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CAT Exam 2024: Syllabus, Date, Full Form, Eligibility, Pattern, Fees, and More

Sritanu Waytoadmissions Team

Content Curator

Updated On - Nov 14,2023

CAT is a prestigious nationwide MBA entrance examination that grants access to 21 IIMs, 8 IITs, and over 1000 other business schools across India. Administered annually by the IIMs, the test is conducted online in Computer-Based Testing (CBT) format at over 400 testing centers in 155 Indian cities. The CAT 2023 examination is scheduled for November 26, 2023, and the registration process, managed by IIM Lucknow, concluded on September 21. The CAT 2023 admit card will become available for download on November 7 for the approximately 3.3 lakh candidates who registered. List of All Exams in India - Click Here

Starting from 2021, the CAT exam format comprises a total of 66 questions, distributed as follows: 24 questions in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), 20 in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and 22 in Quantitative Aptitude. Of these questions, roughly 75% are multiple-choice questions (MCQs), and the remaining are Type-In-The-Answer (TITA) questions. The marking scheme for the CAT exam remains consistent, with each question worth 3 marks and a penalty of 1 mark for each incorrect MCQ response. A duration of 40 minutes is allotted for each section. Trending Courses in India - Click Here

The overall difficulty level of the CAT exam is considered to be moderate to high. During CAT VARC preparation, it is crucial to focus on reading comprehension and para jumbles. For CAT Quantitative Aptitude preparation, emphasis should be placed on arithmetic and algebra. In terms of DILR preparation, key areas include games & tournaments, combination charts, and arrangements (logical and seating). It is highly recommended to attempt CAT mock tests and subsequently analyze them, as this is the most effective strategy to maximize your scores. The Best Colleges in India - Click Here

It is important to note that CAT is not about answering all the questions, but rather about answering the right number of questions with precision. Achieving a 100 percentile in CAT does not signify a perfect score of 198 marks; it simply means that the candidate outperformed all other CAT applicants. Based on an analysis of CAT scores versus percentiles from the past two years, aiming to answer at least 45 questions with 95% accuracy is necessary to attain a score above 100 or achieve a percentile of 99 or higher. *** Click here for more information

CAT Exam Date 2023 

Events Dates
CAT 2023 admit card date November 7, 2023 (Revised)
CAT exam date 2023 November 26, 2023
CAT 2023 answer key and response sheet First week of December 2023
CAT 2023 result Second week of January 2024

CAT Registration and Eligibility 

Creating a CAT User ID and Password; completing the CAT application form with academic information and test center preferences; uploading scanned copies of your photo and signature along with any pertinent category and disability certificate PDFs; paying the CAT registration fees; and receiving an email confirmation from IIM are the five main steps in the CAT registration process. 

A minimum of 50% in your graduation degree (45% for SC, ST, and PwD applicants) is required in order to apply for the CAT exam. For the IIM test, there is no upper age limit or maximum number of attempts allowed. Every year, you are able to retake the CAT exam until you are happy with your score. 

CAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern 

Here are the CAT Syllabus and pattern for your reference. The CAT test structure adheres to the changes made since 2021. There are only 66 questions on the current CAT question paper. With 120 minutes allotted for the exam—40 minutes for each of VARC, DILR, and Quant—the CAT has a total score of 198. 

  • Question Types: CAT presents two types of questions, namely Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Non-MCQs, which are also known as TITA (Type-In-The-Answer) questions.
  • Number of Questions in VARC: In the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section, there are a total of 24 questions, consisting of 16 from Reading Comprehension (RC) and 8 from Vocabulary and Grammar (VA).
  • Number of Questions in DILR: The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) section comprises 20 questions, evenly split between 10 from Data Interpretation (DI) and 10 from Logical Reasoning (LR).
  • Number of Questions in QA: Quantitative Aptitude (QA) consists of 22 questions, with 8-9 questions from Arithmetic, 5-7 from Algebra, 4-5 from Geometry, and 1-2 from Number System & Modern Mathematics.
  • Section Order: The CAT exam follows a predetermined order, commencing with VARC, followed by DILR and then Quantitative Aptitude. Test-takers are not allowed to switch between sections; they must tackle the paper in this sequence.
  • Negative Marking: For each incorrect answer, there is a deduction of 1 mark.
  • Examination Medium: The CAT exam is conducted exclusively in English. It is not available in Hindi or any regional language.
  • Examination Mode: The CAT exam is delivered as a computer-based test, administered at designated test centers.
  • CAT Syllabus for VARC: The VARC section of CAT covers topics such as Reading Comprehension, Para Completion, Para Jumbles, and Para Summary.
  • CAT Syllabus for DILR: The DILR section encompasses subjects like Games and tournaments, Arrangements, Team Formation, Network Charts, Set Theory, and DI Sets.
  • CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude: The Quantitative Aptitude section includes topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and mensuration, Number System, and Modern Math, covering Probability Permutation, and Combination.

