Prepare for VA Section of the CAT Exam
CAT — the key to a B-school admission , is indeed the key that can unlock many doors .To perform well in CAT exam and to come out with flying colors, it is of paramount importance that a candidate should perform well in all the sections. VA section is probably a section which engineers are most concerned about the most. In fact this is the only section which proves to be their nemesis .For this, a person who has a habit of reading and reads novels, newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, can have a cakewalk in this section with some practice.
VA in the cat exam is basically dominated by reading comprehension and critical reasoning question, which make up for around 50% of the entire paper. VA tests a candidates ability to understand
- The nuances of the written word
- Identify and differentiate the subtleties of meanings of words
- Correct syntax, structure and formation of sentences
- Identify the complex ideas presented in the paragraph and link it to the overall theme
Tips For VA Preparation in CAT
A candidate should have a proper strategy in place and most have done intensive practice in order to tackle this section. One must have a holistic approach overall and eclectic reading habits to maximize his score in this section.
Here are certain crucial tips which you can use for preparation about the same.
- Finish 1-2 novels per week: You should develop a love for reading and try to finish at least 1 novel per week. It will help you in increasing your reading speed. If you are not a habitual reader, initially you may find it a bit difficult to keep on concentrating for hours on a book. But you should never forget the greater goal in picture and gradually you will develop a love for reading and enjoy it.
- A newspaper daily. The first thing that a aspiring candidate needs to do early in the morning is to pick up a newspaper and go through it on a daily basis. Do not skip the editorial section in favor of the cartoon strip. Newspapers like Hindu and Economic times are highly recommended. It helps to stay aware about all the political, economic and business news and recent happenings round the globe .At the same time it helps you to develop your vocabulary. Keep a dictionary by your side while you are reading and keep marking and checking the words which you do not understand.
- A magazine a fortnight. The best magazine that we can recommend is – ‘The Economist’. It is by far the most suited magazine for CAT.
- Develop reasoning ability: CAT exam tests the reasoning ability of a candidate in all the sections. This is as true for the VA Section as it for DI & DS. One of the best ways to develop Reasoning Ability in the VA section is to read from a variety of sources and question oneself about the author’s motive behind writing the article/ chapter/ book. Dry and abstract topics, especially those related to philosophy, religion, spirituality, psychology etc are very useful in increasing your understanding of the written language
- For Vocabulary use Normal Lewis – For developing the vocabulary ability, it is highly imperative that the aspirant picks up the right book. The normal Barons word list would be beneficial too but this book takes vocabulary preparation to a whole new level by directly indulging you into the task and ensures that you keep on practicing while you go through the book. The word-list at the end of the book is pretty amazing and can be a great value addition in a candidates preparation.
- Make sure you make a habit of reading online: Since some students find it problematic to switch over from paper to online format.
- Practice is Key: Last but not the least; you should practice as much as you can. As the popular saying goes “practice makes a man perfect”. All the bookish knowledge you may have learnt are of no use unless and until you practice them on a regular basis. Keep on giving mock and sectional exams of English on a regular basis. More you practice , the better you become and the closer you reach towards your ultimate destination of getting a premier B-School.