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How is CAT Syllabus Decided? Has it Changed with Time?

CAT (common aptitude test) is one of the most coveted competitive exams in the nation. Aspirants often struggle with the syllabus because of its vast nature. The syllabus for CAT 2022 focuses on three aspects of a candidate: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Aptitude. 

This article will answer some commonly asked questions: How is the CAT syllabus decided? Has it changed with time? And similar questions one might have.

CAT Syllabus

CAT revolves around logical reasoning, verbal ability, comprehension skills, and quantitative aptitude. Understanding how the CAT syllabus is decided will help aspirants to plan and prepare for the exam efficiently. In the dedicated CAT preparation program module on BYJU’S Exam prep, you will find concept sessions along with advanced and pattern sessions. In this program, you will learn the basics of topics, techniques for solving, and understanding the pattern for efficient preparation.

For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, the questions include para jumbles, para completion, statements, and assumptions, fill in the blanks, sentence completion, tone of writing, logical tree, passage comprehension, and analogies.

The topics covered in the reading comprehension passages for the past few years included:

Civilisations of worldTrade
Grammar and vocabularyPsychology
LanguageSociety
MusicMythology
HistoryPhilosophy
ArchaeologyAbstract passages
CultureGender issues
Modern problems like internet shopping, choice anxietyAnimal behaviour, and movement

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section include tables and charts, letter series, coding and decoding, directions, blood relations, binary logic, arrangements, ranking, and order. It also includes Venn diagrams, data arrangement, and data sufficiency in the data interpretation section. There are around 8 questions in Data Interpretation and 12 questions in the Logical reasoning section of this paper.

The Quantitative Aptitude section includes arithmetic, algebra, number systems, geometry and mensuration, permutations and combinations, probability, progressions, and set theory. Along with this, questions also include square root, ratios and proportions, inequalities, percentages, simple and compound interest, and geometric progression.

The preparation material has structured content for general knowledge from reliable sources like PIB, NABARD, and numerous government websites and regulatory bodies. It also has a current affairs quiz and daily general knowledge updates. Quizzes are added every day to keep the examinee updated.

Each section has a different weightage and understanding it could help prepare for the CAT examination. You can decide which section needs more attention to get more marks in the examination. In the table below, you can see the weightage given to each section in the past few years:

Syllabus for CATWeightage (in %)
Quantitative Aptitude22
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning20
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension24

Changes in CAT syllabus

As per analysis, the CAT Syllabus has not changed over the past ten years. However, there have been few minute changes in the number of questions since 2019. The number of questions given in the exams has been reduced significantly. Earlier, the exam had a total of 100 questions. This was curtailed to 76 from 2019 to 2020 and further to 66 from 2021.

Along with this, the total score has been reduced from 300 to 198 since 2020.

There have been changes in the number of questions in separate sections as well. They have been mentioned below:

CAT Score and PatternPreviousCurrent
Total number of questions10066
Total score300 198
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension3424
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning3220
Quantitative Aptitude3422

Overall, while there have been some changes, largely, the pattern remains the same. We would recommend that the aspirants focus on their time management skills, before and during the exam. Frequently appearing for the practice tests helps one manage their time, notice their strenghts, and identify their weaknesses. With this knowledge, they can focus on the correct areas and ace the exam.

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