Before anyone starts preparing for CAT exam, it is expected from him to know the syllabus inside out and one must be aware of the changes imposed in last couple of years as well. Though precise syllabus of CAT is not released officially, it is compiled with the help of previous year’s questions hence serves as guidelines for aspirants. It is well established that it emphasizes more on preciseness rather than number of attempts.

CAT Examination Structure

Before we discuss the composition of each subject meticulously just have a look at the number of questions and allotted time , this is the trend in previous years and is likely to hold good for CAT 2018 too. Followings are the three sections.

Section Section Name Questions from each Section
Section – I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34
Section – II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32
Section – III Quantitative Ability 34
  Total 100 Questions

It is visible that all the three sections are given nearly equal weight age. Time allotted for each section is 60 minutes. Two prominent rules to be noted are : you are not given the freedom to change the section until its completed , sequence of section is always same as mentioned above.

Quantitative Ability Section

As seen from the given table, arithmetic, number system and trigonometry are required to be given more time and effort as there is strong possibility of their contributing more in composition of quants. Section. One point should be taken into consideration that out of 34 questions of quants around 20% will be TITA / non-MCQ, hence doesn’t carry any negative marking. Look at the segregation of quantitative ability section.


Chapters Number of Questions (Tentative)
Number 10-14
Arithmetic 8-10
Algebra 6-8
Geometry and Mensuration 8-10
Modern Maths 5-6

Verbal Ability Section

The one sections which has undergone frequent and notable changes in couple of years is CAT VARC. Though many topics are required to be prepared intensely it is reading comprehension which steals the show. It is very much justified with this fact that in 2017 exam , 24 out of 34 VARC questions were RC questions. Three were paragraph summary and remaining 7 TITA mainly para-jumbles.

Segregation of topics in Verbal Ability Section


Usually, one RC passage is of 600 words or more followed by 6 questions .Three such a large passages are given . Two passages of 300 words each follow carrying 3 questions each. There is no certainty that in 2018 exam too , meticulously same subdivision will be visible hence it is advisable to learn other prominent topics too such as analogies, homonyms , sentence completions etc, moreover par jumbles is the one topic which needs to be given the proper attention.

Topics Covered in Logical and Data Interpretation Section

Most of the time its seen that DILR section has the least raw score for most of the applicants even toppers, as other than time factor ,rigorous as well as meticulous practice is required to excel in this section particularly Puzzle questions , these are one of the most complicated questions as they are literally time consuming. These questions are often asked in combination of several concepts. It can be said that these questions are perfect amalgamation of all the reasoning and logic that one has learnt from various sources.


Chapters Number of Questions (Tentative)
Data Interpretation [tables, graphs (line, area), charts (column, bar, pie)] 15-16
Game based/Logical Analysis- Caselets (Puzzles, Ranking, Blood Relation) 8-9
Seating Arrangement (Circular, Linear or Matrix) 4-5
Venn Diagram 4-5