CAT Exam Syllabus : PDF | Books | Eligibility | Study Plan

Syllabus for the CAT Exam 

When we were in our coaching institute and preparing for the CAT exam, I asked this question to my teacher. He said, “IIMs do not specify a syllabus, they say everything till 10nth CBSE is what we will dish out”.

While it’s true that CAT Exam Syllabus is not explicitly stated out by the conducting body, there is a general trend that has been observed over the years. This article discusses that trend about the CAT exam syllabus.

Students would definitely want to know the syllabus for CAT and we would like to give you much more than the answer which my teacher gave me above.

So here it is:

CAT Exam Quant Syllabus 

Earlier, i.e. post the online CAT, Quant used to be Number System centric. So much so that students used to say – “just do Number System and you will clear the cut offs” and indeed this was true more often than not before CAT 2012. However, the online format of CAT has seen a general trend towards a more balanced paper with some new inclusions as well. Here is the complete list of Quant Syllabus

  • Number System
  • Progressions
  • Percentages
  • Profit and Loss
  • CI and SI
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Time and Work
  • Time Speed and Distance
  • Geometry
  • Mensuration
  • Probability
  • Permutations and Combinations
  • Set Theory
  • 2-Dimensional Coordinate Geometry
  • General Aptitude
Note that Algebra, Set Theory are two of the most tested areas now with respect to Quant syllabus for CAT exam. Topics such as percentages may not be tested directly but form the basis of other chapters and tricks and basic understanding of such chapters goes a long way in helping crack the CAT Exam.

DI/LR CAT 2012 Syllabus

It’s very hard to put reasoning under a CAT Exam Syllabus title but here we have borrowed the list from TIME Institute, which has the best reasoning material in our opinion. No selling folks, just good facts.

  • Graphs, Pie Charts and Tabular Data given and you have to answer the questions that follow based on the data.
  • Family Puzzles
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Circular sitting arrangement
  • Sitting Arrangement
  • Averages
  • Quant Based Logic
  • Distribution
  • Ordering and Sequencing
  • Selections
  • Routes and Networks
  • Binary Logic
  • Cubes
  • Venn Diagrams
  • Other Areas

Verbal Ability CAT Syllabus 

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Para Jumbles
  • Para Completion
  • Vocabulary Based
  • Grammar Based Questions
  • Homophones
  • Fact Opinion Inference based
  • Find Assumptions

Trends over the Past Few Years

It has been observed that the general inclination these days is towards Algebra rather than Number system and also set theory questions have become pretty common since the online Avatar of CAT exam. So be sure to cover these two sections in much detail so that you can maximize your chances on the final day.

Very Important – Please Read This 

First things firstwe are not astrologers and there could be questions outside this list.

The point we want to make is – “Do not expect anything for CAT exam.” It’s true that CAT has lost it’s surprise factor by going online but it is very important that you prepare for all sections equally well at this stage especially because of even weight-age being given to all the sections in the paper.

Use the above list just to know about the topics. Further, these topics are very vast in themselves, well, most of them are and you need to know the past trends of CAT that show up in the exam, so prepare accordingly.

As we have stated previously, we advise you to buy and learn by heart – ‘Arun Sharma Quant...’ Guys, if you don’t have this, we feel sorry for you. This book is die hard essential and too good not to be kept in your Quant preparation arsenal.

Also, please ensure that you buy the latest version, as the guy (an IIM-B alumnus) updates his almost every year by inculcating the changing aspect for CAT.

Why not buy a course material that takes care of all these aspects? Read about Test Funda course material which takes care of all CAT Exam Syllabus pattern over the past years.

Read some more interesting articles relevant to your studies:

Find out if you are eligible for an IIM over here. 

CAT Syllabus as put through by the IIMs in simple language is “Till 10nth Class”. However, we know that this is only partially true. No students would want to study a topic that is not relevant to study. Not only does it waste time but it also makes a student devote lesser time to the main topics of the Cat syllabus.

So what is there in the CAT syllabus?

We will take a look at this a little more closely giving equal importance and categorizing the content into various sections. As we know, there are three sections in the Cat paper in the online format.

Quantitative Aptitude CAT Syllabus

This section has various topics and is generally known as the mathematics/aptitude sections. You should have grasp over certain key mathematical topics to tackle this section. These chapters include:

1)      Number System

2)      Progressions

3)      Percentages

4)      Profit and Loss

5)      CI and SI

6)      Ratio and Proportion

7)      Time and Work

8)      Time Speed and Distance

9)      Geometry

10)   Mensuration

11)   Probability

12)   Permutations and Combinations

13)   Set Theory

14)   2-Dimensional Co-ordinate Geometry

15)   General Aptitude

These topics of Quant included in the Cat syllabus are based on our knowledge of the past papers of the CAT exam. The thing is that there is no specific structure. If you had mathematics till 10nth class and dare to compare the syllabus of 10nth with that of CAT then you will find that the syllabus of CAT is at least 25% lesser as compared to the 10nth class. However, the problem comes with the scope of application and the pressure of the exam day.

If you can handle the pressure of the exam and take it like any other day, a huge problem can be sorted out. The way to master the scope of application of the above mentioned topics is to expose yourself to as many questions as you can to the limit where you know the logic of different types of questions. That should be your sole aim if you wish to get cracking with the CAT exam.

DI/LR CAT Syllabus

It is hard to put this section under the radar of specific syllabus (so are others) as almost everything under logic can be put under the scheme of things. However, there are certain variants of the same as listed below:

1)      Graphs, Pie Charts and Tabular Data given and you have to answer the questions that follow based on the data.

2)      Family Puzzles

3)      Data Sufficiency

4)      Circular sitting arrangement

5)      Sitting Arrangement

6)      Averages

7)      Quant Based Logic

8)      Distribution

9)      Ordering and Sequencing

10)   Selections

11)   Routes and Networks

12)   Binary Logic

13)   Cubes

14)   Venn Diagrams

15)   Other Areas

This is just a general outline of the DI/LR syllabus per se. Question could be and in fact, are asked beyond these topics. The question may even be amalgamation of two or more of these topics. The best bet for students to get an idea for this section is to go for past papers of CAT in the pencil paper format.

One you are through with that, you should do some puzzles books and then some more DI. Then read some experience thread on Pagalguy to get the full idea of this paper. This section of the “CAT syllabus” carries 1/3rd of the total marks.

Verbal Ability Cat Syllabus

This is the 3rd and the last section of the Cat Paper. Again this does not have any specific structure but there are some specifics of this section too.

1)      Reading Comprehension

2)      Para Jumbles

3)      Para Completion

4)      Vocabulary Based

5)      Grammar Based Questions

6)      Homophones

7)      Fact Opinion Inference based

8)      Find Assumptions

A large chunk (as much as 30-50%) of the questions is occupied by RCs primarily. The other parts occupy the other part in fairly equal manner. There are times when one part may dominate over the other but this is the general structure for CAT syllabus for MBA aspirants.

This was a general outline of the syllabus, but there is a very high probability that questions are asked from sections other than these. In fact, that is the beauty of the CAT exam per se.

If you have any questions with respect to the Cat syllabus or any opinion to share, do let us know by commenting below.