The CAT has evolved a lot over the years. The good news was that the duration of the test was increased to 180 minutes. The not so good news – you can’t switch sections if you finished one before 60 minutes of stipulated time. That meant you still had only an hour for 34 questions in the CAT English section that can become the bane of existence for several test takers. The section contains Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension questions, which can indeed baffle most test takers. But you can also prepare for them smartly and come out on top.
What the CAT verbal section is all about?
Before we offer you smart tips to prepare for the section without wasting your precious time, let’s look at what CAT English section includes. Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension are integral parts of the section. Comprehension can be further divided into statistical, descriptive and analytical types. The section also aims to test your understanding and usage of English grammar. It comprises of questions on vocabulary, arrangement of paragraphs, sentence correction, identification of types of sentences etc.
Once you have figured out what you can expect in this section, you can start preparing for it by following these simple tips:
Improving vocabulary skills
To begin with, invest in a good dictionary, learn new words and practice synonyms and antonyms.
There are even super cool apps that can help you to learn a few words daily and enhance your vocabulary skills. They are gamified as well, so you can actually have some fun using these apps.
Your vocabulary can be bolstered by a lot of reading. More on that in the reading comprehension section.
Become a Grammar Pro
While you definitely don’t need to become a grammar Nazi, the following tips will help you get your grammar up to speed for the CAT vocabulary section:
The vocabulary section in CAT will require you to understand the meaning of phrasal verbs and difficult words. Make sure you specifically practice them.
For arrange in order section, you need to understand the meaning of the words first and make the connecting link before rearranging it.
Use a good book like Wren and Martin and go through the basic concepts. Pay special attention to parts of speech as it will come to good use during the CAT.
Ace Reading Comprehension questions
If you have to get better at reading comprehension, make sure that do you do the first bit diligently - reading! You can start with reading newspapers and magazines and then progress on to books from different disciplines including arts, history, philosophy and technology. Don’t get bogged down by tedious passages as you can expect them in your test too.
Start by understanding the construction of the passage and then look for the meaning of words, sentences and context. Don’t try reading too fast to save time. Experts believe a good reading comprehension speed is around 250 words per minute.
To answer the questions in this section, you need to understand the writer’s main idea and key purpose. You don’t have to choose the answer based only on what is agreeable to the writer’s point of view.
You are also better off cultivating a habit of taking notes about pertinent points that you come across while reading passages. It will save you time during the test.
Invest at least 45 minutes everyday towards active reading. Reading comprehension can really make or break your performance in this sections and ensure that you are really taking this section seriously.
In addition to these tips, make sure that you take some sectional verbal mock tests. This will help you understand your weaknesses and can help you align your preparation accordingly. These easy to follow tips can help you master the CAT English section like a pro.
Here’s the entire dateline for CAT 2017 to help you plan your test.
The A-Z Guide for Indian Regional Dance Forms - GK Prep
The A-Z Guide for Indian Regional Dance Forms - GK Prep
Regional Dances of India
India is a country with different creeds, caste, religion & Language. There are most amazing dance forms from each state that are asked in competitive exam GK section. Let's delve deeper...
Kuchipudi: It’s an Indian classical dance form, was originated in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. However, it is one of the most popular dance form in the whole southern India.
Kolattam: Also known as Kolannaluor It’s a rural art, performed using sticks during village festivals. Therefore, it’s also called as Stick Dance.
Dhimsa: This is the official dance of Vishakhapatnam, was originated in the kora put district of Odisha. It’s a tribal dance form, usually performed by the women of Porja caste dressed up in tribal clothes and ornaments.
Bardo Chham: it’s a folk dance of Sherdukpen people of West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh. This dance portrays the defeat of bad by good.
Bihu: It is the folk dance, associated with the Bihu festival. Both men and women perform this dance, they dress in colorful Assamese And the dance is performed with traditional Bihu music.
Jumur Naach: It is traditional dance of tea tribes of Assam, performed by both girls and boys or sometimes only by girls. The dance is performed with uniform foot movements while holding each other’s waist.
