Syllabus for the CAT 2023

CAT 2023 will be conducted on 26th November 2023. When preparing for CAT 2023, you would like to know the EXACT syllabus of the exam. However, IIMs do not clearly define the syllabus of the CAT exam. Quantitative Ability, for example, has stated that questions will be based on elementary mathematics or school mathematics topics. As a result, it has become very difficult to understand the exact outline of the CAT syllabus, especially if you have just begun preparing for the exam.

In this article, I will provide you with complete information about the CAT syllabus for each of the three subjects: VARC, LRDI, and Quantitative Aptitude. For more than 15 years, I have been preparing students for CAT, and I myself have taken CAT five times. So, I can guide you about how to start your preparations and also the most critical areas that you must focus on during your preparations. 

To complete the syllabus in 5-6 months, I will also give you a month-by-month and day-by-day timetable.  CAT Quantitative Ability Syllabus covers a lot of topics, which is different from the two other sections.

The Quant syllabus can be divided in 6 areas:

  1. Basics of Maths
  2. Numbers
  3. Arithmetic
  4. Algebra
  5. Geometry
  6. Modern Maths

Let’s look at the topics under each of these categories:

You should brush up on the basics of math first, especially if you are from a non-math background, so that you are on the same page with those with a math background.

Math Basics includes: (List of Topics here)

Calculation Short cuts, Fractions and Decimals, Surds and Indices, HCF LCM Divisibility, Percentage-Ratio-Average applications, solving equations, Understanding to the Geometry Shapes. 

Topics from Numbers are displayed… (List of topics)


Basics of 


Module 1


Module 2


Module 3


Module 4


Module 5

Modern Math


Number Classification & Number Line

Linear Equations


Line Angles Triangles

Permutations & Combinations

Fractions and Decimals

Divisibility & Remainders

Quadratic Equations

Profit Loss, SI CI



Surds, Indices, Logarithm

Factorizations, Remainders, Cyclicity

Higher Order Polynomials

Ratio, Proportion

Partnership, Varia.


Set Theory




Average, Mixtures Alligation

3D Fig


Percentage and Applications

Binomial Theorem

Graphical Questions

Time work Pipes Cistern

Coordinate Geometry


Ratio, Avg, and Applications

Base System


Time Speed Dist



Basics of Algebra

last Two Digits


Boats Trains Races


Clocks and Calendars

Basics of Geometry


Bankers Discount


The most important among them are Number Line and HCF LCM Divisibility and Factorials and last digits. Arithmetic is the most important area under Quant section. Nearly 40% of questions are from the Arithmetic topic, as shown on the above screen. 

As two questions may be asked from any topic in Arithmetic, every topic is equally important.

Algebra and Geometry are the next most important topics after Arithmetic. Topics related to algebra and geometry are displayed on the above image. 

Different authors have different opinions about Modern maths topics. The image displays a comprehensive list of modern Maths topics. 

Let’s look at the topics in the LRDI section now. Once again, this syllabus of this section is not defined by the CAT conducting body. However, if we look at last 10 years of papers, following topics are important:



Topic Name


Linear, Circular and Matrix Arrangements


Grouping and Team Formation


Charts and Calculation Based DI


Reasoning Based DI


Routes and Networks


Games and Tournaments


Set Theory, Maximization Minimization


Quantitative Reasoning


Blood Relations, Coding Puzzles, Misc. Puzzles

CAT exams are known for presenting a caselet based on a real life scenario to test your thinking ability. For example, you are visiting a burger joint and different items take different time for preparations. So, a set can be created based on that asking you how much time will it take for a cutomer to receive its order and so on….

The most important topic in VARC is Reading Comprehensions. About 70% of the questions are based on that. VARC’s important topics are displayed on the below image.



Topic Name


Reading Comprehension


Odd One Out


Para Jumble


Paragraph Summary


Paragraph Completion / Missing Sentence

The syllabus can be completed in about five months. 

My assumption is that you have college from 9am to 4pm, and then you have about 6 hours for studying.

Spend 2-3 hours per day on Quants from Monday to Saturday. As part of this, you will be required to attend both Convept lectures and practice sessions. On alternate days, you can choose LRDI and VARC, spending two hours on each.


In addition, you need to devote 1 hour daily to your college studies so that you don’t have to abandon your CAT preparation at any point due to your college exams.

Thank you for taking the time to read this information. I hope you find it useful. Please leave your feedback in the comment section.

I’ll be posting more such articles in the future.

Article Written by Mr. Ronak Shah

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