CAT Preparation: Important Topics, Weightage

By Anjali Chowdhury|Updated : April 4th, 2022

Candidates preparing for the CAT Exam must have a clear picture of topic-wise weightage in CAT exam. As per the syllabus and past year's trend, the CAT exam consists of three sections- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). Each section in CAT Exam consists of MCQ and Non-MCQ questions. To get yourself prepared for the CAT exam, you need to know about the important topics in CAT to score good marks.

As we all know there is no such defined syllabus for the CAT exam, thus based on the past year trend analysis, some important topics and their estimated weightage have been listed below in the article. The list of such topics is prepared by our team of experts who have years of experience in mentoring students for CAT and other MBA exams.

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Table of Content

The aspirants need to know what they should study to ace the CAT exam. Thus they must prepare from a very basic level. For this, the BYJU'S Exam Prep team has compiled a list of important CAT topics (keeping in mind the trend from previous years) from all three sections of the CAT exam to help candidates focus more on important topics rather than just covering every topic.

CAT Exam Pattern 2021

CAT 2021 was conducted by IIM Ahmedabad and it was held in three shifts for 2 hours each. Check the detailed CAT Exam Pattern 2021 below for reference:  

CAT Exam Pattern 2021



Exam Duration

2 Hours

Expected Number of Questions

VARC - 24

DILR - 20

QA - 22

Total - 66 Questions

Number of Shifts

3 Shifts

Sectional Duration

40 Minutes each Section

 Total Marks


CAT 2022 Expected Paper Pattern 

CAT 2022 notification has been released and the CAT 2022 exam will be conducted by IIM Bangalore. The candidates can check below the expected CAT 2022 paper pattern.



Non-MCQ Questions​


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)​




Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)




Quantitative Ability (QA)








  • Section wise time limit was 40 minutes
  • Marking Scheme is given below:
  • +3 marks for every correct answer
  • -1 marks for every incorrect answer
  • 0 marks for not attempted questions

Important Topics for CAT

Here is a brief about the important topics from each section. Check out Important Topics for CAT in detail:




Reading Comprehension

Seating Arrangement

Number System

Para Jumbles

Venn Diagrams

Geometry and Mensuration

Odd One Out



Para Summary


Modern Maths



Time and Work


Data Caselets- Reasoning Based DI


Binary Logic


Games and Tournaments




Team Formation


Order and Ranking



Reading Comprehension Break-up

• 21 out of 54 passages in the last 5 years (2017-21) were from Aeon, NYT, The Guardian & Smithsonian Magazine
• 29 out of 54 passages in the last 5 years (2017-21) are from 4 Genres - Sociology and Anthropology, Science and Technology, Zoology/Biology & History

Para Jumbles, Para Summary & Odd Sentence Out Break-Up

• Biology, Linguistics, and Science & Technology are important topics to study with respect to Para Jumbles, Para Summary & Odd one out as 35 out of 108 questions in the last 5 years (2017-21) were from these areas.
• Sources for Para Jumbles, Para Summary & Odd one out: These questions are made from a variety of sources. The examiners have been fond of taking excerpts from books in the past few years. Some questions were also there from online sources like Aeon & Economist.

☛ Check out Preparation Tips for the VARC Section of CAT 2022


Given below is the topic-wise weightage of the DILR topics from the year 2017-2021:

Sr. NoTopicsNumber of Sets in PYQP 2017-21
1Reasoning Based DI10
2Scheduling and Matrix6
3Matrix Arrangement6
4Venn Diagram6
5Matrix and Grid6
6Unconventional and Hybrid
Games and Tournament
7Arithmetic Caselet3
8Order and ranking3
9Missing Data3
10Mathematical AR3
11Logic Based Table3
12Arithmetic Based DI2
13Gantt Chart2
14Maxima-Minima Concept2
15Algebra Caselet2
16Routes and Networks2

The DILR section of CAT tests candidates for their logical thinking and data interpretation skills. In CAT 2021 there were 20 questions from this section. The questions asked included:


  • Table - Arranging People into Countries & Categories
  • Bar Graph - Percentages (The bar graph wasn't clear)
  • Table - 3 Girls making a drink
  • Table - Relationship (Acquaintance, Friend, and Stranger)

Among the 4 DILR sets asked in the CAT 2021 Slot 1, 1 set was easily doable whereas the other 3 were lengthy and difficult to solve.

