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CAT Syllabus 2021: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Notes - CAT

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CAT Syllabus 2021

As a CAT 2021 aspirant, the first thing you need to do to prepare is to understand the CAT syllabus. Knowing the CAT syllabus 2021 is one thing, and understanding the contents of that syllabus is quite another. By the contents of the syllabus, we mean the individual topics and subtopics that fall in that syllabus.

We recommend you to understand the syllabus by getting into the details of the different topics and subtopics, by understanding the different types of questions that have come from those topics and subtopics, and by understanding their relevance in the context of the latest CAT exam pattern, you’ll be able to prepare well.

Before we go any further, we would like to let you know that there is no official syllabus of CAT. The syllabus that you see here and that you come across through other sources is just an accumulation of topics in the recent CAT papers.

To create a list of subjects, our experts at EduRev reviewed last year's papers and listed the topics that are important from the CAT exam’s perspective. For many years, the subjects and sub-topics have been quite consistent.

The CAT exam tests the aspirants’ aptitude in three areas

  • Quantitative Aptitude 
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension 
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

The syllabus for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is discussed below

CAT syllabus for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

The Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension syllabus comprises the following two broad areas: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension.

The VARC section of CAT previous year paper had the following sectional composition:
CAT Syllabus 2021: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Notes - CAT

The above table shows that the CAT VARC syllabus is simple and less extensive. But the CAT exam pattern keeps on changing, and so do the questions asked in the exam. If we consider the papers of the past fifteen years, we see that there are plenty of topics that have been in and out of the CAT VARC section.

Since the questions from these topics have not been consistently coming, it is difficult for us to say whether such types of questions will come again or not. Nevertheless, we recommend the students to be prepared with these topics to face any uncertainties on the day of the exam.

Here is the list of the topics that have come in the CAT exam or are still a part of the VARC section of the CAT exam.

1. Reading Comprehension

  • The reading comprehension section does not have any variety, except for the type of questions that come in the exam.
  • However, we have observed that CAT reading comprehension passages are plucked from a wide variety of sources.
  • The topics which usually come as comprehensions in the CAT examination are:
    (i) Science
    (ii) Business Management
    (iii) Technology
    (iv) Environmental Sciences
    (v) Politics and Social Sciences

2. Para jumbles

  • Since CAT 2015, the para jumbles with options have stopped coming. Now we have the para jumbles in the form of non-MCQ.
  • Though in the recent CAT papers, we haven’t seen the MCQ para jumbles, it is advisable for the student to practice questions in the MCQ form as well. You never know when the CAT might change its pattern again.

3. Spotting Errors

4. Completing statements

5. Sentence Correction

6. Sentence Formation

7. Sentence Improvement

8. Ordering of sentences

  • Though a recent addition to CAT verbal ability, odd sentence questions are relatively easier than the para jumbles, though both are based on a similar concept and have a similar approach. 
  • This is a high scoring area for an aspirant planning to maximise their score in the VARC section of CAT.

9. Synonyms

10. Antonyms

11. Selecting Words

12. English grammar & Grammar Tenses

  • These questions haven't been seen in CAT since 2014. 
  • In your mocks, at times, you might come across grammar questions that are in the form of MCQ. You are provided with the options you have to select the right answer. 
  • Grammar questions often feature in exams other than CAT.

13. Vocabulary

  • The last time we saw a vocabulary question in CAT was in 2014.  
  • Since these questions are quite common in exams other than CAT, the students are advised to get acquainted with these questions. 
  • Moreover, solving such questions will make your vocabulary better and, as a result, improve reading and comprehension as well.

14. Binary Logic

15. Analogies

16. Syllogism

  • Though found in some past year papers, these questions have completely stopped coming in CAT.
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