CAT Exam Syllabus 2020: Download IIM CAT Quantitative Aptitude (Maths), English and Logical Reasoning Syllabus Pdf

Exam Date : November 29, 2020
Result Date : January 2, 2021

Knowledge about CAT Syllabus helps a student to prepare accordingly and strategize better for the exam. CAT syllabus 2020 prescribes three significant sections: VARC, DILR, and Quants. Until 2016, DILR was heavily Mathematics oriented. Since 2017, candidates have witnessed a drastic change in the CAT Syllabus, as most of the questions were based on puzzles.

IIM CAT Syllabus is very generic and vast. The Indian Institute of Management does not specify a fixed MBA CAT Syllabus 2020. In detail information about the CAT subjects is provided here. The quantitative aptitude section is based on school level mathematics. However, one has to be strong in the fundamentals to ace this section. The first section of the paper VARC primarily tests the comprehension and critical reasoning skills of the candidates. Reading comprehension and sentence rearrangement based questions are asked in this section.

The CAT exam syllabus has not changed recently, the last change in the CAT 2020 exam pattern was in 2015. The CAT syllabus 2020 mainly consists of the fowllowing sections

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

The weightage given to each section of the CAT Syllabus 2020 and the corresponding number of questions asked from those sections in CAT 2019 is picturized below to help candidates understand the trends and get a brief idea about what to expect from the CAT syllabus 2020.

CAT Exam Pattern

Changes in CAT Syllabus 2020

IIM Indore, the conducting body of CAT 2020 exam, has introduced a lot of changes in the CAT 2020 syllabus, exam pattern, and also in the way in which the exam will be conducted. We've curated pointers to brief the aspirants about the CAT entrance exam syllabus changes as it is essential to be updated about the latest developments.

  • The CAT exam duration is now reduced to 120 mins from 180 mins. Candidates need to know the CAT full syllabus in order to practise and perform well.
  • Candidates will not be able to choose the section or switch between sections when they answer the questions. And the sectional time limit is reduced to 40 mins which was previously 60 mins.
  • CAT Syllabus 2020 will have three sections as usual, which are the Quantitative Aptitude, Verbal Ability, and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.
  • The conducting authority has not revealed much about the CAT 2020 exam pattern. The authorities do not disclose the number of questions or the composition of sections in the CAT 2020 syllabus in order to prevent the exam from being monotonous and predictable.
  • The number of questions is expected to be reduced by 30% as the exam duration is decreased to 2 hours from 3 hours.
  • The total number of questions in the CAT 2020 exam is expected to be in the range of 70-75.
  • A table containing the revised sectional composition of the CAT Syllabus 2020 is provided.
CAT Syllabus 2020 Revised Sectional Composition
CAT Syllabus 2020 Total Number of Questions (Expected) Total Number of MCQs (Expected) Total Non-MCQs (Expected) Total Marks
VARC - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 24 18 8 72
DILR - Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 22 16 6 66
QA - Quantitative Aptitude 24 18 8 72
Total 70 52 22 210

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus 2020

Quantitative Aptitude is a vital part of the CAT Maths syllabus. It has mainly questions from Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry, Calculus, Geometry. Questions in this section are given to test a candidate’s ability to apply mathematical principles to solve real-time problems. Questions will be based on 10th and 12th Mathematics. The quant section of the CAT 2020 Syllabus previously had 32-34 questions weightage, but this year it is expected to be 22-24 questions only.

Important CAT Topics in CAT Quant Syllabus 2020:

  • The Quant syllabus is an important part of the CAT Maths Syllabus. The topics which have to be concentrated from the CAT 2020 Syllabus are provided below.
  • Arithmetic- Number System, HCF, LCM, Ratio & Proportion, Simplification, Percentage, Average, Age Calculation, Time & Work, Distances, Profit, Loss, and Discount.
  • CAT Algebra Syllabus- Hypothesis of Equations, Quadratic Equation, Permutation, and Combination, Sequence and Series, Linear Equation.
  • Percentages- Percentages and its applications
  • Trigonometry- Trigonometric Ratios, Heights, and Distances.
  • Calculus- Minima and Maxima functions.
  • Mensuration-Areas and Volumes – Rectangles, Squares, Triangles, Circles, Cubes, Cones, Spheres, Pipes, and Cistern.
  • Geometry and its applications- Angles, Lines, Triangles, Circles, Coordinate Geometry.
  • Ratio and its applications, Numbers and its applications, Simple and Compound Interest
  • Inequalities, Probability, Mensuration, Mixtures and Allegations, Set theory and Function.

