CAT 2020 SYLLABUS
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CAT 2020 Syllabus is not defined by IIMs, therefore the syllabus can be inferred from the previous year trends. It has remained unchanged over the years with variations in the type of questions, number of questions from certain topics and likewise.The paper is designed to evaluate quantitative, verbal ability, reading comprehension, data interpretation, and reasoning skills of the candidate.
Latest Update: CAT 2020 notification has been released on July 29 by IIM Indore on official website iimcat.ac.in. Exam is scheduled to take place on November 29, 2020. Check Details Here
Candidates should be aware of the syllabus for effective preparation. There will be a total of 100 questions which have to be addressed in 180 minutes.Sectional time limiot of 60 minutes will be provided for each section. As CAT is a computer based test, an onscreen calculator will be provided for basic computation. Check CAT Exam Pattern
|Sections||Number of Questions||Time Allotted|
Management aspirants can check their preparation status and prepare better using sample papers or Previous Year Papers. Read on to know about the section-wise weightage, important topics and best books for CAT 2020 Preparation.
CAT Marking Scheme has seen changes with the introduction of non-MCQs in the exam pattern. There is no negative marking for the non-MCQs so that candidates can attempt more questions. There is no negative marking for unattempted questions as per CAT Marking scheme.
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A brief of CAT 2020 Syllabus for all the 3 sections i.e. QA, VARC, and DILR is tabulated below:
Number: Number System, Sequence, Series and Progression
Arithmetic: Averages, Simplification, Ratio and Proportion, Percentages, Profit and Loss, Speed, Time and Distance
Algebra: Functions, Quadratic and Linear Equations, Inequalities, Logarithms
Geometry and Mensuration: Geometry, Mensuration, Coordinate Geometry
Modern Maths: Permutations and Combinations, Probability, Set Theory, Maxima and Minima, Trigonometry
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Unseen Passages, Analogies, Antonyms, Contextual usage, Fill in the blanks, Para Jumble, Para Completion, Fact Inference Judgement, Sentence Correction, Meaning/Usage match
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
Tables, Data Sufficiency, Pie Charts, Caselets, Combination of Graphs, Analogies, Critical Reasoning, Seating Arrangement, Logical Deduction, Cause and Effect, Analogies, Binary logics. Calendars, clocks and cubes, Blood Relations, Venn Diagrams, etc.
CAT syllabus for quantitative aptitude has seen very little changes over the year. CAT 2020 syllabus for quants is expected to be moderate in terms of difficulty.
|CAT Syllabus for Quants||Sub-Topics|
|Arithmetic||Number System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distance|
|Algebra||Theory of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation & Combination, Sequence & Series|
|Geometry||Angles, Lines, Triangles, Circles|
|Mensuration||Areas and Volumes- Rectangle, Squares, Triangle, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes and Cistern|
|Calculus||Maxima and Minima, Function|
|Trigonometry||Trigonometric Ratios, Heights and Distances|
There are a total of 34 questions from the aptitude section. Arithmetic holds the most weightage out of all of the topics. In fact, arithmetic ranks second after reading comprehension in terms of weightage in the CAT 2020 exam. Most of the questions in a quant section are from general topics like profit & loss, number system, geometry, etc.
As per the graphs, it is evident that ‘arithmetic’ holds the most weightage, followed by ‘modern math’. Modern math consists of topics like Logarithm, Progression, Set theory, Permutation & combination, Functions, etc. There were a total of 12 TITA (Type in the answer) questions in both the CAT 2018 slots. Our recommendation would be to focus on geometry, algebra, modern math and most importantly arithmetic. These topics carry maximum weightage in the quantitative section.
|Chapter||Slot 1||Slot 2|
|Topics||Slot 1||Slot 2||Slot 1||Slot 2||Slot 1||Slot 2|
Solving questions effortlessly can only be done if questions from easy to moderate level are covered chapterwise. This will save time and effort. Candidates are advised to know basic theories and varities of problems from all the chapters in Quants.
