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How to prepare Verbal Ability for DU JAT?

Author : Palak Khanna

Updated On : March 3, 2022


Verbal Ability, together with Reading Comprehension, accounts for one-third of the DU JAT question paper. It is not easy to score well in the Verbal Ability section because there are so many things to cover. Vocabulary is one area where students frequently struggle. Many vocabulary-based questions are asked in DU JAT and IPM, either directly or indirectly through comprehension-based questions. You cannot answer these questions unless you have a proper knowledge of words.

One of the best ways to learn vocabulary and understand a given word, is understanding the root of the word. Which means every given word is formed of a root to which we can add suffixes and prefixes to form new words. Learning just one root word can help you understand several words in English. So, by learning just 20 or 30 root words, you can expand your English vocabulary to include hundreds of new words.

A root can be any part of a word that carries meaning: the beginning, middle or end. The prefix appears at the beginning of a word, the base in the middle and the suffix at the end. Most English root words came from the Greek and Latin languages, example: the base word “struct-.” It comes from the Latin word meaning “build.” 

  • Any English word you hear containing “struct-”* will relate to building, developing or creating something. By itself, “struct” is not a word, but it is the basis for many words in English.
  • For example, the word “construct” is a verb that means “to build.” The prefix “con” means “together” or “with.” So, "construct" means to put things together to build or create something. 
  • Adding suffixes to “struct-” creates additional words. For example, adding “-ion” in English makes verbs into nouns. When we add "-ion" to “construct," we get "construction," which means the process, or act, of building something. 
  • Adding the suffix “-ing” to “construct” makes “constructing.” 
  • Adding the suffix “-ive” to make “constructive” gives us the adjective form, and means helpful in developing or improving something.

This method can be used to understand many words originating from the same root, for example the word “Specto” comes from an latin word meaning: To look





A visually striking performance of display.

The Olympics are the biggest sporting spectacle in the world.

The great firework was a fine spectacle.


Look at (someone or something) to closely examine, scrutinize.

The leader inspected the tool kit.


Review of past course of events.

In retrospect, she wished she had thought about the alternate plan.


The possibility of some future event occurring

He scored a fabulous result therefore his job prospect looks good.


Examine one’s own thoughts or feelings

As a student he was quite introspective.

Important Vocabulary Questions for IPMAT and DUJAT

Directions(Q.1-Q.9): Select one entry for each blank from the corresponding column of choices. Fill in the blank in the way that best completes the text.

Q1. In Europe, football, otherwise known as soccer, is the most popular sport by several orders of magnitude, whereas in America, fandom is fairly evenly ⸺⸺among a few different sports.

  1. Regarded b. Inspired c. measured d. apportioned

Solution. d. apportioned

Q2. The astrophysicist argues that our books and films about interstellar space travel are a form of mass ⸺ ,and that only a miracle could allow a human being to voyage to even the closest star in another solar.

  1. innovation b. delusion c. dementia d. hysteria

Solution. b. Delusion

Q3. On an aptitude test in 1986, an argument posited that the possibility of conducting banking transactions from home was as likely as flying cars, an argument that today sounds ⸺.

  1. prescient b. presumptuous c. paradoxical d. preposterous

Solution. d. preposterous

Prescient - state of knowing everything in advance

presumptuous - person who does know limits. He will just take the liberty to say whatever he has to say

Paradoxical - contradictory statement

Preposterous - absurd

Q4. Many ⸺ people feared for the life of Ronald Reagan because since 1840 every president elected in a year ending in zero had died in office. 

  1. knowledgeable b. mathematical c. Superstitious d. addled

Solution c. Superstitious 

Q5. Every generation is accused of slacking by the preceding ones, before in turn calling their own progeny lackadaisical; such is the ⸺ of life. 

  1. vicissitude b. irony c. circle d. serendipity

Solution c. circle

Q6. Although retired, the professor takes pains to remain ⸺ the latest developments in her field.

  1. akimbo to b. abreast of c. obtuse to d. subservient

Solution b. abreast of

Q7. After the US Civil War, "carpetbaggers"-so-called because they carried suitcases made of inexpensive carpeting material ⸺ quick profit. the South, hoping to turn a quick profit.

  1. vanquished b. inundated c. blacklisted d. boycotted

Solution b. inundated

Q8. December's earthquake was but a ⸺ to a terrible year for a small island nation recently wracked by civil strife and devastating tropical storms. 

  1. prologue b. catharsis c. coda d. homily

Solution c. coda

  1. Jimmy Stewart, the actor, spoke with an (i) ⸺ that (ii) ⸺ audiences; through hesitancy and understatement, he was at least as captivating as his flamboyant peers.

Blank (i) Blank (ii)

(a) awkward lisp (a) enthralled

(b) overwhelming passion (b) repelled

(c) appealing shyness (c) amused

Solution (c) appealing shyness and (a) enthralled

Directions (Q10 to Q15): In each of the following questions, out of the given alternatives, choose the one which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/ phrase in italics in the sentence.

Q10. It is clear that the ideas of both reformers ran in the same groove. 

(a) promoted each other 

(b) lashed with each other

(c) advanced in harmony

(d) moved in different directions

Solution (c) advanced in harmony

Q11. He stood his ground despite the pressure.

(a) remained firm (b) was obstinate (c) was prejudiced (d) felt shaky

Solution (a) remained firm 

Q12. With regard to licensing policy, it is advisable for every state to cut corners.

(a) become lenient (b) amend the existing rules

(c) exercise strict control (d) simplify the procedure

Solution. (d) simplify the procedure

Q13. There was opposition to the new policy by the rank and file of the Government.

