Cat Paper Comparison over the Years

Comparison of Sections and Questions over the year 

Comparison of difficulty over the year

CAT 2009 Pattern

  • Total time for test was 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Exam consisted of 60 questions with 20 questions each in three sections.
  • Each Question had 4 options for marking and only one answer is correct for each question.
  • Each question carries 3 marks each, so maximum marks for paper is 180.
  • There was a negative marking  and 1 mark was deducted for each incorrect answer.
  • Obviously, no marks was deducted for not attempted questions.
  • Difficulty level of the exam was bit on lower side compared to last few years.

CAT 2008 Pattern

The two things that were different from 2007 were the increased weightage of the English section and the reduced number of questions per set in the data interpretation section. The difficulty levels were reduced in the Verbal Ability section, but maintained in Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning sections.

CAT 2007 Pattern

There were 3 section in the test each having 25 questions . Each correct answer would fetch 4 marks thus making the maximum total as 300 marks. There was negative marking of 1 marks for each wrong answer marked. Most of the question had 5 options to select from, except for 1 set of question in DS. With 5 options in each set and negative marking of 25% , random selection of answer would not have been a wise choice. With low number of questions in the paper the focus should have been on accuracy and not on speed.The exam was for 2.5 hours.

CAT 2006 Pattern

CAT 2006 was relatively simpler compared to the CAT exams held in previous years. There were 75 question in CAT 2006 to be done in 2.5 hours. CAT 2006 had 3 Sections, each with 25 Questions (There were a few errors also in the questions). Quantitative Ability, Verbal Ability and DI/ Reasoning. But Verbal was a bit tricky. Fifteen of the 25 questions in this section were dedicated to reading comprehension, a time-consuming aspect of CAT.

CAT 2005 Pattern

CAT 2005 included the following: three sections—data interpretation / reasoning, quantitative analysis, and reading, comprehension/verbal ability.

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Total number of questions: 90
  • Total marks: 150
  • Negative marking: 1/3 of the marks allotted to a question is docked if the answer is wrong


  • Number of questions: 30
  • Marks: 50

    Quantitative Analysis

  • Number of questions: 30
  • Marks: 50

    Reading Comprehension/Verbal ability

  • Number of questions: 30
  • Marks: 50