An essential tip to crack quants in CAT is to have a knack on shortcut tips. Grip on the section should be such thatthere arise no need to lift the pen while solving the question. Opt for personalised and unconventional methods that suit your own speed and interest on the topic. Discuss tips and tricks with friends to enhance more such tricks.
|CAT Syllabus for Data Interpretation||CAT Syllabus for Logical Reasoning|
|Bar Graph||Line Graph||Arrangements||Prepositions|
|Pie Chart||Tables||Data Arrangement||Puzzles|
|Caselets||Combination of Graphs||Assumptions||Statements|
|Data Sufficiency||Games and Tournaments||Clock and Calendars||Venn Diagram|
|-||-||Logical Matching||Logical Connectives|
Generally, the DILR section has 4 sets, each of Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation. But last year, there were 3 sets from DI and 4 from LR, while one set was a combination of both DI and LR. So from this particular section, expect surprises this year as well. This particular section has been the decider for the last three years and the level of difficulty is also on the rise.
The DI section which has 3-4 sets can be further divided into ‘Reasoning Based Questions or ‘Calculation Based Questions’. Questions from arrangement sets have been more prominent over recent years even though there is no dedicated weightage or topic preferences. So it is advisable to practice as much as you can, especially CAT previous years’ question paper.
|Chapter||Slot 1||Chapter||Slot 2|
|Boxes with Items||4||Grid||4|
|Addition of Numbers||4||Doctors and Rooms||4|
|Intersection and Network||4||Radar||4|
Data Interpretation and Reading Comprehension are clubbed together and comprise of 1/6th of the entire question paper. It is generally considered a tricky and deciding section, hence a proper preparation plan is necessary to cover DILR syllabus.
DI Questions are of Four types:
Logic based: Charts where it is difficult to get the exact data as it in in ranges and with conditions.
Structure Based: These questions include some special sets. These are generally time consuming.
Counting Based: Questions with large data sets and require alot of patience.
Calculation Based: Questions with percentages or nominal increase/decrease. Though they require some basic calculations but alot of accuracy.
Mental calculation is necessary to ace this section. Thus candidates should be confident in tables atleast upto 10 along with calculations on fractions and basic addition/ subtraction. It is a adviseto candidates to avoid using calculator at the last step of preparation cycle and focus on mental calculations.
Unlike quants questions in DILR are very much based on options and soughting them out. Hence read the questions, understand what the question is demanding, sought out the options and then solve acccordingly.
Dedicate minimum 5 hours in a week to solve DI questions and same goes for LR. Reasoning involves common sense thus practicing on a variety of questions will be helpful. Focus on questions sets with a tabular data.
CAT Syllabus 2020 for VARC covers a wide range of topics from para jumbles, to sentence correction and passage comprehension. A brief about the CAT 2020 Syllabus for Verbal Ability and RC passages is given below:
|CAT Syllabus for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension|
|Critical Reasoning||Grammar and Usage|
|Sentence Correction||Word Usage|
|Fill in the Blanks||Para Jumble|
As per the last exam update, the verbal section was combined with reading comprehension to form a section now known as ‘VARC’. Under the verbal ability sub-topic, questions from sentence correction, grammar, vocabulary, or fill in the blanks have not appeared in the last three years in the CAT 2020. So it’s not worthwhile to dedicate extensive time to these topics. Instead, questions from the para jumble topic have become an integral part from the verbal ability section. The difficulty of para jumbles has also been moderate in the past few years.
|Topics||Slot 1||Slot 2||Slot 1||Slot 2||Slot 1||Slot 2|
|Para Jumbles||4||4||4 (TITA)||4 (TITA)||4 (TITA)||4 (TITA)|
|Out of Context||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)|
|Summary||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)||3 (TITA)|
On the other hand, Reading Comprehension dominates the VARC section with a consistent 24 questions allocated to the topic. 5-6 passages are expected in the CAT exam with a word count of 400-800 words. Candidates have to answer the questions based on the passage.
