First, you need to know that CAT exam Syllabus is not something released by the IIMs. However,by analysing the previous years’ CAT exams pattern and question sets, we can get an idea of what to expect and how to start with the preparation.
Let’s understand the Syllabus of CAT.
The CAT syllabus remains the same every year, but the distribution of questions within each section of the test varies every year. CAT syllabus is basically divided into three sections, each carrying a different weightage. Although the syllabus is divided into three sections, practically speaking, the DILR and VARC have two sub-sections each, making the total number of sections five.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) (34%)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) (32%)
Quantitative Ability (QA) (34%)
Let’s go deeper:
VARC is the first section of the CAT Exam and is to be solved first. It is one of the tougher sections of CAT, and in order to score well, you need to have good command on vocabulary and language comprehension. CAT Syllabus 2021 would be divided into two sections – Reading comprehension and Verbal Ability. Total questions in this section are 34 out of which 10 questions are of Non-MCQ type which do not carry negative marking. The 34% weightage of VARC syllabus is divided into 24% to reading comprehension section and 10% to Verbal ability syllabus.
Syllabus for VARC:
This section is divided into two parts Data interpretation and Logical reasoning. LR sections test the ability of a candidate to understand and analyze logical assumptions and DI interpret and derive conclusions from the given data. There are a total of 32 questions in this section. Usually, both parts have an equal number of questions. Logical reasoning is the easier section of the two and the one you can score well in. On the other hand, Data Interpretation can be time-consuming and tricky.
Syllabus for DILR
As the name suggests, Quantitative Ability is the section about Mathematics in the CAT exam. This section focuses on mathematical problems and will test a candidate’s mathematical knowledge and capacity. The syllabus for this section is pretty vast; however, the topics and questions are what you would have been generally taught in 10th to 12th standard.
There are a total of 34 questions asked in the Quantitative aptitude section. It contains both MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions) and Non-MCQs (Non-Multiple Choice Questions). The number of MCQs and Non-MCQs vary each year. It is expected to have 27 MCQs and 7 Non-MCQs. There is negative marking for MCQs, whereas no negative marking for non-MCQs.
Syllabus for QA
Arithmetic – Number System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distance
Algebra - Theory of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation & Combination, Sequence & Series
Geometry - Angles, Lines, Triangles, Circles
Mensuration - Areas and Volumes- Rectangle, Squares, Triangle, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes and Cistern
Calculus – Maxima and Minima, Function
Trigonometry - Trigonometric Ratios, Heights and Distances`
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