CAT Exam Syllabus for MBA: A Detailed Guide

Are you aspiring to an MBA from top Indian institutes like the IIMs? The CAT exam is your ticket to success! This exam is one of the most important, and our detailed guide breaks down the CAT exam syllabus for MBA. The exam is divided into: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR), and Quantitative Ability (QA). Mastering these areas is very important to clear the exam. 

This blog will clear up all your confusion about understanding the CAT exam syllabus, pattern, eligibility, and more. Craft a winning study plan and boost your confidence for this highly competitive exam!

Understanding the CAT Exam

The Common Admission Test, or CAT, is one of the most critical management entrance tests used to select candidates for the Master of Business Administration or MBA courses in India. It is another nationwide MBA entrance examination organised by one of the IIMs annually and can also be considered among India’s most popular and competitive exams.

It is crucial to learn and understand all the aspects of the CAT exam syllabus for an MBA to have a smooth preparation phase and a bright chance of succeeding in the exam phase.

It covers different marketing areas, such as market research, social psychology, branding management, advertising campaigns, digital marketing, and strategic marketing management. Students are instructed on developing and using intelligent marketing approaches that involve attracting, keeping, and increasing brands and company profits.

Exam Pattern for the CAT Syllabus

Here is the overview of the exam pattern for the CAT exam syllabus:

Aspect

Details

Number of Questions

100 questions, distributed equally between three parts

Timing

60 minutes per section, a total of 180 minutes (3 hours)

Question Types

MCQs and non-MCQs

MCQ Scoring

Correct Answer : 3 Marks Each 

Incorrect Answer: 1 Mark for Each

Non-MCQ Scoring

No penalties for incorrect answers; students type in their answers

Scoring System

Based on both positive and negative marks, positive marks are awarded according to proficiency level.

Understanding the CAT Exam Syllabus for MBA

The CAT exam syllabus is divided into three main sections:

  1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)
  2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)
  3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

These sections test different skills and knowledge areas. Each section is equally important. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly study each part of the CAT exam syllabus for MBA.

1. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)

 

This section tests your English language skills. This part of the CAT exam syllabus for the MBA includes questions on grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. The goal is to assess your ability to understand and use English effectively.

Topics Covered in VARC:

  1. Reading Comprehension: Passages followed by questions.
  2. Grammar: Sentence Correction and Usage.
  3. Vocabulary: Synonyms, Antonyms, Word Usage.
  4. Verbal Reasoning: Paragraph completion, Para-Jumbles.
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2. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR)

 

This section comprises questions that can be answered by logically analysing and organising the information. Some questions test your ability to read information and data and interpret questions logically. This part of the CAT exam syllabus for MBA can be challenging, so practising regularly is essential.

Topics Covered in QA:

  1. Arithmetic: Percentages, ratios, simple and compound interest.
  2. Algebra: Equations, functions, progressions.
  3. Geometry: Lines, angles, triangles, circles.
  4. Number System: Whole numbers, integers, fractions.
  5. Modern Math: Probability, permutations, combinations.
  •  

3. Quantitative Ability (QA)

 

The QA section is the mathematical section designed to check your level of mathematical proficiency. It consists of questions under arithmetic, algebra, and geometry categories or sections. 

This part of the CAT exam syllabus for MBA is essential because it assesses your problem-solving skills by applying numbers and equations and offers time management skills.

Topics Covered in QA:

  1. Arithmetic: Percentages, ratios, simple and compound interest.
  2. Algebra: Equations, functions, progressions.
  3. Geometry: Lines, angles, triangles, circles.
  4. Number System: Whole numbers, integers, fractions.
  5. Modern Math: Probability, permutations, combinations.

CAT Exam Syllabus for MBA

To make it easier to understand, here is a detailed table summarising the CAT exam syllabus.

Section

Topics

Description

VARC

Reading Comprehension

Passages with questions

 

Grammar

Sentence correction, usage

 

Vocabulary

Synonyms, antonyms, word usage

 

Verbal Reasoning

Paragraph completion, para-jumbles

DILR

Data Interpretation

Charts, graphs, tables

 

Logical Reasoning

Puzzles, seating arrangements, blood relations

 

Data Sufficiency

Analysing data sufficiency

QA

Arithmetic

Percentages, ratios, interest calculations

 

Algebra

Equations, functions, progressions

 

Geometry

Lines, angles, triangles, circles

 

Number System

Whole numbers, integers, fractions

 

Modern Math

Probability, permutations, combinations

Eligibility for the CAT Exam

Eligibility for the CAT Exam

To be eligible for the CAT exam, candidates must meet the given criteria:

Educational Qualification: The bare minimum qualification to apply for the CAT is a bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks, or equivalent CGPA obtained (45% for SC, ST, and PWD categories).

