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CAT VARC Syllabus 2023: Download PDF, Important Topics

Tiyasa Khanra
Tiyasa KhanraUpdated On: November 26, 2023 08:29 am IST | CAT
CAT VARC section assesses a candidate's command of English Grammar, Vocabulary, Verbal Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. Here’s the detailed CAT VARC syllabus 2023 for MBA aspirants!
CAT VARC Syllabus 2023

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023: The VARC section of the CAT syllabus 2023 comprises of two parts i.e. Reading Comprehension & Verbal Ability. It is one of the most challenging yet high-scoring sections of the CAT 2023 as it commands the highest sectional weightage. The Reading Comprehension Section accounts for 24% while the Verbal Ability Section accounts for 10% of the overall question paper.

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The CAT VARC syllabus includes Inferential Logical Reasoning, Para Jumbles, Summary, Contextual Usage, Idioms, One Word Substitution, Misfit/Out of Context Sentence/Odd One Out, Paragraph Completion, and Reading Comprehension on Current Affairs, Science, History, Geography, Economics, Humanities, etc.

The Verbal Ability part of the CAT VARC section tests a candidate's ability to form sentences correctly, identify errors in a sentence, identify the odd one out, find a pattern in the jumbled words, write a cohesive summary of the passage, and more. On the other hand, the Reading Comprehension part assesses an individual's ability to read the given passage, identify the main idea, and understand the meaning of the words.

Students aiming for admission into IIMs and other top MBA colleges in India should be well-versed with the CAT VARC syllabus provided in this article.

Also Read:

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Important Topics

The first exam section, the VARC section, has a time limit of 40 minutes. About 70% of the section's overall score is attributed to the Reading Comprehension component, making it the most important. The topics that are included in the CAT VARC syllabus 2023 are listed below:

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 for Verbal Reasoning 

English Usage or Grammar (tenses, subject-verb agreement, articles, and prepositions)

Vocabulary Based (Synonyms/ Antonyms)

Fill in the blanks

Sentence Correction

Cloze Passage

Jumbled Paragraph

Meaning-Usage Match

Analogies or Reverse Analogies

Summary Questions

Verbal Reasoning


Reading Comprehension

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 for Reading Comprehension

Current affairs making impact on Social Life

International Affairs

Govt policies and Schemes for example Clean India Mission, Triple Talaq, Migration of people from one country to another, Growing Intolerance across the Globe

Business & Economic RC Passages for example Global economic changes, economic development at the cost of environment, Impact of Demonetization in India, Wasteful expenditure by Governments

Also Read: Importance of Vedic Math in CAT 2023

Section-wise CAT VARC Syllabus 2023

In recent years, the CAT VARC syllabus 2023 has mostly concentrated on the following categories of questions:

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Topic

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Description

Verbal Ability
  • Sentence Correction: identification and correction of grammatical errors in sentences
  • Para-Jumbles: rearrangement of jumbled sentences to form a coherent paragraph
  • Para-Summary: summarization of a given paragraph or identifyng the best summary from the options provided
  • Fill in the Blanks: selection of the most appropriate word or phrase to complete a sentence
  • Word Usage: vocabulary, synonyms, antonyms, and word meanings are the primary topics

Summary Questions

  • 80 to 100-word short passage with 4 options.

  • The goal is to identify the most appropriate summary of the passage.

  • Candidates are required to identify the answers that do not stand in contradiction with the passage.

  • The correct answer will surface if you can rule out the other options.

Jumbled Paragraph Questions

  • Since they are frequently TITA, there is no room for error.

  • There are typically 4-5 sentences given out of sequence in these types of questions.

  • Collectively, they make up a paragraph, and the candidate must choose which sequence works best for the group of sentences. 

  • Identifying the opening and closing sentences of the paragraph is the first step for each candidate in a way that the first sentence introduces the topic and the last sentence renders some sort of judgement or conclusion.

  • The first sentence should then be followed by the second sentence, and so on.

Odd Sentence in Paragraph Jumbles

  • It has also been a TITA question for the previous three to four years, just like questions with jumbled paragraphs.

  • Finding the sentence that does not reflect the theme developed in the previous sentences is the primary goal.

  • Depending on how they are presented, these questions could be simple or challenging.

  • In simple questions, the sentence will discuss a subject entirely unrelated to the passage's main theme.

  • The sentence in challenging questions will be on the same subject as the rest of the passage, but it will vary slightly in respect of the viewpoint being conveyed or the theme being established.

Reading Comprehension

  • Questions based on exam passages make up the Reading Comprehension section of the test.
  • Literature, science, history, philosophy, social issues, economics, etc. are the primary topics for RC.
  • Candidates will also find questions related to the main idea, inferences, author's tone, purpose, vocabulary, and critical reasoning.
  • Comprehensive understanding of the passage is required to answer questions and make logical inferences.
  • Fact-based, inference-based, and vocabulary-based questions comprise the majority of the questions. 

