CAT Exam Pattern

Exam Date : November 20, 2020
Result Date : January 4, 2021

CAT question paper has three sections namely VARC, DILR and QA (in that order). Each section will be of 1 hour and after 60 minutes the next section will open automatically. CAT Exam Pattern is given detail below.

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

The VARC section has 34 questions with most of the questions based on Reading Comprehension. DILR also has 32 questions. It will have set based questions, so each set will have around 4 to 5 questions. The final part of the paper is Quantitative Aptitude and it will have 32 questions. There will be an onscreen calculator which will be enabled for DILR and Quant sections alone. So all the CAT aspirant must prepare for the CAT 2020 Syllabus very carefully

Online Test: Since 2009 CAT Exam has been conducted only in the online mode as Computer-based test pattern (CBT).

Duration: Total time allotted for the CAT is 3 Hours or 180 Minutes, without any breaks in between.

Exam paper pattern: CAT consists of only one paper with 100 questions including both Objective type and Non-Objective type questions.

Objective and Non-Objective type: About 70%–75% of questions are Objective type questions and the remaining 25%-30% are the Non-Objective type questions.

The graph given below presents the exact CAT Exam Pattern followed for the entrance exam.

CAT Exam Pattern

Note: Students can learn more about effective steps to crack CAT after knowing the CAT Exam Pattern. It helps to have a wide view of the exam.

Sections comprised in CAT 2020

CAT 2020 has three major sections for English and Maths. The three sections are given below. Each section needs a different kind of preparation, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the student. The difficulty level of Exam Pattern for CAT varies from medium to hard. This is because the exam is accepted by the premier institutes of India.

CAT Exam Pattern
CAT Subjects Abbreviated as
Verbal & Reading Comprehension VARC
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning DILR
Quantitative Aptitude QA

CAT 2020 Marking Scheme

For every correct answer 3 marks will be awarded. For every wrong answer 1 mark will be deducted. You will have an hour or 60 minutes for answering questions in each section.

Glance of CAT question paper
Elements Details
CAT 2020 Exam date November 20, 2020 (Tentative)
Examination Type Online - Computer-based test pattern (CBT)
Number of sections 3 sectionsVerbal & Reading Comprehension,Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Aptitude
Duration of exam 180 minutes (60 minutes per section)
Number of questions 100
Medium Only English
Number of answer choices 4
Marking scheme +3 marks for correct answer-1 mark for the incorrect answer (Based on the Type of Question)

Test Duration for CAT Exam 2020

Duration of each section: CAT 2020 will be a duration of 3 hours. Each section will be 1 hour of duration. No section is allowed to switch or swap while writing the exam. The sequence of question paper will be set by the CAT authorities.

Duration in a previous year: Previously exam was of 170 minutes duration, i.e., 2 hours and 50 minutes and there was no time limit for each section.

PWD and DA Duration: Candidates in the PWD (Persons with Disability) and DA (Differently Abled) category will be given extra 20 minutes compensatory time to write each section.

CAT Exam 2020 Marking Scheme

Types of Questions: CAT 2020 Exam Paper will have two types of questions–One is MCQs and Another one is Non-MCQs. Both the type of questions will carry equal marks.

Right answer: For each correct answer, a candidate will be awarded +3 marks.

Negative marking for MCQ: There will be also negative marking for MCQ type questions. Each wrong answer -1 score will be given, i.e., 1 mark will be deducted.

No negative marking for Non- MCQ: And there will be no negative marking for Non-MCQ type questions.

Marking Scheme of CAT 2020

CAT 2020 Marking Scheme
Type of Question Correct Answer Incorrect Answer Non-attempted Questions
MCQ 3 -1
Non-MCQ 3

Maximum marks:  The paper will have a total of 100 questions, thus the maximum marks will be 300 by calculating 3 marks for each question.


Q. What are the questions asked in VARC Section of CAT?

  • Ans: VARC section has questions from reading comprehension passages and some other like sentence completion, jumbled sentences and critical reasoning.

Q. How many RC passages will be there in the Verbal section?

  • Ans: Verbal section will have a total of 4 to 5 RC passages. It varies every year.

Q. Will the screen calculator be available for DILR section?

  • Ans: As according to CAT Exam Pattern, the virtual screen calculator will be available on the test page for QA as well as DILR sections.

Q. What is the total mark of a non-MCQ type question?

  • Ans: Each non-MCQ type question of every section carries 3 marks similar to other MCQ questions. But there will not be any negative marking for a non-MCQ based question.

Live Application Forms

  Apply Now

  Apply Now

  Apply Now

  Apply Now

Discussion Forum

order for completing the exam.

Is there any specific order to complete the exam?

Asked By: Hemanth Kumar,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise

The candidate are required to write the answers in a Pre-specific order. The candidates are not suppose to switch the sections in the Between.

Examination procedure

Is there a specific order for answering sections? Can I attempt sections the way I want?

Asked By: Prithvi Singh,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise
  • You are clear to answer the question paper as you deem it fit.

Negative marking in CAT

Are there negative marks for questions other than MCQs?

Asked By: Piyush Yadav,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise
  • No, all the other questions will be analyzed on the basis of your performance on those. Positive and negative markings are based on the CAT exam pattern.

Exam Pattern for CAT

In case the website does not work and I am unable to complete my application, what should I do?

Asked By: Richcha Chhadha,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise
  • You are advised to wait on the page till the internet comes back. If it is past that option, then you can use your admission number to complete the form as per the fields.

CAT Exam Pattern

How is the computer-based format different from the paper-based format?

Asked By: Sufia Tiwary,

Answer By: GetmyuniEnterprise
  • Initially, the exam pattern of CAT was a paper-based test. From 2009 onwards, CAT has become a computerized test. Instead of reading the questions in a paper booklet and darkening the ovals on the answer sheet, a candidate reads the questions on a computer terminal and chooses an answer by clicking on the correct option. At the test venue, each candidate is seated at a desk with a computer terminal and he/she is provided with a scratch paper for calculations. CAT is a computer-based test (CBT) and not Internet-based test (IBT) i.e. candidate does not take the test on an Internet site. Online testing or computer-based testing is generally done through one of two patterns of tests