CAT Center at IIM Indore has overhauled complete CAT 2020 exam pattern and the pattern of CAT exam has been changed in 2020. Instead of being a 3 hour test, now it’s a 2 hour test; sectional time limit is reduced to 40 minutes per section. CAT exam 2020 will be conducted in three separate sessions: Morning, afternoon and evening on same day – November 29, 2020, day instead of two sessions. Exam is divided into three sections:
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) (40 Minutes)
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (40 Minutes)
- Quantitative Ability (40 Minutes)
CAT 2020 Exam Pattern – Sectional Time Limit:
CAT Exam allows candidates to solve the exam in 120 minutes. However, there is a catch. Candidates are restricted by the sectional time limit to solve the question paper. This means that if a candidate cannot choose to solve the VARC, DILR, or QA section. Whichever section comes first he/she will get the time of 40 minutes to solve that particular section first. Only after solving this section, he/she can move to solve the other two sections.
The sectional time limit clause restricts the candidates to switch between 2 sections. In the CAT exam, generally Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is the first section to solve, followed by Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and at last, comes Quantitative Aptitude. Aspirants therefore will get 40 minutes to attempt each section. After the time is up, you will automatically move to solve the questions of the next section.
I have done a thorough analysis of past CAT Paper patterns and trends and basis that we expect that CAT would have 66-75 Questions if the same difficulty level is to be retained. Having more than that no of questions will lead to lowering the difficulty level and making CAT also a time game.
The order of the test is fixed and candidates are not allowed to switch between sections. 3 marks is awarded for every right answer and -1 mark for every wrong answer. The difficulty level is usually between Moderate to Difficult.
Let’s get into some analysis of this pattern change. These are some possible scenarios of CAT paper.
- Case 1: 100 questions
- Case 2: 75 questions
- Case 3: 90 questions
- Case 4: Same as before: 180 min —100 question so 120 min—67 questions
When compared with the CAT 2019, what can you expect in CAT 2020?
CAT 2020 is expected to have 66-75 questions and only 120 minutes. So the level of difficulty is expected to be reduced if it has 75+ questions. CAT exam has a sectional time limit, which means the candidates will not be allowed to choose any section to start with or switch from one section to another. They will have to follow the CAT 2020 question paper chronologically, from section 1-3. The chronology of the sections will be: VARC🡪 DILR🡪QA.
Aspirants must remember that they will have to complete each section within 40 minutes and the moment 40 minutes are complete, the screen will automatically move to the next section. No changes or corrections will be allowed at a later stage.
It is important to know the CAT marking scheme before attempting the exam so that you can select which questions to answer and which ones to skip. Total marks of CAT 2020 paper is expected to be 190 to 300. Each question will carry 3 marks. Some questions in each section may not be of multiple choice type, thus the answers will have to be typed on the screen. There will be negative marking of -1 each for a wrong MCQ answer. There will be no deduction of marks in case a candidate chooses not to attempt a given question and in case of wrong NON-MCQ answer. An onscreen calculator will be allowed for computation. On screen clock will help candidates keep a check on time. A rough paper will be provided for rough work, which has to be submitted at the exam centre as soon as the exam gets over.
As you can see, CAT is completely capable of shifting the paradigm of the CAT exam pattern and has done so over the years. In order to counter this, the candidates need to prepare for each topic in the syllabus and hone their test taking skills. Attempt multiple mocks and keep practicing and most importantly, stay motivated, keep working hard, and make it happen!
I would advise you to get your conceptual clarity and revise the mock tests to familiarise with the new pattern. Go with mindset to Kill it and achieve the scores.
Don’t panic. Stay motivated, keep working hard, and make it happen!
Author – Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh ( Director CATKing ) – CATKing is a premier MBA Coaching institute of Maharashtra which focuses on strategic, engaging and high quality education
Brief Profile of the Author:
- Harvard Business School (SPNM)
- MBA :SP Jain Institute of Management & Research
- Master of Information Technology, Virginia Tech
TEDx Speaker at IIM Calcutta and NMIMS inspiring young minds on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership
Awarded Best Online CAT Coaching in India 2020
Awarded Leader in Digital Engagement Strategy Consulting (Engage7x) 2019
Awarded Management Coaching Institute Of the Year – Entrepreneur India Education Congress 2018
Awarded Coaching Institute Of the year 2017 – Higher Education Review
Published in Harvard Business School’s “The 20 Years of Impact” across the Global
Digital Entrepreneur of the Year Awarded for Skill Development & Employability by Times Network, Digital India Summit 2016
Social Entrepreneur Award 2015 by Entrepreneurs India