[PDF] CAT 2021 Syllabus Download

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CAT Syllabus

Download CAT 2021 syllabus PDF

  • CAT is conducted every year in the month of November/December.
  • CAT 2020 exam was conducted on November 29, 2020. CAT 2021 is expected to be conducted on 28th November 2021.
  • Before preparing for any exam, it is better to have a clear understanding of the syllabus, questions and the pattern of the exam.
  • Also, go through the previous year papers of CAT to have an exact understanding of the CAT Syllabus.

For CAT 2021, Syllabus is expected to be nearly the same as this syllabus.

Download CAT 2021 Syllabus PDF

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Two Simple Steps for CAT Preparation:

  • Syllabus: The best way to prepare is to learn the basic concepts and to practice a large number of problems from various topics. Find where you are lacking and what mistakes you are doing and work on them.
  • Mocks: Take a few free CAT mock tests every now and then to keep track of your progress. Once your fundamentals in all topics are clear take more full-fledged CAT mocks.

If you are just starting your preparation, CAT online preparation can help you in the process.

What is the Syllabus for the CAT exam?

CAT does not have a defined syllabus. 2 sections out of the 3 do not require you to memorise even basic formulae. However, based on the trends in the last few years, we can have an idea about the pattern of the exam.

In the past few years, the exam pattern and syllabus stood the same. The paper consists of 3 sections.

1. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension.
2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
3. Quantitative Aptitude.

CAT 2021 Exam pattern:

CAT is a three-hour exam. Due to the Covid pandemic, CAT 2020 was held as a 2-hour exam, in three slots. Assuming that CAT 2021 will return back to its previous format (CAT 2019, 2018 etc) following is the exam pattern:

VARC section will have around 34 questions

DI-LR Section will have around 32 Questions

QA section will have around 34 Questions.

Total exam duration: 3 hours

Section name No. of Questions No. of marks Sectional time duration
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 34 102 1 hour (60 minutes)
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 32 96 1 hour (60 minutes)
Quantitative Ability (QA) 34 102 1 hour (60 minutes)
Total 100 300 Marks 3 hours (180 minutes)

Negative marking:

Each Correct Answer will be awarded 3 marks and for every wrong answer, there is a negative marking of 1 mark (except for the TITA Questions).

What are TITA Questions:

For TITA (Type in the answer) questions, no options will be given, so candidates have to type the answer (using the mouse). So, you can say this as fill in the blanks type questions. For TITA questions there will be no negative marks.

The number of TITA Questions in each section:

Based on previous CAT papers:

Section name No. of Questions No. of TITA questions*
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 34 7
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) 32 8
Quantitative Ability (QA) 34 12
Total 100 27

*Based on the recent exam papers, and we can expect around 6-10 TITA questions from each section and around 25-27 questions overall in the whole CAT exam paper.

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Good Attempts in CAT:

If you maintain an accuracy of over 90%, below are considered as good attempts to score 99 percentile in the CAT exam (This is based on the previous CAT papers and this may vary depending on the difficulty level of the exam)

Section Good Attempts (no. of questions)
VARC 26+
DILR 16+
QA 18-20 +

3 Things to know about the CAT exam paper:

  1. CAT exam will be conducted in two slots, a candidate will be assigned either a morning slot or an evening slot. Morning slot – 9.00 A.M to 12.00 P.M and Evening Slot 2.30 P.M to 5.30 P.M.
  2. The Question paper will be different in each slot. So, normalization will be applied to the score based on the difficulty level.
  3. In every slot, the questions will be the same for everyone in that particular slot, but the questions and the options will be jumbled.

CAT (VARC) Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Syllabus:

Questions in recent CATs are from the following topics:
1. Reading comprehension
2. Para jumbles
3. Odd sentences out
4. Para summary and completion

The VARC section in CAT:

  • This section is not about your English language skills, this section is all about COMPREHENSION & DEDUCTION
  • Focus on your reading skills
  • Focus on the inner depth of the sentences

Some things to know about VARC:

  • For the past few years, RC has been dominating this section.
  • Reading comprehension alone contributes around 24% of the total marks in the exam and 80% of the marks in the VARC section. Aspirants cannot afford to skip this section.
  • Also, the remaining 10 questions in the section also rely heavily on the comprehension ability of the candidate.
  • Apart from reading comprehension, 3 questions on para summary too require candidates to read a passage and answer the question. Hence, aspirants must try to have a decent grasp of this section.
  • The remaining 7 questions are para jumbles and sentence elimination. These questions check the candidate’s ability to spot coherence and pattern. These questions will be of TITA type and do not carry any negative mark. Hence, aspirants must definitely take a shot at these questions.

