CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Paper Pattern, Marking Scheme


CAT Exam Pattern


CAT 2024 Exam Pattern

CAT Exam Pattern 2024 – It is crucial for candidates to comprehend every facet of the CAT 2024 exam pattern in order to create a thorough section-by-section plan. The CAT 2024 test pattern is the first and most crucial step in streamlining your action plan in accordance with the CAT syllabus, achieving a 99+ percentile, and increasing your prospects of becoming one of those who enter the gates of India’s top Business Schools.


CAT 2024 Syllabus & Pattern Components
CAT 2024 Exam Details
CAT 2024 Test duration
2 hrs (120 Minutes)
CAT 2024 Test sessions/Slots
3 (Morning, Afternoon and Evening)
CAT 2024 Total questions
CAT 2024 Total score
CAT 2024 Number of Sections in CAT question paper
CAT 2024 Time Allotted for Each Section in CAT exam
40 Minutes
CAT 2024 Total questions in VARC Section
CAT 2024 Total Questions in DILR section
CAT 2024 Total Questions in QA section


CAT 2024 Exam Date


CAT 2024 Exam Date
Sunday, November 24, 2024
CAT Entrance exam sessions
Likely to be Conducted in 3 sessions on same day– 
  • Morning
  • Afternoon 
  • Evening 
CAT 2024 Test Mode
Computer based exam but not an online exam
When to Check for CAT 2024 Notification
July 2024
CAT 2024 Start Date for Registration
August 2024
CAT 2024 Last Date for Registration
September 2024
CAT 2024 Admit Card Release Date
October 2024
CAT 2024 Results Announcement
December 2024
Details to Check in CAT 2024 Notification
CAT Exam details, Application fee, Registration dates, MBA courses by IIMs through CAT 2024
Top MBA Colleges Accepting CAT 2024 for MBA admission 2024
20 IIMs, FMS, MDI, SPJIMR, IITs, IMI, IMT& 1000 other MBA colleges in India
How to Apply for CAT 2024?
Application process is online only
CAT Official Website for CAT 2024 Form Filling



CAT 2024 Marking Scheme

For questions other than MCQs, 3 marks are assigned for ‘correct answer’ and no marks are deducted for ‘incorrect answer or no attempt’.

  • Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks.
  • An incorrect answer fetches -1.
  • No marks are given or deducted for unattempted questions.


CAT 2024 Negative Marking: IN CAT 2024,  1 mark is deducted for every wrong answer in MCQ. No negative marking for TITA question format.


Type of question
Positive marking
Negative marking
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Type In The Answer (TITA)


The CAT 2024 exam is computer-based. Therefore, candidates must enter their answers into the computer. Candidates must select one of the options offered when entering an answer-

  • Save and Next: Candidates select and save an answer and proceed to the next question
  • Delete Answer: Candidates can delete the answer to the question they answered
  • Mark for review and continue: Candidates can mark and answer unknown answers for review and proceed to the next question


cat exam-pattern


CAT 2024 Syllabus Overview

CAT syllabus 2024 official website enlists the syllabus in three parts-


  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Ability

However, you cannot find the detailed chapter-wise syllabus on the CAT official website. To get the detailed chapter-wise/ topic-wise CAT 2024 syllabus based on expert analysis, you can refer to this page.


Download CAT Syllabus PDF –


Quantitative Ability (QA)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Averages
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • LCM and HCF
  • Percentages
  • Profit and Loss
  • Interest (Simple and Compound)
  • Speed, Time and Distance Time and Work
  • Number System
  • Algebra
  • Geometry/Mensuration
  • Pure Maths
  • Venn diagrams
  • Linear Equations
  • Quadratic Equations
  • Complex Numbers
  • Logarithm
  • Progressions
  • Binomial Theorem
  • Surds and Indices
  • Inequalities
  • Permutation and Combination Probability Functions
  • Set Theory
  • Mixtures and Alligations
  • Co-ordinate Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Data comparison from Table
  • Graphs
  • Bar charts – Simple, Stacked, Composite Bar charts
  • Pie charts
  • Caselets
  • Data Analysis
  • Direction sense
  • Team formation
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Blood Relation
  • Clocks
  • Calendars
  • Binary logic
  • Logical Sequence
  • Assumption
  • Premise
  • Conclusion
  • Linear and matrix arrangement
  • Input-Output
  • Series
  • Syllogism
  • Cubes
  • Rows
  • Set Theory
  •  Venn Diagrams
  • Network Diagrams
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Puzzles
  • Main idea in the passage
  • Assumption
  • Inferences, Statements, Arguments
  • Synonyms-antonyms
  • Phrasal meaning & Usage
  • Para Summary
  • Jumbled paragraphs 
  • Odd sentence out of Jumbled paragraph
  • Error Corrections
  • Sequence of sentences
  • Vocabulary usage
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Completion of Paragraph
  • Analogies
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Sentence Completion


CAT Paper Pattern 2024

The CAT 2024 paper pattern consists of three sections, as follows: 

  • Verbal Ability (Language Proficiency) and Reading (VARC) 
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 
  • Quantitative ability (QA) 

The CAT exam is held as a two-hour computer-based test (CBT). Each section has a separate time limit of 40 minutes. The table below will give you an idea of what you can expect from CAT 2024.

