Latest CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Marking Scheme, and much more!

CAT Exam pattern

The responsibility to hold the CAT exam is shared by the old IIMs on a rotational basis. Last year IIM Calcutta administered the exam, this year IIM Lucknow is responsible for holding the CAT 2023 exam. Along with the administration of the exam, IIM Lucknow also holds the responsibility to share the essential details of the exam with the aspirants. The CAT official notification will inform the CAT aspirants about the CAT exam pattern 2023, CAT syllabus and other important details. This article will provide you with all the essential details about the CAT exam pattern. Once you have all the information with you, you can start planning your CAT preparation journey. 

For applicants hoping to gain admission into reputable MBA programs in India, the Common Admission Test (CAT) is a crucial examination. Many students put in a lot of effort to perform well on this exam each year. A large portion of your preparation is based on the CAT syllabus, or what you need to learn for the test. The 2023 CAT syllabus includes some familiar topics as well as some new ones to add to the difficulty. You can better grasp the contents of the 2023 CAT syllabus by reading this article. We’ll go over the key points and offer some advice on how to ace this challenging test. Understanding the CAT syllabus for 2023 is the first step to achieving your MBA goals, regardless of whether you’re taking the exam for the first time or have taken it previously.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Mode and Medium

The CAT exam conducts in the online mode. A computer-based test is used to conduct the exam. The candidates get test centres as per their preference. The preferences are filled during the application process itself. The candidates are intimated about the allotted test centre through the admit card and the candidates have to go to the test centre and appear for the exam. The exam is conducted in English Language for all the students. Therefore,

  • CAT 2023 will be a computer-based test.
  • The CAT 2023 exam will be in English.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Sections

There are 3 sections in total. Focus places on a distinct skill set in each section.  The overall intention of the exam is to assess the aspirant’s capacities to pursue management studies. The 3 sections include:

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • This tests your ability to comprehend and interpret textual material in this area. It includes questions on vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • This section tests your ability to understand and interpret data and to solve logical reasoning problems. In addition, it includes questions on data interpretation, logical reasoning and data sufficiency.

Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Your ability to solve mathematical problems is evaluated in this part. It includes questions on arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and number properties.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Important Topics

The CAT exam encompasses a wide range of topics and themes. At times, it can get tough for the aspirants to cover all the topics and they might get lost in the vastness of the CAT syllabus. However, to help students structure their preparation effectively, the experts have analysed the previous years’ question papers and thereby curated a list of important topics for each section. However, these are the topics that frequently appear in the exam. Here are section-wise important topics.


  • Vocabulary: synonyms, antonyms, homophones, idioms, and phrases
  • Grammar: parts of speech, punctuation and  sentence structure
  • Reading comprehension: Absolutely main ideas, supporting details, inferences, and author’s purpose
  • Logical reasoning: deductive and inductive reasoning, syllogisms, and analogies


  • Data interpretation: bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, tables, and other types of data representations
  • Logical reasoning: puzzles, riddles, and other types of logic problems


  • Arithmetic: basic operations, fractions, decimals, and percentages
  • Algebra: equations, inequalities, and functions
  • Geometry: shapes, lines, angles, and transformations
  • Number properties: prime numbers, factors, divisibility, and probability

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Type of Questions

The CAT exam used two types of questions to assess the aspirant’s capacities and abilities. These include:

  • MCQ Type Questions: Multiple choice-based questions provide 4 answer choices to the aspirants. However, the aspirants expect to mark the most appropriate answer among the given choices. 
  • TITA type question. Type In The Answer type questions are subjective. At this point, they provide scope to candidates to write their descriptive answers rather than choosing from already given responses. 

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Question Count

Each section has a distinct question count. Here is a detailed question count. 

S.No.Name of the SectionTotal Question CountMCQ type QuestionsTITA type Questions
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)20 Questions14 Questions6 Questions
Quantitative Ability (QA)22 Questions14 Questions8 Questions
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)24 Questions21 Questions3 Questions
Total 66 Questions49 Questions17 Questions

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Marks distribution

The marks distribution is as follows:

S.No.Name of the SectionTotal MarksMCQTITA 
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)60 Marks42 Marks18 Marks
Quantitative Ability (QA)66 Marks42 Marks24 Marks
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)72 Marks63 Marks9 Marks
Total 198 Marks147 Marks51 Marks

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Sectional Timing

CAT is one such exam where a sectional time limit is applicable. The aspirants can expect to attempt all the questions within the stipulated time. Therefore, once they have exhausted the time limit, the aspirants cannot visit the questions of the particular section.

S.No.Name of the SectionTime Limit
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)40 Minutes
Quantitative Ability (QA)40 Minutes
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)40 Minutes
Total 120 Minutes (2 Hours)

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Marking Scheme

The CAT exam has the following marking criteria:

Attempted QuestionsCorrect Response: +3Incorrect Response: -1
Unattempted Questions0 marks

In conclusion, you now have all the essential details about the CAT exam pattern. To learn more about the CAT exam pattern 2023, you shall refer to the official notification for the CAT 2023 exam. Once you have satisfactory clarity about the exam and its trends, begin your CAT preparation journey


Bucky Robert

About Author

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

Best Assignment Help

Why Is Assignment Important In Academic Life?

Assignments are a common occurrence in student’s life. Once in our academic life, we hate these assignments as they seem
Google Certification Courses

Best Google Certification Courses Online To Enroll This 2022

General Overview Google certification courses allow you to learn all the essential skills to become job-ready whenever that all-important interview