How best to prepare for Verbal section of IPM?

how best to prepare

The entrance exam for the IIM Indore’s IPM (Integrated Programme in Management), is by all means amongst the toughest to crack in India. There is the Quants section in it along with some question for logical reasoning. But there is also the section for verbal ability. This one is often the real differentiator between those who make and versus those that lag behind. The reasons are clear. If one goes through the list of test takers and those who cleared the IPM over the past few seasons, a trend emerges. A lot of the students who make it belong to the PCM (Physics Chemistry Mathematics) background, so were preparing for the JEE (Joint Engineering Examination) for some years.

These students’ engineering dreams probably turned sour at some stage, or they simply decided on management as their career of choice. That is why due care must be paid towards the Verbal section. Over the years, certain topics have been known to be extremely popular in this exam. The exam to crack the IPM is known as the IPMAT (Integrated Programme in Management Aptitude Test). The common topics asked from in this section include the following:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Paragraph jumbles
  • Paragraph completion
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Vocabulary type
  • Idioms and Phrases

Some tips need to be kept in mind while attempting the section, as explained below:

Calculated Risks

Guesswork won’t do, as there is a 25% negative marking. Instead, students must take calculated risks. They must learn how to eliminate the pointless options, and then choose from maybe two possible choices. For this, ample practice is needed. Not just practice of the questions, but also full- length mocks to mimic the real ones, so that psychologically the student gets in to the grip of how to eliminate options.

Balance between Speed and Accuracy

While being speedy is important in any entrance test, quite obviously, this need not come at the expense of accuracy. This is all the truer for the IPMAT which is more of accuracy and endurance based, rather than a sprint test. As the level of questioning is quite high, one needs to attempt good number of questions, but not simply for the sake of increasing one’s attempts.

Time for each Section

The IPMAT has introduced sectional time since 2017. This is easily implementable as the paper is online. Due balance has to be maintained for each of the sections, to ensure all bases are covered as best as possible. The verbal section is at various times, notorious for being lengthy. Students may struggle to finish the Reading Comprehension (RC) section if any on time. For this, students need to hone their speed- reading skills. Students must understand that the RC section at the IPMAT usually involves a lot of passages that are inference- oriented. Thus, the common habit of reading questions first and then trying to deduce where to find the answers, may not work out for such passages.


This is a particular challenge especially over the recent seasons. Vocab won’t pick up in a single day, as many of books one mugs up. One has to develop a reading habit for that. Vocab books will always help to sharpen the existing word power knowledge. Instead of taking on the entire word list at one go, students will be well- advised to separate the content in to sections. One may start of with say, migratory words. These migratory words may then further be classified under migrating from which source of origin. That could be most commonly French, German, Italian, Latin, Spanish, Arabic, Russia, Japanese or even from various Indian languages. Then one can do the ologies, that depict the sciences or the isms, that are all technical terms, or even some phobias and manias. One may do the collective nouns at one go, followed by the similar sounding words. Students will surely enjoy the collective nouns, as they are a good collection of terms.

These techniques should help a student push on for selection to the IPMAT or at least ace the verbal section. Students need to understand that of course there is a lot of hype on the quants section, but it is the verbal segment that turns out to be the king- maker.

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How best to prepare for Verbal section of IPM?

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