This particular section is also important in terms of scoring. The DILR section is expected to be tough, just like the previous year. So it is important for candidates to score big in this section. Check Suggested Books for CAT Preparation
Candidates often face two situations while attempting Verbal ability and logical reasoning: either the questions are not difficult-read the passage and simply answer or just cant understand which option is right as the most absurd answer seems to be correct.
Understand the root meaning of words and its genesis, this will enable you to understand meaning of various words simultaneously. Build understanding onprefixes and suffixes.
Also build understnadinf of words in their context like connotations of words.
Read as much books and magzines as possible to improvise on readings and articulation skills. Diversity in reading should also be undertaken. Assuming that reading and writing does not follow logical pattern is a mistake. Critical reasoning involves assumptions and structuring of ideas.
Try to read atleast 300 words per minute, that should be the speed of candidates appearing for CAT. It is critical for very exam to develop structuring in reading and verbal aptitude to be a successful manager.
Since CAT is the most recognized management entrance exam in the country, there is no shortage of available sources for preparation in the market. Here are some suggested books for accurate CAT Preparation:
Preparing with the right resources in hand can prove to be an asset for those appearing in the CAT 2020. Here we have listed a few books which are vouched for by CAT exam toppers.
|Books for CAT||Author Name/Publisher||ISBN Number|
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs
Sarvesh K. Verma
Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT
Nishit K. Sinha
We have curated a list of preparation books for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section for CAT 2020, here is a brief of expected Exam Pattern:
|Books for CAT||Author Name/Publisher||ISBN Number|
CAT 2020 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT
Nishit K. Sinha
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT
Here we have prepared a list of some highly recommended books which are excellent for the preparation of the Verbal and Reading Comprehension section.
|Books for CAT Exam||Author Name/ Publisher||ISBN Number|
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT
Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback
Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT
Sharma and Upadhyay
PSC for VA for CAT
As per CAT experts from various coaching institutes, the focus should be on clearing fundamentals. Tarun Malik suggest to have a test taking strategy llike: selection of questions, sequencing of wuestions along with speed and accuracy. He recommends to solve Past Yeay CAT Questions from G.K Publications.
IMS India refers candidates tosolve CAT 500 a comprehensive book consisting of 500 Must solve questions. The questions are to be attempted within a stipulated time to set preparations goals right. Pratik Gaur from IMS insist to read fiction as well as non fiction to enhance communication and reading skills.
Rigourours preparation and dedication is required before appearing for CAT. Eligibility criteria allows candidates even appearing in their final year of graduation to sit for the exam. It is observed that such candidates have certain advantage in terms of preparing
Preparing alongside graduation is an advantage keeping in mind that there are certain similarities between course syllabus and CAT syllabus. Candidates pursuing Btech, BSc and BCom can step up their game as some subjects in their course havev similarities with Quantyitativev Aptitude section of CAT.
Aspirants doing graduation from Humanities stream have an advantage in English and language which has similarities with CAT VALR syllabus.
Unlike working professionals college students have the capacity to attend coaching classes. Alongside regular classes sparing time for coaching is possible if done in a right way as they are not bound in a 9 to 5 schedule. Though it should be kept in mind that going for coachings to prepare is not necessary for all candidates but it helps in scheduling and streamlining preparation.
Ideal preparation time for CAT is around 9 to 12 months. IOf candiadtes in their graduation speed up their preparation at the right time there are chances they do not have to take a gap year and get slected in one go.
Candidates should keep in mind that while studying there is no loss of income as comapred to professionals who generally quit their job to prepare for CAT. An undergraduate students does not have to toil on such situations and prepare to their full capacity without a worry on income or resources. Infact resources can be extracted from college libraries and digital resources as well.
Ques. Along with Para jumbles, what other important topics can I prepare for the English section of CAT syllabus?
Ans. The important topics for CAT English section are as follows:
Ques. I have done a lot of mock preparation for the CAT RC section. I can see that I lose marks in this section. Generally, a difference of perception can be observed in the answers. How can I bridge this gap?
