How to Score 99+%ile in VARC for CAT- 20
The Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability (VARC) section for the CAT exam must be given utmost importance if one is planning to score 99.5+%ile in the CAT exam.
This is because one can practice many a question for Quantitative Ability (QA) and Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation (LRDI) section and can learn concepts and tricks to solve the questions related to the above sections. Still, it is quite challenging to ace the RCVA section. This section needs to be planned strategically as for different topics, a different set of skills is required.
- How to crack CAT 2020
- How to prepare for LRDI section in CAT 2020
- How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT 2020
One is required to devote their time to improve their reading skills and the basic understanding of words. Vocabulary plays a hidden role in the VARC section for the CAT exam.
It is of utmost importance to start your Verbal Ability preparation for CAT early so that all the weak areas can be strengthened. Apart from this, consistency in preparation is also very much needed.
Without any further delay, let’s hop in for the details regarding the section pattern, syllabus, and tips to score 99+%ile in the VARC section.
Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability (VARC) Section Pattern
After revamping of the CAT Exam Pattern by IIM Ahmedabad in the year 2015, the VARC section for the CAT exam has been changed. The revised order of sections also places CAT Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability (VARC) as the first section in the Exam.
In the CAT exam, there are a total of 34 questions asked in the VARC section. This is further divided into two parts: Reading Comprehension part consisting of a majority number of questions, i.e., 24 out of 34 questions are from Reading Comprehension. The remaining ten questions are from the Verbal Ability section.
The composition of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT 2020 is also expected to remain on the same pattern as of last year as below:
The Verbal Ability (VA) questions for the CAT exam are based on basic English Language, Grammar, Vocabulary, correct understanding of paragraphs.
The RCVA syllabus for the CAT exam has changed during the last 4-5 years. So, a proper strategy and full knowledge of the curriculum is critical so that you may not end up with a negligible score in this section in CAT 2020 exam.
Although no direct question on the following topics has been placed in recent past, they form an integral part of CAT syllabus, and you may expect CAT Verbal Ability Questions on these topics:
- Error correction in sentences
- Fill in the blanks with correct vocabulary words
- Contextual use of vocabulary words
- Para Jumbles
- Para Summary
- Para Completion
- Odd One Out
- Last sentence of the paragraph.
Look at the table below to get more insights on the division of questions for the Verbal Ability (VA) section for the CAT exam.
CAT RCVA Questions: Non-MCQ
CAT preparation for VARC requires you first to understand the difference between the type of questions and the process to answer them. So before starting your CAT preparation for VARC, know the following about Non-MCQs in CAT Verbal Ability Preparation:
- Answer for Verbal Ability Non-MCQ is to be typed in the given space on a computer screen
- Answer choice for Non-MCQ is not be given
- No Penalty of Negative marking will be imposed for the wrong answer
The Reading Comprehension (RC) passage questions form a significant part in the VARC section of the CAT exam. RC questions in the CAT exam have a different pattern. Comprehension and Verbal Ability are not followed by the conventional type of questions nowadays. Instead, Critical Reasoning type questions are indirectly asked in the section.
Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability for CAT Exam:
RCVA itself clarifies that the questions are based on the English Verbal Ability and is the test on coherent and flawless usage of the English Language.
Instead of moving haphazardly and jumping into CAT Preparation for VARC without knowing how to prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT, it would be merely a fruitless adventure as the revamped CAT exam pattern has modified the Verbal Ability question pattern in CAT exam.
Moving forward, let’s see the tips to prepare for the VARC section for the CAT- 20 Exam. (Syllabus Wise)
1. Reading Comprehension
This part covers the maximum number of questions in the VARC section. As discussed above, 24 questions out of 34 are asked in this part. To score well in the VARC section, the Reading Comprehension part needs to be dealt with utmost importance. These are a few problems that arise while preparing for this part.
a. Lengthy and a good number of passages
Generally, 5-6 readings of around 300-400 words are present in this section. So, to score maximum in this section, one needs to go through all the passages and the questions present in it carefully as there is negative marking too.
b. Reading Skills
The VARC section is nothing but reading skills. To score well in this section, good reading skill is a MUST.
c. Understanding the concept/ tone of the passage
While reading the passages, it is a pre-requisite to understand the flow or tone of the passage so as to avoid the re-reading of the same content over and over again.
Understand that RCs are not just random words presented in a jumbled manner, but a flow of thought/ tone presented on the paper. So all you need to do is grasp that flow of thought or tone. For, e.g. take any instance, like even while writing something or having a normal conversation, you have a certain kind thought process which you are expressing. What frequent mistakes CAT takers do is they start reading the passage, but due to lack of concentration or unfamiliar genre of the passage, their mind starts wandering and thus are unable to retain what they have read and have to re-read the whole thing again. So, along with excellent reading Skills, a proper understanding of the tone in single read is a must in order to score well in this section
2. Para Jumbles
a. For the past three years, Para Jumbles come in the form of the non-MCQ question; thus, it is now trivial to solve such problems by elimination technique.
b. So, to answer such questions, instead of finding the entire passage identify the groups of sentences that will come together. This will help in formulating the correct order of the sentences.
3. Summary Based questions/ Last Sentence of the Paragraph
There is a minor addition to the tips for RC’s, for this section. While reading any newspaper editorial or a passage/ article, make it a habit of summarizing it. Include the main idea, along with the tone of the article. Try to find out at least two ways different ways to summarize the passage/article. Doing this activity daily will help you score better in such types of questions.
