CAT Exam Pattern 2017

CAT Exam PatternCAT Exam Pattern 2017: CAT or Common Admission Test is the most competitive as well as sought after MBA entrance exam for aspirants vying to take a seat in IIMs. IIM Lucknow will be conducting CAT 2017. The exam pattern of CAT changes almost every year to make it a more dynamic test in order to suit candidates from various backgrounds. However, the CAT exam pattern has remained same over the past two years. It is expected that the CAT 2017 exam pattern will also remain similar. As per the exam pattern or structure, CAT is a computer based test of three hours duration carrying 100 multiple choice objective type questions from three sections. This article of Careers360 will bring to you the detailed exam pattern, syllabus, marking scheme and structure of CAT 2017.

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Based on last year’s exam pattern, we bring to you the expected structure of CAT 2017.


CAT 2017 Exam Pattern

S. No.


Number of Questions

Duration in minutes


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension




Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning




Quantitative Ability







The sections will appear in the same order as mentioned in the above table. Now we will share in-depth information about each feature of CAT 2017.


Highlights of CAT Exam Pattern 2017

Sr. No.

CAT Highlights



Duration of the Test

3 hours


Total Number of Sections



Sectional Duration

1 hour


Total Number of Questions



Marks per question



Negative marking for wrong question


Duration – The total duration of CAT is three hours or 180 minutes. Each section is time bound for one hour and candidates are not allowed to move to and fro sections within this one hour duration. However, test takers are free to attempt and answer any question within a particular section.


Non-MCQs – Since 2015, IIMs have introduced questions without the answer options where the candidates have to type in answers in the space provided with the help of mouse through virtual keypad. Such questions are referred to as non-MCQs. Each section carries non-MCQs but the number is not fixed. Based on last year’s structure, the following table brings to you the ratio of MCQs and non-MCQs.


Ratio of CAT MCQs & Non-MCQs


No. of Questions

No. of Non-MCQs













Marking Scheme - Each question carries three marks and for each wrong answer, one mark is deducted. However, this marking scheme is applicable only for the questions carrying multiple choices. For Non-MCQs, the marks allotted is three but there is no negative marking involved in this type of questions.


On screen Calculator - In order to help candidates with basic computations, a non-scientific on screen calculator is provided. Test takers have to use the mouse to carry out computations on the on screen calculator.


Number of questions – The total number of questions in CAT 2017 is going to be 100. There are 34 questions each in Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Quantitative Ability sections. In the Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section, the number of questions is 32.


CAT 2017 Mock Test


In order to make the candidates familiar with the overall exam pattern and navigation, IIMs will enable the online CAT 2017 mock test prior to the actual test, most likely in the third week of October.


CAT Syllabus 2017


Although there is no fixed syllabus for CAT as prescribed by IIMs, based on the past years question types and trends, the experts have culled out important topics in each section which are must prepare for the CAT aspirants. Let us bring to you the important areas or the section wise CAT 2017 syllabus.


Quantitative Ability

  • Trigonometry

  • Algebra

  • Geometry

  • Arithmetic

  • Higher Maths

Verbal Ability

  • Reading Comprehension

  • Synonyms Antonyms

  • English Usage or Grammar

  • Jumbled Paragraph

  • Cloze Passage

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Facts-Inferences-Judgements

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

  • Bar Graphs

  • Caselets

  • Column Graphs

  • Tables

  • Line Charts

  • Venn Diagrams

  • Pie Chart

  • Combination of two or more types linked to each other

  • Blood Relations

  • Calendars

  • Cubes

  • Clocks

  • Number and Letter Series

  • Binary Logic

  • Seating Arrangement

  • Syllogism

CAT 2017 is expected to be held on the first week of December. The notification will be released by conducting IIM in the last week of July along with the important dates of CAT 2017. The application form of CAT 2017 will be available from the first week of August. Last year the exam was taken by 1,79,602 candidates in 650 test sites across 136 cities in India.

Take a look at the video below to get an idea of the exam taking experience by previous year’s CAT takers.



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