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CAT Exam Syllabus 2023

Author : Aparna

Updated On : May 16, 2023


Summary: Understanding CAT Exam Syllabus 2023 is important in planning your preparations smartly. The syllabus helps you with what to expect in the exam, the weightage of each topic, and the difficulty level. Let's explore these factors in the article below.

IIMs don't publish a specific paper; instead, they anticipate candidates to deduce crucial subjects from previous year's papers.

The subjects have basically stayed the same in the past few years. 

Most questions in CAT are application-based, assessing applicants' problem-solving speed rather than memorisation skills.

Without further delay, let's check what is the syllabus of CAT exam for MBA?

CAT Exam Syllabus Highlights 2023

Check the highlights for CAT Exam Syllabus 2023 tabulated below: 

Key Components Details
Time allotted 2 hours
Total No. of Questions 66
No. of Questions Section-wise VARC: 24 DILR: 20 QA: 22
Time allotted per section 40 minutes each
Mode of Examination Computer-based
Medium of Examination English

CAT Exam Syllabus PDF Download 2023

The official site does not release any CAT exam syllabus pdf.

The analysis of the CAT exam aptitude syllabus, CAT exam quantitative aptitude syllabus, CAT exam subjects and syllabus is based on previous year's papers. 

There are 3 sections for MBA CAT syllabus 2023. 

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

1. Quantitative Aptitude: Number System, Geometry, Algebra, Mensuration, Time and Work

2. Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation: Seating Arrangement, Blood Relation, Syllogism, Tables, Graphs, Data Caselets

3. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: Para-Jumbles & Para-Summary, Sentence Completion, Inferences, RC Passages-Based Questions

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is an all-India entrance exam that tests a candidate's aptitude and skills for admission to various post-graduate management programs offered by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and other top business schools in the country. 

The exam is conducted in multiple slots over a period of two days in more than 400 cities across India. The exam is considered one of the toughest, so sticking to the syllabus in this article can help you plan your preparation strategy.

Check: CAT Exam Pattern 2023

Visit the official website to download the CAT exam syllabus pdf.

Important topics and weightage of CAT Exam Syllabus 2023

The CAT exam syllabus for MBA, important topics and respective weightage are listed below:

CAT entrance exam syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude

The CAT exam maths syllabus is as follows: 

  • Number System: Prime Factorisation, Divisibility Rules, Finding Units place and tens place of a number, LCM and HCF, Indices and Surds, Cyclicity, Remainders, Base Change and Factorial.
  • CAT Math Syllabus: Following topics must be covered under the Arithmetic section of the CAT Syllabus - Simple Interest and Compound Interest, Time, Distance and Speed, Mixtures and Alligations, Ratios, Proportions and Variations, Time and Work, Pipes and Cisterns, Percentages and Averages, Profit and Loss, Discount.
  • CAT 2023 Syllabus for Geometry: The Geometry and Mensuration section contains the following topics - Circles, Polygons, Triangles, Trigonometry, Lines and Angles, and Coordinate geometry. Check details for Geometry Questions for CAT.
  • CAT Syllabus Algebra: The Algebra section of the CAT IIM exam syllabus includes the following topics - Functions and Groups, Inequalities and Modulus, Logarithms, Maxima and Minima, Polynomials, Linear and Quadratic Equations, Algebraic Identities, Get an idea of the Seating Arrangement CAT Questions.
  • Modern Mathematics: Probability, Permutations, and Combinations, Set Theory & Venn Diagram, AP, GP, HP, Binomial theorem

Check: Why CAT Exam is Important?

CAT exam subjects and syllabus are as follows: 


CAT Math Syllabus Expected Number of questions
Arithmetic 9-10 questions
Algebra 7-8 questions
Geometry 3-4 questions
Mensuration 3-4 questions
Modern Mathematics 1-2 questions

Check: How to prepare for logical reasoning for CAT

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation

Under DI Topics: Prepare the following topics which are as follows: 

Tables, Scatter Plots, Venn Diagrams, Radar Charts, Line Charts, Column Graphs, Pie Charts, Bubble Charts, Bar Graphs, Routes and Networks, Data Caselets - Reasoning-Based DI

Under LR Topics: Prepare the following topics which are as follows: 

Team Formation, Arrangements, Games and Tournaments, Order and Ranking, and Binary Logic


CAT Syllabus for DILR Total Number of Questions
Graph, Bar diagram 6-8
Tables & Charts 5-8
Graphs, Charts 7-10
Tables, Pie chart 4-5

Check: CAT Exam Preparation Books 2023

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 

Here are the important topics for the CAT exam English syllabus

  • English Usage or Grammar
  • Vocabulary-Based (Synonyms/ Antonyms)
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Sentence Correction
  • Cloze Passage
  • Jumbled Paragraph
  • Meaning-Usage Match
  • Analogies or Reverse Analogies
  • Summary Questions
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Facts-Inferences-Judgments
  • Reading Comprehension


CAT Exam Syllabus 2023 for VARC Expected Number of questions
Reading Comprehension 16-18 questions
Para Jumbles 5-6 questions
Odd One Out 1-2 questions
Fill in the blanks, Vocab-based, etc. 1-2 questions

Number of questions in each section

Here is the number of questions asked in each section:

CAT Exam Syllabus Sections Questions MCQs Non-MCQs
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 19 5
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 20 15 5
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 22 14 8
Total 66 48 18

Best Books for CAT Preparation 2023

You can prepare for the CAT Exam Syllabus 2023 by referring to the books below. 

CAT Books For Quantitative Ability

  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Sinha
  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha

Check: How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT

CAT Books for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

  • Data Interpretation by Nishit Sinha
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit Sinha
  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book by Arun Sharma
  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book by Arun Sharma
  • A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning by R.S. Agarwal

CAT Books for Verbal Ability

  • High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT by Nishit Sinha
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Read books from different genres

Check: CAT Exam Eligibility 2023


The CAT exam syllabus 2023 is comprehensive and covers a wide range of topics.  It is important to be thorough in your preparation and to cover all the topics mentioned in the syllabus. With the right amount of dedication and hard work, you can definitely crack the CAT exam and pursue your career goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Common Admission Test (CAT) syllabus includes topics from Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.

The CAT exam consists of three sections: Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.

The CAT exam is a 2-hour long exam.
Yes, there is a negative marking of 1/3rd of the total marks assigned to the question.
No, there is no sectional cut-off in the CAT exam. Candidates are evaluated on their overall performance.


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