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How to approach CAT Verbal Ability Syllabus?

Before you dive into CAT Verbal Ability preparation, it is important you understand the syllabus of the CAT Verbal Ability section. In fact, the word ‘syllabus’ has an awkward feel to it. Technically, the syllabus for CAT Verbal Ability is not something that can be defined in objective terms. Broadly speaking, we need to delve into the various question types that have appeared in the examination in the last five to seven years and base student preparation strategies on these.

Before we expand our scope, let’s have a look at what has appeared in the examination in the last three years. The following question types have made an appearance in the exam:

  • Reading Comprehensions
  • Para-jumbles/Sentence Rearrangement
  • Misfit sentence/identify the odd sentence in the given set
  • Summary Writing

Surprisingly, the scope of CAT examinations in the last three years has been limited only to these question types. If you observe the nature of the question types above, there is one key learning that you can derive from the above: these topics are heavily reading driven and in fact, the best preparation for these topics is to read as extensively as possible. For these topics, practice is going to play a limited role. Make sure you keep this in mind.

If we cast a wider net and look at some of the topics that have made an appearance in CAT-2009 to CAT-2013, the following topics are also included in the list:

  • Grammar (part-error and sentence correction)
  • Usage (confusing words and phrasal verbs)
  • Vocabulary (primarily fill in the blanks)
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Para-completion

Also, if we include exams such XAT, SNAP, IIFT, and NMAT in the list of MBA entrance exams you are going to prepare for, the following topics are also included:

  • Vocabulary: Cloze test, analogies, spelling
  • Deductive logic (syllogisms)
  • Verbal Reasoning

Ideally, you should prepare for all eventualities and keep in mind that you cannot maintain a myopic focus when it comes to CAT preparation. You should prepare for all the topics mentioned above. If you keep the above in mind, and the fact that you need to prepare for all entrance exams, you need to develop a holistic preparation strategy. Do remember that our CAT Preparation Plan takes care of all these aspects of preparation and provides you complete coverage for all the areas mentioned above.


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