Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension (CAT 2017)

Discussion on Verbal Ability And Reading Comprehension for CAT Exam.

(Recommended books for VA and RC - Soft Copies) Arun Sharma - VA and RC Norman Lewis - Word Power Made Easy

What is the best way to prepare for RC specially if someone has secured 81 %ile in his 1st attempt


rc books for practice, except arun sharma




Let’s start with the basics. The biggest dilemma that every student faces is whether to read the passage first or the questions first. Reading the questions first maybe a good idea in exams where the questions are factual. However, the examination tests your comprehension of the passage and the questions test your understanding of the content and your ability to infer accurately. The questions are seldom factual in nature. Hence, it would be advisable that you read the passage first.

Look at the questions only after you have understood the passage well. People often read the passage once and then start to answer the questions. This approach involves high risk. In reading comprehension, accuracy is far more important than speed. Hence, don’t try to attempt all the questions just for the sake of attempting. If you don’t understand the passage, please read it again before you approach the questions. Make a summary in your mind as you complete reading each passage.


A common myth which is prevalent about reading comprehension questions is that you need to have a excellent reading speed to do well in this section. This is however not true. While a good reading speed is certainly helpful, it is not necessary. In the recent years, the length of the passage has reduced significantly and the onus is more of comprehension than reading speed.

Now, an RC hardly has more than 500 words. 3 question RC’s are even shorter and are of the order of 350-400 words. Hence you can see that even if you spend 3-5 minutes on reading the passage, you can still attempt the complete paper quite easily.

So while reading an RC don’t try to skim through the content. Read it carefully and try and understand the main points which the author is trying to convey through each paragraph. If things are not clear, please read the passage again. If you think your RC reading speed is low then try to solve reading comprehension passages daily.


Reading voraciously certainly helps your comprehension! Try to inculcate a good reading habit. However, this does not mean that non-readers cannot do well in this section. If you are not a avid reader, then you need to be more systematic in your approach. You should read the editorial section of some good newspaper on a regular basis.

Take mocks and analyze each of them. See the question types which you are getting wrong. Go through the solutions and try and understand the flaw in your approach. Leanings from mocks will ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes in the actual exam.

In our discussion above, we have tried to answer some basic questions which almost all students have regarding reading comprehension for CAT. Now we will discuss some reading comprehension tips and tricks for CAT.


Sometimes it happens that RC which appears in the exam is on a very common topic. The mistake that many aspirants make in such a case is that they use their prior knowledge while answering the questions. This leads to negative marks in questions which were fairly easy. Such traps are intentionally set by the question setter. You should avoid falling into them. Evaluate the questions and the options only on the basis of the information which is given in the passage.

Another important point to keep in mind is to have an unbiased view while reading the passage. It may happen that you have views which are contrary to what the author has proposed. You have to be objective while answering the questions. Your views should not affect your evaluation of the question and the options.


Another important thing would be to read different kinds of articles. The passages in CAT may be from abstract topics like psychology and philosophy. If you have read such articles before, you will be more comfortable in the exam. Hence try to read articles on different genres.


This is perhaps the most important thing to be discussed when we are discussing reading comprehension tips and tricks for CAT. This strategy will help you solve the questions with greater accuracy. Once you have understood the question, compare the options and see that which option best answers the given question. One or two options can be ruled out easily.

It is generally two options which are close. In such cases always compare the information given in the two options. The wrong option will either contain distorted facts or it may draw some erroneous conclusion based on the passage. Look out for these small details and you can solve such questions with higher accuracy.

is rcprep a good site to prepare?? Why is the d option correct gramatically?

Any body student of VTU, please help.
What should be the aggregate percentage for CAT form, Average of Sem I- VIIIOr Average of Sem V- VIIIPlease help 

Another great app to build vocabulary!

Can anyone please tell me the composition of Verbal ability in cat 2016? Like i know there were 24 RCs questions but what abt the other 10.Though,  I gave Cat last year but I could not go past RCs.. :(

Can someone please explain Q26 in RC (AIMCAT 1810)? Please.

Option B - An ideal language should be semantically and logically transparent.

