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Vocabulary Note

Shantanav Bhowmik
03/04/2017 0 0

CAT Vocabulary:

The skills tested in Cat are things more than just English as a language. Cat is an entrance for post graduate management programmes at the premier bschools of India and the test is designed to suit the requirements of the curriculum and the industry. So, Cat integrates logic with language and hence the section is named Verbal ability and Reading comprehension (VA-RC). The medium of communication is English. Needless to say, one's grip over English is the one of the fundamentals needed to do well in cat. Vocabulary kicks in here because if one cannot understand the written material in front of him/her, he/she would not be able to apply his/her reasoning skills to answer the questions that follows.

Looking at the past trends, almost all bschool entrance to the likes of xat/cat/iift have reduced the number of direct vocabulary based questions like the ones that ask you for synonyms and antonyms. The primary use of vocabulary is for comprehension. The answer options have words which necessitates the need for a good stock of words if you are to mark the correct one. The questions related to the tone of the passages test vocab. Say, what is the difference between skeptical and critical;one need to know things like this.  If the author expresses doubts ,he/she is being skeptical ; if he/she is finding flaws, then critical. These are a couple of all those situations one should be aware of. Food for thought: flare and flair!

Contextual usage is important. Say, a particular word like ‘ violate' – it can mean to disobey or it can mean physical harassment. So one should be alert while reading the material/questions and should not overlook any possibility.

All these needs would be mitigated only when one has a good vocabulary. Good vocabulary can obviously be developed from good reading habits- philosophy,science,economics,history and others. This process is fool proof but time consuming so in order to gain faster, one has to put a directed effort. Like look up the past papers and analyse the trends, and follow that up with reading more such words. Or you can simply use the list of words provided by me or any institute. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis is a good book to start with but it is certainly not even remotely enough.

There are mnemonics to remember word meanings or even infer during exam. Techniques such as root word analysis. For example, ‘ ante' means earlier or prior to- So consider the words antebellum and antediluvian. The first one means before war and the second one means something that is very old or old fashioned( contextually). So when you learn new words you try to group them together like these two have been clustered. Clusters can be made based on any classification like synonyms ,antonyms etc.Or like the words : pandemic ,epidemic and endemic!! This way of comparative study would help create a clear ‘concept' in vocabulary.

Apart from all these one should also look to retain as many non-english words, that are used in english ,one comes across in newspapers and magazines. Those come in handy at times.

Fundamentally the more one reads and wider his/her range of study, the better vocabulary he/she has ; apart from that to hasten up the process one should resort to the material and strategies listed above.

Cheers n happy learning!

Shantanav Bhowmik.

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