Regardless of the stage of your CAT prep, chances are that you believe Quant and/or DILR to be a bigger challenge than VARC. The one thing you might want to do right away is to check your accuracy over 4-5 mock CATs and see whether your assessment is correct. You might be not-so-pleasantly surprised.
The VARC myth
Unlike QA and DILR sections, wherein questions usually require a series of steps for you to reach the answer, VARC is seen as an area where either you know the answer, or you don’t. But even when you don’t really know the answer, you think you have picked the right option. A VARC question doesn’t normally leave you feeling inadequate, even if the scores are a massive letdown.
Well, in most cases, that perception of VARC being manageable without much prep is not really true, or desirable – especially because as far as CAT is concerned, the nature of questions now requires you to work your way through.
Is it really a test of English?
VARC in CAT is no longer knowledge-based like earlier times when Grammar or Vocabulary questions constituted a major chunk of the section. All the information that you need to solve the question is invariably right there in front of you – be it the RC passages, the para-summary questions, or the para-jumbles and the odd-one-out questions. So, it is more akin to Data Analysis (just the data happens to be in words instead of numbers and charts) than to English in a way.
Now more than ever, you can certainly increase your chances of getting to the right option. But for that, you need to let go of the habit of seeing VARC questions as having a binary outcome possibility of I know/I don’t but this option ‘feels‘ right.
And this is something not even the best CAT prep can help you with unless you decide to help yourself and make a change in the way in which you approach VARC.
Change perspective to change results!
The reason for a lower accuracy in the MCQs in VARC is that, very often, we just read the question, read the options and choose the one we “feel” is correct. This is very different from say, QA and DILR, where we take steps to reach a solution, thereby usually knowing whether we are on the right track or not. The key then is to induce a couple of steps in VARC as well.
One of the ways that seem to have worked very well for 100s of students in the past who were facing a similar issue: You should look to eliminate at least 2 choices before you select the better ones from the remaining two.
The previous sentence is the crux of this article – so, read that again!
As a result, you introduce steps into your process of getting to the answer.
The moment you start eliminating a couple of choices in VARC and choosing from the remaining two, it will (i) slow you down and (ii) help your accuracy.
About the author: Deekshant has sleep-walked through several 100 and 99.9 %iles in practically every section of the CAT. That he is a cricket fan and he writes okay is evident from most of his posts. 1000s of our students swear that he can motivate almost anyone to double his/her percentile through very simple yet powerful inputs. And that’s why every MBAGuru student has direct access to him via mail and Telegram. Oddly, he somehow also finds the time to write songs professionally. And yes … almost missed this … he is an alumnus of IIT Delhi & IIM Cal