CAT Exam Syllabus 2024

CAT Exam Syllabus 2024/2025: Exploring Section-wise Topics, Suggested Books, and Recent Changes

  Updated on 14th November 2024 | 10:46 am | #CATSyllabus2024  

With CAT 2024 just around the corner, it's time for candidates to concentrate on reviewing and making sure they've covered all the important subjects.

To test English Language Skills- VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)

To test Reasoning– DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning)

To test Problem Solving– QA (Quantitative Aptitude)

The CAT curriculum mainly revolves around math and English concepts studied in school. Although there's no specific syllabus, you can figure out common topics and questions by analyzing past papers.

The VARC section emphasizes English topics like grammar, reading comprehension, drawing conclusions, and verbal reasoning.

On the flip side, DILR involves understanding data presented in graphs, charts, and arrangements.

The QA section are from middle school math topics such as algebra, arithmetic, geometry, modern math, and more.

CAT 2024 Highlights

In response to the pandemic, the CAT exam pattern has evolved over the past years. Consequently, here is an overview of the syllabus in accordance with the prior exam structure.

  Key Components   Details
How much time is allocated for the CAT 2024 Exam? You will have 2 hours.
How many questions will you be facing in the exam? There are a total of 66 questions.
What is the distribution of questions in each section? VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension): 24 questions DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning): 20 questions QA (Quantitative Ability): 22 questions
How much time is given for each section? You have 40 minutes for each section.
In what mode is the CAT 2024 Exam conducted? The exam is conducted in a computer-based mode.
What is the medium of examination? It is English Medium.

CAT Exam Syllabus and Pattern

Understanding how to maximize scores in each section is essential for aspirants, given the vastness of the CAT Exam Syllabus. Strengthening exam preparation requires a thorough grasp of the section-wise breakdown of CAT, as well as the weightage assigned to different sections and topics.

MCQ and non-MCQ questions along with the topics.

  Section   MCQs   Non-MCQs   Total Question   Details
VARC 19 5 24 The CAT exam's reading comprehension section comprises four passages, each accompanied by four questions. Additionally, there are three sets of parajumbles, two para completions, and three paragraph summary questions.
DILR 15 5 20 There are four sets of questions in the test, with each set comprising five questions. The topics covered include bar graphs, missing data, and puzzles.
QA 14 8 22 The primary focus is on arithmetic and algebra, featuring only four questions related to geometry.
Total 48 18 66

CAT Syllabus 2024: Section-wise Analysis

Reviewing each topic that might be part of the CAT 2024 Syllabus will help every aspirant identify their strong and weak areas. With this understanding, aspirants can create a study plan tailored to CAT 2024. Selecting the appropriate questions and aiming for high accuracy in attempts will contribute to a good score in the CAT Exam. Here's a list of the topics candidates should go through in each section of the exam.

  CAT Exam Syllabus   Topics   Weightage for 2022
Verbal Ability Para summary, Inferences , Para jumbles 10%
Reading Comprehension Comprises passages for analysis. 24%
Logical Reasoning Logical Connectives , Blood Relations, Directions, Syllogism, Clocks & Calendars, and Sequences 16%
Data Interpretation Graphs, Tables, Charts, etc 16%
Quantitative Aptitude Number Systems, Geometry, Percentages, Arithmetic, Mensuration, Trigonometry, Averages 34%

CAT VARC Syllabus 2024: Key Topics, Weightage & Analysis

The VARC part is the first one in the test, and you have 40 minutes to finish it. Reading comprehension is the main part, making up about 70% of the total score for this section.

CAT VARC Syllabus: Key Topics

The CAT VARC syllabus 2024 encompasses the following topics:
  CAT VARC Syllabus
Reading Comprehension Jumbled Paragraph
Odd-sentence-out Para Completion
Summary Questions

CAT VARC Syllabus: Weightage

In CAT 2022, questions where you find the odd sentence were replaced by paragraph completion questions. Here's a breakdown of how many questions were there for each topic in the CAT 2022 VARC section.

