How to prepare for CAT VARC - The preparation of CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is a hard thing to nail. Prospective test takers need a consistent habit of improving their verbal skills pertaining to English language to score good marks in CAT. Those appearing for one of the most coveted management entrance exam are confronted with the question of "How to prepare for CAT VARC." Reading comprehension plays a pivotal role not only in CAT but in most of the entrance examinations and it is imperative for all aspirants to score well in the English language section of the management entrance exams. Since CAT has a sectional weight age of 34 marks, candidates need to focus on how to prepare for CAT VARC section to bag a good overall percentile. Registration for CAT 2019 has been closed on September 25 at 5:00 PM. Correction window was available from September 28, 2019 at 10:00 AM onward.
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How to prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal and Reading Comprehension)

Careers360, in this article of CAT 2019 preparation series brings forth a complete guide on ‘How to prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension)’, where according to the CAT exam pattern test takers will have to answer a total of 34 questions (both MCQ and non-MCQs) within a sectional time limit of 60 minutes. The total marks allotted to Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is 102 out of which Reading Comprehension has the lion share.

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Candidates must note that they need to qualify not only the overall but the sectional CAT cutoff as well to get an IIM call, one must not lose the chance by compromising on any of the sectional performances. The CAT VARC section is the most scoring part, resulting in an improvised sectional as well as overall scores/percentiles. Hence it is important to know how to prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section.

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How to prepare for CAT VARC

The CAT preparation of VARC section must be strategically planned. It is advised that candidates should divide the section based on the topics and sub-topics; as each topic requires different techniques to learn and follow. But before going into depth, it is important to understand the type and number of questions allotted that are likley to be asked in this section-

VARC Topics and number of questions

Area

Topic

Number of Questions per topic

Reading Comprehension (16 Questions)

4- 5 Reading Comprehension Passage

16

English Usage (18 Questions)

Jumble Paragraph

4

Deductive Logics

4

Sentence Correction

3

Critical Reasoning

4

Para Completion

3

Grammar

3

Reading Comprehensions (RC)

Rickshesh Manchanda, CAT 2018 Topper who scored a 100 percentile found this particular section quite challenging. The way he coped with this challenge, Rickshesh says, " I have coped with the section by taking several sectional tests. Maximum focus was on the Reading Comprehension passages. Luckily, for consecutive two years VARC section of CAT was quite easy!

Another CAT topper of 2018, Jagesh, who found the Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VALR) section in which questions were asked based on reading comprehension, said, "I practised as many passages as possible. I started by reading newspaper articles and editorials and increase my reading speed. After this was achieved I started solving passage questions."

CAT 2017 Topper, Chhavi Gupta (currently pursuing MBA at IIM-A) says, “Selection of the questions was the first thing I indulged in and devoted five to seven minutes for doing the same. I had answered 24 questions in RC and spent 42-45 minutes as my accuracy level was very high. In general, the accuracy in VA questions was low, so for rest of the VA questions (Jumbled sentences and Fill in the Blanks), I spent nearly 15-20 minutes." RC (Reading Comprehension) is one of the important topics in this section. The passage can be from different areas of interest and the questions can be either factual or inferential.

There were five passages each carrying around four questions to answer, which holds 45-60 per cent of the marks of the whole Verbal Ability part. This is an important section where more attention and detailed information are required.

The foremost step to prepare for reading comprehension is to read on regular basis. Read newspapers, novels, magazines such as ‘The Economist’, India Today etc. To quote another CAT Topper 2017, Soumyajit Ghosh of IIM Bangalore when asked about preparation strategy, states, "The major part in RC section consists of the verbal part. I used to religiously practice Reading Comprehensions (RC) of various lengths every day."

CAT 2017 Topper Avinash Iyer, IIT Bombay, who bagged 99.61 percentile at his very first attempt says, "To solve the CAT VARC section, I first took up all the reading comprehension, completed them as they take a substantial amount of time. Then I solved the fill in the blanks followed by jumbled paragraphs.