Bagurumba: It is a folk dance of Bodo tribe of Assam. This dance is performed by only girls dressed in colorful Bodo attire with slow dance movements with stretched hands. Popular among Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Nalbari, Darrang and Sonitpur
Ali Ai Ligang: The name is made from three terms; “Ali” stands for legumes, “Aye” stands for seed and “Ligang” for sow. This dance is performed while the Ali Ai Ligang which is a festival of associated with agriculture.
Paika: This is a battle dance is performed with a shield and sword, where men stand in two rows and attack each other to showcase their skills.
Kajari: This dance is performed on Kajari song of rainy season, usually in the month of
Bidesia: This popular form of dance drama depicts social issues and contradictory topics. This dance is solely performed by males, even the female characters are played by males only.
Jhijhian: This dance is also related to rain, but it’s performed when there is no rain; i.e. it depicts drought. It is a ritualistic dance, performed to pray to Lord of rain
Other popular dances are as follows:
Panthi: folk dance of satnami community, performed on birth anniversary of guru Ghasidas.
Raut Nacha: folk dance of yadavas, performed on dev udni Ekadashi for the worship of lord Krishna. Similar to ras leela.
Gaur Maria Dance: Performed on the occasion of weddings, also one of the most important dances of Bison Horn Marias of Abhujmaria plateau of Bastar.
Raas: It also called stick dance, because we require polished sticks i.e. dandiya to perform the raas.
tippani: Originated in Saurashtra’s chorwad region. In this dance form women take wooden sticks and beat the floor.
Garba: performed by women, during Navratri. This involves dancing in circular patterns and clapping hands.
Other popular dance is Padhar
Tarangamel: performed on Dussehra and Holi. Young girls and boys dress in rainbow costumes, carry multicolor flags and shout “HO, HO!”.
Other dances are
Divlyan Nach (Lamp dance)
Dhamal: This dance is performed by males in the phalgun month, it’s an ancient dance originated in the days of
Jhumar: This dance is named after an ornament worn on the foreheads, it is performed by women dressed in colorful costumes by clapping hands along with music of dholak and thali.
Loor: This dance is performed by girls during month of phagun, specially at the time of Holi
Other popular dances of Haryana are as follows:
Kinnauri Nati: It is an act, but it contains different physical movements. In this dance performers portray activities like sowing and reaping the crop.
Namgen: This dance is performed to celebrate the autumnal hues, women wear studded silver ornaments and woolen costumes for this dance.
Karma: This dance got its name from karma tree, which is a symbol of good luck and fortune. This dance is performed by both men and women, by forming circles and holding each other’s waist.
Jammu & Kashmir
Kud: It’s a thanks giving ritual performed for the gods Lok People of all ages participate in Kud dance, mostly performed during rainy season.
Dumhal: This dance is performed by men of Wattal tribe, dressed in colorful robes and tall studded conical caps.
Other popular dances are as follows:
Yakshagna: It’s a classical dance drama, popular in Karnataka and some parts of Kerala. The performers wear colorful costumes and plays roles from the story of
Bayalata: This dance is popular in southern regions of Karnataka, with this form of Yakshagana actors portray Epic Indian poetry and Puranas.
Dollu Kunitha: This drum dance is performed by the men of shepherd community of Karnataka. Men suspend large drums from their necks, decorated with colorful cloths.
Veeragaase dance: Dance is based on Hindu mythology and is performed during Hindu months of Shravana and Karthika.
Mohiniyattam: The name “Mohiniyattam” means “dance of the enchantress”. The dance is performed by the temple dancers in Kerala.
Kathakali: It is one of the most renown classical dance form of Kerala, having its originated about 500 years ago. It is a union of dance, drama, ritual and music.
Padayani: Popular in central Kerala, it’s a folk dance and a ritual art performed in Bhagavati temples in respect of Bhadrakaali. Performers wear large facial masks.