  • The fact-based questions demand answers based on the facts given in the passage, as the name implies. They are typically the section's simplest questions.

  • The questions that need inference are a little difficult because the candidate must determine the author's tone and theme prior to providing an answer.

Critical Reasoning
  • Statement-Assumption: Identifying valid and invalid assumptions in the statements provided.
  • Statement-Inference: Drawing logical inferences based on the statements provided.
  • Statement-Conclusion: Identifying conclusions that can be logically drawn from the statements provided.

Also Read:CAT 2023 Preparation Tips for Working Professionals

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Exam Pattern & Marking Scheme

The exam pattern for the CAT VARC section has been provided below.

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Particulars 

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Details

Total Number of Questions


Maximum Marks


Time Allotted

40 minutes

Type of Questions

  • Multiple choice Questions(MCQs)
  • Type in the Answer (TITA)
Difficulty LevelModerately high

Marking scheme

  • +3 for every correct answer
  • -1 for every incorrect answer
  • TITA has no negative marking

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023: Expected Weightage of Questions

Check the weightage of VARC in the previous year CAT exams.

Sub Topic

Weightage in 2022 

Weightage in 2021 

Number of Questions


Number of Questions


Verbal Ability





Reading Comprehension





The highest weightage is given to Reading Comprehension in each slot.

CAT VARC Syllabus Slot 1 Expected Weightage

TopicNumber of QuestionsDifficulty LevelGood Attempts
Reading Comprehension16 (4+4+4+4)Moderate to Difficult11-12
Odd-Sentence Out2Easy to Moderate1-2
Para jumbles3Moderate1-2

CAT VARC Syllabus Slot 2 Expected Weightage

TopicNumber of QuestionsDifficulty LevelGood Attempts
Reading Comprehension16 (4+4+4+4)Moderate to Difficult10-11
Para jumbles3Moderate to Difficult1-2
Odd-Sentence Out2Moderate1-2

CAT VARC Syllabus Slot 3 Expected Weightage

TopicNo. of QuestionsDifficulty LevelGood Attempt
Reading Comprehension16 (4+4+4+4)Moderate to Difficult12-13
Parajumbles3Easy to Moderate2-3
Odd-Sentence Out2Easy to Moderate1-2

Best Books to Prepare for the VARC Section of CAT 2023

To excel in the CAT 2023 exam, candidates must be aware of the best books for CAT. For a list of recommended readings for the CAT 2023 VARC syllabus, see the table provided below.

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Name of the Books


Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Nishit Sinha

This book includes updated VARC topics and exercises, five mock tests, more than 2,000 solved questions, and updated CAT question papers from the last 7 years.

High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin

It is the finest book to study English grammar and usage. To establish a solid foundation in both spoken and written English at the school level, this book is recommended.

Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

This book is the best resource for building vocabulary. It is simple to use and includes word usage, pronunciation, and contextual explanations.

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

One of the most comprehensive books for VARC preparation, it includes principles, explanations, suggestions, exercises, and sample questions. The four sections are RC, VA, VR, and sample papers.

30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster

With its simple exercises and self-assessments, this book is an excellent resource for improving word power and usage as well as enhancing pronunciation.

CAT 2023 DILR and Quant Syllabus

Click on the links provided in the table below to know the syllabus for CAT DILR and Quant.

CAT 2023 DILR Syllabus

CAT 2023 Quantitative Aptitude Syllabus

CAT VARC Syllabus 2023 Preparation: Download CAT VARC Previous Year Question Papers

It would be possible for MBA candidates planning to appear for the CAT 2023 exam to evaluate their current level of preparation by downloading the PDFs of previous years' CAT question papers. The PDFs of the CAT previous year question papers and solutions are available below:

Previous Year CAT Question Papers

CAT Previous Year Question Papers Download Link

CAT 2022 Question Paper Slot 1

Download Here

CAT 2022 Question Paper Slot 2

Download Here

CAT 2022 Question Paper Slot 3

Download Here

CAT 2021 Question Paper Slot 1 

Download Here

CAT 2021 Question Paper Slot 2

Download Here

CAT 2021 Question Paper Slot 3

Download Here

CAT 2020 Question Paper Slot 1 

Download Here

CAT 2020 Question Paper Slot 2

Download Here

CAT 2020 Question Paper Slot 3

Download Here

CAT 2019 Question Paper PDF

Download Here

Download CAT 2018 Question Paper PDF

Download Slot 1 Here
Download Slot 2 Here

CAT 2017 Question Paper PDF

Download Slot 1 Here
Download Slot 2 Here

Also Read: CAT Question Papers (2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017)

Preparation Tips for CAT VARC Syllabus 2023

Candidates can benefit greatly from the strategic planning for CAT VARC syllabus. Given that the topics are broad and include a diverse range of subjects, it is advised that students break up large topics into manageable portions of subtopics and prepare using several strategies for each topic.

