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CAT 2015 Verbal Ability Preparation Tips

Last Updated - April 01, 2017

CAT is divided into 3 parts namely Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR) and Verbal & Reading Comprehension (VRC) of 100 questions out of which 34 questions are from VRC. Total time allotted to this section is 60 minutes.


This section is of low difficulty level and it evaluates the reading and writing skills of the students. To score in Verbal Ability section practice and confidence is essential. Number of questions per topic are:

AreaTopicNumber of Questions per topicWeightage
Reading Comprehension (16 Questions)4- Reading Comprehension Passage1645-60%
English Usage (18 Questions)Jumble Paragraph440 – 50%
Jumble Paragraph (Odd sentence out)4
Sentence Correction3
Critical Reasoning4

Verbal Ability Preparation Strategy


Reading Comprehension

There will be 4 passages and each passage has around 4 questions to answer and it holds 45-60% of the marks of the whole Verbal Ability part. This is the important section where more attention and detailing are required. According to CAT regulations, you must have 400 words per minute reading speed

How to prepare for Reading Comprehension

Regular Reading Habits: First and foremost step to prepare for reading comprehension is to read on regular basis. It improves your reading speed. To improve your reading speed you should:

  • Read newspapers, novels, magazines such as ‘The Economist’, India Today etc.
  • Do not read whole paragraph into one, you must block into parts so that you get better understanding
  • More focus should be given to key words in the sentence and ignore the structure words such as ‘the’, ‘and’ etc.
  • Memorize and analyze the information to understand the message of the passage

Understand the Comprehension – You should have the ability to analyze the data. Find out what is the message behind the passage or what is author wanted to communicate and the key words in the paragraph so that the meaning of the comprehension will be more clear.

Manage your time – Time management plays very crucial role to crack this section. Maintain proper time management while answering the questions. Set your time given to reading and answering. You should read 300 to 400 word in a minute.


Elimination of answers – Sometimes by eliminating irrelevant option of answer until one choice is left may help you to find correct answer.

Suggested Book

Book Name - Reading Comprehension for the CAT

Author- Sujit Kumar

ISBN – 8131733084


  1. Most of the questions in this book are from 2014 and consists of 15 to 25 passage.
  2. Explanation of answers are also given 

Sample Question:

Schools expect textbooks to be a valuable source of information for students. My research suggests, however, that textbooks that address the place of Native Americans within the history of the United States distort history to suit a particular cultural value system. In some textbooks, for example, settlers are pictured as more humane, complex, skillful, and wise than Native Americans. In essence, textbooks stereotype and depreciate the numerous Native American cultures while reinforcing the attitude that the European conquest of the New World denotes the superiority of European cultures. Although textbooks evaluate Native American architecture, political systems, and homemaking, I contend that they do it from an ethnocentric, European perspective without recognizing that other perspectives are possible. 


One argument against my contention asserts that, by nature, textbooks are culturally biased and that I am simply underestimating children's ability to see through these biases. Some researchers even claim that by the time students are in high school, they know they cannot take textbooks literally. Yet substantial evidence exists to the contrary. Two researchers, for example, have conducted studies that suggest that children's attitudes about particular cultures are strongly influenced by the textbooks used in schools. Given this, an ongoing, careful review of how school textbooks depict Native Americans is certainly warranted.

Which of the following would most logically be the topic of the paragraph immediately following the passage?

(A) Specific ways to evaluate the biases of United States history textbooks 

(B) The centrality of the teacher's role in United States history courses

(C) Nontraditional methods of teaching United States history

 (D) Ways in which parents influence children's political attitudes

Answer – (A)

 English Usage:

English usage test your vocabulary, soft skills, grammar knowledge of the students through  following types of questions:

  • Sentence Correction
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Cloze Passage
  • Analogies or Reverse Analogies
  • Jumbled Paragraph
  • Meaning-Usage Match
  • Sentence Correction
  • Para Jumble
  • Para Completion
  • Word Usage (Vocabulary)
  • Synonyms and Antonyms

To score well in this type of questions, students must practice following topics:



The important part in English usage test is vocabulary. You should have knowledge of words. There will be 4-5 questions of synonyms or selecting the correct word from the sentence. Vocabulary knowledge is also require to understand the Reading Comprehension passage. Question such as Synonyms, Antonyms, Jumbled letters, Odd Word, One Word etc. You can improve your vocabulary by following ways:

  • Read – The more you read, the more your vocabulary improve. Note the new word while reading newspaper or magazines. Also, use these words in your daily conversation.
  • Sample paper – Practice CAT Sample papers or preparation books in order to get learn the words that are important in terms of examination.
  • Improve Synonyms and Antonyms Knowledge
  • Spot the new words while reading newspapers or books or whatever you read in daily life Hence this is how you improve vocabulary in CAT questions

Grammar –

In CAT, functional usage of words, use of phrasal words and idioms should be known by candidates for which grammar should be good.  3- 4 questions are asked from correcting the errors in the sentence or paragraph. To solve such kind of questions understanding of noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, tenses, usage of punctuation marks, adjectives and conjunctions is required.

  • Get basic knowlege of use of grammer.
  • Do practice though grammar books or CAT preparation books about 2 hours in a day.

