Jun 24, 2015

CAT VA section preparation strategy

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Here I am writing down some of the essential things that you must religiously do to improve your verbal section performance in CAT/XAT and OMET (Other Management Entrance Tests)

 

CAT/XAT

1. In both the above exams, reading comprehension commands about 50% of the paper and, therefore, doing well in RCs guarantees a decent score. So, having the ability to pick the right passages and developing the reasoning skills to arrive at the right answer are paramount. We will talk about reading a wide array of topics to make our final selection of the passages easier and also ensuring a better strike rate.

I will attach the widely circulated and freely available- 1000 RC file. You all should solve one RC a day and then thoroughly analyse the passage. Don’t just read the passage for the sake of answering the questions; read the passage and look at the grammatical style, the idiomatic and the word usages, the vocabulary. Once you critically start learning from the RCs, you don’t need any other practice material. Since the ideas in RCs are perfectly logically arranged, you, unconsciously, become good at solving parajumbles and sentence exclusion questions.  In short, the RC should become the primary source of all your verbal practice material.

 

2. Read a standard magazine such as ‘Frontline’, ‘India Today’, ‘Outlook’, ‘Economist’. Most of these have Android and/or iOS based apps and should come in handy. This will help you improve your grammar, vocabulary and GK,  and make you well aware of contemporary political and social issues. Don’t waste much of your time in reading voluminous classics, for however entertaining or enriching they might be, from examination perspective they do little good. Simultaneously, you all should develop the art of writing short articles, approx 200 words, on various contemporary issues. Doing so will help you remember facts and figures,and develop clarity of thought. You can personally come and get the essays/articles evaluated by me. May I also recommend following the sites for specific areas

 

www.nytimes.com – General reading

 

www.epw.org – Economics and Politics related articles

 

www.gutenberg.org/ – Another excellent source of content based language

 

www.theguardian.com/uk – Infact, many passages in the past in CAT/XAT have quoted directly from the sources here

 

www.aldaily.com/ – Arts and Letters on a daily basis

 

3. Don’t push yourself too much for accuracy, for you might develop ‘accuracy paranoia’, as a result, the fear of going wrong will make you too cautious to attempt even the average difficulty questions.  Strive to attain a min 80%,and that you will reach gradually, not overnight. Also, keep in mind the oft spoken maxim in the class- Language is open to interpretations and therefore responses and judgments may vary in certain cases. English is an 8 lettered word, ALWAYS!!

 

4. Don’t dig too deep into grammar. There is a difference between academic grammar and aptitude grammar. Discussing and debating on academic grammar in the classroom might well be very stimulating and exciting, but it is of little consequence as far as scoring well is concerned. I will attach the 1000 Sentence correction file. Daily solve 10 questions with an attempt to identify the reasons behind eliminating other answer options. The good thing  about the 1000 Sentence correction file is that it not only teaches you all the grammar concepts but also makes you a good writer. I will repeat what I have told in the class, Don’t mark the answers based on “it sounds good to me”. Chances are strong that you may not have heard all and know all in English language.

 

OMET

 

1. The verbal section of most of the OMETs is about vocabulary and speed. If you are well read and have good KNOWLEDGE of the language, then even with little practice you will end up doing well.

 

2. The RCs of the OMETs are easier than those of CAT/XAT in that they are full factual questions. Again, it’s all about speed!

 

3. OMETs have fill in the blanks, parajumbles, word usage and basic grammar questions, all of low difficulty level. Again, for a well read person, it’s a stroll in the park.

 

Finally, it is the in-depth analysis of the questions that will help you improve your verbal performance, qualitative learning is more important than quantitative donkey-work.

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