Advice to Aspirants - CAT : Verbal CAT Notes | EduRev

CAT : Advice to Aspirants - CAT : Verbal CAT Notes | EduRev

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Advice to Aspirants: (CAT)

CAT exam is one of the most popular MBA entrance exams in the country. The full form of CAT is the Common Admission Test and it is a computer-based entrance exam for MBA/PGDM admissions at 20 IIMs and 1000+ B-Schools in India. IIM CAT is conducted by one IIM in rotation every year. 

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension: This section is all about comprehension and deduction. It was the most taxing section of the 3 last year. In the VARC section, critical reasoning becomes important as several questions test an aspirant’s ability to make a reasoned conclusion based on the facts and assumptions given. The process begins by understanding the needs of the question, critically analysing the information provided in the question, weeding out the information that is not essential and processing the relevant information. This also includes unravelling the hidden assumptions in the question, all of which will help you unlock the answer.

But before going any further, let’s understand:
(a) Why do we need to study VARC?
(b) The type of questions that come in CAT.

Why do we need to study VARC?

Critical thinking can occur whenever one judges, decides, or solves a problem; in general, whenever one must figure out what to believe or what to do, and do so in a reasonable and reflective way. In CAT examination, VARC questions are important as they test the candidate’s ability to think in a rational manner. In the exam you generally face a hypothetical situation and the critical reasoning tests you on how well you understand what you are reading. The strength of your logical powers is tested through these questions. 

Brief about topics covered for Preparation
The syllabus can be broadly divided into:

  • Jumbled Paragraphs
  • Summary Questions
  • Odd sentences in Paragraph Jumbles
  • Reading Comprehension

For its preparation, you need to do the following:

  • More than the meaning of words you need to know the context where they can be used.
  • Focus on your reading skills.
  • For vocabulary one should refer to Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis,
  • Read editorial sections from newspapers like The Indian Express and Mint for RC practice. Try to summarize the article in a line, this will help you in questions.

Let's try one of the questions which have been asked in the CAT 2020 exam: 

Ques: 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 in\xef\xac\x82uenced by heredity and difcult 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 heritability of a trait in humans, who, unlike plants or animals, are not conceived and bred under controlled conditions.

A. Biologists have questioned the long-standing view that ‘intelligence’ is a single entity and the attempts to estimate it's heritability.
B. Biologists have questioned the view that ‘intelligence’ is a single entity and the ways in which what is inherited.
C. Biologists have criticised that conventional wisdom that individuals are born with more or less intelligence potential.
D. Biologists have started questioning psychologists' view of 'intelligence' as a measurable immutable characteristic of an individual.
Ans: A
Explanation: The last line of the paragraph states the main idea: Biologists ask if speaking of a single entity called “intelligence” is coherent and question the validity of measures used to estimate heritability of a trait in humans. Option A rephrases this.

The second half of option B is incorrect. The paragraph says biologists question the validity of measures used to estimate heritability, not the ways in which intelligence is inherited. Options C is not as comprehensive as A. Option D is incorrect as it says intelligence is 'immutable' while the paragraph only says it is difficult to alter.

Type of Questions that come in CAT:

  • Some questions include:
    (i) Strengthen or Weaken the Conclusion
    (ii) Identify the assumption
    (iii) Conclusion/ Inference
    (iv) Resolve the Paradox
    (v) Complete the argument
  • Over the past 3 to 4 years, the Verbal Ability section in CAT syllabus has focused mainly on 3 types of questions:
    (i) Jumbled Paragraphs
    (ii) Summary Questions
    (iii) Odd sentences in Paragraph Jumbles
  • Reading Comprehension (RC) consists of questions based on the passages. Questions are mostly of 3 types: Inference-based, Fact-based, and Vocabulary-based.
  • Fact-based questions demand answers based on the facts mentioned in the paragraph. 
  • Assumption-based questions are a bit tricky because the candidates must reduce the tone and theme of the writer before answering these questions.
  • For RC questions, the focus can be on eliminating the wrong options rather than selecting the right one.

Weightage of VARC:

  • There is a 40 minutes time limit for each section. Each correct answer is awarded 3 marks and each wrong answer carries a penalty of -1 mark. For non-MCQs there is no negative marking. 
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension- RC to have 70% weightage in the VARC section, 24 questions from 5-6 sets.

Structure of this subject on EduRev:

EduRev Videos
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We provide videos that explain basic concepts of every topic, tell you how to solve questions and also some trick videos to help you solve questions quickly.
Advice to Aspirants - CAT : Verbal CAT Notes | EduRev

Subject verb Agreement

EduRev Notes
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Advice to Aspirants - CAT : Verbal CAT Notes | EduRev

We provide notes for every topic which contain theory, solved examples and intext questions with proper explanation.
Advice to Aspirants - CAT : Verbal CAT Notes | EduRev

EduRev Tests
We have made quick tests along with the detailed notes and video lectures to help you revise the topic just after you've studied it. These tests help you check your knowledge instantly and are a great self-improvement/instant feedback tool.
Advice to Aspirants - CAT : Verbal CAT Notes | EduRev

Other Features

  • Analysis of what you have learnt
  • Detailed solutions for each question
  • Nationwide rankings
  • Mock Tests
  • Previous Year Papers

Advice to Aspirants - CAT : Verbal CAT Notes | EduRev

Some tips that will help the candidates to score well in CAT 2021 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section:

  • Read more and more newspapers and novels daily
  • Solve previous year papers of CAT to get a gist to types of questions (Add link to previous year questions). You can also solve previous year papers as tests here (add link). 
  • Take mock tests on a regular basis to gauge the preparation level (Add link to mock tests)
  • CAT is a timed test – So make sure that you solve questions quickly. Here is a link for shortcut and trick videos (Add link to videos).

