CAT Exam

CAT Exam Pattern 2023: 

The CAT 2023 Exam Pattern will constitute 3 sections :

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension ( VARC )
  • Interpretation and Logical Reasoning ( DILR )
  • Quantitative Ability ( QA )

The CAT Exam is held as a Computer Based Test ( CBT ) with a duration of 2 hours . Each section has an individual time limit of 40 minutes each . The CAT 2022 Exam Pattern is given below which should give an idea about what you can expect in CAT 2023 .

  Sections of Exam (in that order)   No of questions   Multiple Choice Questions   Non – MCQs   Time Limit
  VARC   24   21   3

 16 questions of RC 4 passages of 4 questions each,

8 Questions of Verbal ability- 3 parajumbles ,2 para completions,3 Para summary

  DILR   20   14   6

  4 sets of 5 questions each

Bar Graph, Arrangements, Missing Data and Puzzles (games)

  QA   22   14   8   Dominated by questions of Arithmetic and Algebra.
  Total   66   49   17   


CAT 2023 :Exam Highlights

Some of the major points to keep in mind with regard to the CAT exam pattern are :

  Key Components   Details
  No. of Questions   66 (tentative)
  Sections in Exam   3; VARC,DILR and QA
  Exam Duration   2 hours
  Time Allotted Per Section   40 minutes
  Slots for Exam   3
  Mode of Exam   Computer-based Exam
  Medium of Instruction   English
  Types  of Questions   MCQ and TITA
  CAT Marking Scheme

+3 for every right answer

-1 for every wrong answer

TITA has no negative marking

CAT VARC Exam Pattern

The VARC section in CAT 2023 is expected to have 24 questions in total . In the verbal section , the CAT exam pattern of the past years indicates that the section consists of two primary components , i.e. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension .

Reading Comprehension :
  • This section accounts for over 67 % of the question ( 16 questions out of 24 )
  • Question Format : MCQs with a few TITA ( Type in the Answer ) questions
  • There will be 4 passages comprising 4 questions each .
Verbal Ability
  • Relatively small subsection with only 8 questions
  • The expected division of the questions , as per CAT 2022 , is 3 parajumbles , 2 para completions , 3 parasummary

CAT DILR Exam Pattern

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning is the second section of the CAT Exam . Candidates will be able to attempt it only after they submit the VARC section in the CAT Exam . It is by far the most dynamic section in CAT with new types of questions being introduced almost every year . It is advisable to be very careful when it comes to the selection of the questions.

Based on the CAT DILR exam pattern , here is the breakup of the sets :

  • The section will have 4 sets comprising 5 questions each.
  • Each set lends a maximum of 15 marks .
  • The most common areas questioned include bar graphs , arrangements , missing data and puzzles ( games ) .

CAT Quant Exam Pattern

This is the section that most candidates prepare extensively . This is because the CAT exam pattern and syllabus for this section are the most fleshed out among all the other sections . It is the section that can make or break the exam for most candidates .

  • The quant section has a total of 22 questions .
  • As the CAT quant exam pattern has no sub – sections all the questions are focused on the mathematical skills of the candidates .
  • Based on past trends , the questions are dominated by arithmetic and algebra and also include geometry .

CAT Exam Pattern : Important Points to Remember

  • Candidates cannot choose the order of the sections back and forth between sections . The fixed order of the exam is- VARC , followed by DILR and then Quant .
  • CAT has two types of questions- MCQ – based and TITA ( type in the answer ) . The MCQ type has a negative marking of 1 for every wrong answer . The TITA questions have no negative marking .

CAT Score vs Percentile 2023(Expected)

The anticipated CAT 2023 score vs. percentile range is shown below based on the CAT cut off marks and percentiles from the previous year :

CAT Percentile CAT VARC Score CAT DILR Score CAT QA Score CAT Score
  99+   34-35   28-30   36-37   98-102
  98+   32-33   27-28   30-32   90-93
  95+   32-34   20-21   28-30   80-82
  90+   29-30   17-19   26-27   72-75
  85+   24-35   14-15   20-22   59-61
  80+   20-22   11-13   15-16   46-48


CAT Exam Slots & Time to Release Slot wise

Below are the CAT Time slot wise CAT Analysis release time by mydream mba .

