Avoid Errors – CAT candidates

CAT candidates tend to make silly errors on account of haste or inadequate attention.

The best way to improve your scores in the CAT is to eliminate your tendency to commit silly, avoidable errors. This should be one of your principal focal points for the last month leading up to the CAT.

While every section has its own unique list of errors commonly committed by students, today, we focus on the most common errors in English. When you are solving a question in the verbal section, if at the end of reading the question you do not have an answer to it, there could be two principal reasons for it:

1) The question is completely outside your level of ability and analysis – in which case you obviously need to skip the question.
2) However other times, if you do not get an answer to the question asked, a closer analysis of the question / options might help you get to the answer.

It is the second question category you should focus on in the coming month in order help you develop your score in the verbal section of the CAT. Look out for the following categories of errors you may have a tendency to commit:

Misreading the question asked: Often, test takers have a tendency to misread the question and solve the question they think was rather than the question which was actually asked.

For instance, a question like, Based on the information contained in the passage all of the following is true except is misinterpreted as trying to ,find the true option rahter than what is actually asked – the false option.

Similarly, questions like which of the following is not true? Is a double negative and is asking for what is true rather than what is false.

Misreading the options:
The other most common error in English is misreading the options provided.

Consider the following questions and their options which have actually appeared in some of the toughest CAT papers. A close reading of the options will show you that you can clearly distinguish between what each of the options tells you. Hence, if you have understood the context in which the question is asked, the answer should be clear to you.

Example1: According to the author, inverted representations as balm for the forsaken:

1) is good for the forsaken and often deployed in human histories.
2) Is good for the forsaken but not often deployed historically for the oppressed
3) Occurs often as a means of keeping people oppressed.
4) Occurs often to invert the status quo.

Example 2: The author cities examples of atrocities perpetrated by European colonial regimes in order to

1) compare the atrocities committed by colonial regimes with those of communist regimes
2) Prove that the atrocities committed by colonial regimes were more than those of communist regimes.
3) Prove that, ideologically communism was much better than colonialism and Nazism.
4) Neutralize the arguments of Mr Lindblad and to point out that the atrocities committed by colonial regimes were more than those of communist regimes.
5) Neutralizes the arguments of Mr Lindblad and to argue that one needs to go beyond and look at the motives of these regimes.

Notice how various options muse similar words to confuse the reader about their true meaning. If your sentence comprehension ability is good, you should have no problem identifying the differences in each of the options.

Ideally, the way to solve any question in this section is to read the question properly. Get a fix on what is being asked, and then prophase the answers to the question in your mind before you go to the options. That is how you should approach verbal questions. Unfortunately most test takers focus on going directly to the options in an attempt to choose between them. This leads to secondary errors like settling on one of the wrong options, and then attempting to justify it in your head.

Analyze all the questions you have solved in your verbal and reading comprehension preparation. Conduct an option comparison to be better aware of the different types of errors you are likely to commit while solving questions from this section. Then you will be less likely to commit those same errors on D-day.