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CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT PDF Download

The first step towards your CAT 2024 preparation is to have complete information and knowledge of CAT Syllabus and the important topics.

CAT 2024 Syllabus: An Overview

  • There is a total of 66 questions in the CAT exam but the three sections in the CAT syllabus carry different weightage in the exam.
  • Although the CAT syllabus 2024 is divided into 3 sections, the effective number of sections is five as VARC and DILR sections are further subdivided into 2 sub-sections.
  • Despite being very wide, the CAT entrance exam syllabus is neither specifically defined nor released by IIMs. Instead, IIMs release an official Mock Test which is as per the forthcoming CAT exam topics and consists of question types that are expected in the actual CAT Exam.

CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT

1. CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Ability (QA): Weightage

CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT

  • Quantitative Ability (QA) is the Mathematics section in the CAT exam. Although the CAT syllabus for Quant is very wide, the questions and topics in it are of class 10 & 12 standard. Out of 66 questions in the CAT exam, Quant Section in the CAT exam consists of 22 questions, and 7 questions in the section will be of Non-MCQ type without carrying a penalty of negative marking.
  • IIMs have started giving more emphasis on Arithmetic questions in the CAT entrance exam syllabus to promote diversity. While a maximum of 14-15 questions is from Arithmetic, the questions on other topics like Algebra, Geometry, and others are in the range of 3-5. 

Below shared is the syllabus for the QA portion of the exam:

  • Arithmetic: Topics under arithmetic will include Number System, HCF, LCMRatio & Proportion, Simplification, PercentageAverage, Age Calculation, Time & WorkDistance
  • Algebra: Topics under algebra will include Theory of equations, Quadratic Equations, Permutation & Combination, Sequence & Series
  • Geometry: Topics under geometry will include angles, lines, triangles, and circles
  • Mensuration: Topics under mensuration will include Areas and Volumes- Rectangle, Squares, Triangle, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes, and Cistern
  • Calculus: Topics under calculus will include Maxima & Minima and Function
  • Trigonometry: Topics under calculus will include Trigonometric Ratios, Heights and Distances

Topic-wise Distribution of QA

Given table shows the significance of different topics from varied areas of Quant:

CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT

This EduRev Course offers comprehensive coverage of the entire syllabus for CAT Quantitative Aptitude.

2. CAT Syllabus for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR): Sectional Weightage

CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT

CAT 2024 Syllabus for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) is divided into 2 parts:
(i) Data Interpretation
(ii) Logical Reasoning

  • DI & LR consists of an equal number of questions and carries a weightage of 32% as the total questions are 20 out of 66. 
  • Both the sections have 10 questions each. 
  • Around 5 questions are of Non-MCQ type which does not have negative marking for the wrong answer.
  • Almost all the questions are in sets of 3-4 questions based on each problem. 

Below shared is the syllabus for the DILR portion of the exam:

Topic-wise Distribution of DILR

DILR sets feature in the various representations and follow the given weightage:

CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT

You can achieve comprehensive coverage of the entire syllabus for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) through this EduRev Course

3. CAT Syllabus for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC): Sectional Weightage

CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT

The common Admission Test (CAT) syllabus for the VARC section is divided into 2 parts: 

(i) Verbal Ability

(ii) Reading Comprehension 

  • CAT VARC Syllabus is mainly divided into reading comprehension, parajumbles, parasummary, para completion, and odd sentence. The paper now comprises questions from mainly these 5 topics alone.

    1. Reading Comprehension
    2. Para Jumbles- Odd Sentence Out
    3. Para Jumbles- Correct Arrangement
    4. Para Completion
    5. Para Summary

  • The total questions based on Reading Comprehension are 16 and are of MCQ type with negative marking. There are usually 4 RCs with 4 questions each.
  • The verbal Ability part has individual questions that cover different areas of English language grammar and usage. The questions are of both MCQ and Non-MCQ type.

Below shared is the syllabus for the VARC portion of the exam:

Topic-wise weightage of VARC Syllabus

As per the analysis of VARC section of previous year CAT papers, we have indicated the weightage of different topics:

VARC Topics
CAT 2023
CAT 2022
CAT 2021
CAT 2020
Reading Comprehension
16161618
Para Jumbles
2333
Para Summary
2333
Odd Sentence Out/Para Completion
2+2322


Through this EduRev Course, you can attain comprehensive coverage of the entire syllabus for VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension).

The key changes in the exam pattern that have occurred throughout the years are listed in the table below.

