CAT 2019 Exam Pattern

Exam Date : November 24, 2019
Result Date : January 7, 2020

CAT exam pattern overview

3 hours.
Paper Pattern
Section One: 34 question, Section Two: 32 questions, Section Three: 34 questions.
Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Verbal & Reading Comprehension.
Marking Scheme
Correct answer gain 3 marks and wrong answer deduct 1 marks.
Maximum Marks
Section One: 102 marks, Section Two: 96 marks, Section Three: 102 marks.
Total Marks
300 marks.
Language / Medium

The CAT Exam Paper has three sections namely VARC, DILR and QA (in that order). Each section will be for 1 hour and after 60 minutes automatically the next section will open. 

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.

  • Online Test: Since 2009 CAT Exam has only been conducted only in the Online mode as Computer-based test pattern (CBT).
  • Duration: The total time allotted for the CAT is 3 Hours or 180 Minutes, without any breaks in between.
  • Exam paper pattern: The 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.

Note: Students can learn more about CAT Syllabus before diving into the CAT Exam Pattern. It helps to have a wide view of the exam.

Subjects in CAT 2019 Exam

CAT 2019 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 weakness of the student.

CAT Subjects Abbreviated as

Verbal & Reading Comprehension


Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning


Quantitative Aptitude


 CAT 2019 Marking Scheme

  • Correct answer: For every correct answer 3 marks will be awarded.
  • Negative Marking: For every wrong answer 1 mark will be deducted.
  • Time for each Section: You will have an hour or 60 minutes for answering questions in each section.

CAT Exam Pattern Overview 2019:

CAT 2019 Details
Elements Details
CAT 2019 Exam date November 24, 2019 (Tentative)
Examination Type Online - Computer-based test pattern (CBT)
Number of sections 3 sectionsVerbal & Reading Comprehension,Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning andQuantitative 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)

CAT 2019 - Pattern Followed

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

CAT Exam Pattern


Changes in Exam Pattern for CAT 2019

  • The CAT Exam 2019 will retain the changes introduced in the past years. And, no new changes are expected this year.
  • Sections Before Change: Previously, there were two sections – Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning, but now CAT paper has three sections, i.e., Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Verbal & Reading Comprehension.
  • Duration Before Change: The CAT Exam duration was increased from 170 minutes to 180 minutes. And, restriction on navigation is still continued, like navigating to another section while you are attempting one section is not allowed.
  • MCQ: The CAT 2019, in addition to MCQ type questions, will also include Non-MCQ, also referred to as Non-Objective type questions. There will not be any negative marking or deduction of marks for incorrect answers for Non-Objective type questions.
  • The ratio of the number of Objective type and Non-Objective type of questions is not fixed and varies every year. This ratio of the number of Objective type and Non-Objective type of questions with respect to individual sections is also not fixed and varies slightly, every year.
  • Virtual calculator: Since 2015, CAT includes a virtual calculator for your need. In 2015 it was a scientific calculator and from 2016 onwards it has been a regular calculator with basic functions like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square root etc. The presence of the calculator is an indication to students that focus more on logic than calculation. But this does not mean accurate calculations no more desired. 

Test Duration for CAT Exam 2019

  • Duration of each section: CAT 2019 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 2019 Marking Scheme

  • Types of Questions: CAT 2019 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 2019:

Type of Question

Correct Answer

Incorrect Answer

Non-attempted Questions






  • 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.

Scoring & Equating Process in CAT 2019

  • Two Different Sessions: CAT 2019 will be conducted in two sessions. There will be two different test sessions for two different test forms.
  • Scores of exams: The scores of the candidates will be subjected to a process of normalization in order to ensure equity in comparison of performance and fairness of the candidates across different test sessions.
  • Normalization: The process of normalization is an established practice is similar to those being adopted in other large educational selection tests conducted in India, like GATE, for comparing candidate scores across multiple forms.
  • Shortlisting Process: For the purpose of shortlisting, the scaled scores obtained by this process shall be converted to percentile.
  • Scaled Scores: Scaled Scores for each section, i.e, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability and Total along with the Percentile will be published.

CAT 2019 Exam FAQs

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.

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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.

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, 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