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CAT 2018 Syllabus for Quantitative Aptitute, DI, LR and VA Section

As you know that CAT is a national level entrance exam which is managed by IIMs in rotation basis. With the release on the CAT 2018 admit card done online on October 25, 2017, more candidates are searching for updates information about the CAT 2018 syllabus. As, we all know CAT  2018 is the only gateway for admission to the top B schools in India, so more hassle is there when it comes to getting the updated CAT 2018 syllabus.

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Every year CAT exam is conducted on a rotation basis by any one of the IIM’s and so this year IIM Lucknow is administering the CAT 2018 exam, but there is no clear definition of the CAT 2018 syllabus.

However, IIM Lucknow has made it clear that the syllabus for CAT 2018 exam is generic, like every year so students need to prepare basic 10+2 level mathematics, reasoning and English language application-based problems.

There will be a total of 100 questions which are divided in a comprehensive way among the three sections. Questions will be of MCQ and non- MCQ based nature, so students need to improve their typing speed along with the analytical thinking ability. Total marks for CAT 2018 exam are 300 and students need to prepare for the same by following the guidelines defined for CAT 2018 syllabus.

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CAT 2018 exam is on November 26, 2017 and so one can check some highlights about the CAT 2017 exam here:

  • CAT 2018 syllabus is divided into three heads namely QA (Quantitaive Aptitude), DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) and VA (Verbal ability).
  • CAT 2018 syllabus for QA sections includes Number system, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, permutation & combination and probability as important topics.
  • CAT 2018 syllabus for DILR has question type like data sufficiency, bar graph, tables, case- lets and pie charts which are considered important.
  • CAT 2018 syllabus for verbal ability section is very general in nature, there is no clear definition, however, questions can be divided into three broad categories namely Para Jumbles, Odd sentences and general English.

CAT 2018 Syllabus

Subject wise syllabus:

CAT 2018 syllabus for QA

As there is no difference or clear definition for the syllabus for CAT exam, so there are no changes that can be identified in the syllabus.

  • There are 34 questions which have to be completed in 60 minutes.
  • QA section carries marks weightage of 102 marks.
  • Questions will be of problem-solving nature and analytical.
  • According to the paper pattern non- MCQ type questions can vary from 5 to 10 in number.

CAT 2018 syllabus for QA section along with the nature of questions and percentage weightage  is as follows:

Topic % weightage Topic % weightage
Number system and number theory 12% Geometry 10%
Mixtures and alligations 6% Set theory 5%
Probability 4% Pipes and Cisterns 4%
Permutations and combinations 4% Races and Games 4%
Boats and streams 4% Problems on trains 4%


Apart from the topics mentioned above the CAT 2018 QA detailed syllabus is as follows:

Number system Number system II Basic formulae of algebra
Divisibility rules LCM and HCF Percentages
Profit and loss Interests Trigonometry
Speed, time and distance Time and work Averages
Mixtures and alligations Ratio and proportion Linear equations
Quadratic equations Progression Functions
Binomial theorem Indices and surds Inequalities
Logarithms Permutations & combinations Probability
Geometry basis Triangles Similar triangles
Quadrilaterals Quadrilaterals: squares & rectangles Quadrilaterals: parallelograms
Circles Mensuration Vedic maths-introduction


Preparation tips for QA section CAT

  • Start with the basics. Prepare a table with all important formulae, so you have all the information stacked.
  • Prepare a plan for working with the CAT QA section and do not leave any topic uncovered. Better, if you can have a day wise preparation schedule. A day wise schedule may look like:
Number system 5 days
Algebra 8 days
Geometry 8 days
Permutation & Combination 5 days
Miscellaneous 5 days


  • Take a sectional mock test or better mock test for each of the question variety. Do chapter wise practice problems.
  • Focus on weak topics and practice 2-minute rules while working with the QA problems, i.e do not spend more than 2 minutes in solving the problems.
  • Prepare all the important topics, prime important are number system, geometry and mensuration.


CAT sample questions

Q1. If a!+b!+c!=abc, where a, b & c are distinct decimal digits, find b.

