The computer-based, online Common Admission Test (CAT) “creates” a different set of questions for each candidate. Despite there being intrinsic scope for variation in this process, the CAT has attained a great degree of standardization in test difficulty and style. The Verbal Ability portion in the CAT consists of Reading Comprehension, Paragraph Completion, Grammar, Usage of words, and Para Jumble questions. The CAT Verbal Ability is designed to assess the test taker’s skills in understanding and applying the given information. To handle this segment successfully, one needs to be well-read and also familiar with different writing styles. Herein follows a discussion on various aspects of preparation for the Verbal Ability part in the CAT. Alongside, we will offer tips to help you enhance your score in this segment.
Eclectic reading on different genres makes eminent sense. Red good books on psychology, business, economy, science, philosophy, biographies, art, and literature etc. Try to start with small books to finish them fast and get self-confidence in the process. The beginners may start with a novel but, in general, one should skip fiction as fiction books yield little at the end.
Read the printed stuff between the lines i.e. read for hidden assumptions, inferences, and arguments. Stop to think about what you read to absorb the author’s ideas. Online reading practice can do a world of good, given the online character of the test. Many candidates suffer due to their lack of familiarity with online reading. Extensive online reading can help mitigate this drawback significantly. You may refer to several websites, which provide access to e-books free of cost.
Try to cultivate familiarity with different topics and styles of writing. Highlight new words to look up later from the dictionary. You may return to those specific lines to absorb their import thoroughly. To make the task of learning new words easier and more profitable, you can use memory aids like association and visual imagery.
Studying a good book on Vocabulary is advisable for those serious about taking the CAT. Many books on vocabulary contain are entertaining and educational enough to keep you hooked. Study one of them like you would read a novel. At the time of the second reading, give close attention to words, their meanings, origins and practice tests.
Read an English daily and never miss its edit pages. Try to have a daily quota of at least 30 (thirty) new words. Understand how a given word is used in multifarious ways by an author. A standard dictionary can help you here. You need to be well-read and familiar with different usages of a given word. Having an alert mind during reading can aid you in this process. In this context, your daily reading should be sufficient for your needs. Simply try to be alert while reading and try to maintain diverse reading habits.
You cannot afford to miss the grammar part, which is so essential to good CAT preparation. Meticulous preparation, coupled with strong execution will help you sail through this part quite easily. Always remember the golden mantra: A good score here is impossible without good reading habits. To round off your preparation, take a series of online CAT Mock Tests to get ready for the ultimate battle. You will find out your status of preparation vis a vis the rest and also enable you to improve on your weak points.