How To Prepare VARC for CAT 2023: Experts Tips & Strategy

By BYJU'S CAT|Updated : October 14th, 2022

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, or VARC for CAT, is considered the toughest and most time-consuming section. It is also quite difficult to prepare for VARC for CAT as the exam authority releases no marked syllabus. Thereby, How to prepare for VARC CAT is the most common question that every CAT aspirants want to know. Note one thing, to prepare for VARC CAT, you need not to apply any logical explanation and mathematical step-by-step solution to find the answer.

In this article, BYJU'S Exam Prep experts have analysed in detail How to Prepare for VARC CAT. You can check these tips and do your best to prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT.

Table of Content

What is VARC for CAT?

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension, or VARC, is one of the most important sections in the CAT Exam. This section tests the knowledge of the English language, including grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension. As per CAT Exam Analysis, the overall difficulty level and standard of VARC for CAT is generally high. So, the candidates who are preparing CAT must be well-versed in all the important topics and aspects of the CAT VARC section. VARC for CAT is the only section which needs planning, understanding and consistency with facts about its basic fundamentals. The VARC for CAT consists of below 4 main parts:

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Grammar
  3. Verbal Reasoning
  4. Reading Comprehension

Note the section below to get experts' tips and strategies to prepare for VARC CAT.

How to Prepare for VARC CAT Questions: Topics to be covered

Seeing the past year's trends of the CAT Syllabus, the VARC section for the upcoming exam will consist of the below-mentioned chapters. The candidates must not neglect or skip any of these chapters as all these are very important to clear the sectional CAT Cut Off.

  • Para Summary
  • Odd One Out
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Summary
  • Facts

Types of CAT Verbal Ability Questions

There are two types of questions asked in the CAT VARC:

  • MCQs (Multiple-Choice Questions)
  • Non-MCQs / TITA (Type-In The Answer)

In the MCQ-type questions, there are 4 options to choose from for every question. If answered correctly, it will fetch you +3 marks to your score. But if answered incorrectly, it will deduct your score by 1 mark.

In the Non-MCQ or TITA-type questions, you have to type your answer in the blank space given after the question. If answered correctly, it will fetch you +3 marks to your score. But if answered incorrectly, no marks will be deducted.

VARC for CAT: Exam Pattern

Considering the previous year's trends, the candidates can expect a total of 24 questions from VARC for CAT (19 MCQs and 5 TITA). There is a sectional duration for attempting VARC for CAT, and it is 40 minutes. Check the detailed overview of the CAT Exam Pattern.

VARC for CAT - Exam Pattern



Time Duration

PWD - 53 minutes and 20 seconds

Others - 40 Minutes for other

No. of Questions asked in VARC for CAT (As per CAT 2021)

24 (19-MCQs and 5-TITA)

Marking Scheme

Correct +3 marks

Incorrect -1 mark

Unattempted- 0 marks

Marking Scheme for TITA Questions

No negative marking

Difficulty Level of VARC for CAT


How to Prepare for VARC CAT - Vocabulary

To tackle these questions, students must have excellent reading skills, a combination of reasoning power, and great vocabulary. Being fluent in the language is insufficient. To crack this paper, you need to know how to use a suitable word in a given context. For instance, four words may be given, which may mean almost the same. Thus, finding the odd words would be extremely difficult. The student must have excellent knowledge and understanding to notice the slight difference to recognize the odd one. Also Check: CAT Preparation Tips

The etymology approach is excellent for improving vocabulary. Understand the word by referring to its root meaning, the suffixes, and prefixes to have command over your vocabulary. You can develop vocabulary skills by mastering connotations and colloquial usage to use them in appropriate contexts.

How to Prepare for VARC CAT  Questions - Grammar

The right approach to learn grammar is knowing the rules, parts of speech, and their usage. The other option is to learn based on questions asked in CAT Previous Year Question Papers. Learn how to correct a given sentence by identifying errors. Such a practice helps easily detect errors to aid the student in tackling VARC for CAT. Questions relating to Para Jumbles, Summary, and Logical Continuation are easy to handle with sound grammar.

How to Prepare for VARC CAT - Reading Comprehension

The weapon to overcome the hurdle named VARC is reading comprehension skills. The skill may be developed by reading the newspaper daily. The diverse topics are an aid in improving vocabulary. Mark unknown words and learn pronunciation, usage in varied contexts, synonyms, and antonyms. Retain them by using them in conversation. Work on your reading speed and check how many lines you can read in a minute.

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT: Expert Tips

Below are some expert-recommended tips to prepare for VARC CAT. You can follow these all to grasp this section with better conceptual clarity.

  1. Enhance your Reading Habits: The candidates must establish a daily reading habit to become more fluent in English Language, grammar and Vocabulary. Read the newspaper daily to enhance your word stock, which is extremely important to solve vocab questions in CAT. Besides, reading the newspaper daily will also help you to stay updated with current affairs and other important events. Also Check: CAT Answer Key
  2. Maintain Diary: The candidates must maintain a diary to note all the words uncommon to them. Learn synonyms and antonyms of these words and try to make sentences on your own with these words. It will help you to memorise those new words on exam day if required.
  3. Work on a Strategy: The reading comprehension part in VARC for CAT requires a strategy to go over the text and answer the questions as quickly as possible. Thus, candidates must note and actively improve their performance by timing themselves and solving papers to develop an understanding. Also Check: CAT Admit Card
  4. Attempt Regular Mocks: Practising is the main key to prepare for VARC CAT. The more you practice, you will learn to build the strategy for VARC Section. Attempt BYJU'S Exam Prep CAT Mock Test and check your preparation level for this section.
  5. Do Revision: You must do revision after completing the syllabus and other important topics to get a better understanding. Additionally, regular revisions will also let you know whether you are fully prepared for the upcoming exam or not. Utilize your free time and revise the chapters you have prepared already.


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FAQs on VARC for CAT

  • First of all, the candidates need to understand the marking scheme, exam pattern, syllabus and other important topics that are needed to prepare for VARC CAT. solve section-wise questions to get a better conceptual understanding of this section. You can also join BYJU’S Exam Prep CAT Online Coaching to get instant support from top faculties to prepare VARC for CAT.

  • Below is a list of the best books to prepare for VARC CAT.

    • A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R.S. Aggarwal
    • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arihant 
    • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback by Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster
  • Conceptual clarity is extremely important to get the 99+ percentile in the CAT VARC section. For this, you need to do regular revisions of the chapters you have prepared already. Attempt mock tests and learn from your mistakes so that it will not repeat again.

  • Self-study is the key in developing better clarity of chapters that come under VARC for CAT. It will help you to memorize the concepts on the exam date to solve the questions quickly and accurately.

  • If you have complete dedication, then you can easily complete the CAT VARC Syllabus in 2 months. But experts always recommended to start your preparation atleast 7 months prior to the exam. 

  • Yes, reading the newspaper is extremely important to prepare for VARC CAT. It will help you to learn new words which are required to answer the CAT Vocabulary Question correctly.

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