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How to crack Verbal
by Inder Negi - Monday, 16 April 2007, 05:41 PM

hi ,

          i have a query regarding the preperation of verbal section as i am very poor in it..............i have written CAT 2006 and scored very poor in Verbal...........I am working as a software engineer and its very difficult for me to devote time to all the section on the regular basis as i all the effort i can put for CAT depends on the work i have..........

please help me out

thanks in advance.........

Re: How to crack Verbal
by Total Gadha - Monday, 16 April 2007, 06:03 PM
  Hi Inder,

I am pasting the reply I recently gave to another student.

I took some time in introspection to pinpoint the skills that helped me crack the verbal section in MY CAT. Since you cannot do too many things, I wanted to determine the preparation that will give you maximum results with minimum inputs. Here is what I suggest based on two portions in Verbal:

  • Reading Comprehension (RC): This comprises nearly 80% of the English section in CAT. Direct RCs, parajumbles, and fill in the blanks, all of them test your reading skills. First, I think you start reading three things on regular basis: (a) The Hindu newspaper, (b) The Economist magazine (c) Scientific American online. Even if you can't read novels, these three will take care of your reading. Second, download the 1000 RC file from the download section here and start doing two RCs a day. Don't do them fast. I do not want you to speed up. Read them slowly, understand everything, and then answer the questions. Whenever you get stuck, post the questions along with the RCs here.
  • Grammar and Sentence Correction: Buy the good old 'Wren and Martin' for grammar and finish it. Do only the grammar section in the book. Don't touch rest of the sections. Make a plan such that you are able to finish the book three times before November, remembering that you will get busy with Mock Cats etc. from September. I am suggesting three times (at least) because you will keep forgetting the grammar rules that you read. So keep reading again and again.

Also, if you are joining any coaching Institute, make up your mind that you will not take more than 10 full length tests. Get this straight, no one can get good in a subject by taking tests. Tests are meant to test your skills, not enhance them. So taking a lot of tests only wastes the precious time that you can invest in studies and get ahead of the pack. The coaching institutes play on your fears and make you believe that the more tests you take, the better you get. Do not fall into that trap. Just study for these 6-7 months.

Rest, I will keep helping you as you go along. Keep posting your English doubts here. smile

Total Gadha

Re: How to crack Verbal
by Inder Negi - Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 08:34 AM

Thanks a lot TG,

                     i just wana ask  one more thing, i wrote CAT last year just to check that where do i stand without much(negligible) preperation, i got decent percentile(as per my preperation) i.e 94%ile.

now i am scared that as per my own experience i found that people who have done good in first attempt generally get less score the next time when they join any coaching institute................

please help me regarding this................

Re: How to crack Verbal
by Total Gadha - Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 10:14 AM
  Hi Inder,

It happens with people who took their previous CAT with full-fledged preparation and couldn't get through. In their next attempt, most of these people go through a decline in their preparation, maybe because of overconfidence or because of confusion because they feel they have already studied everything.

If you want to improve on your CAT preparation, concentrate more on studies and less on test taking. Everyone in coaching industry knows that taking tests improves your scores only initially. Then you reach a plateau and your percentile becomes stationery. To improve on that percentile, you need to go back to studies. You will again see a marked jump in your scores.

Don't worry about your percentile falling in this attempt. There is no logical reason it should. Just plunge into your preparation. smile


Total Gadha
Re: How to crack Verbal
by rohan pandey - Friday, 20 April 2007, 01:01 PM
  hi sir! my grammer is fine but not too good(bcuz for cracking cat one has to become invincible)wren and martin is is fine but i need a much more comprehensive book containing lots of examples.Is there any such book in your knowledge?
Re: How to crack Verbal
by rohan pandey - Friday, 20 April 2007, 01:14 PM
  hi sir i read THE HINDU regularly but i can't solve the crossword properly,i understand the meaning  of the sentences and some words do come in my mind but the alphabets do not fit in the manner they should.Does it means i am weak?(but i believe that a crossword is not the right  parameter to measure somebody's verbal skills)will this weakeness of mine reduce my chances of cracking CAT?
Re: How to crack Verbal
by Total Gadha - Friday, 20 April 2007, 01:37 PM
  Hi Rohan,

