Common Admission Test (CAT), despite being a computer based test is not an online exam as it is not an internet based test. The test taker will read the questions on a computer terminal from a pool of questions in CAT syllabus. CAT is the mandatory entrance exam for MBA/PGP admission in 20 IIMs and other top B-schools like FMS Delhi, SPJIMR Mumbai, MDI Gurugram and IITs DMS. This year, IIM Bangalore is conducting CAT on November 27, 2022 in three slots of 2 hours duration.

Although IIMs do not release a defined syllabus for CAT preparation, the latest CAT question papers and Mock Tests are released by IIMs to make the candidates familiar with the CAT exam syllabus, pattern of examination and types of CAT questions. So, the CAT syllabus 2022 is broadly divided into three sections: Quantitative Ability (QA); Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR); and Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC). For better understanding to prepare with CAT MBA Syllabus 2022, each section can be divided into subsections. This year MBA CAT syllabus is changed as per the changes in CAT 2022 exam pattern which will have fewer questions. 

This article prepared by CAT experts, shares complete MBA CAT Syllabus based on last 5 years CAT question papers with actual CAT questions as appeared in CAT exam. To understand and prepare for CAT syllabus and pattern 2022, read below carefully the overview and key changes in CAT syllabus 2022, important sectional details & weightages of topics in CAT syllabus and pattern.

CAT Syllabus 2022: Table of Contents

  1. Overview of CAT Syllabus 2022
  2. CAT 2022 Syllabus: Key Highlights Overall & Section wise
  3. Key Pointers of CAT Exam Syllabus
  4. Revision & Changes in Syllabus
  5. CAT sectional syllabus for VARC, DILR & Quant
  6. CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Syllabus Weightage, Key Topics, Type of Questions
  7. CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning Syllabus Weightage, Key Topics, Type of Questions
  8. CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus Weightage, Key Topics, Type of Questions
  9. How to Study and Cover CAT Syllabus? Toppers’ Tips
  10. How to Download CAT Syllabus Pdf?
  11. Latest Updates
  1. CAT Syllabus 2022: An Overview of CAT Syllabus & Pattern with Sectional Weightage

There are total three sections in the CAT syllabus which carry different weight in the CAT question paper. Although the CAT syllabus is divided in 3 sections, the effective number of sections are five as VARC and DILR sections are further sub-divided into 2 sub sections. Read details below.  

Sectional Division of CAT SyllabusOverview of Topics in SyllabusOverall Weightage in CAT exam
Section-1: CAT VARC Syllabus Weightage & Topics (Sectional Division is given belowRC Based Questions, Parajumbles, Para summary, Out of Context Sentence 36%
Section-1.1: CAT Verbal Ability (VA) Syllabus- Key Topics & WeightageJumbled Paragraphs; Para-summary Picking the Out of context sentence from a jumbled paragraph10%
Section-1.2: CAT Reading Comprehension (RC) Syllabus- Key Topics & WeightageLong & Short RC Passages followed by questions based on vocabulary, statements, inferences, elaboration of ideas in24%
Section-2: CAT DILR Syllabus Weightage & Topics (Sectional Division is given below Data Analysis Charts, Tables, Graphs, Direction sense, seating arrangements32%
Section-2.1: CAT Data Interpretation Syllabus Weightage & TopicsSet of 3-4 Questions based on Data Charts, Data Tables, Bar Graphs, Venn Diagrams16%
Section-2.2: CAT Logical Reasoning Syllabus Weightage & TopicsSet of 3-4 Questions based on Seating Arrangement, Team Formation, Clocks & Calendars, Direction Sense, Family Tree16%
Section-3: CAT Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus Weightage & Key TopicsIndividual Questions based on Arithmetic, Algebra, Modern Math, Geometry, Mensuration, Number system, Trigonometry34%
CAT 2022 Exam Syllabus: Key ComponentsCAT 2022 Pattern
Test duration   2 hrs (120 Minutes)
Test sessions/Slots   3 (Morning, Afternoon and Evening)
Total questions 66
Total score198
Number of Sections in CAT question paper    3 (VARC; DILR; QA)
Time Allotted for Each Section in CAT exam 40 Minutes
Total questions in VARC Section  24
Total Questions in DILR section  20
Total Questions in QA section  22

3. CAT 2022 Exam Syllabus: Key Pointers and How to Cover?

4. Revision and Changes in the CAT Syllabus 2022
CAT 2022 Exam Syllabus is revised with the changes in CAT pattern and structure. Given the reputation of IIMs for bringing changes in CAT exam every year, a few changes are brought again in the CAT syllabus 2022 as the exam pattern for CAT is also changed. This year with reduced number of questions in the exam, CAT syllabus is changed again. 

