CAT EXAM

# CAT Exam Syllabus

## CAT Exam Syllabus for MBA

In order to crack the CAT, one must know the syllabus in details. The syllabus for CAT is spread across 3 different sections – Verbal ability and reading comprehension, Data interpretation and Logical reasoning, Quantitative aptitude. The section-wise distribution of the syllabus is given below as.

#### CAT Quant Syllabus

The following topics are covered in CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus:

• Algebra – Linear & quadratic equations, maxima, minima, inequalities
• Averages
• Binomial theorem
• Complex numbers
• LCM/HCF
• Geometry & Mensuration
• Inequalities
• Logarithm
• Progressions
• Probability
• Percentages
• Profit and loss
• Permutation and combination
• Mensuration
• Mixtures and allegations
• Number system
• Speed, distance and time
• Simple interest/ compound interest
• Set theory
• Surds and indices
• Ratio and proportion
• Time and work
• Venn diagram

#### CAT DILR Syllabus

Let’s check the CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Syllabus.

• Blood relations
• Bar graphs
• Coding – decoding
• Clocks and calendars
• Caselets
• Data charts, data tables
• Direction sense
• Line graph, area graph
• Logical sequence
• Pie charts
• Miscellaneous charts – spider/bubble, etc.
• Input/ Output
• Games and tournaments
• Scheduling
• Seating arrangements – circular, square, etc.,
• Zebra puzzle and Einstein’s puzzle

#### CAT VARC Syllabus

Let’s go through CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Syllabus.

• Analogies
• Critical reasoning
• Facts, inference and judgement
• Fill in the blanks
• Error spotting
• Parajumbles
• Idioms and phrases
• Sentence completion
• Sentence correction

#### CAT Exam Pattern

 Section Questions Time Quantitative Aptitude 22 40 minutes Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 24 40 minutes Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 20 40 minutes Total 66 120 minutes

#### Why should candidate know CAT Portion?

Here are five major reasons why understanding the CAT syllabus in its entirety is essential:

1. Strategic Study Planning

Understanding the CAT exam syllabus allows candidates to create a structured study plan. The syllabus outlines the specific topics and areas that need to be covered, enabling students to allocate their time efficiently across different sections.

• Prioritization: Candidates can prioritize topics based on their strengths and weaknesses.
• Balanced Preparation: Ensures that no important area is overlooked, leading to a comprehensive preparation strategy.

2. Focused Preparation

With a clear knowledge of the syllabus, candidates can focus their preparation on relevant topics, avoiding unnecessary content that isn’t part of the exam.

• Targeted Study: Concentrates efforts on the areas that matter, improving efficiency.
• Effective Resource Utilization: Helps in selecting the right study materials and resources that are aligned with the syllabus.

3. Time Management

Knowing the syllabus helps in better time management during both preparation and the actual exam. Candidates can develop a timeline for studying each section and practice accordingly.

• Section-Wise Time Allocation: Helps in distributing study hours appropriately among different sections like VARC, DILR, and QA.
• Practice and Revision: Ensures adequate time is allocated for practice tests and revisions closer to the exam date.

4. Confidence Building

A thorough understanding of the syllabus can significantly boost a candidate’s confidence. Knowing what to expect in the exam reduces anxiety and helps in better mental preparedness.

• Reduced Surprises: Familiarity with the syllabus means fewer unexpected questions during the exam.
• Better Preparation: Leads to a sense of readiness and confidence, improving overall performance.

5. Performance Improvement

Detailed knowledge of the syllabus contributes directly to improved performance. It allows candidates to focus on their weak areas, practice effectively, and perform better in the actual exam.

• Identifying Weaknesses: Helps in pinpointing and addressing weak areas well in advance.
• Skill Enhancement: Continuous practice on syllabus-based topics improves speed and accuracy.

Read more: How to prepare for CAT ?

CAT Exam Syllabus for MBA

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a crucial step for those aspiring to pursue an MBA in India. The CAT exam not only tests a candidate’s aptitude but also their ability to manage time, think critically, and make quick decisions. Understanding the syllabus is the first step toward effective preparation. In this article, we will delve deep into the CAT exam syllabus, providing you with a detailed and analytical guide to each section of the exam. Whether you are a first-time aspirant or someone retaking the exam, this guide will serve as a valuable resource.

1. Overview of CAT Exam
2. Detailed Syllabus Breakdown
– Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
– Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
– Quantitative Ability (QA)
3. Section-wise Analysis
– Key Topics to Focus On
– Weightage of Topics
– Difficulty Level
4. Preparation Tips
5. Common Pitfalls to Avoid
7. Conclusion

1. Overview of CAT Exam

The CAT exam is conducted annually by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and is a gateway to over 100 management institutes across India. The exam is highly competitive, with over 2 lakh candidates appearing each year for a limited number of seats. The CAT exam is divided into three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). Each section has a specific time limit, making time management crucial during the exam.

Key Features:
– Duration: 2 hours (120 minutes)
– Number of Sections: 3
– Number of Questions: 66 (may vary slightly)
– Marking Scheme: +3 for correct answers, -1 for incorrect answers (MCQs)

2. Detailed Syllabus Breakdown

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

The VARC section is designed to test a candidate’s proficiency in the English language, focusing on both verbal ability and reading comprehension.

Key Areas Covered:
– Reading Comprehension (RC): Typically, there are 4-5 passages, each followed by 3-5 questions. These passages can range from 300 to 800 words and cover diverse topics, including economics, science, literature, and current affairs.
– Verbal Ability (VA): This includes questions on para jumbles, sentence completion, sentence correction, and odd sentence out.

