CAT Syllabus 2021: CAT 2021 Exam Syllabus PDF Download
CAT Syllabus 2021 includes all important topics of verbal ability & reading comprehension (VARC), data interpretation & logical reasoning (DILR), and quantitative aptitude (QA). IIMs do not have any standardized syllabus for CAT 2021, but the questions are mostly based on middle school math and English topics. The IIM CAT syllabus 2021 is very general and broad. The CAT 2021 syllabus covers all major topics which fall under data interpretation and logical reasoning (DILR), verbal ability & reading comprehension (VARC), and quantitative aptitude (QA). Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer based test (CBT). The CAT exam syllabus 2021 gives us a good idea of how to prepare for the CAT 2021 exam. Before beginning the CAT preparation, candidates must know the syllabus and exam pattern. This article talks about the section wise CAT syllabus 2021.
CAT Syllabus 2021 - Overview
Before reviewing the comprehensive syllabus for CAT 2021, it is important to get an overview of the important topics from each section. Below is a table that outlines important topics from the CAT 2021 syllabus which the candidates must focus on. 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 exam syllabus 2021. Following the syllabus of last year’s CAT 2020, one can determine that the first section includes questions from VARC, followed by DILR, QA. Topics that are part of the CAT 2021 syllabus typically come from students in school from class 9 to 12.
Candidates can also download the CAT 2021 syllabus pdf provided in this article to know what questions are asked on all the topics in each section. Candidates can get the CAT syllabus 2021 pdf download button by visiting the appropriate link.
CAT Syllabus 2021 - Section Wise Topics
The section-wise topics that are part of the CAT 2021 exam syllabus 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 CAT Exam syllabus 2021, which will help him/her identify their strengths, thus helping to determine their CAT 2021 exam strategy.
CAT Syllabus 2021 - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
IIM CAT 2021 verbal ability syllabus and reading comprehension consists 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 sentence are part of the CAT 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
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, that 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.
Odd sentence in paragraph jumps a 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.
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 CAT 2021 syllabus, in the Verbal Ability section, Non-MCQ questions will be asked.
Negative marking to any question were not answered incorrectly as most of the questions asked were of the non-MCQ type.
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
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.
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 450-500 words and the short passage will have about 500-600 words.
Comprehension passages mainly revolve around topics such as politics, environment, literature, and society.
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 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 syllabus above, the Data Interpretation (DI) IIM CAT syllabus 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 CAT Exam Syllabus 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.
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 question papers, the students can easily clear the exam and get MBA admission in IIMs. Here 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
Abhijit Guha (Tata McGraw-Hill)
CAT 2020 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 remained unchanged.
However, CAT has a tendency to be complacent, which is why CAT syllabus should not be taken for granted.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - CAT Syllabus 2021: CAT 2021 Exam Syllabus PDF Download
Question: What is the syllabus for CAT 2021?
The CAT 2021 exam syllabus covers all the major topics of VARC, DILR and QA.
Question: Can we expect a change in the syllabus for CAT 2021?
The CAT 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 is recommended by the Examining Authority - IIMCAT.
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.
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 syllabus and read the difficult topics before solving the CAT mock tests.
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Questions related to CAT
Is it true that top scorers in cat are called for iima interview irrespective of their academics?
According to my knowledge IIMAhmedabad callstop50scorersfrom eachacademicdisciplineirrespective of their academicrecord.
Which managemnet course is best for Automobile Engineer?
I assume you are asking about mba or post graduate diploma in management courses. generally mba course or pgdm is of 2 years duration. I have mentioned the stream name with college details of automobile specialization below:
Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, Chennai- MBA Automobile Dealership Management
Jagannath University, Jhajjar- MBA Marketing and Automobile Management
Vel Tech Business School, Chennai- MBA Automobile Dealerships Management
I am a final year UG student(2018-2021) and I am appearing for CAT 2021. Is this considered as a one year gap?
Candidates studying in final year of undergraduation can also apply for the CAT 2021. As this is your final year and you are writing CAT 2021, then it is not considered as one year gap. One year gap means, a period of one year taken by a student as a break between any two levels/stages of study. Example: if you do not give CAT this year and direclty go for job. And after one year you decide to write CAT , then the one year in which you earned work experience will be considered as GAP as you took a break of one year in your academics.
And for information about CAT 2021, visit here:
I have a low score in CAT (34 percentile) as well as XAT(20 percentile). Should I apply at IIFM, Bhopal? I really like that college but I dont know if I should apply or not!
With this percentile in CAT and too in CAT it is impossible for you to get call from this college as the sectional cut off for each section(overall) 80 Percentile and for each subject it is 50 percentile.
For more information kindly visit the link given below-
Which is the best CAT Institute in Hyderabad Time Or CL or IMS
Time, CL and IMS are coaching institute for CAT examination.
These three are best institute for preparation. Fees are almost same IMS and TIME. And CL fees are quitly higher than these institutions.
Time is good, because they give very important study materials. They have very good teacher and help in online tests also.
IMS also good as well as Time institutions. It's very good for solutions.
Now come to the CL, Career launch is best. Because their study materials, studying style is different from another institution. Infact they are help you in any time by online also.
This review all over India according, so now it's your choice which institute you have to choose.
All the best.