CAT (Common Admission Test) aims at testing candidates on different parameters and topics. The overall structure of the CAT test remains same.
The test allows one to take admission not only in IIMs but also other top notch B-schools like IIMs, SPJIMR (SP Jain), FMS, MDI, IMT, MICA and over 1200 B Schools in India.
It is one of the prominent top management entrance tests which is administered by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) institutes for admission in the two year full time Post Graduate Programs in Management in India.
Now lets read CAT official syllabus 2020 and basic information about Common Admission Test.
CAT Syllabus 2020 in Detail
1. Verbal Ability and Reasoning
This section of the test accounts for more than half of the verbal section. It is 50 marks and comprises ‘verbal ability and reasoning’ section as well as ‘Reading Comprehension’. About 25 to 30 marks questions are on verbal ability, while the remaining 20 to 35 marks will be by answering reading comprehension questions.
The questions asked in the verbal section can be categorized in one of the types mentioned below:
Vocabulary Based Questions
Questions based on testing vocabulary of candidates can be simple ‘synonyms-antonyms’ types. While on the other hand, questions asked in vocabulary can also be in the form of fill in the blank with the most suitable word. It has appeared as part of the ½ marks section in the year 201 and the 2 marks section in the year 2020.
However, it is noteworthy that the emphasis on vocabulary in the test is declining each year and one is not required to learn the meanings of words like ‘pleonasm’ etc. to crack such questions in the test.
Correct Usage of English or Grammar
You will find questions based on the sentence or grammar correction in different forms. In these questions, you will be required to find out the incorrect par of the sentence or a part of the question will be underlined with 4-5 options. You need to make right choice to correct the error in the sentence.
To prepare for these types of questions you need to have a strong understanding of English grammar. Do adequate number of exercise on the various common errors which tend to appear in the test. Thus, you will be able to sail through these types of questions in CAT.
Questions in verbal reasoning can be in different forms. However, the most common one is rearranging the jumble words of a paragraph. You might also be asked to paraphrase the paragraph.
Also, you can be provided 3 to 4 sentences and then asked to select which sentence is fact, which one is an inference or a judgment.
In short, you need to work on verbal reasoning, contextual usage, antonyms, fill ups, syllogisms, sentence correction, familiarity with common foreign language words used in English, idioms, one word substitution.
Again, as there is not as such fixed structure of CAT. The pattern tends to differ every year.
2. Reading Comprehension in CAT Syllabus
Reading comprehension section of CAT is typically of 100 marks. This section includes reasoning reading comprehension and verbal ability section.
The reading comprehension section carries 60 to 40 marks while verbal ability section carries 40 to 60 marks questions. In the year 2018, 15 out of total of 25 questions in the verbal sections were based on comprehension while the number of 12 out the 25 questions in the year 2019.
Questions based on ‘reading comprehension’ are often in groups for 4 to 8 questions. The length of these reading passage ranges from 250 words to 750 words.
Here is a way to do this section successfully:
- Read the entire passage for once quickly so that you are able to grasp the central idea of the passage.
- Eradicate answer choices which are sure of not to be correct.
- Make use of outside knowledge.
- Make use of inside knowledge
Passage Types in CAT
Passages t hat appear in the test are basically can be basically from one of the types mentioned below:
Social Science Passage
This type of passage is often about a social or historical issue.
This type of passage gives information on a scientific phenomenon like aviation or plate tectonics.
This passage includes a business related topic like passages on the privatization of state-owned industries or reasons for current economic scenario.
This type of passage if of entertainment, sports or leisure related. The passages can be on Hollywood or Bollywood celebrities or other prominent people in various fields.
3. Quantitative Skills
This section of CAT which is vastly categorized as Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry aims to gauge quantitative ability of a candidate from more than 25 topics. All of these topics are of high school level.
Let’s see the topics in different categories in this section:
Number system and number theory, profit and loss, interest, speed, time and distance, averages, ration and proportion, mixtures and alligations, pipes and cisterns
Linear and quadratic equation, inequalities, function, permutation and combination, set theory, logarithm, binomial theorem, function, probability, progressions
Geometry, coordinate geometry, mensuration, trigonometry.
4. Data Interpretation
Data interpretation section in CAT is of 50 marks since the year 2010. Most of the questions in this section are of 2, 3 or 4 marks.
Date interpretation section in CAT often carries two types of questions:
In these types of questions date is presented in the form of a table/pie chart/a graph. On the basis of each presentation, the candidate is required to answer 4 to 6 questions.
You need to interpret the format and answer the questions accordingly as per the date given in the table or chart.
Every date sufficiency problem in CAT comprises questions with two statements. Here, the point is that you are required to decide whether the question can be answered or not on the basis of provided information in the given statements instead of pondering over the answer of the question.
5. General Knowledge
For this, you need to keep yourself updated with current news and affairs around the world.
You need to be informed about:
- Current affairs, prominent corporate events, punch line of companies
- Books and their authors’ name
- Important quotes
- Social issues, finance, automobile, entertainment etc.
- World records
- Renowned awards and prizes.
