Your browser does not support iframes.
CAT 2017 Convenor on Exam Pattern – Before the announcement of CAT 2017, aspirants were apprehensive about the exam pattern and the changes to be introduced. However, they were pleasantly surprised to find out that the exam pattern of CAT has remained same as last year. After bringing major changes and introduction of features like calculator and non-MCQs in the year 2015, the pattern has reached a stable stage. What are the factors which have made the CAT 2017 conducting body continue with the existing pattern? Careers360 explores.
Latest: Analyse your preparation level with Free Mock Test of CAT - Start Now
APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW
Talking about continuing the exam pattern as last year, Prof. Neeraj Dwivedi, CAT 2017 Convenor says, “The current pattern of test has evolved over time, based on the feedback on the past few years’ experiences with the test pattern, we find it serving the purpose well. We wish to retain the positive changes brought about during the last few years.” Prof. Dwivedi’s claim is evident from the fact that the number of CAT applicants is on a rise from the past two years. Last year, the number of applicants was a seven year high, i.e. 2,32,434. The following infographic brings to you the year wise application and number of test takers.
Analyse your preparation level with Free Mock Test of CAT
As per the current CAT exam pattern, the exam is of three hour duration test with three sections, namely, Verbal and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability in the given pattern. Each section is of one hour duration where candidates cannot move to and fro between sections. The table below brings to you detailed structure of the test.
CAT 2017 Exam Pattern and Structure
Number of Questions
Duration in minutes
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
Prior to 2015, CAT had these three sections, but there was no sectional time limit. Neither there was on-screen calculator, nor there were questions without answer options, or non-MCQs. Although the sectional time limit is not entirely a new feature as IIM Calcutta had introduced this in the year 2011, the other aspects like calculator and non-MCQs are new additions. The following table will bring to you the evolution of CAT pattern from 2009, when it went computer based.
CAT pattern change over years
Number of Question
100 (32 in 1 section and 34 in other 2 sections)
Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR).
+3, -1, no negative marking for Non-MCQs
100 (32 in one section and 34 in other two sections)
Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
Introduction of Calculator/ Induction of Non-MCQ
100 (50 per section)
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (not in particular order)
+3, - 1
170 minutes or 2 hours and 50 minutes
Test was divided into two sections/Introduction of two-day test window
60 (30 per section)
Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (In first and second order)
140 minutes or 2 hours 20 minutes
60 (20 per section)
Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
150 minutes or 2 hours 30 minutes
Verbal Ability, Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
150 minutes or 2 hours 30 minutes
First computer based CAT
Is CAT a balanced test?
Experts claimed that the exam pattern is more conducive for candidates belonging to engineering background since the weightage is more on the Quant section. Also, such candidates attempt majority of the questions from QA and DI & LR sections to ensure a high score and avoid the VA section, which in turn becomes a skewed performance. In order to ensure an even performance, IIM Calcutta in 2011 combined the sections Verbal Ability with Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability with Data Interpretation so that candidates attempt a balanced number of questions from each area and avoid skewed performance. Each section was timed to one hour and 10 minutes. The order of the section was also decided by the exam authorities.
This particular pattern was followed till 2013. In the year 2014, IIM Indore, the convening institute for CAT decided to bring slight changes in the pattern by increasing the number of questions and duration of the test to 100 from 60 and 170 minutes to 140 minutes respectively. Moreover, the sections were no more time bound and candidates could move to and fro between sections.
Major changes were announced in the year 2015 by IIM Ahmedabad where the exam pattern underwent major overhaul. Although the number of questions remained 100, the sections were divided into three, from erstwhile two. Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability were the three sections of CAT, carrying 34, 32 and 34 questions respectively. The duration was increased to 180 minutes or three hours from the erstwhile 170 minutes. The sections were again made time bound with one hour duration each. Moreover, test takers were also presented with an on-screen calculator for simple mathematical computations and non-MCQs or Type In The Answer (TITA) questions which does not carry any answer options. The non-MCQs are devoid of negative marking scheme. The pattern has been continued since then.
Allaying the general notion of CAT being an engineering-student friendly exam, Prof. Dwivedi states, “This is only a perception. CAT is a balanced test which gives equal opportunities to candidates from all disciplines/backgrounds/genders, who have done equivalent level of preparation. The test does not give any specific advantage to candidates from any particular discipline/background/gender. Every question is carefully reviewed to ensure that it is academics and gender neutral.”
Although earlier CAT was conducted in a 20 day window, it was reduced to two day window in the year 2014, which was further reduced to a single day two slot test from 2016 onwards. CAT 2017 will be held on Sunday, November 26, 2017 in 140 cities across India in forenoon and afternoon slots.
Know CAT evolution over the years
90 Days Preparation strategy for CAT 2017
CAT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 2017
Common Admission Test (CAT): Latest Updates
Stay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more news and updates on CAT 2017
Get real-time alerts on exam & colleges at your fingertips with Careers360 App!
Click Here to Install or Give a missed call on 08080944727 to get app link.
CAT Admit Card 2019 - IIM Kozhikode will release IIM CAT 2019 admit card on October 23 in online ...
CAT Mock Test 2019 - Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode has released CAT 2019 mock test on...
CAT Selection Procedure 2019 - Candidates can check the selection procedure of CAT 2019 to know h...
CAT Cutoff 2019 – The CAT 2019 Cutoff refers to the minimum percentile a test taker must obtain i...
CAT Result 2019 - IIM Kozhikode will announce the result of CAT 2019 in the second week of Januar...
You have to score a minimum of 99 percentile to get at least one good IIM call as your academics are not good. You could get a call from new IIMs if you score 99 percentile as the top tier IIMs will not give you a chance due to your poor acads.
Colleges you could look for are like IIM Nagpur, Kashipur, Shillong, etc. These colleges if you study well will provide you with a good package of 10-12 lpa.
Hope this helps. Thank you.
You will not be able to get any good business school like top IIMs, MDI, IIFT, or FMS. However, you can still get a good MBA tier 3/4 college if you increase your percentile to 98 percentile.
However, according to your grads, you must not be disappointed if you don't get a call at 99 because your marks are not good.
Hope for the best. Thank you.
Eligibility for CAT is graduate in any discipline from a recognized university with 50% aggregate, for SC/ST/PwD it's 45%.
So, people from any background can apply for CAT, provided they have required aggregate at their graduation level against their category.
Now, coming to the syllabus for CAT, there's no specific syllabus for CAT, one needs to rely on past years sample papers to get a fair idea about the pattern and weightage given to each topic and section.In general, questions are mostly from middle school level English and Mathematics.
There are mainly three sections in CAT-
Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation which includes topics such as Tables, Graphs, Data Caselets, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Syllogism etc.
Quantitative Aptitude which includes topics such as Geometry, Algebra, Time and Work, Mensuration, Number System etc.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension which includes topics such as Sentence completion, Questions based on reading comprehension, Para-jumbles & para-summar, inferences etc.
To know the detailed topics, kindly go through the following link-
Honestly there is a difference between just finishing the syllabus and preparing for selection in cat. See you can finish the syllabus if you'll work really hard in one month but trust me only unless you are extraordinary you won't be able to get selected for iims or other good colleges. But don't loose hope you should fight till last.
Check about cat
Your CAT brochure has been successfully mailed to your registered email id .
The Question containing Inaapropriate or Abusive Words
Question lacks the basic details making it difficult to answer
Topic Tagged to the Question are not relevant to Question
Question drives traffic to external sites for promotional or commercial purposes
The Question is not relevant to User
Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile