CAT Exam Pattern 2024

CAT Exam pattern for 2024 is expected to be similar to the previous year. This year,  the exam is expected to be conducted on 24th November 2024. It is one of the most prestigious exams in India and a gateway to some of the top management institutes. The exam is conducted annually by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) for admission into various postgraduate programs. Every year, lakhs of aspirants appear for this highly competitive exam, so it’s important to know all about the CAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus for 2024. In this article, we will discuss everything related to the CAT exam pattern including its marking scheme, sections and other important details that you need to know before appearing for the test. So keep reading!
CAT Analysis
CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Overview
The CAT 2024 exam will be conducted in three sessions with a duration of 40 minutes each. The CAT exam pattern will consist of multiple choice questions (MCQs) and Non-Multiple Choice Questions or TITA {Type In The Answer} questions. The three sections in the exam are as follows:
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension(VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning(DILR)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)
The total number of questions in the CAT exam pattern is expected to be 66, with a maximum score of 198 marks. Additionally, there will also be a Negative Marking of 0.25 marks for every wrong answer.
The table below provides a detailed overview of the exam pattern:
Total Questions in CAT Exam
Total Marks
Total CAT Exam Sections
CAT Exam Duration
2 Hours
Mode of Paper
Online Only
Question Types
MCQs and Non-MCQs (TITA)
CAT Exam-Making Scheme
+3 For Correct Answers
-1 For Incorrect Answers
0 For Unattempted Questions
CAT Exam Section Names
1. Quantitative Aptitude
2. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
3. Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation
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CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Section-wise Breakdown
The CAT 2024 exam will consist of 66 questions distributed over 3 sections. Let's have a look at the section-wise breakage of the exam:
• Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC): This section will consist of 24 questions, divided into two parts: Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability. The total number of marks allotted for this section is 24 which is the highest among all the three sections. This section will carry 72 marks.
Reading Comprehensions: This part of the VARC section comprises around 16 questions, covering approx 60% of the marks. It constitutes both MCQ & TITA-type questions.
Verbal Ability: The verbal ability portion of this section is weighed relatively lighter! It comprises around 8 questions covering basic grammar topics like Vocabulary, Synonym-Antonyms, para jumbles, para-completion, para summary etc.
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR): The DILR section is followed by the VARC section. This section constitutes the minimum number of questions in the CAT exam. It has a total of 20 questions. The weightage of this section is 60 marks. This section also includes both MCQs and Non-MCQs questions. DILR is the most unpredictable section constituting an almost different variety of questions each year. The best way to prepare for this section is through practising and solving as many mocks as possible and analysing them.
Data Interpretation: This part focuses on the analysis of data and will comprise 8 to 10 questions in total. It covers topics like pie charts, bar graphs, line charts etc.
Logical Reasoning: This part consists of 9-10 questions based on logical reasoning and problem-solving skills.
• Quantitative Ability (QA): The QA section of the CAT 2024 consists of 22 questions, carrying a total of 66 marks. This section covers various topics, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, number theory, and more. It includes a mix of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and non-MCQs. The questions are designed to assess the understanding of fundamental concepts typically taught in the 10th-grade curriculum. Candidates must prepare and excel in this section to enhance their overall CAT performance.

CAT Exam Pattern: Marking Scheme
The marking scheme for CAT 2024 is quite simple. For each correct answer, the candidate gets 3 marks whereas 1 mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer. There is no negative marking for MCQ questions left unanswered. The total time duration allotted to complete the exam is 120 minutes.
Type of Question
Correct Response
Incorrect Response
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
Type in the Answer (TITA)
CAT 2024: Exam duration
The CAT 2024 exam will be conducted in 3 slots. The exam is expected to be conducted on 24th November 2024. The duration of the CAT 2024 exam is 120 minutes with 40 minutes allotted to each section. The candidates will not have the leverage to switch between the sections and will have to cope with sectional timings.  The duration of each slot is expected to be as follows:
  • Morning: 8:30 am to 10:30 am
  • Afternoon: 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm
  • Evening: 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
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Tips to Ace the CAT 2024 Examination
With CAT 2024 approaching, here are a few pointers that an aspirant must keep in mind to streamline his preparation in the right direction:
  •  Start with the section you are strongest in.