Other popular dances are:
Duffmuttu or Aravanmuttu
Kaikottikkali or Thiruvathirakali
Tertali: Performed by Tera Tali Women tie small metal cymbals (Manjiras) to their body and strike them periodically to make a rhythmic sound.
Charkula: Performed on the two days after holi, on the birth day of Radha. Dance is performed by women, who balance large pyramids with 108 lighted oil lamps.
Jawara: Popular in areas of Bundelkhand, performed at the time of harvest. Men and women perform this dance dressed in colorful attire, women balance baskets of jawara(wheatgrass) on their heads.
Other major dances of the state are as follows:
Pavri Nach: The dance is called so because it is performed on the sound of musical instruments; tarpha or pavri. Like many other folk dances, dancers stand close to each other and hold the adjacent dancers from their waist.
Lavani: Performed in Maharashtra and lower parts of Madhya Pradesh. This dance is performed by the women dressed in a nine-yard-long saris, on the beats of Dholki.
Other popular dances are:
Thang Ta: In the name Thang stands for “Sword” and Ta for “Spear”, as the dance was originated to show warfare skills. Performers attack each other while defending themselves.
Dhol Cholom: Performed on the occasion of Holi and spring, there’s a different type of drum for each occasion.
Cheraw Dance: Performed at the time of all the major festivals in Mizoram. In this dance four people hold and clap two long bamboo sticks on ground, while the performers make patterns through them.
Chang Lo or Sua Lua: Performed while all the community celebrations, performers wear traditional costumes of Naga warrior and fancy clothing of women.
Ghumura Dance: Very ancient and one of the leading folk dances of Odisha. Popular among south western Odisha and some parts Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Chau: Performed in Mayurbhanj and Baleswar districts of Odisha. It is presented in form of a mock battle, where two group of performers alternatively attack the opposite group and defend themselves.
Goti Pua: This dance is performed by the boys dressed up as girls, usually boys between the age of 6 – 14 years can perform the dance.
Nacni: Performed in rural areas by professional female dancer and singers, along with male drummers.
Odissi: It is one of the major classical dance forms as well as one of the oldest classical dance form of India.
Dhap: The dance is named so because the dance is performed on the music of dhap (Musical Instrument). Boys of one village perform this dance with girls of another village.
Dalkhai: Performed during festivals such as Bhaijiuntia, Phagun Puni, Nuakhai etc. Females perform this dance along with male drummers and musicians.
Baag Naach: This dance is performed during Hindu month of Chaitra; male dancers paint their body like that of a tiger and place a tail.
Other dances are as follows:
Garadi: According to the legends this dance was performed by monkeys when Lord Rama defeated the Performed on the beats of drums, while dancers carry stick in their hand.
Bhangra: It’s a widely popular dance style and name of the music, earlier performed at the time of harvest. But now it’s a part of all the celebrations such as weddings and festivals.
Giddha: Popular and colorful folk dance of women in Punjab. Dance is as energetic as bhangra, and said to be derived from ancient ring dance.
Malwai Giddha: It’s same as Giddha, the difference is that only male members participate in this dance.
Kikkli: This dance is performed by two girls who hold each other’s hands and whirl each other at high speed.
Ghoomar: This traditional folk dance was developed by the Bhil tribe of Mewar area, but is popular all over Rajasthan. This dance is performed by women, wearing traditional Ghaghara.
Kalbelia: This dance is usually performed by the women of kalbelia community. women dressed in embroidered black lehenga, whereas men sing and play musical instruments.
Bhavai: This dance is performed at Ambaji Temple nearby Mount Abu, along with being a dance it’s a ritual performed for Goddess Amba.
Kachchhi Ghodi: It’s an Indian folk dance originated in Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. In this dance a singer recite folk tales while dancers dressed in novelty horse costumes perform the dance.
Other common dances are Chirami, Gair, Tera Tali.
Singh Chaam: This dance is usually performed during Panglapsool festival. In this dance two people wear a large furry lion costume which represent the snow lion.
