Strategy for the VARC Section of the NEW CAT
Jul 09, 2019
With CAT becoming an exam which has 3 sectional tests
rather a full length 3 hour test there is not much of a role for “strategy” or any such hi-fi techniques
which are used by so called CAT Coaches to seem
larger than life. Never mind that most of these CAT Coaches have not scored
well at CAT themselves.
Then why did I use the word “strategy”? Pure click
bait. J Anyway coming to the real question. Are there
any effective rules to attempt the paper in such a manner as to maximize your
score? I believe there are indeed some rules to
ensure you perform to potential on D Day. For the record, I assume you
1)Read regularly and
2) Are not encumbered by a poor vocabulary or
very slow reading speed. ( Don’t waste time on speed reading and such quackery,
there is no magic pill to improve reading speed except READING MORE AND MORE)
Here are some rules which would help you perform to
- Make effective use of the “Question Paper”
button:- Most students don’t know this button exists. It is at the bottom right
below the question palette. Scan the entire paper in 5-7 minutes. Further, you
need to decide which RCs are doable and which are bouncers in these 5-7
minutes. Mercifully CAT has featured very readable passages in the past years.
Yet, just in case some really difficult passage comes in the paper you can rank
it low in the attempt order
- Start with the passage you can comprehend
the best first:- This is true for all sections. Start with your strongest
areas/ topics. This not just saves time but also gives confidence in those
initial nervous minutes.
- Alternate 2 passages with 2 VA questions: For
most millennials, reading 5-6 passages non-stop can get fatiguing and lead to
lapses in concentration. Also sometimes, as in the first slot of CAT 2018 the
VA section is quite easy and this helps you to not miss out on the easy questions.
- The TITA Trap: Students make two errors here. Particularly in
VARC, students invest significant time in VA questions as “There is no negative
marking”. Then there are those who omit TITA questions in QA and LRDI as “there
are no options”. Both are wrong approaches. One of the standard pieces of cricketing advice is to “play the ball on its
merit” and not go in with a pre-decided mindset. The same applies to TITA
questions. Yet I will add a caveat
- The TITA Parajumbles are usually best
avoided. It is true that in CAT 2018 there were easy TITA Parajumble questions,
yet to conclude that this should be done prior to RC, Odd Ones Out or
Parasummary is fallacious reasoning.
I would recommend that you should spend time on these questions only if
a) You have got time left and b) You were scoring 97+ in mocks consistently.
Lastly one rule to strictly follow in VARC is to
eliminate options before starting a selection process. Eliminate options
the Principle of Ockham’s razor and Categorical statement heuristic
which have been discussed in class and the RC booklet in detail.
Good Luck! Post any queries below!