CAT Exam Pattern

CAT Exam Pattern 2020: Duration of CAT 2020 exam has been changed, the number of session has been increased. Form correction details has been also announced

CAT Exam Pattern 2020 (Changed) – New Exam Duration and Slots, Section Wise Pattern & Marking Scheme

CAT Exam Pattern 2020 – Indian Institute of Management, Indore has brought about a change in the exam pattern of CAT 2020 wherein now instead of three hours the CAT exam will be of two hours and instead of two sessions it will be held in three slots. According to the new change in CAT exam pattern 2020, applicants will be allotted exactly 40 minutes for answering questions in each section and they will not be permitted to switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section. Previously the CAT exam was of three hours and applicanst were allotted 60 minutes to answer each section.

Applicants who will appear for the exam can check the exam pattern of CAT 2020 which indicates the total number of different sections and the questions that will be asked in each of them. By going through the CAT exam pattern 2020 candidates will also know the marking scheme, the subjects and the topics from which the questions will be asked. Under the exam pattern of CAT 2020 candidates will also know the mode of the exam as well as the duration of the test. CAT will be conducted in computer based in two slots on 29th November 2020.

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern Highlights

Pattern Detail Information
Total Number of Questions 100
Total Marks 300
Number of Sections 3 (Verbal & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude)
Duration of Exam 120 minutes (40 minutes per section)
Medium of Exam English
Number of Answer Choices 4
Mode of Exam Online
CAT Marking Scheme +3 marks for the correct answer -1 mark for an incorrect answer
Questions with Negative Marking MCQs-70 to 75
Questions without Negative Marking NON-MCQs- 25 to 30

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern Sectional Composition

Section Total questions Number of MCQ questions Number of Non-MCQ questions
Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 34 (RC-24, VA-10) 24-27 7-10
Quantitative Aptitude (Quant) 34 22-24 10-12
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 32 (DI-16, LR-16) 24 8
Total 100 75 25

CAT 2020 Marking Scheme

CAT will have two types of questions– MCQs and Non-MCQs. Both the type of questions will carry equal marks. Here is the CAT Marking Scheme for your reference:

  • Total Questions- 100
  • Total Marks- 300
  • Marks for Each Correct Answer- +3 marks
  • Marks for Each Incorrect Answer- -1 score.
  • Negative Marking for Non-MCQs– No
  • Questions Left Blank- No mark

The table given below provides a brief of the marking scheme, expected to be followed for CAT 2020.

MCQ +3 -1 0
Non-MCQ +3 0 0
  • Candidates get 40 minutes to complete each section.
  • Even if candidates complete a section before 60 minutes, they cannot switch/ start with the next section.
  • However, candidates can attempt any of the section first and can also answer the questions out of sequence.

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CAT 2020 Test Taking Instructions

Detailed instructions are displayed on the screen beforethe exam commences, candidates are advised to follow the same throughout the exam. When candidates login into the sytems provided, aclock starts at the right hand side of the screen. This displays time remianing for each section that is 60 minutes. The moment time duration for a specific section is over candidates are automatically switched to further sections and wont be able to answer any more question from the previous section.

It is important to have a fair idea of the colour panel which is displayed on the computer screen of the candidate. This will guide them in attempting the questions on the basis of priority.

Colour on the Panel Indication
Red Question not been answered nor marked for review
Green Questions has been answeredbut not marked for review
Grey Question neither viewed nor visited
Violet Question marked for review but not answered
Violet with Grey Mark Question is both answered and marked for review

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern for Quantitative Aptitude

  • This section focuses on numerical problems and will test a candidate’s mathematical knowledge.
  • It is a test of speed, accuracy, and precision.
  • There are 34 questions in this section.
  • They will be further divided into 27 MCQ & 7 Non-MCQs.
Sub Section Number of Questions
Arithmetic 14 questions
Algebra 9 questions
Geometry 7 questions
Number System 2 questions
Modern Maths 2 questions

CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude

Variation Time and Work Time, Speed and Distance
Linear and Quadratics Equations Surds and Indices Inequalities
Logarithms Mensuration and Geometry Tables and Case lets
Probability/ Profit or Loss Critical Path Averages and Partnerships
Allegations and Mixtures Algebra Percentage

Read CAT 2020 Quants Preparation Tips

Important study material/ books for Quantitative

CAT quants books

Book Name Author Name/Publisher ISBN Number
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Arun Sharma 9352602242
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs Sarvesh K. Verma 9311123870
Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha 9332570019

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

  • This section will focus on two aspects- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
  • Questions from Data Interpretation (DI) focus on a candidate’s ability to derive conclusions from a given set of data.
  • Logical Reasoning (LR) section tests a candidate’s logical thinking and its application to everyday problems.
  • There will be a total of 32 questions from this section.
  • They will be further divided into 24 MCQ & 8 Non-MCQs.
Bar Graph Case lets
Line Graph Combination of Graphs
Pie Chart Data Sufficiency
Tables Venn Diagram
Seating Arrangement Blood Relations
Syllogism Venn Diagram
Propositions Data Arrangement
Puzzles Assumptions
Statements Clocks and Calendars

CAT Books for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

CAT reasoning books

Books for CAT Exam Author Name/Publisher ISBN Number
CAT 2020 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Gautam Puri 9386309475
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Nishit K. Sinha 933257121X
Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency Ananta Ashisha 9352039246
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma 9352602250

CAT Exam Pattern for VARC

  • This section will have questions from English language and grammar.
  • It tests a candidate’s language and comprehension skills.
  • The comprehension questions will test the ability to comprehend the meaning from a given passage.
  • Questions about language usage and their rules are also expected to appear in the exam. Testing the understanding of basic grammar is also a part of the exam.
  • A total of 34 questions will be asked from this section.
  • They will be further divided into 24 MCQ & 10 Non-MCQs. 

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Sub Section Number of Questions
Reading Comprehension 24
Sentence Correction 3
Summary 3
Para Jumble 4

Syllabus for Verbal and Reading Comprehension

Sentence Correction Word usage
Fill in the blanks Para Jumble
Para completion Fact Inference Judgement
Analogies Idioms

CAT Syllabus 2020

Indian Institute of Management, Indore which conducts the exam does not prescribe the syllabus for CAT 2020. However, based on past years question papers, candidates can check the topics from which the questions are asked.



Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

English Usage or Grammar, Close Passage, Verbal Ability, Jumbled Paragraph, Reading Comprehension,Verbal Reasoning, Synonyms Antonyms, Facts-Inferences-Judgements etc.

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

Bar Graphs, Column Graphs, Tables, Caselets, Blood Relations, Calendars, Cubes, Clocks, Number and Letter Series, Seating Arrangement,Binary Logic, Line Charts, Venn Diagrams, Pie Chart, Combination of two or more types linked to each other, Syllogism etc

Quantitative Ability (QA)

Trigonometry, Mensuration, Algebra, Arithmetic, Higher Maths, Geometry, etc.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) – CAT Exam Pattern 2020 (Changed)

Question: Are there prospects of the changes in the CAT 2020 exam pattern?

Answer: IIM Indore has changed the duration of the CAT exam to two hours and the sectional time limit has been reduced from 60 minutes each to 40 minutes.

Question: How many questions will be asked in CAT 2020

Answer: If we check the past years question papers, then it is likely that there will be not much change in the total number of questions that are asked. Hence it is likely that 100 questions will be asked in CAT 2020.

Question: Will the CAT syllabus be officially declared?

Answer: Till now the IIMs have not officially announced the syllabus of the Common Admission Test.