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus Weightage 2020

In order to score well in the CAT Quantitative Aptitude, candidates need to practise more number of questions. By doing that the candidates will be able to solve questions accurately in less amount of time. We have curated a table with the expected number of questions from each topic in the Quant section of the CAT 2020 Syllabus in order to help candidates understand the importance of each topic of the Quantitative Aptitude syllabus and practise well.

CAT Syllabus 2020 Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus Weightage
CAT Syllabus 2020 Quant Section
Number of Questions in CAT 2020 (Expected)
Linear Equations; Quadratic Equations Complex Numbers 1-2 Questions
LCM and HCF 1-2 Questions
Permutation and Combination 1-2 Questions
Logarithm; Progressions 1-2 Questions
Interest (Simple and Compound) 1-2 Questions
Geometry/Mensuration 1-2 Questions
Probability Functions 1-2 Questions
Algebra 1-2 Questions
Coordinate Geometry 1-2 Questions
Speed, Time and Distance; Time and Work 1-2 Questions
Number System 1-2 Questions
Surds and Indices; Inequalities 1-2 Questions
Venn diagrams and other topics 1-2 Questions
Trigonometry 1-2 Questions
Set Theory; Mixtures and Alligations 1-2 Questions
Percentages, Profit, and Loss 1-2 Questions
Binomial Theorem 1-2 Questions
Averages; Ratio & Proportion 1-2 Questions

CAT Verbal Ability Syllabus 2020

  • CAT Verbal Ability syllabus and Reading Comprehension syllabus together constitute the CAT English syllabus.
  • In CAT 2019, 34 questions were asked in this section. But it is expected for CAT 2020 that the total number of questions might be slightly more.
  • CAT English is that section where candidates can score well, but due to the introduction of non-MCQ type questions, it could be a little time-consuming compared to MCQ type questions. But candidates can take advantage of the absence of negative marking.
  • Verbal and Reading Comprehension mainly contains questions from Reading Comprehension, English Grammar, Passage, Vocabulary, and Language Usage.
  • Reading Comprehension section will have a weightage of about 70%.

Important topics in CAT Verbal Ability Syllabus 2020:

Candidates should prioritize the following topics from the CAT 2020 syllabus in order to score more in the Verbal Ability section.

  • Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Grammar
  • Close passage, Synonyms, and Antonyms
  • Critical Reasoning (and its numerous applications)
  • Idioms, Analogies, Para Completion, Fill in the blanks
  • Sentence Correction, Summary Questions, Jumbled Paragraph
  • Fact Interference Judgement, Meaning, and Usage Match

CAT Verbal Ability Syllabus Weightage 2020

The weightage given to different sections of the CAT syllabus 2020 is illustrated below. We have curated a table that consists of the name of each topic of the CAT Verbal Ability syllabus and the expected number of questions from each one of those topics. Aspiring candidates can utilize the table to prioritize the topics while preparing for the CAT 2020 exam.

CAT Syllabus 2020 Verbal Ability Syllabus weightage
CAT Syllabus VARC Topics
Number of questions in CAT 2020 (Expected)
Sequence of sentences 1-2 Questions
Meaning of the phrase 2-3 Questions
Inferences, Statements, Arguments 4-5 Questions
Irrelevant Statements 1-2 Questions
Synonyms-antonyms 2-3 Questions
Analogies 1-2 Questions
Completion of Paragraph 1-2 Questions
Error Correction in Sentences 1-2 Questions
Author’s assumption 2-3 Questions
Jumbled paragraphs 1-2 Questions
Vocabulary usage 2-3 Questions
Main idea in the RC Passage 2-3 Questions
Pick Out of Context Sentence 1-2 Questions
Critical Reasoning 1-2 Questions
Sentence Completion 1-2 Questions
Fill in the blanks 1-2 Questions
Para Summary 3-4 Questions

CAT Syllabus for Reading Comprehension 2020

The reading Comprehension section of the CAT 2020 Syllabus doesn't have a defined set of topics as the syllabus. It includes various topics like language, literature, economy, business, current affairs, and many more. Candidates need to read lots and lots of paragraphs related to the CAT 2020 Syllabus of Reading Comprehension and try to answer questions in less time in order to be able to score well in this section. We have curated pointers containing the list of topics picked from the CAT Syllabus for Reading comprehension. Candidates can utilize the list to practise and score well.

