CAT / #Verbal Ability

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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Verbal Ability Section - Analysis of the past trends

 Verbal Ability Section - Analysis of the past trends
The Verbal Ability Section of CAT 2013 will give you an opportunity to score high percentile in this particular section. However, preparation matters a lot if you wish to score high in this section. The Verbal Ability part tests your grasp on English language, and your ability to understand written words in the Reading Comprehension section.
Let’s have a look at the analysis of the past trends this section:
The verbal ability section used to have high weight in paper based test of CAT till 2008. Since 2009, when the Common Admission Test turned computer based, the two sections, i.e. Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation and Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning started getting equal weightage. The cutoff of the VA section is gaining momentum as this section went through various changes over the past few years.
The number of Verbal Ability questions which were 25 out of 75 questions in 2007, increased to 40 out of 90 questions in 2008 increasing the percentage and making CAT a little moderate but still tough enough. It has been since 2009 that the Verbal Ability questions have remained at 20 out of 60 and have become moderately tough to attempt.
Therefore, we can analyze that number of questions, although, in comparison to previous CAT exams  have been reduced but the ratio of the same has increased.
Reading comprehension passages which used to be of 1200 or more words each, have been reduced to around 700-800 words, but the difficulty level has increased. While Comprehension passages, correction of errors, word usage form very important part of CAT, one or other items like Para Jumbles, last sentence of the para, Verbal Reasoning, Facts Inference & Judgment etc. may or may not be there in the examination. 
The table below will through some light on the ongoing trend in CAT examination over a period of last few years.


No. of Questions

No. of VA Questions

Difficulty Level






Reading Comprehension, Para jumbles, Grammar, Sentence Completion, Vocabulary etc.





RC- 4 passages, each question with five close choices,
Grammar, Sentence Completion, Para jumbles, Phrases etc.





RC-4 passages (20 questions), Fill in the blanks, Sentence Correction, Vocabulary, Grammar etc.





Sentence Rearrangement, Grammar, Comprehension, Correction of Errors, Sentence Completion, English Usage, Vocabulary




Moderate to Difficult

RC, Grammar, Para jumbles, Sentence Correction & Completion, Vocabulary etc.




Moderate to difficult

Jumbled sentences, error correction, Vocabulary, RC, grammar etc.

The next table here is to show you the weightage put on the different topics mentioned in the above table, which has been observed.

Topics of Verbal Ability

Weight in Percent

Sentence correction/fill in the blanks

12 to 15%



Correct usage/Vocabulary


Para jumbles/last sentence of paragraph


Reading comprehension


As we can analyze from the above table, Reading Comprehension, followed by the English Usage comprises the largest part of the Verbal Ability Section. Hence your initial preparation should start with these areas, to be followed by the rest. In the computer based CAT, the length of the Reading Comprehension articles have reduced as well. From the erstwhile passages, which were of usual 1200 words, the passages have now been reduced to 700 to 800 words but the difficulty level regarding vocabs used in the passage, the formation of sentence in the passage and topic of the passage has gone to quite a level.
Now that the countdown has started for CAT 2013, you need not get nervous. The best way to prepare for Verbal Ability is to read a lot it will not only help you in the Reading Comprehension or Vocabulary but for the other topics as well. 
The best way to start the preparation is by taking mock tests as generally the level of grammar and English is what you have already studied in your school days. So, once you have attempted a mock test, you know where you stand and the preparation task gets easier for you as now you know which areas to focus more. This is applicable for all the sections, as well as the overall preparation for CAT 2013. 
Stay informed , Stay ahead and Stay inspired with MBA Rendezvous

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