4. Odd Man Out
a. Odd Man Out is similar to solving Para Jumbles. All you need to do is to identify the set of sentences that form a coherent paragraph and the ones which do not.
b. This is the simplest way to eliminate the sentence that cannot add any value to the passage or is out of context.
13 Advance Tips to Score 99+%ile in VARC for CAT-20:
1. Know the Syllabus & Section Pattern
You cannot score well in this section if the section pattern and syllabus is not known to you. This part has been covered in the above component.
2. Solve Past Year Papers
Before starting your preparation, we at Teach Advisors always ask you to solve Past Year Papers. The reason is quite simple but essential. While solving the paper, it is not expected of you to score a good mark. You just need to get the hang of the pattern that you have learned theoretically till now. Look at the difficulty level and the type of questions that are asked in the actual examination.
3. Analyze the Past Year Papers
With a proper and fool-proof analysis of the Past Year Mock that you have attempted, try to point out these four things:
a) Arrangement of questions
b) Difficulty level
c) Time Management
d) Strong & Weak areas.
After finding the answers to the above points, work diligently on the areas you are not comfortable with. Believe us; this will boost your performance exponentially.
4. Follow a proper schedule
From running a government to selling vegetables on a wagon, things need to be appropriately managed so as to avoid any debacle (mishap).
After finding the pointers mentioned in the above part, stick to a proper & dedicated schedule and make sure to read every day. Reading not only increases your knowledge or content, but it also helps in understanding the sentence formation and usage of words which is indirectly helpful while solving questions related to Para Jumbles, Para Completion, Odd Man Out, etc.
5. 2RCs a day
If you seriously want to ace the RCVA Section in CAT-20 exam, then start solving at least 2 RC’s a day. Reading Comprehension as the name suggests is the comprehensive ability of the aspirant and check whether he/she can decode and understand the things or not. Regular solving of Reading Comprehension Passages will help you know the tone or the flow in which the author has written.
Make sure you hover through different set or domain of passages like from Science & Tech, Philosophy, Psychology, Games, Nature, etc.
You can use “How to prepare for RCVA for CAT” by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay for practice as it contains several passages for practice and all are in line with the CAT & OMET preparation.
6. Improve Vocabulary
This part can be taken care of by a lot of reading. Learn new words and try to use them in your day to day life as it will help your mind to retain the terms if you use them frequently.
It may sound boring, but keeping a journal is a helpful means to record the new words and for quick revision as well.
7. Speed Reading & Critical Thinking
Reading and Speed reading are two different things. Don’t get confused. In this article, we are learning the tips to score well in the VARC section for CAT-20. So, speed reading and critical thinking are essential to understanding.
Skimming the words to understand the meaning of the paragraph is known as speed reading. This will save a lot of time during the actual CAT-20 exam as 5-6 long passages will be present in the paper.
Critical Thinking plays a vital role while solving RC’s. Nowadays, passage-based questions consist of questions based on the summary and tone or flow of the passage. While reading in the first attempt, if you can grasp the theme or the main idea which the author is talking about, it will make your answers correct and will improve your accuracy as well.
9. Build your Muscle Memory
CAT is a 3-hour long Computer Based Paper. The first section that will be presented in front of you will be Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability. So, it is better to conserve your brain energy for the other two sections as well.
Solving the RCVA section alone can be exhausting. So, to avoid such complications, the Daily Reading of Varied Genres is recommended. It will not only help you in improving your grammar & vocabulary but also increase your Muscle Memory.
There is no better option for improvement other than taking Mock Tests. Mock Tests play a crucial role in acing any competitive exams.
It is advised to take as many mocks as you can to check your progress and strategy for the VARC section of the CAT exam. Along with taking tests, do proper analysis as to what were the things you missed out during you took that test.
10. Avoid Guesswork
English section is like Whisky that looks delicious but is not healthy for the stomach. You might get devoured in the feeling like this option looks good and it might be the correct answer, but in reality, that may not be the case. Attempt those questions only in which you are confident. Avoid guesswork as it may lead to a hefty amount of negative marking.
Guesswork might be applicable to other sections such as QA or LRDI but for the VARC section, try to avoid it. So, try not to be a GAMBLER.
11. Efficient Time Management
Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability (VARC) section is nothing but efficient Time Management, along with strong reading and comprehension skills. Attempt mocks and analyze how much time you are taking while solving your RC and VA questions.
This section likewise other sections is of 60 minutes, and a set of 34 questions are asked. You must devise a plan to attempt this section to score a 99+%ile.
12. Build up your strategy
You can learn the concepts and tricks to solve a particular section. You will also get different types of strategies from the toppers as well on how to score 99+%ile in the VARC section, but remember, their strategies and techniques might not be helpful to you.
So, take plenty of mocks and build a plan that works for you. This is the only way to maximize your score.
13. Stay Motivated
All the steps mentioned above might seem to be easy to apply, but in practice, it is not. You might get bored after going through a number of RCs or Verbal Ability questions. At that time, just remember why you are doing this. What this exam might do to your future.
Stay motivated and work on the things you are not comfortable with.
Work diligently! Work Honestly! And most importantly keep moving forward.
We are sure that you will be successful.