  CAT 2023 Exam Slot   Release Time
  CAT Morning Slot: 8.30 AM to 10.30 AM   11 AM
  CAT Afternoon Slot: 12.30 AM to 2.30 PM   3 PM
  CAT Evening Slot 4.30 PM to 6.30 PM   7 PM
  Overall CAT 2023 Exam Analysis   8 PM

CAT 2023 Paper Analysis: Check Expected Exam Pattern

Pattern of CAT 2023 exam

  CAT 2023 Exam Components   CAT 2023 Pattern
  Test duration   2 hrs (120 Minutes)
  Test sessions/Slots   3 (Morning, Afternoon and Evening)
  Total questions   66
  Total score   198
  Number of Sections in CAT question paper   3 (VAR; DILR; QA)
  Time Allotted for Each Section in CAT exam   40 Minutes
  Total Questions in VARC Section   24
  Total Questions in DILR Section   20
  Total Questions in QA Section   22


How to Check CAT 2023 Result ?

Candidates can check below the major steps that are required to check the CAT 2023 result in online mode.

Steps to Check CAT Result 2023

  • Step 1 : Visit the CAT official website , that is ,
  • Step 2 : Click on the CAT result 2023 link titled- ‘ CAT Result 2023 Tab ‘ and enter your CAT user ID and password to log in
  • Step 3 : Next , click on the ‘ IIM CAT Score Card ‘ tab
  • Step 4 : CAT result 2023 will appear on the screen
  • Step 5 : Download the CAT 2023 result and keep it for future reference

CAT Result 2023 : Important Points

IIMs will likely released the CAT 2023 result in the last week of December 2023 , during the evening hours . The candidates are suggested to must go through the important instructions given by IIMs regarding CAT 2023 Result declaration and about downloading of scorecards.


  • After the declaration of result , the candidates will be intimated through the SMS on their registered mobile number for downloading their scorecard . Please note , that the scorecard will be released only online and there will be no sending of scorecard hardcopies via post .
  • CAT Result contains the overall and sectional scaled scores of the candidates . The overall scaled score is calculated on the overall raw scores of the candidates and is not the sum of the scaled scores of the VARC , DILR and QA sections .
  • The validity of the CAT scorecard will be till Jan 2024 ( tentative ) .
  • Candidates must note , that getting the CAT Scorecard does not guarantee admission to them into the MBA colleges . But , the IIMs and non – IIMs release their own individual cut offs and follow their own selection procedure for admission into the MBA / PGDM courses .


Details Mentioned on CAT Scorecard 2023

The CAT scorecard 2023 will be comprised of the following details :

  • CAT registration number and user Id of the candidate .
  • The name , category and gender of the candidate .
  • Candidate’s Date of birth.
  • Date and time of the examination.
  • Contact details and email id of the candidate
  • CAT overall scaled score .
  • CAT section – wise score .
  • CAT section – wise percentile score .
  • CAT overall percentile score .


Factors Determining CAT Cut Offs

CAT cut off percentile for each institute was be determined on the basis of several factors that affect the admission process . Some of the key factors that determine IIM cut offs category wise , are mentioned below :

  • Difficulty level of the CAT exam
  • Number of aspirants who appeared for the exam
  • Number of aspirants who cleared the exam
  • Number of seats in a particular institute
  • All India ranking of the institute

CAT Cut Offs 2023

CAT 2023 cut offs for IIM admission are estimated to be in the range of 95-100 percentile for General candidates . Check below the table indicating qualifying IIM cut offs for CAT 2022 based on IIM admission criteria 2023. For the next academic session , the cut offs will be announced later this year .

  IIM   Qualifying CAT cut offs
IIM Ahmedabad   85
  IIM Bangalore   85
  IIM Calcutta   85
  IIM Lucknow   90
  IIM Indore   90
  IIM Kozhikode   85
  IIM Amritsar   90
  IIM Nagpur   85
  IIM Sambalpur   93
  IIM Trichy   93
  IIM Raipur   93
  IIM Ranchi   90
  IIM Kashipur   94
  IIM Vizag   80
  IIM Udaipur   93
  IIM Bodhgaya   93
  IIM Shillong   75
  IIM Sirmaur   92
  IIM Rohtak   95
  IIM Nagpur   85
  IIM Jammu   93

CAT Cut off 2023 for Top MBA Colleges (Non-IIM)

Presented below are the expected CAT 2023 cut off percentiles for General category students for admission to top MBA colleges (Non-IIM) in the upcoming academic session:

  Top MBA College   CAT Cut offs (percentile)
  FMS, Delhi   98-99
  IMT, Ghaziabad   95-97
  JBIMS, Mumbai   96
  MDI, Gurgaon   97-99
  IMI, New Delhi   90
  XIM, Bhubaneshwar   91
  GIM Goa   85
  K J Somaiya, Mumbai   86
  TAPMI, Manipal   80
  FORE, New Delhi   85
  IFMR, Chennai   80
  IRMA, Anand   80
  MICA, Ahmedabad   80
  LIBA, Chennai   70
  XIME, Bangalore   70

