As you enter the most important phase of your CAT preparation, a number of questions must be popping in your head. One of those questions must be: howto study for CAT grammar in the next few days?
But before you read the answer to this question, you need to understand the anatomy of CAT grammar questions and the areas probed traditionally. These would give you a fair estimate of what you need to study in the coming months.
As far as the types of questions go, CAT provides a series of sentences (on most occasions, from the same paragraph) and asks you to identify the correct/incorrect sentences. The tricky part in these questions is actually not the format but the kind of errors probed in the question. A lot of these questions feature pure grammar-based errors. To solve the Sentence Correction Questions correctly, it is important that you should be thorough with the basics of Grammar.
Let's look at an actual CAT question from CAT 2008, which will clarify the application of Grammar in CAT:
Question: Directions: These are sentences that form a paragraph. Identify the sentence(s) or part(s) of sentence(s) that is/are correct in terms of grammar and usage (including spelling, punctuation and logical consistency). Then, choose the most appropriate option.
A. In 1849, a poor Bavarian imigrant named Levi Strauss
B. landed in San Francisco, California,
C. at the invitation of his brother-in-law David Stern
D. owner of dry goods business.
E. This dry goods business would later became known as Levi Strauss & Company.
(1) B only
(2) B and C
(3) A and B
(4) A only
(5) A, B and D
Answer: Option 1, Only B. Only sentence B is a correct sentence. The rest of the statements have the following errors:
Statement A - the spelling of 'immigrant' lacks a 'm'
Statement C - lacks a punctuation mark (,) after the word David Stern
Statement D - should have begun with "'an' owner of dry goods business."
Statement E - This dry goods business later came to be known as Levi Strauss & Company
This example shows that to solve grammar based questions, it is important to know the basics of grammar.
The error types in Grammar based questions include errors related to the parts of speech
The list of these errors includes:
Watch this detailed expert video to brush up the basics of Grammar
The above errors form the core of basic grammar errors that you should prepare. An ideal approach for preparation involves working on each one of the areas mentioned above one at a time.
The second set of errors that make an appearance in CAT (and it is not a friendly appearance) involve the following type of errors:
Out of these, the first one can be managed fairly easily, but the latter two will be a challenge. One option for studying idiomatic and prepositional errors involves going through books such as High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin. The other option is to use your reading skills for identifying these errors. You are advised to build a basic list of these errors (you can do so by writing down all the errors that appear in your tests) and keep revising this list to ensure that you are able to memorize these errors.
This brings us to the books that you can refer to. Two books that you can use for your CAT preparation are:
a. High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin: Treat this as your textbook which you use for reference purposes, and clarifying core topics.
b. Better English by Norman Lewis: Written in an informative and interesting style, this is easy to read grammar text that will help you learn grammar basics.
Along with the above, you need to carry out one simple exercise to ensure that you maximize your score in grammar questions. Solve 10 to 20 grammar questions per day, and as stated above, make a list of the new errors you learn from every test. In the last thirty days, this list will work as your ready-reckoner for grammar.
The above form the rudimentary basics of CAT Grammar preparation. We will also be providing targeted articles that will provide you handy tips and tricks to solve grammar questions.
How to prepare CAT Grammar: Key Learning
Take the following test to check how well prepared are you in Grammar