How to prepare for CAT VARC section?

The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section is an essential part of the Common Admission Test (CAT) examination. This section carries a significant weightage of 24 questions out of the total 66 questions in the exam. VARC preparation for CAT is crucial to secure a good percentile in the exam. In this blog, we will discuss some tips and strategies for effective VARC preparation for CAT.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) Syllabus

Before starting with the preparation, it is important to understand the exam pattern and syllabus for the VARC section. As per the CAT 2022 exam pattern, the VARC section consists of two subsections - reading comprehension and verbal ability. Reading comprehension holds a higher weightage with 16 questions, while verbal ability comprises 8 questions.


  • Reading Comprehension
  • Parajumbles
  • Paracompletion
  • Parasummary
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Usage
  • Odd-one out
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Fact, Inference & Judgement
  • Sentence Correction
  • Arguments
  • Analogy

How to prepare for VARC

Read Regularly

The VARC section mainly tests your comprehension and language skills. Hence, it is important to develop a habit of reading regularly. Reading newspapers, magazines, and novels will help you improve your vocabulary, comprehension, and reading speed. It will also keep you updated with current affairs and various topics.

Expand Vocabulary and Improve Grammar

Vocabulary and grammar are the building blocks of the VARC section. Actively practice and learn new words on a daily basis. Focus on basic academy grammar and complex vocabulary. It will help you understand, read and respond quickly to vocabulary-based questions.

Work on a Strategy

The reading comprehension section requires a strategy to go over the text and answer the questions as quickly as possible. Thus it is imperative that candidates note and actively improve their performance by timing themselves and solving papers to develop an understanding. Try different strategies like skim reading, scanning, and note-taking to find the one that works best for you.

Write Mock tests regularly

Practice is the key to success in the VARC section. Keep practicing and solving mocks to build a strategy for the VARC section. Mock exams are a one-stop destination for VARC preparation for CAT. The tests will also get you in the habit of answering such questions and allow you to develop your strengths and weaknesses.

Use Elimination Technique for Reading Comprehension

While solving an RC passage, try to make use of the “elimination strategy” i.e. eliminating answer options that are not relevant to the passage. To achieve mastery of this technique, you need to bolster your reading speed and practice more than 700+ RCs until the CAT Exam. Also, following the reverse technique i.e. looking at the answer options before looking at the passage can be of great help in hitting the correct answer.

Focus on the Main Idea

While solving the VARC section, focus on the main idea behind the question and frame a preparation strategy around it. Try to understand what the author wants to convey, not what you want to interpret. You are more likely to reach a conclusion if you try to understand what the writer is trying to say than giving it your interpretation.

A very important aspect of preparation for any competitive exam is practicing questions from previous year papers. We recommend practicing questions till CAT 2021 while writing CAT 2022 papers as mocks. You won't get better mocks than actual CAT exams.

Solve previous year VARC questions

In conclusion, VARC preparation for CAT requires consistent effort and practice. Understand the exam pattern and syllabus, read regularly, expand vocabulary, improve grammar, work on a strategy, solve regular mocks, and use elimination techniques for reading comprehension. Focus on the main idea and do not stick to a question. Keep calm and confident while attempting the VARC section, and you will surely succeed

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