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CAT Exam Pattern

CAT Exam Format

Before we get into every segment of CAT exam, here is a bird eye view to the CAT exam format and how you should go about it.

CAT Exam Timing

The total time duration of CAT exam is 180 minutes, that is 3 hours.

 Subjects in CAT Exam

Though there is no specific syllabus for CAT exam but it strictly has three sections:

Verbal Ability and Comprehension

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Ability

In three hours of CAT exam, a student has to answer 100 questions.

The number of questions for each section of CAT exam are mentioned below:

CAT Exam Section

Number of questions

Verbal Ability and Comprehension


Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning


Quantitative Ability


A popular myth about CAT exam is, it only comprises Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ). That’s untrue. In the CAT exam, students have to answer MCQ questions mostly. There are also descriptive questions that come in CAT exam nowadays and whose answers are to be directly put on screen. The descriptive questions of CAT exam do not offer optional answers. In CAT exam 2016, the number of non MCQ questions was 25.

In the CAT exam, the score for every correct answer is +3.

In the CAT exam, the score for every incorrect answer is -1

In the CAT exam, there is no penalty for unanswered question.

In CAT exam, there is no negative marking for non MCQ or descriptive type questions.

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