As a CAT 2021 aspirant the first thing you need to do to prepare is to understand the CAT syllabus. Knowing the CAT syllabus 2021 is one thing, and understanding the contents of
that syllabus is quite another. By the contents of the syllabus, we mean the individual topics and subtopics that fall in that syllabus.
We recommend the student to understand the syllabus, so that by getting into the details of the different topics and subtopics, by understanding the different types of questions that have come from those topics and subtopics, and by understanding their relevance in the context of the latest CAT exam pattern you’ll be able to prepare well.
Before we go any further, we would like to let you know that there is no official syllabus of CAT. The syllabus that you see here and that you come across through other sources are just an accumulation of topics that have come in the recent CAT papers.
To create a list of topics, we have gone through the past year papers, and have listed the topics and subtopics that we feel are important from the perspective of CAT Exam preparation. The topics and the subtopics have been fairly consistent for the past many years. You can learn more about the pattern in which these topics and subtopics come in the CAT exam by reading our article on the CAT exam pattern.
The CAT exam tests the aspirants’ aptitude in three areas:
We will discuss the syllabus for the CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
The Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI) section of CAT has undergone a significant change over the last few years. In the past CAT papers, the LRDI section had an equal number of question sets (4 sets each) from LR and DI. But in the past few years, logical based DI sets have replaced the calculation intensive DI sets. The calculation intensive DI set was a scoring area for many students, but now this area too has become LR centric.
There is slight confusion which revolves about the CAT syllabus of LRDI. The LRDI section does not have well-defined problems. What we have in this section is a passage with a set of numerical or logical conditions, followed by four to five questions. We can rate the questions from easy to very difficult, depending on the ease with which one can arrive at the answers to those questions.
Though it is difficult for us to define the syllabus, based on the trend of the last few years, we can categorize the problems.
Here are some of the most frequently found LRDI question sets:
CAT has replaced the traditional calculation intensive DI sets with sets that have the numbers missing in them. The students must be carefully studying the logical conditions in the question. Once the numbers have been fixed, the task of calculation is just a final step towards finding the right answer. These types of questions have featured in recent year papers.
You might wonder as to what is the difference between ‘fixing the number’ and ‘breaking the numbers’. The difference is that in fixing the numbers, you have to arrive at the figure by logically breaking down the conditions, and by smartly using the already given data. But in the breaking of numbers, you might have to use the mathematical concepts of number systems to arrive at the right answer. In these cases, you will have to distribute the numbers among different entities based on the conditions given to you.
The Games and Tournaments kind of LRDI sets were quite common in the pen-pencil era of CAT, but have not come in the last few years. You, however, must become familiar with this category because the techniques learnt here can be put to effective use in other variety of sets as well.
The maxima-minima set theory has been one of the favourite areas of CAT LRDI. The level of the difficulty of these tests is by far the highest. You have to be very careful in your approach because the chances of going wrong in these kinds of sets are very high. But these sets are less time-consuming than the others.
These are the conventional sort of LR sets, with which we are quite familiar. In fact, the matrix based sets are very tempting, and indeed should be the first preference of the student while solving mocks. Every year we have at least one or two sets of this kind, and more often, the students get these questions correct. You must practice a good number of these kinds of sets to get them right on the exam day.
Like the conventional matrix based sets, the linear arrangement types of LRDI sets are usually not very difficult. But in the past many years in CAT exams, such questions have not appeared. However, you must make yourselves familiar with these kinds of sets as these are easy pickings.
The circular arrangement LRDI sets are slightly tricky, and may not be as straightforward as the linear type. Though this variety has not been much seen in the recent CAT papers, the concepts learnt from this kind can be effectively used in other lesser known varieties.
Sequencing and arrangement kind of LR sets are not difficult but need caution and care while you attempt them. The slightest negligence may result in the wrong choice. Such types of sets were seen in good numbers in previous CAT exams, and, therefore, should be expected in LRDI section of CAT 2021