CAT Exam Pattern 2021: This year, CAT 2021 exam will be held on November 28, 2021, and the exam is scheduled for the three slots of 2 hours each. According to the latest pattern released on the CAT official website, the number of questions from each CAT 2021 section will be reduced. Every year, the exam pattern for CAT is changed and for the present session, IIM Ahmedabad is conducting CAT. The candidates who are appearing for the CAT 2021 test can expect a total of 64-66 questions. There will be 22-23 questions for VARC and QA sections and for the DILR section, they can expect 20-21 questions. The CAT Paper Structure will be the same for this year too. Before going to start CAT preparation, it is important for the candidates to have complete details about the exam patterns. Keep reading this article or bookmark this article to get all the details regarding the CAT 2021 Exam Pattern and Marking Scheme.
CAT Exam Pattern 2021- Overview
CAT 2021 Exam pattern and test procedure have been announced by IIM Ahmedabad along with CAT notification. The candidate must be familiar with the CAT 2021 latest exam pattern and syllabus. This will help them in understanding the structure of the CAT question paper and marking scheme. This year CAT 2021 will be conducted in three slots. Let’s have a look at the overview of the exam for better understanding.
|Name of the Exam||Common Admission Test (CAT)|
|Conducting Body||IIM Ahmedabad|
|Course||Post Graduate Management Courses|
|Institutes accepting CAT Score||IIMs, IITs, IISc and other B-Schools|
|Type of Exam||National Level|
|Type of Questions||MCQs and Non-MCQs|
|Total Number of Questions||76 Questions|
(54 MCQs and 22 Non MCQs)
|Time duration||120 minutes|
|Mode of exam||Computer Based Test (CBT)|
|Mode of application||Online|
|Negative Marking||-1 for an incorrect answer (MCQs)|
CAT 2021 Exam Pattern
CAT 2021 Exam pattern and test procedure are announced along with the CAT notification. CAT question paper is divided into three sections such as VARC, DILR & QA. Candidates must solve both MCQ and Non-MCQ type questions. It is highly important for aspirants to understand all aspects of the CAT 2021 exam pattern in order to formulate a section-wise detailed strategy for CAT 2021. Exam pattern is the first and foremost step towards streamlining the plan according to CAT syllabus for scoring 99%ile thus increasing the chances of getting shortlisted.
Having proper knowledge regarding the exam is of utmost importance hence we have tabulated the important details regarding CAT below:
|Duration of exam||2 hours|
|Name of section||Verbal ability & reading comprehension|
Data Interpretation & logical reasoning
|Section-wise duration||40 minutes for each section.|
53 minutes 20 seconds for PwD candidates
|slot wise session||Slot 1: 8:30 am- 10:30 pm|
Slot 2: 12:30 pm-2:30pm
Slot 3: 4:30 pm- 6:30pm
|Number of questions||76|
|CAT exam total marks||228|
|Mode of CAT 2021 Exam||Computer-based mode|
|Marking scheme||+3 for every correct answer, |
-1 for wrong answer
No negative marks for Non-MCQ
CAT 2021- What’s New In The Exam Pattern
CAT 2021 exam pattern is similar to last year. PwD category candidates will get 53 minutes and 20 seconds to complete a specific section of CAT 2021 while another candidate will get 40 minutes. CAT exam will now be conducted for a total time frame of 2 hours.
IIM Ahmedabad will release the CAT official mock test that reveals the overall and section-wise IIM CAT pattern. Applicants will be allowed to switch from one section to another while answering questions in one particular section.
CAT 2021 Paper Pattern
IIM CAT exam pattern has not changed considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation. With the latest available information, CAT 2021 exam will be conducted in 3 slots on the same day for a time duration of 2 hours. The candidate must understand all the aspects of the CAT 2021 exam pattern for formulating a section-wise detailed strategy for CAT 2021. Knowing CAT 2021 exam pattern is the first and foremost step after knowing the CAT syllabus in order to score the 99 percentile and get admission in the top IIMs.
