Reading Comprehension Strategy for CAT 2022
The reading comprehension strategy for CAT is crucial since the RC commands the highest sectional weightage as well as the overall weightage. It would help if you covered the comprehension passages well.
Following this, there are numerous myths surrounding reading comprehension for CAT exam. We will discuss them below:
- The number one myth is that understanding comprehension passages requires you to know the author’s intent: however, this is only true to a certain extent. You can review the passage according to your attitude and perceptions and try to answer the questions that follow, and most often, answering them would not require a complete alignment with the author’s intent.
- One needs to read every word in the passage: this is not true as the reading comprehension often have certain filler words and sentences. Therefore, a proper reading comprehension strategy for CAT would require you to understand the crux of the passage, so do not worry if you omit any words. All of this can be taken care of as long as you focus on the type of questions asked below the passage. Just read and understand at your speed, and everything will go smoothly for you, without worrying about anything else.
- The other myth surrounding the RC passages is that you need to have an exceptional English vocabulary. This, however, is also not entirely true. Although you might be required to have some knowledge of the vocabulary, the non-native speakers can’t have a comprehensive knowledge of each word. It is natural not to know every word. In such cases, what is recommended is that you can understand the meaning of any word by referring to the complete sentence and making a guess according to the direction and flow of the sentences. Frequently you will see that your guess will come out to work your way. Just understand the context.
- Also, not every line in the reading comprehension is essential. The only important thing is to know the condensed meaning of the passage required to answer the questions that follow.
Problems Faced in Reading Comprehension
- The number one problem that the CAT aspirants might face in reading comprehension is reading it! That might sound silly and obvious. However, this is the case because for most of the CAT aspirants, English is not their native language, and they do not converse or write in the language frequently.
The solution to this problem is that you develop a reading habit. Read as much as you can and from as diverse topics as possible. It would be best if you familiarised yourself with topics of different nature and quality. Start by reading in easier language and gradually move towards more academic writing. However, most comprehensions in CAT can be solved if you have a dedicated reading habit.
- Another issue aspirants face in reading comprehension passages is poorer vocabulary. Having a weak knowledge of vocabulary is a significant disadvantage in RCs. This is why it is recommended that you read frequently and mark the complex and unfamiliar words. This will help you in enriching your vocabulary.
- Inability to understand the questions: this is the other issue the aspirants face in their preparation. Usually, the reading comprehension strategy for CAT requires you to handle tricky questions to confuse the test-takers. It is crucial to read through them and answer perfectly. Again this can be resolved if you practice past year papers and familiarise yourself with the paper pattern. Also, do not panic when you are not able to understand the nature of the questions; usually, anxiety will cover your rational mind and force you to commit mistakes in the exam.
- Slower reading speed in RC for CAT: Most aspirants do not have a reading habit, and they struggle to read the comprehension in a time-bound manner. To be able to read on time, a regular reading habit is required. You can refer to resources like The Economist. Make sure that you read at least one or two long passages daily.
These are some of the problems that many aspirants face: from vocabulary to slower reading speed. The only solution to them is practice! Read as much as you can. However, consider the cost-benefit ratio and do not overdo it in the reading comprehension section, as you might also be focusing your attention on the other CAT topics.
Reading Comprehension Strategy for CAT
As comprehension passages mark a significant weightage in your CAT exam, you mustn’t ignore the section. You must develop an interest in world affairs and literature.
- Know the structure: most of the reading comprehension passages follow a set structure. There is an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Look for sentences that change the English passage’s topic. Mark them as important. Highlight the essence of each topic, what they are talking about.
- Identify keywords: each passage must have certain keywords around which the central idea that you must include in your reading comprehension strategy. Mark such keywords in your CAT exam and move ahead with your reading. They will help you in answering the questions that will follow.
- You can also try to predict what the author might say in the next paragraph as you’re reading. This will reinforce your understanding of the passage.
- Central idea: always focus on the main idea of the passage. Do not focus much attention on the minor details of the paragraph. As the passages are full of fillers, ignoring them while reading would save you a lot of time in the end.
- Build a good vocabulary: by reading enough comprehension passages and memorising the meaning of difficult words, you will easily answer the RCs. You can start by learning about root words, as they will help you identify the meaning of the unknown words, then gradually move on towards antonyms and synonyms of complex/common words.
Tips on improving reading comprehension skills For CAT
- Active Reading: this is the old school tip that you will get as a reading comprehension strategy for CAT test. Most commonly quoted. There is no better tip than this to improve your RC for CAT skills. Read as much as possible—however, do not only focus on passively reading but also actively engage with the passage. Understand why that specific word was chosen to provide meaning to the sentence, ask questions to yourself and maintain an active memory of what you have just read.
- Speed: another important factor apart from understanding the passage. The speed at which you read and understand the passage is also crucial. If you can understand a comprehension passage quickly, you will save a lot of your time solving the paper’s other sections.
- Attempting comprehension questions: there are different approaches that test-takers follow for reading comprehension. Either they will read the questions first before reading the passage, or they will first understand the passage then attempt the questions in the CAT exam. Both of these approaches are valid, and you can choose the way that suits you. However, when you read the questions first, you will get an idea of what essential points to focus upon, and you will be able to filter out the filler words and sentences.
These were the important points you needed to focus on for your reading comprehension strategy for CAT exam. For the detailed CAT 2022 preparation strategy, you can click here.
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