The CAT 2021 DILR Question wise breakup is:


Number of Questions

Data Interpretation

 2 sets- 6+4 Questions

Logical Reasoning

 2 sets i.e 10 Questions


The total number of questions asked in Slot 2 was 20. The 4 sets are mentioned below:

  • Games and Tournament- 4 Qs
  • Rating- 6 Qs
  • Stacked Horizontal bar graph- 4 Qs
  • Number based Reasoning - 6 Qs

The CAT 2021 Slot 2 DILR Question-wise breakup is:


Number of Questions

Data Interpretation

1 Set     

Logical Reasoning

3 Sets 

☛ Check out Preparation Tips for the DILR Section of CAT 2022


In DILR the set was from the following topics:

  • Games and Tournaments - 6 Qs
  • Mixtures -  4 Qs
  • Gantt Chart - 4 Qs
  • Content Creation - 6 Qs

The CAT 2021 DILR Question wise breakup is:


Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Data Interpretation

2 sets (4 questions were easy, 6 questions were difficult)

 1 set was Easy to Moderate, 1 was Difficult

Logical Reasoning

2 Sets (10 Qs) 

 1 Moderate, 1 Moderate to difficult

CAT Quantitative Ability Topics

The candidates can find below the topic-wise weightage of the quantitative ability topics for the upcoming CAT exam by following the past year's trend.

TopicsCAT 2019CAT 2020CAT 2021
Geometry & Mensuration4-65-63-5
Number System2-32-31-2
Modern Math0-10-21

** Arithmetic & Algebra makes up 70% of the Quantitative Ability section


☛ Check out Preparation Tips for the QA Section of CAT 2022

How to prepare Important Topics for CAT?

The candidates must work on accuracy to be prepared for the Important Topics for CAT. Complete accuracy is very much important to ace the CAT Exam Easily. You must practice repeatedly to grip on CAT Important Topics. Note the below points on the preparation strategy for Important Topics for CAT.

  • Do practice a lot to get a good grip on all the formulas that are required to solve QA questions.
  • Revise the chapters you have completed. As revision is very important other you will forget what you have prepared.
  • Avoid all types of distractions like social media, TV, and mobile phones as you need to be dedicated to your study.
  • Maintain dairy for all the Important Topics for CAT to make time to time revisions. 




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  • As per the previous year's analysis, VARC, DILR, and QA, these three are the most Important Topics for CAT 2022 exam. Additionally, you have to make chapter-wise studies also, including

    • VARC: RC, Para Jumbles, Para Summary, etc
    • DILR: Chart, Table, Venn Diagram, Binary Logic, Ranking, etc
    • QA: Number system, Arithmetic, Mensuration, Geometry, and Algebra
  • As per expert analysis, all the chapters included in CAT Syllabus are similarly important for the exam. Considering this, you can expect 66 questions in total from all the Important Topics for CAT 2022. Analyze Previous Year’s CAT Questions, and see section-wise distributions of questions.

  • The best way to prepare Important Topics for CAT 2022 is to analyze the exam pattern first and complete the syllabus accordingly. The candidates must work on their accuracy to get a good score. Utilize free time by revising the shortcut formulas to solve CAT QA Questions.

  • As per the previous year analysis, the candidates can consider the below chapters as Important Topics in Number System for CAT:

    • Basics of Numbers
    • Properties of Numbers
    • Divisibility Rules
    • Factors and Factorial
    • Highest Common Factor (HCF) and Lowest Common Multiple (LCM)
    • Remainders
    • Base System
  • Algebra is one of the most important sections of the Quantitative Aptitude Section in CAT. As per expert opinion below are the Most Important Topics in Algebra for CAT.

    • Elementary Algebra
    • Abstract Algebra
    • Advanced Algebra
    • Linear Algebra

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