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CAT Syllabus and Preparation 2016: Helpful Resources to consider

Last Updated - September 28, 2016

CAT (Common Aptitude Test) is a National level entrance exam for the candidates who seek to get admission in various PG Management programmes offered by various elite institutes across India. The exam is conducted by IIMs (Indian Institute of Management) and is a Multiple Choice based exam with penalties for wrong answers.

Based on CAT percentile score, candidates are then shortlisted for further levels. These levels are done so as to select or reject the candidates according to their performance. Mentioned below are the stages or rounds on which the candidate will be selected based on their performance.

  • Group Discussion (GD)
  • Essay Writing
  • Personal Interview (PI)
CAT OverviewCAT Eligibility CriteriaCAT Application Process

What is the Syllabus for CAT exam?

CAT exam is one of the most common entrance exam, which is undertaken by more than lacs of aspiring graduates every year. The CAT Syllabus is majorly divided into three sections: - Verbal Ability (English), Quant Ability (Mathematics), Logical Reasoning (LR) and Data Interpretation (DI) skills. But, it is to be noted that the CAT does not predefine any specific chapters or content upon which questions can occur. However, any intricate term would be well defined, if the problem requires such knowledge.

CAT English/Verbal Ability: Reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, syllogisms, analogies, antonyms and synonyms, fill in the blanks, sentence correction, idioms, etc.

CAT Mathematics/Quantitative Ability: Number systems, geometry, trigonometry, probability, permutation combination, algebra, mensuration, time and work, averages, percentages, profit and loss, quadratic and linear equations, etc.

CAT Data Interpretation: Interpretation and analysis of data based on text, tables, graphs (line, area), charts (column, bar, pie), venn diagram, etc.

CAT Logical Reasoning: Clocks, calendars, binary logic, seating arrangement, blood relations, logical sequence, assumption, premise, conclusion, linear and matrix arrangement, etc.

CAT Exam PatternCAT Verbal and Comprehension AbilityCAT Quantitative AbilityCAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 

CAT 2016 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

This is one of the most critical section in the entireCAT Exam Pattern. The candidate should be thorough and confident with the fundamentals of English grammar. In this section, the questions of Vocabulary, tests the candidate’s comprehension in English like primary meanings of words, idioms and phrases, secondary shades of meaning, usage, associated words, antonyms, etc. Many questions will be Grammar-based questions to test the candidate’s capability to mark and correct grammatical errors. Also, few questions would be Verbal reasoning questions, they are designed to test the candidate’s potential to identify relationships or patterns within sentences or groups of words.


This section comprises of the following topics:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal Logic
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar Correction
  • Sentence Correction
  • Jumbled Words

Study Aid for Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension:

The best way to crack this section with ease is to read. You should be a regular reader in literal terms, but make sure that you are reading something that will help you improve your vocabulary. There is a lot of reading stuff available in all the forms, be it in the form of Print or Digital form.


If we talk about Print Form, you can refer to the following mediums:

NewspapersStory BooksPractice Books
MintMediocre but Arrogant by Abhijit BhaduriHow to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma
Economic TimesTin Fish by Sudeep Chakravarti Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R. S. Aggarwal
The HinduThe Prophet by Khalil GibranVerbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations by TIME
The Times of India/ Bachi KarkariaAnthem by Ayn RandWord Power Made Easy Book by Norman Lewis
The StatesmenOliver’s Story by Erish SegalHigh School English Grammar & Composition by Wren, Martin

A lot of options are available on online medium as well. You can opt for various options to take various online exams or practice papers to analyze your performance. Mentioned below are the names of few websites one can visit to examine their performance or learn and clear their English Fundamentals.

  • Online programs by CETKING
  • BBC - Learning English

There are numerous options that are available in both the mediums, hence one can always look up for them. The best authors and their editorials should be read and analyzed, whereas one should opt for various online courses to practice as well as learn about the basic as well as complex scenarios of English Subject.  You should make sure that each time you come up with a new word –   

  • Understand the context where it has been used
  • Understand the meaning of the word.

