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CAT Preparation Tips for Verbal Ability – Part 4

With the dates for CAT 2012 declared, the heat has been turned up on the CAT students. With less than 3 months to go for the exam, it is imperative that those serious about making it through to the IIMs change gears on their preparation. Some students would be wondering if they really have it in them to make it through the CAT exam, after the initial set of Mocks that they have taken. But, if one can identify the weak areas and put in focused effort to improve upon them, the CAT will be a much tamer animal than it would appear to be otherwise.. Let us look at each of the areas in CAT and discuss how one can improve on them in the coming one month. CAT scores will be used for initial screening of the candidates.

Verbal Ability:

Reading Comprehension: CAT has traditionally been an RC centric paper, for English. The number of passages varies from 3 to 4 with three to four questions per passage. A few critical factors in RC preparation:

1) Reading on diverse topics

2) Target all direct questions followed by partially inferential questions.

3) During the Test : Ideally not more than 10 mins are to be spent per passage and it is to be ensured that all passages are looked at.

4) Verbal Ability: This includes grammar and word based questions. For grammar, ensure you practice on the rules of Grammar using your study material or any book like Wren & Martin. For word based questions spend 30 mins everyday on going through a list of most commonly misused words like homophones etc. The root-prefix-suffix method for word learning can help solve fill in the blanks questions in CAT.

5) Verbal Reasoning: This includes Para Jumbles and Para completion questions and Critical Reasoning Questions of the kind which appear in GMAT. Following are a few approaches to answer these questions:

- Identify the introductory statement (this statement would tell us what the paragraph is all about)

- Then identify links that would connect the two sentences. These are called connectives. These connectives can be conjunctions (but, and) or can be content connectives like cause–effect, generic to specific etc.

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