Sections of exam
No. of questions

choice questions


Multiple- choice questions

Important features
16 RC Questions-Four passages with four questions each. 

 8 Language Proficiency Questions-Three Para jumbles, Two Odd Sentence Para jumbles, and Three Para summary Questions.

4 sets in total:

2 sets of 6 questions each

2 sets of 4 questions each

Area question: Bar graph, arrangements, missing Data and puzzle (games)

Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, etc. 


CAT Exam Pattern 2024 – Important Points

  • During the CAT exam, candidates will have access to an on-screen calculator
  • Candidates taking the CAT Exam can see the current time using the digital clock displayed on the screen
  • Candidates will be given sheets for draught work that must be submitted following the conclusion of the CAT exam for the MBA
  • Aspirants must complete each section before moving on to the next
  • You can get the CAT practice test when it becomes available on the official CAT website ( It reveals the overall and sectional IIM CAT exam structure.

CAT 2024 will be split into three halves, as follows:

  1. Morning session (8:30 am – 10:30 pm)
  2. Afternoon session (12:30 pm – 2:30 pm)
  3. Evening session (4:30 pm – 6:30 pm).

In addition, the CAT test pattern divides the work into three sections, each with a time limit. Candidates cannot choose the order in which they will try the sections. Also, you cannot move back and forth between sections. Therefore, it is important to understand the time limit for each section in order to try the treatise accurately.

No. of questions
Time allotted
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
40 minutes
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
40 minutes
Quantitative Aptitude
40 minutes
2 hours (120 minutes)

CAT 2024 VARC Exam Pattern

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension consists of 24 questions and carries 36% weightage in the CAT 2024 exam. Candidates will be allotted 40 minutes to complete this section. 

VARC Topics
No. of questions in CAT exam
Inferences, Statements, Arguments
3-4 Questions
Main idea in the RC Passage
1-2 Questions
Author’s assumption
1-2 Questions
2-3 Questions
Meaning of the phrase
2-3 Questions
Para Summary
2-3 Questions
Jumbled paragraphs
2-3 Questions
Pick Out of Context Sentence
1-2 Questions
Error Correction in Sentences
1-2 Questions
Sequence of sentences
1-2 Questions
Fill in the blanks
1-2 Questions
Completion of Paragraph
1-2 Questions
1-2 Questions
Critical Reasoning
2-3 Questions
Sentence Completion
1-2 Questions
Irrelevant Statements
1-2 Questions
Vocabulary usage
2-3 Questions

CAT 2024 DILR Exam Pattern

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning consists of 20 questions and 30% weightage in CAT 2024 exam. Candidates will be allotted 40 minutes to complete this section.

Data Interpretation for CAT
Number of questions
Type of Questions
Problem Set-1: Tables & Charts
Comparison of Data of various years, ages etc.
Problem Set-2: Graph, Bar diagram
Data Analysis, comparison of various years, classes, groups etc.  
Problem Set-3: Tables, Pie chart
Decoding and finding out the data of missing period, taking clues, interpreting the missing links
Problem Set-4: Graphs, Charts
Making analysis of data and coming to conclusion, making future projections
Total questions
MCQs & Non-MCQs


CAT 2024 Logical Reasoning Exam Pattern


Logical reasoning will comprise of 10 to 16 Questions in CAT. The topic-wise breakup is as follows-


Logical Reasoning for CAT
Number of questions
Type of Questions
Problem Set-1: Arrangements/Rankings/Team Formation
Seating arrangement, Ranks, different type of team formation. Lot of conditions placed to confuse you to put the logical sequence
Problem Set-2: Quantitative Reasoning/Puzzles
Based on Arithmetic, Geometrical data, various puzzles on words, letters, arrangements, seating etc.
Problem Set-3: Syllogisms/Logical Deduction
Questions based on statements, arguments,
Problem Set-4: Venn Diagrams/Binary Logic
Questions on set theory, network diagrams are included – difficult and need more practice
Total questions
MCQs & Non-MCQs


CAT 2024 Quantitative Aptitude Exam Pattern

Quantitative Aptitude consists of 22 questions and carries 34% weightage in CAT 2024 exam.  Candidates will be allotted 40 minutes to complete this section.


Syllabus Topics in Quant Section
No. of Questions in CAT
Averages; Ratio & Proportion
1-2 Questions
Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work
1-2 Questions
1-2 Questions
Percentages, Profit and Loss
1-2 Questions
Interest (Simple and Compound)
1-2 Questions
Number System
2-3 Questions
2-3 Questions
2-3 Questions
Venn diagrams and other topics
1-2 Questions
Linear Equations; Quadratic Equations Complex Numbers
1-2 Questions
Logarithm; Progressions
1-2 Questions
Binomial Theorem
1-2 Questions
Surds and Indices; Inequalities
1-2 Questions
Permutation and Combination
1-2 Questions
Probability Functions
1-2 Questions
Set Theory; Mixtures and Alligations
1-2 Questions
Co-ordinate Geometry
1-2 Questions
1-2 Questions


CAT 2024 Preparation Tips

If you are preparing for the CAT exam then follow the given instructions – 

  • Know the Exam Pattern and Syllabus

To prepare for CAT, one must be thorough with the syllabus and conducting body. That’s the first step towards preparation. For instance, CAT stands for Common Admission Test and is conducted once a year by IIMs in CBT mode. The exam duration is 120 minutes, and 66 questions are asked. 