  CAT 2022 Topic   Slot 1   Slot 2   Slot 3
Para Completion 2 2 2
Para Summary 3 3 3
RC 16 16 16
Para Jumbles 3 3 3

CAT VARC Syllabus: Analysis

In recent years, the section has mainly concentrated on five major types of questions.

Summary Questions

In these kinds of questions, the trick is typically to identify options that don't oppose the passage or extend beyond what's discussed. Once you can rule out three options, the right answer will become clear.

Para Jumbles

These are often TITA, meaning there's no room for mistakes. In these questions, you're given 4-5 sentences that are out of order. You need to figure out the sequence that makes the best paragraph.

Odd Sentence

Similar to mixed paragraph questions is a TITA question. The aim is to pinpoint the sentence that stands out and does not align with the established theme in the rest of the paragraph.

Para Completion

Para-completion tasks involve adding a missing line to a paragraph. Figure out the paragraph's topic, try to summarize the main action in your own words, and pinpoint the point where the author's argument is left incomplete in the paragraph.

Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension part includes questions about passages you read. The questions are usually a mix of ones where you find facts and ones where you make inferences. In recent times, CAT has leaned towards more inference-based questions, requiring a deeper understanding of the information. Fact-oriented questions, as the term implies, demand responses rooted in the factual details provided in the passage.

CAT DILR Syllabus 2024: Key Topics, Weightage & Analysis

Positioned as the second portion of the CAT exam, the DILR section is relatively more flexible than the other sections outlined in the CAT Exam Syllabus. The CAT exam syllabus for 2024 introduces two distinct parts within the DILR section.

Data Interpretation: You'll see data presented as a graph, chart, or another visual, and you'll need to answer questions based on that information.

Logical Reasoning: Here, information might be given in a non-structured way, and you'll need to organize it to figure out the answers to the questions.

CAT DILR Syllabus: Key Topics

Here's a rapid overview of the areas encompassed in the CAT DILR syllabus.

  DILR Syllabus for CAT
Tables Seating Arrangement Logical Sequence
Logical Connectives Bar Graphs Syllogism
Venn Diagrams Column Graphs Line Charts
Blood Relations Calendars Pie Charts
Cubes Clocks Number and Letter Series
Binary Logic Caselets Logical Matching

Typically, there's an equal number of questions in the DI and LR sub-sections. This setup allows students to focus on the part they're more at ease with and still meet the cut-off if they perform well in that section of the CAT 2024 Paper.

There are always changes in the CAT DILR Section recently. Instead of having distinct DI and LR questions as before, the questions now blend both DI and LR aspects.

CAT DILR Syllabus: Weightage

Take a look at how many questions were assigned to each topic in the CAT 2022 DILR section:

CAT 2022 Sets Slot 1 Slot 2 Slot 3 Total Questions
15 girls get together Diagram- 4 destination Blue & pink- male female-graph 5
University Team Cosmetic item sales Computer Science-ratios 5
Token Revenue/cost Covid cases 5
Metrolines Salesman & four colonies Games (4 people) 5

CAT DILR Syllabus: Analysis

Usually, the DI, LR, and AR subsections follow a ratio of 1:2:1. This means that students who perform well in one of these subsections can still reach the cutoff if they do that part effectively. The CAT DILR section in recent years. Instead of having distinct DI and LR questions as before, the questions now mix both DI and LR elements.

Here's what the CAT syllabus 2024 covers in the DILR section:

Data Interpretation (DI)

The DI part of the CAT Syllabus includes Caselets and Tables. The presentation of data in these caselets involves the use of bar graphs, pie charts, line graphs, combination graphs, and other diagrams. In this CAT Exam Syllabus section, aspirants need to know theformats. To solve these questions, the data must be in correct form. Some questions may involve variables that should remain unchanged as mentioned. The best way to get ready for this CAT exam section is to practice solving many problems and review past CAT Exam Papers.