Age Limit: The CAT exam is open to anyone, irrespective of age, without a maximum age limit.

Final Year Students: They can appear for CAT if they are in the final year of their Bachelor’s degree or equivalent examination or have completed their Bachelor’s degree and are awaiting their results.

CAT Exam Month: Key Details

It is a standardised test taken once a year by students anticipating admission into a top B- school like IIM. It is usually held in the last week of November. The final date to write the CAT is explicitly announced by the conducting IIM, usually in August or September. Thus, one should occasionally read the information on the official CAT website to get all the essential information.

With the end of the academic year approaching, many candidates look forward to the CAT exam.

To some learners, the syllabus applied in the CAT MBA online exam is well understood. As the proverb ‘fail to prepare; prepare to fail’ goes, preparation is essential in activities to be undertaken in the future.

Pro Tips to Prepare for the CAT Exam

Pro Tips to Prepare for the CAT Exam
  1. Create a Study Plan: In the exam,  you need to spread your time as 50 % for section one, 25% for section two, and 25% for section three—timely and judicious time distribution in each aspect of the CAT exam syllabus needed for an MBA.
  2. Practice Regularly: DILR and QA require extensive practice since practising makes it easier to handle them under any circumstance. The easiest way to do this is to start with a sample paper from that respective syllabus and visit the previous year’s question papers.
  3. Improve Your Vocabulary: To improve your English language skills and ability to understand written English, try to read as many books, newspapers, and articles as possible. This will assist you in the Logical Reasoning section and also in the VARC section.
  4. Take Mock Tests: Mock tests certainly have their benefits, the most important of which stems from the fact that they accustom you to the exam format, making it easier to organise your time and effort when solving problems.
  5. Focus on Weak Areas: The third thing to do is know which specific skills/subjects/activities you are not good at, then practice those particular things. Dedicate more time to concepts or lessons you intentionally or unintentionally left behind while endeavouring to cover as much ground as possible in a limited time.
  6. Time Management: Therefore, preparation time must be well managed to effectively cover the syllabus that the MBA CAT exam will cover. Every section has a time allocation, so emulate how to handle the set time well.

Resources for Preparation

There are many resources available to help you prepare for the CAT exam syllabus for MBA:

  1. Books: Some books are available in the market that include the syllabus of the MBA CAT exam. One of them are “Quantum Leap for CAT—A Guide to Tackle Any Quantitative Aptitude for CAT” and “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis.
  2. Online Courses: Numerous Websites and blogs provide online classes and self-study resources that cover the syllabi required to take CAT for MBA.
  3. Coaching Centers: If you would like to be in a class, many coaching centres provide courses for preparation.

Conclusion

With the help of the above-mentioned aspects, one can plan and complete the CAT exam syllabus for MBA. So, it is always important to remember that no examination is impossible, and preparing for any competitive exam requires an equal amount of consistent and determined effort. An MBA aspirant has to go through the syllabus for the CAT exam and thus revise each section, practising a lot. 

Hike Education wishes all the MBA aspirants the best of luck for the exam. 

The two specialisations you can choose from should be related to your interests, talents, and future job dreams. By crafting advertising campaigns and brand strategies, you can promote behavioural change among consumers or opt to be in the world of numbers and finance(s) and, in turn, create a successful career.

CAT Exam Syllabus for MBA : FAQs

Q1. What are the main sections of the CAT exam syllabus for an MBA?

The CAT exam syllabus for MBA includes three main sections: Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Analysis (DILR) and Mathematical skills (Quant)

Q2. How can I improve my performance in the VARC section?

The following tips will help improve your VARC score: Read books, newspapers, and articles as often as possible to build your vocabulary and comprehension. Practising your grammar skills and verbal reasoning part of the exam is also essential

Q3. What topics are covered under Quantitative Ability in the CAT exam syllabus for an MBA?

The subject generally covers areas like arithmetic skills, algebra, geometry and measurement, number systems, and modern math, which includes probability, permutations, and combinations.

Q4. Are mock tests necessary for CAT exam preparation?

Yes, mock tests are critical because they familiarise you with the actual exam, including the setting and how to organise your time and discover your strengths and weaknesses.

Q5. What resources can help me prepare for the CAT exam syllabus for an MBA?

Books, online courses, coaching centres, and practice papers can be very helpful in preparing for the MBA CAT exam. So many books are available today that it can be challenging to pick the right one to practice with.

Some popular books are “How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT” by Arun Sharma and “Word Power Made Easy” by Norman Lewis

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