Advice to Aspirants: CAT VARC CAT Notes | EduRev

CAT : Advice to Aspirants: CAT VARC CAT Notes | EduRev

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“Prepare a good strategy for every type of question(VA/RC/DI/LR/QA) and stick to that on D-day. Get your basics very strong because ultimately, your score would rely on self-analysis and introspection is the key.” - Saathwik Kolluru, CAT 2019, 99.99%ile.

Our team has mentored thousands of students in the last 3 years, including 100+ students who cracked IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow & other top B-schools, and one thing that was common among all the toppers is the strategy & regular practice that they did to clear the exam. With the guidance of various IIM graduates, the relevant information about the exam has been compiled in this EduRev document to help you devise your own strategy. Our efforts are targeted to help you score the elite 99%ile scores in CAT.

Advice to Aspirants: CAT VARC CAT Notes | EduRev

Importance of VARC for CAT

The verbal ability and reading comprehension section is one of the three sections in the CAT Exam and has equal weightage as the rest two, i.e. QA & LRDI sections.

The purpose of this EduRev document is to make you understand how to study verbal ability as a subject for not just CAT but also other B School entrances like SNAP, XAT, NMAT. The archives of different B-school exams can help determine how you want to prepare for a  particular section. By the end of this document, you will have clarity on how to tackle the VARC section. We at EduRev recommend the LPA strategy – Learn, Practice & Analyse to score full marks in the VARC section.

CAT 2020 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Exam Pattern

Total Questions in CAT VARC Section


Total Marks in CAT VARC Section


Types of Questions in VARC Section

MCQs And TITA (Non-MCQs)

Total MCQs in VARC for CAT Section


Total TITA(Non-MCQs) in VARC for CAT Section


Difficulty in VARC for CAT Section

Moderately High

Marking Scheme in VARC Section for CAT

+3 (for the correct answer)

-1 (for incorrect answer)

 0 ( for unmarked answer)

As the CAT exam does not have a predefined syllabus, numerous candidates face difficulty and get confused during preparation. But it should be noted that the questions are generally asked from a few repeating concepts every year, so our experts have compiled a complete list of these topics and created the CAT Syllabus document(based on the last 10-years question papers). To access the syllabus document, click on the link:

CAT Syllabus

EduRev Tip: Attempt Past Year Questions of CAT exam to understand & adapt to the exam pattern.

The trend of CAT VARC section in last 3-years

Advice to Aspirants: CAT VARC CAT Notes | EduRev

Section-wise weightage in Verbal Ability (2018-2020)

You can check out CAT VARC questions (with explanations) for the last 3-years by clicking on the respective links:

CAT VARC 2020 (Slot 1)

CAT VARC 2019 (Slot 1)

CAT VARC 2018 (Slot 1)

Topics in CAT VARC

CAT VARC questions are more about logic than about language. You need to know the context in which the words are used in addition to their meanings.

Considering the pattern of past CAT exams, our experts have created the Verbal Aptitude course, which offers video lectures, detailed notes, practice questions & level-wise MCQ tests for each topic. You can access all the materials for each chapter by clicking on the links below:

Topic-wise weightage CAT 2020

Advice to Aspirants: CAT VARC CAT Notes | EduRev

Tips to Ace Questions in VARC For CAT Section

1. Read

Reading comprehension comprises the major part of the verbal ability section. Hence you should start your initial preparation with this section, to be followed by the rest. In recent years, the length of the reading comprehension articles has reduced in CAT. Still, the difficulty level of vocabulary and the sentences’ formation in the passage have increased significantly. You can learn about some tricks and strategies to solve reading comprehension.

“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.” - Anumay Aashish, 99.35 percentile in VARC(CAT 2019)

EduRev Tip: Read a lot and spend more time practicing different questions as only then will you be able to maintain accuracy while gaining speed.

One way to assess your knowledge is to start practicing the questions; first-hand practice will help you cover the basics. You can access practice documents for all the topics of verbal aptitude to understand the type of questions being asked in the CAT exam.

Let's see an example of the type of questions prevalent in the examination so that you can prepare accordingly:

Question 1:The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.
For nearly a century, most psychologists have embraced one view of intelligence. Individuals are born with more or less intelligence potential (I.Q.); this potential is heavily influenced by heredity and difficult to alter; experts in measurement can determine a person’s intelligence early in life, currently from paper-and-pencil measures, perhaps eventually from examining the brain in action or even scrutinizing his/her genome. Recently, criticism of this conventional wisdom has mounted. Biologists ask if speaking of a single entity called “intelligence” is coherent and question the validity of measures used to estimate the heritability of a trait in humans, who, unlike plants or animals, are not conceived and bred under controlled conditions.

2. Practice

“Regular study, practice, self-analysis and adaptability to tricks are the main stakes for preparation. Traditional methods may seem easy but always use the tricks to solve the CAT questions with speed and accuracy. And lastly, practice even before the exam day.” - Sneha Mittal, 97.91 percentile in CAT 2013

Once you have completed the basic levels of preparation, attempting tests that are planned level-wise will help you in sharpening your concepts. You can try them here - level-wise tests.

Our experts from IIMs have prepared these level-wise tests by referring to books like Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhyay, etc., to provide you with the best possible learning experience. Our medium level tests replicate the level of majority CAT questions, and hard level questions are generally present for you to be competitive for a more demanding CAT exam.

3. Revision

The probability of success increases with the revision of concepts. There is no topper of CAT who aced the exam without revising the concepts. The verbal aptitude course has 200+ tests with 5-10 tests for each topic, prepared just for you so that you can revise and master each and every topic and gain confidence. We also recommend you to attempt the cumulative subject-wise mock tests  & Archive for Verbal: CAT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP which will give you an idea of how the final VARC section would look like.

In case you feel the necessity of revising through videos, we have the best videos that can help you with the conceptual understanding.

4. Practice Mock Tests and Past Year Papers

CAT Mock Tests are very crucial as the test acquaints the candidates with the real exam scenario and helps to analyse the preparation level. The past year papers are beneficial to study the paper pattern and difficulty level of questions.

Even if you have strong control over English, this section should not be taken lightly. This section tests your ability to think critically rather than your level of english. So, in this section, command over english is no guarantee of scoring well.

Focus on clearing your mind of the cobwebs, inducing clarity in your thinking, and you should be well on the road to success!

The sureshot way to attain this success is to attempt as many mock tests for CAT. As an aspirant, you might consider giving exams of other B-Schools as well. Though their syllabus is almost the same, the pattern of the actual exam is different.

So, we've created a different mock test series for all these exams. Check out the links below to access the mock test series for the respective exams:

SNAP Mock Test Series

XAT Mock Test Series

NMAT Mock Test Series

IIFT Mock Test Series

You can check out SNAP, NMAT, and XAT syllabus through these links. And to know more about the CAT VARC section, go through the frequently asked questions in the Verbal Aptitude course.

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