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How to Crack Reading Comprehension in CAT- Tips, Types of Questions and Sources Reading comprehension in CAT checks the individual’s ability to read the text, process it, and understand the passages given. Reading comprehension also checks the ability of one’s vocabulary and text comprehension. In the CAT exam, Reading comprehension (RC) questions hold more than 50% weight in the verbal ability section. As per the recent trends, out of 34 questions in the verbal section, 24 questions will be based on RC. Hence in order to score well in the verbal section, you need to score well in RC.
The success factor for solving any reading comprehension depends on your reading speed, how you comprehend and retain the information given in each paragraph, and efficiently you analyze the questions and finally the accuracy of answering the questions. Here are all the past year RC topics that were asked in CAT and XAT
Reading newspapers and extensive reading is an effective way to improve your reading comprehension, daily reading of the articles in the newspapers will help to improve your reading speed and as well as it will help you comprehend easily and analyze it properly. Reading also helps to improve your focus, reading with focus while solving RC is like half of the task done. The passages appear less complicated if you read a variety of articles every day.
Tips for preparing Reading Comprehension on daily basis:
- Solve at least 2 to 3 Reading Comprehension exercises every day
- Refer the reading comprehension which appeared in previous year papers, this will give an idea on the type of passages and questions asked. This is one best resource to prepare for reading comprehension, refer to other exams RCs also like XAT, SNAP, IIFT, and analyze the type of questions asked.
- In your leisure time read articles or editorials from the newspapers for at least half an hour daily without fail
Tips while solving reading comprehension:
- Identify the main central idea which the author is trying to tell. The author drops several hints in the passages which you need to identify. Once the main central idea is identified than half of the questions asked can be easily solved and this gives an upper hand when compared to other students
- Note down the important key points while reading the passage. This will help you in answering the questions and this also saves the time of going back to the passage and reading it again.
- While answering the questions, most of the time the answer options will be very close enough, the best way to tackle this problem is to eliminate the options. Try to eliminate the options which are not correct, this will help in saving your time. In order to score in the reading comprehension section, one should develop this technique of eliminating the wrong answers in order to solve the question correctly and maximize the score
- You need to focus on understanding the passage given rather than concentrating on the speed. Speed is also an important factor that cannot be ignored but the emphasis should be given on understanding the passage. If we observe the type of RCs and questions asked in the CAT exam for the past 5 years, the passages are moderate in length and not too long and the questions asked are inference based. In order to solve these inference based questions, understanding the passage is very important.
Also read: How to improve your vocabulary for CAT
Sources of Reading Comprehension
To practice Reading Comprehension some of the sources are:
- Newspapers: While reading the newspaper focus on topics such as Social Science(History, Civics, Geography), Natural Science, and Philosophy/Psychology. Read Speaking Tree from Times of India Newspaper daily. You can read newspapers like The Hindu, Economic Times, Times of India, Economist, etc.
- Aeon Essays: It is one of the common sources of Reading Comprehension for CAT.
- The Guardian: The Guardian is a free blog where you can read articles subject wise. Focus on topics like social sciences, Technology, Sports which are common in CAT. It is one of the important sources of CAT RCs.
- NewYork Times: It is an American Newspaper of New York City. It is one of the expected sources for the Reading Comprehension for CAT. But it is a paid subscription and is not available free.
- The Atlantic: It covers areas like politics, sports, news, health, technology, etc. They have various videos, magazines, Puzzle on various topics.
- Blogs: You can also read blogs they provide good content and opinions. Some of the famous people blogs you can follow are Swaminomics, Wall Street Oasis for finance, Hubspot for Marketing, Curious Cat and Freakonomics for Economics, Forbes, and Harward Business Review for Business and Quartz for Analysis.
- Websites: You can follow websites like www.aldaily.com and www.magportal.com for the articles on the topics you are interested in.
- Books: Books are the another sources of Reading Comprehension. Some of the books which you can read are Animal Farm, 1984, India Unbound, Business Legends, etc. For more books click here.
Types of questions asked in reading comprehension:
- Inference Questions:
Inference refers to drawing a conclusion or some logical judgment of the passage given rather than direct observations. The student will be asked to draw his conclusion out of the passage. To tackle these types of questions, understanding the passage is very important and most of the students commit mistakes while solving these questions.
- Title of the passage/tone of the passage:
In this type of question, you will be asked to identify the tone of the passage, whether it is affirmative, etc. The passage will be given and a question will be asked to select the title of the passage out of the options given. In order to solve these questions, one should understand the passage and the central idea which the author is trying to convey.
- Main idea/central theme questions:
Certain questions will be asked in which we need to identify the central theme of the passage. Reading the first paragraph carefully is very important in order to identify the main central theme which the author is trying to convey.
- Paraphrase questions:
These types of questions will ask you to explain the meaning of the particular paragraph or the statement. The main trick to answer these questions is to read one statement before and after the statement which is asked in order to understand the meaning of the statement or paragraph asked.
- Vocabulary or fact-based questions:
These are the questions in which the meaning of the word will be asked. Your knowledge of the vocabulary is important to solve these questions. Fact-based questions are the easiest type of questions in which you need to identify the facts which are given in the passage.
In order to excel in this section of reading comprehension, you need to practice it daily and make sure you understand the above tips and implement them as part of your reading comprehension preparation. Read: 10 Must-read books for an MBA Aspirant | How to prepare for CAT 2019