Mentorship Session From Top IIM GRADS 🚀🚀 |  Hurry Up, Limited Seats Only  Register Now!

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

by Manish Gupta 2021-09-01

Overview of CAT 2021

As the CAT 2021 official notification has been released and now aspirants are ramping up their preparation for this flagship exam, it's important to get familiar with the pattern that will be followed for CAT 2021. This year, the test will be conducted by none other than the top ranked B-School, IIM Ahmedabad. The exam will take place on November 28th in CBT (Computer Based Test) mode and in 3 slots, that is morning, afternoon and evening. Below is the analysis of how CAT 2021 will look like, with some scope of deviations, as the pattern of CAT exam is never predictable to the full extent. 

CAT 2021 Question Paper Pattern

Sections in CAT  EXAM 2021

The CAT Exam will start with a predetermined order of VARC followed by DILR and ending with QA. Also, in mixed sections like VARC and DILR, it is expected that the questions will not be interspersed, meaning that you would be able to see VA and RC questions separately and same for DI and LR. 

Number of questions in CAT 2021

CAT 2021 is most probably to be on the similar trend as of CAT 2020 exam pattern, owing to Covid pandemic. Before this, the CAT exam paper pattern used to be entirely different in terms of number of questions, time duration and overall marks. As per the new pattern of CAT, total number of questions that will be asked in CAT 2021 is 76 with further breakup of 24 questions in DILR and 26 questions in QA and VARC section each.

Time Duration of CAT 2021

Time allocated for each section is 40 minutes thus making the cumulative CAT exam duration to be 120 minutes or 2 hours. While switching among questions is possible, the same is not allowed among sections. A lapse of every 40 minutes from the starting time of the exam will result in locking of one section and unlocking of another, hence you wouldn't be able to come back to the previous section again. 

CAT 2021 Marks Distribution

For this year, CAT total marks will be 228 bifurcated into 72 marks for DILR and 78 marks for VARC and Quants each. There will be 3 marks for each correct answer, negative 1 mark for wrongly attempted MCQs and 0 mark for unattempted questions. No negative marking is applicable in case of non-MCQ or TITA( type in the answer) questions. 

Section-Wise CAT Exam 2021 Pattern and Syllabus

VARC pattern for CAT 2021

Out of 26, 70% of the questions are from the Reading Comprehension with 4-5 unseen passages covering almost 18 MCQs. Rest 30% weightage accounts for verbal ability having 8 questions with mostly non-MCQs(along with a few MCQs) from para-jumbles, para summary, out of context sentence, sentence correction, facts and inferences. 

DILR questions in CAT 2021

DILR is a set-based section where if you have interpreted the set correctly, you can very likely answer all the questions of that set. Out of 24 questions, 18 questions would be MCQs and the rest 6 would be non-MCQs Or TITA format questions.  The whole section is covered by 5 sets, 2 sets having 6 questions each and 3 sets having 4 questions each. 

Almost 50% of the section is Data Interpretation where you would be provided data in tables, data caselets, graphs (line, bar, column graphs), venn diagrams etc. analysing which you can solve the questions easily. The Remaining 50% is reserved by Logical reasoning covering topics from syllogism, seating arrangement, blood relation, binary logic, directions etc.  You can expect atleast 2 sets on LR containing 6 and 4 questions each. 

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 2021

Out of 26 questions, there will be 18 questions in MCQs format and remaining 8 would be non-MCQs. Topics covered in this section ranges from number system, algebra and mensuration to geometry, trigonometry and higher maths. To read more about tips for quants preparation for CAT 2021, check out this blog

To end, there are only a few months left to finally sit for the CAT exam. Above mentioned analysis postulates how CAT 2021 exam pattern would most probably be like. Your last minute preparation must be in accordance with this pattern, so you don't look after unnecessary things while preparing. Acadergy has got all covered whatever you need to cover to crack a decent percentile for your MBA dream.