At present there are 20 IIMS and the 21st IIM is likely to join the family of IIMs soon . NITIE Mumbai may soon be awarded the status of IIM Mumbai . If you are looking for IIM Admission 2023 updates , you are at the right place . mydream mba has researched each IIM selection and admission criteria . This article below shares all about the IIMS Admission stages from application submission to selection . Let’s begin with the various Admission


IIM Admissions 2023 : Stages

IIM Admission process goes through following six stages

 Admissions 2023 Stages   Key Components   Time Lines & Process
  Stage – l : CAT Registration & Application   10 Years High Registration Number with 2.56 Lakh candidates applying for CAT 2022   Closed on Sept 21 , 2022
  Stags – 2 : Preliminary Screening with CAT Cut offs   Based on Minimum CAT Overall and Sectional score   As announced in each IIM Admission Policy 2023
  Stage – 3 : Shortlist for Pl round   Based on CAT score , Profile , Work Ex and other components   Released after CAT Result declaration by each IIM
  Stage – 4 : Final Selection Round   Comprises PI – WAT . A few may conduct GD also   Conducted from Feb to April , individually by 11 Old & New IIMs and as a Common Admission Process by 9 new and baby IIMS
  Stage – 5 : Generation of Final Merit List   Based on weightages awarded to all the components   Released in April / May . IIMs substantially reduce the CAT weightage in final selection
  Stage – 6 : Making Final Admission Offer   Depending upon the Seats , candidates are given admission offer   IIMs send admission offers in April / May . Candidates need to pay admission fee in time

After the implementation of IIM Act 2017, almost all of the IIMS confer MBA degree on completion of the management programme. Earlier all the IIMs used to award Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGD More than 6000 candidates are offered MBA admission in Indian Institutes of Management (IIMS) every year. Since IIMs are considered as the best Management Institutes in the country, doing MBA from top IIM is the dream of every MBA aspirant. IIM Admission 2023 Policy is being released individually by each IIM.


List of Executive MBA from IIMs

Along with the list of IIMs offering EPGP,will also discuss the duration, eligibility, fees, and experience requirement of the respective IIMs. Read the complete article to know all about executive MBA from IIMs.


  IIMs     Programme offered
  IIM Ahmedabad   E-Mode Post Graduate Programme (ePGP)
  IIM Bangalore   EPGP (IIM Bangalore Executive MBA)
  IIM Calcutta


PGPEX-VLM(Visionary Leadership in Manufacturing)

  IIM Lucknow

  Post-Graduate Programme in Management for Working Executives(PGPWE)

International Programme in Management for Executives or IPMX(One-year MBA)

  IIM Indore   Post Graduate Programme in Management for Working Executives(PGPMX)
  IIM Kozhikode   Executive Post Graduate Programmes (EPGP)
  IIM Shillong   Master in Business Administration (Working Executives)Post Graduate Program for Executives (Managing Business in Emerging Economies)
  IIM Raipur   Post Graduate Program in Management for Working Executives
  IIM Ranchi   PGEXP
  IIM Rohtak

Executive PG Diploma Programme in Management

Executive Post Graduate Diploma In Sports Management

  IIM Kashipur   Management Development Programmes (MDPs)
  IIM Trichy   Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (ePGP)
  IIM Udaipur

  One-Year MBA Global Supply Chain Management

One-Year MBA Digital Enterprise Management

  IIM Amritsar   Management Development Programmes (MDPs)
  IIM Bodh Gaya   Management Development Programmes (MDPs)
  IIM Nagpur

  Customized Programmes 

Open Enrollment Programmes

IIM Sambalpur



IIM Sirmaur   –



IIM Jammu



1.CAT 2023 EXAM Date

Check the table below to get all updated official schedules for the CAT Exam 2023 Date.

  CAT 2023 Events   CAT Exam Date
  Notification release   30th July 2023
  CAT Exam 2023 registration start date    2nd August 2023 (10 AM)
  CAT 2023 last date to apply   13th September 2023 (5 PM)
  Release of the admit card   25th October Onwards
  CAT exam date   26th November 2023
  Declaration    2nd Week of January 2024

2.CAT 2023 Exam Scoring Scheme

CAT Marking Scheme 2023 section wise and overall is as below:

  CAT Test Section with total Qs   Marking Scheme   Total Maximum Marks
  VARC – 24 Qs   +3 for each right answer   72
  DILR – 20 Qs   +3 for each right answer   60
  Quant – 22 Qs   +3 for each right answer   66
  Total Marks   –   198
  Negative Marking Scheme in CAT 2023   -1 for each wrong answer   Only for 48-50 MCQs
  No Negative Marking Scheme in CAT 2023   TITA questions not to carry negative marking   Only for 18-20 Non MCQs

3. CAT 2023 Test Pattern: Sections, Number & Type of Questions

CAT exam is changed to 2 hours exam. Earlier it was of 3 hours duration. Key details are shared below