(a) the majority (b) the ordinary members

(c) the cabinet members (d) the official machinery

Solution (b) the ordinary members

Q14. Dowry is a burning question of the day.

(a) a relevant problem (b) a dying issue

(c) an irrelevant problem (d) a widely debated issue

Solution. (d) a widely debated issue

  1. The sailor found himself between the devil and the deep sea.

(a) lost in the deep sea (b)facing two challenges

(c) facing two equally bad alternatives (d)confronting two opportunities

Solution. (c) facing two equally bad alternatives

Directions (Q16 to Q22): In each question, four words (identified as A, B, C and D) are given. Two of them are opposite in meaning to each other. Identify this pair from the choices and mark it as your answer:

  1. A. Biting B. Generous C. Acerbic D. Genial

(a) A-C (b) B-D (c) C-D (d) B-C

Solution (c) C-D

  1. A. Unanimous B. Winsome C. Morose D. Malicious

(a) B-C (b) B-D (c) C-D (d) A-C

Solution (a) B-C

Q18. A. Dignity B. Discord C. Strife D. Agreement 

(a) B-C (b) A-C (c) B-D (d) A-D

Solution (c) B-D

  1. A. Criticism B. Abhorrence C. Dissonance D. Affinity

(a) A-B (b)B-C (c) A-C (d) B-D

Solution. (d) B-D

  1. A. Benevolent B. Malevolent C. Generous D. Unilateral

(a) A-B (b) B-D (c) A-C (d) C-D

Solution. (a) A-B

Q21. A. Ecstasy B. Elation C. Greed D. Despair 

(a) A-B (b)C-D (c) A-D (d) B-C

Solution. (c) A-D

  1. A. Congregation B. Deprivation C. Compensation D. Summary

(a) B-D (b) A-B (c) B-C (d) A-C

Solution. (c) B-C 

(Q.23 - 28)Read the following passage and choose the answer that is closest to each of the questions that are based on the passage.
Supposing half a dozen or a dozen men were cast ashore from a wreck on an uninhabited island and left to their own resources, one of course, according to his capacity, would be set to one business and one to another; the strongest to dig and to cut wood, and to build huts for the rest: the most dexterous to make shoes out of bark and coats out of skins; the best educated to look for iron or lead in the rocks, and to plan the channels for the irrigation of the fields. But though their labours were thus naturally severed, that small group of shipwrecked men would understand well enough that the speediest progress was to be made by helping each other-not by opposing each other; and they would know that this help could only be properly given so long as they were frank and open in their relations, and the difficulties which each lay under properly explained to the rest. So that any appearance of secrecy or separateness in the actions of any of them would instantly, and justly, be looked upon with suspicion by the rest, as the sign of some selfish or foolish proceeding on the part of the individual. If, for instance, the scientific man were found to have gone out at night, unknown to the rest, to alter the sluices, the others would think, and in all probability rightly think, that he wanted to get the best supply of water to his own field; and if the shoemaker refused to show them where the bark grew which he made the sandals of, they would naturally think, and in all probability rightly think, that he didn't want them to see how much there was of it, and that he meant to ask from them more corn and potatoes in exchange for his sandals than the trouble of making them deserved. And thus, although each man would have a portion of time to himself in which he was allowed to do what he chose without let or inquiry - so long as he was working in that particular business which he had undertaken for the common benefit, any secrecy on his part would be immediately supposed to mean mischief; and would require to be accounted for, or put an end to: and this all the more because, whatever the work might be, certainly there would be difficulties about it which, when once they were well explained, might be more or less done away with by the help of the rest; so that assuredly every one of them would advance with his labour not only more happily, but more profitably and quickly, by having no secrets, and by frankly bestowing, and frankly receiving, such help as lay in his way to get or to give.

Q23. When a dozen men are cast away on an imaginary island, the best educated would look for metals in rocks because

  1. metals can be used to make weapons.
  2. such an island probably has unexploited resources.
  3. he may find it beneath him to dig or cut or make shoes.
  4. He is suited for such work.


Q24. The author states that any appearance of secrecy or separateness would instantly and justly be looked upon with suspicion. From this statement we may infer that

  1. what is secret is not what is separate
  2. secrecy is not exactly the same as separateness
  3. it is natural to be suspicious of secrecy
  4. it only takes an instant for a relationship to deteriorate

Q25. The instance of the shoemaker who refuses to show his source and asks for more corn and potatoes, is an example of

  1. a strong bargain.
  2. unfair practice.
  3. the system of barter.
  4. the intent to make trouble.

Q26. According to the author, whatever one's work might be

  1. hardships are going to be part of it.
  2. one cannot keep complaining.
  3. one should expect others to assure of help and advance our labours.
  4. one must offer help to others in order to receive help.

Q27. The author's belief is that for progress to happen

  1. a team should consist of people with multiple talents.
  2. cooperation among team members is essential.
  3. one must deal with those who are secretive.
  4. transparency among all concerned is mandatory.

Q28. The writer makes a hypothesis, which can be related to

  1. communities in general.
  2. an imaginary island, rich with resources.
  3. an ideal world of talented people.
  4. a primitive and unsophisticated world.

Verbal Ability Preparation Tips

  • Read the newspaper regularly for about 1 - 1.5 hours preferably from the editorial section of The Hindu within the specified limit to prepare you for the time management required in the exam.
  • While reading, underline the important things and try to think about the questions that can be framed.
  • Apart from academic books, reference books like Word Power Made Easy by Normal Lewis and Martin English Grammar and Composition would definitely provide you a plus point in the Verbal Ability section. 
  • practice as many mock and previous year papers as possible to crack the exam comfortably. Also, a set of repeated questions will be asked each year in the exam from the previous year's papers, so it will be easier to score marks in the exam.


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