  •  Allocate proper time to each section.
  •  Practice as many mocks as possible to get a better understanding of the syllabus and the exam pattern.
  • Time your mocks so that you can make yourself acquainted with the sectional timings and enhance time management skills.
  • Take time to read all the questions before attempting them.
  • Go through sample papers from previous years and solve them thoroughly. This will help you understand the exam pattern, and syllabus and will also help in increasing your speed.
  • Take ample practice tests to judge your performance and work on addressing weaker areas. This will also help you formalise your strategy for D-day.
  • Stay updated about the latest trends in the CAT examination by attending workshops or seminars related to it.
  • Do not get stuck on any particular question. If you are unable to solve it, then move on and come back to it later.
  •  Revision is the key to success. Make sure you go through all your notes thoroughly and practice mock tests for last-minute revision before the exam.
CAT (Common Admission Test) is an exam that demands immense hard work, dedication, and perseverance. To crack this prestigious exam, students need to possess a strong foundation in the CAT exam pattern, and syllabus, not only comprehending the topics but also applying them effectively. It is crucial to consistently practice mock tests to gauge one's progress and identify areas of improvement. Staying updated on the latest trends in the examination, such as question patterns and changes in the marking scheme, is equally important. With meticulous planning, unwavering commitment, and sustained effort, students can navigate through the CAT examination triumphantly, opening doors to promising opportunities. Believe in yourself, stay focused, and give it your all. Best of luck on your CAT journey!
CAT Score
Frequently Asked Questions about CAT 2024
Q1. What will be the duration of the CAT 2024 Exam?
A1.The CAT  Exam has a duration of 120 minutes, with each section allocated 40 minutes. Candidates will not have the flexibility to switch between sections and must adhere to the given time limits for each.
Q2. When will the CAT 2024 be conducted?
A2 The exam is tentatively scheduled to be conducted on 24th November 2024. This date has been carefully chosen to ensure ample time for preparation and to accommodate the availability of all participants.
Q3.  How many sections are there in CAT 2024 Exam?
A3. The exam consists of three sections - Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.
Q4. Is there any negative marking for incorrect answers?
A4.  Yes, the CAT 2024 exam will have a negative marking of -1 for every incorrect answer and +3 for every correct answer.
Q5. When do you apply for CAT 2024?
A5. To participate in CAT 2024, aspiring candidates should register themselves for CAT 2024. The registrations are expected to be open from September. It is imperative to accurately complete the registration form, upload the necessary documents, and make the registration fee payment to successfully finalize the process and acquire the admit card.
Q6.  Can we pass the CAT in 3 months?
A6. Although cracking the CAT exam in just 90 days may seem daunting, it is indeed achievable. Your success in CAT does not only depend on the amount of time you have but also on how effectively and strategically you utilize that time. With proper guidance, preparation, and exam strategy, you can be well-prepared for CAT in less than 3 months.
Q7.  What are the advantages of taking the CAT exam?
A7. The objective of the highly competitive CAT Exam is to comprehensively evaluate a candidate's proficiency in a wide range of areas, such as quantitative ability, verbal ability, data interpretation, and logical reasoning. This rigorous examination serves as an important criterion for esteemed business schools in their meticulous selection process for management programs. Therefore, this test ensures that only the most qualified individuals are admitted to excel in their professional journey.
Q8. What is the scope of CAT?
A8. Taking the CAT exam provides aspiring students with a remarkable opportunity to study at India's premier management institutes. These esteemed institutions include the prestigious IIMs, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, XLRI Jamshedpur, S.P. Jain Mumbai, and many others. Embarking on this path opens doors to unparalleled academic excellence and a promising future.
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