CAT Syllabus 2021: CAT Exam Syllabus 2021 PDF Download
CAT Syllabus 2021: The CAT conducting body, IIM Ahmedabad does not officially release the CAT syllabus 2021. However, based on previous years' candidates can apprehend the syllabus of CAT 2021. It includes all CAT important topics of verbal ability & reading comprehension (VARC), data interpretation & logical reasoning (DILR), and quantitative aptitude (QA). The questions asked in CAT Question Paper have mostly been based on middle school math i.e. class 9 and 10 and English topics, the difference being varying in difficulty level (higher).
The IIM CAT exam syllabus is very general and broad. Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer-based test (CBT). The CAT 2021 syllabus gives us a good idea of how to prepare for the CAT entrance exam 2021. Before beginning the CAT preparation, candidates must know the CAT exam syllabus and paper pattern. This article talks about the section-wise syllabus of CAT 2021.
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CAT Syllabus 2021 - Overview
Before reviewing the comprehensive CAT exam subjects, it is important to get an overview of the important topics from each section asked in CAT 2021. Below is a table that outlines important topics from the CAT syllabus 2021 which the candidates must focus on.
On our Careers360 site, we also provide the CAT syllabus pdf format. By visiting the appropriate link, candidates can easily get the CAT 2021 syllabus and CAT exam pattern in pdf format. With the help of the CAT exam 2021 syllabus pdf, students can easily know the topics and sections which will be asked in the CAT exam.
CAT Syllabus 2021 in PDF
The topics which are broadly covered under the IIM CAT exam syllabus 2021 topics are given below in detail.
Sectional Time Duration
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
For General: 40 Minutes for each section
For PwD: 53 Minutes 20 Seconds for each section
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
Each section has important topics that are part of the MBA CAT syllabus 2021. Following the syllabus of last year’s CAT, one can determine that the first section includes questions from VARC, followed by DILR, QA. Topics that are part of the syllabus of CAT typically come from students in school from class 9 to class 12.
Candidates can also download the CAT syllabus in pdf provided in this article to know what questions are asked on all the topics in each section. Candidates can get the CAT exam syllabus 2021 pdf download button by visiting the appropriate link.
CAT Exam Syllabus 2021 - Section Wise Topics
The section-wise topics that are part of the CAT exam syllabus 2021 will help candidates get an idea of how to prepare for the exam and which topic will consume maximum time. By conducting this exercise, the candidate will be able to clearly distinguish the topic in the syllabus of CAT 2021, which will help him/her identify their strengths, thus helping to determine their CAT 2021 exam strategy.
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CAT Syllabus 2021 - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
IIM CAT 2021 verbal ability syllabus and reading comprehension consist of all the sub-topics asked questions. The VARC section is the first section of the CAT question paper and is to be solved first. Vocabulary testing methods have changed over the years, and now CAT usually asks the vocabulary question through readable comprehension passages so that students also have the opportunity to exclude the meaning of the word from the context.
Apart from this, synonyms and antonyms are frequently asked in other MBA entrance exams, due to which they should be prepared. Similarly, filling in the blanks, grammatical application, facts, assumptions and judgments, and correction in sentences are part of the CAT exam syllabus 2021 as they were asked in the past, but they are no longer being tested even though they play a significant role in other MBA gateways.
Grammar or English Usage
Synonyms Antonyms (Vocabulary Based)
Fill in the blanks
Jumbled Paragraph and Close Passage
Analogies and Reverse Analogies
Facts Inferences Judgments
One word substitution
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Verbal Ability in CAT Syllabus 2021
Over the past 3 to 4 years the Verbal Ability section in CAT 2021 syllabus has focused mainly on 3 types of questions:
Odd sentences in Paragraph Jumbles.
The jumbled paragraph questions are from TITA, which means there is no margin for error.
Together they form a paragraph and the candidates must find the most appropriate order for the sentence group. In order to solve these types of questions.
In these types of questions, 4 to 5 sentences are out of order.
The first thing every candidate should do is identify the first and last sentence of the paragraph.
This is usually much easier because the first sentence introduces a topic, while the last sentence makes some sort of judgment or decision.
Following this, the second sentence should lead to the first one.
Summary questions are usually as follows:
Small passages with 4 options (around 80-100 words).
