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CAT 2020 Exam Analysis and Changes In Paper Pattern That Surprised Students. Read Here to Know!

By: Avantika Bhardwaj on October 08, 2021

CAT 2020 – One of the most sought-after management examinations across the country i.e. CAT Exam was successfully conducted on 29th November 2020 through Computer Based Mode in 156 cities in the country. Due to the pandemic COVID-19, this year, CAT Exam was conducted in three sessions. There were total 76 questions and the total time given to complete these questions was 120 minutes. According to CAT Aspirants who appeared in CAT Exam on 29th November 2020, the difficulty level of the test varied between Moderate and Difficult. The Director of IIM Indore (conducting body of CAT 2020), Himanshu Rai, said that it was difficult to conduct CAT 2020 Exam amidst COVID-19 pandemic but there were around 83.5% candidates took the test on Sunday.

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CAT 2020

Important Points of CAT 2021 Exam



CAT 2021 Exam Conducted on

28th November 2021

CAT 2021 Exam Mode

Computer Based Test

CAT 2021 Exam Duration

120 minutes i.e. 2 hours

CAT 2021 Exam Sections


Major Changes in CAT 2020 Exam

There were some changes seen in CAT 2020 Exam conducted on 29th November 2020. Students appearing in the exam came across these below mentioned changes:

  • The total number of questions was 76 while the number used to be 100 earlier.
  • The difficulty level reached one level up in each slot.
  • The duration of CAT 2020 used to be 3 hours which was educed to 2 hours this year.
  • Students were allotted 40 minutes to attempt each section which used to be 60 minutes in the previous years.
  • Multiple choice type questions had 1/3rd negative marking and the non-multiple-choice type questions did not carry ay penalty or negative marking.
  • Students were to be awarded with 3 marks for each correct answer and 1 mark was to be deducted as penalty for every incorrect answer.

 Analysis of CAT 2020 Question Paper

The sectional composition and pattern of CAT 2020 Question Paper of 2 hours of duration is mentioned below in this article. The table given below explains sectional order of CAT Exam from Section 1 to Section 3 along with the type of questions asked in each section, and questions with or without negative marking.


Total Number of Questions

MCQs with negative marking

Non MCQs without negative marking

Section-1: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)




Section-2: Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)




Section-3: Quantitative Ability (QA)








As per the analysis of CAT 2020 Exam, it is observed that CAT 2020 Exam was more difficult than CAT 2019 Exam. Below is the sectional analysis of CAT 2020 Exam conducted on 29th November 2020.

Verbal and Reading Comprehension

  • According to the new CAT 2020 Exam Patter, there were total 26 questions set up in this section.
  • The section was lengthy with 4 Reading Comprehension passages.
  • The questions asked in this section were based upon the inferences and there were no direct questions asked.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

  • This section comprised of 24 questions based on logical reasoning and data interpretation.
  • There were total 5 sets in which these 24 questions were distributed. This distribution made it even tougher.
  • One of the sets was based on set theory that was of difficult level.
  • 1 set was easy to solve.
  • Attempting 12-14 questions in this section is considered a good attempt.
  • This section was tougher than the one in CAT 2019.

Quantitative Aptitude

  • This section, while compared to the other sections, comprised of a lot of easy questions.
  • The difficulty level of this section was easy which was as same as that of the one in CAT 2017.
  • Questions asked from topics such as Arithmetic, Algebra, and Logarithm made this section easier and possible to solve within the given time limit.

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