Changes in CAT 2019 Exam Pattern

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CAT exam is one of the most sought-after exams for MBA aspirants wishing to get admission in premium institutes like IIM. Before beginning with the exam preparations, we must understand the CAT exam pattern and, if any changes have been made in the current year.  

The CAT 2019 consists of three main sections similar to before. These are Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DI & LR), Quantitative Ability (QA), Verbal Ability, and Reading Comprehension (VARC). All queries related to the exam pattern have been answered by the IIM through a series of FAQ’s.

The changes made in the Cat exam pattern are mentioned below.

Exam Pattern for CAT 2019

CAT exam is held at several test centres all over the country. The test is taken in 2 sessions. One in the morning and second in the evening. The time allotted for the test is 180 minutes or 3hours. The Cat exam pattern can be depicted in a table below.

S.No. CAT Exam Pattern Details
1 No. of sections 3 (Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, Verbal & Reading Comprehension, and Quantitative Ability)
2 Mode of taking the exam Computer-Based Exam (Online)
3 Time Allotted to attempt the exam 180 minutes overall (Follows Sectional Time Limit – 60 minutes for each section)
4 Total no. of questions 100
5 Number of answer choices 4
6 Total marks 300
7 Marks per question +3 per question
8 Negative Marking 1mark deducted for every incorrect answer

No marks deducted for un-attempted questions

Time Allotted in CAT Examination Pattern

The time allotted to solve the CAT exam is 3 hours. However, this time is further divided into three sections of 60 minutes each. Additionally, the candidate appearing for the exam cannot choose which section out of DILR, VARC, and QA he/she will attempt first. He/she must attempts the section he receives first, and only when the allotted time of 60 minutes is over, the next sections will appear. As a result of the sectional limit clause, candidates cannot switch from one section to another. The CAT exam pattern consists of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension as the first section, Data Interpretation, and Logical Reasoning as the next section and Quantitative as the last section. 

Changes made in the CAT 2019 Exam Pattern

Although the exact number of questions to be asked in the CAT exam 2019 has not been mentioned, candidates can make a guess on the number of questions that might be asked, based on the previous year’s exam pattern. The questions asked in the CAT exam 2019 have been represented in the table below.

CAT Exam Section Total No of Questions No of MCQs No of Non-MCQs
DILR 32 28 4
VARC 34 24 10
Quant 34 29 5
Total 100 81 19

CAT exam 2019- Non-MCQs / TITA questions reduced

A huge change in the CAT exam pattern 2019 is a great decrease in the quantum of TITA questions or non-MCQs. As per the past trend, the non-MCQs were increased during the CAT 2018. The reason being, the non-MCQs or descriptive questions were not given negative marks for any wrong attempt. The general trend of the descriptive questions or non-MCQ’s is shown in the table below.

Exam Year 2018 2017 2016 2015
Total Non-MCQs 27 19 25 28
Non-MCQs from VARC 7 10 10 10
Non-MCQs from DILR 8 4 8 8
Non-MCQs from Quant 12 5 7 10

CAT 2019 Difference in the Scoring Pattern

In the Cat exam pattern, the scoring pattern is as such

  • Each correct answer will fetch 3 marks for the candidate, irrespective of the question being MCQ or non-MCQ.
  • 1 mark will be cut for every question answered incorrectly.
  • For every un-attempted question by the candidate, there will be no marks awarded or deducted

Different Login for the Exam Day

It was decided by the body conducting the CAT exam that from 2018, a new login id and password will be assigned by the invigilator.

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