Developing verbal ability skills
Verbal ability is a vital component of management entrance exams. The questions in this section broadly test abilities in word power, analogies, sentence correction and verbal reasoning. This means that it demands a good vocabulary and a strong command of English. Over the last few years, the nature of questions asked in this section, particularly in the Common Admission Test has changed from being pure vocabulary based to reasoning and analogy. Let us look at different aspects of preparing for this section of the test.
Inculcate a habit of reading to improve concentration levels. Devote an hour everyday reading on diverse subjects - newspapers and periodicals provide good diverse reading topics. Read between the lines to understand the meaning behind each written word and sentence. Make a mental precis of a passage as you read through it. This would encourage you to remember facts, sharpen comprehension skills and help in analysing the described situation - very helpful for the reading comprehension section too.
The trend of asking direct questions on word power may have diminished in the last few years but nevertheless a strong word power has an impact on understanding and answering reasoning based questions. Vocabulary cannot be built by reciting a word list, dictionary or thesaurus but by sustained reading. A good vocabulary is all about learning the usage of new words, not just their meaning. Memorising an exhaustive word list can be extremely boring and may not get the desired results.
Once again use reading to increase word power. Keep a
dictionary handy while reading. As you come across new words, mark them. Look
for the meanings in a dictionary and synonyms in a thesaurus. This is a good
way to commit new words to memory - more so since the usage of words is of
critical importance. At the end of the whole exercise, you would end with a
self-created lexicon. Look it up regularly over the next few months to ensure
that the words stay with you.
Reasoning questions can be framed in different forms - arranging jumbled sentences in correct order, deriving the meaning of a short passage and sentence correction, identifying opening and closing statements from a series of statements and the correct usage of words are some common question formats. These can often be time consuming and need to be attempted with full concentration. Extensive practice and familiarity with these types of questions can be very helpful to build up speed.
The verbal sections might contain more questions than can be attempted in the allotted time. However, do not try and rush to attempt all the questions sacrificing accuracy. Work at a brisk pace and attempt all the questions that you are sure of in the first attempt. In the remaining time allotted, come back to have a second look at the questions which were skipped in the first round. Having gone through the entire section a second time, time permitting, go over it a third time. This will strike a good balance between questions that you are confident of and those that need a bit of thinking.
Undoubtedly command over the written language is the key to success in this section. While verbal ability can be a high scoring section, at the same time, scores are likely to vary in either direction, as unlike quantitative ability, there are no well-established scientific principals to distinguish a right answer from a wrong one. Monitor scores on a chart as you progress in preparation.
f the trend is towards higher scores, things are going fine
and there are reasons to be satisfied. Keep the tempo going till exam time.
However, if you notice a trend in the scoring pattern that is either not very
consistent or reflects a downward trend, identify the type of questions you are
getting wrong. Put in a stronger effort to increase basic conceptual skills in
those questions before attempting further simulated tests. The scope of pattern of questions in this section is
literally limitless. No amount of practice can ensure familiarity with each and
every form of questioning. The intention at this stage should not even be to
speculate over every possible type of question but to gain a good understanding
of the pattern of questions based on past trends. As long as a reasonable level
of comfort is achieved with the known pattern of questioning, there are reasons
to feel satisfied with the preparation.
With Best Wishes.............!!!!