The goal is to find the best summary of the paragraph.
Usually, in these types of questions, it is important to find options that do not conflict with the passage in any way.
Once you have eliminated the other options, the correct answer will appear.
An odd sentence in paragraph jumps TITA questions for the last 3 to 4 years:
The purpose of this type of question is to identify the sentence that does not match the theme established in the remaining paragraph.
These questions can be easy or difficult depending on how they are presented.
For easy questions, the sentence will talk about something completely different from the theme of the rest of the paragraph.
On difficult questions, on the other hand, the sentence will be on the same topic as the rest of the paragraph but will differ slightly depending on the concept or theme presented.
It is also possible for a sentence to introduce a topic within an unrelated theme.
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Key points related to Verbal Ability for CAT 2021
The total number of questions asked is usually 8 to 10, and a similar weightage is given for this section.
As part of the syllabus of CAT 2021, in the Verbal Ability section, Non-MCQ questions will be asked.
Negative marking to any question was not answered incorrectly as most of the questions asked were of the non-MCQ type.
Going by past year trends and as per CAT exam syllabus in VA section usually, questions are asked from para-jumbles, error correction in a para, out of context sentence in para, and vocabulary.
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The number of topics and expected questions in CAT Verbal Ability.
Number of questions expected
Sentence Completion & Correction
Others (Fill in the blanks, Vocabulary Based, etc.)
Reading Comprehension in CAT Syllabus 2021
As per the CAT 2021 syllabus, Reading Comprehension (RC) consists of questions based on the passages in the CAT exam. Questions are generally of three types: Inference-based, Fact-based, and Vocabulary-based. Vocabulary-based questions have already been discussed above.
Fact-based questions, as the name implies, demand answers based on the facts mentioned in the paragraph. They are usually the easiest questions in the section.
Assumption-based questions are a bit tricky because the candidates must reduce the tone and theme of the writer before answering these questions. In CAT 2019 and CAT 2020, these types of questions were very rare.
Know more about;
Key points related to Reading Comprehension for CAT 2021
The total number of questions asked can do anything between 24-28.
Since the questions asked in this are multiple choices (MCQs), it will indicate negative marking.
In the Reading Comprehension section, there will be at least four long paragraphs and one short paragraph.
According to the course of the past years, the long comprehension passage will have at least 900 words and the short passage will have about 500-600 words.
Comprehension passages mainly revolve around topics such as politics, environment, literature, and society.
As per the CAT exam pattern, a negative marking of -1 mark is applicable for every incorrect answer.
The number of topics and expected questions in CAT Reading Comprehension
Total Number of Passages
Total Number of Questions
4 to 5 Passages
At least 24 questions
CAT Syllabus 2021 - Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
According to the detailed CAT exam syllabus 2021, there are two subdivisions which are (i) Data Interpretation (ii) Logical Rational. Candidates must complete this section within 40 minutes (53.20 minutes for PwD), without which they will not be allowed to proceed further.
DILR was a tricky section for candidates in CAT 2017 and CAT 2018, but the difficulty level was reduced in CAT 2019 and CAT 2020. One reason for this difficulty is the unpredictability of sections based on where the set can be taken. CAT 2021 syllabus for DILR section:
Topics covered under DI & LR
Bar Graphs and Column Graphs
Caselets and Tables
Combination of two or more types linked to each other
Line Charts & Pie Chart
Calendars, Cubes and Clocks
Number and Letter Series
CAT Syllabus 2021 for Data Interpretation
From the CAT exam syllabus above, the Data Interpretation (DI) IIM CAT syllabus 2021 contains cassettes and tables. These cassettes contain data in the form of column charts, bar charts, Venn diagrams, lines, and pie charts. We need to understand this data to solve the questions in CAT Exam 2021.
To solve these questions, the data must be structured very intuitively so that the questions are solved. In some questions, there will be variables that should not be touched on as they may be presented in the questions. The only possible way to prepare for this DI section of the CAT exam 2021 is to solve as many problems as possible.
Key points related to Data Interpretation for CAT 2021
In the Data Interpretation, there are both multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and non-multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
MCQ and Non-MCQ are no standard numbers.
If the MCQ is answered incorrectly, there is a negative marking.
