In continuation to my previous article on tackling LRDI and Quant, this article will be focused on increasing your efficiency in the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section. Being the first section that the students face, it stands utterly crucial in boosting your confidence for the other sections. Additionally, the VARC section is comparatively on a more scoring side if handled correctly.
The following pointers will be helpful in the preparatory months of CAT’18 –
- Newspapers/Magazines – No matter whether you are fond of the daily news or not, going through at least one English National daily is essential and necessary. Not only it gives you insights, keeps you informed, but also helps in understanding a flow. Understanding a reading comprehension will definitely become easier if you have gone across around 1500 articles. That is like 10-12 articles per day in a newspaper till the time CAT arrives. Am I asking for too much? Even if you are reading online, the content does not change much. Make sure you make the optimal use.
Further, reading magazines can give you an extra edge. It’s again the quality of the articles you read. Go for The Economist for example. If you are able to understand that, RCs should not be that difficult. Needless to say, daily reading will add to your current affair preparation.
- Reading Speed – A reading speed of 400-500 wpm makes it suitable and easy to cover RCs in a quicker span of time. Not that I am saying that you devote all your time in increasing the speed. But, reading more will definitely boost the same. Deploy techniques such as skimming and scanning in your reading habits. Also, retention and comprehending the write-up is one another primary aspect. Missing out on that and increasing the speed is futile. An optimal mix of both is fruitful.
- Keywords – As mentioned, decoding the paragraph to answer the necessary questions becomes difficult at times. Paying attention to the keywords can be a solution for that. Removing the phrases, unnecessary words, sentences, etc. will enable o focus on the main content. Also, summarizing the RCs while preparing is also an alternative. The briefer, the better. Stressing on the keywords will also help in solving the jumbled words at a quicker speed.
- Question paper mode –Like I suggested for the LRDI section, switching to the question paper mode while attempting the mocks and the actual paper will be helpful. Time management is one important aspect. Switching windows for answering the questions and even going back for re-reading is cumbersome. You can always note down answers and mark them at the end (do not forget to do that!).
- Mocks and Sectional Test – You just cannot ignore the sectional tests and full mocks. The internet has a massive catalogue of sectional tests, and giving at least one each day is a proper requisite. Also, save the mocks where you have performed poorly. Come back the next week to solve the same as another set. This way you will actually get to see whether you have improved or not.
So, it boils down to the fact that to excel in the VARC section, reading and practicing RCs are the two significant keys. Also, one advice will be to attempt the question apart from the RCs. The primary reason being that they carry the same marks per question. Also, you will get more time for the RCs, hence, greater concentration.
Do remember that a good start is half the battle won (it’s just a one-third here). The feeling of being positive in the VARC will boost the chances of performing better in the latter sections as well. I hope you prefer winning the total prize. Good luck!