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CAT Exam Pattern 2021 | Section Wise Exam Paper Marking Scheme

CAT Exam Pattern

Check Here Section Wise CAT Exam Pattern 2021! Candidates, who are going to appear for CAT 2021, can go through the CAT Exam Pattern, marking scheme and other details from here. CAT Paper Pattern basically includes three sections namely VARC, DILR and QA.

CAT Exam Pattern 2021 (Overview):

Conducting BodyIndian Institute Of Management (IIM)
Full name of the examCommon Admission Test
Common NameCAT
Periodicity of CAT examOnce a year
Mode Of CAT ExamOnline (Computer Based Test)
CAT Exam DateNovember 2021 (Tentative)
CAT Exam Official

CAT Exam 2021

Indian Institute of Management (IIM) conducts the Common Admission Test (CAT) every year to provide admission to eligible students for graduate management program. Students interested in business administration programs (MBA or PGDM), provided by IIM can check the CAT Section Wise Paper Pattern, CAT Marking Scheme, Exam Duration and total number of questions to get better knowledge about the Exam.

CAT Exam Pattern

Participants of Common Admission Test Exam are advised to keep proper knowledge of CAT 2021 Pattern, CAT Exam Total Marks and syllabus before starting preparation.

  • As, CAT is basically a computer based objective type test
  • Also, there is a penalty for every wrong answer as per latest CAT 2021 exam pattern and syllabus.
SectionNumber Of QuestionsTotal Marks
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)34102
Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)34102
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)3296

Highlights of CAT Exam Pattern 2021:

  • Common Admission Test is the computer based test going to be held in 156 test centers.
  • There are 3 sections in this exam namely Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning & Quantitative Aptitude.
  • CAT question paper will contain both MCQ as well as non-MCQ type questions.
  • Candidates will get 180 minutes (3 hours); 60 minutes to complete the exam for each section.
Sr. No.ParticularsDetails
1Duration of the CAT Test3 hours
2Total Number of Sections3
3Time Duration for each section1 hour
4Total Number of Questions100
5Marks per question3
6Negative marking for wrong question-1

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CAT Marking Scheme

As above mentioned, there is negative marking in an exam as for every wrong answer one mark will be deducted and for every correct answer 3 marks will be provided. Whether MCQ type or Non-MCQ type questions, marking scheme is same, but for Non-MCQ type questions there is no penalty for any wrong answer as there is no negative marking.

Ratio of CAT MCQs & Non-MCQs

SectionNo. of QuestionsNo. of MCQsNo. of Non-MCQs
Verbal and Reading Comprehension342410
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning32248
Quantitative Aptitude34277

CAT Section Wise Paper Pattern

CAT Paper Pattern helps in knowing distribution of marks. Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning are among the key sections covered in CAT Exam Papers.

Quantitative Aptitude

First section will be of Quantitative Aptitude which consists of questions related to topics of mathematical questions that must be solved by the candidates in a time bound manner, as through this exam, they will check the analytical and problem-solving skills of the candidates.

CAT Exam Pattern for QA

  • Total questions: 34
  • MCQs: 27
  • Non-MCQs: 7
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
  • More questions are on Arithmetic – Number Systems, percentages, LCM & HCF and more related to it

Links Related to CAT

CAT Application FormCAT Answer Key
CAT ResultCAT Syllabus
CAT Question PaperCAT  Admit Card
CAT Percentile Predictor

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

This is second section of this entrance exam and to grab good marks in this exam, candidates should bring strong command in English, as it includes Sentence Correction, Word usage, Fill in the blanks types questions, Para Jumble, Para completion, Fact Inference Judgment and more related to same.

CAT Exam Pattern For VARC

  • Total questions: 34
  • MCQs: 24
  • Non-MCQs: 10
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Very difficult

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

This is the last section on CAT Entrance exam as though this they check candidate’s ability to interpret different patterns and number sequences as this includes questions related to Bar Graph, Line Graph, Combination of Graphs, Data Sufficiency, Clocks and Calendars, Statements, Puzzles  and more.

CAT Exam Pattern For DILR

  • Total questions: 32
  • MCQs: 24
  • Non-MCQs: 8
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, IIM CAT exam pattern for the year 2020 is changed. So, it is still not finalized whether this year the exam patter will remain as previous years or as 2020 paper pattern.

VARC26 (MCQs-18,
DILR24 (MCQs-18,
QA26 (MCQs-18,
Total76 ((MCQs-54,

CAT 2021 Preparation Tips

Prepare with Updated CAT Exam Pattern

Exam pattern is the most important aspect of CAT preparation, because if you know about CAT Exam Pattern and Marks Distribution and all the topics covered in the exam, then you can read them easily.

Know About: College is Registered OR AICTE Approved?

Start Self Study or Join Coaching

If your basic is strong and you feel that you can prepare yourself for this big test without coaching, then you can choose the path of self-study. However, even after your preparation, it is a good idea to enroll in any MBA coaching institute for the Mock Test.

You can also consider the option of online coaching classes, which gives you the flexibility to class according to your convenience. These options are usually cheaper than regular classroom coaching classes.

CAT 2021 Exam Dates (Tentative)

CAT 2021 Exam EventsCAT 2021 Exam Dates
CAT 2021 Notification ReleaseLast week of July, 2021
CAT 2021 Registrations StartFirst week of August, 2021
Registrations EndThird week of September, 2021
Admit Card ReleaseFourth week of October, 2021
CAT Exam 202128-Nov-2021 (tentative)
CAT Answer Key ReleaseFirst week of December, 2021
Answer Key Challenge ProcessFirst week of December, 2021
CAT Result 2021 DeclarationSecond week of January, 2022


We hope that above designed page and essential stuffs related to CAT Exam Pattern 2021 will be beneficial for you, candidates who want to regular updates regarding CAT Exam Pattern and Time Duration, Stay connected with this portal of or for other details regarding the same go through this Official Site.

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