There have been a lot of changes in the CAT (Common Admission Test) exam pattern over the years and the 2022 paper may also see further changes depending on the decision of the Indian Institutes of Management, the governing body that sets questions for CAT. So this article will try to understand the changes that have taken place in the CAT Exam Pattern over the past few years and whether these trends suggest any changes for the  CAT Exam 2022.

Duration of the Exam

The time allotted for completing the CAT exam has both increased and decreased over the past few years. The time limit for CAT 2011 was 140 minutes which was later increased to 170 minutes in 2014 and 180 minutes in 2015. The reason behind this change was the increase in the number of questions from 60 to 100. The time limit was reduced to 120 minutes starting from the 2020 exam (the number of questions were reduced to 76) and it was the same for 2021 as well. One thing that has also changed in this exam has been the reduction in the seconds allotted per question over the past few years. It has decreased from 140 seconds in 2011 to 95 seconds in 2021. This increases the pressure on candidates as well because their aim is to solve the maximum number of questions correctly in the exam and get a good percentile score.

Number of sections

The number of sections within the CAT exam has increased from two to three since 2015. Till 2014 there were two sections in the exam: Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation & Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning. But in 2015, Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation were combined to form a separate section. Since then there have been three sections as a part of the CAT Exam Pattern namely: Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension and Quantitative Ability. Any changes in the CAT exam pattern for 2022 will be notified when the exam dates are announced.

Difficulty Level of Questions

CAT is rightly known as one of the most difficult entrance exams to get admission in management institutes. The difficulty level for these exams has not changed much over the past few years. The Indian Institutes of Management, the governing body responsible for setting the CAT paper, has made sure that it sets the kinds of questions that test the aptitude of the exam takers. It is the main reason why several management institutes in India and abroad, apart from the IIMs, prefer to look at the CAT scores while inviting students for the selection process (group discussion and personal interviews). It is expected that the CAT Exam 2022 will also have the same kind of difficulty level as the previous papers.


One of the most important things that exam takers have to understand is that the CAT exam pattern has been designed to challenge their mental faculties. The pattern and the difficulty level of the questions has only increased in the past few years to make the paper more competitive. It will also help the management institutes get the best candidates. We at BYJU’s will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the candidates who are planning to appear for the CAT 2022 exam get the best possible coaching in terms of study material, online classes and practice mock papers. It will help them to get a great percentile score and also fulfil their aspiration of studying a management course from the best business schools in the country.