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CAT 2021 Question Paper | PDF Free Download

One of the main resources for preparation for the Common Admission Test is the question paper. CAT 2021 was successfully hosted by IIM Ahmedabad in 159 locations across India amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. The question paper for each CAT 2021 exam slot differed slightly in terms of structure, as the number of questions was reduced. In the CAT exam 2021, the total number of questions was reduced from 76 to 66. Aside from that, there were no revisions to the questions paper structure from CAT 2020. In comparison to the CAT 2020 Question Paper, the CAT 2021 Question Paper was thought to be extremely difficult. The VARC and DILR sections were moderately to extremely difficult, with a large number of non-MCQs. In all three categories, the CAT 2021 exam papers were moderate to difficult. CAT 2021 question papers for slot 1, slot 2, and slot 3 are available on this page. Continue reading to learn more about the CAT 2021 Question Paper. Please refer BYJU’S CAT College Predictor tool.

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Candidates should practise with the question paper and CAT sample tests to familiarise themselves with the exam material. The CAT question appears to be simple to comprehend, and it will aid applicants in becoming familiar with the exam format. Candidates have up to a month before the exam to take practice exams. Applicants should also take the practice exam, which will be available on the official CAT website. By giving a better grasp of the format, the exam environment, and the information covered in the exam, CAT question papers aid in the evaluation of applicants’ progress. Based on their results, the candidate should focus more on the weakest sections. Candidates can rapidly identify their strongest and weakest areas.

CAT Exam 2021 Question Paper PDF Download

The CAT 2021 Exam was administered in 400 locations across 159 cities. The exam duration is 2 hours, however the number of questions was reduced to 66, compared to 76 last year. Aspirants can familiarise themselves with the CAT 2021 exam pattern by solving question papers and taking mock tests before the exam. Understanding the exam pattern will benefit the candidate in understanding the fundamental elements required to pass the CAT exam.

  • Quantitative Aptitude: There were 22 questions in this section that included questions from arithmetic, algebra geometry etc.
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: This section included 24 questions on vocabulary, grammar, verbal reasoning, and reading comprehension.
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: There were a total of 26 questions on topics including Puzzles, Seating arrangements etc.

CAT 2021 Slot 1 PDF Free Download

CAT 2021 Slot 2 PDF Free Download

CAT 2021 Slot 3 PDF Free Download

Listed below are the highlights of CAT 2021 question paper:

CAT 2021 Question Paper





Total marks


Total No.Of Questions

76 Questions

Exam duration

2 hours

Number of Questions

  • 26 questions
  • 24 questions
  • 26 questions

CAT sectional exam time

40 minutes each section

CAT marking scheme

+3 marks for every correct answer

-1 for every wrong answer

No negative marking for Non-MCQs

CAT 2021 Question Paper: VARC

The first segment of the CAT question paper is the VARC section. The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension sections of the VARC are separated into two portions. Reading Comprehension questions dominate the VARC portion.

  • There were 24 questions in the VARC portion this year, compared to 26 last year.
  • There are 5 non-multiple-choice questions
  • There are 5 non-multiple-choice questions
  • Total Marks : 72 Marks
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate – Difficult
  • A good score can really be obtained by answering 16-18 Questions

Key highlights of the section are:


Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Reading Comprehension (4 passages)



Reading Comprehension- Slot 1

Mayan Civilisation, Utopia and Dystopia, Marshmallow Experiment ,Evolution of Tea as a drink

Reading Comprehension- Slot 2

Language/ Indigenous People Why Fiction Trumps Truth Colonialism/Nationalism Knowledge and Problems of Knowledge is a Scandal to Philosophy

Reading Comprehension- Slot 3

Nanotechnology Language Instinct Time Accuracy Entropy Unconscious and Psychoanalysis

Para Jumble Questions



Odd Sentence Out



Para Summary




Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning: The first slot was moderate to challenging. Slot 3 was discussed as having a high level of difficulty. In the CAT 2021 slot 1 paper, there were 15 MCQs and 5 TITA questions. CAT 2021 Slot 2 also included four DILR sets, two of which had six questions and the other two had four. Overall, the CAT 2021 slot 2 DILR paper was considered moderately difficult. The paper included 15 multiple-choice questions and 5 TITA questions. DILR Slots 1-3 were moderate to difficult in terms of overall difficulty.


Number of Questions

Difficulty Level

Data Interpretation Set 1



Data Interpretation Set 2



Data Interpretation Slot 1

Bar Graph-Sales

Smoothies (DI)

Data Interpretation Slot 2

Horizontally stacked column graph


Data Interpretation Slot 3

Evaluation of Academic Questions

Bar Graph – Employee

Logical Reasoning Set 1



Logical Reasoning Set 2



Logical Reasoning Slot 1

Journals – Researchers and Publishing

Friends, Strangers, and Acquaintances

Logical Reasoning Slot 2

Games and tournament-based

Online food delivery rating parameters

Logical Reasoning Slot 3

Pure and Impure Solutions

Javelin throw

CAT 2021 Quantitative Ability

CAT 2021 Slot 2’s QA part was significantly more challenging than Slot 1. There were eight non-MCQs in this section. Arithmetic continued to dominate the Slot 2 QA section. Number System, Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Mensuration, and Modern Maths are some of the major topics covered in the QA part. The weightage of QA questions has been slashed from 26 to 22 in the CAT 2021 test pattern due to a change in the exam structure. For CAT 2021 Slot 3, the part was simple but challenging


Number of Questions

Level of Difficulty







Geometry & Mensuration



Number System



Modern Maths



Benefits of Solving CAT Previous Year Question Papers

To effectively prepare for the CAT Exam, Aspirants need to solve as many CAT Question papers from the previous years. This will help candidates to immediately assess their strong and weak points. The following are the benefits of solving CAT Questions paper from the previous years.

  • You can get an idea of how difficult each topic is by looking at previous year’s question papers. This will help you prepare for any challenging questions that may arise.
  • As you practice more and more papers you will develop speed and accuracy. The most essential variables in deciding final scores in a true setting are precision and speed
  • The CAT practise questions will help you improve your time management skills. It helps you become more acquainted with the CAT exam format. It helps you understand the most important and often asked questions. To finish the exam on time, you’ll need to enhance your time management skills.
  • Candidates taking the exam should familiarise themselves with the exam topic by practising with the question paper and CAT practice tests. Solving previous year’s exam papers enables participants to gauge their preparation strategy and improve in the necessary areas.
  • You can use the question papers to determine which sections require additional knowledge. Solving CAT question papers could lead to the development of shortcuts for quickly resolving comparable problems. Aspirants should maintain a huge booklet with all of the formulas while working on previous year papers and revise it frequently. Aspirants can keep track of their results in order to assess their competence.
  • You can use CAT question papers to practise a large series of questions from a particular topic.

Candidates need to keep in mind that it is essential to be thorough with all the concepts before attempting the past year papers. They can also attempt section wise tests to gauge their performance section wise. To begin, go over the CAT syllabus and make sure you understand all of the shortcuts, formulas and theorems. Three months prior to the CAT exam is the best time to begin working on CAT past year question papers.


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