A few suggested books for RC:

  • How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay (Tata McGraw-Hill) is a workbook with practice questions and tips based on previous CAT papers.

  • Norman Lewis’ Word Power Made Easy.

Vocabulary Questions

Questions related to analogies, synonyms & antonyms, sentence correction etc are part of this subsection. This part can be answered correctly, only if aspirants have explored the English language to the core and know the meaning of numerous words. Hence, a good vocabulary is the key to crack these topics. Having a reading habit of newspapers and magazines will support in developing a good vocabulary. The 100 percentile scorer of CAT 2017, Mayank Raj, shares, "My weak area was VARC. For improving my verbal ability I started reading the newspaper, novels, etc. This helped me increase my reading speed and also in developing an understanding of the passages I was reading." One needs to keep a track of all the new words he/she comes across; be it from newspapers, blogs or magazines. This habit helps register more words in fewer days.

Besides reading, the other important step to prepare is from the CAT sample papers. The sample papers will make you learn the words that are important in terms of examination. Topper Nikhil Raj Singh, who secured 99.51 percentile in CAT 2016 also agrees and says, “Taking mock tests and analysing them played a very crucial role in my performance in CAT 2016. It helped me create a strategy for the D-day and gave me an idea about my weak and strong areas.”

Suggested Books:

  • Barron’s Pocket Guide to Vocabulary

  • Nishit Sinha’s The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning (Pearson) covers a wide range of topics explained in an easy-to-understand manner

Critical Reasoning and Paragraph Completion - These questions can be answered only if you understand the logic behind it. The types of questions to be prepared under this section are:

  • Questions on conclusion/inference

  • Questions on identifying an assumption

  • Questions on weakening the conclusion

  • Questions on identifying a paradox/contradiction/inconsistency

  • Questions on identifying a parallel situation

As a preparation strategy, Topper Avinash (99.61 percentile) says, “I used to critically analyse each CAT VARC section so as to understand my standing. It is equally important to concentrate on the speed as time is a challenge for CAT."

Deductive Logic and Para Jumbles - These are non-logic based questions; hence preparations from short puzzles, quizzes can prepare you to successfully attempt these questions. While preparing, you must make sure that you understand the question. CAT Topper Rubal Bagde shares, “I used to solve the quizzes available in newspapers. This sort-of prepared me to analyze and eliminate incorrect options and answer the questions correctly”. Gautam Puri, Vice Chairman, Career Launcher mentions, "Practice solving the verbal logic questions through selection and elimination method."

Sentence Correction - These questions are based on basic grammar rules and are knowledge-based. For preparation, it is must to read editorial sections of newspapers and magazines and concentrate on the use of grammar. While preparing from mock tests, make sure you do not waste time on these questions and avoid guesswork.

A few books to prepare from are,

  • Barron’s Pocket Guide to Vocabulary.
  • Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.

Quick tips to prepare for CAT VARC section

  1. Read a lot of books, magazines, and newspapers

  2. Prepare from Mock tests and Sample Papers while maintaining speed and accuracy

  3. Analyse the mistakes and rectify the same
  4. Focus on improvising grammar and vocabulary by reading editorial sections

  5. Mark difficult words and learn their meaning from the dictionary

  6. Underline and take brief notes as you read

  7. Practice critical thinking questions

  8. Practice Non-MCQ’s

  9. Solve Puzzles

  10. Time Management is vital. Try keeping some extra time for revision.

For CAT 2017 Topper Ankit Gupta (VARC- 99.80), the mantra to score 99.91 in CAT was simple – to practice a lot in a timed manner, analyse the questions and learn from his mistakes so that he doesn’t repeat them. He says, "Focus on RCs as they form the chunk of this section. Practice as many RCs, with varying themes, as you can. Keep a tab for the types you are particularly struggling with (say, art/science/literature etc.) and bookmark those RCs. Revisit those after some time and find common things or themes repeating. Google those terms, get a hang of them so as to obtain some background. It becomes easier to read and interpret these RCs then and overtime you improve a lot." Currently, he is pursuing his MBA at IIM Calcutta.