Which books to read?

  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension: 
    (i) Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay - How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT,
    (ii) Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis,
    (iii) Wren & Martin - High School English Grammar and Composition,
    (iv) Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Nishit Sinha

FAQs

Ques. What is verbal ability and reading comprehension in CAT?
Ans. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension are part of every competitive exam. Verbal Ability tests your vocabulary and sentence-formation abilities. Reading Comprehension involves the interpretation of sentences and finding answers to questions that are asked from passages.

Ques. How do you score a 99 percentile in VARC?
Ans. To score a 99 percentile in VARC, you must consistently read on various topics like Current Affairs, Literature, Philosophy, and Politics; memorize grammatical rules; and get a rich vocabulary.

Ques. What is the most important topic in VARC?
Ans. The most important part in VARC is the Reading Comprehension (RC) because about 70% of the questions in VARC come from it

Ques. What are the best books to prepare for CAT VARC?
Ans. The best books to prepare for CAT VARC are -
‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis
‘Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT’ by Ajay Singh
‘How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

Ques. Is ‘Word Power Made Easy’ good for VARC?
Ans. Yes, ‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis is good for VARC. It can greatly help in improving your vocabulary

Ques. How to prepare for Verbal Ability?
Ans. Read well-articulated content regularly to grasp good grammar and vocabulary. This will help you prepare for Verbal Ability

Ques. What are the most important topics for Verbal Ability?
Ans. The most important topics for verbal ability are - Jumbled Paragraphs, Summary/Inference of Short Paragraph, and Picking the Odd Sentence in a Jumbled Paragraph

Ques. How many questions should I attempt to get 95+ percentile in VARC?
Ans. To get 95+ percentile in VARC, you must attempt 23 - 25 questions with 90% accuracy

Ques. Where can I find the best VARC preparation resources online?
Ans. The best online resources for VARC preparation can be found from the websites of newspapers like The Hindu and The Guardian

Ques. What are the most important topics for Verbal Ability?
Ans. The most important topics for verbal ability are - Jumbled Paragraphs, Summary/Inference of Short Paragraph, and Picking the Odd Sentence in a Jumbled Paragraph. 

Ques. What are the expected topics for Reading Comprehension?
Ans. The expected topics for Reading Comprehension are - Literature, Current Affairs, Politics, History, Business, Economy, Geography, and Abstract topics.

Ques. How many questions should I attempt to get 95+ percentile in VARC?
Ans. To get 95+ percentile in VARC, you must attempt 23 - 25 questions with 90% accuracy

Ques. Where can I find the best VARC preparation resources online?
Ans. The best online resources for VARC preparation can be found from the websites of newspapers like The Hindu and The Guardian

You can visit the official CAT website to know more about CAT.

Here are a few Questions from recent exam to help you understand the type of questions asked during the exam:

Ques 1: Five jumbled up sentences, related to a topic, are given below. Four of them can be put together to form a coherent paragraph. Identify the odd one out and key in the number of the sentence as your answer:
A. The victim’s trauma after assault rarely gets the attention that we lavish on the moment of damage that divided the survivor from a less encumbered past.
B. One thing we often do with narratives of sexual assault is sort their respective parties into different temporalities: it seems we are interested in perpetrators’ futures and victims’ pasts.
C. One result is that we don’t have much of a vocabulary for what happens in a victim’s life after the painful past has been excavated, even when our shared language gestures toward the future, as the term “survivor” does.
D. Even the most charitable questions asked about the victims seem to focus on the past, in pursuit of understanding or of corroboration of painful details.
E. As more and more stories of sexual assault have been made public in the last two years, the genre of their telling has exploded --- crimes have a tendency to become not just stories but genres.(CAT 2020)
Ans: D
Explanation: EBCA is a sequence: E talks about the new genre of stories of sexual assault. B adds to this, stating that the telling focuses on the perpetrators’ futures and victims’ pasts. C states the result of this: the lack of vocabulary for what happens in the victim's future. Sentence A adds to C.

Option D is about "questions asked about victims", a related but slightly different idea.

Ques 2: The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.(CAT 2020)

For years, movies and television series like Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) paint an unrealistic picture of the “science of voices.” In the 1994 movie Clear and Present Danger an expert listens to a brief recorded utterance and declares that the speaker is “Cuban, aged 35 to 45, educated in the […] eastern United States.” The recording is then fed to a supercomputer that matches the voice to that of a suspect, concluding that the probability of correct identification is 90%. This sequence sums up a good number of misimpressions about forensic phonetics, which have led to errors in real-life justice. Indeed, that movie scene exemplifies the so-called “CSI effect”—the phenomenon in which judges hold unrealistic expectations of the capabilities of forensic science.

A. Voice recognition has started to feature prominently in crime-scene intelligence investigations because of movies and television series.

B. Voice recognition as used in many movies to identify criminals has been used to identify criminals in real life also.

C. Although voice recognition is often presented as evidence in legal cases, its scientific basis can be shaky.

D. Movies and televisions have led to the belief that the use of forensic phonetics in legal investigations is robust and fool proof.
Ans: D
Explanation: The fundamental idea of the paragraph is conveyed in the last sentence: "Indeed, that movie scene exemplifies the so-called “CSI effect”—the phenomenon in which judges hold unrealistic expectations of the capabilities of forensic science." Option D rephrases this. Also note that all other options are specific to voice recognition. The paragraph is more general and talks of forensic science.

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