Verbal Ability for CAT

Verbal Ability (VA) questions in CAT constitute 33% share in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) Section. Since the CAT Verbal Ability questions are more grammar and Vocabulary based, CAT toppers with varying back ground, studying in IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, FMS Delhi and other top MBA colleges found themselves less prepared for CAT Verbal Ability section when they started Verbal Ability Preparation for CAT, yet most of them ended up cracking the CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension in CAT with 95+ percentile and above! So what is the mystery behind their preparation strategy of Verbal Ability for CAT and cracking successfully the CAT Verbal Ability Questions in the exam with an ease?

 

Before going deep on how to prepare Verbal Ability for CAT;  how to improve Verbal Ability for the CAT; what should be Verbal Ability Preparation material and preparation strategy; the first thing we need to know is the composition and type of CAT Verbal Ability questions in the revised IIMCAT 2018 exam pattern.

 

Verbal Ability: Section Composition

Right from 2015 when IIM Ahmedabad revamped CAT exam pattern, the Verbal Ability has been placed as the first section in CAT Exam. Complete name of this CAT test section is Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. Verbal Ability questions in CAT have remained on the same pattern during 2016 and 2017 also. The composition of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT 2018 is also expected to remain on the same pattern as of 2017 as below:  

CAT 2018 VARC Component

Comprehension and Verbal Ability pattern

Section Name

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Total VARC Questions

34

Total Verbal Ability Questions

10

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Time to attempt the section

60 Minutes

Marks for Each Correct Answer

+3

Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer

-1

Difficulty Level of Verbal Ability Questions

Moderate to High

Number of CAT Verbal Ability questions with No-Negative Marking

8-10

 

Verbal Ability Questions in CAT
What is Verbal Ability? How is the CAT Verbal Ability Test? What are the topics covered in the Verbal Ability for CAT Syllabus? What should be the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension time for CAT preparation?  These are some of the queries which come up naturally before you come to know how to prepare verbal ability. In fact Verbal Ability definition clarifies that the questions are based on the English Verbal Ability, so the CAT Verbal Ability Test is the test on coherent and flawless usage of English Language. Instead of moving haphazardly on the path how to learn verbal ability without knowing Verbal Ability question pattern, it would be simply a fruitless adventure as the revamped CAT exam pattern has modified the Verbal Ability question pattern in CAT exam.

Verbal Ability Question Topics in CAT

Number of questions

Type of Questions

Para Summary

3

Non MCQ without Negative Marking

Jumbled Paragraph

4

No Negative Marking, Non-MCQ

Picking the Odd sentence out of Jumbled Paragraph

3

No Negative Marking, Non-MCQ

What is Non-MCQ in Verbal Ability for the CAT?

  • Answer for Verbal Ability Non-MCQ is to be typed in the given space on computer screen
  • Answer choice for Non-MCQ may or may not be given
  • No Penalty of Negative marking will be imposed for wrong answer

How to Prepare Verbal Ability for CAT
5 most important aspects giving guidance on how to prepare Verbal Ability for CAT Exam are:

  • Prepare as per Verbal Ability for CAT Syllabus 
  • Choose the Best books on Verbal Ability for CAT
  • Get Updated CAT Verbal Preparation Material of Best Coaching Institutes
  • Read CAT toppers’ Preparation Strategy
  • Attempt CAT Verbal Ability Mocks and Analyse Each One

Let us understand in detail the strategy how to prepare for Verbal Ability

 

Verbal Ability Syllabus for CAT
Since 2015, the CAT syllabus for Verbal Ability has been changed. If you continue preparing as per the old pattern of Verbal Ability Syllabus for CAT, you may end up with negligible score in Verbal Ability section in CAT 2018.

