What is the CAT Syllabus?

cat syllabus

Are you preparing for a successful CAT 2017? If so, you may have heard that you should study the CAT syllabus. But what is the CAT syllabus?

The Meaning of the Term “Syllabus” In This Context

As you probably already know, “syllabus” normally refers to the schedule, activities and content of a university course. On the first day of class in your undergrad studies, each professor likely gave you a syllabus that explained what you’d do during the semester.

The people who sponsor the CAT exam want you to approach the test the way that you would approach a semester of study. So each year, they encourage test-takers to organize test information as a syllabus. To create a good CAT syllabus for yourself, you should know the dates for CAT registration, test and score release. And of course, you should also know the skills and content you’ll need to master.

Yearly Changes to the CAT Syllabus

I have a little bit of bad news: The CAT has no set syllabus. CAT content and exam timelines for the CAT can change from year-to-year. Before you panic though, hear me out — this is not as bad of news as it sounds.

Yes, it is frustrating that this year’s CAT could be a lot different from last year’s CAT. And it certainly would be better if the official CAT website posted an actual official syllabus. However, just because the new CAT might change from last year doesn’t mean it will be different. In fact, I have some good news to balance the bad: the CAT syllabus has changed very little in recent years.

For the last several years, CAT questions have dealt with three aspects of academic ability: Quantitiative Aptitude (math problem-solving skills), Verbal Aptitude (abilities in reading and writing in English), Logical Reasoning (understanding of logical patterns, arrangements, and algorithms), and Data Interpretation (understanding information in graphs, charts, and tables).

Moreover, in the last two years, the CAT has had exactly 100 questions, divided into three sections. One section is devoted to Quant, another is devoted to Verbal, and the third section covers Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation.

And I have still even better news: the point weight of each section has been the same for the last two years. CAT Quant and CAT Verbal have been worth 34 points each, while the LR/DI section was worth 32 points in both 2015 and 2016. The Logical Reasoning questions were worth 16 points, and the Data Interpretation questions made up the other 16. (In other words, each question is worth one point.)

Annual Timelines for the CAT

The scheduling part of the CAT syllabus is also pretty much the same each year. You can expect registration for the next CAT to open up in early August. The registration period always ends in late September. And the test date will always be in late November or early December. You can also be assured that you’ll get your test results by early January after you take the test. With this timeline and knowledge of past CAT syllabuses, you can start preparing for CAT 2017 with confidence.

More details about the CAT Syllabus

There are many websites where you can get the likely details of this year’s CAT syllabus, based on previous years. One website that offers a CAT syllabus is this very blog. Check out our detailed look at the CAT Syllabus 2017.


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