How to prepare for Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability for CAT Exam

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is not something which, one who is planning to ace CAT exams, can ignore. In numerous examinations like CAT, SNAP, IIFT, NMAT SNAP a complete section is devoted to this and hence this itself speaks volumes about the importance of these two topics. The verbal ability section is the most straightforward section, reading comprehension is in limelight with 24 out of 34 questions. This means this section can be top percentile section in your entire CAT test paper. And the pattern for RC questions will be MCQ’s and remaining questions across Para Jumbles, Paragraph Summaries and sentence Exclusion will be non-MCQs.

As a matter of fact, here are some tips that you can keep in mind while preparing for the VA/RC section so that you focus your efforts in the right direction.

Start from the Basics for CAT Exam:

Start by practising at least 1-2 comprehensions per day and begin from the basic level RCs. Keep in mind to focus on the Central idea or the main theme of the passage, and follow a step by step process. In the beginning, it will seem a bit time-consuming and boring process but in the end, this practice will turn the most boring section into the most scoring section in your MBA exam.

Build a reading habit:

Read like crazy. Ready to learn, read to improve vocabulary, read to increase awareness, read to crack CAT and just READ. Focus more on topics relevant to CAT like philosophy, psychology, socio-economics, art, culture, science, fiction, literature etc. Go for newspapers, novels and put yourself in a habit of reading. Build your stamina for reading, it will not only help you in the RC passages but will also help you to improve your vocabulary and grammar skills.

Time Management:

No doubt Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is a time-consuming consuming section but proper time management and practice can help replicate the CAT exam pressure. Thus, effective time management can save you from the fear of being left behind in the exam. Keep a stopwatch with you always before you start with a reading comprehension passage and then check your speed. You will need time to clear the basic concepts and develop the required speed, but if you practice regularly you will be able to do it.

Analyze each and every Reading Comprehension Passage:

Work hard on your preparation material, find out the mistakes, work on them and focus on improving your weaknesses. Analyze your performance by evaluating the time taken, questions attempted and accuracy.
Some more tips to analyze your performance:

  • Solve all the incorrect questions
  • Know where you went wrong
  • Go for unsolved Reading Comprehensions
  • Mark difficult words and lines
  • Improve vocabulary

Follow elimination method when you get stuck:

Eliminate – Too Broad | Eliminate – Too Narrow | Eliminate – Alien ideas | Eliminate – Extremes.
The elimination technique can be adopted when you get stuck, as sometimes it is easier to eliminate the wrong answer rather than to select the best answer.
Steps to eliminate options can be:

  • Focus on key elements in the passage
  • Eliminate the options based on the idea of the passage
  • Choose the best option

Focus on Vocabulary and Grammar

Paying attention to grammatical concepts and Vocabulary is another critical area of Verbal Ability. So, begin with different rules/guidelines of various grammatical topics and learn various concepts before attempting the questions. One needs to focus on reading, to dig out the words which can give fruitful results. Always carrying a dictionary along is a difficult task, so an effective way to improve vocab is to install a dictionary app in the phone.