If the non-MCQ responds incorrectly, there is no negative mark.
CAT Syllabus 2021 for Logical Reasoning
Over the years the IIM CAT syllabus has included topics for logical reasoning such as arrangements, numbers and sequences, logical sequences, syllogisms, calendars, clocks and cubes, and blood relations. Questions are usually a combination of other topics. As can be seen, the number of topics for rationality is numerous and the combination can lead to very tricky compilations.
This may be one reason why CAT 2017 and CAT 2018 are considered difficult DILR sections. Reasoning topics can lead to more complex sets when linked to each other. The main concern in solving LR questions is not to solve them, but to solve them as quickly as possible. In this section, solving a certain number of questions with the utmost accuracy will suffice to get a good percentage in this section.
Key points related to Logical Reasoning for CAT 2021
The total number of questions asked may be between 15 to 20.
For each incorrect answer, the negative will provide.
There are both MCQ and Non-MCQs questions for logical reasoning.
If the candidates answer wrongly for MCQs, then there is a negative marking.
No negative mark for Non-MCQs.
The number of topics and expected questions in CAT DILR Section
Total Number of Questions
Graph, Bar diagram
Tables & Charts
Tables, Pie chart
CAT Syllabus 2021 - Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
As part of the CAT 2021 syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude (QA), questions will be asked from arithmetic, mathematics, trigonometry, and algebra. Check out some topics from the syllabus of CAT 2021 for Quantitative Aptitude that will be asked questions.
LCM & HCF
Speed, Time & Distance
Profit, Loss & Discount
Time & Work
Simple & Compound Interest
Quadratic & Linear Equations
Ratio & Proportion
Sequences & Series
Probability, Permutation and Combination
Surds & Indices
Functions & Geometry
Mixtures & Allegations
Coordinate Geometry & Mensuration
The wide number of topics in the CAT syllabus 2021 means that it should be further broken down into manageable areas. Subdivisions in the QA syllabus of CAT 2021 include:
Alligations and Mixtures
Sequences and Series
Preparing commercial maths is reasonably easy because the number of questions is small and the formulas to be learned are very straightforward.
Arithmetic should also be very basic and easy to prepare. Most topics in arithmetic are class 10 and the only trick is to solve them as quickly as possible.
There are many rules in geometry and finding the most important geometric rules will allow the candidates to solve these problems as quickly as possible.
Trigonometry can be used in conjunction with other topics or tested in the CAT 2021 exam.
Sequence and Series is a topic that is occasionally tested in CAT and other MBA entrance exams. In practice, the questions on this topic can be easily solved.
Alligations and Mixtures are likely to be similar to the topic Sequence and Series in the sense that it is occasionally tested in CAT. It is fairly easy to solve questions of this type with the correct guidance.
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Key points related to Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 2021
A total of 26 questions will be asked in the Quantitative Aptitude section.
There are both MCQ and Non-MCQs questions in this section. 18 MCQs asked and 8 non-MCQs.
Candidates will lose marks if they respond incorrectly to MCQ. For Non-MCQ, there are no negative marks.
The number of topics and expected questions in CAT QA Section
Total Number of Questions
Geometry & Mensuration
Best Books for CAT 2021 Preparation - VARC, DILR, and QA
There are a lot of books available for CAT Exam Preparation 2021. Also, Careers360 provides some best books for CAT 2021 along with CAT Syllabus 2021 pdf official website link. By visiting the appropriate link, the candidates can easily get the Common Admission Test syllabus and books. With the help of books and CAT 2020 question papers, and CAT sample paper the students can easily clear the exam and get MBA admission in IIMs. Here is the list of books mostly used by CAT toppers.
Name of the Book
Name of the Author
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning (VARC)
Word Power Made Easy
How to Prepare for the VARC for the CAT
Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay (Tata McGraw-Hill)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency
How to Prepare for DILR for CAT (Tata McGraw-Hill)
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT
Nishit K. Sinha
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
QA for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Exams
Trishna Knowledge Systems (Pearson)
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT
The Complete CAT Digest, by Tata McGraw-Hill
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations
EAbhijit Guha (Tata McGraw-Hill)
CAT Exam Pattern 2021
Along with the CAT syllabus, candidates also need to be well aware of the CAT exam pattern prior to starting preparing for CAT 2021. Apart from the syllabus and CAT exam pattern, it is a must to keep note of the following points.
