filter your searchallcollegesexamnews

CAT Syllabus 2019: Important Topics for VARC/ DILR/ QA

Updated On - October 4th 2019 by ANAM SHAMS

CAT Syllabus is not released officially. However, based on previous year question papers and analysis, we have curated the most important topics. CAT 2019 is scheduled for November 24 in a computer-based format. 

  • CAT Syllabus is based on the curriculum of class 10+2.
  • The exam evaluates a candidate on quantitative, verbal ability, reading comprehension, data interpretation, and reasoning skills.
  • Management aspirants can check their preparation status and prepare better using sample papers or previous year papers. Download Now!
  • The paper consists of 100 MCQ & Non-MCQ questions that are to be completed in 3 hours.

Check CAT model paper predicted by Collegedunia

Read on to know about the section-wise weightage, important topics and exam analysis

Overview of CAT Syllabus 2019

Based on the question paper of the previous year, specific changes in CAT Syllabus were observed. Here is an overview of the CAT 2019 syllabus:

  • Quantitative Aptitude- 34 questions from different disciplines of mathematics. Expect an increased number of non-MCQs.  
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension- RC to have 70% weightage in the VARC section, 24 questions from 5-6 sets. 
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning- 20 questions from Data Interpretation and 12 questions on Logical Reasoning. Expect this section to be the toughest.
  • Non-MCQs: Expect more than 25 non-MCQs in total.

Check CAT Exam Pattern 2019

SectionsNumber of QuestionsTime Allotted
QA3460 Minutes
VARC3260 Minutes
DILR3460 Minutes
Total100180 Minutes

Marking Scheme for CAT 2019 exam

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. 

Marking SchemeMCQsNon-MCQs
Correct Answer+3+3
Incorrect Answer-10

CheckBest Books for CAT Preparation

CAT 2019 Mock Tests (official) with navigation guidelines will be made available at

CAT Syllabus 2019: Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

CAT syllabus for quantitative aptitude has seen very little changes over the year. CAT 2019 syllabus for quants is expected to be moderate in terms of difficulty. 

  • Questions in QA are mostly based on topics from the Mathematics syllabus to class 10.
  • This section focuses on numerical problems and will test a candidate’s mathematical knowledge.
  • It is a test of speed, accuracy, and precision.
  • The QA section in CAT Exam is expected to have 27 MCQs and 7 Non-MCQs.
  • This section seems to be the favorite one as over 40% of questions are asked from Quants. Check Important Formulae
CAT Syllabus for QuantsSub-Topics
ArithmeticNumber System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distance
AlgebraTheory of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation & Combination, Sequence & Series
GeometryAngles, Lines, Triangles, Circles
MensurationAreas and Volumes- Rectangle, Squares, Triangle, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes and Cistern
CalculusMaxima and Minima, Function
TrigonometryTrigonometric Ratios, Heights and Distances

Read MoreLast Minute Preparation Tips for CAT Quants Section

Important topics for Quantitative Aptitude in CAT 2019

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 2019 exam. Most of the questions in a quant section are from general topics like profit & loss, number system, geometry, etc

Quantitative Topic Weightage in CAT

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. 

TopicsSlot 1Slot 2Slot 1Slot 2Slot 1Slot 2
Modern Maths1066666

Preparation Books for CAT Quantitative Ability Section

Preparing with the right resources in hand can prove to be an asset for those appearing in the CAT 2019. Here we have listed a few books which are vouched for by CAT exam toppers.

Books for CATAuthor Name/PublisherISBN Number
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CATArun Sharma9352602242
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMsSarvesh K. Verma9311123870
Quantitative Aptitude for the CATNishit K. Sinha9332570019

CAT Syllabus 2019: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

  • This section will focus on two aspects- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
  • DI will have both MCQ and Non-MCQ questions.
  • Questions from Data Interpretation focus on a candidate’s ability to derive conclusions from a given set of data.
  • Logical Reasoning (LR) section tests a candidate’s logical thinking and its application to everyday problems.
  • LR questions can be individual or be in a set of 4 or more questions.
  • DILR section is expected to see 24 MCQs and only 8 Non-MCQs
CAT Syllabus for Data InterpretationCAT Syllabus for Logical Reasoning
Bard GraphLine GraphArrangementsPrepositions
Pie ChartTablesData ArrangementPuzzles
CaseletsCombination of GraphsAssumptionsStatements
Data SufficiencyGames and TournamentsClock and CalendarsVenn Diagram
--Logical MatchingLogical Connectives

Read More How To Prepare Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning?