The Hindu crossword is not a straight crossword but a cryptic crossword; you have to break clues to solve it. Let's see two clues in today's crossword, i.e. The Hindu crossword of 20th April, 2007:
  • 8 Down- Fancy Anirudh's face showing colour (4) - This is the kind of clue in which the word is given in the sentence itself. Here, the word 'Cyan' is given in 'Fancy Anirudh's'. Cyan is a colour. Answer- Cyan
  • 17 Down- Picture with an earthy theme (9)- This is a clue where you have to find synonyms for some words and piece them together to make words. Now - earth = land, theme = scape. So the word is 'landscape' which is a picture. Answer- Landscape.
So you see? The Hindu crossword is not the right parameter or your English. It's more a meter of guaging how fast you can break clues. And NO, it has no bearing on your CAT paper. smile

Total Gadha
Re: How to crack Verbal
by Total Gadha - Friday, 20 April 2007, 01:45 PM
  Hi Rohan,

I did one more grammar book by Martin Hewings to crack my CAT. But in retrospect, I realize that one grammar book like Wren and Martin is enough. You only need to learn basic rules. The IIMs are not asking some little-known or high-level grammar rules. Referring to too many books just consumes more time and prevents you from focusing on what is important.

However, these are my two cents. Have a look at this book when you next go to a book shop.


Total Gadha
Re: How to crack Verbal
by rohan pandey - Monday, 23 April 2007, 01:17 PM
  thank u sir! are three to four hours of thorough reading enough at this stage?(for a 4 semester student)what do u say about remen mercy?(grammer book),spelling of the first word may be wrong.
Re: How to crack Verbal
by Total Gadha - Monday, 23 April 2007, 05:32 PM
  Hi Rohan,

Yes they are suffcient. As for the grammar book you mentioned, I haven't seen it so I cannot comment. Follow it by all means if you think it's good. smile

Total Gadha
Re: How to crack Verbal
by MohdMohsin Khan - Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 06:15 PM


   For me verbal section is like 60% accuracy always,I am practising it daily but still I always have a doubt in the answer I choose in the test paper,I mean to say that I never had surity in the option I choose in 5 out of 10 times.

Re: How to crack Verbal
by brendan decruz - Thursday, 19 July 2007, 10:32 AM
  Dagny mam,
am still a bit confused with respect to my verbal prep for cat 07. i mean my gut feeling is that the paper is gonna be quite similar to the cat 06 pattern...... hence I dont understand the utility behind working on jumbled para or synonyms,antonyms,etc.... its not that i haven't prepared them at all......rather  i want to use my preparation time now only towards stuff like 'concluding a given para', F,J,I type questions, critical reasoning ,etc..... i believe these have a realistic chance of appearing ...... what do you say mam?
Re: How to crack Verbal
by jagan deep singh - Thursday, 19 July 2007, 09:36 PM
  i have few doubts regarding verbal preparation.. u have  suggested to read regularly  Hindu and Economist, will reading editorial of Hindu suffice for CAT or do i need 2 read complete paper? i get exhausted after reading 6 pages at a stretch... does it happens to every one or i m d only one feeling the stain ?
can you  suggest what to read and how much to read  from Hindu? time is no constraint for me!
Re: How to crack Verbal
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 23 July 2007, 01:12 PM
  Hi Brendan,

Don't do your preparation with any preconceived notions in your mind. Learn as much as you can because you really can't predict the exam.But yes, I believe that your reasoning should be strong because it helps you in RC,IFJ,para jumbles,CR etc. You should not be wasting time in mugging up the wordlists at all but while reading when you come across difficult words, try to guess the meanings yourself before referring to the dictionary. And as I always say, enjoy your preparation, it's one of the most beautiful preparations that you can ever 

Re: How to crack Verbal
by Dagny Taggart - Monday, 23 July 2007, 01:27 PM
  Hi Jagandeep,

You can go through the editorials everyday and say if you are interested in sports, go through that section as well. And the days when you don't want the read the newspaper, you can read 'Economist'.

