How to prepare for Verbal Section for CAT?

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section of the CAT is different from the other two sections. This is because the Verbal Ability section tests a strategic mix of all the essential things like reading comprehension, sentence formation through parajumbles, etc. Verbal Ability section tests our entire ability to comprehend or understand passages and sentences written in English.

 Unlike the quants or LRDI section, the syllabus of verbal ability cannot be divided into a number of topics. Moreover, the preparation of Quants can be structured. For example, a candidate wants to learn geometry. Then he or she will understand all the basic concepts of line, angle, triangles, circles, etc. and will then practice the questions based on those concepts. If he or she is facing difficulty in solving questions, he or she will revisit the concepts again. This process can be followed by any CAT aspirant to improve Quants. However, the same is not applicable for the Verbal section of the CAT. In the verbal section, you need to put in efforts daily to improve it. And you will not be able to see the improvement quickly. With a significant amount of time, the improvement will be seen in your verbal ability scores. This can make the candidates demotivated with time. So, observing all these things, the following question will again pop up in your mind – How to prepare for verbal section for CAT 2020? 

Well, we do agree that initially, it appears quite tough to prepare for the verbal section. But with the right preparation strategy to crack the verbal section of CAT, you can score high percentiles in it. So, before delving further into the article, just remember that the verbal ability section requires your consistent time and effort. 

Verbal Ability Preparation Tips to ace the verbal ability section

Follow the below-mentioned preparation tips to get the perfect score in the verbal ability section- 

1. Read as much as you can

The verbal ability section tests your reading comprehension abilities, as well. Based on previous years’ trends, out of 34 questions in the verbal section, approximately 16 questions are of Reading Comprehension. But what do Reading Comprehension questions test in a candidate? 

The Reading Comprehension questions test the ability of a candidate to read and comprehend a passage along with thoroughly understanding the ideas presented in it. Also, it tests whether you have a required level of vocabulary or not. Moreover, CAT does not test your speed of reading passages. As a matter of what, always avoid reading the passages in haste. It will not do any good to you because that way, you will not be able to understand the passage in a better way. Moreover, you may skip some important points and will end up answering the questions incorrectly. Therefore, developing a reading habit will help you to increase your reading comprehension ability. Try to read books or passages belonging to different fields, especially the ones which you don’t like. This will help you to tackle an RC passage belonging to the topics disliked by you. 

Be alert while reading. Try to connect the paragraphs in the passage and make a mental map of the information provided in the passage. For example, while reading an RC passage about a recent technology developed to manufacture electric motors, I observed that the first paragraph gave an introduction about it. Then the next passage described its advantage, followed by disadvantages in the subsequent passages. Reading in this manner, your interest in the paragraph will be developed, and you will be able to understand the passage better. 

2. Observe the trap answer options

CAT verbal ability section is famous for having trap answer options, which result in the deduction of your marks. What are the trap answer options? These are the answer options deliberately set by the examiner so that maximum candidates fall for it. These answer options seem to be correct. However, they are not. An observant reader will not fall for these trap answer options. But if you miss some crucial information in the passage, you may choose this incorrect answer option. 

Moreover, these trap answer options contain some words which make them incorrect. Words like Some, Except, Few, etc. are carefully concealed in the answer options and can be missed by the candidates. 

3. Do not try to attempt all questions 

You can understand it by having a look at the below-given table of CAT 2019- 


VARC Score











So, as you can see, for securing a 99 percentile, you need to answer approximately 22 questions correctly. It is a myth that you need to attempt all the questions in the verbal section to score well in it. Attempting close to 27-28 questions with good accuracy will help you fetch a good percentile in this section. 

Improve Grammar and Vocabulary 

If you have poor grammar skills, then you will face difficulty in understanding the sentences. Not having a good vocabulary will make comprehension even more difficult. While reading or practicing, always keep an eye on the sentence structure and the type of vocabulary used by the author. It is advised to have a small notebook handy wherein you can write the meanings, synonyms, and antonyms of the words which you find to be new. This way, you will be able to revise them whenever you want. 

Master the art of selecting the right RC paragraphs

 Out of the 4 or 5 RCs which you get, some of them are tough. They are written in complex sentences with quite close answer options. You should avoid such RCs or keep them for the last. Attempting a hard RC initially can take up a large amount of your time. After that, you will not have much time to spare for easier RCs. Just like you always try to do easier sets in LR-DI, you need to do easier RCs at first. This skill can be developed by taking a lot of mocks. Never judge an RC’s difficulty on the basis of its length. Most of the time, lengthier RCs are the easier ones. 

We hope that by using these tips, you will be able to fine-tune your verbal preparation strategies. Preparing for verbal requires patience. Trust your preparation and believe in yourself. You can definitely score your dream percentile!

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