CAT Syllabus 2021-2022

CAT Syllabus 2021-2022

ByNeeraj Mishra  |  Updated on: Aug 10, 2021CAT 2021 notification has been released You can apply for CAT from 4th August to 15 September 2021.. Check other details about the CAT exam such as exam date, registration, syllabus, exam pattern and more. 
CAT 2021 notification has been released You can apply for CAT from 4th August to 15 September 2021.. Check other details about the CAT exam such as exam date, registration, syllabus, exam pattern and more. 
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What is the syllabus of CAT?

CAT Syllabus 2021 must be thoroughly understood for comprehensive and result-oriented preparation. CAT 2021 Syllabus is not defined by the IIMs, however, we have compiled the list of topics under each section for your reference. Before starting the exam preparation, applicants must analyse the CAT 2021 syllabus to plan the study routine accordingly. 

Applicants preparing for CAT 2021-2022 can refer to the detailed CAT Syllabus below. The CAT Syllabus include three sections:

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
  • Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
  • Quantitative Aptitude

Note all the topics of the CAT syllabus under all three sections. Evaluate your proficiency in each section and prepare accordingly. The CAT 2021 exam pattern has been altered over the years; like in CAT 2020, there were a total of 76 questions to be solved in 2 hours. This was a major change in the exam pattern which was done mainly due to the pandemic situation spread across the nation. CAT 2021 Exam Pattern is expected to be similar to what we have seen in CAT 2020 (76 questions, 2 hours). 

CAT Syllabus 2021: Exam Pattern

The CAT exam pattern 2021 will furnish the marking scheme as well as the subject matter/topics from which questions would be asked along with the exam mode and test duration. This year, CAT 2021 would be conducted as a computer-based exam in three shifts, on 28th November 2021. The current pattern comprises 76 MCQ and Non-MCQ questions.

CAT exam or the Common Admission Test is a computer-based entrance test for admissions into the IIMs and several other prestigious B-Schools in the Country. CAT exam is conducted every year by the IIMs on a rotational basis. It is still unclear which IIM will be conducting the CAT 2021 this year. Below is the detailed overview and the section-wise syllabus and exam pattern. At the end of this post, you can also download the CAT Syllabus 2021 PDF

Also, check CAT Exam Pattern 2021 in detail for better understanding.

Total Questions in CAT Exam


Total Marks


Total Sections


Total Exam Duration

2 Hours

(40 Minutes for each section)

Mode of Paper

Online Only

Marking Scheme













Section Names

1. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VA-RC)

2. Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI-LR)

3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

Some important points to remember-

  • You are not allowed to shuffle across sections.
  • The calculator will be provided to the students on the screen itself.
  • Every section will have non-MCQ type questions that have to be typed in directly on the screen.
  • CAT does not have descriptive types of questions.

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.

CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Syllabus 2021

All the details about the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section including exam pattern and syllabus are mentioned below. The CAT VARC Section mainly contains two sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

CAT Verbal Ability Exam Pattern 2021

Total CAT Verbal Ability Questions


Total Marks


Types of Question

MCQs and Non-MCQs

Total MCQs

1-2 questions

Total Non-MCQs (TITA)

7-8 questions

Difficulty level

Moderately Easy

CAT Reading Comprehension Exam Pattern 2021

Total CAT Reading Comprehension Questions


Total Reading Comprehension Passages


Type of Questions


Total Marks


Passage Types in CAT RC Section

2 Long & 2 Short Passages

Difficulty level

Moderately High

CAT Syllabus 2021-2022: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Check the VARC Syllabus for CAT 2021. 

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Syllabus

Para Summary

Para Jumbles (with and without options)

Odd One Out

Reading Comprehension

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Paper Analysis

This section is usually relentless and really challenging. Passages are unpredictable, non-obvious, options are real close and lengthy. The error rate is quite higher in this section. A lot of candidates were unprepared for the difficulty level of this section in CAT 2020. This section is undoubted to be taken seriously when it comes to preparation. In CAT 2020, VARC was the toughest section in all the 3 slots.

A good attempt of 19-23 questions in this section with 85+ per cent accuracy can fetch you a good percentile.

Important CAT Links
CAT Notification 2021CAT Eligibility Criteria 2021
CAT Registration 2021
CAT 2021-2022
CAT Practice Set Papers
CAT Exam Pattern 2021
CAT Admit Card 2021
CAT Answer Key
CAT Cut off
CAT Analysis
CAT Question Papers
CAT Result 2021

CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Syllabus 2021

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Syllabus for CAT 2021-22 is divided into two sections: Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR). 

CAT Data Interpretation Exam Pattern 2021

Total number of questions

12-13 questions

Total Marks in Data Interpretation

36-39 marks

Type of Questions in Data Interpretation Section

MCQs and TITA (non-MCQ)

Total MCQs

8-9 questions

Total Non-MCQs (TITA)

3-4 questions



*This is just a prediction based on the past years’ trend. The actual difficulty level may vary

CAT Logical Reasoning Exam Pattern 2021

Total CAT Logical Reasoning Questions


Total Marks in Logical Reasoning For CAT Section

33-36 marks

Types of Question in CAT LR Section


Total Non-MCQs (TITA) in Logical Reasoning

2-3 questions

Difficulty in Verbal Ability Section


*This is just a prediction based on the past years’ trend. The actual difficulty level may vary.

