What are the changes in CAT 2021 Syllabus?

The most popular exam for all students aspiring to get into management institutes in India is the Common Admissions Test (CAT). Conducted by the country’s premier management institutes, the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), this is one exam that many want to clear to get admission into an IIM or the other reputed institutes accepting this score.

The candidates appearing for the exam are evaluated on the basic skills required in the management field – logical thinking, reading comprehension, and data analysis. The same is expected to continue in CAT 2021. The exam is divided into three sections: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). The weightage for each section is – VARC: 34%, DILR: 32%, and QA: 34%. This will remain unchanged in CAT 2021.

The only expected change in CAT 2021 is in the number of questions overall. Till 2019, the total number of questions had been 100. However, since the exam was conducted in a pandemic situation in 2020, the number of questions was reduced to 76 from 100. The same can be expected in CAT 2021, as the pandemic is still not over. These details will be cleared in the official notification to be released in the last week of July.

CAT 2021 Syllabus

The exam syllabus has been consistent over the years and is not expected to change for CAT 2021. There is no official syllabus that is released by the IIMs or any other institution for the CAT. Instead, they release a mock question paper giving the candidates an idea of the expectations during the exam. Having said that, it is well-known that the IIMs and other institutes are looking at specific skill sets in the qualified candidates, and thus, the CAT 2021 syllabus is more or less self-explanatory.

The candidates looking specifically for CAT 2021 Syllabus can consider the topics listed below as a general guide for the topics covered in each of the different sections:

  • VARC – The skillset being checked here is the candidate’s ability to read on a wide variety of topics, comprehend and analyze them quickly, and communicate their ideas clearly (with proper grammar). Thus, the topics that have appeared in past years’ exams and are expected to be a part of the CAT 2021 syllabus include Jumbled Sentences, Sentence Sequencing, Assumptions, Inference, Analogies, Comprehension of passage-based questions, Critical Reasoning, etc.
  • DILR – An important part of every manager’s job is interpreting the data available to them and using it to make rational and quick decisions. This is the primary focus area of this section. The CAT 2021 syllabus for the same is expected to cover the following topics – graphical data representation, tabular data-based calculations, seating arrangements, blood relations, sequence-based questions, syllogisms, Venn diagram, network diagram-based questions, etc.
  • QA – This section assesses the basic numerical ability of the candidates since it is a critical component of the daily life of a manager. This section has traditionally tested the candidates in the basic mathematical concepts, and the same is expected in CAT 2021. The topics covered in this section include algebra, geometry, mensuration, percentages, profit and loss, number theory, averages, interest calculation, etc.

The above is only an indicative list of topics that the students need to cover and is by no means the complete CAT 2021 syllabus. Yet, it gives a fair idea of the type of topics that they need to prepare for when studying for CAT 2021.

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