One of the key areas for CAT Verbal Ability preparation is Reading Comprehension. Reading Comprehensions, or RCs for short, can be quite a challenging beast and in terms of effort and commitment, this is the most demanding area of the exam.
Key challenges for CAT 2021 RCs
What are key challenges that you are going to face while preparing for this section? Let’s outline these challenges one at a time.
Trust me, boredom is your biggest enemy. Most of the time, we don’t take up reading because the exercise simply bores us. There is a simple solution for this problem: start from the area that you love. In fact, we have put up 10 amazing tips that you can use to build up your reading habit.
Challenge-2: Complex CAT Passages
CAT is known for featuring challenging passages. On top of that, they are known to feature passages from a wide variety of sources. Considering the breadth and scope of material probed in the exam, it makes absolute sense for you to expand your horizons and make sure you cast your reading net as wide as possible. Make sure you read as diversely as possible and cover as many areas as possible.
But do remember one thing: you need to address challenge-1 before you get to work on challenge-2. It is important that you focus on building reading stamina first and that can only happen if you begin from areas that you love reading about. Even if that area is sports, go ahead with it. Read the best sports biographies and auto-biographies. Challenge yourself to read for as many hours as possible.
How to go about your RC prep?
Appear for a few Mock CATs and after some time, you’ll just realise one simple fact: there is no consistency in your RC scores. Why does this happen? Verbal Ability might be your favourite area and you may still not be able to crack it. Trust me, the first thing to fix is increase your RC passage practice. But something even more strange happens: your RC scores and accuracy will more or less stagnate. Beyond a point, practising passages will have no impact on increasing your efficiency.
You need to be reading enough. Your reading repertoire might lack the kind of diversity as required by CAT. On top of that, one’s book selection more or less veeres around the same topics. What this means is that even though you may read a lot, you do not quite have the depth of reading required by RC passages.
Go through this list of concurrent reading for any particular book:
1. Non-fiction book: This included heavy reads on philosophy, sociology, politics and essays.
2. Literature book: Try to move away from thrillers and cheesy books.
3. Business magazine: Read the relevant articles in one go.
4. Frontline: Might take long to complete one issue
5. Outline: Read it in one go; about 15 articles are relevant in every issue.
6. The Hindu: Read every single day
This essentially boils down to 6 to 8 hours of reading every day. Other than this, you just need to practise VA questions for about 2 hours a week.
Try to keep up with this rigorous schedule for six months and by the end of it, your RC accuracy and comprehension ability will be increased exponentially.
In short, your Verbal Ability preparation is a factor of your reading skill and the sooner the start working on this area of your preparation, the better it is for you.