After many years of having the same exam pattern, the CAT paper pattern has finally been changed in 2020. The exam, which was of 180 minutes till 2019, will now be a 120 minute exam with 40 minutes allotted to each section. Here are the key highlights from this very important update about the CAT 2020 exam.
CAT 2020 Paper Pattern Changes - Key Highlights From Released Document
The following are the important highlights from the document released on the official CAT website:
- The CAT 2020 paper pattern has been revised. The new CAT 2020 paper will be a 120 minute (2 hours) test instead of a 180 minute (3 hours) test.
- Candidates will be allotted 40 minutes to solve each of the three sections of CAT 2020, i.e., the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section, the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning section, and the Quantitative Ability section. There has been no change in the sequence of sections.
- So far, no changes in the number of questions per section have been announced. More information will be made available by 20th September, 2020.
- The exam will be conducted on the 29th of November (Sunday). Earlier, it was announced that the exam would be conducted in a morning and an afternoon slot. Now, it has been announced that the exam will be conducted across three sessions on 29th November 2020.
- Tutorials to understand the format of the test will be available on the CAT website from October 2020.
Additionally, the registrations deadline for CAT 2020 and application to the IIMs has been extended from 16th September 2020 to 23rd September 2020. Read the updated CAT 2020 media release here.
CAT 2020 Paper Pattern Changes - So, What's Next?
The change in the CAT 2020 paper pattern is surprising, especially since the official notification had already been released in the month of July. The last time that the CAT exam was close to 2 hours long was when it was of 140 minutes in 2013.
The decision to conduct the exam across 3 sessions is most likely explicable as a precautionary step against the spreading of the Coronavirus crisis. The change in the CAT 2020 paper pattern comes after it was announced that the SNAP 2020 exam will only be one hour long instead of the expected two hour duration of the paper.
So far, there has been no announcement made about the overall paper pattern and number of questions per each section. Given that the allotted time for the CAT 2020 exam has gone down from 180 minutes to 120 minutes (a reduction of 33%), it is probable that the total number of questions may also be reduced in 2020, consequently also impacting the highest achievable score. Should this happen, coaching centers providing mock tests and students attempting these tests will be required to adapt to the latest paper pattern in a span of a couple of months.
At this stage, it's important that you don't panic. Remember - whatever changes are revealed in the CAT 2020 paper pattern are going to be the same for everyone else attempting the exam on 29th November. Take these changes in your stride and spend the next 2.5 months keeping yourself updated, quickly adapting to this new paper pattern, and cracking the exam out of shape on the D-day!
More details will be made available to you as soon as they are officially announced on the CAT 2020 website. We recommend you regularly visit the official CAT 2020 website and InsideIIM.com for latest updates.