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The Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section in CAT 2021 could be one of your most scoring section and in turn a percentile booster. Going by past year trends (CAT’15, CAT’16 and CAT’17), the internal breakup of the VARC section is as follows:

VARC Sections

No. of Expected Questions

Odd Sentence Out




Reading Comprehension




To help you crack VARC, let us answer 3 questions – WHY, HOW & WHAT – which will help you build a plan of action.

WHY is VARC Scoring?

VARC in CAT 2018

  1. 71% questions in this section are from the RC passages which mean the answers to the questions being asked are right in front of you. So, keep your eyes open and try to score well.
  2. Around 12% questions are Para-jumbles which are non-MCQs which have no negative marking. This makes them score boosters.
  3. The remaining 18% questions are Odd sentence Out and Summary types questions which again test your comprehension skills and could be a mix of MCQs or non-MCQs. Thus you get a fair chance to score well.

HOW Can You Make VARC Scoring?

The answer is simple: Read! Read! Read!

Having a regular reading habit will help and this means reading apart from text books. Also every time you read try to understand and comprehend what the author or writer is trying to convey. This will help in solving questions in the VARC section better.

Reading the following things will help:

  1. Leisure Reading: Whenever you take a break from your text books, read a novel or a book (paperback or electronic) from an author you like or develop liking. That will be a stress buster along with an activity that enhances your reading speed and comprehension skills.
  2. Newspaper Reading: It is highly advisable you read the Editorial section (and not only the Page 3) of newspapers like The Hindu and The Indian Express (paperback or online). It not only helps your reading speed but you get a chance to build an opinion on what is being talked about. Also it keeps you up-to date of what is happening in an around the world
  3. Magazine Reading: Subscribing good magazines like Competition Success Review, The Economist and Frontline is a great way to enhance your reading, comprehension and vocabulary skills.
  4. CAT Mock/Previous Year Exams: Reading through the RC passages of the past 10 years and solving them is a great way to build up reading and preparing for the VARC section.

WHAT to Keep in Mind while Preparing for VARC?

  1. Read in a flow or in one go to build up your reading speed.
  2. Gauge key words when you read a passage.
  3. Always make reference to context.
  4. When you are stuck with the meaning of a particular word, try to find its contextual meaning and verify the meaning after you have finished reading.
  5. Read in electronic mode so that you get used to the whole idea of reading from a screen.

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