Overview of the CAT examination- Topic Wise Syllabus

Are you confused about selecting your dream MBA colleges in Delhi NCR? This article will answer all your question regarding the best choice for college in MBA. And most importantly, how to crack the CAT preparation. It is the standard admission test that allows entering to any MBA college all over India. Hence study the course right, to get into your dream college.

CAT syllabus is prescribed by IIM or the Indian Institute of management. It includes all the essential topics of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). There has been no change in the CAT syllabus for more than 10 years now and is expected to remain the same with no changes during the lockdown as well. This test was started by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) to select students for their various business administration programs using the test. Let’s understand in brief the relevant topics and areas of this exam with a weightage of each kind. 

The pattern of the CAT exam – 

  • CAT exam mode is online
  • Each section will be allotted 60 minutes
  • The total number of questions in CAT will be 100, carrying 3 marks each, which makes it to a total of 300 marks. 
  • Numbers of the question asked in each section:
Section NameNo. of QuestionsAllotted Time
Quantitative Ability 3460 minutes
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 3260 minutes
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 3460 minutes
Total100180 minutes


The syllabus of each of these CAT sections is vast and requires dedicated preparation for each topic. Let’s look into brief about each section- \


  1. First section: VARC 

The VARC section of the CAT syllabus covers various topics of English grammar, Verbal Reasoning, and reading comprehension. The sectional time limit for completing the VARC section is 60 minutes. Let’s take a look at some important topics and some critical points of this section.

  • Fill in the blanks
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Sentence completion
  • Grammar
  • Syllogisms
  • Jumbled paragraphs
  • Para Completion and inference
  • Contextual usage
  • Foreign language words used in English
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Analogies
  • Sentence correction
  • Verbal Logic
  • Different usage of the same word
  • Idioms
  • Para jumbles
  • Antonyms
  • One word substitution

Important key takeaways- Verbal ability- 

  • The type of questions are all non-MCQs, which means the candidates have to type in the answer (TITA)
  • There is no negative marking in VA since the questions are the non-MCQ type

Reading comprehension- 

  • The type of questions is all MCQs. Hence there is a negative marking of -1
  • Topics of these RCs range from science, history, politics, environment, society to literature, mythology and abstract topic
  1. The second section is Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)- 

This section is further divided into two sub-sections – DI and LR. The sectional time limit for the DILR section is the same, that is 60 minutes. Let’s look at some of the essential topics and some critical points of this section.

Part 1: Data interpretation

  • Data Tables
  • Data charts
  • Bar diagrams & Charts 
  • Pie charts
  • Graphs – Line X-Y Graphs
  • Data analysis and Data comparison among others
  • Caselet based Data

Part 2: Logical Reasoning- 

  • Clocks
  • Calendars
  • Binary logic
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Blood Relations (Family Tree)
  • Logical Sequence
  • Assumption
  • Premise
  • Conclusion
  • Linear and matrix arrangement
  • Team Formation
  • Direction sense and Decision Making
  • Input-Output
  • Series
  • Syllogism
  • Cubes
  • Rows
  • Set Theory, Venn Diagrams, Network Diagrams
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Puzzles
  • Logical Reasoning based on Rankings
  • Critical Reasoning


 Important key takeaways: 

  • Type of Questions are both MCQs & Non-MCQs
  • There is negative marking in this section for MCQ.
  • There is no negative marking for non-MCQs
  1. the third section is the QA or the quantitative ability: 

It is the last section and generally includes all the topics of Maths from Class 9 to 12, which include basic mathematics such as Arithmetic, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Mensuration. Some of the essential topics of this section-

  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Algebra
  • Mensuration
  • Partnership (Accounts)
  • Profit & Loss
  • Ratios and Proportion
  • In-equations Quadratic and linear equations
  • Surds and Indices
  • Time-Speed-Distance
  • Number System
  • Geometric Progression
  • Inequalities
  • Work and Time
  • Percentages
  • Logarithms

Important key takeaways: 

  • There is negative marking for MCQs
  • There is no negative marking for non-MCQs

This is the brief about CAT examination, which is the key to get into the top MBA colleges in Delhi NCR and top your CATs. Answering the question about the top institutions to study MBA from- I would highly recommend the institute of business management and research or IBMR in Delhi. It is among the prestigious colleges in the hub city and has already established its name in Management studies. Go check out its website now on www.ibmr.com. Established for more than 20 years now, it is the top MBA College in Delhi NCR. It offers numerous MBA programmes for both entrepreneurs and students. Studying the right syllabus and covering all the topic in the examination will lead to a good score and thus, entering the top MBA colleges in Delhi NCR

All the best!