CAT Topic Wise Weightage 

 Topics  Number of Questions in CAT 2022 Number of Questions in CAT 2021
 Reading Comprehension  16 16
 Para Jumbles  3 3
 Para Summary  3 3
 Odd Sentence Out/ Para Completion  2 2
 Arithmetic  8-9 7-10
 Algebra  4-9 6-8
 Geometry & Mensuration  3-4 3-5
 Number System  1-3 1-2
 Modern Math  0-3 1
 DI (2 Sets)  10 10
 LR (2 Sets)  10 10

Best Books for CAT Exam Preparation 

The books that toppers most frequently recommend for CAT preparation are listed here. Without question, these are the greatest CAT exam preparation books now on the market.  

Arun Sharma CAT Books 

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT 
  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT 
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT 

Nishit K Sinha CAT Books 

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT 
  • Quantitative Aptitude For CAT 
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT 

CAT Answer Key and Result 2023 

The first week of December 2023 is when the CAT 2023 answer key and response sheet will be released. IIM makes the question paper, tentative answer key, and candidate responses available through the CAT login portal. For a price of INR 1000 per objection, you can download and dispute the CAT answer key and response sheet for a period of two to three days. Experts review every objection after the CAT answer key challenge deadline in order to alter the final answer key and result.  

The second week of January 2024 is the date of the CAT 2023 result, according to the official statement. But based on past years' tendencies, you should anticipate the release of the IIM CAT results by January 3, 2024. 

  • To download the scorecard, log in to with your CAT user ID and password. 
  • Since the validity of CAT scores is just one year, the results for CAT 2023 will only be accepted for admission for the present academic year. 

The information about the applicants who received 100 percentile, 99.99 percentile, and 99.98 percentile scores on the CAT exam is also provided by IIM in the result notification that is posted on the official website. 

CAT Cut-off and Admission Procedure 

The minimum percentile needed to be eligible for admission to the specific institute is known as the CAT cut-off for IIM. For IIM, the qualifying CAT Cut off falls between the 80th and 95th percentiles. For most institutions, however, the final IIM CAT cut-off is higher than the 98th percentile. 

IIM (in order of NIRF 2023 Ranking)  CAT Cut off for IIM  Total MBA Seats 
 IIM Ahmedabad cut-off  80 385
 IIM Bangalore cut-off  85 565
 IIM Kozhikode Cut off  85 525
 IIM Calcutta cut-off  85 462
 IIM Lucknow cut-off  90 490
 IIM Mumbai Cut off (formerly NITIE Mumbai)  85 660
 IIM Indore cut-off  90 600
 IIM Raipur cut-off  92 210
 IIM Rohtak cut-off  95 360
 IIM Udaipur cut-off  92 150

CAT Reservation of Seat in IIMs 

When completing the CAT application form, candidates must carefully pick their category in order to be eligible for reservation advantages at IIMs and other institutions. Here, you can reserve seats based on your category in accordance with the Central Government's policies. 

Category Reservation (%)
SC 15%
ST 7.5%
NC-OBC 27%
PwD 5%
EWS Up to 10%

CAT Overview FAQs

Ques. Is the CAT examination only for MBA candidates?

The CAT exam is held for MBA and PGDM admissions to the 20 IIMs as well as prestigious non-IIM institutions like FMS Delhi, IIT Delhi, IBS Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, Delhi School of Business, SPJIMR Mumbai, IIT Roorkee, NITIE Mumbai, & others. No other exam is allowed for admission to the MBA degrees offered at the 20 IIMs, hence taking the CAT is a requirement.