 

While Grammar, vocabulary, English Language usage remain as the basics for Verbal Ability preparation, the areas and topics on which questions are prepared in CAT Verbal Ability Section have changed for the last three years. Although, you cannot rule out the recurrence of questions on forgotten topics in Verbal Ability, the priority of areas to prepare on Verbal Ability for CAT as per revised CAT syllabus on Verbal Ability should be focused on following topics:

CAT 2018 Syllabus-Topics for Verbal Ability

Expected number of questions

Key features

Jumbled Paragraphs

3-4

5 Jumbled sentences to be arranged 

Summary/Inference of short paragraph

3-4

Small para of 4-5 sentences followed by 4 answer options

Picking out Out of Context sentence in a Jumbled Paragraph

3

5 Jumbled Sentences out of which one odd sentence to be picked out

 

Other Expected Topics in CAT 2018
Although no direct question on the following topics has been placed in CAT exam during last 3 years, they form an integral part of CAT syllabus and you may expect CAT Verbal Ability Questions on these topics: 

  • Error correction in sentences
  • Fill in the blanks with correct vocabulary words
  • Contextual use of vocabulary words

Read in detail the CAT Syllabus on Verbal Ability 

 

Get the Best Verbal Ability Books for CAT Preparation
How important it is to choose the best books for Verbal Ability in CAT?  Most of the CAT toppers who were weak in Verbal Ability opted for self –preparation after making thorough search and raising the query how to improve Verbal Ability for the CAT. They not only prepred well in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT and tremendously improved on Verbal Ability but also could score high in Verbal Ability by reading the best book on CAT preparation.

 

In fact, CAT Verbal Ability preparation depends upon your choice of CAT Verbal Ability Books as it will be your companion till you crack CAT with high score. Now the question is- which is the best book for verbal ability for CAT. Out of 25-30 CAT preparation books on Verbal Ability, the CAT Verbal Ability Best Book, in opinion of the CAT toppers and experts is Arun Sharma Verbal Ability latest edition. Some of the good books for Verbal Ability for CAT are:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ - by Nishit K Sinha
  • Arihant Book on Verbal Ability: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh

One of the USPs of the book on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by Arun Sharma is that it helps the CAT aspirant to prepare from basics and leads to the highest level of difficulty in Verbal Ability questions for CAT. However please note that while choosing the best book for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT, you should go for latest edition as CAT pattern of comprehension and Verbal Ability goes on changing.

Read more about the CAT Preparation Books 

 

Best Verbal Ability Study Material for CAT
If you wish to prepare Verbal Ability for the CAT with the help of coaching centres, or wish to go for a mix of coaching supported preparation and self preparation to get the best of both in Verbal Ability Preparation, the Preparation Material of Best Coaching Institutes like TIME, CL, IMS could be very helpful to prepare Verbal Ability for CAT. The reason is that the study material on Verbal Ability of top coaching centres is updated as per the latest and expected changes in CAT exam pattern. Following Study material on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by these coaching centres could prove quite helpful in your preparation on Verbal Ability for the CAT:

 

Verbal Booklets by TIME: Booklets on Verbal by TIME coaching Institute are good source to prepare for CAT Verbal Ability. While reading and practicing on them, you will be able to understand the type of VA questions in CAT and the approach to solve them.

 

Study Material by CL and IMS: The CL Test Gym, Sectionals and Application Builders from IMS are also very good study material for CAT preparation. Make sure that you read it well and solve all type of questions.

 

It will make you comfortable with the Verbal section especially on the latest Verbal Ability Question types in CAT exam on Odd Man Out, Parajumbles, para summary.

 

CAT Toppers Verbal Ability Preparation Strategy 
Most of the CAT toppers have shared that Verbal Ability was their weak area but they improved a lot in it with consistent preparation. So what made CAT toppers improve so much and how they could score so high in Verbal Ability in CAT? Sharing with MBAUniverse.com, CAT toppers spoke about their preparation strategy for Verbal Ability and also shared advice to CAT aspirants:

 

CAT Topper Rohan Joshi (99.63 % in CAT 2017) on how he cracked Verbal Ability section
In an interview with MBAUniverse.com, CAT Topper Rohan Joshi (99.63 % in CAT 2017) explained how he cracked Verbal Ability section. He said, “VARC was most challenging for me and my motive was to just clear the sectional cut off.” However, Rohan ended up with a sectional CAT score of 96.40 in Verbal Ability section. He achieved this high percentile by consistent study and taking all sectionals for Verbal.