Logical Reasoning (LR)

The Logical Reasoning section of the CAT syllabus covers a variety of topics, including Games and Tournaments, Grid/Matrix, Cubes/Cuboids, Binary Logic, Letter/Number Coding, Numbers and Sequences, Set Theory, Different diagrams (number & logic-based), Route based, and Time Table of Trains & Flights. Questions often involve a mix of these topics, making it challenging. This complexity contributed to the perception that CAT 2015 and CAT 2016 had tough DILR sections. Combining different reasoning topics can create intricate sets. The main challenge in solving LR questions is not just solving them but doing so quickly.

Arrangement (AR)

The Analytical Reasoning section of the CAT syllabus has featured topics like Selection, Family Tree, Logical Sequence, Matrix Arrangement, Grouping, Teams, Linear Arrangement, and Committees across different years. In this part of the CAT syllabus, candidates need to arrange the provided information and respond to the given questions.

The CAT QA Syllabus for 2024: Essential Topics, Distribution of Weight, and Analysis

The CAT QA Syllabus is the most extensive, covering all the math studied in school. Key topics in the CAT QA Syllabus include:

Arithmetic: This topic usually has the most questions in CAT Exams and is essential for all students to prepare.

The CAT Exam assigns significant weightage to questions on Algebra.

Numbers: Regularly tested in the CAT Exam, aspirants need a solid grasp of the basics for easy marks.

Geometry: In the CAT 2024 Exam, the topic of Geometry covers Geometry, Coordinate Geometry, and Mensuration, and possessing a foundational understanding will aid aspirants in approaching specific questions.

Focal Areas of CAT QA Syllabus: Main Topics

Here are a few subjects included in the CAT quant syllabus:

  CAT Quant Syllabus
HCF & LCM Number Systems Percentages
Speed, Time & Distance Profit, Loss and Discount Simple and Compound Interest
Complex Numbers Averages Probability
Sequence and Series Trigonometry Ratio & Proportion
Logarithm Surds & Indices Inequalities
Permutation and Combination Time & Work Linear Equations
Geometry Mensuration Set Theory & Function
Mixtures and Alligations Coordinate Geometry Quadratic Equations

Distribution of Weight in CAT QA Syllabus

Here is a table illustrating the quantity of questions for each topic in the CAT 2022 QA section:

  CAT 2022 Topics   Slot 1   Slot 2   Slot 3
Algebra 8 7 7
Geometry & Mensuration 3 4 4
Number System 1 1 1
Arithmetic 8 9 9
Modern Maths 2 1 1

CAT QA Syllabus: Analysis

Explore tips for each of the topics:

Alignments and Mixes: In CAT, Alignments and Mixes, much like sequences and mixes, are sporadically assessed. With appropriate guidance, tackling problems of this sort can be relatively straightforward.

Arithmetic: The content is elementary and should be uncomplicated to get ready for. The majority of Arithmetic topics correspond to a Class X level, with an emphasis on quick problem resolution.

Algebra: In CAT 2024, Algebra could be integrated with other subjects or assessed independently.

Modern Mathematics: Since the number of questions is restricted, and the formulas are easy to understand, preparing for Modern Mathematics is quite manageable.

Sequence and Series: Sequence and Series are periodically included in CAT examinations and are a regular part of other MBA Entrance Exams. Practice in this topic facilitates the easy tackling of associated questions.

Geometry: With several rules, knowing the most important ones helps solve these problems quickly.

CAT Syllabus 2024: Top Recommended Books for CAT Preparation

There are many books available to start preparing for CAT and improve your performance. But, before you dive into preparation, it's crucial to grasp the CAT exam syllabus and pattern to develop a strategy. Ensure that your study resources furnish a deep comprehension of CAT, covering its syllabus and structure, and incorporate examples and a question bank for hands-on practice.

Take a glance at the top-notch books to jumpstart your CAT exam preparations.