Ans. This is a common complaint by most of the candidates who write the RC section. The problem comes because we end up creating our perception while solving the problems. While attempting the RC section, keep this tip in mind: “Identify general idea and purpose of the passage in the author’s perspective.”
Ques. Can I score well in CAT 2020 with self-preparation?
Ans. Yes, you can score well in CAT with self-study provided you have been dedicated and focused in terms of your preparation. Find accurate study resources and stick to limited books. Take mock tests regularly and analyze your performance in every section. On the basis of your strengths and weaknesses formulate your own strategies to ace the exam.
Ques. If I am new to computer education, can I still compete equally well with the other participants? My computer speed is slow.
Ans. Yes as the exam pattern got changed a few years back, students must prepare for online mode. So to boost your speed, do practice CAT mock papers in online mode.
Ques. Can I leave Mixture and allegations while preparing for the exam? The topic questions are complicated and complex.
Ans. It is advised not to leave any topic from the CAT syllabus as there is no fixed weightage. Quant section of CAT is seen as unpredictable, therefore a safer move will be to cover all the topics.
Ques. If I attempt 15 questions from each section of DI, QA, and RC, then what are my chances of qualifying the exam?
Ans. This depends entirely on the difficulty level and the minimum cut off defined for each section. But as the percentile is high, we would suggest that attempt at least 30 questions in each section correctly.
Ques. I am writing CAT 2020, and I have worked with all the NCERT Mathematics books up to class 12. Can I clear the exam?
Ans. Mathematics or quant syllabus is generic. It all depends on the difficulty level of the exam and the CAT syllabus. Kindly refer RS Aggarwal book or Arihant CAT books to gain more clarity.
Ques. Are marks deducted for spelling errors in the non- MCQ type of questions?
Ans. There is no marking scheme defined clearly for the Non- MCQ type of questions. So, no details can be given about the marks deduction for the spelling errors.
Ques. I am weak in the quants section. What are the top 5 topics that can help me qualify for the exam?
Ans. The top 5 CAT quant topics for preparation are as follows:
Ques. I have completed my graduation from a Hindi medium college. I am not good at English. Can I give the exam in regional language or Hindi?
Ans. No, the exam is conducted in English medium only.
Ques. I am a PWD category candidate. Do I have a different CAT exam syllabus as I have a physical health issue?
Ans. No, the syllabus is the same for all the candidates irrespective of the category details.
Ques. I am not sure about the questions in Vocabulary. How can I improve my vocabulary?
Ans. Start reading newspapers and Novels daily this will help you in increasing your vocabulary.
Ques. How can I improve my performance in CAT in a limited time?
Ans. The best way to analyze your performance is to do 1 or 2 mock tests each day for a week. Before this, do a brush-up of all the topics and then see your weak areas and strong areas. After identifying these areas, do the preparation.
Ques. As only 6 months are left in the CAT 2020 , I want to do my best in the QA section. How many days do I have to allot to each topic in the QA section?
Ans. There is a 50-day plan for completing all the topics of the QA section in detail. Just stick to it to do well in the QA section.
|Permutation and combination||5|
|Surds and indices||2|
|Progression (sequence and series)||4|
|Quadratic and higher-order equations||4|
|Ratio and proportion||3|
|Time and work||3|
|Speed, Time and Distance||4|
|Interest (compound and simple)||3|
|Profit, loss, and Discount||3|
Ques. I am looking for some online apps that I can use for my CAT preparation?
