How to Prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal and Reading Comprehension)
How to Prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal and Reading Comprehension) - Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Indore has not prescribed the syllabus of CAT. However, based on previous years question papers, Careers360 brings to you the compiled syllabus of CAT VARC section. Aspirants often find it difficult to crack the CAT VARC section and often end up thinking ‘how to prepare for CAT VARC?’ Verbal and Reading Comprehension holds great weightage when considered for shortlisting. CAT VARC generally consists of 34 questions, each carrying 3 marks. With the difficulty level increasing every year as per the experts, students must not panic rather attempting 23-24 questions with accuracy will help you fetch 99 percentile in CAT VARC section. To score good percentile, continue reading to know the tips from experts and toppers on how to do CAT verbal ability preparation. CAT is a national level examination which will be conducted on November 29, 2020. Hence, with not much time left for the examination, let’s begin the preparation with CAT VARC section.
Latest- Know all about CAT Mock Test 2020. Candidates will be able to download CAT 2020 admit card from October 28.
How to do CAT Verbal Ability Preparation
As the authority does not release any preset syllabus for Verbal and Reading Comprehension section, however, based on previous year question papers of CAT let’s have a look at the important topics that were covered.
Know the CAT exam pattern to have a clear picture of the Verbal and Reading Comprehension section:
Exam Pattern of CAT VARC
Number of MCQs
Verbal and Reading Comprehension
3 marks for a correct answer
-1 for every wrong/incorrect answer
40 minutes/ 80 minutes (PwD)
Area / Questions
Number of questions
Level of difficulty
Overall: Medium to Difficult
RC-1: British folk music
RC- 2: Topophilia
RC-3: Emperor Penguins
RC-4: Internet Shopping and choice anxiety
RC-5: Origin of the story of Aladdin
MCQ & TITA
Para jumbles ( 4 sentences)
Easy-1, Medium-2, Difficult-1
Out of Context sentence
Easy-1 , Medium-1, Difficult-1
Source: IMS Learning
Watch Video on How to Prepare for CAT Exam
Best Books for CAT Verbal Ability Preparation: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Section
Before beginning with the preparation for CAT, students must go through the list of important books which they can refer to prepare for the CAT VARC section.
VARC Books for CAT Preparation:
Word Power made easy
Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT
How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT
Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
How to prepare for Reading Comprehension?
Reading comprehension is understanding of the text which will be provided and comprehending with the ideas that the writer or author wants to convey. Reading comprehension section generally consists of 4-5 passages with approximately 300-400 words each. Each passage will consist of 5 questions, students will be required to answer the questions on the basis of the passage. To improve one’s reading comprehension, he/she must follow the following points:
Assess your current reading by noting the time you take to read a passage. To know your capability pick a passage from any magazine, book, newspaper or novel and note the instances where you lag for example difficulty in understanding a few words.
If you take time to understand a few words, focus on improving your vocabulary by creating flashcards of the words you were not able to relate to. Write the definition of difficult words. Test yourself by taking the quiz from the words you have written on flashcards.
Take pleasure in what you read to improve your vocabulary. Hence, embrace whatever you read and don’t make it a constant chore.
Summarize each time you feel you are getting confused.
When you feel tired, read the passage aloud.
Don’t forget to read the previous sections of the text to link with the later paragraphs.
While practising, discuss the passage with friends on the basis of your understanding and have a healthy argument with the vocabulary you have learnt.
CAT 2019 topper Lakshya Kumar, who scored 99.98 percentile in VARC provides a way out of the problem of solving RCs, stating “I was always fond of reading novels and hence easiest section for me was the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. This is no way implies that I did not practice the Verbal section, I was practising at least 3-4 RCs every day during the final month of preparation. The toughest for me was DI/LR, the sole reason is the volatility of this section as the questions are not bound by any specific topic and hence practising a large number of previous years is a way out.”
Improve Verbal Ability
Verbal ability will include questions from the following areas:
This section assesses the candidate’s ability to expressions and sentence forming skills. Approximately 10 questions are included in CAT verbal ability every year. Hence to improve one’s verbal he/she must follow the tips mentioned below:
Read magazines and books of different genres and step out of your comfort zone. Reading books of different genres will help you run into a bunch of new words. Anumay Aashish who bagged 99.35 percentile in VARC says that “Reading a lot, from books to articles to newspaper cutouts. I focused on reading different genres and expanding my vocabulary with a new word every day. I made it a rule to read the newspaper every day like Hindu and economic times.”
