CAT Syllabus 2023 (VARC, DILR & Quantitative Aptitude/QA) for IIM MBA Exam

All the students who are preparing for IIM MBA entrance exam must refer to the latest CAT Syllabus 2023. The CAT IIM Syllabus 2023 is very vast. However, still it can broadly be divided into three main sections namely Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).

Though the CAT MBA Syllabus 2023 contains questions based on Class 9 and 10 curriculum but the level of questions is slightly on the higher side. CAT Mock test 2023 also contain the questions based on topics of syllabus.

CAT 2023 Syllabus – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is the first section of the CAT exam syllabus 2023. The CAT Syllabus for VARC usually contains English based questions which tests the vocabulary of the candidate. It contains different types of questions as given below:

Grammar or English usageJumbled Paragraph and Close passageFill in the blanks
Synonyms – AntonymsMeaning/Usage MatchVerbal Reasoning
One word substitutionVerbal LogicSummary questions
Facts Inference JudgementReading ComprehensionAnalogies and Reverse analogies
Important Topics of CAT Syllabus 2023 VARC

CAT 2023 Syllabus VARC topic-wise weightage

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023Number of questionsDifficulty Level
Reading Comprehension16Moderate to Difficult
Parajumbles3Moderate to Difficult
Odd Sentences2Easy to Moderate
Summary 3Easy to Moderate

CAT Verbal Ability Paper Pattern 2023 

  • This section usually has 8 to 10 questions of similar weightage.
  • All the questions will be non-MCQ based questions, thus does not contain any negative marking.
  • This section of CAT syllabus 2023 usually contains parajumbles, odd sentences, vocabulary and summary based questions.

Sub-Sections of CAT Syllabus 2023 VARC

Parajumble Questions:

  • The questions in this section are of the Type in the answer (TITA), thus there is no negative marking as it is a non-MCQ based question.
  • In this, 4 to 5 sentences are given in the wrong order which are related to the same context. Students need to find the correct order of sentences and arrange them to make a meaningful paragraph.

Summary Questions:

  • In this, small passages of around 80-100 words are given along with four options.
  • Out of the four options, students need to find the summary which best suits the passage.

Odd Sentences Questions:

  • A paragraph will be given along with some options, out of which candidates need to find which sentence does not match the theme of the passage.

CAT MBA Syllabus 2023 – Reading Comprehension paper pattern

  • The number of questions in this section can range from 24 to 28 questions.
  • These questions will have a negative marking of -1 as all the questions in this are MCQ based.
  • Also this will be having at least four long passage questions of around 900 words and one short passage question which is of around 500 words.

CAT Syllabus 2023- Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Data Interpretation and Logical reasoning (DILR) is the second  section of CAT IIM Syllabus 2023 which needs to be solved in 40 minutes by the candidate. This section is considered to be tricky because of inability to predict the section from where the set has been made.

Important Topics of CAT DILR Syllabus 2023

Clocks and CalendarsSyllogismStatements
SeriesBlood RelationsVenn Diagrams
Family TreeData ArrangementData Structures
Direction SensePropositionTables
Binary LogicAssumptionsData sufficiency
Coding-DecodingSeating ArrangementPie Charts
Sets and CaseletsPuzzlesBars and Line Graphs

CAT 2023 Syllabus DILR – Topic-wise weightage

CAT 2023 DILR Syllabus Number of questionsDifficulty Level
Data Interpretation4Easy
Data Interpretation4Moderate
Logical Reasoning6Moderate to Difficult
Logical Reasoning6Easy to Moderate

CAT Syllabus 2023 – Data Interpretation Exam Pattern

  • CAT Syllabus 2023 has about 14 questions from Data Interpretation sections.
  • The questions in this section can be both MCQ as well as non-MCQ based questions.
  • There is no fixed number of MCQ or non-MCQ based questions, it can vary from paper to paper.
  • These questions will be of moderate to high difficulty level, thus candidates must practice for such questions a lot.
  • There will be no negative marking for non-MCQ based questions, however marks will be deducted for wrong answers of MCQ questions.

CAT Syllabus 2023 – Logical Reasoning Paper Pattern

  • There will be around 10 questions from the logic Reasoning section in CAT IIM Syllabus 2023.
  • This section also contains both MCQ as well as non MCQ questions.
  • There is no negative marking for non MCQ questions but for MCQ questions, negative marking is there,
  • These questions are also of moderate to high difficulty and sometimes they can be very tricky and can consume lots of time.