Let’s have a look at the latest exam pattern of CAT 2021. The below table represents the total number of MCQ and Non-MCQs questions that are mentioned in this article. Let us have a glimpse of the details of different sections of the exam, total number of questions and maximum marks for each section are below:
|Sections||Total Questions||MCQs||Non-MCQs||Maximum Marks|
|Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension||26||18||8||78|
|Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning||24||18||6||72|
Slot-Wise Highlights in MBA CAT Exam pattern 2021:
VARC Section: this will include 4 RC passages with 18 MCQs; VA 8 Non-MCQ are divided further into Para summaries, Para Jumbles, and Context sentences.
DILR: Data Interpretation: 14 questions, logical reasoning: 10 questions, all in set of 6 & 4 questions.
QA: High on Arithmetic, Other mainly includes Geometry, Log, Algebra, Roots etc.
Overall & Sectional Duration of CAT Exam Pattern 2021
Candidates appearing for the Common Admission test can verify the overall and sectional duration. Each section must be completed within 40 minutes while PwD category candidates will be given 53 minutes and 20 seconds to answer the section correctly. Aspirants will not be allowed to switch between sections. After the completion of one section, the candidate will be able to move to the next one.
However, candidates can switch between questions within the same sections. With the help of having prior knowledge of the CAT exam pattern and syllabus, it is possible to know the subject and topics, marking scheme.
CAT Exam Pattern 2021- Time Distribution
The time varies for different category aspirants varies widely. Let’s have a look at the below table for CAT exam sectional time distribution.
|Section||Total number of questions||Duration for all category||Duration of PwD category|
|Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension||26 questions||40 minutes||53 minutes & 20 seconds|
|Data Interpretation & logical reasoning||24 questions||40 minutes||53 minutes & 20 seconds|
|Quantitative ability||26 questions||40 minutes||53 minutes & 20 seconds|
|Total||76 questions||120 minutes||159 minutes & 60 seconds|
CAT Exam 2021- Marking Scheme
CAT exam pattern includes a marking scheme under which candidates will get to know the total marks awarded for each correct answer and marks that must be deducted for the wrong answer.
- For each correct answer, three marks are awarded.
- For each wrong answer, one marks will be deducted.
- No marks will be deducted for unattempted questions.
- No marks will be deducted for Non-MCQs.
CAT 2021: How to move between sections?
Candidates must follow all the instructions on the computer screen during the answering of the questions. When the candidate logs in and starts answering the questions, there will be a timer clock in the upper right corner. After every 40 minutes, the section will be locked and the candidate will not be able to answer the future questions involved in the same section.
CAT 2021: How to answer questions?
Before starting the CAT examination, the candidate must be aware of how to answer questions. These includes:
Save and Next: The candidate must select the answer, save and then move to the next one.
Clear Response: The candidate will have the option to delete the answer to the question.
Mark for Review and Next: Candidates who are unsure about the answer have the option to mark it as a review and then answer the same and further then it moves on next question.
While answering the question, the candidate must use the mouse provided while using the system keyboard cab lock the computer system.
Important points About CAT 2021 Test process
- Applicants can use the screen calculator for calculations during CAT Exam.
- Screen clock will help test takers to check the time during exam.
- For rough work, papers will be provided and this must be submitted to the exam centre once the exam id compeleted.
- Candidate will not be allowed to commence the test before the time. Computer screen will open up after the invigilator notifies.
- Computer screen in exam hall run at same time.
- Test-takers must sit at the designated area and will be disqualified it found sitting any where else.
What Does Color On The Panel Represent?