CAT 2016 Mathematics/ Quantitative Aptitude

This is another important section in the CAT exam. It comprises of fundamental mathematic, based on 10 + 2 difficulty level. This section helps to test and understand the ability and capability of the aspirants in terms of his or her knowledge in Mathematics. In this the candidate will be analyzed on how well he or she has an idea to apply various math formulas to a given problem. 

  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Commercial Mathematics
  • Number System
  • Modern Math
  • Arithmetic

CAT preparation

Books for Quant SectionOnline Reference Websites for Quant Section
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun SharmaIndiabix
The Pearson Guide To Quantitative Aptitude And Data Interpretation For The CAT by Nishant SinhaLearners Planet
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Guha AbhijitPyoopel

CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Analyzing and interpreting complex situations and various data and providing proper logical explanation to it, is the main requirement for any aspirant wanting to apply in the field of management. This is one of most interesting section in the entire CAT exam.

In the Data Interpretation Format: Data is given in form of tables, graphs, and charts. In this section it is tested that how a candidate interprets the given data and answers the questions based on it.

Data is given in form of tables, charts or graphs. In this section it is tested that how candidates can interpret the given data and answer questions based on it.

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

In the Logical Reasoning Format: Number and Letter Series; Calendars; Cubes; Clocks; Venn Diagrams; Binary Logic; Seating Arrangement; Syllogism; Logical Matching; Logical Sequence; Logical Connectives; Blood Relations

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

CAT Reference books

Reference Books for DI & LR
Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha (LR)
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Arun Sharma (LR)
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the Cat by Arun Sharma (DI)

How to study Smart for CAT 2016?

CAT is the toughest MBA entrance exam in India. In order to do well the graduates, need to be well prepared for it. We recommend following tips that you can appliance to prepare in best way.

Plan and prepare: Plan your study strategy for every day. Decide the topics to prepare. One needs to prepare a proper, goal oriented timetable and make sure you follow it religiously.

Preparation of Notes: One should also prepare notes of important topics or of difficult topics while studying, this would help you during the final week of exams. This will also save you some time, as whatever you’ll be looking for will be readily available in your notes.

Mock tests: The pattern of the exam keep on fluctuating so to be well-set solves different types of previous question papers.

The CAT aspirants can also visit the following link to get more details on CAT exam preperation.

CAT e-Resources

The candidates can go through the below mentioned websites for more practice. The more you practice, the more confidence you will be. And then on the final day of the CAT exam your mind will be better prepared for the questions. It provides free access to the material available online and Mock test for CAT exam. All the mock test is linked in a way that statistical performance can be reviewed, which will display your strength and weakness in subjects that you are preparing for. You can also download the Apps from Google Play store to use in your smart phone. 

Bullseye: This site provides both Free as well as paid mock test for the CAT exam Aspirants. 

Learnhub: This site provides practice papers in different subjects for CAT Exam. Here you can practice mock test according to the subjects. 

TCY Online: It is one of the best site to prepare for any of the Entrance Examination. For CAT preparation. You can take the mock test as well as play challenge with another mock test participant.  You will get multiple mock test series to practice. You can also choose Paid mock test series for the website with a reasonable cost. 

My CAT study provides the mock test with real-time feedback model. You can also enroll for paid Mock test from the website.

The aspirants can click on the following link to practice for the CAT exam.

CAT Preparation

As CAT exam is undertaken by lots of graduates who seek to get admission in various prominent universities in the country, they should make sure that they leave no stone unturned while practicing and preparing for the same. The aspirants are in lacs whereas the seats available are in thousands, therefore making the exam even more competitive.

CAT being one of the most popular management exam, the information and various CAT exam Study material is available in both the mediums i.e. Print and Online. Candidates should thoroughly go through both the mediums so as to shortlist from what all study material they have to study. The aspirants should make sure that they are well equipped with all the CAT necessary documents required so as to avoid any last minute hassles. 



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