CAT 2023 Syllabus – Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude is the third and the last section of the CAT MBA Paper for which the last 40 minutes are given. This CAT Syllabus 2023 for Quantitative aptitude mainly contains questions from trigonometry, algebra and arithmetic mathematics.

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Give below are the topics on the basis of which candidate is assessed in this section:

Speed, Time and DistanceProfit and LossDiscount
PercentageNumber systemsTime and work
LCMHCFAverages
Simple and compound interestQuadratic equationsLinear equations
Ratio and ProportionLogarithmComplex numbers
Sequence and SeriesSet theoryProbability
Permutation and CombinationInequalitiesBinomial Theorem
FunctionsGeometryTrigonometry
Surd and IndicesMixtures and AllegationsCoordinate Geometry
MensurationAlgebraAccounts(Partnership)
Important Topics of CAT Syllabus 2023 Quantitative Aptitude

All these detailed subtopics can be grouped into six major sections that are Arithmetics, Commercial Maths, Geometry, Sequence and series, Allegations and Mixtures and Trigonometry.

  • Commercial maths contains straight questions where students can find CAT exam answers using pre learnt formulae, thus this section is relatively easy. Also, this section contains the least number of questions and make up only 15% of the paper.
  • The Arithmetic section also contains basic questions from the Class 10 curriculum and the topics can be prepared easily but most questions are asked from this section as it is the largest section making up 38% of the whole CAT 2023 Syllabus.
  • Geometry is another large section in the CAT Quantitative Aptitude paper as it is 23% of the whole paper. Though this subject has a lot of rules to learn, at the time of paper if the correct rule strikes the student then the questions won’t take much time to be solved.
  • Direct questions from the Trigonometry section are not asked; rather this concept is clubbed with other concepts and are asked under different sections.
  • Sequence and Series is the major topic from Algebra which makes up 23% of the exam but the questions are easy to solve with just few formulae to be learnt.
  • Allegations and Mixtures is a section from which questions are not asked consistently in the IIM CAT examination, but whenever the questions are asked they are of easy level.

CAT 2023 Syllabus QA topic-wise weightage

CAT Syllabus 2023 TopicNumber of questionsDifficulty Level
Arithmetic10-12Easy to Moderate
Algebra6-7Easy to Moderate
Geometry6-8Easy to Moderate
Modern Maths4-5Easy to Moderate

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus 2023 Pattern

  • Around 22-26 questions are asked from CAT QA Syllabus 2023.
  • This section will have both MCQ and non-MCQ type questions but the individual number of each type of question is not fixed.
  • As per previous year paper analysis, most of the questions are asked from the arithmetic section.
  • There is no negative marking for non MCQ type questions.
  • MCQ based questions have negative marking.

Best Books to follow for CAT Preparation

After knowing the exam pattern of CAT, students must choose the best books to grab the concepts and solve papers. We have listed some of the best CAT preparation books below:

  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha
  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT by K. Sinha Nishit
  • Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh

Other CAT Articles

FAQs CAT Syllabus 2023

  1. Does the CAT 2023 MBA Syllabus change periodically?

    No, the CAT Syllabus 2023 has not changed since the exam started, but the distribution of questions in different sections and type of questions have changed and are changing approximately every year. Some years, a particular topic dominates a section and other years, some other dominates but overall CAT test syllabus 2023 does not change.

  2. Can we cover the CAT IIM 2023 Syllabus just by giving mock papers and previous year papers?

    No, CAT syllabus 2023 is very vast and cannot be covered just by practicing the previous year papers as each year some topic dominates the paper and not much questions are asked from other topics, thus to cover all the topics and practice question of each type, students must refer to prescribed books and coaching material.

  3. Which section in the CAT Exam paper has the most weightage?

    As per CAT 2023 IIM Syllabus and previous year analysis, there is no fixed number of questions in each section, it changes every year but we can say that broadly each section will have equal weightage, only a difference of few marks will be there.

  4. What is the CAT 2023 Exam Pattern?

    All the students except those belonging to PwD category are allotted 120 minutes to solve the paper, 40 minutes per section. The total marks is not fixed but it ranges around 190-210 marks largely equally distributed among the three sections.

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