CAT 2023 Syllabus PDF

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Download the complete CAT exam syllabus for Quant, VARC and LRDI sections.

Download CAT Syllabus PDF

CAT 2023 Syllabus Overview

Last updated: December 31, 2022, 10:35 IST

Published December 31, 2022, 10:35 IST

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is an annual management entrance test for admission to MBA/PGP programmes at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and over 1,200 B-Schools in India. Every year, around 2.30 lakh applicants take the CAT exam, which is held in November. The CAT 2023 exam will likely be held on the last Sunday of Nov, i.e., expected to be on the 26th of November 2023, and online registration will commence in the first week of August 2023. Check out the CAT syllabus 2023, which explains in detail all the sections. Also, watch the below excellent video on the latest CAT 2023 syllabus (along with topic-wise weightage) explained in detail by Sayali Ma'am (IIMA Alumna).

You can start your CAT 2023 Preparation today. Download the CAT syllabus 2023 PDF by clicking the link below 👇 

CAT 2023 Exam Pattern

CAT 2023 Exam pattern

Over the past two years (due to the covid pandemic), the CAT exam pattern has changed. Earlier CAT was conducted in a 3-hour pattern with 1-hour for each section. But, Since 2020, the exam has moved to a 2-hour format. The exam pattern is expected to remain the same (2-hrs) for the CAT 2023 examination. The expected exam pattern for CAT 2023 is as follows.

There will be three sections:

  1. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI)
  3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks, and each wrong answer carries a penalty of -1 mark. Some questions are Type-in-the-answer (TITA) questions. The marking scheme for TITA questions is +3 marks for the correct answer and NO negative marks for the wrong answer. Also, there is no negative marking for Unattempted questions.

Each section has a sectional time limit of 40 minutes, and candidates are not allowed to switch between the sections. Candidates are expected to perform well in all the sections, and most of the institutes accepting CAT scores for admission have sectional cut-offs in addition to overall cut-offs.

The below table shows the exam pattern for CAT 2023 (the following pattern is based on the previous year's exam pattern):

SECTIONDURATIONNumber of questions (Expected)
Verbal Ability40 minutes


Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning40 minutes


Quantitative Ability40 minutes


Total120 minutes


Changes In CAT Exam Pattern [New]

Over the past two years (due to covid pandemic) the CAT exam patten has been changed. Earlier CAT was conducted in 3-hour pattern with 1-hour for each section. But, Since 2020 the exam moved to 2-hour format. Check out the changes in the pattern below.

CAT Exam PatternCAT 2022
CAT 2021CAT 2020
Total No. of Questions666676
Marks Per Question33


Total Score198198228
Score to get 99 Percentile9898101
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
[Total No. of Questions]


Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation (LRDI)

[Total No. of Questions]

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
[Total No. of Questions]

CAT VARC Syllabus

CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Syllabus

There are 24 questions in the verbal ability and reading comprehension segment, with 5 of them being TITA-based. Out of the 24 questions, 16 questions are from RCs coupled with 8 verbal ability questions. The majority of the questions are about reading comprehension. Some of the key syllabus topics for the CAT VARC part are listed below.

  1. Reading Comprehension Passage-Based Questions
  2. Parajumbles - OOC and TITA
  3. Para Summary
  4. Sentence Completion & Correction
  5. Odd Sentences
  6. Others - Not coming from the past few years (Fill in the blanks, Vocabulary Based, etc.)'

CAT VARC Topic-wise Weightage

The topic-wise marks distribution for each theme is carefully detailed in the CAT syllabus PDF based on recent CAT papers.

Some of the CAT exam questions include applying two or more topics from two or more groups. As a result, after practising the question's topic by topic, it is required to take a sufficient number of mock exams to develop the talent of applying the concepts at the appropriate places.

In addition, many strategies for answering the same question may exist, and applicants must choose the method that saves the most time.

Please keep in mind that the themes are only illustrative and not exhaustive. After reviewing the prior papers, we discovered that most of the questions fall under the areas covered in this syllabus.

VARC Topics

No. of questions in the CAT 2022 exam

Inferences, Statements, Arguments

3-4 Questions

Main idea in the RC Passage

1-2 Questions

Author’s assumption

1-2 Questions


2-3 Questions

Meaning of the phrase

2-3 Questions

Para Summary

2-3 Questions

Jumbled paragraphs

2-3 Questions

Pick Out of Context Sentence

1-2 Questions

Error Correction in Sentences

1-2 Questions

Sequence of sentences

1-2 Questions

Fill in the blanks

1-2 Questions

Completion of Paragraph

1-2 Questions


1-2 Questions

Critical Reasoning

2-3 Questions

Sentence Completion

1-2 Questions

Irrelevant Statements

1-2 Questions

Vocabulary usage

1-2 Questions

CAT LRDI Syllabus

CAT Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation Syllabus

The CAT logical thinking and data interpretation portion contain 20 questions, with 6 TITA-based questions. There are a total of 4 sets which are comprised of 2 sets of 6 questions each and 2 sets of 4 questions each.

