CAT Exam  >  CAT Notes  >  Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years PDF Download

CAT Exam has witnessed no change in its exam pattern for the past two consecutive years now. Till 2019, the CAT was being conducted on the pattern introduced in 2014. The CAT Exam pattern was then modified in 2020 after six years due to COVID-19. More changes were introduced in 2021 again.
In this article, you will be able to check the important changes in the CAT Exam pattern since 2009.

CAT Exam PatternCAT Exam Pattern

CAT Exam Pattern: Major Highlights


A total of 66 questions were asked in the CAT Exam 2022. These 66 questions were divided into 3 sections:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  3. Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Below mentioned are some key highlights (tentative) of the CAT 2023 Exam Pattern:Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

IIMs will release the CAT 2023 Notification in the last week of July 2023 or the first week of August 2023 on the CAT official website as well as in the newspapers. 

Following are the key features of CAT 2023 Exam

  1. CAT Exam is a Computer-Based Test (CBT). 
  2. CAT Exam consists of the following 3 Sections:
  3. CAT Exam: Type of Questions
    CAT Exam of consists of 2 types of questions:
    • Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
    • TITA Questions (Non-MCQs)
  4. CAT Exam: Marking Scheme:
    • For every right answer +3 will be awarded
    • For every wrong answer in MCQs, -1 will be deducted
    • No negative marking in CAT for Non MCQs (TITA Questions)
  5. Answer must be typed in the given space on computer screen for Non-MCQ.
  6. There is a fixed order of sections in which students have to attempt in the CAT Exam, beginning from VARC section, followed by DILR and QA
  7. Each section is individually timed. Your time to attempt each section is 40 minutes. You cannot move to other section till individual time of one section is over.   

EduRev provides with the strategies and techniques to help prepare for the Common Admission Test (CAT). Experts at EduRev provide you with the step by step guide which will help you to prepare for different sections of the exam.

Important Changes over the years in the CAT Exam Pattern

For the last two years, a total of 66 questions have been noticed. IIMs propose to keep the same number of questions in CAT 2023 as well.

Expected CAT 2023 Exam Pattern 

As mentioned before, in the year 2021, a new pattern of exam was introduced. No new changes were introduced in the exam pattern of CAT 2022.
As of now, the conducting body of the CAT Exam has specified no changes in the exam pattern of CAT 2023.

Expected Number of questions in CAT 2023Expected Number of questions in CAT 2023

In CAT Exam 2022:

  • The exam was conducted in 3 slots, Morning, Afternoon and Evening 
  • Time Duration of CAT Exam: 2 Hours

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

  • Total Number of Questions:  66 questions
  • Types of Questions: MCQs and Non MCQs
  • Marking Scheme: +3 for every correct answer, -1 for incorrect MCQ and no negative marking for Non-MCQs
  • There was no change in the CAT Testing Mode. (Online)

Check out the latest notifications about the CAT Exam to stay updated. 

CAT Exam Pattern: Trends of the past 7 years

  • From 2015 to 2019 IIM-CAT remained a three-hour exam and was conducted in two slots on the same day. 
  • In 2020, the CAT Exam pattern underwent major changes, including a reduction in the total time duration from 180 to 120 minutes and a reduction in the sectional time limit from 60 to 40 minutes per section. 
  • In the year 2020. the number of exam slots was also increased from two to three. 
  • Along with these changes, the total number of questions on the CAT 2020 exam was also reduced, with the question paper containing only 76 questions. 
  • However, the structure of the exam, i.e. the three sections of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude, remained the same. 
  • In 2021, the pattern of the CAT Exam was further modified, with the number of questions reduced to 66.

A summary of the past 7 year changes in the CAT Exam is given in the table below:

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

Detailed Section-wise CAT Exam Pattern

CAT exam was totally revamped by IIM Ahmedabad in 2015 and since then CAT Exam has followed the same pattern for all the 3 sections.
The section wise key features of CAT 2022 sectional exam pattern are:

1. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Total Number of Questions: 24
  • Number of RC passages in CAT Exam: 4 Passages with 4 Questions each
  • Weightage of RC Based Questions: 70%
  • Type of RC Based questions: All MCQs with 1/3 negative marking
  • Number of Verbal Ability Questions: 8
  • Type of VA Questions: MCQs and Non-MCQs 
  • Section Highlights:
    No Grammar or vocabulary based questions have been asked directly from the past few years.
  • Check out the Previous Year Analysis given by EduRev to assess the pattern of difficulty that comes in the VARC Section.
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Very difficult

EduRev offers you with Level-wise Practice Questions for CAT Preparation which are designed to cover all the important topics and concepts that are tested in the exam. The questions are divided into levels, ranging from Beginner to Advanced.

