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Common Admission Test (CAT) is held annually for admissions in IIMs and other elite B- Schools in India. CAT is one of the most competitive examinations that attracts graduates from all streams seeking admissions in the best management institutions.

CAT is known to be an unpredictable paper and the CAT exam pattern is changed almost every year to surprise the students. Remaining true to their unpredictable nature, CAT examiners had introduced several structural changes in CAT 2015 test pattern. In this article, we look at the expected CAT 2019 exam pattern and understand the nuances of the exam pattern. The CAT paper pattern comprises three major sections namely- ‘Quantitative Aptitude (QA)’, ‘Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)’ and ‘Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC)’. The VARC section has 34 questions, DILR section has 32, and the QA section has 34 questions.
CAT 2019 Exam Pattern
Given below is the CAT 2019 exam pattern based on CAT 2018 Paper Pattern:
Particulars Details
Exam Window Two Sessions on one Day
Total No. of Sections Three- Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Ability (QA)
Test Duration 3 hours
Mode of Conduct Computer-based (Online test)
Total No. of Questions 100
Duration of each section of CAT 2019 1 hour
Negative Marking -1 for each wrong answer in MCQs
No negative marking for Non-MCQs or TITA
  • Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type. Instead, direct answers are to be typed on the screen.
  • A basic on-screen calculator will be allowed for computation.
  • Candidates will be allotted exactly 60 minutes for answering questions in each section and they cannot switch from one section to another while answering questions in a section.
On the face of it, it might seem that the changes introduced in CAT 2015 will continue in 2019 as well. However, these changes, although important, should not be difficult to adjust to. The basics of preparation for CAT continue to remain the same. Knowledge of fundamental concepts, practice, time management, and accuracy are still critical for belling the CAT! Are you ready?
CAT Exam Pattern of Previous Years
The pattern for CAT 2019 paper is expected to be on the same lines as the CAT 2018.
CAT 2018 Exam Pattern
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) 34 
VA - 10 
RC - 24
Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) 32
LR - 16
DI - 16
Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 34
Total No. of Questions 100
CAT Exam Pattern - Total Number of MCQ Vs Non-MCQ Questions
Section No. Section Name Total Number of Questions Number of Multiple Choice Questions Number of Non-MCQs (TITA Questions)
I Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension 34 24 10
II Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 32 24 8
III Quantitative Ability 34 27 7

Total 100 75 25
While CAT 2014 had only 2 sections: 'Quantitative Aptitude (QA) and Data Interpretation' and 'Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC) and Logical Reasoning (LR)', CAT 2015 reverted back to the practice of three sections: 'Quantitative Aptitude (QA)', 'Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)' and 'Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC)'.
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