Weightage and Difficulty Level:
– RC tends to carry more weight, making up about 70% of the VARC section.
– The difficulty level of this section can range from moderate to difficult, depending on the complexity of the passages and the nature of the questions.

Important Topics:
– Para Jumbles
– Para Summary
– Sentence Correction
– Verbal Reasoning

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The DILR section tests a candidate’s ability to interpret data and solve logical puzzles. This section is known for being unpredictable and challenging.

Key Areas Covered:
– Data Interpretation (DI): This includes interpreting data presented in tables, charts, graphs, and caselets. Questions may involve percentage calculation, ratios, averages, and more.
– Logical Reasoning (LR): This includes puzzles, seating arrangements, syllogisms, blood relations, Venn diagrams, and more.

Weightage and Difficulty Level:
– DI and LR are usually balanced in terms of the number of questions.
– The difficulty level is generally high, with questions designed to test logical thinking and the ability to process complex data.

Important Topics:
– Bar Graphs
– Line Charts
– Pie Charts
– Tables
– Caselets
– Seating Arrangement
– Blood Relations
– Venn Diagrams
– Logical Puzzles

Quantitative Ability (QA)

The QA section focuses on mathematics and tests the candidate’s numerical ability and mathematical skills.

Key Areas Covered:
– Arithmetic: This includes topics like percentages, profit and loss, simple and compound interest, ratios, and averages.
– Algebra: Topics include linear and quadratic equations, inequalities, functions, and progressions.
– Geometry and Mensuration: This includes questions on triangles, circles, coordinate geometry, and mensuration.
– Number Systems: Basic number theory, divisibility, and remainders.
– Modern Math: This includes permutation and combination, probability, and set theory.

Weightage and Difficulty Level:
– Arithmetic and Algebra tend to have more weightage compared to other topics.
– The difficulty level can range from moderate to difficult, with some questions requiring quick thinking and shortcuts.

Important Topics:
– Number Systems
– Algebra
– Geometry and Mensuration
– Arithmetic
– Modern Mathematics

3. Section-wise Analysis

Key Topics to Focus On

VARC:
– Focus on improving reading speed and comprehension skills. Regular practice with diverse reading materials, such as newspapers, magazines, and books, can be highly beneficial.
– For Verbal Ability, practice para jumbles and sentence correction exercises daily.

DILR:
– Practice interpreting data from various sources, including caselets, charts, and graphs.
– Work on logical puzzles and games that challenge your reasoning abilities, such as Sudoku or logic grid puzzles.

QA:
– Strengthen your foundation in arithmetic, as this is a high-weightage area.
– Focus on practicing algebra and geometry problems, as they often appear in the exam.
– Use shortcuts and Vedic math techniques to enhance calculation speed.

Weightage of Topics

Based on previous years’ CAT papers, certain topics within each section tend to carry more weight. For instance:
– In VARC, Reading Comprehension typically constitutes about 70% of the questions.
– In DILR, caselets with multiple questions are common, and DI questions are often based on complex data interpretation.
– In QA, arithmetic and algebra are usually the most tested topics, making up about 50-60% of the questions.

Difficulty Level

– VARC: Moderate to difficult, depending on the complexity of the passages.
– DILR: Generally considered the most challenging section, with a high level of unpredictability.
– QA: Varies from moderate to difficult, with some questions designed to test conceptual clarity and quick problem-solving abilities.

4. Preparation Tips

1. Understand the Syllabus: Familiarize yourself with the entire syllabus and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Create a Study Plan: Develop a realistic study plan that covers all topics and allows for regular revision.
3. Practice Mock Tests: Regularly take mock tests to simulate exam conditions and improve time management.
4. Focus on Weak Areas: Dedicate extra time to topics you find challenging.
5. Analyze Past Papers: Review past CAT exam papers to understand the types of questions asked and the level of difficulty.
6. Time Management: Practice solving questions within a time limit to improve speed and accuracy.

5. Common Pitfalls to Avoid

1. Ignoring Weak Areas: Don’t neglect topics you find difficult. Instead, focus on improving your understanding of these areas.
2. Overconfidence: While it’s important to play to your strengths, overconfidence can lead to mistakes. Ensure that you approach each section with caution.
3. Lack of Practice: The CAT exam requires a high level of practice, especially in areas like DILR. Make sure you practice regularly.
4. Poor Time Management: Time management is crucial in the CAT exam. Practice solving questions under timed conditions.

Q1: What is the weightage of each section in the CAT exam?
– A1: Each section in the CAT exam is equally weighted. The final score is based on the marks obtained in all three sections.

Q2: How should I prepare for the VARC section?
– A2: Focus on improving your reading speed and comprehension skills. Practice reading diverse materials and solve RC passages regularly.

Q3: Which section is the most difficult in the CAT exam?
– A3: Many candidates find the DILR section the most challenging due to its unpredictability and complexity.

Q4: Can I prepare for the CAT exam in 6 months?
– A4: Yes, with a dedicated study plan and regular practice, 6 months is sufficient to prepare for the CAT exam.

Q5: Are there any changes in the CAT syllabus every year?
– A5: The CAT syllabus remains largely consistent each year, but the pattern and difficulty level of questions may vary.

Conclusion

The CAT exam syllabus is comprehensive and requires thorough preparation. Understanding the syllabus, focusing on key topics, and practicing regularly are the keys to success. Whether you are a first-time test-taker or retaking the exam, this guide provides a roadmap to help you navigate the CAT exam with confidence. Remember, consistent effort and smart preparation are what will ultimately help you ace the CAT exam and secure a seat in your dream MBA program.