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How to Prepare for CAT VARC 2024: Strategies & Tips

The CAT Verbal-Ability and Reading Comprehension is the first Section of the CAT Examination. The VARC section has the highest weightage in the Common Admission Test, as 24 out of 66 questions belong to this section. In this article, we cover the exam pattern, Syllabus and Problems faced by aspirants in CAT’s VARC Section along with the Preparation Strategy to Ace this VARC Section.

MBA Entrance exams

Exam Pattern For VARC Section of CAT

VARC Section is known to have the highest weightage in the CAT Exam. The VARC Section for CAT consists of 24 questions, out of which 16 questions are based on Reading comprehension and 8 questions are based on Verbal Ability. Out of these 8 Questions of the Verbal Ability, 4 are TITA (Type in the text) Questions, which have no negative markings. You can aim to score well in this section if you have good comprehension skills. Scoring well in this section may eventually boost one’s overall score in the test.

Total no. Questions in VARC24 Questions
Duration of the Section40 Minutes
Marks For each correct answer+3 Marks
Deduction for every incorrect answer-1 Marks
TITA Questions in VARC4 Questions
Total no. of Verbal Ability Questions8 Questions
Level of DifficultyModerate to High

CAT VARC 2024: Syllabus

The CAT Exam does not have a defined syllabus. Hence there is no prescribed syllabus for CAT’s VARC Section. The section mainly consists of two sub-parts Particularly Known as Reading Comprehension and Verbal ability. Reading Comprehension Passages are asked from diverse genres. Some of the most commonly offered genres are Science, Politics, Psychology, Society & Culture, History, Abstract, Miscellaneous and Mixed Genres.
Verbal Ability consists of questions, particularly in the form of Para-Jumble, Para-Summary, Odd One Out, and Fill in the Blanks.

Reading ComprehensionMost asked genres:
Society & Culture,
Miscellaneous and Mixed Genres
Verbal AbilityPara-Jumble,
Odd One Out,
Fill in the Blanks.

Also Read: CAT RC Preparation Tips

Problems Faced In VARC Section For CAT Exam

  • The most common problem faced in the VARC Section is Reading itself, as most of the aspirants generally don’t have a habit of Reading. That might sound silly and obvious. However, this is the case because for most of the students, English is not their native language, and they do not converse or write in the language frequently. Which eventually results in poor Comprehension Abilities. The solution to this problem is that you develop a reading habit. Read as much as you can and from as diverse topics as possible. It would be best if you familiarised yourself with topics of different nature and quality. Start by reading in easier language and gradually move towards more academic writing. However, most comprehensions in CAT can be solved if you have a dedicated reading habit.
  • Having a poorer Vocabulary is another common problem faced by students in Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension for CAT. Having a weak knowledge of vocabulary is a significant disadvantage in VARC. This is why it is recommended that you read frequently and mark the complex and unfamiliar words. Revising these words regularly will help you to enrich your vocabulary.
  • The inability to understand the questions is another issue the aspirants face in their VARC preparation. It is seen that Reading Comprehension for CAT requires you to handle tricky questions which are to confuse the test-takers. It is crucial to read through them and answer perfectly. If you practice past year’s papers and familiarise yourself with the paper pattern, this problem can be resolved. Also, do not panic when you are not able to understand the nature of the questions; usually, anxiety will cover your rational mind and force you to commit mistakes in the exam.
  • Having a slow Reading Speed: Most aspirants do not have a reading habit, and they struggle to read passages in a time-bound manner. To be able to read on time, a regular reading habit is required. You can refer to the following free reading resources. Make sure that you read at least one or two long passages daily.

CAT VARC 2024: Free Preparation Resources

In the VARC Section, Reading is the most important aspect. There is a plethora of Reading Resources on the internet, but there is a lack of proper genre-wise reading articles for CAT’s VARC available in one place. To help the students, iQuanta has come up with a comprehensive 250 Genre-wise reading articles with their summary. One can improve their Comprehension abilities through Reading from these resources.
Other than reading, one can rely on dedicated practice to improve their score in CAT’s VARC Section. Initially, one can start practising basic questions and can later move to more complex RC question sets. The iConcept-material by iQuanta can serve as a good resource for basic VARC practice.

As the concept-building material can only help you to a certain level, hence iQuanta has come up with comprehensive CAT Preparation Books for the benefit of all CAT aspirants. Unlike the usual preparation materials, these books are Updated as per the recent trends of the exam.

How To Prepare VARC For CAT 2024?

VARC is often considered to be the most confusing section of the CAT Exam. The key to excelling in the VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) section of CAT, lies in consistent reading, vocabulary expansion, and strategic practice. Candidates should aim to read extensively on diverse topics, analyze the text thoroughly, and write summaries to improve their comprehension. Building a strong vocabulary by noting down and regularly revising new words is also crucial. Dividing the preparation into manageable weekly and daily goals, understanding fundamental grammar principles, and consistently practising CAT VARC questions and mock tests are other essential steps. By following this multifaceted approach, aspiring candidates can significantly enhance their performance in the VARC for CAT, thereby increasing their overall chances of success in the exam.

Overall Preparation Strategy for VARC:

Assuming that the duration of CAT 2024 will be 2 hours, and hence there will be 16 questions on RC, which is 70% of the total VARC questions. This is a section that checks your comprehension the most, and not the vocabulary or the grammar abilities. One can plan their preparation for the CAT’s VARC Section in alignment with the following steps:
Start Reading: Most of the Students don’t have English as their native language, due to which they often struggle to Comprehend the RC passages given in the VA-RC section of the CAT. Reading regularly would serve as the best solution for every aspirant who faces issues in the CAT’s English Section. It helps in enhancing one’s vocabulary and also improves one’s understanding of language, which results in improved comprehension abilities.
In parallel to the CAT 2024 Course, students would also have access to 250-Genre wise articles, which would cultivate good reading ability in students.

