Different Strategies for CAT VARC Section: Syllabus, Best Books and Preparation Tips

By Aditi Joshi|Updated : May 18th, 2022

The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section is an important section of the CAT exam. The syllabus of the section is vast and therefore, cannot be mastered overnight. As the CAT exam pattern has seen a change over the last 2 years, aspirants can expect around 24-26 questions from this section. CAT had a total of 24 questions VARC questions with a sectional time limit of 40 minutes.

The aspirants must follow some strategies to win in this section of the CAT exam. To ace this section, the candidates must start preparation in advance by developing study habits for English comprehension and vocabulary. So, it is pivotal to follow the CAT VARC preparation strategy to get a good score from this section.

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Table of Content

Test Pattern for CAT VARC

The VARC section tests the aspirants' English language skills. It also tests how well they can comprehend the core ideas and interpret the paragraphs. So, the aspirants must be aware of the VARC paper pattern before their preparation. The table below outlines an expected pattern for the CAT VARC section for the CAT exam.



Total number of questions







40 mins

CAT VARC Syllabus

The preparation strategy for the CAT VARC section should be strategic and well planned. Before learning how to solve the questions, the aspirants must know different topics and subtopics covered in CAT VARC Syllabus.

The CAT VARC section mainly focuses on but is not limited to, the following questions.

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Para-Jumbles
  • Odd-Sentence out
  • Summary

Best Books for CAT VARC Syllabus

This section consists of questions from English grammar, language, vocabulary, paragraph structure, and more. So, the aspirants must have the right choice of books for their preparation to get a good score from this section. The candidates can refer to BYJU'S Exam Prep study notes and books available to the candidates who have enrolled for the Online Classroom Programme.

Preparation Strategies for CAT VARC Syllabus

Many aspirants are quite unsure as to how to approach the questions of VARC in the CAT exam because this section mostly has lengthy RC passages. So, the following are some strategies for the aspirants to prepare for the CAT VARC syllabus.

Develop Interest First then Solve Questions

It is the first step to score well in the CAT VARC section. The English language consists of some rules and technicalities, for which consistency of an aspirant is required. It will be easier if the aspirants develop a learning interest to identify their strengths and weaknesses for the English language.

A Good Reading Habit should be the choice

Reading is important to improve aspirants’ language skills. The aspirants must follow diverse reading habits on varied topics like Economy, Psychology, Literature, and Science journals to get used to the different kinds of passages.

Increase Vocabulary

It is the basic requirement to ace the CAT VARC section. So, if the aspirants acquire a full stock of vocabulary, then they can easily answer the questions correctly. The aspirants can read good journals, news articles, and magazines like Aeon, for increasing their vocabulary.

Do a lot of Practice

If the aspirants don’t practice often and apply what they have learned into practice, learning the rules of grammar or memorizing new terms will be useless. It is impossible to memorize and retain the words for a longer period. Therefore, regularly practicing English grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension is highly recommended to crack the CAT VARC section.

Appearing for Mock Test

The candidates need to get an exam-like experience while preparing for the exam. They can attend BYJU’S Exam Prep online mock test to understand their preparation level for better performance.

Maintain a notebook for difficult words

The aspirants must maintain a notebook for the difficult words or root words, which they encounter at the time of reading journals. It assists them in checking the meaning of the word while revising the topic. Besides, maintaining a notebook for new words also enhances the word stock of the aspirants.


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