CAT Result 2019

Indian Institute of Management, (IIM) Kozhikode will release the CAT result 2019 in online mode on January 6. Those candidates who appeared for CAT 2019 on November 24 can check their result by using their login credentials such as registered ID and password. The result of CAT 2019 will include the score and percentile. Candidates will also get to know the section wise marks as well as overall score.

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8 Views

10th -70% 12th -56% (Science) bcom - 80% (SC candidate), if I get 100 percentile in CAT, would have I got call from IIM A or C ??

ADIL KHAN Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020

Hii Biton,

Yes, there is a possibility for you as you belong to the SC category. But still there are  alot of factors taken into consideration while accessing your profile for giving a call for interviews bu top Business schools of India. You have a good chance provided you work on your communication skills and other skills. Also try doing internships and building your profile as these things will affect and may decide if you will be getting a call or not.

Hope it helps,

Thanks.

16 Views

How to start preparing for CAT 2020 from basics? Which are the books to refer from? Will self study be enough? I need an answer that can clear all my doubts and motivate me to start my preparation. Each answer will be appreciated, thanks.

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 7th Apr, 2020
Almost all books available in the market are very similar in the nature of their content of study material but the important thing is what you make of it.

Here I can give you the list of books for each section that can help you accelerate your preparation to ace the tests.

CAT Books For Quantitative Ability:
1.NCERT mathematics books (from 6th to 10th class) ::
These books are a good way to start if one needs to clear their basics and concepts. NCERT books are best to start your CAT Preparation with only if you have a lot of time before your exam date and need to brush up on concepts before solving advanced problems.

2.How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT (by Arun Sharma)
(publisher: Tata McGraw Hill)
This is a very popular book among CAT aspirants and really easy and simple to understand. This book also focuses on the basics first and has different levels of difficulties step by step.

3.Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (by Abhijit Guha)
This book is quite comprehensive for various competitive exams, for both MBA aspirants and for those seeking jobs who need to prepare for the aptitude tests.
4.Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
It is an extensive book for students aspiring to go to IIMs. It has a very simple, lucid and tailor made content revolving around CAT.

5.Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson focuses on in depth understanding of core topics for basic and advanced applications.


Verbal Ability Books For CAT:

1.How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT( by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay)
This book is good to brush up your verbal and reading comprehension skills. It covers three important topics: reading comprehension, verbal ability and verbal reasoning. It provides sufficient practice and mock papers for self-assessment.

2.Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT( by Nishit Sinha)
This book by Pearson provides not only an exhaustive resource for verbal ability. It also includes numerous tests as well as integral problem solving techniques and approaches.

3.Word Power Made Easy (by Norman Lewis)
This is the go-to book to improve your vocabulary. It is not a book to be read but a book to work with daily to enrich your vocabulary.

4.High School Grammar and Composition( by Wren and Martin)
It is a very good book for people who want to improve their grammar skills. It helps to understand and conceptualise different aspects of grammar and it is a must have book for anyone with poor grasp on verbal ability or who wants to make up with the basics of english.

Read books from different genres
The ultimate key to improve your verbal ability is to read extensively and to read books from different genres. This ensures that when the time for reading comprehension comes you are well acquainted with different writing styles and topics. Reading extensively also improves your reading speeding over a period of time. There are no shortcuts here.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Books For CAT:

1.A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning( by R.S. Agarwal)
This CAT book by R.S. Agarwal is to start with the most basic reasoning problem as it is quite simple to understand. It is segregated into different sections such as logic, statements, inferences and arguments, assumptions, conclusions, course of actions, logical puzzles, etc.