  • Develop Grammar Abilities and Vocab: Though CAT Questions are not based on grammatical abilities and vocabulary, still initially one should focus on developing grammar and vocabulary as it can help one to enhance his/her Comprehension skills. Hence if one has enough time at hand, then he/she must not skip working on his/her vocabulary and grammatical skills.
  • Start solving 3RC and 10VA Questions Daily: After spending 4-5 weeks reading and developing vocab and grammatical skills, one can start Solving Reading Comprehension sets and Verbal Ability Questions. Initially one can start with 1RC a day, and then can further increase the number of questions.
  • Start taking sectionals: After enough practice, you can start taking sectionals. Taking sectional mocks allows you to practice the particular section in a time-based manner. The sectional test allows one to focus on an individual section at a time, which can help one to identify their strength and weaknesses and can improve time management skills in an individual. In VARC you can experiment with different approaches to the section, to know what works for you.
  • Taking and Analysing Mocks: Mock Tests are one of the most important aspects of CAT Preparation. Through mocks one gains test-taking experience, which makes one habitual of exam pattern. Mocks are designed to help aspirants build concepts, prepare strategies, identify weaknesses, and take steps to eliminate them. Though just taking mocks is not enough, one should analyze mocks so that they can understand their level of preparation, and can also reflect on their weak areas. One should also take the previous year’s Question paper as a mock, and get an idea about their preparation by referring to the score versus percentile data of the previous year paper. After analyzing mocks, it is also important to strategize further preparation accordingly.
  • Special Addition: iQuanta Engineer’s VARC is the ultimate solution for students who are weak in English to prepare for VARC. Module Includes Genre-wise RC videos and Detailed VA videos with solutions. This module has been added to the CAT 2024 Course and its key focus is to develop comprehension abilities in students. It consists of videos on understanding tone, assumption & inferences.
Engineer's VARC For CAT 2024

CAT Reading Comprehension Strategy:

  • Knowing the structure: Most of the Reading Comprehension passages follow a set structure. There is an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. One should look for the sentences that change the passage’s topic and note them in short. Highlight the essence of each topic, and what they are talking about.
  • Identify keywords: Each passage must have certain keywords around the central idea of the passage, you must include marking such keywords in your reading comprehension strategy. As they may help you in answering the questions that will follow.
  • While reading the passage, you can also try to predict what the author might say in the next paragraph. This may reinforce your understanding of the passage
  • Central idea: While reading always try to focus on the main idea of the passage. Do not focus much attention on the minor details of the paragraph. As the passages are full of fillers, ignoring them while reading would save you a lot of time in the end. This process is called skimming.
  • Build a good vocabulary: The best way to enhance one’s vocabulary is by reading more and more and reading from diverse genres. By Reading enough comprehension passages and memorizing the meaning of difficult words, you will get better at RCs. Another way to go about developing vocab is by start learning the root words, as they will help you identify the meaning of the unknown words, then gradually move on towards antonyms and synonyms of complex/common words.

After discussing the Reading comprehension strategy, let us now move forward to discuss on how to prepare for verbal ability in VARC.

CAT Para-Jumble Strategy:

Para-Jumbles have been part of the CAT Verbal Ability Section for a long time. As the name suggests, here you are required to rearrange a set of jumbled sentences to form a coherent paragraph. To prepare Para-Jumble for CAT, focus on understanding the structure of a well-written paragraph, identifying logical connections between sentences through transitional words and the flow of ideas. Practice sample questions, strengthen your vocabulary and grammar skills and work on time management to become efficient in the Para-Jumble.

CAT Odd-One-Out Strategy:

CAT Odd-One-Out is almost similar to Para-Jumble. In Odd One Out questions, you are given a set of sentences, in which one Sentence is irrelevant and the rest of the sentences can be arranged to form a coherent paragraph. One can prepare for Odd One Out Similar as Parajumble.

CAT Para-Summary Strategy:

In Para-Summary you are given a paragraph, you are required to read the paragraph and come up with a summary for the provided passage. One should first read the paragraph carefully, and try to understand the paragraph. If you have not understood the paragraph, you might not be able to pick the right summary. Once you have understood the paragraph, create a logical order of events in your mind. The option that resonates with the logical order of events of the passage is most likely to be the correct option. Another thing to note is that the correct option would not lack of some main event described in the passage, and would not contain any extra information.

CAT Para-Completion Strategy:

In CAT Para-Completion, you are given a sentence and a passage with a few blanks in between. You need to choose the most suitable blank in which the given sentence can be placed, in a way that it makes logical sense.


VARC is an important aspect of any MBA Entrance exam. In this blog, we have covered a generalistic approach to prepare for CAT’s Verbal Section. However if one finds himself/herself not performing well in this section, then it is recommended to go with Online CAT Coaching which focuses on developing comprehension abilities in students.

Where to Prepare For CAT 2024?

If you are looking for structured CAT preparation along with 24*7 doubt-solving, you can rely on iQuanta’s CAT 2024 Course. Practice the most relevant CAT-level content with iQuanta.

CAT 2024
Indrajeet Singh
Indrajeet Singh
The mastermind behind IQuanta, Indrajeet Singh is an expert in Quant and has devised some ingenious formulae and shortcuts to significantly cut down on the time taken to solve a problem

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