CAT Syllabus 2018
Vikas Gaur, 24 Oct 2018, #CAT

CAT Syllabus 2018 – Candidates appearing for the national level management entrance exam must follow the prescribed CAT 2018 syllabus to prepare for it. 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, 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 CAT 2018 syllabus in this article.
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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 computer based mode on November 25. The duration of the CAT 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:

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

Now, let’s know the syllabus of CAT 2019 in detail given below:

CAT Syllabus for 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 InferenceJudgmentFill in the blanks
Para CompletionPara JumbleSentence Correction
Analogies and Reverse AnalogiesGrammarVerbal Reasoning
Synonyms Antonyms (Vocabulary Based), etc.

CAT Syllabus for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

Data Interpretation-       

Bar GraphCombination of GraphsLine Graph
CaseletData SufficiencyPie Chart
Tables, etc.

Logical Reasoning–                                            

AssumptionsBlood RelationsBinary Logic
Constraint-based puzzlesData ArrangementFamily Tree
PropositionStatementsSeating Arrangement
Clocks and CalendarsMatching PuzzlesSets and Syllogism
Venn Diagram, etc.

CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Ability (QA)

Major Topics-

AlgebraArithmeticGeometryHigher Maths
MensurationModern MathematicsNumber SystemTrigonometry etc.


Arithmetic progressionArithmetic meanAverageAngles and triangles
sphere’s rectanglescubes and coneBODMASClocks
Geometric progression and Geometric meanHCF and LCMHarmonic meanInstallment and payments
LinesMedian and ModePercentagePartnership
Profit and lossRatio and proportionPartnershipPipe and cisterns
Speed and distanceWork & 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  

IIM Calcutta has released the CAT mock test on October 17, 2018. 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. 

Best Books for CAT Preparation - Books are the best companions to aid exam preparation. However, the plethora of books available in the market makes it perplexing for aspirants to pick the best ones. It is important to ensure that while choosing the books on CAT preparation, the content remains in sync with the latest exam pattern and covers the CAT syllabus. Let us look at the best books for CAT 2018 preparation below: 

CAT Preparation Books



Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Arun Sharma’s ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Ability for CAT’, published by Tata McGraw Hill

  • Arun Sharma’s The Complete CAT Digest, by Tata McGraw-Hill

  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha (Tata McGraw-Hill)

  • How to Prepare for the CAT Common Admissions Test by Muhamed Muneer, published by Om Books.

  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Exams by Trishna Knowledge Systems (Pearson)

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR)

  • Trishna's Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations by T.I.M.E. Publisher: Pearson

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT (Tata McGraw-Hill) by Arun Sharma

Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Nishit Sinha’s The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning (Pearson) 

  • How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay (Tata McGraw-Hill) 

  • Barron’s Pocket Guide to Vocabulary

  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

Sectional CAT Syllabus 2018 Index - Number of expected questions

Verbal and Reading Comprehension Section (VARC)

The VARC section comprises 34 questions which include 7-8 questions TITA based questions as well. Among the sub-topics, the reading comprehension questions gain priority. Some of the important syllabus sub-topics for CAT VARC section are provided below-

CAT VARC Weightage

Name of Topic

No. of Questions Expected

Reading Comprehension passage-based questions




Fill in the blanks, Vocabulary Based questions etc


Odd Sentences




Sentence Correction and Completion



Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Section (DI & LR)

The CAT 2018 DILR section is composed of 32 questions including 8-9 TITA based questions. All the 32 questions are divided equally among both sets of questions; each comprising 16 questions. The DI section questions come in three-four sets and candidates should understand the datasets properly to be able to answer the complete set accurately.

 Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

The QA section consists of some topics which are extremely vital and repeated every year in the CAT exam. In this particular section, the total number of questions is 34 out of which 8-9 questions are TITA based. Some of the crucial topics and sub-topics of this section are given below-

CAT QA Weightage

Name of Topic

No. of Questions Expected

Number System






Geometry & Mensuration




CAT 2018 exam will be conducted on November 25, 2018 (Sunday) in online mode by IIM Calcutta. Prof. Sumanta Basu is the exam convener for CAT 2018. More than 2.41 lakh candidates have applied for CAT 2018. The admit card for CAT 2018 has been released on October 24 at 1 PM and can be downloaded from the official website by logging in with CAT user id and password. Around two lakh candidates appear for the exam every year for admissions in 20 IIMs and over 100 B-schools in India.

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UPES - School of Business
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SCMS Cochin School of Business
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