CAT 2021 Syllabus and Exam Pattern: What Changes We Can Expect this year?

By Gaurav Gupta|Updated : August 6th, 2021

CAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2021: CAT 2021 syllabus is one of the most important things CATspirants are hunting right now. Syllabus for any entrance exam is an important thing as the candidates wish to mark their boundaries of preparations for that exam. 

For many years now, the CAT syllabus hasn’t changed much. However, the CAT exam pattern has witnessed various changes since inception. The CAT marking scheme has also remained constant for the past several years now. In this article we will be discussing the expected changes one can see in the upcoming CAT 2021 exam. Let’s get started!

Table of Content

CAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern 2021: CAT 2021 syllabus is one of the most important things CATspirants are hunting right now. Syllabus for any entrance exam is an important thing as the candidates wish to mark their boundaries of preparations for that exam. 

For many years now, the CAT syllabus hasn’t changed much. However, the CAT exam pattern has witnessed various changes since inception. The CAT marking scheme has also remained constant for the past several years now. In this article we will be discussing the expected changes one can see in the upcoming CAT 2021 exam. Let’s get started!

Last year, the CAT exam pattern got revised due to the pandemic by the IIM-Indore (convener for CAT 2020). CAT 2021 is expected to follow the same exam pattern if there is no improvement in the current scenario of the country.

CAT Syllabus 2021

Given below is the section-wise CAT syllabus 2021. IIMs have not released any official syllabus for CAT 2021. The section-wise syllabus given below for the CAT exam 2021 is tentative in nature and based on an analysis of past year question patterns. While a tentative syllabus is given below, a candidate has to be prepared for any surprise element as well.

VARC Syllabus for CAT 2021

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Para Summary

Para Jumbles (with and without options)

Odd One Out

Reading Comprehension

QA Syllabus for CAT 2021

Number System

HCF & LCM

Divisibility Rules

Base change

Finding Units place and tens place of a number

Cyclicity

Remainder

Prime Factorization

Factorials

Indices and Surds

Arithmetic

Time, Speed and Distance

Time and Work

Pipe and Cistern

SI and CI

Rati, Proportion and Variation

Percentage and Average

Profit, Loss and Discount

Mixtures and Alligation

Geometry and Mensuration

Circle

Triangles

Polygon

Coordinate Geometry

Lines and Angles

Trigonometry

Algebra

Inequalities and Modulus

Functions and Groups

Linear and Quadratic Equation

Polynomials

Logarithm

Algebraic Equations

Maxima and Minima

Modern Mathematics

Permutation and Combination

Probability

Set Theory

Venn Diagram

Binomial theorem

Arithmetic Progression

Geometric Progression

Harmonic Progression

DILR Syllabus for CAT 2021

Data Interpretation

Tables

Line Chart

Venn Diagram

Pie Chart

Scatter Plot

Radar Chart

Column Graph

Bar Graph

Routes and Network

Bubble Chart

Data Caselets - Reasoning Based DI

Logical Reasoning

Team Formation

Arrangements

Order and Ranking

Binary Logics

Games and Tournaments

CAT Exam Pattern 2021 - Overview

Let us have a closer view at the trend of CAT exam pattern followed in last few years

ParticularsCAT 2018CAT 2019

CAT 2020

Exam Duration180 minutes180 minutes

120 minutes

Sectional Duration60 minutes60 minutes

40 minutes (General / UR category)

53 minutes 20 seconds (SC / ST / PwD category)

Number of Questions asked

VARC - 34

QA - 34

DILR - 32

Total - 100

VARC - 34

QA - 34

DILR - 32

Total - 100

VARC - 26

QA - 26

DILR - 24

Total - 76

Shifts

3 Shifts

3 Shifts2 Shifts
Total Marks

300

300228

CAT Exam Duration

The overall time limit and the sectional time limit for CAT 2020 got reduced considerably by 1 hour. At the time of CAT 2020, the overall time limit of the CAT exam was 2 hours instead of 3 hours and the sectional time limit was reduced to 40 minutes instead of 60 minutes. Candidates need to attempt the questions from the three sections in a preset order:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  3. Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

The exam pattern we have seen at the time of CAT 2020 is mentioned below:

Sections

Expected No. of QuestionsTime (in Minutes)

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

2640

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

2440
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

26

40
Total

76

120

CAT Marking Scheme 2021

The marking scheme for CAT has remained constant for many years now. However, for CAT 2021, we are still unsure whether the authorities will be following the same scheme or not. The expected CAT 2021 marking scheme is mentioned below:

  • The total marks of the CAT exam can be either 300 or 228 (depends on the exam pattern followed for CAT 2021)
  • There is +3 marks for every correct answer and -1 for every incorrect answer for the MCQs
  • Also, for the Non-MCQs, every correct answer earns +3 and there is NO NEGATIVE marks for incorrect answers
  • There is no deduction of marks if question is left un-attempted

Given below is the summary of the CAT Marking Scheme 2021

Type of Question

Correct Answer

Incorrect Answer

Unattempted Question

MCQs

+3

-1

No negative marks

Non-MCQs

+3

No negative marks

No negative marks

What Changes to Expect for CAT 2021?

CAT 2021 could have a considerable number of changes or no changes at all in comparison to the pattern seen in CAT 2020. Everything is dependent upon the prevailing pandemic conditions at that time. We can expect the following changes:

CAT Exam Pattern 2021

Exam Duration

2 Hours

Expected Number of Questions

VARC - 26

DILR - 24

QA - 26

Total - 76 Qs

Number of Shifts

3 Shifts

Sectional Duration

40 Minutes each Section

Total Marks (tentative)

228

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Gaurav GuptaGaurav GuptaMember since Jul 2020
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