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CAT 2006: Tips to tackle Verbal Ability
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November 10, 2006

Some of you who are not feeling confident about Verbal Ability on the Common Admission Test 2006 can do with some last-minute advice on how to tackle the section. 

Subrata Dey from IMS Learning Resources answered queries on Verbal Ability during a chat on November 9.


Subrata Dey says, Hi there, this is Subrata Dey. I will respond to your questions in the area of Verbal Ability in CAT or GMAT.



siddharth asked, hi sir, any last minute ips foe cocab. shall i complete NAUTICAL MILES, IS IT WORTH DOING
Subrata Dey answers, I won't say that NAUTICAL MILES would be a magic wand that would solve all your vocab questions in CAT. However, with 10 days to go and the need for a relaxed mode of preparation, it might just pep up your contextual understanding.



Mani asked, Hi Subrata, Should I attempt VA first or RC ..given that I am not very confident in VA. What should be my strategy for this?
Subrata Dey answers, First of all, there is no single strategy. Given your weakness or lack of confidence in VA, it's better to start off with RC. Maybe you can keep VA for the last half hour of the test as VA answering is more discrete, and is not dependent on reading a whole passage.



das asked, wat is the ideal time one shud devote in this section??
Subrata Dey answers, Das, there's really no ideal time. Diplomatically speaking, one should devote equal time to each section. However, there are several individuals who decide to spend slightly more amount of time on their area of weakness, Quant or VA/RC.



das asked, wat is the ideal time one shud devote in this section??
Subrata Dey answers, Continuing my reply to Das: I should add that even if you devote more time to one section, there can't be a difference of more than five to ten minutes at the maximum.



Vishwanath asked, I took the IMS open SimCAT and there was a lot of reading to be done. Do we expect a paper like that in CAT and does it mean more concentration on VA???
Subrata Dey answers, IMS has been very clear in its communication that the purpose was not to predict CAT. However, it tested the same skills that CAT tests, namely contextual reading in both Quant and English. The difference is that this skill was tested at a much higher level. So, after this, nothing in CAT can rip you apart.



ace] asked, Please what are things we need to keep in mind while solving VA ie Checklist short of thing
Subrata Dey answers, Look at contextual clues. CAT does not expect you to be master of vocab or grammar, but to be smart enough to get meanings from the context.



dayal asked, I took the IMS open SimCAT and there was a lot of reading to be done. Do we expect a paper like that in CAT and does it mean more concentration on VA???
Subrata Dey answers, I have just answered the same question posed by Viswanath earlier. The key is heightened abilities of contextual comprehension AND not to just be a COPY CAT.



imparas_blogspot_com asked, what was cutoff for VA/RC section in CAT-2005?
Subrata Dey answers, It varies, based on various parameters like work-ex, background, etc. However, a score of 18+ can be considered as the cut-off for the last three years.



lucky asked, Hi sir, I am getting overall above 99 percentile in AIMCATs but can not clear VA/RC cutoff even once. What should I do in remaining 10 days?
Subrata Dey answers, We, at IMS, believe that you do not need to take too many tests in the next 10 days. Take up two passages in a day, answer them in the CAT pattern of time constraints and analyse in a detailed manner.



Karthik asked, Parajumble has always been a nightmare..How to go abt it?
Subrata Dey answers, It becomes a nightmare for two reasons - one, lack of reading habits and two, not spotting the clues that tell you about the flow of thoughts. CAT leaves enough clues in the sentences that tell you about what can or cannot come after some sentence.



Avijeet Singh asked, Why is always cut off higher in Verbal Ability section?
Subrata Dey answers, The cutoff is higher in verbal ability, as people score higher in that area compared to Math and DI. Now that is also because CAT has traditionally kept Quant at a higher difficulty level.



IMSDelhi asked, Hello Sir. How r U? First of all thanx a lot for bestowed Nautical Miles. What's the AVG. CUT-OFF for VA/RC since 2003?
Subrata Dey answers, The average has been around 18+ .


bhupi asked, can there b any more surprises in CAT 2006 as last year??? how should one prepare for that factor???
Subrata Dey answers, IMS SIMCATs have given you enough surprises already. Shocks can be infinite but we have made you shock-proof, specially after SIMCAT7 .



