Tips to Cover VARC Section in CAT –Score 99 Percentile

30 May, 2018

Tips to Cover VARC Section in CAT 2018 – The verbal ability and reading comprehension (VARC) section in the CAT exams constitutes close to 20 to 30% of the total marks, and one must be exceptionally strong in English to score well in this section. VARC section consists of total 34 questions of which 24 are multiple choice and 10 are non- multiple choice type of questions. One must have a strong command over English to score high in this section. The CAT section is always the first section to appear in the CAT exams. There are some of the questions like how to prepare for the VARC section, what are the topics to be covered for the VARC section, etc. which come up usually before the preparation is begun. This section comprises and tests your knowledge over the English language on various perspectives. Here are some tips that one must follow to score really well in the VARC section of the CAT 2018.

Topics to Cover in each section of VARC

Reading Comprehension – The passages are generally 200 to 500 words of length and may be from any of the current affairs, literature, and social issues related topics. Questions from the passages can be factual or inferential.

    English Vocabulary- Sentence Correction, Fact Inference, Analogies and Reverse Analogies, Judgment, Fill in the blanks, Grammar, Para Completion, Para Jumble, Reasoning, Synonyms Antonyms (Vocabulary Based), etc.

    VARC Section composition

    Name of the Section Number of Questions Duration Maximum Marks
    Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) 34 60 102


    Area Reading Comprehension (16 Questions) English Usage (18 Questions)
    Topic 4- 5 Reading Comprehension Passage Jumble Paragraph Deductive Logics Sentence Correction Critical Reasoning Para Completion Grammar
    Number of Questions 16 4 4 3 4 3 3


    This section is to test the candidate’s expert level in the English vocabulary. The questions might include synonyms, antonyms, secondary shades of synonyms etc.

    Reading Comprehension:

    This section will contain 3 to 4 comprehensions to under and will have, the questions can be either genuine or inferential. Every passage may have 3 to 4 questions to answer and you can score 40 to 50% of marks in this section.


    This section determines candidate’s ability to determine relationships between words, with proper reasoning.

    Jumbled paragraphs:

    A paragraph with jumbled words may be given and the candidates will be expected to un-jumble them. So try to rehearsing with such passages and excel the talent of discovering out fast what makes logic. This will help you to re-arrange the passage quickly.

    Sentence Correction:

    The section is to test your grammatical skills.

    Deductive Logic and Para Jumbles:

    These are non-logical questions; so look out for some quizzes, jumbles words etc.


    This section will have questions from the subject-verb agreement, prepositions, parallel construction, phrasal verbs etc. Grammar is a close relative of mathematics. It has its own set of rules to be followed. Better brush up your grammatical skills.

    Pro-Tips to crack VARC section

    If you have the habit of reading regularly since childhood, you already have an advantage.  It won’t take much time to transfigure that into decent scores.

    Start speaking in English regularly to improve your vocabulary.  It will help a lot indeed.

    • Concentrate on keywords

    Try to give importance to the keywords in comprehension section and not necessarily on every word. Yes, it might be surprising but that’s the fact.

    Try to practice RC section, by eliminating unnecessary words, phrases, sentences etc.

    • Time management is priceless

    Unless you know how to manage time, you can’t succeed in an exam. Tray segregating time to each section separately, time box them and try resolving them within the time.

    • Reading speed

    Skimming & scanning are methods for reading comprehension. If you have a good reading speed you can definitely finish the VARC section way ahead of the time.

    • Use online resources to practice

    Give a try to online mock test, reading tests to improve your accuracy.

    • Books are always our best friends

    Try to read as many novels, books as you can and remember to finish them within two to three weeks of time. If you can, then you are the one! Try reading books from various genres. Who knows you RC passage may be from any one of them!

    • Newspapers

    Try to skim the daily newspapers. They help you improve your grammar, vocabulary and what not?

    • Puzzles

    They are not only for fun but will help you crack VARC section as well. Try to solve time bound crosswords, jumbled letters etc. online

    So – Read! Read! Read!


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