Types And Approaches to Vocabulary Questions For CAT

Vocabulary Questions

From this pie-chart, it is very clear that vocabulary questions are not directly asked in the CAT examination. It is the usage of vocabulary infrequently appearing questions in the Verbal Ability for CAT section which is vital.

What is the importance of vocabulary usage?

  • For CAT, a good vocabulary is very essential, although CAT does not test candidates on their knowledge of difficult words directly. This is because the questions and answer options may have some arduous words.
  • Not knowing their meaning could decrease the candidate’s ability to comprehend the verbal ability questions. The ability to make the correct answer choice may be compromised if the meaning of a word contained in one of the answer options is unknown.
  • Good vocabulary plays a very important role in cracking all sorts of questions appearing in the Verbal Ability portion of CAT. Hence, the usage of vocabulary in each of the above-mentioned question sets becomes very important.

What is the role of vocabulary in CAT Verbal Ability Preparation?

Many questions in the verbal segment of CAT are based on the usage of words and structure of sentences, example: “He was stopped, ticketed and had to pay a fine,” seems like a grammatically correct sentence but according to the rule of parallel structure, it should be changed to “He was stopped, ticketed and fined”. Also, concentrate on learning new words like apocryphal (meaning ambiguous) which is difficult to remember but may be important for CAT.

The role of vocabulary is different questions in the verbal section are mentioned below:

Reading Comprehension:

  • Reading comprehension (70% of verbal questions) is the most important and tricky segment where vocabulary plays a vital role.
  • The ability to use and identify important words is an essential skill for all types of verbal questions, especially Reading comprehension passages.
  • Candidates should be well versed with all the important words to effectively solve Reading comprehension passages.
  • Smartest approach: To identify important parts of the passages and to identify keywords that link two paragraphs it is very important to have a good vocabulary.

Paragraph Forming (Para Jumbled Questions):

  • Para-jumbles have been regularly appearing in the CAT and other MBA exams. It is one of the few areas of Verbal Ability where the scope of ambiguity is less.
  • The most critical part of Para-jumbles is to form a logical paragraph from the given sentences.
  • Smartest approach: It is very important to identify words that perfectly link two sentences in order to form a coherent paragraph.

Summary, Last-line, Grammar and Odd-one-out:

  • To excel in this set of questions, candidates should develop ability in the functional usage of words, idioms and phrases.
  • Smartest approach: Attempt vocabulary-based questions because they take less time.


What is the best approach to building up a good vocabulary?

Knowing the meaning of words and the ability to use them is an essential skill for all types of verbal questions especially, RC passages. This skill is difficult to acquire by memorizing words. Here are some tips to help individuals develop a strong vocabulary.

  • Membean Helps:

Membean software was developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) students for GRE vocabulary preparation.

  • Focus Limited Resources:

Creating an effective vocabulary learning system is arduous and challenging

  • Reinforce Learning:

Schedules learning and repetitions to ensure that what students learn is not forgotten

  • Capture Attention:

Membean provides more than 7 different ways of learning a word. With engaging content such as audio, video, and word pictures, its game-like format succeeds in overcoming short attention spans.

  • Differentiate Instruction:

Customizes a learning program for each and every student based on their existing skill level and speed of progress.

There are 4000+ words that are important for CAT. The conventional method (memorizing words) is not an apt way to remember and recollect so many words. Membean software is considered to be an innovative approach to developing excellent vocabulary skills.

Mr. P N Santosh has developed a lot of approaches for cracking the Verbal Ability questions with ease (apart from the ones mentioned above). Example: 80/20 rule for Reading Comprehension passages, etc. To get complete assistance with CAT preparation, stay tuned with BYJU’S.