Why Is The CAT Syllabus Getting Tough Year by Year?

‘Why is the CAT exam difficult?’ is probably one of those questions still lingering over the minds of many aspirants. However, while CAT isn’t as challenging as they say it is, the complexity has increased over the years due to the competition. So, the higher the stakes, the more difficult it is to crack this exam.

Every year, the stakes increase manifold, and the pressure builds as students rigorously prepare for the CAT exam. The real question is, does the CAT syllabus change every year?

cat syllabus

Does the CAT exam syllabus change every year?

The CAT exam syllabus hasn’t changed over the past ten years, but there have been changes in the exam pattern. While no changes have been made so far in the exam structure, you can notice a few modifications in the questions and their distribution.

For instance, in 2018, several changes were made, resulting in more TITA (type-in-the-answers) questions than MCQs. While in 2019, these questions were fewer than MCQs.

CAT 2021 syllabus: need to know

The CAT exam will last for two hours and consist of 76 multiple-choice-based questions, from quantitative aptitude, data interpretation, logical reasoning, verbal ability, and reading comprehension. Each correct answer gets you three points, while you would be losing a point for every wrong answer.

Also, you must make sure that you answer each section in under 40 minutes. So, you will need to be fast, not to mention accurate, if you want to stand a chance to crack this exam.

What are the most difficult sections in CAT?

The CAT exam consists of three sections, including quantitative aptitude, data interpretation and logical reasoning, and verbal ability and reading comprehension. Of these, data interpretation and logical reasoning is the most demanding section due to various reasons.

The section consists of analytical puzzles, one of the most challenging questions in the entire exam. Analytical puzzles are complex as the questions come as a complete surprise, and you can get any puzzle ranging from fill-ups or long or square charts. For example, in 2017, questions like happiness index, marks in PCM, and projects were deemed the toughest.

Similarly, the difficulty levels of the verbal ability and reading comprehension section depend on the passages that form a significant part of it, where you will have 24 questions. You must answer these questions either by stating the facts or by drawing inferences. The section assesses your critical thinking skills.

So, here, you will have questions that you need to answer depending on the author’s tone. You may even have grammar or vocabulary questions in this section.

As for quantitative ability, a significant portion of the questions (almost about 23 to 26%) come from geometry, arithmetic, and dirty quant.

These questions require the application of different formulae and theorems, so you will need to memorize and be thorough with them.


While they say that CAT is one of the toughest exams to crack and is only getting more challenging by the year, you can still crack it if you can try and get your basics together, attempt mock tests, and practice and revise concepts. While they also say that DILR, or data interpretation and logical reasoning is one of the most challenging sections, there is nothing such as the most challenging section. You will get a few difficult questions from every section.

So, work hard and pay attention to those questions. Once you get the hang of them and figure out how to approach such questions, you can rest assured that you will crack the cat 2021 exam.

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