CAT Verbal Ability

The Verbal section in the CAT is as important as the quants section, as it carries equal amount of marks. Verbal ability and reasoning questions account for half of the verbal section. A typical section of verbal is for 50 marks and it comprises two sub-sections, the verbal and reasoning section and the Reading Comprehension section. Verbal ability questions carry about 25 marks and reading comprehension questions for another 25 marks approximately.

In CAT 2004 there were 0.5, 1 and 2 mark questions in the verbal section and in year 2005 there were 1 mark and 2 marks questions in this section. In the year 2006 & 2007 the test had 25 questions in the verbal ability section with each question carrying 4 marks. Of these 12 to 15 questions were reading comprehension questions and the remaining questions were reasoning questions.

Generally asked questions in the verbal section are,
1. Vocabulary Based
Most questions would be directly or indirectly based on synonyms and antonyms. Vocabulary building is very important in the CAT verbal test. Everybody needs to have a strong memory equipped with a couple of thousands of words with their meanings to tackle this section. Since this cannot be learnt in a few weeks, applicants must start vocab-building in the beginning of their preparation stage itself and give it at least two to three months of preparation.

2. English Usage and Grammar
Sentence correction and Grammar based questions appear in various combinations in the CAT verbal section. Questions where one wrong sentence out of four should be spotted or a part of the sentence that is wrong is underlined and the students have to choose the correct answer from four different choices are the most popular in this section. In one CAT examination, questions on grammar appeared with a twist. A set of 4 sentences were given and the students had to find out how many out of the 4 sentences were grammatically correct. A good understanding of the basic concepts of English grammar along with adequate exposure on exercises on the different types questions that commonly appear in the CAT exam will help. Taking a diagnostic test before one starts preparation and regular sample tests later on will be a good and effective way of preparation.

3. Verbal Reasoning
The verbal reasoning section has evolved over the years. It has changed from the simple rearrangement of sentences in a paragraph to the complicated critical reasoning that is similar to the one tested in the GMAT. The critical reasoning questions require some intense concentration coupled with comprehending the question almost perfectly. This will give the best performance of the students in this section. However, the critical reasoning section is known for its difficulty and hence the students who really want to succeed in it should practice it well, with the help of sample questions and previous years’ GMAT papers.