“More the reading, more familiarity and more context! More speed” – Nihar on Verbal Preparation for CAT

In continuation with the Test Prep Chats, InsideIIM hosted Nihar Dave – an MBA student at Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay for a chat session on How to Prepare for Verbal Portion of CAT. Having serious issues dealing with parajumbles, RC’s and sentence completions? Mocks getting screwed up just because of low verbal scores?Need a quick effective action plan on how to improve scores drastically?

Nihar is a fresh graduate and has interned at Asian Paints (SCM), Hershey India and TCS. He is an electronics hobbyist and enjoys chess and badminton

I am facing issues with understanding a sentence in a paragraph. How to overcome it?

I guess you are facing trouble with vocab. Try Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. Its a good book to build vocab. Also, read a lot!!

Can you tell which areas in verbal have to be given utmost priority from now?

It is absolutely your call on priority. It depends on what you are good at. I was very strong with vocab and grammar so I focused on such questions and kept RCs for the last.

When I am taking any mock, generally I attempt 25 to 26 ( 3 rc + 14 odd VA) but 9 /10 are incorrect most of the time. But when I analyse the mock, without looking at the solution/my previous attempt, I am getting 90% of those same questions as correct. Can you suggest a solution to this?

It seems you do well without pressure. How about not being so aggressive at attempting questions and attempting the test with cool! I’m sure the accuracy and marks will go up!

Could you tell us some good material from where we can practice for last 2 months? 

I think the quality of material provided by TIME is excellent. Towards the end they give booklets of incremental level.

Disclaimer: This is just a personal opinion. Not an advertisement

My attempts aren’t going up in RCs. Any suggestions on how to improve on this?

Probably you need to ramp up your reading speed. Try reading material from varied fields such as politics, philosophy, science and so on. More the readings, more familiarity and more context! -> More speed

Can you suggest books or website for RCs? Taking the time left for CAT into consideration, can I increase my attempts?

You surely can! There is still a lot of time. As of books all I can suggest is the authors I read. Malcom Gladwell, Ayn Rand, Gurucharan Das, Bimal Jalan. These are top of mind recalls. But you will have to invest time into these books!

How does one approach the questions like : ” Three out of 4 options, when correctly sequenced, form a coherent paragraph. Which option doesn’t? ” In the mocks, I have almost left all such questions. Can you please suggest the approach and how to prepare for it?

The way I approached was this – I tried to build an order with the sentences. You might quickly find a starting or an end sentence or a pair of sentences at first look. Then look at the remaining sentences and place them around your fixed sentence(s). Whichever order you feel the best go for it!

I have my semester exams just before CAT. Can you suggest me a planner given that I am done with parajumbles,summary questions?

It is your planner buddy! 🙂 Me making a planner could worsen it all up! These exams will teach give you a flavor of what’s to come!

For RC which method you used for answering: Reading the passage first and then questions or the opposite strategy? RC is taking a lot of time, so how to increase speed?

During our CAT, the RCs used to be tough. During CAT13 it was a good strategy to read the whole thing out. I’m not sure how it will be in CAT 15. Having said that, the opposite strategy can help you with sitters. So if you are running short on time, say very few minutes remaining, you might want to go with the questions first. But you might not be able to answer all the questions correctly.


We thank Nihar for doing this!

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