 

CAT Topper Akhil Garg, IIM Ahmedabad  (99.73% in CAT 2016) on how he cracked Verbal Ability section
Sharing with MBAUniverse.com, CAT topper Akhil Garg IIM Ahmedabad student of 2017-19 batch, said “I focused a lot on reading different articles and novels, conversing in English with friends and even watching English TV series and movies. I wrote down whatever new words I encountered after reading at least 5-6 newspaper articles every day.”

 

CAT Topper Gyayak Jain, IIM Ahmedabad  (100% in CAT 2016) on how he cracked Verbal Ability section
In an interview with MBAUniverse.com, CAT topper with 100 percentile and IIM Ahmedabad student of 2017-19 batch, Gyayak Jain said, “I believe I was weak in VARC and therefore I started by looking into model answers given in the solutions and tried to understand if I associated with the logic given in the solution. If I was satisfied with the logic given in the solution, which was not always true, I tried to look problems from that point of view also in the next mock. When I was not convinced with the solution, I ignored the mistake and went ahead with my intuition/logic in next mocks too. If I find that same mistake is repeating, then I tried to find out situations where my logic will not work. I tried experimenting with various exam attempting strategies and realised I get fatigued if I do same kind of problems together in one go, so I mix-matched various types of questions.”

 

CAT Topper Rachit Gupta, IIM Lucknow  (99.83% in CAT 2016) on how he cracked Verbal Ability section
CAT topper with 99.83 percentile, Rachit Gupta, IIM Lucknow student of 2017-19 batch shared with MBAUniverse.com, “I was very weak at the verbal section. The key reason was the slow reading speed. I took course material from TIME and my strategy was to emphasize more on my weakness which was the Verbal section.”

 

CAT Topper  Sai Praneeth Reddy (100% in CAT 2017) on how he cracked Verbal Ability section
Sai Praneeth Reddy felt that he needed hard work in VARC which he did in the last one month to CAT. Mocks helped him to improve a lot in CAT preparation.  His advice on Verbal Ability preparation for CAT is to learn from mistakes and don’t miss AIMCAT. To improve in VARC the best way, is to start reading novels and articles.

 

Attempt More VA Mocks for CAT
Mocks and sample tests could do wonders in verbal Ability preparation for CAT. This fact has been tested by the CAT toppers over a period of time. Taking more mocks on Verbal Ability will expose you to a vast variety of questions on Verbal Ability. More the number of Mocks, the more you will be skilful in Verbal Ability section.

 

All the CAT toppers are unanimous in their opinion that Mocks are the best source of preparation for CAT. But the most important is the post Mock analysis. You must analyse each mock attempted by you to check for your mistakes and understand them well. Ensure that the mistakes are not repeated. This will further strengthen your preparation.

Take CAT Mocks to improve your score

 

Reading Comprehension in CAT: Very Important Part
Reading Comprehension passages occupy the major part in VARC section of CAT. RC questions in CAT now have a different pattern. Comprehension and  Verbal Ability are not followed by the conventional type of questions. Instead, RC passages are followed by more questions of critical reasoning type.

Read more on How to prepare Reading Comprehension for the CAT 

  

It is of utmost important to start your Verbal Ability preparation for CAT early, so that all the weak areas are strengthened. Apart from this consistency in preparation is also very much needed. The Verbal Ability preparation for CAT, in view of the experts should be a regular process and the basics of Grammar and Vocabulary contextual usage should be well prepared before the exam.