Strategy for the VARC Section of the NEW CAT

  • Admin
  • 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 potential

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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 based  on  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!


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