CAT 2011 is going to have only two sections, instead of three previously. Each of the two sections would have 30 questions to be answered in 70 minutes - thus 60 questions to be answered in 140 minutes in total which gives you 2 minute 20 second to answer each question. Section-wise CAT 2011 test sections along with duration is given above. Each of the question has 3 marks. But beware! there is negative marking in CAT - minus 1 for each wrong answer!
Over the years, number of questions asked in CAT has varied from as high as 150 in CAT 2003 to as low as 60 in CAT 2009 onwards. You can see the number of questions asked in each test section since from CAT 2003 in the table below:
As you can see the exam trend from CAT 2003 TO CAT 2010 and now CAT 2011, the total numbers of questions have been reduced – CAT is thus a more accuracy-based test now than a speed-based test. You are given sufficient time to answer the question correctly.
CAT 2011 test centres and CAT exam environment:
So you have to answer these 60 questions to bell the CAT – but where do you appear in this exam?
From CAT 2009 onwards, CAT has become a Computer Based Test (CBT) – it is not a paper-pencil test anymore. You have to appear the exam in the designated CAT test sites within the 36 cities/towns, list of which is given in this webpage
Most of them are located in Engineering/Management colleges, with a few of them in schools too. All these test centers would have sufficient number of computers, being connected to a central server which would have the CAT questions. Thus, CAT exam would be a Computer Based Test (CBT) and not an Internet Based Test (IBT). You can not appear in the CAT exam from say a cyber cafe, but have to appear in the computers in the test centers only!
You can choose any date within the CAT test window period (i.e. 22nd October to 18th November 2011) and any of the two time slots (10 AM and 3:15 PM) while registering for CAT.
Let us suppose you had applied for CAT and now you are in the CAT test site, sitting in front of the computer where you are going to take the exam. What are you going to see when the test starts? How does a CAT CBT look like? You can find an actual CAT test environment from this demo CAT
, provided by Prometric who is conducting the exam on behalf of IIMs.
This demo CAT gives you an actual user experience, where you can get to know the test screens with the function of buttons – “Next”, “Mark, “Review”, Familiarity of these CAT test screens is going to help you a lot while taking the actual exam.
CAT 2011 Syllabus:
IIMs do not prescribe any syllabus for CAT – it merely states that “The test consists of questions that evaluate a candidate’s quantitative, verbal, and logical & data interpretation abilities”.
So in absence of an official CAT syllabus how do you prepare for the exam? You can do this by finding what sorts of questions are asked in each of the three sections of CAT. Following is a test section-wise compilation of the type of questions asked in CAT.
CAT Syllabus for Verbal Aptitude section:
English usage: Inappropriate Usage, Contextual meaning, Para jumbles, Sentence completion, Sentence correction, Fill in the Blanks, Verbal Reasoning, Paragraph Completion.
Reading Comprehension:Politics, History & Mythology, Sociology and Linguistics, Fiction / Non-fiction, Philosophy & Law, Art & Culture.
CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude section:
Arithmetic: Number system, Percentage, SI-CI, PLD, Averages, Ratio proportion, Speed Time Distance, Work.
Algebra: Equations & Inequalities, Functions & graphs, Maxima minima, Series, sequences & progressions & logs.
Geometry: Plane geometry (Lines, angles, Triangles, Spheres, Rectangles, Cube, Cone etc), Mensuration, Co-ordinate geometry, Trigonometry.
CAT Syllabus for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section:
Logical Based Table, Calculations based Table, Logic based Caselet, Column graphs, Bar Graphs, Line charts, Pie Chart, Graphs representing Area, Venn Diagram, Logic based Graph.
Puzzles, Syllogisms, Functions, Family tree - identifying relationship among group of people, Symbol Based problems, Coding and decoding , Sequencing , identifying next number in series, etc.
Critical reasoning, Visual reasoning, Assumption-Premise-Conclusion, Assertion and reasons, Statements and assumptions, identifying valid inferences , identifying Strong arguments and Weak arguments, Statements and conclusions, Cause and Effect, Identifying Probably true, Probably false, definitely true, definitely false kind of statement, Linear arrangements, Matrix arrangements
This syllabus and exam pattern is being posted for CAT 2011. But even the future CAT examinees can also use it as the reference syllabus for CAT 2012 & CAT 2013, as not much changes is expected in these two years.
From above, you can find what types of questions are asked. But how to find examples of above types of CAT questions? You can find it in my next blog post titled: CAT prep materials - CAT mock test website list
, where you can find the sample/previous years papers of CAT test. Please visit this blog again!