Meenakshi Upadhyay, is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, and a best selling Author with McGraw Hill for books on Verbal Ability for Aptitude exams like CAT, CSAT, XAT, IIFT, PO, UGC NET etc. She has been actively involved in teaching for the last 15 years.
A Communications Skills expert (trained under the famous Sabira Merchant), Meenakshi has provided training in famous corporate houses and anchored many shows both on the Television as well as live shows. She instills in her students the confidence to gain command over the language and become effective in all spheres of life be it aptitude or speaking .
Team MBA Rendezvous met Ms. Meenakshi Upadhyay, Chief Knowledge Officer and Academic Head at Mindworkzz to discuss various nitty gritties of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension. Here are the excerpts :
Ms. Meenakshi Upadhyay - Students usually avoid this, as they feel that vocabulary is a big burden. They don’t want to do it. They feel that synonyms and antonyms are not asked in the CAT exam, but this is not just about CAT. Students give a whole bunch of exams such as SNAP, XAT, MAT, IFT and so on. In all these, vocabulary based questions, such as synonyms, antonyms, odd word out, analogies, fill in the blanks and so on, form a major part. Vocabulary also plays an important role in Reading Comprehension.
There are a few things that one can do to improve one’s vocabulary. Firstly, learning through root words. For instance, the word ‘cide’, which means ‘to kill’ can help you identify the meaning of words with ‘cide’ such as suicide, matricide, regicide and so on, ‘patri’, which means father is another root through which you can unlock the meanings of words such as patriarchy, patriarchal, patricide and so on. Secondly, learning through synonyms and antonyms, through which one can learn similar and opposite words. For instance, laugh, giggle, guffaw are all similar to smile with slight variations in meanings. Thirdly, start noting the words you come across while reading anything in a diary/register and keep revising these words. These activities, when clubbed together, can really enhance your vocabulary.
Ms. Meenakshi Upadhyay - The para jumbles have become omnipresent in the CAT exam. They have been figuring in all exams. They have become important, especially in the last two years. In 2015 and 2016, CAT gave para jumbles without options, which made them all the more difficult, as aspirants did not have options to choose from. The best way to solve them, now, is through the clues in the paragraph itself. Treat it like a jigsaw puzzle. The more relationships you can decode within the paragraphs, the more chances you have of solving the paragraph. For instance, the word ‘but’ reflects transition from positive to negative. Extensive reading prepares you to understand various kind of writing styles.
Ms. Meenakshi Upadhyay - Comprehension, too, has become an integral part of the exam. CAT, since the last two years has increased the weightage of Reading Comprehension. There is no shortcut to preparing for this. The aspirants must expose themselves to different kinds of writing and understanding the author’s point of view. There are some tricks too, such as, when you look at the question, try to identify what the question is asking you and then check the answers to select the best answer matching your answer. Decoding the passage becomes very crucial. It’s a good idea to first read the questions and then read the passage.
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