Bharatanatyam: This form of Indian classical dance is popular all over the world and was originated in temples of Tamil Nadu and have its roots to Natya Shastra.
Devarattam: Also known as the dance of the gods, performed by the Kambala Naikar community who are believed to be descendants of the Devas or Gods.
Kamandi: Also known as Kaman Pandigai dance, it also represents the event when lord Shiva burnt Manmada (the god of love) out of anger.
Kummi: This dance is commonly performed during festivals, in this dance people form a circle and clap their hands while dancing.
Kolattam: This dance is performed by holding two sticks in hands and making rhythmic sound with that, it has a variation dance too which is known as pinnal kolattam in which colorful ribbons are tied to a pole and women hold the other end of the ribbons and skip over each other to form a lace pattern.
Karagattam: In this dance, women balance pots filled with water over their head. This dance has two variations; Aatta Karagam and Sakthi Karagam.
Mayil Attam: Performed by girls dressed in a peacock attire, with peacock feathers, beak and a shimmery head piece.
Paampu attam: In this dance form, girls dressed in fitted snake like clothing perform dance in snake like movements.
Other popular dances are as follows: Oyilattam, Puliyattam, Poikal Kudirai Attam, Bommalattam, Theru Koothu,
Perini Shivathandavam: This dance is having its roots to Kakatiya dynasty. It’s a dance of warriors, performed by males in front of statue of lord shiva.
Burra Katha: It’s a narrating dance form derived from dance called Tandana Katha. It is performed on the musical instrument
Gobbi Dance: It’s performed during Sankranthi festival; its name is derived from the balls of cow dung known as “Gobbillu” which are placed in middle of rangoli designs made in front of houses.
Other common dances are as follows:
Hojagiri: It is a unique dance style of the Reang community of Tripura. This dance form includes acrobatic feet movements; only the lower half of the body moves in this dance.
Charkula: widely popular in Braj region of Uttar Pradesh, women perform this dance while balancing large pyramids with 108 lit oil lamps on their heads.
Swang: It’s a folk drama, in Uttar Pradesh it is usually performed on stories of Puran Nath Jogi, Gopi Nath and Veer Hakikat Rai.
Kathak: It’s one of the eight classical Indian dance forms, in Sanskrit the name of the dance means “the one who tells the story”.
Raslila: It is more like an act or drama, which depicts the events from life of lord
Ramlila: It’s similar to Raslila, except that it’s based on the life of lord
Barada Nati: This dance is popular in Chakrata Tehsil’s Jaunsar Bhawar area, usually performed during religious festivals or special occasions.
Cancheri: This dance is popular in the area of Danpur patti of Bageshwar district, near the Pindari It is performed by men and women by forming semi circles and dancing on slow rhythm.
Chhapeli: This dance is performed in couple by men and women, accompanied by musical instruments like Hurka, Manzira and
Choliya: Performed during weddings by Rajput’s, where males dance on the beat of Dhol with carrying sword and shield in their hands.
Jagars: It is related to spiritual and ghost worship, sometimes puja songs are sung for various gods and goddesses.
Jhora: Performed at the times of spring, fairs or wedding celebrations. Men and Women form a circle and dance while holding each other’s hand.
Romala: This dance is performed at the time of Holi, accompanied by the musical instruments like Harmonium, Tabla, Dholak and Manzira(Cymbals)
Langvir Nritya: This dance is performed only by men, by climbing on the top of a pole and rotating their body with the help of hands and feet. While, musicians play dhol and
Nongkrem: It is an important folk dance performed by Khasis tribe of Meghalaya, this dance is performed to celebrate the harvesting time of rice crops.
Shad Sukmynsiem: This dance is performed during the thanksgiving festival all over khasi hills, girls and boys dressed in colorful costumes participate in the dance.
Behdienkhalm: This dance is performed during monsoon season, during July after sowing the crop.
Lahoo: This dance is performed by men and women, where two men stand on either side of a women holding arms.
