CAT Exam Pattern: Sectional Time Limit, Marking Scheme, Exam Analysis

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CAT Exam Pattern

CAT 2024 has been prescribed by one of the most renowned institutions in India, IIMs. This has remained the same for the past two years. All those candidates planning to take the CAT exam will have 66 objective-type questions (MCQ and TITA) that need to be solved within 120 minutes. You must note that these 120 minutes will be divided into 40 minutes each for the three sections of the exam. The examination will be conducted in over 150 cities across the country. Continue reading this blog to know all about the CAT exam pattern 2024

All candidates must note that the CAT exam pattern has been designed to test the candidate’s ability to solve mathematical as well as reasoning problems. These questions have to be solved in the least amount of time. The CAT exam is all about using one’s aptitude and logical reasoning skills to clear the paper. 

CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Overall and Sectional Time Limit

The CAT exam has a sectional time limit. This means that candidates will get a specified time limit to solve the paper in the given time duration. Candidates will not be allowed to choose any section to start with or switch from one section to another. They will have to solve the CAT question paper chronologically. 

  • Section 1: Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability
  • Section 2: Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
  • Section 3: Quantitative Aptitude

CAT Exam Time Duration

As per the CAT exam pattern, all candidates wanting to take the CAT exam will have to complete the same within a set time limit. As soon as the time is over, the screen will automatically move on to the next section. Candidates will not be allowed to make any changes, submissions or corrections. Here are the section-wise CAT questions and the time limit that will be set:

CAT Exam SectionsNo.of QuestionsTime LimitTime Limit for PwD students
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)2240 minutes53 minutes and 20 seconds
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)2040 minutes53 minutes and 20 seconds
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)2440 minutes53 minutes and 20 seconds
Total66120 minutes160 minutes

CAT Marking Scheme 2024

Below mentioned is the CAT marking scheme which will help all the candidates appearing for the exam to get an idea of the same:

  • The total marks for the CAT exam is 198
  • Each question is of 3 marks
  • There will be a negative marking of -1 for each wrong answer.
  • No marks will be deducted for skipping questions.
  • Some questions in the QA section will be non-MCQ.
  • Finally, there will be no negative marking for non-MCQ questions. 
CAT SectionsNumber of QuestionsMarks Per QuestionCAT Negative Marking (Only MCQ)
Quantitative Aptitude223-1
CAT Exam Total Marks66198

CAT Exam Pattern: Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Check out all the topics that will be covered in the Quantitative Aptitude section for CAT.

TopicsExpected No. of QuestionsDifficulty Level
Time and Work1 to 2 QuestionsDifficult
Geometry & Mensuration7 to 8 QuestionsModerately difficult
Number System, Basic Arithmetic5 to 10 QuestionsModerately difficult
Trigonometry, Logarithms, and Sets1 to 3 QuestionsEasy
Profit, loss, and Discounts1 to 2 QuestionsEasy
Algebra6 to 7 QuestionsModerately difficult

CAT Exam Pattern: VARC Paper

To crack the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section, it is requested that all candidates invest in books and make this a strong point. 

TopicsNo. of Question (Tentative)Difficulty Level
Para Jumbles2 to 4 QuestionsModerate
Para Summary2 to 3 QuestionsModerate
Reading Comprehension Passages24 QuestionsModerately difficult
Odd Sentences1 to 2 QuestionsModerate
Fill in the Blanks1 to 2 QuestionsEasy
Sentence Completion and Correction2 to 3 QuestionsModerately Easy
Word Usage (Vocabulary)1 to 2 QuestionsEasy

CAT Exam Pattern: DILR Topics for CAT 

Here are some of the important topics that will be covered in the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section for the CAT exam. 

TopicsExpected No. of QuestionsDifficulty Level
Blood Relations2 to 3 QuestionsModerate
Graphs Related5 to 8 QuestionsModerate
Data Sufficiency3 to 5 QuestionsModerate
Puzzles1 to 2 QuestionsModerate
Tables and Caselets3 to 5 QuestionsModerately Difficult
Seating Arrangement, and Data Arrangement5 to 6 QuestionsModerately Difficult
Syllogisms and Venn Diagrams1 to 2 QuestionsEasy
Assumption and Binary Logic1 to 2 QuestionsEasy
Clocks & Calendars1 to 2 QuestionsModerately Easy

Difference Between CAT Exam Pattern and Other MBA Entrance Exams

If you are planning to prepare for the CAT exam and are also confused about which entrance exam will be best for pursuing an MBA. Well, we have listed out a difference between all the exams. Here is a basic difference between the CAT exam pattern and other MBA entrance exams

Exam Name Time DurationNo. of QuestionsSectionsTotal Marks
CAT120 minutes663198
XAT210 minutes1055105
MAT150 minutes2005200
CMAT180 minutes1005400
NMAT120 minutes108336-360
GMAT187 minutes704200-800
SNAP60 minutes60360

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When will the CAT exam be conducted in 2024?

The CAT exam will be conducted on 24 November 20, 2024.

Can I crack the CAT exam in 2 months?

Yes, 2 months are enough for CAT preparation.

How many CAT attempts are allowed?

There are no limits on the number of times you can take the CAT exam. 

This was all about the “CAT exam pattern”. To read more, check out our Management Exams Section, or you can learn more about us by visiting our Indian exams page.

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