CAT Syllabus 2021-2022: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

The DILR Syllabus for the CAT exam consists of the following topics. The following sections are as per the past year question papers. 

Data Interpretation


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


Order and Ranking

Binary Logics

Games and Tournaments

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Exam Paper Analysis

Clear conceptual knowledge will help you ace this section. It is also essential for candidates to select the right questions, given the difficulty level of the sets and the time involved to organise data. Getting entangled in the wrong questions could result in a wastage of time and a reduction in scores. DILR section was a moderately difficult section compared to the other 2 sections of CAT 2020.

The pattern of questions in the section has been very similar. Attempting 4-5 sets with 85+ per cent accuracy will give you a good percentile.

CAT Quantitative Ability Syllabus 2021

Check the Quantitative Ability exam pattern and syllabus in detail below. Candidates preparing for CAT 2021-2022 must go through the previous year questions of Quant and analyse the topic weightage as per the syllabus. 

Total Questions in Quantitative Ability Section

26 questions

Total Marks in Quantitative Ability

78 marks

Type of Questions in Quantitative Section

MCQs and TITA (non-MCQ)

Total MCQs

19-20 questions

Total Non-MCQs

6-7 questions

Difficulty level


*This is just based on the past years’ trend. The actual difficulty level may vary. Check CAT 2020 Analysis for details

CAT Syllabus 2021-2022: Quantitative Ability 

The Quant section of the CAT Syllabus is divided into 5 sections. It is one of the most scoring section and required the most practice. 

  1. Number System
  2. Arithmetic
  3. Geometry and Mensuration
  4. Algebra
  5. Modern Mathematics

CAT Number System TopicsCAT Arithmetic Topics
CAT Geometry and Mensuration Topics
LCM and HCFTime, Distance and SpeedCircles
Divisibility RulesTime and Work, Pipes and CisternsTriangles
Base ChangeSimple Interest and Compound InterestPolygons
Finding Units place and tens place of a numberRatios, Proportions and VariationsCoordinate geometry
CyclicityPercentages and AveragesLines and Angles
RemaindersProfit and Loss, DiscountTrigonometry
Prime FactorisationMixtures and Alligation   
Indices and Surds  
CAT Algebra TopicsCAT Modern Mathematics Topics 
Inequalities and Modulus1. Permutations and Combinations 
Functions and Groups2. Probability 
Linear and Quadratic Equations3. Set Theory & Venn Diagram 
Polynomials4. Binomial theorem 
Logarithms5. Arithmetic progression
Geometric progression
Harmonic progression
Algebraic Identities  
Maxima and Minima  

Quantitative Ability Exam Pattern Analysis

This section tests students’ aptitude in various areas of Mathematics. The topics are not divided explicitly in terms of the mark weightage they carry; hence candidates must be thorough with all the topics given in the CAT quant syllabus. In CAT 2020, most of the questions in the QA Section were asked from Algebra and Arithmetic topics and this section was Moderate (tougher than 2019). Arithmetic and Algebra usually dominate this section.

As per experts, this section provides ample opportunities to score if the candidates are able to segregate the questions well on the basis of their difficulty level before attempting them.

A good attempt of 25-30 questions in this section with 85+ per cent accuracy can fetch you a good percentile.

Download CAT 2021 Syllabus PDF

Candidates can also download the CAT syllabus pdf which also includes detailed exam pattern and each section is explained in detail. It is important to refer to the latest CAT syllabus as it will help you plan your exam preparation in a comprehensive manner. 

CAT Syllabus 2021 PDF 

Posted by:

Neeraj MishraNeeraj MishraMember since Sep 2015
Working Experience of more than 6 years in the Education Industry. Previously worked in Pagalguy, Career Power (Bankers Adda). Expert in Gk - Current Affairs & Banking & Financial Awareness. His email address is
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CAT 2021 Syllabus FAQs

  • Gradeup is now BYJU'S Exam Prep that offers the most comprehensive preparation for all exams. Get Monthly/Weekly Current Affairs, Daily GK Update, Online Courses, Latest Pattern Test Series and detailed Study Material from the top faculty at your fingertips. Want to learn more? Do not hesitate to contact our customer care here.

  • To effectively prepare the CAT syllabus, you must be very clear about the exam pattern and the syllabus. After analysing the demand of the exam, you must prepare a study plan to cover the syllabus in a timely manner. Complete the topics and practice the topic via CAT mock test and quiz questions. 

  • The syllabus of CAT is mentioned here in detail. Check the detailed CAT syllabus and the exam pattern of each section. 

  • No, IIM does not prescribe a fixed CAT Syllabus. However, it does not change every year. we have compiled a list of topics covered under CAT syllabus. 

  • No, GK is not asked in the CAT Exam. CAT exam consists of 3 sections DILR, VARC and Quant

  • CAT Exam consist of three sections,  Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Verbal & Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Aptitude.