CAT 2021 Preparation: VARC Strategy, Tips for CAT Exam
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  • Written By Team_Embibe
  • Last Modified 01-12-2021
  • Written By Team_Embibe
  • Last Modified 01-12-2021

CAT 2021 Preparation: How To Score In VARC Section

CAT 2021 Preparation How To Score In VARC: VARC is a section that gives nightmares to many aspirants. To ace the Verbal ability section & reading comprehension, the candidate must commence the preparation well in advance by developing these reading habits and English comprehension skills. VARC is the first section of the CAT exam. When preparing for the reading comprehension section, students must face one problem i.e. to decide which should be unable to decode the reading comprehension section easily. As CAT 2021 exam is around the corner. IIM Ahmedabad has scheduled the CAT exam 2021 for November 28, 2021. CAT section is divided into three segments. To prepare for this section of CAT 2021, the candidate must make a plan of reading newspapers and novels for about one hour. Verbal ability and reading comprehension is the section that scares a lot of candidates.

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section is mainly designed to check the English skills of an individual. This section has a weightage of 34% in the CAT exam. The verbal ability for CAT questions is based on the English language, Grammar, Vocabulary, correct understanding of paragraphs among other key topics. For scoring adequate marks in the VARC section, applicants need to understand the exam strategy. Continue reading this article to find all the important things about CAT preparation for VARC sections. Read this article for knowing about the tips to prepare for the VARC section.

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CAT 2021 Preparation: How To Score In VARC?

Before getting on to know how to prepare for CAT VARC, let us check out the details on Verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC) section covered in CAT 2021 paper:

  1. Number of MCQs: This section will include a total of 24 multiple-choice questions and TITA Questions: In the VARC section, 10 questions will be of the TITA category. 
  2. Total Questions: Total number of questions asked from the Verbal ability, and reading comprehension (VARC) section will be 34 questions. 
  3. Marking Scheme: As per the marking scheme followed by CAT 2021 exam conducting body, the applicants will be awarded three marks for every correct answer, and there will be a negative marking of -1 mark for every wrong answer attempted by the applicants. 
  4. Mode of Exam: CAT 2021 is conducted in online mode only. There is no option to solve the paper in offline mode. 
  5. Time Duration: For the general category candidates, the total time limit is 60 minutes to complete the section of VARC in CAT 2021 exam. For the applicants belonging to the PwD category, the authorities have provided a double duration to solve the paper. 
  6. Difficulty Level: The overall difficulty level of the VARC section in the CAT 2021 paper will be moderate to difficult. 

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CAT Preparation Tips For VARC: Types of Questions 

The verbal ability and reading comprehension section includes the following questions: 

  1. Verbal Reasoning
  2. Verbal Logic
  3. Syllogisms
  4. Reading Comprehension
  5. Para Jumbles
  6. Para Completion and Inference
  7. Grammar
  8. Fill in the blanks
  9. Analogies
  10. Antonyms
  11. Contextual Usage
  12. Different usage of the same word
  13. Jumbled Paragraphs
  14. Sentence Corrections
  15. Idioms
  16. Foreign language words used in English

 How To Prepare For CAT VARC? Cutoff Score

As per CAT last year question paper, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section were a little tricky. Find below the required cut-off score to clear the CAT 2021 paper:

Cutoff for VARC Section  

Category20182019
Percentile Cutoff97–9998 – 99
Raw Score100 – 110160 – 165

CAT 2021 Preparation Tips: Percentile Analysis

Let’s understand how many reasonable attempts are needed to score 97-98 percentile in the table given below:

Number of Good Attempts for VARC Section

YearNumber of Good Attempts
201727-29
201622-24
201527-30

Syllabus Sectional Division

Before preparing for CAT 2021 Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) part, applicants must check out the topics-wise weightage and difficulty level of the questions from each topic of this section. As the exam conducting body has changed the syllabus of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC). The topics in this section are mainly based on English language, Vocabulary, and Grammar. Find below the topics covered in the Verbal ability and reading comprehension section: 

  1. Verbal Ability Section: This section covers a maximum of 10 objective questions. The difficulty level of all the questions covered in this section is moderate. 
  2. Para jumble sentences: This section includes four sentences in jumbled form, out of which one sentence will be easy, one difficult, and last one medium. 
  3. Summary Questions: This category includes a total of three questions – one difficult, one easy, and one medium. 
  4. Out of Context Sentences: This category includes a total of three questions, one difficult and two medium-level multiple-choice questions. 
  5. Reading Comprehension Section: This section covers a total of 24 questions. Find below the topics covered in this section and their weightage in CAT 2020 question paper. 
  6. Topophilia: This category includes a total of five tough multiple-choice questions. 
  7. British folk music: The five questions from this category are of medium to difficult level. 
  8. Internet Shopping and choice anxiety: This category includes five multiple-choice questions of medium difficulty level. 
  9. Emperor Penguin: The questions covered in this category are easy as compared to others. The total number of MCQ asked from this category are four.
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How To Prepare For Verbal Ability?

