Verbal Ability & Reasoning
A typical 30 marks section of verbal comprises
- Reading Comprehension: 10-11 questions
- Logical Reasoning: 9-10 questions
- Other Verbal questions: 10-11 questions : This section includes components such as sentence Rearrangement, Sentence Correction, Paragraph Completion, Verbal-based reasoning and Critical Reasoning.
The questions that typically appear in the verbal section can be classified in one of the following types
Questions based on testing one's vocabulary - the plain vanilla "synonym - antonym" questions used to appear in CAT in the early 2000's; these have become very rare over the past 10 years. Although a good vocabulary definitely helps in handling CAT, purely vocab-based questions are almost non-existent these days.
The question types one is likely to see are
However, please note that the emphasis on vocabulary has been on the decline and the need to memorize meanings of words such as "pleonasm" or "pterodactyl" is not essential to crack such questions in CAT. Even questions of the two types mentioned above focus more on context and application rather than vocabulary.
- A question where a simple word is provided with four alternate usages in 4 different sentences. One of the sentences is incorrect. A student has to identify this.
- Classic fill-the-blanks questions: A sentence is provided with one/two blanks and the student has to find the most appropriate word from the choices
English Usage / Grammar
Sentence correction or Grammar based questions appear in different flavours in the CAT verbal section. It could be questions where you are asked to spot the section of a sentence that is gramatically incorrect or it could be questions where a part of a sentence in underlined and you are provided with four or five alternative choices. You have to select the choice that corrects the error in the underlined part.
One could be asked to identify the correct sentences in a set of 4/5 sentences
A good understanding of the basics of English grammar coupled with adequate exercises on the different types of common errors that appear in CAT will help you sail through these kinds of questions.
These questions could take multiple forms. The most common one is that of rearranging sentences of a paragraph. This section includes components such as
- Sentence Rearrangement
- Paragraph Completion
- Sentence Elimination
- Critical Reasoning
- Fact Inference Judgement
for a sample verbal test paper.