Questions from the seating arrangement, blood relations, syllogisms, direction sense exam, and other puzzles are presented in the logical part.

Tables, graphs & charts, and caselets are presented in the data interpretation section.

CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus:

  • Seating arrangement (facing inwards/ outwards).
    Truth-liar concept
    2D/3D Space LRs
    LR based on picking coins
    Games and tournaments.
    Einstein’s puzzle and arrangement puzzles
    Selection with conditions

    Download CAT Data Interpretation Questions PDF

    CAT Data Interpretation Syllabus:

    • A line chart, bar chart
    • Pie chart
    • Unconventional charts - radar chart, bubble chart, area chart
    • Tables, tables with missing values, incorrect values & connected datasets
    • DI based on growth over years
    • Venn diagrams and 4 group Venn diagrams

      Download CAT Data Interpretation Questions PDF

      CAT LRDI Topic-wise Weightage

      CAT LRDI Topic-wise Weightage

      Please note that the sets that have appeared in the CAT recently are a mix of LR and DI.

      Topic-wise Weightage for CAT Logical Reasoning

      Logical Reasoning for CAT

      Number of questions

      Type of Questions

      Problem Set-1: Arrangements/Rankings/Team Formation


      Seating arrangement, Ranks, and different types of team formation. A lot of conditions are placed to confuse you to put the logical sequence

      Problem Set-2: Quantitative Reasoning/Puzzles


      Based on Arithmetic, Geometrical data, various puzzles on words, letters, arrangements, seating etc.

      Problem Set-3: Syllogisms/Logical Deduction


      Questions based on statements, arguments,

      Problem Set-4: Venn Diagrams/Binary Logic


      Questions on set theory and network diagrams are included - difficult and need more practice.

      Total Questions


      MCQs & Non-MCQs

      Topic-wise Weightage for CAT Data Interpretation

      Data Interpretation for CAT

      Number of questions

      Type of Questions

      Problem Set-1: Tables & Charts


      Comparison of Data of various years, ages etc.

      Problem Set-2: Graph, Bar diagram


      Data Analysis, comparison of various years, classes, groups etc.

      Problem Set-3: Tables, Pie chart


      Decoding and finding out the data of missing period, taking clues, interpreting the missing links

      Problem Set-4: Graphs, Charts


      Making analysis of data and coming to a conclusion, making future projections

      Total Questions


      MCQs & Non-MCQs

      CAT Quant Syllabus

      CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus

      There are a few items in the quantitative aptitude part that are extremely important and are repeated every year in the CAT exam. This part has 22 questions, 8 of which are TITA-based. The following are some of the most important syllabus subjects for CAT 2023.

      • Arithmetic.
      • Algebra.
      • Number System.
      • Geometry and Mensuration.
      • Modern Maths
      • Data Sufficienty

      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
      • Logarithms
      • Probability and Combinatorics etc.,

      The themes on which the questions will be based may vary. For some problems in this topic, candidates are not expected to find the precise value, but rather to determine whether the equation is solvable with the information provided in the statement.

      CAT Quant Topic-wise Weightage

      CAT 2022 Quant Topic Wise Weightage

      Syllabus Topics in Quant Section

      No. of Questions in CAT

      Averages; Ratio & Proportion

      1-2 Questions

      Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work

      1-2 Questions

      LCM and HCF

      1-2 Questions

      Percentages, Profit and Loss

      1-2 Questions

      Interest (Simple and Compound)

      1-2 Questions

      Number System

      2-3 Questions


      2-3 Questions


      4-5 Questions

      Venn diagrams and other topics

      1-2 Questions

      Linear Equations; Quadratic Equations Complex Numbers

      1-2 Questions

      Logarithm; Progressions

      1-2 Questions

      Binomial Theorem

      1-2 Questions

      Surds and Indices; Inequalities

      1-2 Questions

      Permutation and Combination

      1-2 Questions

      Probability Functions

      1-2 Questions

      Set Theory; Mixtures and Alligations

      1-2 Questions

      Co-ordinate Geometry

      1-2 Questions


      1-2 Questions

      Download CAT Quantitative Aptitude Questions PDF

      CAT Combo


      • Daily Target tests with Video solutions (3 tests every weekday till a total of 600 tests)
      • 15 Full-length CAT mocks with video solutions and detailed analysis
      • 15 VARC sectionals with detailed solutions & analysis
      • 15 DILR sectionals with detailed solutions & analysis
      • 15 Quant sectionals with detailed solutions & analysis
      • 30 CAT previous papers with solutions
      • Access till Jan 10th, 2024
      CAT Study Room