Verbal ability is an important part of CAT preparation for the VARC section. Verbal ability comprises of questions across multiple types i.e. para jumbles, identifying the sentence which does not form a part of the coherent paragraph, summary-based questions. These questions are high-scoring and easy to solve but require good speed and learning skills. The candidate must follow the below preparation tips for verbal ability.

  • Reading is essential: Reading is one of the most important way to improve the vocabulary. Aspirants must read from different genres and step out of the comfort zone. Vocabulary based questions of CAT exam can range from Sentence completion and synonyms, antonyms, analogies etc. These questions require combination of vocabulary knowledge etc. Vocabulary knowledge is not merely knowing what a word means but understanding what contexts the word fits into.
  • Each day learn a new word: Develop a habit of learning a new word each day from text you read. There are different applications which helps in learning about various words and brings its usage in the sentence.
  • Reading comprehension: Assess the current reading by noting the time you take to read the passage. To know about the capability pick the passage from magazine book, newspaper or novel etc in understanding a few days. Candidate must focus on improving the vocabulary by creating flashcard of words you were not able to relate to.

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CAT 2021: Tips To Prepare For VARC Section

Follow the tips given below to crack the paper of CAT 2021 Verbal Ability section:

 1: Go through the complete syllabus 

Applicants must check out the complete syllabus before starting the preparation of the CAT 2021 VARC section. The syllabus indicates the length of the subject. CAT  aspirants can download the official syllabus from the official website of Common Admission Test. The latest syllabus will include all the highlights of the subject and a brief detail about every topic.

2: Buy the best books for CAT VARC

There are many books available in the market for the verbal ability and reading comprehension section. Applicants should not waste time on different books for this section; they should only go for the books recommended by experts for this section. 

3: Check out the strategy followed by past year’s CAT toppers.

Reading the strategy followed by the past year, toppers will make you understand how to solve the section of Verbal Ability and reading comprehension. Some toppers also mention short tricks to solve this section. The preparation strategy followed by the toppers is more reliable as they have been there done that.

4: Prepare a time table 

To complete the preparation of the VARC section, the applicants should prepare a timetable in which they must schedule all the activities related to exam preparation. They must divide the time as per the weightage and difficulty level of the sections covered in the CAT 2021 question paper. 

5: Download the study material available online by the experts

There is various kind of study material available online for the applicants preparing for CAT 2021. They can just download the study material in PDF format and start preparing for the verbal ability and reading comprehension section for CAT 2021. 

6: Take regular CAT mock tests 

To test the exam preparation level, applicants must solve the mock test papers regularly. Solving the mock test papers helps the applicants to check their preparation level and improve on the weak areas. Mock test papers also teach how to manage and divide time during the exam. Applicants get familiar with the question paper pattern of CAT 2021 by solving the mock test papers regularly. 

7: Coaching Classes for difficult sections

Candidates also have the option to have coaching classes for the difficult sections covered in the CAT 2021 paper. The coaching classes help to bring clarity for the concepts and give proper guidance to the applicants to prepare for the exam.

8: Solve previous year questions

After completing the course, the applicants should try to solve the previous year’s questions. This will make them understand the CAT 2021 paper difficulty level and the applicants will get the idea about the question paper strategy. 

9: Clear the basic concepts of English grammar 

To solve the section of verbal ability and reading comprehension, the applicants must have English grammar concepts clarity. The applicants with the knowledge of English grammar rules can easily solve the questions from this section.

10: Polish your Vocabulary

This can be done easily by noting down new words daily. Having a good vocabulary will help the applicants to solve the section of verbal ability and reading comprehension easily. To increase the vocabulary, the applicants should read books and English newspapers.

11: Improve your reading speed

The applicants should focus on improving their reading speed for the VARC section. To solve the reading comprehension section, the applicants must have a good reading speed to complete their exams within the given time frame. The reading speed can be enhanced by using a pen while reading the passage. 

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CAT 2021 Preparation Books For VARC Section

Before buying any book for CAT 2021 VARC section preparation, applicants must check out the books recommended by the experts to prepare for CAT. The list of suggested books for verbal ability and reading comprehension section for CAT 2021 is given below:

  1. How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Meenakshi Upadhyay and Arun Sharma 
  2. Wiley’s Exam Xpert Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Captain AK Kalia
  3. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Pearson by Trishna Knowledge Systems
  4. Word Power made easy by Norman Lewis 
  5. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT Pearson by Nishit K. Sinha (Author)
  6. Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT by Ajay Singh

Topper’s Recommendations To Score Good Marks In VARC

Every topper has a different story to score good marks in VARC, the tips recommended by the toppers to clear the verbal ability and logical reasoning section are given below: 

How to score in VARC? CAT Topper Akhil Garg, Recommendation 

Akhil Garg cleared the CAT exam in 2016 with 99. 73% and got admission in IIM Ahmedabad. As per his approach to crack the VARC section, the applicants should read novels, watch English movies, and TV series. He said he used to note down new words every day after reading the English newspapers to increase his vocabulary. 