  • Reading Comprehension paragraphs will be around 900 words and shorter paragraphs will have about 600 words. Candidates will have to read the paragraph and answer the questions asked at the end.
  • The CAT 2020 syllabus for current affairs includes the topics like the Current affairs of National and International importance, Impact of Covid 19 pandemic on social life, Government Policies, Immigration, New Education Policy, CAA, Triple Talaq, Make in India, Clean India.
  • The CAT 2020 Syllabus for Economy includes topics like the Global Economic changes, Economic Development and Environment destruction, Demonetization, Unnecessary expenditure by the Government.
  • The CAT 2020 Syllabus for Literature includes work from great philosophers like Aristotle, Charles Dickenson, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, Mohan Das Karam Chand Gandhi, and others.
  • The CAT 2020 Syllabus for Science and Technology includes topics about the Modern world, the Advancement of Technology, and the fading of culture.
  • The CAT 2020 Syllabus for History includes topics about the social changes in the History of India, War of Roses, French Revolution, Freedom Fights among others.
  • The CAT 2020 Syllabus for Mythology includes topics about the important Mythological, current social structure, and abstract fictional topics as well.

CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus 2020

  • Logical Reasoning or Analytical reasoning is an easy scoring section out of the other sections in the CAT syllabus 2020.
  • Though the CAT 2020 syllabus for Logical Reasoning is endless, there are specific crucial topics that are repeated; it depends on how you think, how creative you are in solving the puzzles and problems.
  • Every year the pattern of questions asked from the CAT syllabus keeps on varying. Hence aspirants must develop problem-solving ability by practising several problems of different types.
  • The CAT Logical reasoning syllabus and the CAT Data interpretation syllabus of the CAT Syllabus together has a weightage of about 32%
  • Previously a total of 32-34 questions were asked from these two sections. This year both the sections will have equal weightage.
  • The expected number of questions from the CAT Logical reasoning syllabus is 10-11 and around 6-7 questions are expected to be Non-MCQ type with no negative marking.

Important CAT topics under CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus 2020:

We have curated a list of important topics from the CAT Syllabus 2020 in order to help candidates score more.

  • Direction Sense
  • Puzzles
  • Series
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Data Structures
  • Blood Relations
  • Arrangements
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Sylloge
  • Logical Connectivity

CAT Data Interpretation Syllabus 2020

  • In the data interpretation section of the CAT Syllabus, questions are designed to analyze a candidate’s ability to extract information from a given set of data, which can be in any form, i.e., Bar graph, pie chart, line graph, etc., is tested.
  • There are different types of charts and graphs which are used to frame Data Interpretation questions.
  • Aspiring Candidates must be thorough with all these questions from the CAT Syllabus in order to perform well in the CAT 2020 Exam.

Important CAT Topics in CAT Data Interpretation Syllabus 2020:

  • Tables
  • Pie charts
  • Line graphs
  • Bar graphs
  • Clock
  • Cubes
  • Venn Diagram
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Binary Logic
  • Caselets
  • Calenders
  • Number and Letter Series
  • The combination of Graphs.

CAT 2020 Syllabus PDF Download

Candidates can download the latest full syllabus PDF for CAT 2020. It will help them understand the topics to be covered for CAT 2020. The candidates need to focus on their strengths and prepare the topics accordingly.

Download the full CAT Syllabus Pdf here

We have curated tables to help candidates understand the trends in CAT exam over the years. The total number of questions asked in the CAT exam and the number of questions from each section of the CAT Syllabus along with the difficulty level is clearly mentioned in the table below. Candidates can also refer to the number of MCQ and Non-MCQs asked in each section.