Resources to checkout for CAT VARC:

How to prepare for RC

How to prepare for PJ and Odd one out

VARC Number of Questions By Topic:

Topic No. of Questions Type
Reading Comprehension 24 MCQ
Para jumbles 4 TITA
Odd one out 3 TITA
Para Summary 3 MCQ

*MCQ – Multiple Choice Questions

Download CAT Verbal Ability PDF

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Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI-LR) Syllabus:

CAT has moved away from conventional bar and pie charts in the last few years. Most of the sets that appear in the exam are unconventional and are not very calculation intensive. Rather, the focus now has clearly been on cracking the logic than grinding numbers.

However, it pays off to have a decent understanding of the conventional sets before moving on to the tougher ones. The CAT 2021 syllabus PDF contains the list of conventional topics that one must practice to ace this section. Some times, the first question in the set may be difficult, while others may be easy. Just because you picked some set, you don’t need to waste your time solving each difficult problem in that set.

Some things to know about the DI-LR section:

  • Crack the Logic behind the data, the connection between each set of data and know how to represent the data in a correct manner
  • Pick the Right set and you are half-done, so you need to spend your time picking the sets which you can do for sure.
  • There is no favourite type of set, don’t get attached to any type of set, the set may look familiar, but that may be the most difficult set in the paper, so after spending sufficient time on a set, if you are not able to get it, just skip it.

CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus:

1. Seating arrangement (facing inwards/outwards).
2. Einstein’s puzzle and arrangement puzzles
3. Seating arrangement based on truth liar concept
4. Networks
5. LR based on picking coins
6. Scheduling
7. Games and tournaments for CAT.
8. Truth – liar concept
9. Selection with conditions

Download CAT Data Interpretation Questions PDF

CAT Data Interpretation Syllabus:

1. Line chart, bar chart
2. Pie chart
3. Unconventional charts – radar chart, bubble chart, area chart
4. Tables, tables with missing values
5. DI based on growth over the years
6. Venn diagrams

Download CAT Data Interpretation Questions PDF

Apart from solving these questions, solve puzzles so that your capacity to pick up the cues improves. Solve puzzles, sudokus and kakuros to improve your problem-solving skills.

Download CAT Previous Solved Papers

CAT Quantitative Ability (QA) Syllabus:

This is the only section in which one can define the topics and syllabus with some amount of certainty. Broadly, we can classify the quantitative ability section into five groups.

1. Number systems
2. Arithmetic
3. Algebra
4. Geometry and mensuration
5. Modern math

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1. Number systems:

  • Number systems
  • factors
  • properties of numbers
  • type and classification of numbers
  • divisibility rules
  • HCF and LCM
  • cyclicity and base theorem
  • remainders and remainder theorems
  • binomial theorem
  • the highest power of a number in a factorial.
  • Series and Progressions
  • types of series – AP, GP AND HP
  • special series

2. Arithmetic:

  • Ratios and proportions
  • averages
  • alligations
  • percentages
  • profit-loss
  • simple interest, compound interest
  • time and work
  • time speed distance
  • relative speed
  • races and headstarts
  • circular tracks
  • pipes and cisterns
  • clocks and calendars.

3. Algebra:

  • Linear equations
  • special linear equations
  • quadratic equations
  • roots of an equation
  • functions and graphs
  • maxima and minima
  • coordinate geometry
  • inequalities
  • Sets
  • inclusion-exclusion principles
  • Venn diagrams

Download CAT Maths formulas PDF

4. Geometry and mensuration:

  • triangles
  • similarity, congruence
  • quadrilaterals and other polygons
  • properties of quadrilaterals
  • cyclic quadrilaterals
  • concave and convex polygons
  • circles
  • properties of circles
  • 3D geometry – cubes, cuboids, cones, cylinders, spheres and other shapes
  • volumes and surface areas of 3D shapes
  • development of 3D shapes
  • cutting and colouring problems on 3D shapes.

5. Modern math:

  • Permutation (arrangement)
  • Combinations (selection)
  • arranging similar and distinct objects in similar and distinct groups
  • circular permutation and necklace problems
  • Probability, etc.

Download CAT Quantitative Aptitude Questions PDF

The topic-wise marks distribution under each of these topics is elaborately explained in the CAT syllabus PDF based on the recent papers of the CAT exam.

Usually, most of the questions that appear in the CAT exam involve the application of 2 or more topics across 2 or more groups. Hence, after practising the questions topic-wise, it is necessary to take enough mock tests to develop the skill of applying the concepts at the right places.

Also, multiple methods may be present to solve the same question and aspirants must choose the method that saves time considerably.

Please note that the topics are just indicative and not exhaustive. On analysing the past papers, we found that most of the questions come under the topics mentioned in this syllabus.

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