This is clearly mentioned in the penultimate para, why isn't this an answer?


Can someone please clear my doubt:

Imagine that you are watching a one-minute video of a mock basketball game, with two teams of three players each. One team is wearing white shirts and the other black shirts, and the members are moving around one another in a small room tossing two basketballs. You are told to count the number of passes made by the white team – not easy, given the weaving movement of the players. Unexpectedly, after 35 seconds into the game, a gorilla enters the room, walks directly through the medley of bodies, thumps his chest and, nine seconds later, exits. Would you see the gorilla?   

Most of us believe we would. In fact, 50 percent of subjects in this remarkable experiment by Daniel J. Simons of the University of Illinois and Christopher F. Chabris of Harvard University did not see the gorilla, even when asked if they noticed anything unusual. The effect is called inattentional blindness. When attending to one task – say, talking on a cell phone while driving – many of us become blind to dynamic events, such as a gorilla crossing the street.   

I have incorporated the gorilla video into my lecture on science and scepticism given at universities around the country. I always ask for a show of hands of those who did not see the gorilla during the first viewing. About half of the more than 10,000 students I encountered last year confessed their perceptual blindness. Many were stunned, accusing me of showing two different clips. Simons had the same experience: ‘We actually rewound the videotape to make sure subjects knew we were showing them the same clip.’  

These experiments reveal our perceptual vainglory, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of how the brain works. We think of our eyes as video cameras and our brains as blank tapes to be filled with sensory inputs. Memory, in this model, is simply rewinding the tape and playing it back in the theatre of the mind, in which some cortical commander watches the show and reports to a higher homunculus what it saw.   

This is not the case. The perceptual system and the brain that analyses its data are far more complex. As a consequence, much of what passes before our eyes may be invisible to a brain that is focused on something else. ‘The mistaken belief that important events will automatically draw attention is exactly why these findings are surprising; it is also what gives them some practical implications,’ Simons told me. ‘By taking for granted that unexpected events will be seen, people often are not as vigilant as they could be in actively anticipating such events.’  

Driving is a good example. ‘Many accident reports include claims like, “I looked right there and never saw them”,’ Simons notes. ‘Motorcyclists and bicyclists are often the victims in such cases. One explanation is that car drivers expect other cars but not bikes, so even if they look right at the bike, they sometimes might not see it.’ Simons recounts a study by NASA research scientist Richard F. Haines of pilots who were attempting to land a plane in a simulator with the critical flight information superimposed on the windshield. ‘Under these conditions, some pilots failed to notice that a plane on the ground was blocking their path.’  

As a sceptical scientist, I have criticized people who believe in the paranormal quite strongly, so they may rightly point to these studies and accuse me of inattentional blindness when it comes to ESP and other perceptual ephemera. Perhaps my attention to what is known in science blinds me to the unknown.   

Maybe. But the power of science lies in open publication, which, with the rise of the Internet, is no longer constrained by the price of paper. I may be perceptually blind, but not all scientists will be, and out of this fact arises the possibility of new precepts and paradigms. There may be none so blind as those who will not see, but in science there are always those whose vision is not so constrained. But first they must convince the sceptics, and we are trained to look for gorillas in our midst. 

All of the following are examples of inattentional blindness, EXCEPT:

a A person is so engrossed in trying to find something that he has misplaced, that he does not see it even when it is right in front of him.

b A woman who is concentrating on watching an important news item on television does not hear her baby crying right next to her.

c A man is so used to hearing loud noises coming from the neighbour’s house that he does not even notice when an explosion occurs there.

d A student who is so busy with completing an assignment that she does not notice that her water bottle has fallen over and water has spilled all over her papers.

I think option D does not fit the criterion. But following is given in the explanation - ' Option [1] fits this criterion. The person is focusing so intently on the search that he does not see it even when it’s in front of him. So [1] can be ruled out. '

Any help will be highly appreciated.

Which is the best test series for XAT. The obvious and most common options are - IMS/CL/TIME/HANDA KA FUNDA I know this is a tough one, but which one to choose among these three? Also, is there any other test series which can be considered?