CAT (Common Admission Test) is the all India management entrance exam conducted by IIM. This exam was established by the act of the parliament to the IIM paving way to provide consultancy and research services in various business and management globally. Last year 2,04,267 students competed for 1550+ seats making it the most competitive exam in the country. As per the CAT exam structure, it is a computer-based test of three hours carrying 100 multiple choice questions divided into these three sections:
- Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC),
- Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), and
- Quantitative Ability (QA)
For now, we will be dealing with the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) Section. This section includes and covers questions only on grammar and vocabulary. In this section the question was constituted for 33% in Verbal Ability (VA) and the rest for the Reading Comprehension (RC). Hence, we will be discussing the tips on how to improve Verbal Ability preparation strategy and what should be Verbal Ability Preparation material and etc.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR VARC SKILLS:
1.READ READ and READ.
Make a slogan: “Read Read and Read” in your mind, because the habit of reading is one of the most important thing of all. Regular reading will not only increase your reading speed but also improve your comprehension skills. 70% of total VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Composition) section has Reading Comprehensions. Hence, this habit of regular reading works wonders during your examination.
2.UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF NEWSPAPERS, BOOKS AND NOVELS:
Read lots of books and newspapers. You might have a thought that, you must have been reading the newspaper daily. But at the same time, do not think you have read enough of it and leave this part carelessly. On doing this continuously you must try to analyze the mistakes and rectify the those. Thus, you will gain a very good reading speed, confidence in your ability to spot the correct answer. Nonetheless, you must also be able to read at least one or two small novels per week, so that the passage provided in the CAT exam does not come as a surprise to you.
3.ONLINE READING COMPREHENSION:
Start practicing online reading comprehension because this will get you, the flow already be accustomed to online reading of passage so when you attempt the questions. Also, at the same time, just understanding the summary will also not help. It is essentially conditioning your brain to think and examine statements in a particular way. When preparing for the RC section, make it a practice to remove unnecessary words, phrases, sentences, and focus only on keywords.
4.CRACK CROSS WORD PUZZLES
To gain expertise in solving jumbled sentences and jumbled paragraphs, dedicate only 15-20 minutes to this part to crack the cross-word puzzles. Thus, it helps you to identify the opening or closing or a logical pair and eliminate the choice that does not adhere to it. This will also be a good practice for the final CAT exam.
Time management is vital and more important than anything else. Try keeping some extra time for revision too. If there is no clarity in time management on one hand and having good quality in all the answers, then you cannot score the best of your marks. Thus, no matter how well you prepare, all your efforts will get wasted if you lack in time management. But at the same time if you excel at time management, attempting the Reading Comprehension portion will be a cake walk for you.
6.IMPORTANCE OF KEYWORDS:
decoding or understanding the comprehension is still a night mare for many of the students. Many of the students face problems when preparing for reading the comprehension section due to their lack in ability to decode the reading comprehension section easily. The only trick or hack is not to understand each and every word of the comprehension. Read and understand only the important portions of the sentence.
If you find the passage tough to understand, then you must build the ability to answer the questions, even if you don’t understand the passage completely. For that I would suggest you go through the passage and give a glance on it. Get an idea of the key terms used and eliminate the useless or less used words or phrases. Every question will be based on certain part of the passage, go back to that part again, read it thoroughly, read the question again and simultaneously apply rejection techniques, find reasons why this option shouldn’t be the answer, then you’ll get the right answer.
Mock tests and then some more mock tests: practical answering brings more confidence than what you learnt by heart. Try to solve as many tests as possible. Try to answer almost all the answers. Mark the answers which you did not understand or had answered wrongly and keep a note of the them, so that you can find the answer later and find the solution to it. Nonetheless, do not get emotionally attached to a particular question, leave the question if you don’t know and move on to the next question, since time management is more important.
9.DIVIDE AND RULE
Try to understand the exam pattern and then plan your study strategy with a divide and rule policy.
Using this policy, you can allocate timings or dates for each of the topic in the subject. Start with the Reading Comprehension, Sentence Correction, Incomplete sentences and Critical reasoning in the initial days and dedicate a whole day each to each of the topics. This will give you enough time to gauge your abilities in a particular section and plan your strategy. Thus, after planning your study, you will get an clarity about the pros and cons of each of the topics and will get an understanding on the basis of how much you need to work on the subject.
Shalini is a Law Student, Passionate Writer by day and by night. She loves writing about examinations and education in India and Exam Preparation for all Competitive Exams. You can find more of her writings at Exambazaar.