The D-Day is fast approaching and many of you will already have known where you stand in your preparation. VA-RC section has always been the unusual section in CAT. It’s quite tough to answer the questions that can be viewed from different perspectives. The main issue that plagues many aspirants is the lack of accuracy because of higher number of attempts. The choice of choosing between options instead of finding the answer is the main reason for higher number of attempts in VA-RC compared to the other two sections. Going by gut-feeling will not always guarantee you success in this section. The primary target should always be to clear the basic cut-offs in VA-RC which wanders around 35 marks. Maximising the marks should be secondary target.
Reading rigorously from various sources will help in increasing vocabulary and will make you familiar with topics from vast areas. Make it a habit to read whenever you are free. If you feel your time is limited, try to solve at least two to three RCs a day from diverse topics. GMAT RCs and RC99 are good sources to solve reading comprehension questions. Critical reasoning also plays a major role in reading comprehension. It’s important to understand what the author is trying to convey through the passage.
While reading the passage, try to note down the summary in your mind and ask yourself what is the main idea of the passage. Then, try to analyse what the question is asking for. If you are stuck between two options, go back to the passage and re-read the relevant part of the passage. If you can’t make up your mind between two options, it’s better to not attempt those questions. If your accuracy level is good in the mocks, it’s better to go ahead and guess. If accuracy is where you are lacking, mark the questions for review and revisit the questions in the final minutes. Attempt these questions only if they are few in number.
Paragraph Completion covers 3-5 questions in CAT. It’s one of the easier questions in VA-RC section. Always remember that there shouldn’t be any introduction of a new topic in the selected option. There should be continuity in the tenses and logical consistency should be maintained. The tone also should be consistent with the preceding part of the paragraph. Try to attempt all the Paragraph Completion questions as it’s easier to maintain accuracy in this part.
Para Jumbles carry the second highest weightage in VA-RC section. They appear in the variation of ‘TITA’, where there won’t be any options available which makes it tough to answer these questions. Attempt Parajumbles in the end once you are done with Reading Comprehension and Para Summaries.
The first step while trying to answer Parajumbles is to identify the introductory sentence. The sentence that introduces an idea or a person or a topic should be chosen as the opening
sentence. Next step should be to identify the closing sentence, the sentence that provides conclusion to the idea under discussion. Always try to find connecting pairs in the sentences which makes it easy to solve the Parajumbles. Look out for noun and pronoun references, time sequences and transition words in the sentences. If the sentences are presenting Specific ideas and General ideas, keep in mind to place the specific idea sentence after the general idea one.
Base your exam strategy on your comfort level. Use your mocks and mock analysis as research to get to know your comfort level. If you are scoring 60-85 percentile in VA-RC section, try to improve your accuracy by attempting only those questions that you are exactly sure about. In reading comprehension, attempt only the factual questions and don’t go after the inference questions. If you are scoring above 85 percentile, make an effort to glance at all the reading comprehension questions and try to attempt at least 2-3 questions in each RC. Attempt the Parajumbles in the end after completing the RCs and Para Summaries.