CAT Exam Pattern 2024 and Marking Scheme (Updated)

CAT Exam pattern for 2024 is expected to remain similar to the previous year pattern. In the year 2024 the CAT exam is going to be conducted on the 24th November 2024 . It is one of the most prestigious exams held in India and is a gateway to some of the top management institutes like IIMs. The exam is conducted annually by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admission into various top postgraduate programs. Every year lakhs of aspirants appear for CAT exam so it is important to know all about the CAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus for 2024.
CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Overview
CAT exam asses candidates skills in solving Math, English and Logical Reasoning problems and more in a given time frame. If a candidate wants to clear the CAT exam they should focus on understanding the CAT exam pattern 2024, as it will give clarity regarding the CAT exam. The exam consists of three sections which are given below:
  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC),
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and
  3. Quantitative Aptitude (QA).
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Total Questions
Total Time (in minutes)
MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) based questions
TITA (Type In The Answer) type questions
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
The official CAT exam pattern is not available however an aspirant can learn about the latest CAT exam structure and syllabus by referring to CAT Previous Year Question Papers.
CAT Exam Pattern 2024
Given below is mode of exam, duration of exam, slot details, CAT 2024 eligibility criteria and CAT 2024 marking scheme.
CAT Exam Pattern 2024
Mode of CAT exam
Computer Based Test (CBT) only
Duration of exam
120 minutes, 40 minutes per section
Number of answer choices
CAT exam slots (Tentative)
Morning: 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Afternoon: 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Evening: 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Language of question paper
CAT 2024 exam date
November 24, 2024 (Tentatively)
CAT 2024 eligibility criteria
Graduation with 50 % aggregate 
45 % for SC/ST students
CAT 2024 marking scheme
+3 marks for correct answer
-1 mark for an incorrect answer
No Negative marking for TITA
CAT fees 2024
INR 2,400 for General category
INR 1,200 for SC/ST/PwD
CAT 2024 conducting body
IIM Calcutta (Tentatively)
CAT 2024 official website
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CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Changes Over the Years
Over the years there have been big changes to the CAT exam pattern. Most recently as a result of the pandemic there were fewer questions and less time. Here is a complete history of how the CAT exam has changed over the years.
Total Questions in CAT
Duration of CAT exam
66 (Tentative)
2 hrs (120min.) (Tentative)
2 hrs  (120min.)
2 hrs  (120min.)
2015 -2019
3 hrs  (180min.)
2 hrs 50 min.  (180 min.)
2011- 2013
2 hrs 20 min. (140 min.)
2hrs 30 min. (150 min.)

What is the Section-wise Syllabus for CAT 2024?
The IIMs do not provide an official syllabus for CAT exam. Aspiring candidates should go for other resources for the CAT exam syllabus. Below is a concise syllabus outline for CAT 2024.
CAT Section
Section Wise  Topics
Reading comprehension, Para Jumbles, Para Summary, Odd sentence out, Inferences, One-word substitution, Syllogism and Analogies, Verbal logic, etc.
Charts, Caselets, Blood Relations, Syllogism, Directions, Clocks and calendars, Tables, Graphs, Charts, Connectives, Logical Sequence, Matching/ Puzzles, Number and Letter Series, Seating Arrangement, Venn Diagrams, Coding-Decoding, Binary Logic, Caselets and Table, etc.
Algebra, Arithmetic, Probability, Number System, Percentages, Profit & Loss, Simple Interest-Compound Interest, Time & Distance, Averages-Mixtures-Alligations, Mensuration, Logarithms, Functions & Graphs, Indices & Surds, Quadratic Equations, Special Equations, Statistics, Geometry, etc.
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  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability are the two main parts of VARC. The reading comprehension part of VARC is very important. It has paragraphs of different lengths and MCQ and TITA questions that go with them. Verbal ability, on the other hand, includes things like Para Jumbles, Odd Sentences and more. 
  • Quantitative Aptitude (QA)
  • QA section of CAT consists of Math which is based on Class 10th level. It covers topics like LCM and HCF, Trigonometry, Mensuration, Probability, and more.
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  • This section covers two areas i.e. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. Data Interpretation deals with analysing information given in the form of Charts, Graphs, etc and reaching to the correct answer. On the other hand the Logical Reasoning section has questions from areas like Puzzles, Blood Relations, Seating Arrangements etc. which tests the basic mental ability of a candidate.
CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Important Dates
Mentioned below are the important dates for the CAT 2024 exam-
Important dates (Tentative)
CAT 2024 Notification
Last week of July 2024
Registration Start Date 
First week of August 2024
Last Date of Registration
First week of September 2024
Exam Date
November 24, 2024
Result Date
First week of January 2025
CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Preparation Tips
CAT exam is the gateway to the prestigious 21 IIMs and other top B-schools. Considering the competitive nature of the CAT exam given below are some imortant tips that will help CAT aspirants to create a strategy for the upcoming CAT 2024 exam.
  • Develop a Study Plan: Divide the CAT syllabus into small portions and plan out how you will study each one in the time you have available.
  • Prioritize Mock Tests:Make practice tests a regular part of your schedule. These will give you an idea of how well you're prepared and help you figure out where you need to improve. Use the free CAT practice tests that are available to get ready for the real test.
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Understanding the CAT exam pattern plays a crucial role in the CAT 2024 exam. So its important for the candidates to fully understand the exam pattern for success. Candidate should create a real exam environment for their CAT preparation. This environment will help them in finding their weaknesses and strengths.
Frequently Asked Question
  1. What is the CAT Exam Pattern 2024?
  2. The CAT 2024 exam pattern is anticipated to remain unchanged from last year. The examination will consist of 66 questions to be completed within 120 minutes. The VARC section will comprise 24 questions, while the DILR section will feature 20 questions. The QA section will encompass 22 questions.
  3. What is BLACKI?
  4. BLACKI stands for IIM Bangalore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Kozhikode and Indore
  5. How many times can a student take the CAT exam?
  6. There are no restrictions on the number of attempts for the CAT exam and there is no age limit either.
  7. What is the method for calculating CAT scores, and how are percentiles determined?
  8. The calculation of CAT scores follows a scaled score method. Percentile calculations consider a candidate's raw scores, the exam's difficulty level and the performance of other test-takers. The percentile reveals the percentage of candidates who achieved equal to or below a specific score.
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