DILR Topics for CAT 2019

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.

DILR Topic Weightage in CAT

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.

Preparation Books for CAT Exam Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

We have curated a list of preparation books for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section for CAT 2019:

Books for CATAuthor Name/PublisherISBN Number
CAT 2019 Data Interpretation & Logical ReasoningGautam Puri9386309475
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CATNishit K. Sinha933257121X
Data Interpretation & Data SufficiencyAnanta Ashisha9352039246
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CATArun Sharma9352602250

Read Best Books for CAT Preparation 2019

CAT Syllabus 2019: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

CAT Syllabus 2019 for VARC covers a wide range of topics from para jumbles, to sentence correction and passage comprehension. A brief about the CAT 2019 syllabus for verbal ability and rc passages is given below: 

  • VARC section tests a candidate’s language and comprehension skills.
  • The comprehension questions will test the ability of the candidate to comprehend the meaning from a given passage.
  • Questions from the Reading Comprehension passage can be true/false statements based on the passage, Author's point of view on the issues raised in the passage, Inference from the passage, the central idea of the passage and its purpose.  
  • The questions in the RC part will be objective.
  • Verbal Ability questions will mostly be Non-MCQs.
  • This year, 24 MCQs and 10 Non-MCQs are expected in the paper.
  • Generally, 70% of questions come from Reading Comprehension.  
CAT Syllabus for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
Critical ReasoningGrammar and Usage
Sentence CorrectionWord Usage
Fill in the BlanksPara Jumble
Para CompletionIdioms
Para Summary-

Read  Tips to Crack Verbal and Reading Comprehension

VARC Topics for CAT 2019: Para jumbles and Reading Comprehension

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 2019. 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.

TopicsSlot 1Slot 2Slot 1Slot 2Slot 1Slot 2
Para Jumbles444 (TITA)4 (TITA)4 (TITA)4 (TITA)
Out of Context3 (TITA)3 (TITA)3 (TITA)3 (TITA)3 (TITA)3 (TITA)
Summary3 (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.

Preparation Books for CAT Exam Verbal and Reading Comprehension

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 ExamAuthor Name/ PublisherISBN Number
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CATArun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant9352602269
30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market PaperbackWilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster067174349X
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CATSharma and Upadhyay9339222695
PSC for VA for CATNishit Sinha9332570027

CAT Syllabus FAQs

Ques.: I am writing CAT 2019, and I have worked with all the NCERT mathematics books up to class 12. So will I clear the CAT 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.: 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. It has been seen that there are always surprises related to the Quant section. Best to prepare all the topics.

Ques.: Is puzzles topic covered in DI or LR section?

Ans. They both are combined to form 1 section in the CAT 2019 exam. So do combine the preparation of these 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.: 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:

  1. Numeric system
  2. Arithmetic
  3. Geometry
  4. Permutation and combination
  5. Set theory

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:

  • Fact inference Judgement
  • Grammar
  • Para completion
  • Sentence correction
  • Word usage

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 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 2019 exam, 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.

Coordinate Geometry3
Set theory3
Permutation and combination5
Surds and indices2
Progression (sequence and series)4
Quadratic and higher-order equations4
Linear equations3
Ratio and proportion3
Time and work3
Speed, Time and Distance4
Interest (compound and simple)3
Profit, loss, and Discount3
Number system5

Ques.:I am looking for some online app that I can use for my CAT preparation. I am mostly traveling, so carrying books on my way is difficult.

