Now it’s been three weeks since the article on how to start preparing for the CAT. Let’s see how many people have actually made a schedule for your daily CAT time. I don’t even need to wait for the results. I would be pleasantly surprised, if more than 10 pc of the people, who read the article, have actually gone ahead and made a schedule. Now you realize why preparing consistently is the most difficult part.

A lot of students decide on the schedule but don’t have a fixed time for their CAT preparation. Result, if a friend asks them for a 6-9 movie in the evening they are always game. On the other hand some students will make it a part of their lifestyle so if they have allotted the 7-8 am and the 5-8 pm slot for the CAT then they are never available during that time. Before I move on to the main focus of today’s article, let me make one final point.

We know that a lot of CAT takers are taking the CAT the second or third time. Now if a student prepares consistently and God forbid, does not get through, at least he or she will know that the CAT is beyond reach. But if you are insecure about your preparation and then you do not get through, you simply tell yourself, “Of course, fault mera hai, I didn’t prepare for it properly. I will take it again and now prepare properly.” So you waste another year of your life trying to find out whether your best is enough for the CAT or not. Don’t waste that year let your CAT 2006 be your best and the final preparation for CAT.

The logical next step now is improving on your reading. Towards that objective I will list down some techniques that will make you a better reader for CAT purposes. I will round off the article with an appendix of topics on which to read and some websites where good passages are available for those topics.

Be an active reader

Most of us read any book as if we are watching news. We just wait for things to happen. If you compare that with the way in which you watch a movie, you will see the difference. While watching a movie quite a few of us try to predict the next dialogue. That does not happen when we are reading. Typically well written passages give us a chance to understand the argument and reach the conclusion along with the author. So the next time you are reading remember that this is not a TV soap but a book.

Understanding vs Speed

Separate the wheat from the chaff.

This is basically the ability to distinguish sentences which are important from sentences, which are too general. If a passage is talking about angiography and then there is an example provided on it then you don’t need to spend a lot of time with that sentence to understand the example. Hence while reading, keep an eye open for redundant sentences. Recognizing them and zipping through them will definitely save time.

Lend Structure, Don’t understand

There are a lot of schools of thoughts on how you should read a passage and answer questions. Some think you should read the questions first and then look for the answers; others feel you should read the passage thoroughly and then answer all the questions without looking back. We all know that there are two types of questions, direct and indirect. If you have read through the passage completely with in-depth understanding, then you may be able to answer all questions correctly. If you read through the passage once with cursory understanding then you should be able to answer all main idea questions. You will mostly need to refer to the passage again for detail / direct questions. I personally prefer the latter; there is no point in spending huge amounts of time in understanding passages completely.

You should read with the aim of structuring passages neatly in your head. Lets understand this with the help of an example. Read this passage…

Einstein, a genius scientist of the 20th century, and central to the new energy physics, stated that ‘a problem cannot be solved by the same mind set that created it’. Cancer is a case in point. Cancer is a dis-ease that stems partly from the products of the mechanistic, anthropomorphic and exploitative philosophy at the heart of our culture, which we tend to ignore. Its effective treatment demands that we see ourselves in a different light and act accordingly.

Medicine is extremely slow to move from a mechanistic and physical philosophy to a more energetic model, like the Gaian paradigm that values all life forms as connected. A philosophy of medicine that is over-reliant on logic and limited mainly to drugs and surgery is fundamental flawed. Acts of logic always rely on analysis, that is breaking down a ‘whole’ into its constituent parts, and examining each minutely. Reductionist approaches fail to see the connectivity and relatedness of all things. As a result this philosophy is offering us ‘cures’ to cancer that are often as dangerous and destructive as the disease itself.


Nobel prize-winner Carlo Rubbia maintains that only a billionth of the world is actually made of matter and the rest is made of energy. The new sciences are challenging the way we perceive the world and as a result the way we relate to our bodies. Dr. K. Scott-Mumby is author of Virtual Medicine and an allergy specialist in the UK writes:
“Science is proving that we exist as regulated and informed energy. Disease can now be redefined as a disruption, cessation or distortion in the information and energy fields. Its time for medical practitioners to join the party.”

Classical science has reached the end of what it can explain in reductionist terms. Issues such as whether light is a particle or a wave, or whether or not water has a memory (an issue central to the ‘proof’ of homeopathy), are moving modern science to a quantum level that deals with fields of energy. Medical science is still stuck in a very physical universe, where the objective is to ‘excise the lump’ almost regardless of where it came from and individual conditions of the patient and their experiences.

New sciences such as the chaos theories point a way forward into handling the complexities of whole systems that work together, in synergy. Unfortunately our medical systems and practises are still too often based on philosophy formulated in medieval times.

While reading the above passage, I can structure the information in the following manner…

Para 1: Cancer should be seen differently.

Para 2: Medicine works on logic, but world is interconnected and logic is applied only on parts. So medicine doesn’t work.

Para 3: World is mostly energy and world is changing the way we perceive things.

Para 4: We are regulated energy, disease is disruption.

Para 5: Modern science explains things at another level. Medicine hasn’t changed.

Para 6: Our medical systems medieval not modern.

After reading it the first time, I may not remember the different ways in which modern science is moving to a quantum level, but I understand what it means and where to look for it. So don’t read in-depth structure the data.

An appendix of topics tested with websites:












Munira Lokhandwala is an alumna from IIM Calcutta, batch of 99. She has been associated with cat coaching since 2001. In 2005, she started catalyst group tuitions for cat. ( she is a regular cat taker herself. These are her scores…

2005 – 100 percentile
2004 – 99.99 percentile
2003 – 99.98 percentile

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