- CAT exam will be held in online mode
- Each question will carry 3 marks
- Negative marking of -1 mark will be applicable for MCQs
- As per recent TOI reports, the number of questions in CAT question paper are likely to reduce from 76 to 66-68. The official notice is to be out yet.
|Section name||Number of questions (likely)*|
|Quantitative Ability (QA)||26|
|Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)||24|
|Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)||26|
*- The number of questions are likely to change in CAT 2021.
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CAT 2020 Exam Analysis
In addition to the basic syllabus for preparing the CAT, it would be useful to look at the CAT 2020 exam to set a benchmark. The CAT Exam Pattern in CAT 2020 was not identical to CAT 2017 and CAT 2018. In CAT 2020, there were 3 sections and 26 questions in VARC, 24 in DILR, and 26 in QA.
The overall difficulty level of the two slots was almost identical. QA and DILR had less difficulty in CAT 2020 than CAT 2019, but VARC in CAT 2020 was tricky compared to CAT 2018 or CAT 2019. There were no new topics introduced by CAT in the CAT 2020 paper, i.e. the CAT syllabus 2021 remained unchanged.
However, CAT has a tendency to be complacent, which is why the CAT Exam Syllabus 2021 should not be taken for granted.
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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - CAT Syllabus 2021: CAT Exam Syllabus 2021 PDF Download
Question: What is the syllabus for CAT 2021?
The CAT Syllabus 2021 covers all the major topics of VARC, DILR, and QA.
Question: Can we expect a change in the syllabus for CAT 2021?
The CAT exam syllabus remains the same every year, but the distribution of questions in each section of the questionnaire changes each year.
Question: Who recommends the CAT Exam Pattern and Syllabus?
The CAT syllabus 2021 is recommended by the Examining Authority - IIM CAT.
Question: How much time is enough to complete the CAT syllabus 2021?
It depends on candidates time management skills and ability to understand topics. Some are able to complete the topics within four months, while others require almost a year to complete the entire CAT syllabus 2021.
Question: What is the marking scheme for CAT 2021?
The total marks of the CAT exam are 228 and three marks are given for each correct question. One mark is deducted for each incorrect question.
Question: What is the duration of the CAT exam 2021?
The CAT 2021 exam will be conducted in 120 minutes (2 hours). Each section will be allocated 40 minutes. The total time allotted to PwD candidates is 159.60 minutes (53.20 minutes for each section).
Question: Can I prepare a Common Admission Test by practicing only the CAT mock tests?
No, candidates are advised to first go through the CAT exam syllabus and read the difficult topics before solving the CAT mock tests.
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Questions related to CAT
sir i scored 518 marks in neet 2021 and i am obc B cat which college i can get seat
Based on previous year data, with 518 marks you may get a rank between 74929-82675. You can also predict your rank using NEET Rank Predictor https://medicine.careers360.com/neet-rank-predictor?utm_source=qna&utm_medium=neet_rp
According to your profile, you're from Andhra Pradesh. You may have a chance of getting a seat through Andhra Pradesh State Counseling under OBC quota in the following colleges -
- Viswabharati Medical College and Hospital
- Santhiram Medical College and Hospital
- PES Institute of Medical Sciences and Research
To know more about Andhra Pradesh cut off, check here https://medicine.careers360.com/articles/neet-cutoff-ap
To get a complete list of colleges in which you can get Mbbs/Bds seat, you can use NEET College Predictor https://medicine.careers360.com/neet-college-predictor?utm_source=qna&utm_medium=neet_cp
It is important to know that the above predictions are based on previous year data and cut offs and ranks vary every year depending on the difficulty level of the paper, the performance of the students and the number of seats available.
my air 71523 jeemain can i get iet lucknow cs branch cat.gen
First of all congratulations for your result.
As per previous year cutoff, It is difficult to get admission there, but you can try some other good top colleges also. You have to try hard to get seat in good college.
For CSE you need a rank under 1100 for general.
For IT around 2200 for general.
Hopefully this will help you.
