How to Prepare for CAT VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension) - Expert Advice, Tips

Pratyush Roy
Pratyush RoyPublished On: November 25, 2020

Know the tactics, methods and tips to crack the VARC portion of CAT examination. Learn what the toppers have to say and prepare accordingly by reading newspapers, magazines and books.

CAT VARC Paper Cracking Techniques

The CAT VARC (Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension) preparation requires the candidate to develop the skills of English language efficiently. How to Prepare for CAT VARC is one of the most commonly asked questions by the candidates appearing for CAT. In this article, we will discuss the Preparation Strategies, Expert Advice, Tips for a sound preparation experience of CAT VARC examination. The CAT VARC examination will be conducted for 34 marks which will then be added with the total marks in the CAT examination.

The VARC part of CAT is often considered as the most scoring part of CAT. The part can bring the student an improved overall score if the candidate can develop a good verbal communication level in the English Language.

Quick Tips for CAT VARC Preparations

The strategical planning for CAT VARC can help the candidate a lot. It is suggested that the student divide a topic into small sections of sub-topics and prepare with different strategies for different topics as the topics are varied and deal with different spectrums of the subject.

  • Read many books, newspapers and magazines
  • Take up mock tests from sample papers and increase speed
  • Learn to address own mistake and learn how to rectify
  • If you come across a difficult word, know the meaning and usage from the dictionary
  • Keep tracking and taking brief notes from the materials studied
  • Develop critical thinking abilities by reading a lot of editorials
  • Avoid MCQs in preparation level
  • Solve puzzles like crosswords, word games
  • Segregate your day in portions and do efficient time management

Following is the question type and number awarded for each topic of CAT VARC

Also Read:CAT 2020 Exam Day Instructions - Check Rules, What to Carry, Other Guidelines

Exam Pattern of CAT VARC

Check the exam pattern of CAT VARC(Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension) section from the table provided below.

Exam Pattern of CAT VARC

CAT VARC Topics and Marks

Following are the two main areas of focus for CAT VARC examination which are Reading Comprehension and English Usage. The English Usage portion can be divided into 2 different sections:

Area

Topic

Number of Questions per topic

Reading Comprehension (16 total Questions)

4- 5 Reading Comprehension Passage

16

English Usage (18 total Questions)

Deductive Logics

4

Jumbled Paragraph

4

Critical Reasoning

4

Sentence Correction

3

Para Completion

3

Grammar

3

Also Read: Mock Test – The Right Strategy to Crack CAT 2020

How to Prepare for Reading Comprehension of CAT VARC

Reading comprehension has 16 marks in total. Only candidates who have practised reading a lot of English literature can attempt the Reading Comprehension test with ease.

The CAT topper of 2018, Rickshesh Manchanda said that he found this particular section very challenging. He added that taking several section tests will help cope with the section. Reading comprehension paper must receive most of the candidate’s focus. He said that since the last two years, the VARC section of CAT has been easy to attempt.

Also Read: Types of Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT 2020: Sectional Analysis and Tips

Another CAT Topper of 2019, Jagesh said regarding the Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VALR) section that he practised as many passages as possible. Reading newspaper and editorials can help one by increasing his/her reading speed. With these, solving passage questions are also very important.

Chhavi Gupta who is the topper of CAT 2017 and is now studying at IIM Ahmedabad said that selection of the questions were important to solve that portion. She allocated 5 to 7 minutes for selection of the questions and then started answering according to convenience. She answered a total of 24 questions in Reading Comprehension and spent around 45 minutes. In general, the accuracy in VARC questions was low, so for the rest of the VA questions (Fill in The Blanks and Jumbled sentences), she spent nearly 15 to 20 minutes.

Either factual or inferential question can make their appearance in Reading Comprehension from different areas of Interest. The candidate should have knowledge about those.

Also Read:What after CAT exam? Here's Important Things To Do

She informed that there were 5 passages which carried 4 questions each. This portion generally carries around 45 to 60 per cent of the marks of the total VA portion. In this portion, detailed knowledge of information and current affairs may be needed.

Another CAT topper in 2017 who is now admitted in IIM Bangalore, Soumyajit Ghosh said that reading newspapers, editorials, magazines and novels are important for cacking the VA portion. Ghosh informed that fluency is important in the Reading Comprehension portion. He used to read passages of different lengths for preparation.

Avinash Iyer of IIT Bombay who is among one of the CAT 2017 toppers with 99.61 percentile in the first attempt said that he first solved the Reading Comprehension portion of VARC as it is highly time-consuming. And then solved fill in the blanks and jumbled paragraphs.

A CAT 2017 topper Ankit Gupta who got through IIM Calcutta said that one can simply develop an idea to crack the reading comprehension portion. He says that it is important to read and prepare from comprehensions from the field of science, literature, art etc. Googling and reading online journals also helps.