CAT Syllabus & PatternChanges in CAT
Exam DurationReduced from 3 to 2 hours
Exam slotsIncreased from 2 to 3
Total questionsReduced from 100 to 66
Total scoreReduced from 300 to 228
Total questions in VARC sectionReduced from 34 to 24
Total Questions in DILR sectionReduced from 32 to 20
Total Questions in QA sectionReduced from 34 to 22


Recent Trends in the QA section of the CAT:


IIMs have started giving more emphasis on Arithmetic questions in the CAT entrance exam syllabus to promote diversity. While a maximum of 10-14 questions is from Arithmetic, 8-10 questions are from Algebra, and 3-5 questions are from topics like Geometry, Number System, and Modern Math. You can find the number of questions with their weightage in the exam given below:

CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT

Recent Trends in the DILR section of the CAT:

DILR as a section poses many difficulties as it does not have a fixed syllabus. However, questions based on Arrangements and Graphs, Tables & Caselets form the core of cracking DILR. Other topics that are important include Blood Relations and Data Sufficiency.

Recent Trends in the VARC section of the CAT:

For the past few years the VARC syllabus of the CAT focuses on 4 major topics:

  • Reading Comprehension: Most of this section is made of Reading Comprehension. Usually, 4 to 5 passages are seen in this section every year and each passage contains 3 to 6 questions. 
  • Para Jumbles: There are 2 types of Para jumbles that are generally tested in the CAT Exam and are a part of the CAT 2024 Syllabus. The normal Para jumbles which are multiple-choice and the Subjective Para jumbles where the answer needs to be filled in.
  • Para Summary: While there are other topics that have been tested in the CAT Exam, the Para summary topic is tested practically every year and is, therefore, an immovable part of the CAT 2024 Syllabus.
  • Odd Sentence Out: They are a recent addition to the CAT verbal ability section. It is very similar to para jumbles. The only difference is that in para jumbles you are asked to arrange the sentences to form a coherent paragraph, whereas in odd sentences you are asked to find the sentence that is not a part of the paragraph, thus the name odd one out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can I cover CAT syllabus in 2-3 months?

Yes, you can complete CAT syllabus in about 2-3 months, if you prepare in a planned, focused, and efficient way.

Q. Does the syllabus for CAT change every year?

Since there is no official syllabus prescribed for CAT, there is no such change in the topics. However, the weightage of different areas has witnessed modifications after every few years.

Q. Is the CAT syllabus same as that of other MBA entrance tests?

Yes, the syllabus for CAT is similar to that of other management entrance tests like XAT, MAT, etc.

Q. Which section of CAT is the toughest?

CAT is generally difficult in nature. However, in terms of time, VARC mostly takes more time-consuming than other sections. This is because of the tricky and long Reading Comprehension passages.

Q. Which section of CAT holds highest weightage?

There is very less difference in the weightage allotted to different sections of CAT. Of all three sections, VARC carries the highest marks.

Q. By which month should I complete CAT syllabus and start practising mock tests?

Although there is no fixed timeline for CAT preparation schedule, most aspirants aim to complete the syllabus by September. In the rest two months, you can devote time to mock tests.

Q. Do I need to be a graduate in English to ace CAT?

No, you do not need to have knowledge of college-level for the verbal section. But you must have good vocab to nail the section.

Q. Do I need to be a graduate in Mathematics to crack CAT?

No, the syllabus for CAT is quite basic and doesn't require graduation-level knowledge.

Q. Can I prepare for CAT just by taking mock tests?

No, this approach proves ineffective. You must gain a strong understanding of concepts before taking mocks.

Q. Is there negative marking in CAT?

Yes, CAT carries a negative marking for MCQs, but there is no penalty for wrong answers in the Non-MCQ part.

The document CAT Syllabus 2024 | How To Prepare For CAT is a part of the CAT Course How To Prepare For CAT.
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FAQs on CAT Syllabus 2024 - How To Prepare For CAT

1. What is the weightage of Quantitative Ability (QA) in the CAT syllabus?
Ans. The Quantitative Ability (QA) section in the CAT syllabus typically has a weightage of around 34% to 46%.
2. How much weightage does Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) have in the CAT syllabus?
Ans. The Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) section in the CAT syllabus usually has a weightage of around 32% to 34%.
3. What is the sectional weightage of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) in the CAT syllabus?
Ans. The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section in the CAT syllabus typically has a weightage of around 22% to 24%.
4. What are the changing trends or patterns in the CAT exam?
Ans. Some changing trends in the CAT exam include the introduction of online proctoring, changes in the number of questions and time duration, and a focus on application-based questions.
5. Where can I find CAT preparation material to help me study for the exam?
Ans. CAT preparation material can be found on various online platforms, including official CAT websites, coaching institutes, online study materials, and practice papers available on educational websites.
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