CAT Syllabus trend over the years
Year Total Qs Difficulty Quant VARC DI-LR
CAT 2017 100 Moderate


MCQs 23,



RC-24, (All MCQs),

Verbal-10 (3 MCQs, 7 non-MCQs)


DI-16, LR-16,

CQs-24, Non-MCQs-8

CAT 2016 100 Moderate to Difficult





RC-24, (All MCQs),

Verbal-10 (All non-MCQs)


DI-16, LR-16,

MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8

CAT 2015 100 Moderate to Difficult




VARC -34,

RC-24 (MCQs),

Verbal-10 (Non-MCQs)


DI-16, LR-16,

MCQs-24, Non-MCQs-8

CAT 2014 100 Moderate to Difficult

Total-50 (All MCQ)



Total - 50,



CAT 2013 60 Moderate to Difficult

Total - 30 (All MCQ)


Total- 30,

10 verbal & 10 RC

10 LR


Note: Any changes in CAT Syllabus 2020 will be notified on the official website. But before applying for this exam a candidate must satisfy CAT 2020 Eligibility Criteria which is mandatory.

How long will it take to complete CAT Syllabus?

CAT Syllabus is very vast and generic. It will take a lot of time and dedication to complete all the relevant topics as the CAT syllabus doesn't have a specific boundary. The toppers of the exam feel that if the aspiring candidates can give 5-6 months of proper preparation, then they will be able to cover most of the CAT Syllabus topics.

Which IIM Releases CAT Syllabus?

CAT Syllabus is not released by any of the IIMs. The syllabus is curated by the experts after studying the previous year trends and also the changes that they expect in the current year CAT Syllabus. This is the reason behind the CAT syllabus being very generic and vast.

How to Cover Topics of the CAT 2020 Syllabus?

Every aspiring candidate needs to know the strategy to cover the vast CAT syllabus 2020. We have curated a few tips from the toppers themselves in order to help aspirants perform well.

  • Initially focus on the basics of the CAT Syllabus 2020 to get comfortable with the topics.
  • Give equal weightage to all the three sections of the CAT 2020 Syllabus.
  • Practising a lot of mock test series will help in gaining confidence about the vast CAT Syllabus and also in analyzing the current preparation level.
  • Making note of the important points and formulae will help during the CAT Syllabus revision sessions

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern

The CAT Exam duration has been reduced to 120 minutes for the 2020 session. The sectional time has also been reduced from 60 minutes to 40 minutes.

CAT 2020 Exam Pattern
Elements Details
CAT 2020 Exam date November 29, 2020 (Tentative)
Examination Type Online - Computer-based test pattern (CBT)
Number of sections 3 sections-Verbal & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude
Duration of exam 180 minutes (60 minutes per section) 120 minutes (40 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 (MCQ)

+3 marks for correct answer 0 marks for the incorrect answer (Non-MCQ)

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Discussion Forum



The syllabus for Mathematics is pretty brief in the case of CAT.

Some of the core Syllabus concepts in Maths and Quantitative Aptitude subjects are: 

  • Percentages and its applications
  • Geometry and its applications
  • Ratio and its applications
  • Numbers and its applications
  • Algebra

Answer By: Getmyuni

13 Jan 2017



The topic "Blood Relation" generally accesses the candidates basic Common Sense and Knowledge in family bloodlines.

The questions will be as tricky as it can get and the candidates will be challenged in their own mindsets to an extent.

Answer By: Getmyuni

13 Jan 2017


CAT syllabus

Asked By: Anonymous 02 Jun 2018


Hi Shubam, all the details regarding CAT syllabus can be found here.

Answer By: Getmyuni

02 Jun 2018


CAT Syllabus query

Asked By: Anonymous 02 Jun 2018


Hello Saket, all the details about CAT Syllabus are explained in detail here.

Answer By: Getmyuni

02 Jun 2018



Some of the core Syllabus concepts in Maths and Quantitative Aptitude subjects are: 

  • Percentages and its applications
  • Geometry and its applications
  • Ratio and its applications
  • Numbers and its applications
  • Algebra.

This is the syllabus for Mathematics for CAT 2017.

Answer By: Getmyuni

06 Feb 2017

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