CAT Preparation Study Materials

  CAT Sections   Book
VARC Word Power Made Easy (Norman Lewis), Past Years' CAT Questions (G.K. Publications), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (Gautam Puri)
DILR A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning (R.S. Aggarwal), How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT (Arun Sharma), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (Gautam Puri)
QA Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations (RS Aggarwal), CAT Quantitative Aptitude (Gautam Puri), NCERT Mathematics Books (Class 6-10)

How to Prepare for CAT 2024: Insights into the Syllabus

Prepare for CAT 2024: Essential Tips for Aspiring Candidates

Know the CAT Exam Syllabus and Pattern: Before you start preparing for CAT, it's crucial to understand the syllabus and exam pattern.

Cultivate the Reading Habit: The reading comprehension section emphasizes reading as a vital skill. Candidates can boost their speed, grammar, and vocabulary through the habitual reading of books, newspapers, and other sources.

Get Comfortable with Equations and Math Calculations: For the math part of the exam, aspirants need to be quick and accurate in mental calculations. Memorizing formulas and practicing equations will improve speed and accuracy.

Hone Your Skills: Practicing mocks and revisiting previous year papers on a regular basis helps aspirants hone their skills, providing insights into their performance and the CAT paper.

CAT Syllabus 2024: Latest Changes

The exam syllabus has stayed the same in recent years. Keep in mind that alterations have been made to the CAT exam pattern, affecting factors like the number of questions and time allotted. Therefore, Do get updated CAT exam pattern before initiating your CAT preparation.

Questions asked in the exam Given Duration
CAT 2013 60 2 hours 50 minutes
CAT 2014 100 2 hours 50 minutes
CAT 2015-2019 100 3 hours
CAT 2020 76 2 hours
CAT 2021-2022 66 2 hours

CAT Exam Syllabus 2024: CAT 2022 Evaluation

In addition to the basic CAT exam syllabus, it could be helpful to examine CAT 2022 as a reference. Following the same structure as CAT 2021, CAT 2022 consisted of 66 questions to be tackled in a 2-hour duration. Each section had a specific time allocation: 40 minutes for VARC with 24 questions, 40 minutes for DILR with 20 questions, and 40 minutes for QA with 22 questions. The noteworthy changes included replacing odd-sentence-out with para completion in VARC, and DILR sets now had 5 questions each instead of the previous distribution with 4, 4, 6, and 6 questions.


The CAT Official Website doesn't explicitly mention a CAT Syllabus for 2024 because CAT sometimes includes unexpected elements for candidates. However, all CAT questions are solvable as they test candidates' understanding of the basics. Therefore, each candidate should ensure they are well-prepared in terms of basics.


How to start preparing for CAT 2024?

Begin your CAT preparation by fully understanding the CAT exam syllabus and pattern. You’re your dos and don’ts, and focus on practicing mock exams to improve.

Does the CAT syllabus change every year?

No, the syllabus has remained largely consistent in recent years. This conclusion is drawn from analyzing past papers since the convening IIMs don't provide a defined syllabus.

What is the marking scheme for CAT 2024?

Marking system follows the old marking pattern. Correct answers earn 3 marks, and 1 mark is deducted for incorrect answers. TITA questions carry no negative markings.

What is the VARC syllabus in CAT 2024?

The VARC section consists of reading comprehension and verbal ability. Your prime area of learning should grammar, vocabulary, para completion, Para Jumble and Para Summary.

How do I prepare for that?

The IIMs don't provide a precise syllabus for CAT. Looking at past patterns, the syllabus emphasizes English and Mathematics at the school level. Therefore, for CAT 2024, the key topics are:

VARC: Verbal Ability includes Inference, Para Summary, and Para jumbles, and RC Passages with the weight 70%.

DILR: Clocks & Calendars, Directions, Blood Relations, Tables, Graphs, Charts, and Syllogism.

QA: Mensuration, Arithmetic, Trigonometry, Number Systems, Geometry, and Averages Algebra.

CAT preparations involves understanding the syllabus and exam pattern. After that, concentrate on establishing a strong foundation and grasping the concepts. To begin with, focus on Arithmetic for quants and increase your vocabulary for VARC through reading. Then, progress by practicing mock exams, reviewing previous papers, and maintaining regular revision.