Sir🙏 I have got 20000 ranking in veterinary . Can i get seat sir.I belongs to the Obc (2A cat) sir ..plz
Cutoff for vertenairy varies year to year as cutoff depends upon no. Of candidates appearing and the difficulty level of question paper. Yes, you can get it with this score
For previous year cutoff, do visit
Hi, I want to appear for CAT but i have a gap of 5 years between 12th and graduation. Will this gap create problem in selection for a college or while selecting for job after MBA? I have cleared CA intermediate in these 5 years and have a suitable experience of full time job in a good company.
Hi Vipul. No the 5 years gap won't be a problem in college selection or interview process or job placement . Those will be considered as educational gap since you have a genuine reason and good achievements like clearing CA intermediate, and good company job. Still to be on the safe side, try to get a good percentile , prepare for interview and build up your resume
Hlo,sir/mam recently I completed my graduation now I fill the form of CAT examination for 2021 .so please suggest me how I study or tricks to clear the exam in first attempt?
I hope you are doing well!
Last year, many changes in the CAT 2021 exam pattern and testing slots were made by IIM Indore. This year it is expected that CAT 2021 pattern will change again as IIM Ahmedabad which is conducting CAT 2021, may bring about more changes in CAT exam structure. CAT 2021 may go back to its earlier test structure and time slots. As per the regular pattern, CAT 2021 will be a computer based test of 3 hours with 100 questions divided in three sections. CAT preparation 2021 strategy also needs to be slightly changed from previous year.
How to Plan CAT Preparation 2021
With the expected changes in CAT 2021 pattern, the CAT 2021 preparation according to experts, should also be changed. Experts have advised following required changes in CAT preparation strategy:
Change in CAT Exam 2021
Required Change in CAT preparation
Number of questions to go up from 76 to 100
Test taking stratgey to be tweaked. Selection of questions becomes important
Increased Overall CAT duration to 3 hours and Sectional duration to 60 Minutes each
Students should focus on preparation. Exam could prove more beneficial with better scoring opportunity
Difficulty Level may go up
Improve your skills in each section, IIMs may decide to have stronger skilled students
Change in Mock Test Taking Strategy
Increase total number of questions and duration for your mock test. This will give you a real feel of new CAT pattern
CAT toppers and experts describe CAT preparation strategy in two words – ‘Smart Preparation’ and avoid the hard meaningless preparation that consumes lot of your time with lesser gain.
Since, IIMs do not require a professor or a deep learner in only one area, the CAT exam is designed to measure your aptitude and assess your analytical and communication skills in the areas of English language and usage, Analysis of a situation with data, Approach to arrive at the decision by using reasoning and the basic mathematical skills.
You always have a choice to prepare for CAT with or without coaching. However, it depends upon your requirements, availability of time, skills that you have and the areas you wish to improve among other factors. CAT Self Study with right CAT 2020 Study material or a mix of preparation without coaching and opting for weekend CAT coaching with test series option can be decided now or later as per your requirement.
If you wish to opt for CAT self study, you need to understand first how to prepare for CAT exam at home with the help of right books for CAT exam preparation and other appropriate CAT 2021 study material.
Most of the CAT toppers have opted for CAT preparation without coaching. CAT toppers like IIM Ahmedabad student of PGP 2020-22 batch, Rahul Gupta with 100 percentile in CAT 2019; Ashish Jhunjhunwala with 99.90 percentile in CAT 2017; Vipul Kukkar 99.99 percentile in CAT 2017 and IIM Calcutta students did self study for CAT exam with the help of books and other CAT study material.
Preparation tips on how to start CAT exam preparation without coaching are focused on following points to guide you how and when you should start your exam preparation 2021:
- Go through the revised CAT exam pattern & CAT syllabus 2021 and Pick out your strong and weak areas in all the three sections and work on improving them
- Gather the best books and CAT study material for preparation 2021
- Take as many CAT Mocks during your preparation online and do the analysis of each Mock. Without analysis of Mock, attempting a mock test may not be useful.
- If you are weak in VARC, reading different articles and novels, conversing in English with friends and even watching English TV series and movies will be helpful. Write down whatever new words you encounter after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day
- Data Interpretation (DI) is considered a bit more time consuming. Start practicing on DI questions. Use approximation techniques for quick calculations.