CAT Negative Marking- Experts Tips to Reduce Negative Marking in CAT

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : February 28th, 2022

It is known to all that the CAT exam has a trend of mark deduction for every incorrect attempt of questions. It is very important to manage and prevent CAT negative marking as it creates an impact on the final CAT score. By getting even one question wrong, the overall CAT percentile can reduce, which optimises the chances of getting shortlisted by your desired institutes. So, the aspirants appearing for the upcoming CAT exam must be aware of the marking scheme of this exam. 

CAT exam consists of MCQ and Non-MCQ questions. CAT negative marking is only for MCQ questions asked in the exam and there is no negative marking system for TITA questions (Non-MCQ) in CAT. Below mentioned are quick tricks and tips to reduce negative marking in CAT exam.

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Table of Content

CAT Negative Marking: Marking Scheme in CAT exam

Note the below table to get an over of the marking scheme of the CAT exam.



Marks Awarded

+3 for every correct answer

Marks Deducted

-1 for every incorrect answer

Questions without Negative Marking

TITA Questions

Unattempted Questions

No Marking 

So, CAT negative marking scheme is -1 for every incorrect answer. Thereby, the aspirants must focus on accuracy while solving the questions. You can also check the CAT exam pattern for better understanding.

Tips to Reduce Negative Marking in CAT Exam

If the aspirants want to ace CAT and get shortlisted by top IIMs, or any other top-most B-schools in India, they need to follow a strategic preparation plan to confidently solve the questions. Here are some expert tips, which you can follow to avoid negative marking in the CAT exam. 

Prepare the Syllabus Well

Comprehensive preparation of the CAT syllabus is very important to improve the accuracy of solving the questions. It is the best way to avoid CAT negative marking in the CAT exam. If the aspirants cover the entire syllabus, they will become more efficient in the important points, formulas, and shortcut tricks. So, complete the syllabus first and understand the exam pattern to organise the concepts to be covered in the CAT exam. 

Never Guess the Answer

It is suggested not to attempt the questions you do not know properly or are confused about. It is better to skip every unsure question because if you guess it wrong, you have to give a penalty. 

There are always some questions that seem to be solvable, but in the end, the aspirants get confused and unable to find the right answers. So, try to prepare well to solve the tricky questions or skip them in the exam hall to avoid CAT negative marking. 

Read the Questions Concentratedly 

It is important to read each question carefully before starting to solve it. In many cases, the aspirants misread the points mentioned in the questions and answered incorrectly. If you read the question’s wording properly, you will find out the meaning, as questions are the best sources for answering correctly. 

Do Not Take Stress

If the aspirants take stress, then they will make mistakes in the easy questions. Stress can increase panic, resulting in CAT negative marking, ultimately reducing your final score. So, the aspirants must not hurry to solve the questions at the time of the exam.

You must remember one thing that CAT has a sectional time limit. So, do not waste your time by looking around. It will lead to the destruction of your concentration and mind diversification. 

Solve the Easy Questions First

Always try to solve the easy question first. If the aspirants solve the easy questions first, it will automatically increase their confidence, which requires to solve the CAT question paper correctly. It will also help you manage time to solve each section of CAT questions within the stipulated time duration. 

Avoid Last Minutes Answering

Answering the questions in the last minutes is not easy because it will be left incomplete if times are up. So, the aspirants must be focused on the scoring and easy questions first so that they can solve the questions on time. You must avoid last minutes answering to reduce CAT negative marking.

The total time duration for CAT questions is 120 minutes with 40 minutes sectional time limit. So, it is really difficult to solve the questions within this time if you do not have speed. Attempt BYJU’S Exam Prep online test series for CAT to improve your solving speed and accuracy for reducing CAT negative marking. 

Practise Previous Year Question

The aspirants must solve CAT previous year’s questions to understand their preparation level. It is also important to reduce CAT negative marking for overall score improvement. Additionally, if you solve previous year’s questions regularly, you can understand whether you have completed all the topics or not. 

Solving question papers gives a sense of confidence to the aspirants. It helps them to feel that they can solve the CAT questions easily in the final exam.

Do not be worried about CAT negative marking. Just study well and attend BYJU’S Exam Prep online classes for CAT, to clear your doubts and queries.



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  • Yes, CAT negative marking affects final CAT scores. If you answer even one answer incorrectly, you have to give a penalty of -1. So be very careful while solving CAT questions.

  • If you are preparing for the upcoming CAT exam, solving previous year’s questions helps you to analyse your preparation level and provides sufficient practise to reduce or prevent  CAT negative marking.

  • Solve practice papers and attempt online CAT mock tests to improve accuracy and solving speed in CAT for reducing CAT negative marking effectively.

  • CAT 2022 paper pattern is yet to be released. If a similar exam pattern is followed, CAT 2022 shall have negative marking for MCQ questions. There is no negative marking for Non-MCQ-type questions.

  • You have to solve 24 questions in VARC in 40 minutes. To begin with, you must go through the entire section and take a minute before you start attempting the questions. The best way to reduce negative marking in the CAT VATC section is by first solving the questions you feel confident about. 

    • Try to focus on the Verbal ability question. They usually are less time-consuming and easier to solve. 
    • Do not leave difficult and lengthy questions for the end. It will be overwhelming and chances of error increase. 
    • Try and solve RC and VA questions alternatively if it helps you focus. 

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