2.How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book by Tata McGraw Hill contains all topics to be considered under Logical Reasoning for CAT as well as other entrance exams. Each topic is explained with solved examples followed by a series of problems with varied difficulty levels to solve which gives an individual enough practice for this section.

3.How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book (by Arun Sharma)
This book focuses on all areas of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency. It provides and emphasizes on developing our calculations to get an edge with DI. This book also provides you with previous years questions, Model and Sample test papers.

4.Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT (by Nishit Sinha)
This book covers fundamental and advanced topics under the aforementioned section which are explained with the help of solved examples, case lets and exercises to do. It is useful for various other exams as well.

5.Data Interpretation (by Nishit Sinha)
Practice Book for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Examinations( by Nishit Sinha):
This book provides adequate practice and to sharpen the skills for Data Interpretation. It is also quite useful for other competitive exams like NMAT, GMAT, SNAP, XAT, CMAT, etc.

Another CAT Preparation material or book to be considered is Previous Years Solved CAT Paper:
This ensures that you are familiar with the kind of questions that are asked in CAT providing you an edge. They can be taken as mocks and the analysis of the same can provide you with great insights for your preparation.

It is always better to read newspaper for CURRENT G.K. than trying to grasp all info at once. Some of the newspaper sources which you can use to prepare this section are The Hindu, Financial Express, and The Economist.

In case, you dont like reading newspaper daily, you can go with Manorama Yearbook or Current Affairs Yearly by Arihant for General Knowledge which is published every year.

In order to prepare for STATIC G.K. section, you need to broaden your overall scope in following sections: Sports, Politics, Entertainment, Biographies, etc. So, for this, you can use Static General Knowledge by A.P. Bhardwaj and S. Chands Advanced Objective General Knowledge. These books are okay to start with if you are not someone with a newspaper reading habit from the past.

There are plenty of other books for these topics in the market, but these are by far the most popular as well as helpful books for anyone preparing for entrance exams.
48 Views

if i obtain 80 marks in quantitative aptitude 80 marks in data interpection and 80 marks in verbal reasoning what is my total percentile of cat because my 10th and 12 marks is low ?

Ankit Dahiya Student Expert 6th Apr, 2020
Hello,
Your CAT percentile has nothing to do with class X and XII marks.
The percentile indicates your performance relative to the other candidates. For example if you get 80 percentile it means your score is more than 80% of the appearing students.
The percentipe is calculated as:
P=(R/N) 100
where R=Rank of student and N=Number of students who appeared.

Follow this link for more information
https://www.google.com/amp/s/bschool.careers360.com/articles/how-calculate-cat-percentile/amp

Good luck
94 Views

I have 96% in 10th 94 %in 12th and 7 3 cgpa in btech and around 18 months of work experience..how much do I need to score in CAT 2020 to get a call from IIMA/B /C or FMS ?

Prakarsh Kaushik 5th Apr, 2020

Hello,

For getting in top B-schools of India like IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, FMS Delhi etc. you need good marks not only in in CAT but also in Class 10th, 12th and your graduation. If you have some work experience then it gives you more advantages.

There is no specific cutoff of percentile on which you can get into top IIMs. Since your marks in 10th, 12th is above 90% and in graduation above 7 CGPA with work experience, you can expect a call from IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C if you have at least 99 percentile in CAT .

For FMS also you should aim for 99+ percentile in CAT and also keep in mind that if you score 95+ percentile in VARC Section it will increase your chances of getting in.

Click at this link to know more about CAT - https://bschool.careers360.com/exams/cat

Hope this was helpful

70 Views

which is the best book for cat self study to crack cat examination

KUNAL LANJEWAR 5th Apr, 2020

Hello,

Given below are the best books to refer for preparing for CAT examination:

1. For Quantitative Aptitude:

  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha
  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT 2019 by Sarvesh K Sharma

2. For Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation :

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT by Arun Sharma
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT by Nishit K Sinha

3. For Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension :

  • Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis
  • Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

Best Wishes.

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