Ques. Are CAT scores from the 12th mark important?

The marks from your 12th grade are not important for the CAT exam. All you need is a bachelor's degree with at least 50% (45% for candidates who are members of the reserved population). However, as most IIMs give past academic records a significant amount of weight when creating the final selection, 12th marks results may be significant when applying.

Ques. What does the CAT exam serve? What advantages do you get if you pass the CAT exam?

Students who want to enroll in the full-time MBA/PGDM courses provided by India's 20 IIMs typically take the CAT exam. Scores from the CAT exam are also accepted by more than 500 MBA schools nationwide. You should concentrate on passing the CAT exam if you want to pursue your dream of earning an MBA from a prestigious university and subsequently obtaining a high-paying position at a prestigious MNC. Taking the CAT exam improves your analytical and thinking skills in addition to improving your chances of getting into college.

Ques. Is the CAT 2023 examination timetable set?

The CAT 2023 exam date is most likely to be November 26, 2023, according to trends in CAT exam dates. the morning (8:30 to 10:30 AM), the afternoon (12:30 to 2:30 PM), and the evening (4:30 to 6:30 PM) are the three timeslots in which the IIM conducting body will hold the exam.

Ques. What can I expect to make on average after I graduate from IIM with an MBA?

The typical pay packages offered by the leading IIMs range between 15 and 25 lakhs per year based on prior admission statistics. After earning their MBA from one of the top three IIMs—IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, or IIM Calcutta—applicants have also gotten offers that exceed $50,000 per year. The newer IIMs often give compensation packages ranging from 8 to 15 lakhs per year.

Ques. When is the CAT exam held?

The CAT exam is held annually on the final Sunday in November. In 2023, the CAT exam will be offered. On November 26, 2023, three sessions—forenoon, afternoon, and evening—of the IIM CAT will be held.  

Ques. Who will administer the CAT in 2023?

The CAT test is held annually at one of the top six IIMs (IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Lucknow, & IIM Indore). IIM Bangalore & IIM Ahmedabad held their respective CAT exams in 2022 and 2021. It is anticipated that either IIM Lucknow and IIM Calcutta will host the CAT test in 2023.

Ques. Are there any offline CAT 2023 exams?

For admission to the MBA/PGDM courses provided by IIMs, candidates must take the CAT 2023 online computer-based test. At the designated testing location, candidates must take the CAT 2023 examination on a computer screen. 

Ques. Is there a CAT exam twice a year?

Every year, the CAT exam is administered throughout several shifts on a single day. On November 26, 2023, the CAT 2023 exam will be administered in CBT format in about 154 test cities.

Ques. How can apply for CAT 2023?

Candidates must fill out an application on the official IIM CAT 2023 website in order to apply for CAT 2023. Here is the detailed application process for CAT 2023:

  • Step 1: Go to, the official CAT 2023 website.
  • Step 2: Create login information for CAT 2023, including a user ID and password. 
  • Step 3: Complete the CAT 2023 Application Form with your personal information, educational background, employment history, and test city preferences.
  • Step 4: Upload the necessary CAT 2023 registration documents (picture, signature, category, and PwD certificates) in step four.
  • Step 5: Use an online payment method to pay the CAT registration cost for 2023.
  • Step 6: You will receive a confirmation email to the address you provided while registering.

Ques. Is the CAT Syllabus the same each year?

The CAT Syllabus is consistent year after year with just minor changes to the relative importance of the sections. The three areas of the CAT Syllabus 2023 are Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension.

Ques. When will the official CAT 2023 announcement be made public?

The conducting IIM will ostensibly release the formal CAT 2023 announcement during the fourth week of July 2023.

Ques. Which IIM will host the CAT in 2023?

One of the top five IIMs conducts the CAT exam each year. The test was administered by IIM Ahmedabad in 2021. IIM will announce the CAT 2023 exam during the final week of May 2023.

Ques. Can I download the CAT 2023 applications offline?

No, there won't be any offline modes accessible for CAT 2023 Application Forms. The official website,, will be used for the full registration procedure.