What to expect in CAT 2020 ? Key points on CAT Exam Pattern

Megha Rohilla logo

Megha Rohilla

University Data Specialist


With the CAT exam looming just around the corner, stress levels are very high. This, combined with the stress and uncertainty of the pandemic, many CAT aspirants are in a very difficult state of mind. To help in this uphill journey towards your dream IIM, here are some important things to expect for CAT 2020 - 

What are the big Changes to CAT Exam Pattern 2020?

CAT 2020 has undergone a lot of changes in the exam pattern keeping in mind the state of the world. Due to Social Distancing Norms, only a limited number of students will be allowed inside the Exam Center at a time. Therefore, the exam will be held in 3 sessions with fewer students inside each room to prevent any transmission. One other major change in the exam pattern is that the duration of the exam has been reduced to 120 minutes or two hours, which is a major change for CAT. This also means that the sectional duration for CAT has also reduced to just 40 minutes. Another consequence of this major change is that candidates will not be allowed to switch between sections of the paper, so prepare accordingly. 

How many questions to expect for CAT 2020? 

As mentioned above, the sectional duration was reduced to 40 minutes from the earlier 60 minutes in CAT 2020. It is possible that the total number of questions will remain the same as previous papers, as IIM has not revealed the number of questions. If so, you can expect: 

  • 34 questions in the VARC section
  • 32 questions in the DILR section, and
  • 34 questions in the QA section

One thing every candidate needs to keep in mind while attempting the paper is that you will get only about 70-80 seconds to solve each question. You have to tailor your attempt strategy in a way that prioritises speed. 

Which section will be toughest in CAT 2020?

Because the sectional duration has been reduced, it is also possible that the number of questions for each section will be reduced. However, if the number of questions remain the same then IIM will have to give straightforward questions. Many of the sections have questions that require a lot of time to solve, as it involves calculations. So IIM might either reduce the number of questions or reduce the complexity of the questions overall. It is not easy to objectively predict which will be the toughest section, but based on the past cut off trends and complexity of the questions it is highly possible that the DILR section would be the toughest. The cut offs have been consistently low, which indicates that the complexity of the paper is high enough that even 99 percentile students score in the 50s. 

All the Best!

Tag:CAT
Category:Exam