Common Admission Test, commonly known as CAT is a Management Based Entrance Exam, conducted by the Indian Institute of Management each year, to get admission in the Management Programs from top B-Schools in India. The test is designed by the prestigious IIMs on a rotational basis each year. It is considered to be one of the most competitive entrance examinations in India, where over 2 Lakh students appear for the test each year.
How to Crack Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 Exam
The first section of the test. The VARC Section consists of 24 Questions in total based on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. The Verbal Ability (VA) section in the CAT exam assesses a candidate’s proficiency in English language skills, including reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and verbal reasoning. The questions in this section are designed to test the candidate’s understanding of written passages, their ability to comprehend complex texts, and their command of the English language.
Verbal Ability covers topics like Para Jumbles, Para Summary, Sentence Formation and Completion, Sentence Correction, Word Usage, Analogies and Synonyms and Antonyms, Fact Inference, Judgement, and Critical Reasoning. In CAT, you can expect to have almost 30% of questions from Verbal Ability out of the 24 Questions in this section asking questions based on topics mentioned above.
To start preparing for CAT, sound knowledge of basic concepts should be clear to each and every student. Since English is a vast subject, this section in CAT will test students on the basis of Grammar, Reading Comprehension, Inferences, and Verbal Reasoning.
For the beginner stage, one should start by building a habit of reading and practicing what they are reading. As a student, it is important to understand, that to have command over a language, you only need to be able to form Sentences and express your ideas in plain and simple terms. Having command over English does not demand a student to learn difficult words, or words not used in regular communication and vocabulary.
To start off, we have to build a habit of reading and writing. Some sources to read from can be as easy as Wikipedia and other similar sources. It is important to understand that reading Articles, Blogs, or any Content that is easy and is written in plain and simple language, helps a student to understand the basics of reading and the basic elements like Sentence Formation, Understanding the Idea behind words used, understanding how words are used in specific contexts.
A student needs to build a religious habit, wherein they read from different sources for at least 45-60 minutes on a daily basis, till a day before their CAT Exam. Also, to make the transition smooth between starting to read and making a habit of the same, a student can initially choose to read content from topics of their personal interest as well. Reading daily will not only help the student in Verbal Ability or in improving grammar, but it will also help the student to master Reading Comprehension as well.
Reading Comprehension consists of a Paragraph or Excerpts from different sources, followed by questions based on the paragraph. RC will have about 4 Passages in the Common Admission Test (CAT) exam with at least 3 to 4 questions based on each passage.
Reading will help the student to build basics for the entire section, helping them improve their Grammar Vocabulary, Sentence Formation, Reading Speed, and Interpretation.
Another important resource to help improve your understanding of the subject is Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis or Brush Up Your English by S.T. Imam. The concept behind solving books like these is to help you understand how language is used. The books contain exercises for you to solve through, which is only to make you practice what you have read and understood about English and its concepts. Ideally, either of these books should take you between 7 to 15 days ONLY to solve and master.
Also, from the first day till the day before your exam, you have to surround yourself and your mind with English. Watch Movies in English, watch the News in English, Listen to English songs, try conversing in English around family and peers as much as you can. This will help you build fluency and understand the interpretation easily.
FUN FACT- Clearing your basic concepts in English will also help you with LRDI and QA Sections as well. The other two sections in this exam are based on how you interpret the problem in front of you. Having a sound understanding of a language helps you understand the problem statements with ease.
Once you have completed the basic phase successfully, you now need to start applying the understanding of these concepts and rules in the form of questions and exercises. Once you get your CAT Study Material sorted, you should start solving questions from that material and practice each and every day. It should ideally take about 2 months to complete the material.
Also, during the intermediate phase, one has to start taking Practice Tests of Easy and Moderate Difficulty levels. Also, towards the end of your Intermediate Phase, you should start taking timed practice or Mock tests, since the actual exam will also have a time limit and it is better that we start practicing that as well from this phase itself.
Ideally, a student should not need more than 3 months to complete the Beginner and Intermediate stages of the preparation phase.
The advanced phase should ideally only start after you have completed your Beginner and Intermediate phases of preparation. Since at the start of the Advanced phase, a student has already finished brushing up their basics and has also started testing in timed formats, during the Advanced Preparation Phase, a student needs to start focusing on taking timed Mock tests.
It is important to take mock tests as they help us understand the level we are at, but it is equally important to Analyse each and every mock test taken by the student. During analysis, we need to go through each and every question that we answered incorrectly and the questions we did not appear. This will help curb the error ratio in the test and will also help revise concepts and techniques practiced during the Beginner and Intermediate Stages.
The advanced phase needs to be followed religiously till the day before your Actual Exam.
Important Dates for CAT Exam 2023
- Registration for CAT 2023 Opens: 2nd August 2023, from 10:00 AM (IST)
- Registration for CAT 2023 Closes: 20th September 2023, till 5:00 PM (IST)
- Admit Card Download: 25th October 2023 to 26th November 2023
- CAT 2023 Exam Date: 26th November 2023
- Declaration of Result: 2nd Week of January (Tentative
Registration Fee for CAT 2023 Exam-
- INR 1200/- for SC, ST, and PwD Category
- INR 2400/- for General, NC-OBC, EWS, and other categories