Dorsegata: In this dance women have to knock off turbans from the heads of male partners.
Gambhira: this dance form was first started among the hindu community of Maldha. Now Chapai Nawabganj in Rajshahi is the main centre of Gambhira dance form.
Kalikapatadi: This dance form is based on the story that how Shiva calms Kali after killing asura. This dance is performed on the neelpuja
Nanci: Performed by professional female dancers in rural areas, accompanied by male drummers.
Alkap: it is a rural dance performance, popular in many places of west Bengal and Jharkhand. This dance form is related to the Gajan festival of lord shiva.
Domni: popular in Maldah in West Bengal. This dance form contains small plays that portrays everyday life events, in a critical manner.
While preparing for tests like CAT, you have to lay extra impetus on enhancing your vocabulary. There are many words that are repetitively used in CAT exams and you must prepare them to ace the Verbal section.
Here is a CAT Vocabulary word list that will be helpful to an aspirant
Abate- Verb, Collapse or lessen
Abdicate- Verb, Give up the powers (monarchs and royals)
Apprise- Verb, To inform or notify
Accede- Verb, Yielding to someone’s wish.
Amicable- adjective, Friendly
Backfire- Verb, Rebound or boomerang
Bale- Noun, Bundle or bunch
Bask- Verb, Laze or Revel in (something relaxing)
Cache- Noun, Hoard or Stockpile
Caliber- Noun, Level of ability or distinction in someone’s character
Callous- Adjective, Heartless or uncaring
Celerity- Noun, Swiftness of movement
Debase- Verb, Degrade or Devalue
Debonair- Adjective, Confident and stylish
Docile- Adjective, Compliant or submissive
Deride- Verb, Ridicule
Ebullient- Adjective, Cheerful
Eccentric- Adjective, Unconventional
Elucidate- Verb, Explain
Evanescence- Noun, Vanish gradually from sight
Fallacious- Adjective, False or Incorrect
Ferocious- Adjective, Savage or cruel
Foible- Noun, Weakness
Frugal- Adjective, Economical
Gape- Verb, Wide open
Galore- Adjective, Abundance
Grapple- Verb, Wrestle or struggle
Halcyon- Adjective, Serene or pleasant
Hoodwink- Verb, Deceive or trick
Hypercritical- Adjective, Excessively critical
Impel- Verb, Force or urge
Innocuous- Adjective, Innocent or Harmless
Intrinsic- Adjective, Inherent or essential
Jeopardize- Verb, Endanger (someone/something)
Judicious- Adjective, Wise and sensible
Juxtapose- Verb, Place something close together
Kibble- Verb, Grind or Chop
Knighthood- Noun, Title or rank
Lampoon- Verb, Sarcasm or criticizing publicly
Limp- Verb, Walking with difficulty
Ludicrous- Adjective, Unreasonable or Absurd
Lithe- Adjective, Supple, Agile
Magnanimous- Adjective, Generous or Benevolent
Mawkish- Adjective, Over-sentimental
Mettle- Noun, Spirit or determination
Mundane- Adjective, Dull
Nascent- Adjective, Being born
Nexus- Noun, Series of connection
Novice- Noun, Beginner or Learner
Obsolete- Adjective, Outdated
Occult-Noun, Mystical or supernatural
Onus- Noun, Burden or responsibility
Penury- Noun, Extreme poverty
Pertinent- Adjective, Relevant
Petulant- Adjective, Childishly Bad-tempered
Query- Noun, Question
Repentance- Noun, Sincere regret
Reverent- Adjective, Deep Respect
Scribble- Verb, Writing carelessly
Solace- Noun, Consolation
Somber- Adjective, Dark or Serious
Tacit- Adjective, Understood
Trait- Noun, Characteristic
Unaccountable- Adjective, inexplicable
Uproot- Verb, Pull out
Verbose- Adjective, Wordy
Verify- Verb, Confirm or prove
Wearisome- Adjective, Tiring
Wintry- Adjective, Cold (in feeling)
Yearn- Verb, Longing for something
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Why do Engineers excel at CAT? What are their strategies?