SID asked, subrata sir how to judge while attemping eng sec that i have done justification with eng as far as the cutoff is concerned.
Subrata Dey answers, If you have taken the SIMCATs, you would have a fair idea about your accuracy level. It won't vary much in CAT. So if, by answering 30 questions, you have been safely clearing the cutoff, then so would it be in the actual CAT. With some minor changes. So, try to go a little above your normal attempts within the time given for the section.



swati asked, Sir, Due to BPUT (orissa ) 7th semistar exam held on dated 21st Nov 2006 we orissa students are in tension. Due to shortage of time we are not prepare CAT Exam papers properly. Kindly give some tips for success in CAT Exam & important questions with answaer in side for our easy & quick preparation. All students of orissa will greatful to you. Waiting for side. Thanks Swati
Subrata Dey answers, Take only two to three full-scale tests in the next 10 days if you have not done anything before. Spend two to three hours per day, analysing the test and how you can tactically improve your score.



Chirag asked, HI Subrata,What guidelines would u like to give to prepare for vocab for the prep of CAT 2007?
Subrata Dey answers, As I have said in my earlier responses, contextual understanding is the key in CAT. Nautical Miles has been published to serve that very purpose... learn vocab in a context. Both VA and RC will improve, as you have quite a lot of time with you.



sachin asked, how helpful is GRE wordlist inthese last 10 days
Subrata Dey answers, Sorry, GRE word list won't be of much use. CAT hardly tests hardcore Vocab knowledge and also time is too short for that now.



akash asked, hi sir..i am working in a comp ..and have desp managed to grab the next week hol...wat wud u like to sug to me....i get around 90-95 in mocks...but i dont have the time to read more than 2 hrs a day
Subrata Dey answers, List down all areas of improvement. Rate their impact on YOUR score in CAT and accordingly prioritise. Select just three to four top areas and work on them using the BRMs, ACT, MCT, FCT and SIMCATs.



Arijit asked, I am peparing for CAT 2007. I feel rather weak in vocab part.Pls suggest some books or process to improve the same.
Subrata Dey answers, Nautical Miles would be the best bet for you, as it teaches Vocab in the way that CAT tests you.



IMSDelhi asked, Sir. How to deal with RC consists of POEM, as often it's difficult to get the meaning
Subrata Dey answers, Poems, in fact, can be the easiest to answer in CAT. If you have attended the RC ICAP booster from IMS, you would know that poems in CAT have two to three really relevant lines that give away the meaning and then, all questions follow from those lines. Questions are direct and easy. Avoid the abstract lines... understand the easy ones.



SID asked, subrata sir as i am not able to clear the sectional cutoffs as i am weak in maths and di so can i devote 90 minutes to english and rest 30 min 30 min to quant and di as this will improve my overall score
Subrata Dey answers, That's not the way to go, SID. Ultimately, by answering more questions in VA and RC, you can't clear CAT. There can only be a difference of five to ten minutes but not more than that.



Abilasha asked, hi is RC and EU considered diferent test areas and is it essential to show comptence in both Also parajumbling and fill in the blanks is a problematic area for me.Any sugesstions
Subrata Dey answers, We don't have anything to suggest that within the English section, there are separate cut-offs for RC and VA. So, within a section, go for whatever is your strength and maximise the score.


zyxw asked, Hello Sir What should be given more focus VA or RC ? I am not confident in either since my scores have been varying alot. Can you please tell what shouldn't be missed to reach anywhere near the cut-off of 18 marks ?
Subrata Dey answers, VA is generally perceived as the easier one to attempt, as there is not much of reading. However, with very little time in hand, RC can be good bet for improvement. Read slower, analyse your responses for a longer time than it takes to answer. Work out on reducing silly choices.



anutech asked, wat should be the ideal time for english section in cat 2006
Subrata Dey answers, KISS. Keep it simple and straight. 50 minutes for the section, assuming that all of English comes in one section. You can possibly devote a little more time in your weak area to clear the cut-offs BUT NEVER MORE THAN FIVE TO TEN MINUTES EXTRA.



Subrata Dey answers, These institutes generally have overall cut-offs and not sectional ones. However, you should try to maintain a minimum level of performance in each of these to increase your chances of getting a call.



Subrata Dey answers, That's absolutely OK. But you should know your accuracy pattern, so that you don't attempt too few in the Quant section..



IMSDelhi asked, How to go for Q's based on relation ship between words in a pair, like DOCTOR:THERMAMETER, GROCER:BALANCE..... Often relationship or meaning between a pair or couple of pair is not known at all then what to do?
Subrata Dey answers, Irrelevant for CAT.



Subrata Dey says, THANKS and ALL THE BEST TO ALL CAT 2006 ASPIRANTS. Bye.


Discussion: What's your CAT strategy?

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