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CAT 2017 Syllabus

Last Updated - August 30, 2017

CAT (Common Admission Test) is an all-India national level exam conducted by IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management). It is a computer based exam conducted to select candidates for the management programs. The result is calculated in percentile and the competition is fierce as candidates from all over the country give their best shot for the limited number of seats. Hence, it is imperative to know the complete syllabus and to decide the best strategy for preparation. There is no official syllabus released by the IIMs and neither does it remain fixed. Hence, the candidates must study the trends of the questions asked in the previous years and have a complete idea of the range of the syllabus.

CAT Registration ProcessCAT Results

Important Dates

Given below are some of the important dates related to CAT 2017.

Commencement of RegistrationAugust 8, 2017
End of RegistrationSeptember 27, 2017
Availability of Admit CardOctober 24, 2017
CAT ExamDecember 4, 2017

About CAT 2017 Syllabus

The CAT exam paper is divided into three sections: Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Verbal and Reading Comprehension. The difficulty level of the questions can be compared to 10+2 standards. As there is no pre-defined syllabus, the candidates should study the trends of the previous year questions and understand the type of questions asked. The time of test has been increased from 170 minutes to 180 minutes. The candidates must divide their time in the three sections accordingly and should be thorough with their syllabus. Given below is the syllabus for each of these sections.

Quantitative Aptitude

This is regarded as one of the best sections to score in the CAT. The questions asked are meant to test the candidate’s ability to apply mathematical principles to real time problems. Although the difficulty of questions can be compared to 10+2 level, the candidate needs to thoroughly study each topic and each sub-topic of this section, as each topic and sub-topic is equally important. Given below are the topics along with its sub-topic.

Main TopicSub-Topic
ArithmeticNumber System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distances, etc.
AlgebraTheory of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation & Combination, Sequence & Series etc.
GeometryAngles, Lines, Triangles, Circles, etc.
MensurationAreas and Volumes – Rectangles, Squares, Triangles, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes and Cistern, etc.
CalculusMaxima and Minima, Function, etc.
TrigonometryTrigonometric Ratios, Heights and Distances, etc.

To prepare for Quantitative Aptitude, the candidates can refer to the following books which have proved beneficial to past CAT aspirants:

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill.
  • Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit Sinha, Publisher- Pearson.
  • Quantum CAT: Quantitative Aptitude Common Admission Test for Admission into IIMs by Sarvesh K Verma, Publisher- Arihant
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examination Tips, Techniques, and Short-cut Methods by Abhijit Guha.
  • NCERT Mathematics books for class 8th, 9th, 10th and 10+2.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Data Interpretation used to a topic of Quantitative Aptitude till last year. Now, it is clubbed with Logical Reasoning to make a separate section. The main aim of Data Interpretation is to test the candidate’s ability to derive information from a given set of data. The data can be in any form, pie charts, statistics, etc. The different types of data sets used in the previous year are:

  • Bar Graph
  • Line Graph
  • Pie Chart
  • Tables
  • Caselets
  • Combination of Graphs
  • Data Sufficiency

Logical Reasoning used to be clubbed with Language Comprehension to form a single section. This section tests the mental problem solving skills of the candidate. Although the syllabus for Logical Reasoning can be endless, the following are some of the frequently asked question types in CAT:

  • Seating Arrangement
  • Blood Relations
  • Syllogism
  • Venn Diagram
  • Propositions
  • Data Arrangement
  • Puzzles
  • Assumptions
  • Statements
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Sets

To prepare for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, the candidates can refer to the following books which have proved beneficial to past CAT aspirants:

  • Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for CAT by Nishit Sinha, Publisher- Pearson.
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Arun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill.
  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma, Publisher- Tata Mcgraw Hill.

Know About CAT 2017 Results

Verbal and Reading Comprehension

Verbal and Reading Comprehension used to be clubbed with Logical Reasoning up until last year, but now forms a separate independent section. The section does not have MCQ type questions, and yet and be a bit lengthy. Candidates are advised to be patient and thorough with the syllabus for Verbal and Reading Comprehension. The main areas the candidate should work upon are English Grammar, Passage, Vocabulary, and Language usage. Some of the past year question types are:

  • Vocabulary Based (Synonyms Antonyms)     
  • Sentence Correction
  • Fill in the blanks
  • English Usage or Grammar 
  • Cloze Passage
  • Jumbled Paragraph
  • Meaning-Usage Match
  • Analogies or Reverse Analogies
  • Summary Questions
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Facts / Inferences / Judgements
  • Reading Comprehension

To prepare for Verbal and Reading Comprehension, the candidates can refer to the following books which have proved beneficial to past CAT aspirants:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh, Publisher – Arihant.
  • 30 Days to More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis, Publisher- Simon & Schuster.
  • Wren and Martin English Grammar
  • Business English and Communication by Clark Zimmer, Publisher- Mcgraw Hill Ryerson.

Although the above given data should cover up most of what a candidate might face during the exam, CAT always has new surprises every year. Candidates must be prepared and smart about their approach to score a high percentile and clear the exam.



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