Excellent tips to prepare for Verbal Ability in CAT VARC

Tips for Verbal Ability
Tips for Verbal Ability

How to prepare for the Verbal Ability for CAT

When it comes to the CAT examination, VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) is often considered as the nemesis for many. Whether it is the difficulty in understanding a given passage or answering the dreadful follow-up questions, most students simply shun the thought of dealing with this section. Topics such as para jumbles, out of context sentences, para summary and para completion can be classified as verbal ability topics. In this article, let us see some excellent tips on how to prepare for verbal ability part in CAT VARC, in detail.

The Verbal ability part accounts for around 10 questions in the VARC section (which has a total of 26 questions, in the 2-hour CAT exam format). Check out the previous year papers of CAT to know about the type of questions that appear in this section. Also, taking a Free CAT mock test will help the candidates in gauging their strengths and weaknesses, and can significantly help in understanding how to approach the verbal ability questions. You can also prepare for the same, and take the tests at your convenience by using this highly rated app for preparation.

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This video will also help you understand the important tips and tricks needed to ace this section.

How to prepare for the verbal ability for CAT? Excellent tips

As we know, the VARC section is bifurcated into the Reading Comprehension and the Verbal Ability section. Improvement in the former will also enable you to improve in the latter. The method to prepare for the verbal ability section is not much different from the method one should adopt to prepare for RCs.

The Verbal ability segment includes questions such as paragraph summary or completion {summarising the essence of the paragraph or finding a plausible continuation} and para-jumbles {reconfiguring/rearranging jumbled up statements to form a coherent paragraph}.

As stated earlier, a student with good comprehension skills does sufficiently well in this domain. When it comes to vocabulary, you can always work out the contextual meaning of a word to get the gist of any discussion. However, it would be best if you refrained from going through tonnes of material to memorise words. Instead, take Sectional mocks and Topic tests regularly to measure your improvement and solidify your ability to identify and approach such questions.

Unlike the other two sections, it takes time to become proficient in the VARC section. It’s imperitive that you READ! Read as much and as frequently as possible. If you have your hand’s full, try to read at least for an hour every day alongside your usual CAT preparation. A proper reading habit will strengthen your vocabulary and rapidly develop your comprehension capability.

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Before moving on to how to prepare for verbal ability for CAT, let us have a look at how reading can help to improve your scores in this section.

  • Most of the questions that appear in the verbal ability section such as PJs and OOCs (Out of context), check your ability to comprehend the matter given and connect the dots.
  • The more you read, the more you become adept at understanding how paragraphs are built.
  • Avoid speed reading. While reading articles, try to analyze why a particular paragraph was written by the author. Also, analyze how the author makes a transition from one point to another.
  • Understanding how sentences are put together into a coherent paragraph will help a great deal while solving Para Jumbles.
  • Try to analyze the articles you read thoroughly. As you read a large number of articles, you’ll pick up the ability to spot the chain of thought in the paragraph.
  • Each sentence in a paragraph will serve a particular purpose.
  • Try to identify why a particular point has been made at a particular juncture.
  • Critically analyzing a passage will help you imbibe how a paragraph or passage is usually constructed.

How to prepare for Reading Comprehension for CAT

Now let’s look at the preparation tips for the specific topics in the Verbal Ability part:

How to prepare for Para jumbles for CAT VARC

  • Look for mandatory pairs while solving para jumbles.
  • If the author refutes a point, he would have introduced the point earlier.
  • Try to spot transition words in the sentences. Connectors provide a vital clue about how a particular paragraph is going to proceed.
  • If the paragraph is historical, there will be a chronological order in which the events should have happened.
  • In certain paragraphs, the author will use words that denote enumeration such as – firstly, both of them, etc. Look for such vital clues while solving para jumbles.
  • After figuring out the order, do a sanity check by reading the sentences in the order you have put together. Check whether the transitions are smooth. If there is an abrupt change at any point in the paragraph, check your order again.

Read in detail: How to solve Para Jumbles in CAT VARC, with examples.

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How to prepare for Odd one out in CAT VARC

  • It is necessary to figure out the order of the sentences to solve the out of the context type questions as well.
  • A sentence introducing a concept completely alien as compared to the other four sentences has a very good probability of being the odd sentence.
  • Also, after eliminating the odd sentence, try to make a paragraph with the remaining four sentences.
  • If you cannot make a paragraph using the remaining four sentences, there is a good possibility that you have eliminated a vital part of the paragraph.
  • Always use this method to ensure that your answer is correct.

Read in detail: How to solve Odd one out in CAT VARC, with examples.

How to prepare for Para summary in CAT VARC

  • Para summary questions are similar to RCs.
  • While solving the para summary questions, eliminate the options that put too much emphasis on examples, unless the example happens to be the main theme of the paragraph.
  • Also, check the language of the options thoroughly.
  • Using option elimination techniques can help you arrive at the right answer in para summary questions.
  • You can eliminate options that leave out vital pieces of information, disregard the stance adopted by the author, generalize an isolated occurrence and make unwarranted assumptions, etc.

Read in detail: How to solve Para summary questions in CAT VARC, with examples.

How to prepare for Para completion in CAT VARC

  • The last line of a para need not necessarily be a summary of the paragraph but it must necessarily follow the line of thought being expressed in the paragraph and complete that chain of thought.
  • Try to identify the line of thought running through paragraphs. Hence, you should be able to identify introduction to concept, example/illustration, arguments made in favour and against and the conclusion drawn from the arguments.
  • Similar to all reading comprehension questions, read as many good publications as possible. Read good quality articles, essays or well-written books.

Also, Read in detail: How to solve Para Completion questions in CAT VARC, with examples.

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Checkout: CAT VARC Free Practice Questions and Videos

The next step is to practice a lot of questions on verbal ability. Taking a lot of Mocks for CAT and Sectional tests will help you to get a hold on the concepts, which you can use to fine tune your test taking strategies. While reviewing the VA questions in a mock, check where your line of reasoning differed from that of the author. Analyze the reason why you thought the answer you marked to be correct. This will help you to refine your approach and thought process. Also, take Free CAT Daily targets, for a rigorous practice on a daily basis.

We hope that this article helped you to know the important tips to improve the verbal ability part, and how to prepare for the verbal ability for CAT VARC. For more such useful articles, try going through Central idea and tone of the passage and download the CAT verbal ability PDF.

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