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Verbal Ability – 3 areas to work on

By   /   September 2, 2013  /   No Comments

Verbal Ability can be improved by the CAT and MBA aspirants by keeping the following in mind. The verbal ability section of CAT comprises of 30 questions which include:

  1. Reading Comprehension: 10-11 questions
  2. Logical Reasoning: 9-10 questions
  3. Other Verbal ability questions: 10-11 questions. The questions in this category test Grammar, Vocabulary, Verbal reasoning.
Verbal Ability

Verbal Ability

Grammar questions in the verbal ability section generally require you to identify the mistakes in a sentence or parts of sentences and correct the sentences. To crack these questions, you require a sound knowledge of English grammar and usage. Vocabulary is mainly tested through sentence completion questions and questions that will require you to find incorrect usage of a word in the verbal ability section.

For example: Choose the option corresponding to the sentence in which the usage of the word is incorrect or inappropriate.

Run                                                                                                                                       (CAT 2008)

(1) I must run fast to catch up with him.

(2) Our team scored a goal against the run of play.

(3) You can’t run over him like that.

(4) The newly released book is enjoying a popular run.

(5) This film is a run-of-the-mill production.

The questions testing grammar and vocabulary are quite straight forward. You either know the answers to these questions the instant you finish reading the question or you don’t. Being strong in this section enables you to score quickly while saving a lot of time which could be used for time consuming reading comprehension and logical reasoning questions.

The Verbal Reasoning questions of the verbal ability section could take multiple forms such as Parajumbles (rearranging sentences of a paragraph), Paragraph Completion, Sentence Elimination, Critical Reasoning and Fact Inference Judgement.

Reading Comprehension forms about 35-40% of the verbal ability section and therefore, more attention and detailing is called for in this section. There are various strategies for tackling RCs.

  • The passage first, then the questions approach.
    •  Read the entire passage and then attempt the questions
    • Skim and scan through the passage and attempt some question and then come back to the passage and keep doing the same
    • Read 2 paragraphs and attempt the questions pertaining to those paragraphs, then read the next 2 paragraphs and attempt the questions pertaining to those 2 paragraphs and keep doing the same.
    • The questions first, then the passage approach
      • Read all questions with options carefully and then read the passage all at once to find the answers
      • Read the first question and then passage to find its answer, then read the second question and look for its answer in the passage, keep doing the same for all questions.

Identify the strategy you are most comfortable with and thereafter, use this strategy in every reading comprehension passage that you attempt. This will help you increase your speed and further, boost your confidence!

Good Books for Verbal Ability Section 

  • Career Launcher and TIME English Section Preparation Material.
  • Normal Lewis for Vocabulary.
  • General quality reading material – like HBR BlogEconomist etc.
  • Arun Sharma’s Verbal Ability material
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