Tips to prepare for VARC Section: CAT Topper Rohan Joshi, Recommendation 

Rohan Joshi has cracked the CAT paper with 99. 63% marks in 2017. As per his opinion, the verbal ability and reading comprehension section of CAT 2021 was the most challenging section among all three sections of the CAT question paper. He has scored 96.40 percentile in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section. He has studied regularly to clear this section for CAT 2021. 

How to prepare for CAT VARC? Sai Praneeth Reddy, Recommendation 

Sai Praneeth Reddy has scored 100% marks in CAT 2017. He has become the inspiration for many applicants preparing for CAT 2021. His opinion about the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension preparation was that this section needs hard work. He suggests solving the mock test papers regularly for the VARC section. Reading the English newspapers and English novels helped him periodically to enhance his vocabulary and improve English reading and understanding skills. 

How to score in VARC? Gyayak Jain, Recommendation 

Gyayak Jain has also scored 100% marks in CAT 2016; he has got admission to IIM Ahmedabad after clearing CAT. To crack the VARC section of CAT 2021, he solved the model test papers regularly. As per his opinion, the applicants should practice continuously with the VARC questions; it helps them to learn from the mistakes. Solving the problems increases the paper solving and analysis ability of the applicants.  

 Tips to prepare for VARC section: Rachit Gupta, Recommendation 

Rachit Gupta was the topper of the CAT 2016 attempt. He has scored 99.83% marks in verbal ability and reading comprehension section. He has got admission to IIM Lucknow after clearing the CAT paper. As per his opinion, the applicants must refer to the quick notes offered by the coaching institutes and practice regularly with the online test series. Rachit said that he was very weak in verbal ability and reading comprehension, but the quick notes helped him to understand the concepts of this section.

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General Tips For Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Some of the general tips that you should follow while preparing for VARC section includes:

  • Candidate must read comprehension is doing 2 RCs daily.
  • Candidate must attempt mock tests and papers and also that you need not do all yhe questions but should only mark answers you are confident about. This is a major problem encountered by most students.
  • Read the questions speedly and don’t try to attempt all the questions in RC rather even if you attempt 3-4 questions, it would be more than enough than losing marks.
  • Develop a healthy reading habit, take out 30 minutes daily for reading novel.
  • There has been a shift from questions that focus on just grammar or vocabulary to ones that require reading large amount of data, processing it and answering the same.
  • Most important difference between VARC and out sections of CAT is that this section is not finding the right answers but rather finding the wrong ones and eliminating them.

FAQs On CAT 2021 Preparation Tips

Below are the frequently asked questions on CAT 2021 Tips to prepare for VARC Section:

Question 1: How many questions are there in the CAT 2021 paper from the verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC) section? 

Answer: In the verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC) section of the CAT 2021 paper, the total number of questions are 34 out of which 24 questions are multiple-choice questions and ten questions from the TITA category.

Question 2: What time duration will be allotted to solve the section of verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC) is CAT 2021?

Answer: To solve the section of verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC) in CAT 2021, the total duration will be of 40 minutes for the general category candidates. For the applicants belonging to the PwD category, the total time limit will be 120 minutes.

Question 3: What is the marking scheme for the Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension section (VARC) for CAT 2021?

Answer: For CAT 2021, the marking scheme for the Verbal Ability and Reading comprehension section (VARC) is 3 marks for every correct answer, and -1 mark for every wrong answer.

Question 4: What study material I can refer to for self-study to prepare for the VARC section of the CAT 2021 paper?

Answer: To prepare for the VARC section of the CAT 2020 paper, the students can refer to the VARC quick notes, VARC books, VARC mock test series, and coaching class notes for VARC. 

Question 5: Which type of questions are faced by CAT aspirants in Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section?

Answer: The questions from the verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC) sections are based on English grammar and vocabulary.

Now that you have detailed CAT 2021 Preparation Tips, we hope you prepare well for the exam. In order to pump up your preparation further, we recommend you take regular mock tests and solve previous year papers. As the exam sections of CAT is similar to that of banking exams, you can also take Bank Mock Tests on Embibe and check your preparation level.

Stay tuned to embibe.com for the latest news and updates on CAT 2021 preparation and how to score in VARC. 

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