Cracking the CAT Code: An In-Depth Exploration of the CAT Exam Pattern

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Introduction :- 

The Common Admission Test, commonly known as CAT, is one of the most prestigious and challenging entrance exams for aspiring management professionals. For those gearing up to appear for CAT 2024, a thorough understanding of the exam pattern is crucial. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the CAT 2024 exam pattern, breaking down its various sections, marking scheme, and other essential aspects.

Highlights of CAT 2024 Exam Pattern 

Particulars Details
CAT Exam Time Duration 2 Hours 
Name of the Section Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

Sectional Time-limit 40 Minutes 
CAT 2024 Exam Mode Computer-Based Mode (CBT)
CAT Exam Time Duration 1st  Slot  – 8:30 am – 10:30 am 

2nd Slot  – 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm 

3rd  Slot – 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm 

Total Questions 66 Questions
CAT Total Marks 198 marks
Marking Scheme of CAT
  • +3 will be given for every correct answer.
  • -1 will be given for each incorrect answer
  • No negative marks for TITA (Type In The Answers) questions
CAT Official Website 


CAT Exam Pattern – Marking Scheme

Understanding the marking scheme is crucial for CAT aspirants as it plays a pivotal role in determining their final scores. Here’s a breakdown of the CAT exam pattern’s marking scheme:

  • Correct Answer: Each correct answer is awarded three marks.
  • Incorrect Answer (MCQs): One mark is deducted for each wrong answer in multiple-choice questions.
  • Incorrect Answer (Non-MCQs): Non-MCQs (TITA – Type In The Answer) do not have negative marking. Aspirants are encouraged to attempt these questions even if they are unsure, as there is no penalty for wrong answers in this category.

CAT Exam Pattern – Detailed Syllabus

CAT Syllabus 2024 is the roadmap to success for aspiring management professionals. Understanding the intricacies of each section is crucial for effective preparation and optimal performance on exam day.


  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC):
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Sentence Correction
  • Vocabulary-Based Questions
  • Para-Jumbles
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Paragraph Completion
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR):
  • Data Interpretation
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Puzzles
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Syllogism
Quantitative Ability (QA):


  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Number System
  • Mensuration
  • Trigonometry


CAT Exam Pattern – Exam Duration

CAT 2024 is a computer-based test with a duration of 120 minutes (2 hours). The exam is divided into three sections, each with a fixed sectional time-limit. The sectional time limits aim to assess candidates’ abilities to manage time effectively across diverse skill sets.

Important Changes in CAT 2024 Exam Pattern:

While the basic structure of CAT remains consistent, it’s essential to stay informed about any changes introduced in each iteration. For CAT 2024, candidates should take note of the following modifications:

  • Introduction of New Question Types: CAT authorities may introduce new question types or formats to test candidates’ adaptability and problem-solving skills. Staying updated on any official announcements is crucial for adequate preparation.

  • Sectional Composition Changes: The number of questions in each section might vary from year to year. CAT 2024 aspirants should regularly check official notifications for the most accurate and current information regarding the sectional composition.

Preparation Strategies:

Given the challenging nature of CAT, a strategic approach to preparation is vital. Here are some effective strategies to excel in CAT 2024:

  • Section-wise Focus: Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each section. Allocate more time to weaker areas while maintaining a consistent practice routine for stronger sections.

  • Mock Tests: Regularly take full-length mock tests to simulate the actual exam environment. Analyze your performance, identify areas of improvement, and refine your strategy accordingly.

  • Time Management: Develop effective time management skills. Since each section has a specified time limit, practice solving questions within those constraints to enhance speed and accuracy.

  • Conceptual Clarity: Ensure a strong foundation in fundamental concepts across all sections. CAT is not just about rote memorization; it’s about applying concepts to solve complex problems. Therefore , try to understand the CAT exam pattern fully .

  • Regular Revision: Continuous revision is crucial to retaining learned concepts. Create a revision schedule to reinforce your understanding of various topics and stay sharp for the exam. Revise CAT exam pattern as many times as possible.


In conclusion, a comprehensive understanding of the CAT exam pattern is important for aspirants aiming to secure admission in premier management institutes. By understanding the intricacies of each section, mastering the marking scheme, and adapting to any changes introduced, candidates can enhance their preparation and approach the exam day with confidence. Remember, success in CAT is not just about knowledge but also about strategic planning and effective execution. Good luck!




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