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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VA – Trend of 9 years & analysis

Updated : Tuesday, 03 May, 2016 04:44 PM

In CAT 2016 VRC will be a separate section and will comprise of 34 questions with stipulated time of 60 minutes. This reflects that verbal ability will be more examined hence; candidates need to understand the past trends also which might be very helpful to ace VRC in CAT 2016

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 in 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.

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The table below will through some light on the ongoing trend in CAT examination over a period of past 9 years.

Year No. of Questions No. of VA Questions Difficulty Level  Topics
2006 75 25 Difficult Reading Comprehension, Para jumbles, Grammar, Sentence Completion, Vocabulary etc.
2007 75 25 Difficult RC- 4 passages, each question with five close choices,
Grammar, Sentence Completion, Para jumbles, Phrases etc.
2008 90 40 Difficult RC-4 passages (20 questions), Fill in the blanks, Sentence Correction, Vocabulary, Grammar etc.
2009 60 20 Moderate Sentence Rearrangement, Grammar, Comprehension, Correction of Errors, Sentence Completion, English Usage, Vocabulary
2010 60 20 Moderate to Difficult RC, Grammar, Para jumbles, Sentence Correction & Completion, Vocabulary etc.
2011 60 20 Moderate to Difficult Jumbled Sentences, Error Correction, Vocabulary, RC, Grammar etc.
2012 50 22 Moderate to difficult Grammar, English Vocabulary, Jumbled Sentences, Error Correction etc
2013 50 23 Difficult Grammar, English Vocabulary, Jumbled Sentences, Error Correction etc
2014 50 25 Difficult Grammar, English Vocabulary, Jumbled Sentences, Error Correction 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%
Grammar/phrases 5-8%
Correct usage/Vocabulary 10-15%
Para jumbles/last sentence of paragraph 15-20%
Reading comprehension 35-45%

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 2016, 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.

In CAT 2016, a separate devoted section on VRC will be a differentiator and you need to practice a lot to ace VRC.

Stay informed, Stay ahead and stay inspired with MBA Rendezvous

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