CAT Syllabus 2023

Each year the CAT syllabus is generalised as the IIMs do not provide an official syllabus. Thus, following the pattern of CAT 2022, the CAT syllabus 2023 is expected to be divided into three sections; Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). 

The CAT syllabus is mostly focused on mathematics and English concepts learned in school. Though there is a lack of a defined syllabus the most common topics and questions can be deduced based on an analysis of the previous papers.

The VARC section focuses on topics of English such as grammar, reading comprehension, inferences and verbal reasoning. On the other hand, DILR requires the interpretation of data through the information provided in the form of graphs, charts and arrangements. The QA section of the CAT exam syllabus includes topics of middle school mathematics such as algebra, arithmetic, geometry, modern math etc.

It is important to note that the exam pattern of the CAT 2022 was a two-hour computer-based test. Each of the three sections was allotted 40 minutes and candidates had to respond to the answers within the given time frame.

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CAT 2023 Overview

The CAT 2023 Exam will be a Computer Based Test (CBT). The exam pattern for CAT has changed in the previous years owing to the pandemic. So, here is a breakup of the syllabus according to the previous exam pattern-

Key Components


Time allotted

2 hours

Total No. of Questions


No. of Questions Section-wise

VARC: 24

DILR: 20

QA: 22

Time allotted per section

40 minutes each

Mode of Examination


Medium of Examination


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CAT Syllabus 2023: Section-wise Breakup

Given the vastness of the CAT Exam Syllabus, aspirants need to understand how to maximise their scores in each section. The preparation for the exam can be strengthened by understanding the section-wise breakage of CAT along with the weight various sections and topics hold. The section-wise breakup of CAT will define the number of MCQ and non-MCQ questions expected along with the topics with the most number of questions based on past patterns.




Total Question






4 passages of RC with 4 questions each. 3 parajumbles, 2 para completions, 3 parasummary





4 sets of 5 questions each covering topics of bar graphs, missing data and puzzles





Dominated by arithmetic and algebra with 4 questions of geometry





CAT Syllabus 2023: Section-wise Analysis

The CAT 2022 exam pattern gives us a good idea about how to go about preparing for CAT 2023. Going through each topic that is likely to be included in the CAT 2023 Syllabus will help each aspirant devise their own list of strengths and weaknesses and accordingly prepare a study plan for CAT 2023. Picking up the right questions and ensuring that the attempt accuracy is high will ensure that the candidate scores well in the CAT Exam. Here is a list of the topics a candidate should cover in each section of the exam.

CAT Syllabus Sections


Weightage for 2022

Verbal Ability

Para jumbles, Para summary, and Inferences


Reading Comprehension

RC passages


Logical Reasoning

Blood Relations, Syllogism, Directions, Clocks & Calendars, Logical Connectives and Sequences


Data Interpretation

Tables, Graphs, Charts and other forms of visualisation


Quantitative Aptitude

Geometry, Trigonometry, Averages, Percentages, Number Systems, Arithmetic, Mensuration


CAT VARC Syllabus 2023

The VARC section is the first section of the exam which must be completed in 40 minutes. The Reading Comprehension part of the section dominates with approximately 70% weightage of the total score of this section. Given below are the topics that should be covered in the CAT VARC syllabus 2023:

CAT VARC Syllabus

Jumbled Paragraph

Reading Comprehension


Summary Questions

Verbal Reasoning

Para Completion

CAT DILR Syllabus 2023

The second section of the CAT exam, the DILR section is the most undefined as compared to the other sections in the CAT Exam Syllabus. The two subsections of the DILR section in the CAT syllabus 2023 are:

Data Interpretation: Data will be presented in the form of a graph, chart, or another form of visualisation and you will be required to solve the questions given based on the information given.

Logical Reasoning: Here you may be given information in a non-structured manner and you may be required to structure it and derive the outcome to solve the questions given.

Given below are the major topics of the CAT DILR syllabus

CAT DILR Syllabus



Logical Sequence

Bar Graphs

Line Charts


Column Graphs

Venn Diagrams

Logical Connectives

Pie Charts


Blood Relations

Number and Letter Series


Binary Logic


Seating Arrangement

Logical Matching

The number of questions in the DI and LR sub-sections are generally equally distributed, which means that the students who are more comfortable in one of the sub-sections can still clear the cut-off if they attempt that part of the CAT 2023 Paper well.

However, the CAT DILR Section has been changing slightly in recent years. The questions are a combination of DI and LR rather than the regimented, separate DI and LR questions that were tested earlier.

CAT Quant Syllabus 2023

The CAT QA Syllabus has the maximum portion since it covers everything related to mathematics that one studies in school. Some of the major topics in the CAT QA Syllabus are:

  • Arithmetic: This topic covers the maximum number of questions in most of the CAT Exams and is a topic that all students should prepare for.
  • Algebra: This topic has the second-highest weightage in terms of the questions asked in the CAT Exam.
  • Numbers: These are topics that are regularly tested in the CAT Exam and every aspirant should be clear about the basics of the topics to not lose out on easy marks.
  • Geometry: This is another regularly tested topic that consists of Geometry, Coordinate Geometry and Mensuration. Having a basic knowledge of the topic will allow aspirants to attempt at least a few questions from the topic in the CAT 2023 Exam.

CAT Quant Syllabus

Number Systems


Profit, Loss and Discount

Speed, Time & Distance


Simple and Compound Interest


Ratio & Proportion

Time & Work 

Linear Equations

Quadratic Equations

Complex Numbers


Sequence and Series


Surds & Indices


Permutation and Combination

Set Theory & Function

Coordinate Geometry


Mixtures and Alligations



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CAT Syllabus 2023: Preparation Tips

Here are a few tips for CAT aspirants to prepare the CAT syllabus 2023-

Understand the CAT Syllabus and Exam Pattern: Before starting your CAT preparations, it is imperative that you familiarise yourself with the syllabus and exam pattern to identify the best strategy to study.

Acquire the Habit of Reading: The reading comprehension section focuses on reading as one of the most essential skills. Candidates can improve their speed, grammar and vocabulary by regularly reading books, newspapers etc.

Familiarize yourself with Equations and Maths Calculations: For the mathematical portion of the exam, aspirants must be quick and accurate at mental calculations. Memorising formulae and practising equations will help with speed and accuracy.

Practice Mocks and Previous Year Papers: Aspirants should regularly practice mocks and previous year papers to analyse their performance and familiarise themselves with the CAT paper.

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CAT Syllabus 2023: CAT 2022 Evaluation

Apart from the basic CAT exam syllabus, it might be useful to have a look at CAT 2022 to set a benchmark.

  • CAT 2022 followed the same pattern as CAT 2021 with 66 questions to be attempted in 2 hours. There were 40 minutes given to attempt each section with 24 questions in VARC, 20 questions in DILR and 22 questions in QA.
  • The level of difficulty of the paper was moderate. The only notable changes were in VARC where odd-sentence-out was replaced by para completion and DILR had 5 questions in each set instead of the past division with 4, 4, 6, and 6 questions.

Detailed Analysis of CAT 2022

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There is no CAT Syllabus 2023 which is explicitly mentioned on the CAT Official Website due to the fact that CAT does occasionally pull a surprise on the candidates. However, every question in the CAT is solvable since it tests the candidates' knowledge of the basics. Therefore, every candidate should ensure that they are thorough in terms of their preparation for the basics. If the aspirant prepares according to the CAT syllabus, the room for unpleasant surprises is greatly reduced.

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