2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)


  • Total Number of Questions: 20 
  • Number of Data Interpretation Questions: 10
  • Number of Logical Reasoning Questions: 10
  • Type of Questions:
    MCQs: 75%;
    Non-MCQs: 25%
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
    • Questions appear in set of 4
    • Time crunch is faced by test takers as questions are more time consuming
  • Check out the Previous Year Analysis given by EduRev to assess the pattern of difficulty that comes in the DILR Section.

3. Quantitative Ability (QA)


  • Total Number of Questions: 22
  • Type of Questions:
    MCQs: 14;
    Non-MCQs: 8
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
    Questions from topics like Arithmetic, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Time & speed, Work/days, Compound interest  have come in the previous CAT exams.
  • Check out the Previous Year Analysis given by EduRev to assess the pattern of difficulty that comes in the Quant Section.

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

Check out the CAT Exam Preparation Course provided by EduRev which is  designed to help students maximize their potential in the exam and is ideal for those who are aiming to secure a seat in the top B-schools.

Over the past 13 years, the year 2019 saw the highest number of registrations. Check the complete list of the total number of registration every year in the table below:

Number of registrations over the years

Year

No. of Applications Registered

No. Of Applicants Appeared

2022

2.55 lakh

2.22 lakh

2021

2.30 lakhs

1,91,660

2020

2.3 Lakh (Approx)

1.90 lakh

2019

2,44,169

2,09,926

2018

2,40,338

2,09,405

2017

2,31,000

1,99,632

2016

2,32,434

1,95,000

2015

2,18,664

1,79,602

2014

1,96,988

1,67,829

2013

1,94,516

1,73,714

2012

2,14,000

1,95,000

2011

2,05,000

1,86,000

2010

2,04,000

1,85,000

2009

2,41,000

2,30,000

2008

2,90,000

2,76,000

2007

2,50,000

2,30,000

CAT Exam Test-Taking Window: How Did it Change Over the Years?


Here is a table showing the number of slots and windows in which the CAT exam was held in recent years. The exam pattern has remained largely unchanged since 2015, with the exam now being held in one day in three sessions: morning, noon, and evening.

However, in the year 2020, CAT Exam was conducted in 3 slots instead of 2. From the year 2020, the exam has been conducted in 3 slots (forenoon, afternoon, evening) of 120 minutes each.

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

CAT Exam Marking Scheme: Current and Changes over the years

The table below reflects the CAT Exam Pattern that was introduced in the year 2021. 

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

Current Marking Scheme

  • According to the most recent CAT Exam Pattern 2022, there are different marking criteria for MCQ and TITA questions. 
  • Both MCQs and Non-MCQs will provide 3 points for each right response. 
  • Only MCQ questions are subject to negative marking in the CAT.  
  • 1 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer in MCQ Questions. 
  • There is no negative marking for TITA and unattempted questions.

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

Changes in Marking Scheme of CAT Exam

Over the past six years, the marking scheme for the CAT Exam has remained unchanged. Candidates are awarded with 3 marks for each correct answer and they lose 1 mark for each wrong answer. There is no negative marking for the Type-In-The-Answer (TITA) questions or questions unanswered. The total number of marks for the CAT 2022 exam was 198 as compared to total marks in the year 2020 which were 228.

CAT Exam Pattern: Previous year Analysis

Checking CAT previous years' question paper analysis is a great way to understand the difficulty level and the number of good attempts in the exam. CAT 2023 paper analysis will be updated here after the exam concludes on the scheduled CAT 2023 exam date.

EduRev has prepared detailed analysis of the CAT exam over the past few years, which can help you get a better sense of how you did and where you might need to improve.

CAT vs Other Top MBA Entrance Exams: Comparative Analysis

In the view of prevailing Covid pandemic situation, CAT Exam Pattern 2022 Vs Other MBA Entrance Exams is shared as under

1. CAT vs XAT 

IIM CAT Exam and XAT Exam have many similarities which give the opportunity to the candidates to synchronise their sectional and overall exam preparation. 

The following table provides a comparison between the CAT Exam and XAT Exam, highlighting the key differences between the two.Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

2. CAT vs NMAT

The similarities between IIM CAT and NMAT by GMAC allow applicants to synchronise their sectional and overall exam preparation. 

