Understanding the CAT 2024 Exam Pattern Simply

cat exam pattern

CAT Exam

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is the entrance exam for India’s most esteemed business schools, such as IIMs. It is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the CAT exam pattern to excel in the exam. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of the CAT 2024 exam, covering its pattern and types of questions. After reading this article, you will have a clear roadmap to confidently tackle this challenging exam.

CAT 2024 Exam Pattern Basics

Let’s start by understanding the fundamental elements of the CAT exam pattern before diving into the details.

1. Sections

The CAT exam consists of three primary sections:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)

2. Total Questions

There are 66 questions divided into three sections, with 22 questions in each section.

3. Time Duration

Each section of the exam is limited to 40 minutes. The whole exam takes 120 minutes (2 hours).

4. Question Types

CAT includes different types of questions, such as multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and non-MCQs, which are also known as Type-In-The-Answer (TITA) questions.

Sectional Breakdown

Let’s take a closer look at the exam pattern for each section of CAT 2024:

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Number of Questions: 22
  • MCQs: Approximately 18 MCQs
  • TITA Questions: Approximately 4 TITA questions
  • Reading Comprehension: Typically, you’ll encounter 5 RC passages with accompanying questions.
  • Verbal Ability: This section includes sentence correction, para-jumbles, word usage, and other language-related questions.

2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Number of Questions: 22
  • MCQs: Approximately 18 MCQs
  • Logical Reasoning: Expect puzzles, Seating Arrangements, and Critical Reasoning questions.
  • TITA Questions: Approximately 4 TITA questions
  • Data Interpretation: Questions in this section involve interpreting data from tables, graphs, and charts.

3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • MCQs: Approximately 18 MCQs
  • Number of Questions: 22
  • TITA Questions: Approximately 4 TITA questions
  • Topics Covered: QA spans various mathematical topics, including Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Number System, and Modern Math.

CAT Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme

Understanding the scoring system is vital in the CAT exam pattern:

  • +3 for Correct Answers: You receive three marks for every correct MCQ answer.
  • -1 for Incorrect MCQ Answers: One mark is deducted as a negative mark for each incorrect MCQ response.
  • +1 for Correct TITA Answers: TITA questions carry one mark for correct answers.
  • No Negative Marking for TITA Questions: There is no negative marking for incorrect TITA responses.

Exam Day Strategy

To perform well in the CAT exam, practice the following strategies for CAT 2024:

1. Time Management

It is important to manage your time effectively by allocating specific time slots for each section and sticking to them during practice sessions to become familiar with the time constraints.

2. Focus on Strengths

It is important to prioritize your strengths among the three sections during the exam. If you excel in QA, consider completing this section first to secure those marks.

3. Accuracy Over Speed

Accuracy is everything in the CAT Exam. Prioritize it over speed, even if it means attempting fewer questions but make sure you attempt accurately. 

4. Tackle Reading Comprehension Wisely

For the VARC section, adopt a strategic approach to reading comprehension. Quickly skim through the passages, identify the key points, and efficiently tackle the questions.

5. Practice TITA Questions

Do not hesitate to attempt TITA questions as they do not have negative markings and can boost your score without fear of losing marks.

CAT Exam Pattern Advantages

A thorough understanding of the CAT 2024 exam pattern can provide numerous benefits.

  • Strategic Preparation: Knowledge of the pattern allows you to tailor your preparation to the specific demands of the CAT exam.
  • Confidence: Becoming familiar with the exam format can help you feel less anxious and more confident when taking the test.
  • Effective Time Management: Being aware of time constraints can assist you in optimizing your exam strategy for each section.


In order to excel in the CAT exam, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of its pattern. By mastering the exam details, you can confidently navigate it, highlighting your strengths and managing your weaknesses effectively. Regular practice and strategic preparation are crucial to achieving a good percentile score. Conquer the CAT exam pattern to secure a spot in a prestigious MBA program. Know that the CAT exam is all about accuracy. Even if you attempt 50 questions accurately, you can get a good percentile. 


1. What is the CAT Exam and why is it important for MBA aspirants?

The CAT (Common Admission Test) is a crucial entrance exam for prestigious business schools, including IIMs in India. It serves as a primary admission criterion for MBA programs making it essential for aspiring candidates.

2. What are the fundamental components of the CAT 2024 Exam Pattern?

The CAT 2024 Exam consists of three primary sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA).

3. How is the CAT Exam scored and what is the marking scheme?

The scoring system involves +3 for correct MCQ answers, +1 for correct TITA answers, -1 for incorrect MCQ responses and no negative marking for incorrect TITA responses.

4. What strategies can be employed on the exam day for optimal performance?

Key strategies include effective time management, focusing on strengths, prioritizing accuracy over speed, adopting a strategic approach to reading comprehension and practicing TITA questions without fear of negative marking.

5. What is the significance of accuracy in the CAT Exam and how does it impact percentile scores?

Accuracy is important in the CAT Exam. Even attempting a smaller number of questions accurately can result in a good percentile score, emphasizing the importance of precision over speed.

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