CAT Previous Years' Papers: Answers & Detailed Solutions

CAT Previous Year Papers: Key Changes

Prior to 2009, CAT was held as a paper-based test and established itself as one of the toughest exams in the country. Since CAT 2010, it has moved into the computer-based test mode.

In terms of the exam pattern, CAT has shifted from having 2 sections from CAT 2011 to CAT 2014 to 3 sections. Here are the key changes that have been observed in CAT:

  • The paper comprised 100 questions from 2014 to 2019. Owing to the pandemic, the number of questions was reduced to 76 in CAT 2020 and further reduced to 66 questions in CAT 2021.
  • The exam had a time limit of 3 hours till CAT 2019. In CAT 2020, there were significant changes and CAT was reduced to 2 hours with 40 minutes each for the individual sections. These changes were brought keeping in mind the COVID restrictions.
  • On the other hand, the marking scheme has remained the same with the aspirant awarded 3 marks for each correct answer and penalized 1 mark for each incorrect attempt.
  • For non-MCQs, there is no negative marking although the reward for a correct attempt remains the same.
  • Almost all the top colleges also have an individual sectional cut-off that aspirants must clear. If the aspirant fails to meet the sectional cut-off, the overall score will not matter and they will not be called for further rounds of the admission process.

How will CAT previous years' question papers help you ace CAT 2024?

Practising previous CAT question papers can significantly contribute to your preparation for CAT 2024 and improve your test-taking strategy. Here are some pointers on how the CAT past years’ papers can help you ace the exam:

  • Get insights into the exam pattern and distribution of questions, enabling you to manage time effectively.
  • Identify recurring topics and concepts that are frequently tested in CAT and prepare them well in advance.
  • Simulate the exam conditions and improve your strategy accordingly.
  • Solve a variety of problems asked in CAT and sharpen your problem-solving skills.
  • Pinpoint your strengths & weaknesses and tailor your study plan accordingly.

Why choose Career Launcher for MBA preparation?

  • Guidance from MBA experts with 28+ years of experience
  • Both live classes and recorded sessions are available
  • Consistent practice using both CAT and non-CAT mocks
  • Detailed analysis of each mock to enhance performance
  • Access to practice questions and section-wise tests
  • Test Series closest to the actual MBA entrance exams


Previous years’ CAT papers are easily accessible online. You can refer to our past year's papers available above and even download the PDF with answers and solutions.

Yes, doing the previous years’ papers is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It allows the candidate to familiarise themself with the exam pattern.
  • The candidate can understand the type of questions and level of difficulty of CAT exams.
  • They give an insight into your speed and accuracy when giving an actual CAT paper.

The IIM that conducts the CAT for the respective year is in charge of preparing the question paper.

CAT is split into three sections focusing on English, reasoning, and mathematics.

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension
  • Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning
  • Quantitative Aptitude

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Aditya Prakash Shukla

Aditya Prakash Shukla

Converted - IIM A,B,C,L,K,I


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