- Science GK, History GK, Geography GK
This is detailed syllabus of CAT 2020. Now we are moving forward to some basic information of CAT examination. As a candidate you must read below information.
Basic of CAT Examination
If Candidates with CGPA instead of percentage then:
⇒ The percentage equivalent is based on the equivalence certified by the university or institute from where you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree.
If Candidates with less than 50% in Graduation then:
⇒ If you do not have 50% in aggregate at graduation level, then you should try other exams such as XAT, MH-CET, IIFT and other regional tests. Also, look for instituted conducting specified tests according to your relative performance so far.
Minimum score required to clear the test:
⇒ In CAT, you do not come across anything like fixed minimum score to clear the test successfully. It is because the score cut-off is different every year since it is relative scoring.
Clearing each section is important:
⇒ It is mandatory to clear each section separately and cover the areas being tested well.
Minimum cut-off for each section:
⇒ Again, the cut off for each section in the test varies each year, so there is no known minimum cut-off. But considering the test for last several years, one must try to attempt at least 70% of questions given with 80% accurate to clear the test successfully. Also, the cut-off for each section is different within a test.
Institutes other than IIMs which accept CAT scores:
⇒ There are number of institutes which accept CAT scores as a ticket to admission. Undoubtedly, one can find good and reputed institutes for taking course of their choice. There are around more than 100 institutes across India which accepts CAT scores. You can find the list of these institutes on CAT bulletin.
The time of CAT:
⇒ The test is often conducted on the third Sunday of November month every year.
The time to apply for Cat:
⇒ The notification for the test is usually released after mid July every year in the leading newspapers of the country. The time can also be known from the website of IIM after the notification is appeared in the newspapers.
What after the advertisement for CAT:
⇒ After the notification for CAT, aspiring candidate can buy a voucher from the designated bank branches and thereafter, need to register online for the test.
The purchasing of a voucher:
⇒ To buy a voucher, you need to fill pay-in-slip at the designated bank. You will find two copies of pay-in-slip. One copy will be retained by the bank and other will be returned to your after stamped. You must retain the copy of pay-in-slip throughout the selection process. Make sure that the name on pay-in-slip is matched with the name appearing in the school-leaving certificate.
Issuing of admit card:
⇒ Just after applying for the exam online, you get an automated confirmation mail containing your Candidate Profile at the email mentioned by you. Once you have provided your personal information, you are supposed to continue registration by scheduling the date, time and venue of the test. After the submission of scheduling information, you will receive another automated confirmation email containing your CAT Admit Card. At this stage, your registration process is complete.
Details on Admit Card:
⇒ The CAT admit card will contain the name o the candidate, date, time and venue for the test, confirmation number, registration number and instructions for the candidate.
Different time slots for planning the test for a typical test day:
⇒ A typical test day comprises two exam sessions. You will be allowed to schedule any one of the sessions but it is subjected to availability.
Number of times one can appear for CAT:
⇒ You cannot appear for the test more than once. If it is so, it will be deemed as a fraudulent activity.
In case of committing mistake while registering for the exam:
⇒ If you have made any mistake while registering for the exam, you can make changes to your personal date and application within a specified time limit only which can be noted on the registration page.
Time you need to spend in CAT preparation:
⇒ As per IIMs, one should try to prepare for the test six months in advance. You need to follow a planned study timings rigorously. You must study at least 2 hours in a day. More is always better but put emphasis on quality over quantity.
⇒ Interview is a personality test. At this stage, panel judges one’s discipline, self-awareness or in other words, one’s all round personality.
Group Discussion (GD):
⇒ By ‘group discussion’, the institutes measure one’s ability to function as a team. Here, a group is given topic or situation. They are given few minute time to think over and then discuss the topic among themselves for abut 15 to 20 minutes.
Declaration of Score:
⇒ CAT scores are declared mostly after 2-3 months of the test day.
Official Website of CAT
⇒ Click here to visit official website of Common Admission Test (CAT).
CAT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The exam is not about testing intelligence. It aims on judging the attitude for doing well a course which one is willing to join.
The test also determines one’s general scholastic ability. It is an aptitude test which aims at judging ‘managerial abilities’ by asking question based on Mathematics and English.
The concept of the test is tackling questions based on the syllabus of 10th grade Mathematics and English.
These subjects can be divided into varying areas; namely, Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability, Verbal Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, Date Sufficiency, Date Interpretation and Reading Comprehension.
One finds all the areas clearly demarcated into sections and with varying composition of sections each year.
To appear for the CAT, you must be having a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline generally with at least 50% in aggregate from a recognized university in India and 45% in case of SC/ST/DA (Differently Able) categories.
Candidates awaiting their final year’s result are also eligible for appearing in the test. To count your percentage, you should enter the aggregate percentage of the semesters you have completed till the date.
There is not any restriction on age limit for appearing for the test.
Also read : How To Choose A Best Online MBA Degree Program?
Thank you for reading CAT Syllabus 2020, some general information and Frequently Asked Questions of CAT exam.
If you have still any doubts about Common Admission Test (CAT), please do comment below. our expert will help you.