ability?
Ans. There are important topics for quantitative ability:
Linear and Quadratics Equations
Time and Work
Mensuration and Geometry
Time, Speed and Distance
Probability/ Profit or Loss
Surds and Indices
Tables and Case lets
Averages and Partnerships
Allegations and Mixtures
Ques.: What is the CAT Exam Pattern for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning?
Ans. These are the important topics to cover in Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:
Combination of Graphs
Clocks and Calendars
Ques.: What is the CAT Exam Pattern for Verbal & Reading Comprehension?
Ans. These are the major topics to cover in Verbal & Reading Comprehension:
Fill in the blanks
Fact Inference Judgement
Ques.: Is there any help for computation in CAT Exam?
Ans. To help applicants with general computations, a non-scientific on-screen calculator is offered. Candidates have to use the mouse to carry out calculations on the on-screen calculator.
Ques.: From where can I get the list of exam centers?
Ans. The list of CAT 2019 exam centers will be accessible on the official website iimcat.ac.in. Currently, applicants can see the test cities where CAT 2019 will take place.
Ques.: What are the time slots for the CAT 2019 exam?
Ans. As per the official announcement, CAT 2019 will be conducted in two sessions or time slots. Applicants will be allotted a single session time slot based on the availability of test center and city of selection.
Ques.: Can I appear for more than one slot for CAT 2019?
Ans. No, you cannot appear for more than one slot for CAT 2019. If any applicant attempts to appear for CAT 2019 in two distinctive time slots, it would be considered as a fraudulent activity. To maintain the distance from any fraudulent activity on this front, CAT 2019 applicants will be subject to verification of Admit Cards, applicant pictures, photo IDs, and biometric verification.
Ques.: Where can I select my preference for shift and test date?
Ans. The examination shift (forenoon or afternoon) is distributed to each registered applicant based on the selection of the city, which made at the time of application. An applicant cannot select the shift.
Ques.: What are the timings to contact the Applicant Helpdesk?
Ans. CAT 2019 help desk is accessible to applicants via telephone from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The CAT Applicant Helpdesk is shut on Sundays and National/Public holidays.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College