• Written By Mrinalini_M
  • Last Modified 24-05-2023

CAT Syllabus 2023: Important Topics for VARC, DILR & QA


CAT Syllabus 2023: The CAT test syllabus is divided into three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude. (QA). These sections address all of the fundamental subtopics covered in school. The IIMs do not officially release a detailed syllabus for the MBA exam. Hence, we have provided the exam syllabus based on the previous year’s pattern, with questions asked for all three sections on this page.

SubjectsAttempt CAT Mock Tests
Quantitative AptitudePractice Now
EnglishPractice Now
Data Interpretation and Logical ReasoningPractice Now

**Steps to take the CAT mock test series are mentioned below in this article.

The first and foremost thing in preparation is going through the latest syllabus. It will ensure that candidates don’t miss out on any important topics which can hinder their performance in the exam. So, familiarising with the syllabus is imperative and that can gap the distance between the candidates and the top IIMs. Scroll down to get the detailed syllabus.

CAT Exam Syllabus 2023

The Common Admission Test (CAT) is a national-level management aptitude test for admission to MBA courses at 20 IIMs and over 1,200 B-schools in India. The Written Ability Test 2023 will be held on November 26, 2023. Knowing the syllabus will help candidates to come up with an effective study plan which can create a lot of difference in their preparation.

Graphs, Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Coding-Decoding, Percentage, English Grammar, Series Completion, and so on are the main topics of the syllabus. The syllabus includes 3 subjects: 

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

CAT Exam Pattern Latest Changes

For over a decade, the CAT Exam Syllabus has remained constant. The only change is that the number of questions on the syllabus has been reduced from 100 to 66 in the previous two years. Check out the table below to know the changes that occurred in the exam pattern:


Changes in CAT Exam 2023

CAT 2022

Changes in CAT 2021

Changes in CAT 2020

Questions from CAT Syllabus

Expected to be the same as the CAT 2022 exam pattern




VARC CAT Syllabus




DILR Syllabus for CAT




CAT Quants Syllabus




How To Attempt Embibe’s CAT Mock Test?

Know the steps to take the CAT mock test series below:

  • 1st Step: Visit Embibe’s official website, i.e., embibe.com.
  • 2nd Step: Use the mobile number/email to log in.
  • 3rd Step: Click on the menu bar “Getting a Government Job” 
  • 4th Step: Select the Goal “Management” from the Dropdown and click on “Next”.
  • 5th Step: Search and Select “CAT” on the search bar and click on “Next”.
  • 6th Step: Select the preferred language and click on “Done”.
  • 7th Step: Click “Test” from the Header Section.
  • 8th Step: Scroll down to the “Subjects” section.
  • 9th Step: Click on any CAT subjects.
  • 10th Step: Scroll down to click on the chapters from the selected subject to begin the test.

CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus

The Quantitative Aptitude section, for a long time, has proved to be challenging for CAT aspirants. However, candidates can ace this section by having a good idea of the syllabus and making an effective study plan.

LCM & HCF Ratio & Proportion
Percentages Probability, Permutation & Combination
Averages Surds & Indices
Number System Logarithm
Profit, Loss & Discount Set Theory
Simple & Compound Interest Inequalities
Speed, Time & Distance Functions & Geometry
Time & Work Mixture & Allegations
Quadratic & Linear Equations Trigonometry
Complex Numbers Algebra

Important Tips for Quantitative Aptitude

Know some of the important points related to the Quantitative Aptitude section below that will help candidates improve their scores:

  • The Arithmetic questions are basic and easy to prepare so candidates will not face many problems here.
  • The Geometry questions are tricky as there are many formulas and rules, so candidates have to keep them in mind while solving them.
  • Trigonometry is crucial in solving this section, and it is one of the main parts of this section.
  • There will be both MCQ and non-MCQ questions, and MCQ questions will have negative markings.
  • There will be a total of 18 MCQ questions and 8 non-MCQ questions.

CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) Syllabus

Candidates will get 40 minutes to solve the VARC section. It is the first section that they will encounter in the question paper. Check the syllabus for the VARC section below:

Grammar or English Usage Synonyms and Antonyms Fill in the Blanks
Meaning/ Usage Match Jumbled Paragraph And Close Passage Verbal Reasoning
Reading Comprehension Analogies & Reverse Analogies Summary Questions
Facts Inference Judgements Verbal Logic One-word Substitution

Important Tips for Verbal Ability

The Verbal Ability section is scoring and with good preparation, candidates will be able to score good marks. Check the important points for this section below:

  • Most of the questions for this section will be focused on jumbled paragraphs, summary questions, and odd sentences in paragraph jumbles.
  • In the jumbled paragraph questions, 4 to 5 sentences will be jumbled, and candidates will need to put them in order. The best way to solve these questions is by identifying the first and the last sentences.
  • For summary questions, candidates will get 4 options of small passages consisting of 80 to 100 words. Candidates have to find the best option that depicts the summary of the paragraph.
  • For odd sentence questions, candidates will have to identify the sentences that do not match the theme of the remaining paragraph.

Important Tips for Reading Comprehension

Some of the must-know that candidates don’t want to miss for Reading Comprehension are listed below.

  • The reading comprehension section mainly contains questions that are based on the reading passages.
  • Questions that candidates will be facing are inference-based, fact-based, assumption-based, and vocabulary-based.
  • Candidates will have to focus extra on assumption-based questions as they are the trickiest in this section.

CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) Syllabus

The DILR section is one of the trickiest in the exam. Candidates will get a total of 40 minutes to solve this section. The aim of this section is to test applicants’ problem-solving skills, which is why it is one of the toughest sections they will face. Check the syllabus for DILR below:

Bar Graphs & Column Graphs Caselets & Tables
Combination of Two or More Types Linked to Each Other Line Charts & Pie Chart
Number & Letter Series Binary Logic
Connectives Matching or Puzzles
Blood Relations Venn Diagram
Syllogism Logical Sequence
Calendars, Cubes, and Clocks Seating Arrangement

Important Tips for Data Interpretation

Get to know some of the important points for Data Interpretation below:

  • This part will have both MCQ and Non-MCQ questions.
  • There will be negative markings for MCQ questions. However, there is no negative marking for non-MCQ questions.
  • Try to attempt mock tests regularly to master this section.

Important Tips for Logical Reasoning

Some of the important points for the Logical Reasoning section:

  • The logical reasoning section will include questions from topics such as arrangements, numbers and sequences, logical sequence, syllogisms, calendars, clocks and cubes, and blood relations.
  • Spend more time on logical reasoning than date interpretation, as this is a much trickier section.
  • There will be 15 to 20 questions from this part.

Quick Links –

CAT Notification CAT Preparation 
CAT Mock Test CAT Exam Analysis 

FAQs on CAT Syllabus 2023

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the CAT syllabus for MBA that people usually ask.

Q: How many sections are there in CAT 2023?

A: There will be a total of 3 sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Aptitude in the CAT 2023 exam.

Q: What is the syllabus for CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension?

A: The CAT VARC section is scoring and candidates have the best chance to improve their percentile by solving this section. Check the syllabus in this article.

Q: Is there a negative marking in CAT Exam?

A: Yes, there is a negative marking for MCQ questions in CAT Exam. However, there is no negative marking for non-MCQ questions.

Q: What is the syllabus for CAT Quantitative Aptitude?

A: Trigonometry, Sequence & series, and Alligation & Mixtures are the most important topics for the Quantitative Aptitude section. Check the detailed syllabus for QA in this article.

Q: What is the CAT 2023 exam date?

A: The CAT 2023 exam date is November 26, 2023.

We hope that this article on CAT Syllabus 2023 has helped you. If you have any doubts or queries, feel to contact us by downloading our app, and we will be happy to get back to you.

Stay tuned to Embibe to get the latest updates on CAT 2023 exam.

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