A comparison of the two examinations is shown below:

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

3. CAT vs 

SNAP

The following table provides a comparison between the CAT Exam and SNAP Exam, highlighting the key differences between the two.Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

4. CAT vs MAT

The following table provides a comparison between the CAT Exam and MAT Exam, highlighting the key differences between the two.Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

Possible Disruptions in CAT Exam Due to Covid

The Convenor IIM for CAT 2022 had cautioned that the information provided by the CAT website is contingent upon the decisions and directions issued from time to time by the Central & State governments, and IIMs. 

Candidates are advised to regularly check the CAT website for the latest information.  

How will EduRev help you in CAT preparation?

EduRev's CAT Preparation Course is aligned with the latest topics and exam pattern of the Common Admission Test (CAT) to help aspirants like you in achieving high ranks to get into the top B-Schools.

EduRev's CAT Infinity Package includes the following:

1. Subject-wise Courses: Courses for all the 3 subjects: Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Verbal Aptitude & Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI). Each course offers topic-wise video lectures, detailed notes & online tests for each topic. 

2. Mock Test Series for CAT PreparationMock Test Series for CAT Preparation course on EduRev offers section-wise & complete mock tests. 

3. Level-wise Tests for CAT PreparationThis course offers level-wise tests for each topic to help you prepare exhaustively for the CAT exam. 

4. Previous Year Question Papers & Archives: EduRev also offer previous year question papers & topic-wise questions for each topic, which have appeared in different CAT exams in the last 5-10 years. 

5. 100 RCs for CAT PreparationThis course offers 100+ RCs to help you prepare & master in RCs, which will give you an edge in the CAT exam and move a step closer to your IIM dream. 

6. Shortcut Techniques, Formulas, CAT Crash Course & Others: Along with the above courses, you also get shortcut techniques, formulas & others in various courses of EduRev.

7. Mock Test Series for Other MBA Exams: You also get Mock Test Series for other MBA Exams like SNAP, NMAT, XAT, IIFT, TISSNET & others. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Latest Changes in CAT Exam Pattern

Has CAT Exam pattern changed?

The CAT exam pattern broadly remained unchanged from 2014 to 2019. There was no major change in the exam pattern and test structure, apart from a few changes in the distribution of questions and types of questions.
For example; in CAT 2018 the Type-In-The-Answer (TITA) questions were in number than MCQs which required the selection of an option. 

In CAT 2019, the number of TITA questions was less than in 2018. But the VARC section was tougher than the rest of the two sections in both slot 1 and slot 2.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the examination body had to overhaul the CAT exam pattern to accommodate a maximum number of candidates at the limited number of examination centres as per the social distancing guidelines.

Will the CAT Exam pattern change in 2023?

The CAT exam pattern for 2023 will be the same as the last year. Check out the detailed CAT Exam Pattern given by EduRev.

When was CAT Exam Syllabus last changed?


As mentioned above, there has been no change in the CAT exam syllabus for over 10 years. The only change that one can consider in the CAT syllabus for IIM is the change in the number of questions, which has reduced from 100 to 66 in the last two years.

During this Covid-19 pandemic and lock down, will IIMs allow to take the examination from any computer?

The decision will be taken at the appropriate time after reviewing the situation.
However, so far the candidates have taken the examination on a workstation assigned at the test centre based on the test cities selected while registering for CAT. The test centre details are printed on the Admit Card.

Will IIMs provide some model test to understand CAT exam pattern?

Yes, a practice test will be available on the CAT website: www.iimcat.ac.in  in mid October 2023. You can familiarize yourself with the functionality and navigation of the actual exam.

Moderate to High

On Last Year pattern; VARC expected bit more difficult, DILR tricky, QA Moderate

The document Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years is a part of CAT category.
All you need of CAT at this link: CAT
Download as PDF
Explore Courses for CAT exam

How to Prepare for CAT

Read our guide to prepare for CAT which is created by Toppers & the best Teachers
Signup for Free!
Signup to see your scores go up within 7 days! Learn & Practice with 1000+ FREE Notes, Videos & Tests.
10M+ students study on EduRev
Related Searches

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

,

Extra Questions

,

pdf

,

study material

,

Important questions

,

Free

,

Semester Notes

,

Previous Year Questions with Solutions

,

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

,

Exam

,

MCQs

,

Changes in CAT Exam Pattern: Evolution of CAT Exam over the years

,

shortcuts and tricks

,

Summary

,

ppt

,

video lectures

,

Viva Questions

,

Objective type Questions

,

practice quizzes

,

past year papers

,

Sample Paper

,

mock tests for examination

;