4.1 CAT Syllabus 2022: Important Changes
CAT 2022 syllabus is changed again and has different pattern and structure. Important changes in CAT syllabus are

i) CAT will have 3 sections with reduced number of questions

ii) The sectional weightage in CAT syllabus is as under:

iii) Questions on topics like Error correction in sentences, Fill in the Blanks, Sentence completion are no longer placed in CAT exam

iv) Number of sections are increased to three from two and DILR is now a single section. It carries high weightage in IIMs’ shortlisting process and you need to clear the cut offs in this section along with other two sections

v) CAT has introduced 25% to 28% questions without Negative Marking in the CAT exam. The topics for Non-MCQ type of questions are same as for MCQ type questions which carry negative marking

5. CAT Sectional Syllabus
Below is shared quick glimpses of latest CAT syllabus for 2022 based on last five year CAT papers, followed by detailed section wise syllabus for CAT 2022

5.1 CAT 2022 Sectional Syllabus at a Glance
The broad break-up of topics as given above for the syllabus is as under. You may find most of the questions in CAT 2022 exam based on following topics

Quantitative Ability (QA)Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
AveragesRatio & ProportionLCM and HCFPercentagesProfit and LossInterest (Simple and Compound)Speed, Time and Distance Time and WorkNumber SystemAlgebraGeometry/MensurationPure MathVenn diagramsLinear EquationsQuadratic EquationsComplex NumbersLogarithmProgressionsBinomial TheoremSurds and IndicesInequalitiesPermutation and Combination Probability FunctionsSet TheoryMixtures and AlligationsCo-ordinate GeometryTrigonometry      Data comparison from TableGraphsBar charts – Simple, Stacked, Composite Bar chartsPie chartsCaseletsData AnalysisDirection senseTeam formationSeating ArrangementBlood RelationClocksCalendarsBinary logicLogical SequenceAssumptionPremiseConclusionLinear and matrix arrangementInput-OutputSeriesSyllogismCubesRowsSet Theory Venn DiagramsNetwork DiagramsQuantitative ReasoningPuzzlesMain idea in the passageAssumptionInferences, Statements, ArgumentsSynonyms-antonymsPhrasal meaning & UsagePara SummaryJumbled paragraphs Odd sentence out of Jumbled paragraphError CorrectionsSequence of sentencesVocabulary usageFill in the blanksCompletion of ParagraphAnalogiesCritical ReasoningSentence Completion    

5.2 Detailed CAT Syllabus Section Wise
The exam syllabus section wise is not limited to these three sections only, as they are further sub-divided. This sub-division makes MBA CAT syllabus 2022 divided into 5 effective sections.

CAT 2022 exam componentsTotal questionsTotal MCQs (With negative marking)Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)Highlights
Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)241954 RC Passages with MCQs; VA Non MCQs divided into Para jumbles, Para Summary, and Out of Context Sentences
Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)20155LR – 10 Ques DI – 10 Ques All in Sets of 3 & 4 Qs
Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)22148High on Arithmetic. Other on Log, Geometry, Roots, Algebra
Total66 4818  

CAT Syllabus for each of the three sections, their sub-divisions, number of questions on important topics is shared below

6. CAT Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension Syllabus Weightage, Key Topics, Type of Questions
CAT Syllabus for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) carries overall 34-36% Weightage in CAT

Common Admission Test (CAT) syllabus for VARC section is divided into 2 parts. The 1st part of syllabus covers topics on Reading Comprehension passages and the 2nd part of CAT MBA syllabus 2022 on VARC covers topics on Verbal Ability. Total expected questions in this section are 24 out of total 66 questions. There are 5-6 VA questions of Non-MCQ type which do not carry negative marking. The VARC section syllabus is divided into 70% questions on RC syllabus and 30% to VA syllabus.

There are long and short English Comprehension passages in VARC section followed by 4-5 questions. Sometimes uniform number of 4 questions follow 3-4 RC passages. All the questions based on Reading Comprehension usually are of MCQ type with negative marking.

