The Common Admission Test or CAT conducted by the IIMs provides syllabus for the exam. The CAT syllabus broadly consists of 4 major aptitude assessment areas like Quantitative Aptitude (Mathematics), Verbal Ability (English), Data Interpretation (DI), and Logical Reasoning (LR). Although it specifies that the topics, particularly in Maths, are till class 10th Level, the questions are highly analytic in nature. Given below is a broad topic-wise syllabus of CAT:


CAT Syllabus for Quantitative Aptitude (Maths)

The mathematics section of CAT Exam generally includes topics mentioned below:

  1. Number Systems including LCM and HCF
  2. Percentages (Profit and Loss)
  3. Interest (Simple and Compound Interest)
  4. Speed, Time and Distance
  5. Time and Work
  6. Averages, Ratio and Proportions
  7. Linear and Quadratic Equations
  8. Complex Numbers and Logarithms
  9. Progressions, Binomial Theorem
  10. Surds (Radicals) and Indices
  11. Inequality
  12. Permutation and Combination
  13. Probability and Statistics
  14. Functions and Set Theory
  15. Geometry (Co-Ordinate Geometry)
  16. Trigonometry
  17. Mensuration


CAT Syllabus for Verbal Ability (English)

The English section of CAT Exam is divided into four major sections which are Vocabulary, English Grammar, Reading Comprehension, and Verbal Reasoning.

Vocabulary : This consists of questions on synonyms and antonyms, words and their usage, cloze test, idioms and phrases, etc.

Grammar : This section checks the student’s knowledge of English Grammar. Candidate needs to find out and correct grammatical errors. The grammar questions in CAT include important topics like Subject-Verb Agreement, Parallel Construction, Use of Modifiers, Phrasal Verbs, Use of Prepositions and Articles, Redundancy, etc., to name a few.

Reading Comprehension: This section test a candidate’s ability to comprehend a passage, ranging anything between 500 – 1200 words, on a variety of topics.

Verbal Reasoning : This section comes with questions to test student’s ability to identify and search relationships or patterns within groups of words and sentences.

The total list of topics

  1. Vocabulary Based (Synonyms Antonyms)
  2. English Usage or Grammar
  3. Sentence Correction
  4. Fill in the blanks
  5. Cloze Passage
  6. Analogies or Reverse Analogies
  7. Jumbled Paragraph
  8. Meaning-Usage Match
  9. Summary Questions
  10. Verbal Reasoning
  11. Facts / Inferences / Judgements
  12. Reading Comprehension


CAT Syllabus for Data Interpretation (DI)

CAT gives a lot of importance to Data Crunching through Data Interpretation (DI). It consists of a graph or chart and a set of questions related on this topic. The questions are generally based on the following types of graphs or charts:

  1. Tables
  2. Column Graphs
  3. Bar Graphs
  4. Line Charts
  5. Pie Chart
  6. Venn Diagrams
  7. Matrix
  8. Network Diagrams


CAT Syllabus for Logical Reasoning (LR)

Logical Reasoning, LR is one section where candidates require the grey matter the most. CAT gives a lot of importance to LR and it becomes more so important because questions are generally in form of a set. Cracking a set means one is able to solve all the questions else none. The major topics asked in this section are as follows:

  1. Number and Letter Series
  2. Calendars
  3. Clocks
  4. Cubes
  5. Venn Diagrams
  6. Binary Logic
  7. Seating Arrangement
  8. Logical Sequence
  9. Logical Matching
  10. Logical Connectives
  11. Syllogism
  12. Blood Relations
  13. Coding – Decoding
  14. Statement and Argument
  15. Statement and Assumption
  16. Statement and Courses of Action
  17. Direction Sense Test



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