Verbal Ability Strategy for new CAT 2015 pattern

New CAT 2015 pattern – changes in Verbal section… cutoffs syllabus and more…
Verbal Ability Strategy workshop video for new CAT 2015 pattern

Verbal Ability section in Common Admission Test

Verbal Ability Strategy for  CAT 2015

Verbal Ability Strategy for CAT 2015

Verbal Ability section in Common Admission Test (CAT) until 2013 excluding Verbal Ability had to be divided in 4 parts to smoothed the line of preparation with clear study goals. Each part in Verbal Ability could be prepared separately to bell the CAT in the respective exam. But since 2014 when CAT changed its pattern and increased the number of questions in Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VALR) section from 30 to 50 but from 20 to 34 only in Verbal Ability, this division has become more complicated as the type and number of questions in each of these parts has also changed.

Prof S K Agarwal, Expert on Verbal Ability and mentor on CAT 2015 preparation shares below the key topics and strategy leading to perfect preparation for verbal ability section.

Missing question topics on VA in CAT 2015:

34 questions in Verbal Ability with reduced average time limit to answer the questions has resulted in changed pattern.

Missing: 6 questions on Vocabulary

The array of questions on beautifully used vocabulary words- the synonyms or antonyms of which you had to find; finding out the appropriate of the 2 words used in a sentence; correct or incorrect use of phrasal verb; making a good choice of words to fill in the blanks in a sentence which were sure something CAT aspirants despite fearing about the correct choice were also looking for, in the examination hall may be missing in CAT 2015.

Missing: 2 questions on Last sentence of Para

Questions on ‘Completion of paragraph’; ‘Last sentence of paragraph’ may no longer be found in CAT 2015.Since CAT 2014 these questions have disappeared from the CAT exam. Obviously questions from other topics have increased which emphasizes the need for better preparation.

What and how to prepare Verbal for CAT 2015

The core of the problem according to Prof K S Agarwal while treading the path of strong preparation is how to begin and what to study. There is no fixed and predefined syllabus for CAT 2015 and in next 4-5 months if you get lost in the jungle of topics while preparing for Verbal Ability, you may end up with lot of wasted time and learned nothing.

Before beginning your hard core preparation of Verbal Ability for CAT 2015, it will be better to divide it in 5 modules (Till 2013 only 4 modules of preparation could suffice for Verbal Ability). Let us understand the weighting of each of them and its preparation strategy.

Module-1: Correction of Different Errors

Till 2013 the contribution of questions on error correction in Verbal Ability section of CAT was 5-7% as not more than 2 questions out of 30 questions in this section appeared. Since CAT 2014 the role of questions on error correction in usage of Grammar, tenses, subject-verb agreement has increased. Now out of 50 questions in general and 34 questions in particular related to only VA section, you may find 6-7 questions contributing about 15% of the total weight-age to this section.

What to study

There is ample time, if you are seriously interested to score high in CAT 2015 in Verbal Ability section. The strategy should be to begin with parts of speech in grammar. Topics like use of Articles, Nouns, Personal & Relative pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, subject verb agreement, active-passive, Reported speech, modifiers, use of conditions, using parts of sentences, tenses and confusing words should be well prepared.

After completing each sub part of the topic, practice exercises should be attempted. Mistakes should be analysed and then more exercises should be attempted. After sufficient exercises are attempted, analysed and new questions attempted, you may move on to other topic in the similar manner.

Module-2: Jumbled paragraphs

You can expect 2-3 questions on random jumbled sentences and 2-3 questions on ‘Out of context’ sentence to be picked out of jumbled sentences. The total weighting will be around 10 to 15% in Verbal Ability section in CAT 2015.

While the random jumbled sentences are to be placed in coherent order, the other type would ask you to pick the ‘Out of context sentence’ from a jumbled paragraph.

The strategy to prepare for Para Jumble is to understand the connectors and pronouns used in the sentences. At some places, pronoun is used in place of noun. Find out the noun. The pronoun in the para is used in place of noun, therefore the sentence with the pronoun will come after the sentence where the relevant noun has been used. It will require more and more practice to gain expertise in solving them.

Module-3:  Para summary

Since CAT 2014 this new question type has made its appearance in Verbal Ability section. There could be 3-4 questions contributing 8-10% weighting to Verbal Ability in CAT 2015.

The question is based on a small text. CAT 2015 aspirant is supposed to go through the text, form the summary of the text and pick out the most appropriate option that best describes the summary of the text.

If a candidate develops good reading habit, read the editorials and other literary articles regularly, answering the question may not be difficult.

Module-4: RC passages


Questions on Reading Comprehension passages have the maximum weighting of 40-45% in Verbal Ability section. You may find 4 Reading Comprehension passages followed by 4 questions on each passage in CAT 2015. Total questions based on RC would be 16 in CAT 2015.

The type of questions would also have a changed pattern and the regular questions like main idea of the passage; tone of the author may not be present in CAT 2015. Instead, you may find questions on statements made in the passage; true false; assumptions and other critical reasoning type based on Reading Comprehension passages. Passages are not expected to be very long. One passage is expected to contain around 700-800 words.


The strategy to prepare RC

You need to go for speedy and accurate reading practice and improve it further every time you read a passage without breaking its thread. Lot of study material and practice material on Reading Comprehension is available on-line as well as off-line.

Before going for practice the questions on Reading comprehension, you should read regularly the newspaper editorials, more articles on contemporary problems, articles on business and economics and see whether you have understood the passage well, whether you are able to answer each and every question on it. This exercise needs to be repeated consistently. Frame in your mind, whatever questions come to you and try to answer them.

Attempt mock tests on RC passages twice a week and see what mistakes you committed. Improve them and move on with the focus to reduce your time taken on reading and answering the questions on RC passage.

Module-5: FIJ

New type of questions has been added since CAT 2014 on Facts, Inference and Judgement.

There are expected to be 3-4 questions contributing a weighting of 10-12% based on 4 sequentially ordered statements. Each statement can be classified as Fact, Inference or Judgment. The question is followed by 4 options and the most appropriate option that describes the sequence of these statements is to be picked out.

The practice questions can be found in the critical and logical reasoning practice exercises. You have to differentiate and click the right answer option whether the statement is a fact or an inference or a judgement.

You can get it by practice. If you practice a few exercises daily, you will begin enjoying these questions and would be able to crack the question without much difficulty.

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