  1. 0
  2. 1
  3. 6
  4. 5

Answer: B

Q2. Q 1. ‘ab’ is a two digit number and ‘ccb’ is a three digit number such that (ab)2 = ccb, where ‘ccb’ is greater than 300. What is the value of ‘b’?

  1. 0
  2. 1
  3. 5
  4. 6

Answer: 2

Preparation books for QA section:

Book name Publisher ISBN
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs Arihant Publication 9311123870
Complete Guide to CAT Pearson Education India 9332576513
How to Prepare For QUANTITATIVE APTTITUDE For CAT (Arun Sharma) Arihant Publications


CAT syllabus for DILR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning):

DI& LR section has questions based on the data given. This includes question asked on the basis of the charts, graphs, tables and paragraphs. LR section is designed to check a candidate’s ability to ratiocinate and evaluate problems.

  • One has to attempt32 questions in 60 minutes.
  • 16 questions will come from the DI section and 16 questions will come from the LR section.
  • Total marks allotted to LIDR section is 96.
  • Problems will come focused on interpreting different patterns and number sequence.
  • 24 questions are expected to be MCQ based and 8 non- MCQ based on the basis of the CAT 2018 exam pattern.
  • Percentage weightage with the question type is as follows:
Data sufficiency 20%
Tables and caselets 14%


LR topics:

Data arrangements Family tree Venn diagram
Matching puzzles Constraint based puzzles Seating arrangement
Syllogism Assumptions Statements
Clock and calendar Blood relations Propositions
Binary logic Sets

Preparation tips for LRDI section CAT:

  • Do at least 2-4 sets of DILR questions each day, this will help you get exposed to a variety of problems. The strategy is suggested by Ishaan Anaokar who scored 99.30 percentile in CAT.
  • DI questions are calculation intensive and a digital calculator is available on the computer so, best to use it while doing mock practice.
  • Increase your calculation speed on the virtual computer by daily use of the same.
  • As there are no theoretical questions, so do plenty of practice.

Sample questions LRDI

Refer to the bar graph below and answer the questions that follow:

Graph I and Graph II show that Protein and Carbohydrate content and the price per kg. (in Rupees) of Soya Products, Red Meant, Milk Products and Cereals for 2002-2003, 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 respectively.

  1. In the year 2002-2003, find out from which source was protein the costliest.

(a) Soya Products               (b) Red Meat           (c) Milk Products      (d) Cereals

  1. What is the ratio of the cost of 1 gram of Carbohydrate from the costliest source to that from the cheapest source in the year 2002-2003?

(a) 1.44                           (b) 1.43                  (c) 1.80                  (d) 1.14

  1. If 250 grams of Protein from each product is required, then how much it will cost (approximately), in the year 2004-2005?

(a) Rs.100                        (b) Rs.120               (c) Rs.140               (d) Rs.200

  1. If the given sources are the only available sources of Protein, then what was (approximately) the percentage change in the average Protein price/kg.for the year 2003-2004 over the year 2002-2003?

(a) 0.5                             (b) 0.9                   (c) 2                      (d) 5

  1. If Soya Products, Red Meat, Mil Products and Cereals are in the ratio 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 for a mixture then what percent of this mixture will be other than Proteins and Carbohydrates?

(a) 30.5%                          (b) 35.5%                (c) 51.2%                (d) 24.9%

Preparation books for CAT LRDI section:

Book name Publisher ISBN
CAT 2017 Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning G.K. Pub; Second edition 9386309475
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT Pearson Education 933257121X
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT McGraw Hill Education 9352606949


CAT syllabus for Verbal reasoning:

Verbal reasoning section includes testing your reading and writing skills along with the understanding of the basic grammar principles. So basically the section has two parts Reading comprehension and English usage, the RC section will have 4-5 questions following each passage.

  • Section will contain a total of 34 questions, there will be a total of 24 MCQ based questions and 10 non- MCQ based questions.
  • Time allotted to complete the section is 60 minutes and carry a total of 102 marks.

