CAT 2015 Exam Pattern
Urvashi Dalal, 25 Jul 2016, #CAT
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CAT 2015 Exam Pattern - CAT or Common Admission Test 2015 held successfully in two sessions (forenoon and afternoon) on Sunday, November 29, 2015. This year IIM Ahmedabad was the conducting body for CAT. As per IIM Ahmedabad, the CAT 2015 exam pattern was entirely different. We bring to you the CAT 2015 Exam Pattern as announced by the officials in a notification on Sunday, July 26, 2015.

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CAT 2015


3 –

Quantitative Ability

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Verbal and Reading Comprehension 

Number of Questions


Quantitative Ability – 34

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning - 32

Verbal and Reading Comprehension – 34


180 minutes

Sectional Duration

1 hour for each section

Question Types

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), Non-MCQs

Calculator Usage

On Screen basic calculator will be provided

Marking Scheme

For Non-MCQs,

  • +3 marks for ‘correct answer’

  • No marks(or negative marks) for ‘wrong or no attempt’. 

The scoring scheme for multiple-choice questions (MCQ's) is:

  • +3 for correct answer

  • -1 for incorrect answer

  • No marks are given or deducted for un-attempted questions.

As per the new CAT Exam Pattern 2015, the total duration of the exam was increased to 180 minutes or three hours, with total 100 questions to be answered. Last year, the total duration of the exam was 170 minutes. Also, candidates of CAT 2015 were not allowed to swtich into sections after completion of a particular section under the specified time limit of 60 minutes. Below are the changes that had been done in the Exam Pattern of CAT 2015,

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  • A few non-MCQs also appeared in the CAT 2015 paper. The answers to the non-MCQs was to be given by typing through the keyboard on the provided space. 

  • The total duration of the exam was 180 minutes  with exact 60 minutes to answer each section. CAT 2015 allowed a sectional time limit of 60 minutes. The total number of questions was 100, divided into three sections, namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA)Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC). Candidates were not allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section.

  • QA and VRC had 34 questions each, and there were 32 questions in DI & LR section.  

  • Candidates did not have the liberty to attempt any of the sections first, rather, they had to answer the sections in a pre-specified order, as per the officials, which was same for all the candidates.

  • The number of Non-MCQs in each section  was different.

  • One of the major changes, and also a first time in the history of CAT, candidates were allowed to use a basic on-screen calculator for calculation. The tutorial, explaining the CAT 2015 Exam Pattern was launched on October 29, 2015, which helped aspirants to have a better understanding of the changed pattern, and the procedures to be followed at the time of CAT 2015 exam. 

Now we will discuss in detail about the individual aspects of CAT 2015 Exam Pattern.

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Duration – 60 minutes for each section

The duration of CAT 2015 was 180 minutes or 3 hours. Last year, the sections were not time bound and the candidates could select any section to attempt first. The exam was divided into two sections, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. This year, there were 3 sections to attempt. Candidates were not allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. They were given exact 60 minutes to attempt each section. Unlike last year, the liberty to attempt any section in any order or switch between the sections was scrapped this year.



One of the major changes in the CAT 2015 Exam Pattern was an addition of one more section. This year the exam had three sections, namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC). QA and VRC had 34 questions each, and DILR had 32 questions to be answered. Some questions in each section were not of multiple choice type, which candidates had to answer by direct tying on the screen.


Last year, the number of sections in the exam was 2, Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. As mentioned before, there were no sectional time limits and each section consisted of 30 questions. 


Scoring Process

Each question was of 3 marks. For each wrongly answered MCQ, there was a negative marking of 1 marks and for  the non-MCQs, there no provision for any negative marking. No marks allotted or deducted for the un-attempted questions.


Additions in the Mode of Exam

CAT is a computer based multiple choice objective type exam. This was the first time in the history of CAT that the candidates were allowed to use basic on-screen calculator for calculations. Also, candidates were not allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. Some questions in each section were not multiple choice type, instead, candidate had to type direct answers on the screen.


Last year onwards, Tata Consultancy Services is conducting the computer based CAT as Prometric for the erstwhile agency completed the 5 year contract. The application process had started from August 6 and continued till September 25, which was extended from September 20. The number of registrations was increased by 11% compared to last year, which was 2,18,664. This year the exam was conducted in one-two in two sessions on November 29, across 136 Cities comprising of 650 Test Sites. The result has been declared on January 8, 2016.



Also Check:

CAT 2016

CAT 2016 Result

CAT 2016 Cutoff


Stay tuned to for more on CAT 2015.

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Can I give cat exam in my 4th year 1st sem... Now m in 3rd year..

Atharv Mungikar 9th Dec, 2019


Most of the students from B. Tech sit for CAT exam in their final year. You will be considered as a fresher and most of the questions asked in the interview will be done from your B. Tech field. But according to my knowledge, students having some experience are preferred more in the colleges. I recommend that you start gaining experience from the 7th SEM and register and then give your CAT exam before your 8th SEM because after the interviews colleges generally ask for graduation certificate for a proof that you have graduated. Some interviews also require you to show the pre-final year notice (a letter from UG should work)

I hope this helped.

All the best.


I have completed my 10(210) and +2 in (2012) and my ug got delayed due to personal reasons and I finished my UG 2019. Is there any issue in this. Am I eligible for CAT? Am very confused. Please help me out

Manidipa Kundu Student Expert 9th Dec, 2019


see there is no age age limit for applying in cat exam, and there is no mention of maximum year gap. the basic eligibility criteria for appearing in cat exam is you need to have graduation degree in any discipline with 50% marks in graduation. however some top institute like iims, sp jain, fms delhi and top bschool has gd and  interview session after clearing cutoff score of entrance test. so you may asked to explain the year gap. thats why be prepared for it. however you are definitely eligible for cat.


Top Institutes for MBA through CAT?

niharika cherry 7th Dec, 2019

Hello rajendra, for pursuing MBA, any one of the IIM's would be preferable, mostly the IIM ahmedabad would be excellent. So , now I tell you the top insititutes which offer MBA through CAT are-

  • IIM- Ahmedabad,Banglore,Kolkota, Lucknow,Indore,Kozhikode
  • Management Development Institute- Gurgaon
  • Faculty of Management Studies, university of delhi- Delhi

Hope this helps.

Thank you.

1 View

CAT exam and MBA information??

Bhaskar Nakkina Student Expert 7th Dec, 2019

CAT is a National level Common Entrance test to pursue MBA in IIM's and Business Schools. To write CAT exam one  must have passed graduation from a recognised Board of University. Final year graduation students are also allowed to write the CAT exam. If you do MBA in an IIM or Top B school, the career and placement opportunities are excellent. As a fresher one can earn minimum 5-10 lakhs after MBA.

In addition to that CAT exam is of 3 hours duration comprising of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude.

All the best.,


87 percentile in cat 2019 with 40.xx %ile in VA so which college is there in which I can consider?

Bhaskar Nakkina Student Expert 7th Dec, 2019


The Cut off to IIM's and Business Schools depend on the Highest mark and difficulty level of the exam. As there is no official Highest mark, we have to wait till the Results are released. 87 percentile in CAT is a good Score. You can get good Business Schools but difficult to get IIM's.

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