Verbal Ability part has individual questions that covers different areas of English language grammar and usage. The questions are of Non-MCQ type without the penalty of negative marking. Below is shared the topic wise VARC CAT syllabus with number of questions in the exam and actual CAT questions that appeared recently in the exam to help you familiarise with the type of questions in CAT

6.1 CAT VARC Syllabus Topics

VARC TopicsNo. of questions in CAT exam
Inferences, Statements, ArgumentsMain idea in the RC PassageAuthor’s assumptionSynonyms-antonymsMeaning of the phrasePara SummaryJumbled paragraphsPick Out of Context SentenceError Correction in SentencesSequence of sentencesFill in the blanksCompletion of ParagraphAnalogiesCritical ReasoningSentence CompletionIrrelevant StatementsVocabulary usage3-4 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions 2-3 Questions 2-3 Questions 2-3 Questions 2-3 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions 2-3 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions 1-2 Questions

6.2 Key areas in RC Syllabus
The English Reading comprehension passages in CAT entrance exam syllabus are taken from a wide area which includes, current affairs, Literature, Business Economy among others as detailed under. Diverse reading of topics in following areas will help you cover the CAT exam syllabus in VARC

6.3 Format of Questions in Reading Comprehension (RC)
While the Verbal Ability questions are of Non-MCQ type, all the RC Passage based questions are of MCQ type with penalty of 1/3rd negative marking. The questions are based on information in RC passage; explanation of the words & phrases as used in the passage; In context of the passage –True/false statements; Author’s view on various issues raised in the RC passage; Inference from the passage; main idea of RC passage; Purpose of the RC passage

6.4 Length of RC passages in CAT
Longer RC passages are of around 800 words; shorter passages are of around 500 words in CAT exam as reflected in last 5 years.

6.5 Best Books for VARC Syllabus in CAT
Following are the recommended books by CAT toppers and experts for VARC

6.6 Type of Questions in CAT Syllabus on VARC
Below are some of the CAT questions that appeared in VARC section in recent CAT exam. It will help you to have more clarity on CAT syllabus and exact type of questions that you are likely to see in your CAT VARC section

6.6.1 Actual CAT Questions on Verbal Ability
Verbal Ability syllabus in CAT in VARC section has TITA questions which are with or without answer options. You need to choose and type the possible right answer on the screen in the given space. Some of the actual VA questions in CAT syllabus as appeared in recent CAT exam are shared below:

VA – Q.1: The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3, 4) below, when properly sequenced would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequencing of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer:

  1. Man has used poisons for assassination purposes ever since the dawn of civilization, against individual enemies but also occasionally against armies.
  2. These dangers were soon recognized, and resulted in two international declarations—in 1874 in Brussels and in 1899 in The Hague—that prohibited the use of poisoned weapons.
  3. The foundation of microbiology by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch offered new prospects for those interested in biological weapons because it allowed agents to be chosen and designed on a rational basis.
  4. Though treaties were all made in good faith, they contained no means of control, and so failed to prevent interested parties from developing and using biological weapons.

VA – Q.2: The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
For nearly a century most psychologists have embraced one view of intelligence. Individuals are born with more or less intelligence potential (I.Q.); this potential is heavily influenced by heredity and difficult to alter; experts in measurement can determine a person’s intelligence early in life, currently from paper-and-pencil measures, perhaps eventually from examining the brain in action or even scrutinizing his/her genome. Recently, criticism of this conventional wisdom has mounted. 

Biologists ask if speaking of a single entity called “intelligence” is coherent and question the validity of measures used to estimate heritability of a trait in humans, who, unlike plants or animals, are not conceived and bred under controlled conditions.

Ans Options

  1. Biologists have criticised that conventional wisdom that individuals are born with more or less intelligence potential.
  2. Biologists have started questioning psychologists’ view of ‘intelligence’ as a measurable immutable characteristic of an individual.
  3. Biologists have questioned the view that ‘intelligence’ is a single entity and the ways in which what is inherited.
  4. Biologists have questioned the long-standing view that ‘intelligence’ is a single entity and the attempts to estimate it’s heritability.

VA- Q.3: Five jumbled up sentences, related to a topic, are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a coherent paragraph. Identify the odd one out and key in the number of the sentence as your answer:

  1. Talk was the most common way for enslaved men and women to subvert the rules of their bondage, to gain more agency than they were supposed to have.
  2. Even in conditions of extreme violence and unfreedom, their words remained ubiquitous, ephemeral, irrepressible, and potentially transgressive.
  3. Slaves came from societies in which oaths, orations, and invocations carried great potency, both between people and as a connection to the all-powerful spirit world.
  4. Freedom of speech and the power to silence may have been preeminent markers of white liberty in Colonies, but at the same time, slavery depended on dialogue: slaves could never be completely muted.
  5. Slave-owners obsessed over slave talk, though they could never control it, yet feared its power to bind and inspire—for, as everyone knew, oaths, whispers, and secret conversations bred conspiracy and revolt.

6.6.2 Actual CAT Questions on Reading Comprehension
RC syllabus in CAT in VARC section has MCQ questions which are with answer options and carry negative marking. You need to click on the right answer to avoid negative marking penalty. An actual RC passage followed by questions & answer options in CAT syllabus as appeared in recent CAT exam is shared below:

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