  • Read a lot of magazines, newspapers, and books. Read tonnes of editorials to enhance your critical thinking skills.

  • To improve your speed, practise CAT 2023 exams using sample papers.

  • If you encounter a challenging word, look it up in the dictionary to understand how to use it.

  • Continue tracking and making brief notes about the things read.

  • Crossword puzzles and word games should be solved.

  • Divide your day into manageable portions and learn effective time management.

  • Solve a significant number of CAT 2023 mock tests, CAT 2023 Sample Papers, and CAT Previous Year Question Papers.​​

The only way to improve your English grammar is through practice. Candidates must recognize and start learning each subject's fundamental concepts. With practice, it will assist you in developing your skill, accuracy, and agility. Every grammar principle and comprehension idea will become clearer. Prior to taking the real RC section on exam day, practice a lot of RC passages. Candidates must also make an effort to complete as many sample papers and mock tests as possible. Find the main subject or idea of the passage. After completing the curriculum, set aside time each day to practice your grammar and comprehension. You will be equipped with the skills to respond to any question on the CAT 2023 exam day.

The CAT registration 2023 commenced on August 2, 2023, and continued September 21, 2023. Candidates should check out the articles mentioned below to know more about CAT 2023!

Related Links:

How to Prepare for CAT VARC

Know How VARC is Evaluated in CAT

CAT 2023 Study Plan for Students in Final Year of Graduation

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA)

If you still have doubts regarding the CAT VARC syllabus, you can ask your questions in the Collegedekho QnA zone. You can also fill out our Common Application Form or call on our toll-free number 1800-572-9877 for free admission counseling. 


What are the important topics under CAT VARC syllabus 2023?

The important topics under CAT VARC syllabus 2023 will be defined individually for the section's Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension parts. In the Verbal Reasoning part, some of the important topics include English Grammar, Summary Questions, Jumbled Paragraphs, etc, while the topics on current affairs, international affairs, government policies etc, will be the important topics for reading comprehension.

What are the topics for CAT 2023 VARC Verbal Reasoning?

When preparing for the CAT 2023 VARC Verbal Reasoning section, it is important to practice sample questions on Facts-Inferences-Judgements, Summary Questions, Analogies, Cloze Passage, Grammar, Sentence Correction, Fill in the blanks, Synonyms and Antonyms, Verbal Reasoning and Jumbled Paragraphs among others. To get a good score in the CAT 2023 VARC section, it is recommended to practice these topics properly.

What are the best books for CAT VARC syllabus 2023?

There are several books and guides that are considered the best books for CAT VARC syllabus 2023. These books include Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Nishit Sinha, High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin, How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay, Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis, and much more.

How do I answer the summary questions under the CAT VARC syllabus 2023?

When attempting the summary question type in CAT VARC syllabus 2023, candidates must first understand that the goal of the question is to identify the most appropriate summary for the given passage. After reading the 80-100 word passage, candidates must select the answer that is the least contradictory to the given passage.

What is the best way to prepare for CAT VARC syllabus 2023?

There are several different ways to prepare for CAT VARC syllabus 2023, however, there are certain that should be kept in mind when preparing for the test. Among them include reading newspapers, books and magazines, attempting several practice tests, crossword puzzles and word games, better time management skills for effective learning and much more.

How do I attempt the reading comprehension section of the CAT VARC syllabus 2023?

To attempt the reading comprehension section of the CAT VARC syllabus 2023, candidates must thoroughly read the passages in the section as the questions will be based on the passages given in the section. Therefore, this section is the simplest of all the sections since candidates will only need to weed out the facts from the different passages and answer the questions directly.

What topics come under the reading comprehension section of the CAT VARC syllabus 2023?

Some of the popular topics that come under the reading comprehension section of the CAT VARC syllabus 2023 include topics such as Current Affairs impacting social life, international affairs, global economic changes, Indian Government Policies and Schemes, and other real-life business and socio-economic changes and policies that affect the day-to-day operations of the world.

How do you score a 99 percentile in CAT 2023 VARC?

To score a 99 percentile in CAT 2023 VARC, candidates will have to answer as many questions correctly as possible. However, out of the 24 questions in the section, candidates should correctly attempt 18 questions or secure a 41+ score in the VARC section. Thus, it is important to answer as many questions correctly since wrong answers will lead to a deduction of 1 mark from the section total.

Why is CAT VARC syllabus 2023 considered difficult?

The difficulty level of the CAT VARC syllabus 2023 will be subjective to each test-taker, however, some may find it difficult due to the length of the section and the time constraints. Moreover, the answers to some questions may seem obvious but turn out to be otherwise, causing much confusion among students, and subsequently costing them valuable time.

What is the CAT VARC syllabus 2023?

The CAT VARC syllabus 2023 would include a multitude of topics making up the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. While the VA part of the section would include passages and grammar elements that test the language proficiency and communication skills of a candidate, the Reading Comprehension will include topics highlighting current and international affairs and how candidates can comprehend the topics.

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