How should one prepare for reading comprehension on the cat exams – quora wd gaster x reader

When I started out I was well below average in VA & reading. Hit rock bottom scores in mocks. But I knew that I could improve. However, directly jumping to coaching institute’s materials was not an option as you need a certain degree of expertise to handle the same. So I turned to reading voraciously. Non-fiction novels, Hindu Editorials, articles on Arts & Letters Daily & other random stuff I could get my hands on. I read like I never had. This helped in every facet of VA, be it grammar or RC’s or vocab. I always kept a dictionary within my reach & looked up the words the meaning i couldn’t comprehend. I noted them down in a pocket-sized notebook & revised it daily. Also referred to the flashcards & religiously revised them daily too. Apart from everything mentioned above I used to make conscious efforts to use the words I had learnt while speaking. This helped get the usage right. Followed this for 3 straight months & witnessed a significant improvement in my VA scores which occurred gradually over those 4 months. I had read close to 30 novels in those 4 months apart from 6 days a week Hindu editorial read. That’s the only thing I did solely for CAT because after the 4 month ordeal I began to enjoy reading and it became a part of my daily routine. Mocks however were taken & analyzed religiously.

To be honest I used to hate reading when I started out (I started with "To kill a mockingbird" & the Hindu editorials) because I never used to understand more than half the words used there but that changed. You just need to have that passion to accept that & move towards improvement.

I don’t know whether this will work for anyone else but it did work for me. In the last 5 cat attempts I have scored more than 95%ile 4 times & had 99.9 + in VA in xat once (Never missed the VA cutoff in XAT). So I guess one can actually give it a try 🙂

RC section tests your patience and ability to read for long periods. You have to first start the habit of reading newspapers, magazines and other easy to read material before embarking on anything advanced. Starting with fiction books and bestsellers you can then move to reading non-fiction and dry subject material/books. Improvement of reading speed is crucial but even if you have a decent reading speed that is good enough. Your reading speed improves over a period and also it does not remain same for the all types of material.

Ability to understand the passage in terms of author’s point of view, flow of thoughts and his tone are very crucial in solving RC passages. Your good comprehension (ability to understand) skills act as a real boost for solving the passages easily. How to improve your comprehension skills?

Across RC passages, question types are more or less same. We can classify them into 6 categories and based on each type of category there is a different strategy for solving the question. Some of them include explicit type of question, implicit type of questions, word and sentence based questions, structure of the passage etc.

When I started with my preparation my reading speed was around 200wpm (words per minute) and 200wpm is quite an average speed. I will now share few very important and useful techniques by which I improved my wpm to near about 400.You need to grasp at least 300-325 wpm as RC’s dominate the verbal section.

Our reading speed is quite faster when we are reading the newspaper because width of newspaper column is short as compared to normal width this is because eye motion in newspaper is less as width is less so as soon as we complete the line we jump to start of other line, it forms the fast zig zag

It can be avoided by keeping our eyes normal to center of the page and then dividing the line into 3 parts( Just 3 eye motions) and "soften" your gaze when you read – by relaxing your face and expanding your gaze, you’ll begin to see blocks of words instead of seeing each word as distinct unit. As you get good at this, your eyes will skip faster and faster across the page.

These techniques will yield the fruitful results only when you practice them. It will take time so don’t panic just keep on practicing extensively. Start from easy stuff like TOI, Hindustam times then move to ET, New york times, The Economist or you can also start from novels.

Managers of big companies read several documents a day and quickly grasp the important parts in each of them while filtering out the noise. This ability is tested in a student in the Reading Comprehension section of CAT. RC is a vital section in CAT and around 40% of the questions in the Verbal+LR section are from this topic. Improving RC is all the more important because a student who is good at RCs typically does well even in other related questions like Para-Completion and Para-Jumbles.

Daily reading of national newspapers like The Hindu, Indian Express helps as their editorials are very well written and cover a diverse set of topics. Some of the international newspapers like The Guardian and New York Times also help in improving RC. Students should read every article from the point of view of the examination and try to grasp the relevance of each paragraph in the article and the ‘tone’ of the author. Making a short, 100 word summary of every article is encouraged in the initial days of preparation.

Reading Comprehension is the test of your focus, patience level, the ability of understanding and analyzing. It is one of the most scoring topics( 50 to 70 marks) and in CAT where 200 marks can fetch you 99.9x, it’s huge! So train your hands for the battle.

Descriptive Passages~ You are jammy if this is what you get in CAT. These are the long passages with less significance. If you encounter any long passage don’t panic there is 90% probability it will be data-driven. For solving these passages I will suggest you should note the important points so that you don’t need to scroll up and down. The questions will be direct so you don’t need to bang your head.

Analytical Passages~ These are bit tricky ones, if you aren’t an avid reader they will bore you. These types of passages are mainly an analysis of some theory (Scientific, Political, etc). My tip will be, get your critical reasoning skills on point. Read them carefully these are the perplexing ones but they won’t ask you much of inference based questions. So just go through the key points, frame the main idea and you will sail through.

Hypothetical Passages~ They kill, difficult ones. If you encounter any passage which is short, there is a high possibility of abstract“philosophical/ fantasy based passage”. You may not be able to decode the main idea. So I would suggest you to not get biased or form opinions. Just believe what the author is saying even if it is drop dead bizarre.