Verbal Ability For CAT

Verbal ability for CAT along with reading comprehension is a separate section in the CAT exam. Every year 10 questions are included from the CAT verbal ability section. CAT verbal ability syllabus includes basic topics from grammar and vocabulary. Here, the details about CAT verbal ability with its syllabus is discussed in detail to help the CAT aspirants get acquainted with this section in a better way.

Verbal Ability For CAT: Overview

Total CAT Verbal Ability Questions


Total Marks in Verbal Ability For CAT Section


Types of Question in CAT VA Section


Total Non-MCQs (TITA) in Verbal Section


Difficulty in Verbal Ability Section

Moderately Easy

Marking Scheme in CAT Verbal Section

+3 (For Correct Answer)

-1 (For Incorrect Answer)

0 (For Unmarked Answer)

CAT (Common Admission Test) is a computer-based test for admissions into different management courses. CAT is a national level exam conducted by IIMs every year on a rotational basis. Being a prerequisite for admissions in the IIMs and other B-Schools, the CAT has become extremely competitive with over 2.5 lakh registration every year. To ace it, it is important for the candidates to be thorough with all the sections including the verbal section.

Verbal Ability for CAT

The CAT syllabus and pattern is not a pre-defined one but it has remained unchanged for the past 2 years. Verbal Ability is also a section included in the CAT exam pattern and VA along with RC constitutes one-third of the total questions of the exam. CAT verbal ability questions are there to test a candidate’s command over the English language, how good is one at using the language in a logically appropriate and contextually correct manner. One of the advantages of Verbal questions is that the questions can be solved quickly without any requirement of formulae and calculations.

This is easily one of the high-scoring parts of the exam as it generally relies on the grammatical and reading skills of the candidate. All questions come with optional answers and most of the students rely on their intuition to come to the answer early. However, it is advisable to not jump to the answer before understanding the question completely. To ensure high score in this section of the exam, it is good to further brush up the personal grammar and vocabulary skills.

CAT Verbal Ability Syllabus:

The Verbal Ability section constitutes three main topics as Vocabulary, Grammar and Verbal Reasoning.

  • Vocabulary:

Vocabulary questions test the candidate’s knowledge in English like primary meanings of words, idioms, and phrases, secondary shades of meaning, usage, associated words, antonyms, etc.

  • Grammar:

Grammar-based questions test the candidate’s capability to mark and correct grammatical errors. CAT tests the knowledge of high school level grammar and includes areas like use of articles, prepositions use of modifiers, subject-verb agreement, parallel construction, phrasal verbs, redundancy, etc.

  • Verbal Reasoning:

Verbal Reasoning questions are designed to test the candidate’s potential to identify relationships or patterns within sentences or group of words.

Related Verbal Ability Topics :

The candidates are suggested to visit the aforementioned links to know more about the Verbal ability sections and various preparation tips to prepare the section properly and solve the related questions with ease.

The format of CAT Verbal Ability Questions

The format of CAT has 34-36 questions in Verbal ability section from the aforementioned topics. These topics can be further classified as follows:

  • 1-2 questions on error correction
  • 3-4 questions on jumbled paragraphs
  • 2-3 questions on facts, inference or judgment
  • 3-4 questions on para summary
  • 24 questions on reading comprehension

Error Correction:

This section tests a candidate’s command over the grammar of English language which includes articles, phrases, clauses, modifiers, prepositions, subject-verb agreement, sentence correction, conjunctions, parts of speech, pronouns, punctuation, usage of infinitives and gerunds in sentences, tenses, etc. These may include questions on identifying the error in a sentence or fill in the blank to complete the sentence.

Jumbled Paragraphs:

This section includes questions on random jumbled sentences and ‘out of context’ sentence to be picked out of jumbled sentences.

For random jumbled sentences, the candidates are given a group of sentences that have been jumbled up. The candidates have to place the sentences in the right sequence to get a contextually correct paragraph.
There will be another kind of questions like, where the candidates will be given a set of jumbled sentences which make sense when placed in the right sequence, but there will be a sentence in between them that will be completely out of the context as compared to rest of the sentences. Candidates have to find that incorrect sentence to get the correct answer.

Facts, inference or judgment:

There are four sequentially ordered statements in this section. Every statement provided in this section can be classified as either a fact, inference or a judgment. The question is followed by four options and the candidates have to pick the most appropriate option that best describes the sequence of these statements.

Para summary:

This section includes a small text and the candidates have to pick the option that summarizes the given text most appropriately.

Reading comprehension:

The Verbal Ability (VA) along with the Reading Comprehension (RC) comprises of the total VARC section. The format of CAT is expected to have four reading comprehension passages with four questions for each passage. These four questions may be questions on statements made in the passage; true or false; assumptions; and other critical reasoning type based on comprehension passages. Visit reading comprehension to completely get acquainted with this sub-section, question types to be expected and various practice exercises.

The CAT verbal ability requires the candidates to be well acquainted with the basic grammar and compatible with reading comprehension to solve the related questions. The candidates are also required to get themselves well-versed with a wide variety of words to be able to answer the synonyms and antonyms easily.

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