Critical Reasoning –

Critical Reasoning consist of small paragraph of 200 words which has to be analyzed, observed and evaluate to find suitable conclusion.  You will be given a paragraph, called the Argument, with the author of the argument usually drawing a conclusion based on certain facts.

Types of questions asked in Critical Reasoning:

  • Questions on conclusion/inference
  • Questions on identifying an assumption
  • Questions on weakening the conclusion
  • Questions on strengthening the conclusion
  • Questions on detecting a flaw in the argument
  • Questions on identifying a paradox/contradiction/inconsistency
  • Questions on identifying a parallel situation

Jumble Paragraph Questions -

There will be 4-5 questions of para-jumble. You will be a given a paragraph of three to four sentences and you need to rearrange it in a sequence form

Read and understand all the sentences carefully. Now, try to understand the meaning of each sentence and frame a sentence according to its meaning.  You can also solve it through from the options given in the choice.

Suggested Books:

Book NameAuthor/PublisherISBNReview
English Usage for the CATSujit Kumar8131733254Good for beginners if you want to start from basics
30 Days to a More Powerful VocabularyWilfred Funk and Norman Lewis 067174349X1) Very useful for building knowledge of antonyms and synonyms 2) 30 Chapters divided per day 3) Quizzes are also provided for better learning
A Communicative Grammar of EnglishGeoffrey Leech05825063361)The content of the book is easily understandable 2) Focus on uses of grammar rather than the structure of grammar

Sample Questions:

Q- 1 Jumble Para

  1. This fact was established in the 1730s by French survey expenditions to Equator near the Equator and Lapland in the Arctic, which found that around the middle of the earth the arc was about a kilometer shorter.
  2. One of the unsettled scientific questions in the late 18th century was that exact nature of the shape of the earth.
  3. The length of one-degree arc would be less near the equatorial latitudes than at the poles.
  4. One way of doing that is to determine the length of the arc along a chosen longitude or meridian at one degree latitude separation.
  5.  While it was generally known that the earth was not a sphere but an ‘oblate spheroid’, morecurved at the equator and flatter at the poles, the question of ‘how much more’ was yet to be established.






Answer - 2)

Q -2 The cost of producing radios in Country Q is ten percent less than the cost of producing radios in Country Y. Even after transportation fees and tariff charges are added, it is still cheaper for a company to import radios from Country Q to Country Y than to produce radios in Country Y.

The statements above, if true, best support which of the following assertions?


1) Labor costs in Country Q are ten percent below those in Country Y.

2) Importing radios from Country Q to Country Y will eliminate ten percent of the manufacturing jobs in Country Y.

3) The tariff on a radio imported from Country Q to Country Y is less than ten percent of the cost of manufacturing the radio in Country Y.

4) The fee for transporting a radio from Country Q to Country Y is more than ten percent of the cost of manufacturing the radio in Country Q.

Answer – 3)

Q- 3 Choose the correct Option

Pakistan’s political crisis deepened on Thursday with a defiant Nawaz Sharif rebuffing ruling PPP government’s offers for talks as police lathicharged activists and detained politicians and lawyers which demanded immediate reinstatement of sacked judges


1) which demanded

2). who demanded

3) that demanded

4) who have demanded

Answer - 2)


Ques. How do I prepare for Verbal Ability section in CAT?

Ans. Most of the questions and of this section are based on vocabulary and grammar which tests your knowledge and use of words, articles, prepositions, etc. and simple rule-based errors. So you need to focus on this concepts through practice and reading by covering as many words and usages as possible. The knowledge of vocabulary and grammar helps to solve reading comprehension questions and question based on English usage. Intensive practice through mock test of VR and RC ensures higher speed and accuracy.

Ques. What is the best way to attempt this section?

Ans. Ans. As there will be 34 questions in which 18 questions will be based on English Usage you should attempt this question first in 20-25 minutes and after that attempt Reading Comprehension questions and do not spend more than 2 minutes in each question. Always attempt those question first in which you are confident about.

Ques. What is the level of Verbal Ability Test?

Ans. Through the study of previous years, we have found that this section is easy to moderate level. The good attempts of this section is 24-26 question which means 75% of accuracy. 2 0r 2 RC were of difficult level and time consuming so RC can be moderate to difficult level.

Ques. What changes have been introduced in CAT Verbal Ability Section? Is it helpful for CAT aspirants?

Ans. Till the CAT 2014, there were 2 sections Quantitative Ability & Data Interpretation, Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning. Now in CAT 2015 has introduced three sections Quantitative Ability, Verbal and Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning.

If you are taking this exam for the first time, then section wise preparation strategy would be different. The reason behind this section is that students evade tougher questions. IIM ensures that aspirants prepare equally for all the sections.

As Verbal Ability section is concerned not many changes are expected. However, 1-2 new questions may be introduced and some old questions such as summary, critical questions, act-inference-judgment questions may be framed.

Ques. Which book is best for Verbal Ability preparation for CAT 2015?

Ans. You can refer these books:

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT (English) 6th Edition

Publisher - Mcgraw Hill Education

Author - Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhyay

Book Review –

  1. This book is a helpful for those who have 5-6 months at hand
  2. It is also good for beginners those who are weak in vernal ability and wanted to boost in RC
  3. It contains both solved and practice questions. RC passage are quite long







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