Attempt a number of mock tests for the VA section as it helps you to expose to a variety of questions. The most important phase of the mock test is to post the test which helps you analyse your performance of the skill. Ankit Desai who scored 97.01% in VARC states the importance of mock tests “I knew I wasn't good at VARC. So in the first few CAT mock tests, I tried to understand the questions I could solve correctly in the section. This is where analysing the mocks comes to the rescue. Once I understood that I wasn't comfortable with inference based questions and para jumbles, I started practising more RCs and more para jumbles daily. Also, I started reading an article or two daily for one month to increase my reading speed.”
Choose the right study material for verbal ability while preparing. You must go through the CAT sample papers and know the best book as per the syllabus.
Download mobile applications like vocabulary builder, word to word and so forth to make learning fun.
While you learn new words or phrases, always apply those in day to day expressions while talking to your friends or family. It helps you to retain the information and know the usage.
While you are bored of reading and getting lazy, switch to watching movies/series and play word games.
Mark difficult words and learn their meanings from the dictionary. Students are advised to always keep the dictionary handy while watching movie/reading books.
Above all, don’t forget the sectional time limit of 40 minutes. Once you are done with your preparation, set time and solve more mock test papers to manage time effectively and record your accuracy.
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Questions related to CAT
sloved question paper of CAT b.des 2020
Here is the link of CAT previous years question papers with solutions (2017,2018,2019) . Hope this will help you to boost your preparation for the exam.
Hope it helps.
All the best.
i belong to telngana gor 321 marks in neet2020 air289957 can i get b cat mbbs female candidate
Reg Help &
confirm seats under MGMT/NRI Quota,
only NEET qualified.
bookings started for confirm seats
all over india.
My branch is Electrical Engineering and in my college i have very less chance of placements . So what jobs should i go for so that it could be counted as work experience if I want to go for CAT exam ?
For MBA , work experience is not compulsory. You can get into MBA colleges without a work experience. It's like good food placed in a good plate. If you have a work experience you will get a good job or with more package . Otherwise it will depend on your academics.
My Neet 2020 score is 566 . I belong to BC cat. in Tamilnadu. What are my chances in Tamilnadu government colleges??
It's quite difficult to predict that whether you will get seat or not as cut off marks for medical colleges keeps changing every year depending upon various factors like number of students that appeared in the exam, kind of marks obtained by them , toughness level of the examination etc.
But when we go through previous data then with 566 marks , you hold a chance to get a seat in a Government Medical College
In Neet 2019, 470 marks for obc category was the cut off marks to get a seat in Government Medical College under Tamilnadu state quota and it was for Government Medical College and Hospital, Pudukottai
With 566 marks also have chances in following govt college under state quota-
*Government Medical College, Omandurar Estate, Chennai
*Government K.A.P.V. Medical College, Trichy
And a few more
Above prediction is on the basis of past year data but cutoff keeps changing every year due to many factors as mentioned earlier, so to have a clear picture of the colleges in which you have to chances and
to get the complete list of colleges in which you have chances, you can go through our college predictor at
It gives you a personalized report with top college in which you have chances for admission , with the help of predicted colleges you can make better choice while filling your choices of colleges during your counselling
what jobs an engineer can do if he does not get campus placement and want to appear in CAT exam so that his work ex will be counted??
Most IIM's usually gives only 5-15 % of weightage to work experience (major weightage is for CAT score and PI) with points for approx. 24-36 months of work after which they don't count it ( which means work experience of more than 2-3 years will not give you any extra edge during selection)
Since you are an Engineering graduate, it is usually advisable to go for a technical job related to your field not just because it is easier to get but but because it is easier to justify in your CV. CAT values versatility but there is a fine line between versatility and randomness. What I mean to say is that if you go for a job which isn't even remotely related to your field of study then you'd probably be asked for reasons as to why you chose to do that. So if you were to go for a sales job after completing a degree in say, Electrical Engineering, you'd have to to explain your shift in career paths. To avoid such justifications and to to make the most of your CV, go for a technical job or maybe an Analysist position, anything which you can either link to your Engineering degree or to a Management degree.
Best of luck, Good day!