Re: How to crack Verbal
by riya saxena - Tuesday, 4 September 2007, 12:20 AM

hi dagny ma'am,

                    i m cat 2008 cat aspirant and want to start my preparation now onwards.its my 7th sem from hbti and placed in prob is main in verbal section,not very good in please guide u reply different aspirants that wren and martin is sufficient.but while solving the exercise i am not able to get whether i m right or not.

thanks in advance.

Re: How to crack Verbal
by abhishek rai - Sunday, 6 June 2010, 09:26 PM
  Hi Sir,

Right now I m doing the Reading comprehensions and Critical Reasoning from the Main Forum. CR is fine and more often than not, I get all the answers correctly. Regarding RC, I somehow get 1 answer wrong, that too in the middle, i.e. either question No.3 or 4. Once in say, 5 RCs, I do get all correct though.

What's wrong with me?

Also, I am completing Wren and Martin as well as Hewings. I think I will start SC once I complete these two, which I will by July 15th.

How can I refine my strategy? Meanwhile, I am also doing PJ and CR alternatively. RC daily. I hardly post the answers though, as they are already there.

Help Sir.
How to crack Verbal
by Ram Anant - Tuesday, 8 June 2010, 08:39 PM
  Resp Sir , I am working professional and have already read 15 novels . and still going on . I read yur article in which u mentioned reading 100 novels to get the desired result in CAT . Sir , At this pace i might able to finish only 40-45 novels by december . Sir , Please help me in this situation .

Re: How to crack Verbal
by Vara Surapaneni - Thursday, 17 June 2010, 07:22 PM

Hi... No. of novels is not a parameter dude. Just it gives you usage of vocabulary. Thats it. Cool. Do wat you can by that time. Nothing to worry. Carry on.

Re: How to crack Verbal
by jatin dixit - Monday, 12 July 2010, 09:47 AM

TG you have refer Wren n martin for cat.
Is wren n martin alone is sufficient for gmat prepration ??


Re: How to crack Verbal
by neine arora - Sunday, 18 July 2010, 02:28 AM
  hi sir n mam ' ,
i have read many times that since the passages comes from different backgrounds of education , it would be gud to refer some related novels , therefore i referred Bertrand Russel for philosophy .  but soon found that i m delaying my completion of the the non fiction due to lack of interest .
mam plzz guide
or else do tell some nice books which we can refer for beeter performance in RC's .
Re: How to crack Verbal
by amit kheterpal - Sunday, 18 July 2010, 03:22 AM

for psychology

for science

for Indian economics and politics

Re: How to crack Verbal
by Abhirup DebRay - Sunday, 18 July 2010, 09:29 AM
  thnx 4 d links dude smile
Re: How to crack Verbal
by anshul khandelwal - Monday, 19 July 2010, 05:57 PM
  sir i want to know how should i work upon the rc passages.i commit mistakes quite often.although i read the rc quite thoroughly still i get most of my answers wrong.what to do???????
Re: How to crack Verbal
by mahak garg - Sunday, 25 July 2010, 12:08 PM
  Hi sir,

Verbal has become nightmare for me. I had been trying but nothing seems to workout.i am working so am unable to spend full time for prep. Pls suggest some plan which i can implement in three months to ensure an optimal score.

Re: How to crack Verbal
by vishakha jalan - Thursday, 29 July 2010, 02:52 AM
  hi sir,

i have been doing rc and reading newspaper but this is not helping me out . what should i do in such a short span of time to get a gud percentile in english section.
Re: How to crack Verbal
by mayank joshi - Saturday, 6 September 2014, 02:45 AM
  sir u suggested to read only the grammer section of the wren and martin ...
but there is coaching institute who has strongly said not to go with the wren and martin.

so i am bit of confuse whether to go with this book or not ???