CAT Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension accounts for a third to a half of the verbal section in CAT
A typical 100 marks section of verbal comprises Verbal ability and reasoning section and the Reading Comprehension section. Verbal ability accounts for about 40 to 60 marks questions in the verbal section and the reamining 60 to 40 marks questions are Reading comprehension questions. In CAT 2006, 15 out of the 25 questions in the verbal section were reading comprehension questions (i.e., 60 out of 100 marks). In CAT 2007, 12 out of the 25 questions in the verbal section were reading comprehension questions (i.e., 48 out of 100 marks).
Reading Comprehension questions come in groups of four to eight questions, and are based on reading passages that range from 250 to 750 words in length.
CRACKING THE SYSTEM
To be able to perform well in these types of questions you need to:
- read quickly in a way that will allow you to understand the main idea of the passage
- eliminate answer choices that could not possibly be correct
- take advantage of outside knowledge
- take advantage of inside information (the answer that is generally correct in exams like CAT), and
- find answers in some cases without reading the passage.
BASIC PASSAGE TYPES
Passages that you will find in the CAT exam can be broadly classified into one of the following types.
Click Here for a sample reading comprehension passage.
- The social science passage
This usually concerns a social or historical issue. You might see a passage about world population control or the history of the rise to power of a clan in medieval India.
- The science passage
This might describe a scientific phenomenon, such as aviation, super conductivity or plate tectonics.
- The business passage
This usually discusses a business-related topic. For example, you might see a passage about the privatization of state-owned industries, pricing of options and futures or the causes of inflation.
- The entertainment passage
This usually discusses a topic related to entertainment, sports, leisure. The passage could be on a topic such as the lifestyles of the rich and famous, the reason for the success of a Hollywood or Bollywood movie.