CAT Syllabus 2018

CAT SyllabusCAT Syllabus 2018 – Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), the conducting body of Common Admission Test (CAT), do not release any official syllabus for the exam. Based on previous years’ question papers and exam pattern, a list of tentative topics and sub-topics is compiled by the experts which can be used as CAT syllabus 2018. With the help of most probable CAT 2018 syllabus, aspiring management candidates can prepare for the country’s most competitive management entrance exam in a more strategised manner. The CAT syllabus 2018 is majorly divided into three major sections - Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). These topics cover a vast range of sub-topics which are revealed in the tentative CAT 2018 syllabus in this article.  


Before knowing about the CAT syllabus 2018 in details, let’s have a look at the exam pattern. It’ll allow the candidates to understand the syllabus section-wise. CAT 2018 will be conducted in online mode (computer-based). The duration of the exam would be 180 minutes (3 hours) and it’ll carry 100 questions divided into three sections. Here is the exam pattern for CAT 2018 based on last year’s exam.

CAT Pathfinder
Know your call chances for top B-schools through CAT


CAT Exam Pattern


Sectional Duration

No of Questions

Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

1 hour


Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

1 hour


Quantitative Ability (QA)

1 hour



3 hours


All the sections carry both Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQs (subjective questions).


Marking Scheme – The usual marking scheme in CAT gives 3 marks for a correct answer and deducts 1 mark for an incorrect answer. No marks are given or deducted for un-attempted questions.


Now, let’s have a look at the CAT 2018 syllabus and the important topics under each section.


CAT Syllabus 2018 - Section wise


CAT Exam Syllabus

Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Reading Comprehension-

  • The Reading Comprehension passages are generally of medium length, carrying 250 to 500 words. Question types can be both direct or inferential. 

English Language-

  • Fact Inference

  • Judgment

  • Fill in the blanks

  • Grammar

  • Para Completion

  • Para Jumble

  • Sentence Correction

  • Verbal Reasoning

  • Analogies and Reverse Analogies

  • Synonyms Antonyms (Vocabulary Based), etc.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

Data Interpretation-

  • Bar Graph

  • Combination of Graphs

  • Caselet

  • Data Sufficiency

  • Line Graph

  • Pie Chart

  • Tables, etc. 

Logical Reasoning–

  • Assumptions

  • Blood Relations

  • Binary Logic

  • Clocks and Calendars

  • Constraint-based puzzles

  • Data Arrangement

  • Family Tree

  • Matching Puzzles

  • Proposition

  • Statements

  • Seating Arrangement

  • Sets and Syllogism

  • Venn Diagram, etc.

Quantitative Ability (QA)

Major Topics-

  • Algebra

  • Arithmetic

  • Geometry

  • Higher Maths

  • Mensuration

  • Modern Mathematics

  • Number System

  • Trigonometry etc. 


  • Arithmetic progression

  • Arithmetic mean

  • Average

  • Angles and triangles

  • sphere’s rectangles

  • cubes and cone


  • Clocks

  • Geometric progression and Geometric mean

  • HCF and LCM

  • Harmonic mean

  • Installment and payments

  • Lines

  • Median and Mode

  • Percentage

  • Partnership

  • Profit and loss

  • Ratio and proportion

  • Partnership

  • Pipe and cisterns

  • Speed and distance

  • Work & time etc.

Prepare according to CAT 2018 Syllabus


The best way to prepare for CAT is by solving the sample papers and taking regular mock tests. By solving sample papers, candidates will automatically cover all the topics given in the CAT syllabus.


Click Here to download the CAT sample paper


IIMs also release the mock tests of CAT in the fourth week of October. With the help of sample papers and the official CAT mock test, aspirants will be able to prepare for CAT 2018. We bring a list of must read books for the CAT aspirants covering all the sections of the exam.


Click Here to check the list of must read books for CAT


CAT 2018 will be conducted on November 25, 2018 (Sunday) in online mode by IIM Calcutta. Prof. Sumanta Basu is the exam convener for CAT 2018. The admit card for CAT 2018 will be released tentatively in the fourth week of October. Around two lakh candidates appear for the exam every year for admissions in 20 IIMs and over 100 B-schools in India.

Related Articles



Join this QNA topic to get updates about latest happenings about the exam!

  • 13590 Joined
  • 2814 Questions

bb ki vines 6 hours ago

bb ki viness picture
Bb Ki VinesLast Seen: 5 hours 37 min agoJoined on: 15-Jul-2018Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: In Graduation

Sir in CAT Xam scribble pad for rough work ( calculations ) is available or not as in GATE Xam ??


bb ki vines 10 hours ago

bb ki viness picture
Bb Ki VinesLast Seen: 5 hours 37 min agoJoined on: 15-Jul-2018Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: In Graduation

Respected Sir or Madam How it is possible to score 90 %ile in CAT in first attempt with lack in rc and verbal rea. due to lack of time????

Answer (1)

User Pic

Manish Thakur 9 hours ago

Manish Thakurs picture
Manish ThakurLast Seen: 8 hours 41 min agoJoined on: 02-Dec-2016Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: Graduate & Above


You can follow this article which will help you in preparing for the Verbal area.

Good Luck!


Megha C 11 hours ago

Megha Cs picture
Megha CLast Seen: 8 hours 25 min agoJoined on: 01-Jul-2018Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: In Graduation

What is the minimum Cut off required for the nmat by Gmac and cat exam for getting the admission good colleges?

Answer (1)


Bhanu Pratap 11 hours ago

Bhanu Prataps picture
Bhanu PratapLast Seen: 9 hours 10 min agoJoined on: 01-May-2018Education Interest: Media and JournalismEducation Level: Graduate & Above
Hello Megha,Below I am providing you with the cut-offs of the top B-Schools that accept NMAT as their score:NMIMS Mumbai - 200+XIMB, XUB - 200+NMIMS Bangalore and Hyderabad - 180+Woxsen Business Schoo...Read More

smriti pandey 12 hours ago

smriti pandeys picture
Smriti PandeyLast Seen: 11 hours 58 min agoJoined on: 18-May-2015Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: In Graduation

How do i start my preparation for Cat ? Is there any strategy , which would help me out ?

Answers (4)

User Pic

Azim 8 hours ago

Azims picture
AzimLast Seen: 7 hours 40 min agoJoined on: 28-May-2018Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: Graduate & Above
U hardly had 3 - 4 Months For CAT exam.
U either Crack or Leave the Exam.
Strategy Regular Mock Test.


View All Answers


Shivaniwadhwa 12 hours ago

Shivaniwadhwas picture
ShivaniwadhwaLast Seen: 8 hours 36 min agoJoined on: 24-Dec-2017Education Interest: ManagementEducation Level: In Graduation

How to prepare for qa section for cat examination how to strong quant in one month which books should i prefer ?

Answers (2)


Vikas Gaur 12 hours ago

Vikas Gaurs picture
Vikas GaurLast Seen: 12 hours 44 sec agoJoined on: 05-Sep-2017Education Interest: MBAEducation Level: Graduate & Above
Hi Shivani,Some of the best known books for Quant section are Arun Sharma’s ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Ability for CAT’, published by Tata McGraw Hill. The book follows the latest pattern ...Read More

View All Answers