      • Self-study Adaptive Platform
      • 17,000+ excellent questions with detailed text solutions
      • 100+ concept notes and solved example sets
      • 600+ daily target tests with video solutions (200 per each section)
      • Total of 50 National level MBA mocks as given below
      • 15 Full-length CAT mocks (with video solutions & analysis)
      • 5 Mocks each for IIFT, XAT, TISSNET, SNAP, CMAT, NMAT & MH-CET
      • 45 Sectional Tests with detailed solutions and analysis
      • 30 CAT previous papers with solutions
      • Access till Jan 10th, 2024
      CAT 2023 Complete Course


      • Comprehensive CAT 2023 Course
      • 1000+ Videos covering from basics
      • 17,000+ Solved Questions
      • 30 Live classes by IIMA Alumni
      • 15 Full-length CAT mocks (with video solutions & analysis)
      • 5 Mocks each for IIFT, XAT, TISSNET, SNAP, CMAT, NMAT & MH-CET
      • 600+ CAT daily target tests with video solutions (200 per each section)
      • 100 concept notes & solved example sets
      • 45 Sectional Tests with detailed solutions and analysis
      • 30 CAT previous papers with solutions
      • Doubt solving by experts
      • Access till Jan 10th, 2024

      CAT 2023 Syllabus FAQ's

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Q) Is the CAT exam tough? / Is CAT easy to crack?

      A) The CAT exam is neither too easy nor too tough. If you’re thorough with the fundamentals of the Quant concepts learned in high school, have good reading skills and Logical thinking skills, it is not a very tough exam to crack

      Q) What is the Syllabus of CAT?

      A) The CAT Syllabus for the year 2023 includes the important topics from 3 Sections: VARC, DILR and QA. Candidates can download the PDF of all the topics from these 3 Sections here.

      Q) What is a good score in CAT?

      A) A good score in CAT depends on many factors (such as your academic diversity, the category you belong to, etc.) For the IIMs, nothing less than 97-98 percentile is good, but for other top B-schools, 90-95 percentile is good. Also, 100s of B-schools accept candidates who have CAT scores in the 80-90 percentile range.

      Q) Does the CAT syllabus change every year?

      A) No, the CAT syllabus won't change every year. Over the past few years, the Syllabus has remained more or less the same. Only the exam pattern has changed over the past two years.

      Q) Does the 12th mark matter in CAT?

      A) Your 12th Mark will NOT matter to taking the CAT Exam. Your past academic performance will matter only during the selection process of the IIMs.

      Q) What major sections and concepts are included in the CAT syllabus?

      A) There are 3 major sections in the CAT, and they are Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI), and Quantitative Ability (QA). For detailed section-wise CAT syllabus and weightage, you can download the PDF here.

      Q) What will be the duration of the CAT exam?

      A) The duration of the CAT exam is 2 hours. Till the year 2019, the CAT was conducted as a 3-hour exam. But, due to the Covid pandemic, the exam has changed to a 2-hour pattern.

      Q) Who prescribes the CAT syllabus?

      A) The CAT Syllabus is prescribed by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), which conducts the examination.

      Q) Is the Syllabus of CAT the same as other MBA entrance exams?

      A) The Syllabus for CAT and other MBA entrance exams is very similar. The CAT syllabus includes 3 sections (VARC, LRDI, QA). Most other MBA entrance exams also have Verbal and Quantitative Ability and a few different sections.

      Q) Which is the best CAT coaching institute?

      A) Cracku is one of the best coaching institutes in India for CAT and other MBA exams (such as XAT, IIFT, SNAP, CMAT, MAH-CET, etc.). The content is prepared by IIM alumni who have taken CAT multiple times and know how to ace the exam. We receive testimonials regularly that our videos were genuinely beneficial and that our CAT mocks were the closest to actual CAT.

      Q) Is the GMAT and CAT Syllabus the Same?

      A) There is no huge difference in the Syllabus for both exams. CAT Syllabus is based on English, Quant, and Logical Reasoning, whereas the GMAT Syllabus is majorly based on English and Quant.


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