CAT Exam Pattern 2023 ‣ CAT 2023 Number of Questions, Total marks and Negative Marking Scheme

CAT Exam Pattern 2023 – IIM or Indian Institute of Management determines the CAT 2023 exam pattern and number of questions in CAT exam. Students must know the CAT paper pattern 2023 to prepare well for exams. The exam pattern contains the CAT total marks 2023, CAT number of questions in total and section-wise along with other details.

CAT exam sections 2023 contains VARC, DILR and QA sections and CAT exam syllabus 2023 for all these section is available now. CAT exam duration or total time to solve paper is 2 hours. Since the last two years, IIM did major changes in CAT exam structure 2023, due to COVID-19.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023 in a Nutshell

Common Admission Test (CAT) is a computer-based national level online examination which is held in almost 159 cities for giving MBA admission. In 2021, almost 2.31 lakh students appeared for the exams.

Based on previous details, the information regarding CAT Exam Pattern 2023 is provided below, however the new CAT 2023 exam pattern is yet to be revealed:

Examination nameCommon Admission Test (CAT)
Conducted byIIM
Examination levelNational
Admission for coursesMBA / PDMS
Exam duration120 minutes
Sections-wise durationVerbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (40 minutes)
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (40 minutes)
Quantitative Aptitude (40 minutes)
Total questions66
CAT 2023 Total Marks198 marks
Marks for right Question+3
Negative Marking -1 for every wrong answer in MCQ
CAT registration 2023 last dateTo be announced
Examination date
November 27, 2023 (tentative)
Official websiteiimcat.ac.in
CAT Result 2023 dateFirst week of January 2023
Exam help-desk no.1-800-210-1088
Questions toughnessModerate

CAT total Questions 2023 and Marks allotment:

According to the last year’s CAT paper pattern 2023, the total number of questions given in paper has been 66. The pattern which was followed consist of MCQ and non-MCQ type questions, divided into three sections:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension – They ask 24 questions (total 72 marks).
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning – They ask 20 questions. This slot has 5 sets of questions. (Total 60 marks)
  3. Quantitative Aptitude – They ask 22 questions, a total of 66 marks allotted.

Thus the total marks of the CAT exam are 198.

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: Section-wise Question Distribution

In all the 3 sections approximately 20 questions are MCQ type whereas in TITA types, VARC and QA sections have 4-5questions and in DILR they give 2-3 non-MCQ questions. Only students who have got CAT 2023 admit card can appear for this examination.

Only in 2021, there was CAT exam pattern change, IIM Ahmedabad decided to reduce the questions. The total no. of questions asked were 66. Based on 2021, we have provided the expected section-wise CAT number of question below:

  • VARC Section:
    • 16 MCQ questions from 4 passages (4 questions in each passage)
    • 2 SA question from odd one out
    • 3 SA questions from Jumble sentence or proper sequencing of the order of the sentence.
    • 3 MCQ questions based on Para Summaries.
  • DILR Section:
    • 20 Questions from Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  • QA Section: Questions based on Geometry, Arithmetic, Log, Algebra, Roots, etc.

Latest Changes in CAT Question Pattern 2023

The latest CAT 2023 exam pattern had, section 1 (VARC) consists of 24 questions (19 MCQ and 5 non-MCQ types) – a total of 72 marks; section 2 (DI-LR) has 20 questions, 15 MCQ and 5 non-MCQ; section 3 (QA) has 22 questions 14 MCQ and 8 non-MCQ. Total 66 questions and maximum marks being 198. 

So it is hoped that the IIM CAT exam pattern 2023 would be similar.

CAT Marking Scheme 2023 for Online Exam

One of the most frequently asked questions by the candidates appearing for CAT exams is – “ is there any negative marking in cat ?” so, the marking scheme of CAT examinations is 

  • For every correct answer, you will be awarded +3 marks in both MCQ and non-MCQ type questions of CAT Mock test 2023 and final paper.
  • In case of each wrong answer in MCQ questions, there will be a deduction of 1 mark. 
  • But for TITA (non–MCQ ) questions there is no negative marking.

Students can use CAT 2023 answer key to calculate their probable scores and match it with cutoff to know the chances of selection.

Type of QuestionsCorrect AnswerIncorrect Answer
MCQ+3-1
Non-MCQ+30
CAT Exam Marking Scheme 2023

CAT Cutoff 2023 or Good Score

Another commonly asked question is, “what CAT score is required for IIM?” Approximately,  A good score is considered as

  • 82 for General SC category students
  • 71 for SC category students
  • 75 for OBC category students
  • 71 for PWD category students
  • 61 for ST category students

Also know about CAT scaled score 2023.

SectionsNumber of QuestionsTypeDifficulty Level
VARC2416 RC questions, 8 VA questionsTough
DILR20Two DI sets ( 4 and 6 questions)
Two LR set ( 4 and 6 questions)
Moderate to Tough
QA22Dominated by Arithmetic (11 questions) and Algebra (5 questions)Moderate
CAT 2021 Exam Pattern

YearNumber of QuestionDifficulty LevelDuration
202166Moderate to High2 hours
202076Moderate to High2 hours
2019100Moderate to High3 hours
2018100Moderate to High3 hours
2017100Moderate3 hours
Previous 5 Years’ CAT Paper Pattern 2023

FAQs related to CAT Exam 2023 Pattern

  1. What is the paper pattern of CAT?

    In 2021, the question paper for the CAT examination is divided into three separate segments, with a total of 66 questions of 198 marks. Three sections are
    A. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension(abbreviated as VARC)
    B. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (abbreviation- DILR)
    C. Quantitative Aptitude (QA).
    If same pattern is followed the CAT exam total marks 2023 might be 198 and CAT 2023 number of question can be 66 in total.

  2. What is the duration of the CAT Exam?

    According to previous years, the time allotted for the exam used to be 3 hours (180mins) before the 2023 CAT exams. But currently, the total time duration has been changed for answering all questions is 120 minutes, divided as 40 minutes per section.

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