How to Prepare for Vocabulary Questions of CAT VARC

This portion consists of questions which contain antonym, synonyms, sentence construction, analogies etc which are more technical in approach. The candidates who have a strong grammatical and vocabulary base can only crack this portion very efficiently. It is required to have a thorough knowledge of words and the English language to crack this part.

The candidate who scored 100 percentile in CAT 2017, Mayank Raj says that VARC was his weak area. He started to read newspapers and magazines thoroughly to make that strong. This helps in increasing the reading speed by developing an understanding of vocabulary and usage of words in sentences. It is important to keep track of the new words one comes across.

Also Read:CAT Predicted Question Paper 2020 - Important Topics, Chapters, Analysis

CAT 2016 topper Nikhil Raj Singh Says that taking mock tests and then assessing the results works effectively for cracking this portion. He informed that it helped in creating a strategy by giving him an idea of his weak and strong portions.

How to Prepare for Deductive Logic and Para Jumbles of CAT VARC

This, being a non-logic based section, can be practised easily by playing puzzles and quizzes like crosswords as described by a CAT topper Rubel Bagde. He informed that it is useful as it builds the skill and ability to filter out the wrong answers from the correct ones.

How to Prepare for Sentence Correction of CAT VARC

These are the less time-consuming portions of CAT VARC. This section requires good knowledge of English Sentences which can be achieved by reading newspapers and magazines and practice to enhance the grammatical base. Students are advised to avoid guesswork in these questions and not to take a lot of time.

Also Read:CAT 2020 Mock Test: Importance of CAT Mock Test During Preparation

The students need not worry about cracking CAT VARC as this section generally has questions pertaining to current affairs and literature. To prepare well for this section, one doesn't need to do study rigorously as such but just read novels, books, newspaper and editorials.

CAT 2020 Preparation Strategy/ Tips

You can check these articles provide below to know preparation strategies and tips to prepare other sections of the CAT entrance exam. 

How to Prepare for CAT DI & LR (Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning) - Check Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

How to Prepare for CAT Quantitative Ability (QA) - Check Expert Advice, Tips and Tricks

How to Approach CAT 2020 Question Paper?

How to Prepare for CAT for Working Professionals - Check Study Plan & Time Table

CAT 2020 Study Plan for Students in Final Year of Graduation - Check When and How to Start CAT Preparation

Should I Quit My Job for CAT Preparation?

Best Books to Prepare for CAT VARC

Check the table provided below to know some best books for VARC section of CAT exam. 

Author

Book

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Arihant Publication

Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning

R.S. Aggarwal

Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT

Ajay Singh

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT

Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning

Nishit Sinha

Word Power made easy

Norman Lewis

Top Colleges Accepting CAT 2020 Scores

The table provided below contains some top MBA colleges accepting CAT scores. You can check the table provided below to know their average fee and location. 

College Name

Location

Fees

Amity University

Mumbai

INR 5,00,000

Doon Business School

Dehradun

INR 2,98,000

Faculty of Management Studies

Delhi

INR 21,000

GIET University

Gunupur

INR 80,000

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

New Delhi

INR 3,80,000

Indian Institute of Management

Ahmedabad

INR 20,00,000

Manav Rachna University

Faridabad

INR 2,98,000

Mansarovar Global University

Sehore

INR 1,00,000

Shailesh J Mehta School of Management

Mumbai

INR 4.56,000

University of Engineering & Management

Jaipur

INR 90,000

If you have any queries or doubts, please ask them on the CollegeDekho QnA Zone. For admissions-related assistance, fill our Common Application Form (CAF) or call 18005729877 to talk to our counsellor. 

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FAQs

What are the important topics of CAT VARC section?

Some of the important topics of CAT VARC section are Jumbled Paragraph, Sentence Correction, Deductive Logics, Reading Comprehension and Para Completion

What are the preparation tips for CAT VARC?

Candidates are advised to solve the maximum number of previous years’ questions papers and mock test papers of CAT. Besides this, they are also advised to learn at least 3-4 new words daily. This will help them in understanding reading comprehensions easily.

What is the importance of checking the exam pattern to prepare for CAT VARC?

The exam pattern of CAT allows the candidates to know the marking scheme as well as the sectional weightage of CAT exam. Candidates are advised to check the exam pattern of CAT to know how many questions will be asked in this section

What are the best books to prepare for CAT VARC?

Some of the best books to prepare for CAT VARC are Word Power made easy, Norman Lewis, Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT, Ajay Singh and The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning, Nishit Sinha

How to prepare for CAT VARC?

You are advised to read books, newspapers and magazines daily to improve your communication skills. Apart from this, you are advised to solve RCs on different topics so that you can get familiar with the structure of RCs.

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