Total questions and their approximate distribution:

  • 6-7 questions on error correction
  • 5-6 questions on jumbled paragraphs
  • 4-5 questions on facts, inference or judgment
  • 3-4 questions on para summary
  • 15-16 questions on reading comprehension


Question type with percentage weigtage of each section is as follows:

Reading comprehension 16%
Paragraph Jumbles 14%
Analogies 8%
Basic grammar 8%

Some question variety is as follows:

  • Para Jumble
  • Sentence Correction
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Word Usage (Vocabulary)
  • Fact Inference Judgment
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Grammar
  • Para Completion

Preparation tips for VR section CAT 2018:

  • Best is to learn 5- 10 new words each rather than trying to grasp 1000 words in a day, during last few days of prepration.
  • Be consistent with the vocabulary part learn 5- 10 new words each day for next 100 days, so that by the end of 3 months you have a richer vocabulary.
  • Spend atleast half hour each day to improve your vocabulary and increase your reading speed.
  • Read the editorial section in the newspaper is a good way to improve vocabulary.
  • Take at least 1 or 2 slip tests each day to improve your efficiency of the VR section.

A small checklist to work with the VR section:

  1. Read! Read! Read!!
  2. Don’t worry about grammar and vocabulary.
  3. Evaluate all options critically
  4. Approach VR systematically.
  5. Don’t follow quant approach with VR section.

Books for VR section:

Book name Publisher ISBN / ASIN
Verbal Reasoning Arihant Publications 9351769054
Objective General English Arihant Publications 9351768449
Objective General English 2018 : For Competitive Exams Your Book Publication B01MZ8DHDU

Sample questions

Q1. When he

P : did not know

Q : he was nervous and

R : heard the hue and cry at midnight

S : what to do

The Proper sequence should be:






Marking scheme CAT 2018

  • CAT 2017 exam analysis show the introduction of non- MCQ type of questions in all the three sections defined for the exam.
  • The CAT 2018 marking scheme is common QA, LIDR and VA section.
  • The detailed marking scheme is as follows:
Category MCQ Non- MCQ
Marks awarded for correct answer 3 3
Negative marks -1 No negative marking
Marks deducted/awarded for un-attempted questions No marks No marks

Non- MCQ type of questions CAT 2017

Non- MCQ questions are different and require you to type the actual correct answer. These types of questions were actually introduced in 2015 CAT by IIM Ahmadabad.

Some important points for TITA:

  • TITA questions account for 33% marks in the CAT exam.
  • There is no negative marking.
  • Knowledge of basic fundamentals is needed to solve these types of questions.

How to work with non- MCQ questions?

Since you need to actually type the answer in the non- MCQ type question, so it is advised that you solve the non- MCQ type questions by writing the answer first on a piece of paper before you type it in your system.

4 easy ways to solve non- MCQ based questions:

  • Note down all the relevant information from the question on a piece of paper and focus on the same. This will give you the time to expand the idea and will help you solve the answer logically in less time.
  • Identify if two questions are interrelated and then solve them accordingly.
  • Frame your answer comprehensively.
  • Type your answer quickly and make sure to read it twice before submitting.

Advantage of working with a non- MCQ question:

  • If attempted precisely, non- MCQ questions have helped an aspirant score greater percentile as compared to the aspirants who stuck to answering MCQ type of questions.
  • As there is no negative marking in the non- MCQ based questions so no marks are lost or deducted because of incorrect answers.
  • As the answer is not submitted in a single click, the system gives you the time to type and revise your answer.
  • Non- MCQ based questions can be answered easily indiscriminately, whereas MCQ based questions create confusion by giving the candidate a choice to choose the area of his/her interest.

Precaution with non- MCQ based questions:

Do not write vague answers as there is NO NEGATIVE marking for the non- MCQ based questions, because these marks do add in creating a better percentile.

CAT 2018 exam pattern- MCQ V/s Non- MCQ questions: Although there is no clear definition of the percentage of non- MCQ questions found in the CAT exam paper we can observe the following trend:

Section name MCQ Non- MCQ Total no. Of questions
VARC 24 10 34
DILR 24 8 32
QA 27 7 34
Total 75 25 100



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