  • CAT 2023 Exam is of 2 Hours duration like last year.
  • CAT 2023 exam slots are Morning, Afternoon and Evening sessions
  • CAT 2023 Exam to have 66 Questions divided into MCQs and Non-MCQ type questions

CAT 2023 pattern: Sectional Composition of Questions

CAT 2023 will have the pattern as shown below in the table which shares the CAT exam sectional order from Section-1 to Section-3, number and type of questions in each section, questions with and without negative marking for each section


  CAT 2023 exam components   Total questions   Total MCQs (With negative marking)   Total Non-MCQs (Without negative marking)   Highlights
  Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)   24   19   5   4 RC Passages with MCQs; VA Non MCQs divided into Para jumbles, Para Summary, and Out of Context Sentences
  Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)   20   16   4

  LR – 10 Ques

  DI – 10 Ques

  All in Sets of 3 & 4 Qs

  Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)   22   16   6   High on Arithmetic. Other on Log, Geometry, Roots, Algebra
  Total   66   51   15   —

4. Detailed Section wise Pattern for CAT 2023 for VARC, DILR, QA

The section wise key CAT 2023 exam pattern for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Quantitative Ability with difficulty level are:

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

  • Total questions: 24
  • RC passages: 4-5
  • Share of RC Based Questions: 70%
  • Type of RC Based questions: All MCQs with 1/3 negative marking
  • VA questions: 5-6
  • Type of VA Questions: Non-MCQs without negative marking
  • LOD: Moderate to Very difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • No Grammar or vocabulary based questions
  • Verbal Ability questions confines to 3 topics – Jumbled paragraph; Para summary; picking the odd sentence out of the jumbled sentences
  • Read in Detail How to Prepare for VARC in CAT

Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

  • Total questions: 20 
  • Share of DI questions: 10
  • Share of LR questions: 10
  • Type of Questions: MCQs: 75%; Non-MCQs: 25%
  • LOD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • Questions appear in set of 4
  • Time crunch is faced by test takers as questions are more time consuming

Read How to Prepare for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning in CAT

Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)

  • Total questions: 22
  • Type of Questions: MCQs: 14-16; Non-MCQs: 6-8
  • LOD: Moderate to difficult
  • Section Highlights:
  • More questions are on Arithmetic – Percentage, Profit & Loss, Time & speed, Work/days, Compound interest


FAQs on CAT Exam Pattern

CAT 2023 exam date is November 26, 2023. The exam will be conducted in three slots morning, afternoon and evening

CAT 2023 is a computer based test. It is likely to have 66 questions divided into 3 sections of VARC, DILR and QA

CAT is not an online examination. It is a digital or Computer Based Test (CBT); not an Internet-Based Test (IBT). A candidate will not take the examination on an internet site.

The decision will be taken at the appropriate time after reviewing the situation. However, so far the candidates have taken the examination on a workstation assigned at the test centre based on the test cities selected while registering for CAT. The test centre details are printed on the Admit Card.

Yes, a practice test will be available on the CAT website:  in mid October 2023. You can familiarize yourself with the functionality and navigation of the actual exam.

CAT 2023 will have three sections:

  • Section I: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  • Section II: Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning
  • Section III: Quantitative Ability

Yes, all questions carry equal marks. However, for non-MCQ type questions, you must type the answer.

No, Candidates are prohibited from bringing calculators to the testing centre. You may use the onscreen calculator that will be available throughout the exam.

IIMs do not disclose the number of NON-MCQ questions. They may vary from section to section from year to year.

Yes, you must answer the sections in a pre-specified order and this order will remain the same for all the candidates.

No. It is not possible to get an admission in any of the IIMs without taking the Common Admission Test (CAT Entrance Exam).

No, you are not eligible to write CAT after class 12. A candidate must hold a graduate/ bachelor’s degree certificate to get eligible for the CAT exam.

Yes. There is no need to give the CAT exam for MBA. But it is essential if you want to join other top B-schools along with IIMs to study MBA.

Overall CAT is a moderate difficulty level exam, but sometimes it can be easier for those who start their CAT preparation early and practice all three sections.

No, not too difficult. Every year thousands of students get good percentile marks and get admission to top B schools. You need to be motivated and consistent throughout your preparation. Prepare in a structured manner, practice regularly, and improve your understanding of all areas and concepts. That should be sufficient enough.

For General: Rs 2400/- and For Reserved Category: Rs 1200/-.

There is no age restriction to apply for CAT 2023.

The conducting body of CAT 2023 is IIM Lucknow.

A period of 3 months is quite enough for the preparation for the CAT exam if the right strategy and planning are incorporated by the candidate.

There is no limit on the number of attempts for the CAT exam.

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