CAT Exam Pattern And Syllabus 2019 - Concepts - Selection Criteria

The Common Admission Test | CAT syllabus consists of 3 sections - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability.

Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning in CAT syllabus are focused to judge the person's ability to crunch numbers, concepts and applying the same within the limited time span whereas Verbal Ability and reading comprehension, is to know the person's command over the language. We will discuss the marking scheme of CAT exam, section-wise topics below.

Also read, 15 Must Read Books For CAT Exam 2019 Preparation
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CAT Exam Pattern 2019:

A total of 100 questions are to be solved in 180 minutes. Each correct response carries 3 marks, while each incorrect response carries -1 marks. Non-MCQ questions will not be negatively marked.

  • VA-RC - This section consists of 20-25 Reading Comprehension questions and the rest consist of Verbal Ability questions.
  • DI-LR - This section consists of 8 sets of 4 questions each. Anywhere between 2-4 sets of Data Interpretation questions can be expected in CAT 2018.
  • QA - This section consists of 34 questions from various topics. Based on historic trends, most questions for CAT 2019 can be expected to be from Geometry, Arithmetic, and Algebra (in descending order).
The CAT exam syllabus can be broken down as follows:

CAT Syllabus 2019:

Quantitative Ability - 

Arithmetic Algebra Number Systems
1. Time, Speed & Distance
2. Time & Work, Pipes & Cisterns
3. Simple Interest & Compound Interest
4. Ratios, Proportions & Variations
5. Percentages, Profit & Loss, Discount
6. Averages, Mixtures & Alligations
 
 
 
1. Inequalities & Modulus
2. Functions & Graphs
3. Linear & Quadratic Equations
4. Polynomials
5. Logarithms
6. Algebraic Identities
7. Maxima Minima
 
 
1. LCM and HCF
2. Divisibility Rules
3. Base Change
4. Finding Unit's Place (learn), Ten's Place of a number
5. Cyclicity (learn) , Number of trailing zeroes
6. Remainders
7. Prime Factorisation
8. Factorials
9. Indices & Surds
Geometry & Mensuration Modern Mathematics
1. Circles
2. Triangles
3. Polygons
4. Co-ordinate Geometry
5. Lines and Angles
6. Trigonometry
1. Permutations & Combinations
2. Probability
3. Set Theory (Including Venn Diagrams)
4. Binomial Theorem
5. Arithmetic, Geometric and Harmonic Progressions (Sequence & Series)

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning:

Data Interpretation Logical Reasoning
1. Tables
2. Pie Charts
3. Bar Graphs
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Number, Symbol, Letter Series
2. Coding Decoding
3. Blood Relations & Family Tree
4. Directions
5. Binary Logic
6. Games & Tournaments
7. Linear & Circular Arrangements
8. Team Formations
9. Order & Ranking

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension:

Verbal Ability Reading Comprehension
1. Parajumbles (Tips)
2. Para Completion
3. Statements & Assumptions
4. Fill In The Blanks
5. Sentence Completion
1. Tone Of Writing (Tips)
2. Passages (Tips)
3. Logical InferencesTree
 
 
 

The CAT 2019 syllabus can ideally be completed in a span of 4-8 months, depending on the level of preparation of a candidate.

 

Changes In CAT Exam Pattern

2018

  • Conducted By - IIM Calcutta

2017

  • Conducted By - IIM Lucknow

2016

  • Reduced the no. of TITA questions to 25 (earlier 28)
  • Conducted By - IIM Bangalore

2015

  • Introduction of on-screen calculator & TITA Questions (28 Questions)
  • Test Window - 1 day (2 slots)
  • 3 Sections - 34 in two sections & 32 in other (Changed from 2 sections)
  • No Negative Marking for TITA Questions
  • Duration - 3 Hours (earlier - 2 Hours and 50 minutes
  • Conducted By - IIM Ahemdabad

2014

  • Test Window - 2 days (2 slots per day) from 20 days
  • Duration - 2 Hours and 50 mintues (earlier 2 Hours and 20 minutes)
  • 2 Sections - 50 questions each (from 30 questions each)
  • Conducted By - IIM Indore
  • Online Testing Partner - Tata Consultancy Services (earlier Prometric)

2011 - 2013

  • 2 Sections (30 questions each) - 3 sections earlier
  • Test Window - 20 days window (2 slots per day)
  • Duration - 2 Hours and 20 minutes (Changed from 2 Hours and 15 minutes)
  • Conducted By - IIM Calcutta, IIM Kozhikode & IIM Indore resp.

2009 - 2010

  • Mode - Online (introducted in 2009)
  • Test Window - 20 days window (2 slots per day)
  • Duration - 2 Hours and 15 minutes
  • 3 Sections (30 questions each)
  • Conducted By - IIM Ahemdabad
  • Online Testing Partner - Prometric
  • Attacked By 2 Viruses - 'Conficker' & 'W32 Nimda'

Before 2009

  • Mode - Pen-Paper Based
  • Test Window - 1 day
  • 3 Sections (100 questions each)
  • Duration - 3 hours

Important Concepts for CAT Exam

Number System Concepts for CAT

1. Cyclicity and Unit Digit of a Number

Cyclicity is a basic but a very important concept when it comes to finding the unit digit of a particular number. No matter what the number is or what power the number has, you can use the concept of cyclity to find the unit digit of that number in seconds.

So, starting with the concept, every no. say "x^n" repeats its unit digit in a cycle of 4 (power).

Number x^1 x^2x^3 x^4
1 1 13 4
2 2 48 6
3 3 97 1
4 4 64 6
5 5 55 5
6 6 66 6
7 7 93 1
8 8 42 6
9 9 19 1

For instance, you have to find the unit digit of (348)^21

The unit digit of (348)^21 will solely depend upon 8 and not on any other digit. Now divide the power 21 in the form of (4n + a). Thereby we can write 21 as 4(5) + 1. So, as fore-stated the unit digit repeats itself in a cycle of 4, we can say that the unit of (348)^21 = (348)^1.

Therefore, unit digit of (348)^21 = 8^1 => 8.

2. Number of squares and rectangles in a chess board

In a n*n chessboard,

The total no. of squares = 1^2 +2^2+3^2+…..+n^2

= n*(n+1)(2n+1)/6 (summation formula)

 

and the total no. of rectangles are given by: 1^3 +2^3+3^3+…..+n^3

=[{n^2}*{(n+1)^2}/4

 

So, for instance in a 8*8 chessbosard,

no. of squares are: 8*(8+1)(2*8+1)/6

i.e. 8*9*17/6

=1,224/6 => 204

and no. of rectangles are given by: [{8^2}*{(8+1)^2}/4

i.e. 64*9^2*/4

=5,184/4 => 1296 (this includes the no. of squares as well)

No. of rectangles, which are not squares are: 1296 - 204 => 1092 learn more