When candidates log in to the exam, a different color panel just shows up on the screen. Each color has a significant meaning. Let’s have a look at the different panel colors.
|Panel color||What it indicates|
|Red||The question was not answered and not marked for review|
|Green||The question was answered and not marked for review|
|Grey||Question not visited|
|Violet||Question is marked for review and yet not answered|
|Violet with Green tick||The question was marked and answered for review|
CAT Mock Tests 2021
Candidates who are willing to appear for CAT 2021 must visit the official website and appear for a mock test. IIM Ahmedabad will release CAT mock test tentatively by the third week of October. This will help candidates in becoming familiar with the exam pattern and this will also help candidates to attend the questions within the given time. By appearing in a mock test, candidates can get an idea of how to move between sections.
Important Points Regarding CAT Paper Pattern:
- CAT consists of 76 questions and the total marks of CAT exam will be 228 marks that is divided into 3 section such as VARC will have 26 questions, DILR will have 24 questions & QA will have 26 questions.
- CAT exam will include both MCQ as well as Non-MCQ questions.
- Candidate must make use of screen calculator for calculation during exam.
- Screen lock will appear on the screen as the exam is logged in.
- Candidates will be provided for rough work which should be submitted at the exam hall while leaving the hall.
- The computer screen will open only after the notification is provided by invigilator.
- All computer screens in exam hall run simulatenously.
- Candidate must accomodate themselves on the computer designated to them
- Exam has to be attempted in prescribed order and candidate should not switch between sections.
It is to be noted that candidates have to clear all three sections separately in order to qualify CAT 2021.
CAT Exam Pattern 2021: Changes over years
Over the past year, the CAT exam saw a major shift in the exam pattern due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 76 questions in the exam that candidates appeared for and the duration of the exam was 120 minutes. In the recent year, the duration of 180 minutes of the exam was reduced to 120 minutes and the exam was conducted in three slots.
Below is a table that indicates changes in CAT exam patterns over the years. The test structure of CAT exam has observed the biggest change in the duration and number of questions in 2013-2014. CAT 2013 paper had 60 questions, duration was 140 minutes. In CAT 2014 paper, the number of questions was increased to 100 and the exam duration is 170 minutes.
CAT Exam Dates 2021
The important dates for CAT are tabulated below:
|Release of CAT Notification||July 31, 2021|
|CAT Online Registration Begins||August 4, 2021|
|Last date to fill CAT exam form||Sep 22, 2021|
|Release of CAT Admit Card||October 27, 2021|
|CAT Exam 2021||November 28, 2021|
|Release of CAT Answer Key||First week of December 2021|
|Challenge of CAT Answer Key||First week of December 2021|
|Release of CAT Result||January 2022|
FAQs On Exam Pattern Of CAT 2021
The FAQs regarding CAT paper patterns are as under:
|Q: What is CAT exam pattern 2021?|
Ans: CAT 2021 is a Computer Based Test that mainly includes 3 sections of 76 questions VARC, DILR, QA. The latest exam pattern will be followed in which CAT Exam will have 2 hours durational time and 76 questions will be asked.
|Q: Define the CAT Marking scheme 2021?|
Ans: The total score of CAT Exam is 228. Three marks are awarded for correct answers and one mark is deducted for each incorrect answer.
|Q: How many MCQs and Non-MCQs will be asked in CAT 2021?|
Ans: A total of 54 MCQs and 22 Non-MCQs will be asked in CAT 2021 exam.
|Q: What is the section-time limit in CAT exam 2021?|
Ans: According to the latest notification, The sectional time of the CAT exam for the PwD candidate is 53 minutes and 20 seconds whereas for other candidate is 40 minutes.
|Q: Is there any specific order for answering sections?|
Ans: Applicants must answer the question in a pre-specified order and this will remain the same for all candidates. The time duration is 180 minutes.
After completion of the whole CAT Syllabus, take full-length mock tests and learn from your mistakes. Embibe provides you free Bank Mock Test Series with detailed exam analysis which will not only improve your knowledge, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving skills but also your test-taking skills i.e., time management, prioritization of questions, exam-taking strategy, etc.
We hope this article has answered all your queries regarding CAT Exam Pattern 2021. However, if have you have any query, please post it in the comment section below and we will get back to you.