The exam is only conducted in the English language throughout the country. Therefore, you must know your syllabus by heart and should solve past papers to fully understand the exam pattern and nature of the exam.

  • Resources and Practice Papers

After going through the exam pattern, get an idea of the syllabus and collect resources accordingly. Make sure to opt for reliable and certified sources and books to study for the exam. Buy reliable books and revise them repeatedly. It’s better to study one book ten times than to study ten books. 

Next, the vital step in CAT preparation is solving the papers at home. Solve past papers to get an idea of the exam, then solve mock papers or enrol yourself in the test series. You can join any test series that suits you best but make sure to join one. 

The CAT exam syllabus demands a lot of practice and time management during exams, and the best way to practice is through these mock test series. 

  • Prepare for Mock Examinations

Preparing for mock examinations is another way to prepare for the CAT exam at home. There are several possibilities for online practice exams. Applicants must take the test to determine their level of expertise. 

Furthermore, the CAT sample exams will help students improve their abilities and ready them for the exam while at home. 

  • Planning and Study Routine

Another essential step in preparation for CAT is an effective strategy. Every human is different so are their situations and learning patterns; you’re different too. So, the topper’s strategy may not work for you; you must note the critical points while preparing and moulding them into your strategy. 

Make your study plan and stick to it, keep track of your progress solve test papers to test your knowledge. Another thing to remember is that modifying your study patterns in your routine is okay if the old ones do not give you the best results. 

All you need to do is track your progress and make essential changes in the plan; keep in mind no plan or strategy is ideal, and you need to follow what works best for you. 

  • Previous Year Papers

You’ve solved many papers, now you’re thorough with the exam pattern, and you’ve found your suitable study routine, but the main problem is how to stick to it and be disciplined while preparing when there are so many distractions around. 

To execute your study plans correctly, you need to fix a time to study; it could be a late-night study or early-morning productive hours. So find your productive hours to make the most of your day, track your progress, and study hours before bed to keep a hold on your preparation. 

Preparing for CAT indeed comes with a lot of sacrifice and determination, so make sure you cut down on distractions and stay determined and disciplined throughout your journey. 

  • Mistakes to avoid

Many people need to learn from past failures. Make a note of your past mistakes and try to overcome them. Your weak areas require extra attention during preparation time, sharpening your strengths, focusing on your weak areas, and improving them.

  • Analyse your mock test. 

You need to analyse every mock test you solve to avoid repeating the mistakes you’ve made in them. Your test papers are your mirror, so analyse your paper and surpass your weaknesses.  

  • Adequate Revision

Not revising enough when the syllabus is vast; one tends to forget easily, so ensure you include regular revision sessions in your study routines.

  • Clear Doubts

Not clearing doubts the same day. If you get any doubts while studying, make sure to get rid of all your doubts and not bottle them up. Not asking for doubts will blur your understanding of topics and cost you marks in the main exam. 


CAT Exam Pattern FAQs

Q. Is CAT an online examination?
A. CAT is not an online examination. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT); that is, a candidate will not take the examination on an internet site. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer-sheet, a candidate will read the questions on a computer terminal and choose an answer by clicking on the correct option.

Q. Can I bring a calculator to the testing centre?
A. Candidates are prohibited from bringing calculators to the testing centre. You may use the onscreen calculator that will be available throughout the exam.

Q. Are there negative marks for questions other than MCQs?
A. No, there are no negative marks for non-MCQ type questions.

Q. Is there a specific order for answering sections? Can I attempt sections the way I want?
A. You must answer the sections in a pre-specified order and this order will remain the same for all the candidates.

Q. What is the marking/grading scheme for CAT? Is there negative marking for a wrong answer?
A. For questions other than MCQs, 3 marks are assigned for ‘correct answer’ and no marks for ‘incorrect answer or no attempt’.

  • Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks.
  • An incorrect answer fetches -1.
  • No marks are given or deducted for unattempted questions.

Q. What is the pattern for English Comprehension in CAT 2024?
A. It accounts for more than 67% of the questions in the VARC section. (16 out of 24 questions)

Question format: Multiple Choice Questions, including some TITA (Type in the answer) questions.
This section usually has 5 passages (3 majors and 2 minors).



The Highest weightage section in CAT syllabus is VARC followed by QA and then comes DILR. But you need to qualify in each of the three CAT sections. A smart preparation with proper guidance to the syllabus can fetch you a good percentile score and can improve your admission chances in IIMs. This year’s CAT exam will be conducted in November 2024 in three slots with a time duration of 2 hours for each slot.


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