Important CAT Vocabulary Words

Important CAT Vocabulary Words

As we’ve already seen, studying 100+-page word lists of vocabulary for the CAT doesn’t end up being that helpful. There’s so much to tackle on the exam that you’ll be far better off spending your time in other ways. Not only does the issue of time come into play here, but so also does the issue of efficiency. It takes so much time and effort to memorize lists of words, and you’ll end up putting a lot of them in your short-term memory, anyway. But Rachel, you might be asking, does this mean that there aren’t any important CAT vocabulary words?

No! Absolutely not. Mastering (a handful!) of business terms will help you on every section of the CAT (but particularly Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning, and Quantitative Ability). Similarly, a select few vocabulary terms will help you prepare for the Verbal portion of the CAT.

As you look at the table below, you’ll notice that a lot of these terms are the kind of words you find in CAT Verbal question stems. Exactly the point!. While we can’t predict the subject of CAT Verbal passages, we can help you avoid a huge—and totally preventable!—problem students encounter on the exam: misunderstanding questions.

These terms appear over and over in CAT Verbal questions. If you don’t understand them, you’ll potentially miss out on tons of points on the exam. Don’t let it happen to you!

By mastering the following terms, you’ll set yourself up for success in CAT Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. Not only will you give yourself a better chance of understanding the question, but you’ll also be able to take on the more nuanced analytical mindset of the test-makers as you practice.

Ready? Let’s go!

Important CAT Vocabulary Words

WordDefinition
CharacterizeDescribe the distinctive characteristics of, e.g. In the passage, the author characterizes spiders as...
CiteQuote or otherwise use as evidence for an argument, e.g. The author cites Jacobson's work primarily in order to...
ConveyCommunicate or express, e.g. The passage conveys the author's opinion of sanctions by...
CorroborateTo back up or confirm, e.g. Mooney's statement serves to corroborate the author's argument by...
ImplicationA conclusion that can be made based on the materials, though not directly stated within them (not to be confused with "inference"), e.g. If true, the implication of the author's argument would most likely lead to which of the following outcomes?
ImplyTo suggest without explicitly stating, e.g. In the final paragraph, the author implies that she believes...
InferConclude from evidence presented (not to be confused with "imply"—an author implies, a reader infers), e.g. It can most reasonably be inferred from the passage that the author would agree...
JustificationThe reasons provided for an expressed conclusion, e.g. The author's justification for his opinion about immigration primarily derives from...
LiteralUsing the most basic definition of a word (without metaphorical connotations), e.g. The author's use of the butterfly imagery most easily supports which of the following literal statements?
MaintainClaim, usually despite contradictory evidence, e.g. Throughout the passage, the author maintains that his opinion on Greek mythology is the correct one by...
ParadoxA statement that first appears to be self-contradictory but is in fact logical, e.g. The explanation of the paradox of the "uninformed scholar" is clearest in which of the following quotations from the passage?
PlausiblyReasonable or probable, e.g. The passage's central idea could plausibly be contracted by...
Point of ViewAttitude toward the subject, e.g. The author's point of view on lawyers can best be characterized as...
PositPresent as the basis for an argument, e.g. In the quoted section, the author most clearly posits that...
ThemePrimary subject of the passage, e.g. The theme of the passage can best be described as...
ThematicRelating to a particular subject, e.g. The passage could best be categorized under which of the following thematics?
ToneThe attitude the author expresses toward his or her subject, e.g. The tone of the passage is primarily...
UndermineWeaken, e.g. Which of the following statements would most seriously undermine the author's main point? Not to be confused with "underscore," which can have a contradictory meaning.
UnderscoreSupport, e.g. Which of the following statements would most strongly underscore the author's main point? Not to be confused with "undermine," which can have a contradictory meaning.
ViewOpinion, though not necessarily on the passage's main subject, e.g. The author's view of dogs, as presented in the first paragraph, can best be described as...

 
With thanks to Chris Lele and his fantastic post on GMAT Critical Reasoning terms.

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