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CAT Exam Pattern 2024, Check Marking Scheme, Sectional Time Limit

The CAT exam pattern is highly important to understand for the candidates to score good marks in the Common Admission Test (CAT) exam. The CAT 2024 exam pattern will be released soon by IIM Calcutta, the CAT 2024 conducting authority. It is expected that the CAT exam pattern 2024 will remain similar to the last year’s paper pattern. Along with the exam pattern, candidates can check the CAT 2024 marking scheme and time duration here.

CAT Exam Pattern 2024

The CAT 2024 exam is scheduled for November 24, 2024. With competition too high and only a limited number of seats available, candidates must know the complete paper pattern to devise a full fledged plan to ace the exam. The CAT 2024 exam will be held for 2 hours, i.e., 120 minutes. As per the CAT exam pattern 2024, the CAT question paper 2024 is expected to contain 66 objective type questions. The questions will be of MCQ type (Multiple Choice Questions) as well as TITA type (Type in the answer).

CAT 2024 Exam Pattern

The CAT exam consists of three sections: VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension), DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning), and QA (Quantitative Aptitude). As the total time of the exam is 120 hours, the three sections receive equal time limit of 40 minutes each. Each question of the CAT 2024 exam is of 3 marks, hence the entire exam paper is worth 198 marks.

CAT Exam Pattern Overview

The goal of the mind-driven CAT exam pattern is to evaluate a candidate’s speed in accurately answering mathematical and reasoning problems in the shortest amount of time. The main focus of the CAT exam in 2024 is applying aptitude and logical reasoning skills. The new CAT admission pattern has to be familiarized with by those planning to take the CAT in 2024. It will assist students in comprehending the marking system and the format of the CAT question paper.

CAT 2024 Paper Pattern at a Glance

Candidates who are going to take the CAT exam in 2024 must know the question paper pattern as well as the question paper marks distribution. The paper will include a combination of MCQ and SAQ (sometimes referred to as TITA). The majority of the questions will be multiple-choice. TITA questions, on the other hand, are short-response questions. Check the detailed exam pattern for the CAT 2024 exam below.

Mode of CAT 2024 exam paper: Online

Duration of the CAT exam: 2 hours (120 minutes)

Number of exam sessions: 2

Total number of questions: Around 66 (vary year by year)

Type of questions: MCQ and non-MCQ type

Marking scheme: 3 marks for right answer; minus 1 mark for each wrong answer. No negative marking for non-MCQ questions.

There is sectional time limit for each section in the CAT exam. The question and marks distribution along with the sectional time limit is given in the following table.

Section No. Section Name No. of MCQs No. of Non MCQs Total Marks Time Limit
Section I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 16-18 6-8 72 40 minutes
Section II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 14 6 60 40 minutes
Section III Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 14 6 60 40 minutes
Total 44-46 20-22 198 120 minutes

CAT Exam Pattern 2024: New Changes

The CAT paper pattern has gone several changes over the years. The CAT exam pattern new changes is provided below.

CAT exam 2024 Changes in CAT 2019 to 2020
Question Reduced in CAT 2020 to 2021, 2022
Total questions – VARC section Questions are reduced from 34 to 26
26 to 24
DILR section Questions are reduced from 32 to 24
 24 to 20
QA section Questions are reduced from 34 to 26
26 to 22
Total Questions Total questions Reduced from 100 to 76
76 to 66
Total score Total marks reduced from 300 to 228
228 to 198

CAT Pattern 2024 Section-wise

The purpose of the CAT exam pattern is to evaluate a candidate’s speed and accuracy in solving mathematics and reasoning tasks. Using logical reasoning and mathematical aptitude is the main focus of the test. Applicants should acquaint themselves with the most recent CAT exam pattern if they intend to take the exam in 2024. They will benefit from having a better understanding of the CAT question paper format and marking system.

  • CAT VARC section will have 24 questions and a weightage of 72 marks
  • CAT DILR section will have 20 questions and a weightage of 60 marks 
  • CAT Quantitative Aptitude section will have 22 questions and a weightage of 66 marks

CAT Question Paper Pattern Over the Years

Over the years, the format of the CAT exam has undergone numerous modifications. A decade ago, QA and DI were combined. Later on, it was combined with LR, while QA was separated into its own area. It was a three-hour test administered in two shifts till 2019. It is being conducted for two hours in three shifts starting in 2020. Throughout time, fewer questions have also been asked. The table that follows shows how the CAT exam format has changed since 2014:

CAT Exam Year Total Number of Questions Duration of CAT Exam CAT exam sections
2023 66 120 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2022 66 120 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2021 66 120 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2020 76 120 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2019 100 180 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2018 100 180 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2017 100 180 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2016 100 180 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2015 100 180 minutes QA, DILR, VARC
2014 100 170 minutes QA & DI, LR & VARC
2013 60 140 minutes QA & DI, LR & VARC
2012 60 140 minutes QA & DI, LR & VARC
2011 60 140 minutes QA & DI, LR & VARC
2010 60 150 minutes QA, DILR, VARC

CAT Exam Marking Scheme 2024

MCQ-based CAT questions are assigned a negative grade. As a result, it is crucial for candidates to evaluate exam questions appropriately. This means that when selecting questions, they have to consider the CAT grading scheme. It will assist students in maximizing their output in order to achieve higher grades. Check out the important details about the CAT marking scheme 2024 below:

  • The CAT 2024 total score will be 198.
  • There will be three marks assigned to each question.
  • For each incorrect response, a negative mark of -1 will be applied.
  • It is not required to answer every question.
  • There won’t be a mark deduction for leaving questions.
  • There may be non-MCQ questions in the QA section.
  • Non-MCQ questions won’t account for negative marking.

The CAT marking scheme is summed up in the following table. Try to answer about two thirds of the questions in each part in the exam to get a respectable overall score.

CAT Exam Sections Number of Questions Marks Per Question Negative Marking (only for MCQs)
VARC 24 3 -1
DILR 20 3 -1
Quantitative Aptitude 22 3 -1

CAT Exam Pattern 2024: Time Duration

The CAT exam has a time limit each segment. which implies that test takers will need to finish the exam within the allotted time frame and in the predetermined order. They won’t have the option to jump around or select which portion to start with. The CAT question paper must be answered chronologically by them. The sections will be ordered as follows:

Section 1: Reading comprehension and verbal ability
Section 2: Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
Section 3: Quantitative Aptitude

CAT 2024 Exam Sectional Time Limit

The official CAT exam pattern states that candidates have 40 minutes to finish each part. There will be no further edits, corrections, or submissions allowed after the allotted 40 minutes have passed. The table below provides a summary of the time restriction and the number of CAT questions each section:

CAT Exam Sections No. of Questions Sectional Time Limit Time Limit for PwD
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 24 40 minutes 53 minutes and 20 seconds
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 20 40 minutes 53 minutes and 20 seconds
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 22 40 minutes 53 minutes and 20 seconds
Total 66 120 minutes 160 minutes

Related Articles:

CAT 2024 Exam

CAT Syllabus 2024

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What is the total number of questions in the CAT exam?

There will be 66 questions in CAT 2024 exam.

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