[PDF] CAT Syllabus 2021: [Updated] CAT Exam Syllabus (FREE Download)

Complete Syllabus PDF of CAT for 2021 Exam

Officially, IIMs have never released any syllabus for CAT exam. Here, the PDF of CAT 2021 syllabus, available for FREE download, is just an approximate representation of what we gather from the past year trends. Going through the previous year CAT papers, we found that the entire syllabus of CAT can be broken down into three different areas.

CAT 2021 syllabus

Important Note:On account of Covid 19, there was a slight change in the CAT 2020 paper pattern. These changes were only for CAT 2020, and are not likely to be continued in the subsequent years. The changes were as follows:

  • Instead of a total duration of three hours, the CAT 2020 paper was of only two hours.
  • The sectional time limit, which earlier was 1 hour per section, was replaced by a sectional time limit of 40 minutes per section.
  • The total no of questions, which used to be 100 questions for the entire paper, was brought down to 76 questions.
  • Earlier the sectional break was 34,32,34 for VARC, LRDI, and QA respectively. This year the breakup was 26,24,26 respectively.

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CAT Syllabus: Verbal Ability

CAT verbal ability and reading comprehension in the first section in CAT exam. The section has 34 questions which are divided into two sub-sections: Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability.

The questions in CAT verbal sections are from the following topics:

The CAT syllabus PDF for 2021 has detailed information about the syllabus, the number of questions, marking scheme, and toughness level on each of these topics. The PDF also contains the important topics for CAT verbal section and right sources for preparation.

The VARC section of CAT question paper had the following sectional composition:

Topic No of questions MCQ Non-MCQ Marks per correct question Negative Marking Total Weightage
Reading Comprehension 18 18 0 3 -1 54
Para jumbles 3 0 3 3 0 9
Odd Sentence 2 0 2 3 0 6
Paragraph Summary 3 0 3 3 0 9

CAT Syllabus: Quantitative Aptitude

We can categorize the CAT quant syllabus into five broad topics

CAT Quant Syllabus [VIDEO]

Among the five, 90% of the questions are from three topics. These topics are Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry. The following chart depicts the CAT quant section question distribution in CAT 2018.

CAT 2018 Exam QA pattern

CAT Syllabus: Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI)

The LRDI section of CAT has undergone a significant change over the last few years. In the past CAT papers, the LRDI section had an equal number of question sets (4 sets each) from LR and DI. But in the past few years, logical based DI sets have replaced the calculation intensive DI sets.

List of important topics for LRDI


CAT Exam Pattern Overview

CAT 2018 Exam Structure

Read Also: CAT Exam Pattern

The PDF contains the syllabus for each section in detail. The PDF also has the link of concepts of important topics. On clicking the links, you can read about a particular topic to understand its nuances, including the application of shortcut tricks to solve those types of Questions which frequently appear in CAT exam.

Syllabus for CAT is vast, without any specification of the areas that are tested or are not tested. We have only the past year papers to rely on. Hence there is always an element of surprise each year and CAT 2021 would not be an exception.

CAT 2021 syllabus