Ans. Few good apps can be used for the preparation of the online syllabus:

App nameRatingDaily TipUseful for
MBA test prep4.3/5Word List, Question of the Day, Tip of the Day, Puzzle of the Week, News, AnnouncementsCAT, NMAT, XAT, SNAP
TCY Exam pre4/ 5Challenge zone problems created every day for a problem-solvingCAT, XAT, NMAT, and IIFT
MBA: NMAT CAT IIFT AIMA MAT3/5More than 3000 problems on all the sections of CATOther useful exams are CAT, XAT, CMAT, IIFT, and NMAT
MBA- CAT/ CMAT preparation3.5/5There are separate headers for each of the sections in CATThe app does a high-quality analysis of the performance; the detailed report can be thus figured out by the use of the app.

Ques.: I have heard a lot about the stress test. 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.: 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.: 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 directly.

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 Grammar5
Sentence correction5
Fill in the blanks5
Verbal reasoning4
Reading comprehension15
Jumbled paragraph10
 Odd sentence10
Summary questions10
Facts/ inference/ judgements4
Para completion10

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 only 1 book to work with for the last minute preparation. You can buy any 1 of the book from the list given below:

  • CAT 2019 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning- Gautam Puri
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT- Nishit K. Sinha
  • Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency- Ananta Ashisha
  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT- Arun Sharma

Ques.: I have prepared for the XAT exam, can the same books used for preparing CAT syllabus?

Ans. Yes, the same books can be used for preparing the 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.: I want to do some online preparation for the CAT syllabus. Can you give me the name of some of the websites that I can work with?


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:

RankName of Coaching CenterLocationRating
1PT EducationNew Delhi4.2
2T.I.M.E.Connaught Place, New Delhi3.8
3Career LauncherKingsway Camp, New Delhi3.7
4IMS Learning ResourcesConnaught Place, New Delhi3.2

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 2019?

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 2019 syllabus over CAT 2019 syllabus?

Ans. Well, there are no additions that are officially announced in the CAT 2019 syllabus. 

Ques.: I have heard that switching between the sections is not allowed in the CAT online exam. Is it true?

Ans. Yes, the switching between the sections is not allowed in the CAT 2019 exam. So best would be to completely work with 1 section and then move on to the next section.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College

Related News & Articles

June 17, 2019CAT 2019

CAT 2019 Admit Card

CAT 2019 Admit Card will be released in the third ...

June 15, 2019CAT 2019

CAT 2019 Exam Pattern, Markin ..

CAT is an online management entrance test, conduct ...

September 04, 2019CAT 2019

FMS Delhi Admission Procedure ..

Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi has rev ...

July 26, 2019CAT 2019

IIM Bodh Gaya Admission Crite ..

Indian Institute of Management, Bodh Gaya (IIM-B), ...

July 23, 2019CAT 2019

CAT 2019: Why do IIMs change ..

The article talks about the evolution of CAT exam' ...

June 18, 2019CAT 2019

"Time management is one of th ..

Prashant Sahu cleared CAT with 98.83 percentile in ...

September 16, 2019CAT 2019

How to prepare for CAT in two ..

Vastav K cracked CAT in 2011 with 97.2 percentile ...


October 14, 2019CAT 2019

CAT Mock Test by IIM: Practi ..

IIM Kozhikode will release CAT 2019 mock test on O ...

October 09, 2019CAT 2019

SKEMA Business School Admissi ..

CAT or Common Aptitude Test is one the management ...

October 09, 2019CAT 2019

ESCP Europe Business School A ..

Common Admission Test (CAT) is conducted by the In ...




1 Comment

Provide me information for cat information

06 Mar, 2017 11:58

Hi Shivmona, to catch full details such as important dates, syllabus and preparation tips on CAT exam, please fins the link

11 May, 2017 11:29
Sunil Sonu

Sir i hav conflict regard maa academics profile ,i hav done, matriculate n denn diploma in E n C And got lateral entry admission to BCA but in application dey hav mentioned only 12 th score so how shld i fill the application form sir ,i need take MBA plz help out

01 Jan, 2019 23:04

Hi Sunil, You can contact on the given number, 1800-209-0830.

13 Feb, 2019 17:55

- No more comments -