The Ultimate RC FAQ Guide: Reading Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers

Answers for Common Problems you might be facing in your RC preparation

Reading comprehensions are a tough beast, right? There are a lot of you who might have these Common RC Questions as doubts, and I thought it is best for me to address these questions one at a time. Effectively, treat this post as a FAQ guide for Reading Comprehensions. If one of your Common RC Questions in not in this article, make sure you post your question as a comment and I will post a reply.

Let’s get started then with the questions.

CAT RC Question-1: What kind of RC Passages appear in CAT?
The best or the worst thing about CAT RC passages is the diversity in these passages. You are bound to face passages from a variety of topics, such as:

  • Business and Management
  • Economy
  • Science and Technology
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology
  • Art, literature and culture

The best thing you can do for your CAT preparation right now is to expose yourself to a variety of topics and make sure you have a diverse reading practice. To help you out with this, we have our Daily Reads-2017 section, where we feature 6 articles across two levels on a daily basis.

CAT RC Question-2: How many passages should you solve in a day?
The answer to this question is a simple one: as many as possible.

Just kidding, for now, you can begin with 3 to 5 passages a week. Gradually increase this practice level to 1 passage a day. And then, with CAT about 3 months away, you should solve 2 to 3 passages a day. If you take regular mocks at that stage, then you would be solving up to five passages on some days. That is sufficient practice for you.

Do remember one thing: make sure you keep regularly solving RC passages. You cannot slack off at any stage and lose motivation if results are not going your way. Remember, the more you practice, the more you learn and over a period of time, you build up tremendous comprehensions stamina.

CAT RC Question-3: How important is reading for CAT Reading Comprehension passages?
If you trust me on this, then just remember one thing: if you are a great reader, then there is nothing that stands between you and a good score in CAT Verbal Ability. And more than the score itself, if you read content from the varied sources mentioned above, you can simply imagine the amount of learning that is going to take place. Make sure you focus on reading and in case you need some suggestions which newspaper columns you should begin from, you can refer to the post here.

CAT RC Question-4: How to improve your accuracy for CAT RC passages?
One of the key aspects of your CAT RC passage preparation over a period of time will be your ability to increase your accuracy for CAT RCs. One thing you need to understand is that you cannot achieve perfection for different types of RCs and RC questions. You need to understand your strength areas and target passages from these areas first. Also, try to identify the mistakes you commit on a common basis. You will realise, over a period of time, that most mistakes you commit in this section are driven by a basic divergence in thought between you and the author of the questions. Once you being to understand how question-setters think and the kind of tricks they employ in questions, will be in a strong position to improve your scores.

CAT RC Question-5: Is there a shortcut that you can use for CAT Reading Comprehension preparation?
I will have to shatter your dreams here: there is no shortcut for RC preparation. You will have to slog and then slog some more to perfect your CAT RC skills. Remember one thing: improvement in CAT RCs and CAT Verbal Ability takes place at a subconscious level. So, don’t expect miracles overnight. Keeping working on things and over a period of time (generally, months in this case), magic is going to take place.

CAT RC Question-6: How to improve comprehension over a period of time?
Well, there is a simple process you need to follow:

Step-1: Improve and Increase your Reading
Step-2: Start solving RC passages
Step-3: Analyze the mistakes you commit while solving RCs
Step-4: Go back to step-1, focus on areas wherein you struggle
Step-5: Go back to solving more RC passages.
Step-6: Go back to step-3.
Step-7: Go back to step-4, and then keep repeating the cycle.

Remember, this a treadmill that you need to run till the CAT exam. Break some sweat and reap the rewards.
Refer to this article to learn a technique you can employ for improving comprehension.

CAT RC Question-7: Does reading speed play a role?
Considering the length of CAT passages in recent years, reading speed does not play a big role. But reading speed is an indicator of your comprehension levels. Once your comprehension improves, your reading speed naturally improves.

CAT RC Question-8: Can RCs be improved by simply practising passages?
This is a risky approach. I believe that you should be working on your reading skills first and then work on your comprehension skills.

CAT RC Question-9: What kind of books should I begin with?
We have a list of books you can refer to.
Pick your reading level and you can begin your reading practice from here.

CAT RC Question-10: Should I solve previous year CAT RC passages?
Absolutely! Previous year CAT RC passages are the best possible resources to understand the thinking of CAT question setters and expose you to the kind of content you will encounter in the exam.

This completes this article on CAT Reading Comprehensions.
Remember, you need to practice quite a few reading comprehension passages with questions and answers to perfect your CAT RC skills. We have that aspect covered for you with our RC practice section.

Reading Suggestions: Daily Reads-7 (Level-1)
Reading Suggestions: Daily Reads-7 (Level-2)
Verbal Ability Test: Sentence Completion (Level-1): Test-7
Reading Comprehension: RC Passage-7, Level-1

Vocabulary Blog for today: ‘Concur in’ vs. ‘Concur with’

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Phrasal Verb for Today:

 

CAT Question a day

Directions: A part of the given sentence is underlined. Select the answer choice which is the best version of the underlined part. Option A is unchanged. Select the version which is most effectively expressed – clear and unambiguous as well as correct grammar.

The harvest of watermelons in the state decreased in 2017 for the sixth straight year but were still at a healthy level.

(A) The harvest of watermelons in the state decreased in 2017 for the sixth straight year but were
(B) The harvest of watermelons in the state began to decrease in 2017 for the sixth straight year but were
(C) In 2017, The harvest of watermelons in the state decreased for the sixth straight year but were
(D) The harvest of watermelons in the state decreased for the sixth straight year in 2017 but was
(E) The harvest of watermelons in the state began decreasing in 2017 for the sixth straight year but was

Answer and Explanation

Answer: (D)

Options A, B and C commit a subject verb agreement error. The subject of the sentence is singular in nature (the harvest of watermelons) and this requires the singular verb ‘was’.Option (E) commits a tense error. It uses a continuous tense (began decreasing) whereas a past-tense verb (decreased) needs to be used here.