Why do Engineers excel at CAT? What are their strategies?
Twenty candidates scored a perfect percentile score this year and they were all engineers. Coincidence? May be not. Engineers in this country are bred hard and strong. Although CAT is a wringer, the engineers who have appeared for JEE have been through a wringer already and a hefty one at that. One that is tougher, harsher and dramatically competitive. Not to mention that the candidates had been younger when they took the former and accumulated experience as they got through engineering colleges.
Prateek Bajpai, (B. Tech, Civil engineering from NIT) cracked CAT 2015 in his first attempt by scoring a perfect 100 percentile. Though most candidates join MBA coaching classes for preparation, Bajpai did it all on his own while working in Algeria. Not only this, he did it sans books, just dependent on mock tests and online preparations, reported the Indian Express.
Aritra Chakrabarti used to be a civil engineer from Jadavpur University who chose to diversify into the realm of Finance. He says that in the year 2016, he started his preparation as early as May. He appeared for regular sectional tests and two mock tests a month, analysed his weak areas and tried to improve them.
According to him, the minimum time frame needed to prepare for CAT would be, say six months of rigorous practice would be sufficient to excel in CAT.
Another thing is there are certain things engineers do just like others.
They give mocks to figure out weak areas.
They practise questions on a regular basis from those areas and track the improvement in subsequent mocks.
They practise and practise and practise.
They read management news and articles
They try to read all news and articles related to management.
Most engineers despite their background of mathematics, opt for coaching. The approach towards coaching differs from individual to individual. Some people benefit from a classroom system especially if they are starting from scratch. Classroom programs give regular sectional tests and mocks that regularly energise your brain and keep you in loop. In case you feel you do not need regular classroom coaching, you can opt for and enroll in a mock test series and that can certainly be very beneficial in your quest for a good percentile.
You may also like to read: Does IIM-A acceptance rate of 1% makes Harvard a safety school?
There were a few major changes between the year 2015 and 2016. The Common Admission Test (CAT) made changes not only to the pattern of the paper but the syllabus, allotment of marks and the basic structure and functionality. While you ponder, here’s what happened differently in 2016.
UNDERSTANDING THE NEW PATTERN
ALLOTTED Time — WHAT CHANGES WITH REGARD TO PATTERN AND DISTRIBUTION OVER SECTIONS.
The duration of CAT exam has been increased by 10 minutes, giving candidates180 mins instead of 170 minutes.
Other major change that has taken place is that you cannot switch between the sections during the test now. Once you have decided to get to the next section, you cannot switch back to the previous one.
Quantitative Ability (Mathematics): Quant, or Quantitative Analysis mostly contains questions on Number System, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Permutation & Combination/Probability Miscellaneous Topics that include Set Theory, Trigonometry and Logarithms. Although this a section that most CAT aspirants dread, it can be tackled fairly easily with a combination of determination, skill development, practice and strategy.
This section contains thirty-four questions with an allowed time span of sixty minutes.
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VRC): Deals with vocabulary based questions, english usage, grammar, sentence correction, jumbled paragraph analogies or reverse analogies, verbal reasoning, summary, reading, comprehension etc. It contains thirty four questions with an allowed time span of sixty minutes.
Data Interpretation (DI) and Logical Reasoning (LR) skills: Contains thirty two questions with an allowed time span of sixty minutes.
Questions types in each section may vary. They may or may not be multiple choice questions. The candidates are supposed to directly input answers on to the screen. Basic on-screen calculator will be provided for computation purposes.
Negative marking is a thing you need to be careful about in CAT 2016. A wrong answer will cost you a mark, so guess with caution. Leaving it blank will get you no further but a wrong answer will take you back and nobody wants that.
Where one correct answer gives you three points, one wrong takes away one. So, it would be advisable to write what you know, what you are completely confident about. Do this and you will sail through.
Read: Boost your CAT Prep with the Best Free Material Online