Mostly, exams are divided into sections or parts. Similarly, the common admission test has 3 sections. There has been an evolution in the no. of sections. Currently, there are only 3 parts to the exam. Firstly, there’s a VARC section. Secondly, there’s a DILR section. Lastly, there’s a QA section. All three sections are imp for CAT. You can score well when you study for all three subjects. VARC stands for verbal ability & reading comprehension. The verbal ability test is a tricky part. Hence, we must analyze verbal ability and comprehension questions. Moreover, we will also note some tips for reading comprehension. A quick analysis of the questions will boost your final score.
Reading Comprehension for CAT
This is the first section of the CAT exam. It may contain 4-5 passages. Moreover, each passage may have 4-5 questions. Hence, you need to solve questions under the passage. But firstly, you must learn reading comprehension. A comprehension is basically a passage. The paragraph may be in the form of a short story. However, sometimes, it might be a collection of sentences. Hence, it won’t always make sense. What’s imp is reading comprehension questions. Usually, the text is complex. You need great practice to be able to solve verbal ability test questions. Today, we will learn how to read comprehension questions. But before you start reading anything, you must keep a time track.
There’s a time limit of 60 mins for this section Moreover, the questions are in MCQ form. However, there may be few non MCQ type questions as well. But, the main focus is on MCQ-type questions only. Besides this, there’s negative marking for incorrect answers. You stand to lose 1 mark for each incorrect answer. However, for every correct answer, you can 3 marks. Hence, the main focus must be on the gain of marks. Moreover, if you are unable to answer a question, you can skip it. This will help you to save yourself from negative marks. Remember that skipping reading comprehension questions won’t attract negative marks. Moreover, there’s no negative marking for non MCQ type questions.
Verbal ability and reading comprehension topics
- Reading comprehension.
- Grammar and English Usage.
- Fill in the Blanks.
- Analogies and Reverse Analogies.
- Verbal Reasoning.
- Summary Questions.
- Correction in a sentence.
- Usage match.
- Facts inferences judgements.
- Jumbled para.
- Close passage.
How to read comprehension questions
There’s a clock ticking in the timer section. This timer tracks the time left for your exam. As we know, there are only 60 mins or 1 hour for each section. Hence, time management is needed. Over the years, reading comprehension has been a difficult section for candidates. It’s more tricky and confusing as compared to other sections. The passages are lengthy. Moreover, reading them once might not be helpful. Sometimes, you even have to read the comprehension more than 2-3 times. This may consume a lot of time. The VARC section has two types of questions. Firstly, there’s a reading comprehension section. Here, you have to read and answer comprehension questions.
In the year 2020 slot one, there were 3 passages with 4 questions. However, one passage had 5 questions. Hence, there were a total of 4 comprehension questions. There were 8 Verbal ability test questions in 2020. Check the CAT 2020 updates here: Read More.
The difficulty level of verbal ability test & comprehension questions
This is a lengthy section. Moreover, it takes time for reading comprehension. It takes more time as compared to other sections. Moreover, the difficulty level of VARC questions is moderate to high. Here, you will need rigorous preparation for solving comprehension questions. The passages are complex. Moreover, 4-5 questions under each passage get difficult to solve. However, you can tackle this with practice. Topics like RC, grammar, correction, etc. Moreover, topics like FIB, jumbled para, summary are pretty manageable. You will master the art only when you practice for all topics. There’s no such topic as an imp or less imp. The verbal ability questions are mixed. Hence, you can expect questions from any topic in any year. Candidates must use various sources to prepare for a variety of questions in the VARC section. Further, let’s look at some tips to solve verbal ability and reading comprehension questions.
Tips to solve verbal ability & comprehension questions
- Practice reading comprehension questions daily. Firstly, read the passage once. Then, try reading questions one by one. Further, try to answer the questions w.r.t the passage. However, if you face difficulties, do not hesitate to re-read the passage. Understand the context of the passage. Hence, try to reach the closest possible answer to your reading comprehension questions.
- Verbal Ability questions are diverse. They mostly test your grammatical knowledge. Moreover, all topics other than comprehension are included in the verbal ability test section. Further, comprehension questions are tricky. Hence, there’s a chance of losing marks. Or if you skip the question you might not gain anything at all. But, that’s not the case with verbal ability questions. The questions although moderately tough, can be easily solved. If you’ve practiced well, you must not face any challenge here. Do not lose your marks in the easiest topics.
- Do not skip topics from the syllabus. Verbal questions are short, unlike comprehension questions. Hence, you can finish this part of the test in less time. However, candidates take verbal ability questions lightly. Hence, you might lose marks if you skip or take a topic for granted.
- Read a variety of comprehension questions. This will enhance your verbal ability. Moreover, you will get comfortable with seeing and decoding lengthy texts. Hence, it won’t be difficult to process in the final test.
- Solve as many mock tests as possible, VARC section can be a game-changer for you. Usually around questions worth 100 marks can be expected. Although tricky, it’s a scoring section. Hence, make the most out of it. Revise your basics. Start with the fundamentals. Hence, re-visit your school section comprehension and verbal ability questions too.
Use previous year’s question papers as reference material. Here you can find the type of questions you can expect in your paper. Moreover, you can use sample papers as a reference too. Further, there are many static books available to practice VARC questions, you can use them as well.
Ideally, you must not take more than 2-3 mins for reading comprehension questions. However, you must make sure that you understand the passage in one read. Moreover, you can solve the following questions in 4-5 mins. Hence, you can give each question a min to answer.
Usually, there are 30 to 34 questions. Each right answer gets 3 marks. However, you lose one mark on marking an incorrect answer. But, if you choose to skip the question, you stand to not gain or lose anything.
This depends upon your grasping speed. If you’re a literature person, then the VARC section might be a cakewalk for you. But if you’re not a literary person, it will take time and practice. An average student can start preparing in 3 months. Each section can be allotted 3 months of preparation. Hence, you will complete the entire syllabus in 9 months. Moreover, you can revise before the test to be extra prepared about your final performance.
Editor’s Note | Reading Comprehension
Here we will conclude the topic. Let’s summarize. Firstly, we saw what’s the verbal ability and reading comprehension for CAT. Then, we noted down the topics in the VARC section. Secondly, we talked about how to read comprehension passages and answer the questions. Moreover, we talked about the difficulty level of VARC questions. Lastly, we saw some tips for solving these questions. The section is tricky. Hence, a lot of candidates lose marks here. However, with the right prep, you can definitely polish your skills in this section. Moreover, you must use sample and mock tests for practice. You must include a variety of comprehensions in your reading. This will prepare you for tough passages.
Although this topic looks easy. But it’s definitely confusing. However, verbal ability questions aren’t that difficult. One can easily solve them if well-practiced. Hence, you can score in the verbal ability test easily than the comprehension part. Make a schedule. Manage your section-wise time. Moreover, give more time to the RC questions. Clear your fundamentals. Then, move ahead to the intermediate level of questions. The level of questions in the CAT exam is moderate. Although you must prepare yourself for the tough questions as well. When you solve papers, try to evaluate them. Keep the negative marking in mind and solve your mock tests. Try to gain as many marks as possible.