CAT Exam Pattern 2021

Important Dates

  • AUG 5, 2020, Wednesday

CAT 2020 Registration Starts at 10.00 AM

  • SEP 16, 2020, Wednesday

CAT 2020 Registration Ends at 5.00 PM

  • OCT 28, 2020, Wednesday

CAT 2020 Admit Card Download Begins at 5.00 PM

  • NOV 29, 2020, Sunday

CAT 2020 Test Day

CAT Articles · CAT Colleges · CAT Groups

CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

Mode of Exam

CAT is not exactly an online examination, this means it in not an Internet Based Test (IBT). More technically, it is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT).

This means – a candidate will not take the exam on an internet site.

Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer-sheet, a candidate will read the questions on a computer terminal and choose an answer by clicking on the correct option.

Exam Pattern for CAT 2021

The CAT Exam is divided into 3 sections:

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

Sectional Duration: Each section is allotted 1 hour (60 minutes).

Total Duration: The exam duration is totally of 3 hours.

Total Marks: 300 marks

The entire pattern (with tentative question distribution) is mentioned below:

Total questions
Total MCQs (With -ve marking)
Total Non-MCQs (Without -ve marking)
 Max. Marks
Composite Time
Verbal Ability and Reading Compre-hension
24 to 27
7 to 10
3 hours (60 minutes per section)
Data Interpret-ation and Logical Reasoning
Quanti-tative Ability
23 to 27
7 to 11

Important Points about CAT Exam Structure and Marking Scheme

  • Mobility between one section to another during the 1 hour assigned to the particular section, is not allowed.
  • Those taking the CAT exam, cannot leave their seats during the exam.
  • MCQs will require the candidate to select 1 correct answer choice out of 4.
  • In Non-MCQs, the candidate is required to type-in the correct answer on the computer screen.
  • Answer choices for Non-MCQs questions may not be provided in the revised pattern of CAT 2021.
  • Every correct answer in the CAT exam will be awarded 3 marks. This is fixed whether it  is an MCQ or Non-MCQ
  • Every wrong answer for MCQ in the CAT exam will incur a penalty of -1 mark (minus 1/3rd mark).
  • There will be no negative marking for wrong answers in the Non-MCQs.
  • CAT exam pattern remains on the lines of the Official Mock Test for CAT released by IIMs a month before the CAT exam.
  • Calculators are prohibited.