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Answers a student who improved his percentile from 58.6 to 96.2 in the Verbal Section of CAT

The following article has been written by our student Siddharth Kella who scored 99.15 percentile in CAT 2016. The break-up of his scores is as follows:

VARC: 96.22

DILR: 99.32


We hope you take away some relevant and important points from his journey to 96.2 percentile in CAT‘16 from a mere 58.6 percentile in CAT’ 15

CAT Toppers: Siddharth Kella

How to score 95+ in VARC section? – Siddharth Kella

Since aspirants are on high preparation mode from June itself, this is the best time to spread some guidance regarding how to improve your mock scores in verbal ability section.

I scored 96.2 %ile in CAT’16 from 58.6%ile in CAT’15. This vast difference in terms of performance is attributed to various entities which include test resources, test-taking strategies, guidance from mentors and much more.

I assume that aspirants have the idea about test pattern of CAT and other exams. CAT has three sections where one of the difficult sections for many aspirants is the VARC section. People fumble in VARC and lose their overall percentile which directly results in few calls from top notch institutes in the country.

The verbal section comprised 34 question in both CAT’15 and CAT’16 and out of these, 24 questions were from reading comprehension and remaining 10 were from verbal ability. From this view, it is clear that doing RC can seal the hefty score, provided one has the mastery over it.

The most vital element which will act like revital for you is “READING”. Reading diverse content and comprehending that content within certain time limit is what CAT demands. Now, some may have doubts regarding ‘from where should I read diverse content? How to find the sources for the same? And many more such questions. For me, the single stop solution was the ‘daily reads’ section on This is the area which can set your preparation on a higher slope.

Reading will also test your vocabulary skills as CAT also believes in filtering the best from the rest. For vocabulary also, you have to just visit and some books like Norman Lewis, Wilfred funk etc. Apart from above-mentioned sources, I would advice fellow aspirants to read newspapers regularly. Editorials from ‘The Hindu’ are a must and keep a practice of writing summary to every editorial which will ensure your growth.

Now coming to test pattern and Practice Tests, Try to solve 5-6 RC’s on different subjects daily so as to ensure that reading goes in sync with comprehending. For RC preparation, you can always resort to Wordpandit for level wise practice and for random RCs practice. There is a document named 1000 RC which can be done for higher difficulty level. There is also a resource named GMAT official guide under which you can practice some RCs. Please sit with the timer when you solve any RC because you cannot spend more time for a single RC. Develop the stamina for solving 4-5 RCs at a stretch under a time limit of 45-50 minutes. For verbal ability preparation, try solving parajumbles, critical reasoning questions, and summary questions and so on. Verbal ability is a matter of regular practice.

Now comes the most important part of taking mocks. Take up any national level mock series like AIMCATs or SIMCATs or CL’s mocks. After taking a mock, spend time in analyzing the mock and see where do you commit the mistakes. Take a note of all the mistakes in a single book and refer them before next mock. Another crucial thing is make sure you make up the strategies for different difficulty level paper.  For example

If any paper has difficult RC and moderate VA, then you should try to maximize scores according to your strengths.

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If your concentration is getting low with continuous RC solving, then solve 2 RCs then jump to VA and then again come back to RC.

So such strategies should be tested in the period of July to September. Try taking a note of attempts, accuracy, and time spent on a single question, logic to that particular question and other such things. Focus well and the world is yours!!!

All the Best!

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