How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability(VA) Section of the CAT Exam?

Prepare for Verbal Ability Section of the CAT Exam


The verbal section is probably a section which engineers are most wary of -normally and in fact, this is the only section which proves to be their nemesis. Since their graduation years are not designed for the preparation of this section and its a new domain considering that most after 12th exams do not feature the same, it becomes a little difficult.

For this, a person who reads novels,newspapers and magazines can have a cakewalk in this section with some practice.

Verbal Ability for the CAT

Historically, verbal ability in the cat exam has been dominated by reading comprehension and critical reasoning question, which make up for around 50-70% of the entire paper.

The RC passages tend to be lugubrious and hackneyed, but, the questions can catch students off guard. Further, the bone of contention with respect to the keys that IIM used to release in the offline version just makes matters worse because a sense of subjectivity is also involved in this section.

Tips For VA Preparation in CAT

This section is one wholesome entity which cannot be prepared by just going through some random book. You need to go for a holistic approach overall and eclectic reading habits can indeed help you go a long way.

Here are certain crucial tips which you can use for preparation about the same. CAT expects you to have a reading speed of around 400 words per minute, so try and time yourself too when you are at it.

  1. Finish 1-2 novels per week. Keep switching between the topics you find interesting and other boring ones. This would help you get used to the passages in CAT which are normally from philosophy, biology, theology etc.
  2. A newspaper daily. Do not skip the editorial section in favor of the cartoon strip. The Hindu is recommended. Keep marking the vocabulary words and find out their meanings diligently.
  3. A magazine a fortnight. The best magazine if you ask us – ‘The Economist’. It is by far the most suited magazine for CAT. The cache – ‘It is ridiculously expensive’ for an average student. See if you can afford it as there are attractive discounts going on every now and then on their official website.
  4. Now for the books – ‘CL’s RC-2 is awesome.’ By awesome, we mean literally awesome. It is concise, to the point and very very relevant. Try to find it if you don’t have it. It definitely helps you with your Reading Comprehension.
  5. Articles on Total Gadha by Daggny are quite nice. It’s sad they don’t update their website nowadays. (I hope I got the name right..but you will find them with ease on their website)
  6. Test Funda Word list via email is good too. It just keeps you abreast with all the words that you mug up and is very relevant.
  7.  For Vocabulary use Normal Lewis – the word list at the end is pretty amazing. The normal Barons word list would be beneficial too but this book takes vocabulary preparation to a whole new level by directly indulging you into the task. if you wish to purchase this book, you can find it under the books section on our website.

 Practicing Mocks and Sample Exams

  • Once you are through with the material of your coaching provider, start giving Mock Exams.
  • Utilize Career Launcher SIS or Test Funda Rank Booster, which helps you increase your mock score and work on your weak areas.
  • Give sectional mocks of English – see which areas you are not able to score at. Then go back, find out questions about that area from your study material, practice those and give mock again.
  • Repeat this cycle and keep revising Vocabulary from Normal Lewis, reading novels.
  • Make sure you make a habit of reading online since some students find it problematic to switch over from paper to online format.

Good Books for Verbal Section 

  • Career Launcher English Section Preparation Material.
  • Normal Lewis For Vocabulary.
  • General quality reading material – like HBR Blog, Economist etc.
  • Test Funda/TIME/other materials
  • Arun Sharma’s Verbal Ability is also pretty decent.
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By |2017-08-09T20:09:58+00:00January 31st, 2012|CAT|0 Comments
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