Ans. Following are some apps that can be used for CAT Preparation:
|App name||Rating||Daily Tip||Useful for|
|MBA test prep||4.3/5||Word List, Question of the Day, Tip of the Day, Puzzle of the Week, News, Announcements||CAT, NMAT, XAT, SNAP|
|TCY Exam pre||4/ 5||Challenge zone problems created every day for a problem-solving||CAT, XAT, NMAT, and IIFT|
|MBA: NMAT CAT IIFT AIMA MAT||3/5||More than 3000 problems on all the sections of CAT||Other useful exams are CAT, XAT, CMAT, IIFT, and NMAT|
|MBA- CAT/ CMAT preparation||3.5/5||There are separate headers for each of the sections in CAT||The app does a high-quality analysis of the performance; the detailed report can be thus figured out by the use of the app.|
Ques. What is a stress test for the RC section?
Ans. A stress test is designed to check your ability to comprehend the data defined in the paragraph. There are 5 comprehensions that a candidate is expected to complete in 35 minutes duration. Also, evaluation is done for identifying how many questions are attempted correctly.
Ques. How many questions can come on polity and economics in the VARC section in the CAT exam?
Ans. There are no direct questions that can come from the Economy and polity section.
Ques. I am working on the CAT VARC syllabus. I have worked for 30 days but still could not complete the syllabus. Can I get some schedule to complete the QA section?
Ans. The QA section syllabus is as follows:
|English usage or Grammar||5|
|Fill in the blanks||5|
|Facts/ inference/ judgements||4|
Ques. There are plenty of books on the market for preparing DI section. I am confused about the quality and rating. Which book to buy?
Ans. This is good that you understand the importance of preparing from a single source. You can buy any of the books from the list given below:
Ques. I have prepared for the XAT exam, can the same books used for preparing CAT syllabus?
Ans. Yes, mostly the same books can be used for preparing CAT syllabus.
Ques. What is the percentage weight for the MCQ and non- MCQ topic in the CAT syllabus?
Ans. There is no clear definition of the MCQ and non- MCQ syllabus defined by the CAT authorities in the QA section. So prepare all sections equally well.
Ques. If I want to excel in the Data interpretation section, what is the preparation strategy that I can follow? Am I confused about finding a good strategy?
Ans. A strategy that works for you is the best strategy, but one way to prepare is that you can work with ARUN SHARMA book on Data interpretation as it has the excellent representation of every part singly and logically. The mock papers by pagal guy and money control are the best to work.
Ques. Does the book Arun Sharma cover all the essential topics for the section of Logical Reasoning or multiple books are to be referred?
Ans. The ARUN SHARMA AND NISHIT SINHA books are sufficient for logical reasoning. The mock papers and notes from HANDA KA FUNDA website are sufficient, which provide immense simple well defining graphic charts and formulas.
Ques. Do the coaching classes cover the entire syllabus defined by the CAT exam authorities or some part is left for self-study. Also, can you give me the names of some excellent coaching institutes in Delhi?
Ans. Well, coaching institutes cover the entire syllabus defined by the CAT exam authorities. When looking for some coaching, you can refer to the following details:
|Rank||Name of Coaching Center||Location||Rating|
|1||PT Education||New Delhi||4.2|
|2||T.I.M.E.||Connaught Place, New Delhi||3.8|
|3||Career Launcher||Kingsway Camp, New Delhi||3.7|
|4||IMS Learning Resources||Connaught Place, New Delhi||3.2|
Ques. I have heard that there is a change in the exam pattern of the QA section. Now there is 50:50 weightage of both the MCQ and non- MCQ type of questions. Is it true?
Ans. No, it is not valid. As per the exam pattern, only 8 questions will be non- MCQ type rest of the questions will be MCQ type.
Ques. If I apply for a 90-day study plan, what are my chances of getting selected in CAT 2020?
Ans. Well, a 90-day study plan, if followed precisely, will ensure that your study would be completed within time. But your dedication and commitment will make all the difference.
Ques. Can you give me a list of all the topics that are added to CAT 2020 syllabus over CAT 2020 syllabus?
Ans. Well, there are no additions that are officially announced in the CAT 2020 syllabus.
Ques. Is switching between the sections allowed in CAT?
Ans. No, switching between the sections is not allowed in CAT. Therefore, one should complete a particular section in the allotted time, as candidates can’t return to the section to make changes.
*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College
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