How to Crack Reading Comprehension for CAT

Reading is an important part of our life. It not only helps to learn a language but also adds something to our knowledge every time. So, whenever you read a piece of information, it is advisable that you do the active reading. This is what a reading comprehension section in CAT demands from a student. In the CAT exam, 24 questions come from 4-5 passages. The rest 10 questions appear from the Verbal Ability in MCQ or Non- MCQ form.

How to Crack Reading Comprehension for CAT?

In order to crack reading comprehension for CAT, a candidate must able to grasp what an author wants to convey through its thoughts or writing. You must also able to note how the paragraphs are taking transitions. Thus, you must able to connect the dots to answer questions of the set. Moreover, answering inference based questions requires that you understand the passage deeply in a short period of time.

This seems very scary during the initial phase of preparation. As we all know practice is the key. So, you must practice until you succeed. In the article below you will various sources and ways to improve your English. This will definitely help you with your CAT 2019 Preparation.

What are the Basics Things Required to Improve your Reading Speed?

To attempt reading comprehension you need to have a great reading speed. In CAT usually, 5-6 RC’s sets come in the paper. So even you give 10 minutes for a set then you must able to read 300-500 words passage in a maximum of 5 minutes. Which makes 60-100 words per minute. So, your first task is to check your reading speed.

Reading Speed

The first step is to know your current reading speed. If it is average then read more and side-by-side try to understand the passage with the same pace. Be a habitual reader, always find 2 hours for reading. It could be anything novels, magazines, newspapers, etc.


Sometimes, it happens that in the process of reading an article you forget to understand its essence. You may sometime you don’t even remember what the first paragraph was all about when you reach to the last paragraph. So, work on that, initially it will take time but eventually, you will able to do both the activities simultaneously.


It is necessary that you improve vocabulary to read the passage smoothly. So, whenever you find a new word, just do not ignore it and write it in a dairy. Moreover, revise it frequently to keep them fresh in your mind.

Click Here to Know How To Improve Vocabulary for CAT 

How to Improve Reading Speed for CAT?

As I said above, reading improves with practice. Just read a lot, initially read simple articles. Read whatever you like, as you get comfortable with it then increase the scope of reading. You can start reading with love stories, fictions and then move towards topics like sociology, psychology, etc.


Newspapers are a great source to improve the reading speed for CAT. Moreover, you will also get the latest updates on national and international events. You do not have to read all the newspapers, one or two hard copies of the newspapers will be sufficient. You may also download the apps for the same. Utilize your traveling or tea breaks for reading.

  • The Hindu
  • The Indian Express
  • The Economic Times
  • Mint
  • The Guardian (International)
  • BBC (International)


If you are reading a magazine then it would be beneficial if you read political or a business magazine. This way you will not only improve your reading but also get the knowledge of business, economics, etc. It is your choice to access the hard copy or online sources for reading.

  • The Economist.
  • India Today.
  • Frontline.


It will be great if you start reading good novels on a variety of topics. Sometimes you may even see direct excerpts from the novels in reading comprehension. Moreover, reading novels, hold your interest until the end. Similarly, you need to maintain your interest until the end in the reading comprehension.

  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Animal Farm
  • Indian after Gandhi
  • The Old Man and The Sea
  • Midnight’s Children
  • One Hundred Years Of Solitude

CAT reading comprehension

How To Retain your Interest in a Piece of Article?

There is always a case when you start an article and gets bored with it after reading three to four articles. This thing you cannot just afford on the test day. It happens only when you don’t able to understand the context of the passage or you do not have knowledge of a topic. So, anyhow read the article completely. Take your time, read it slowly. Then again re-read it, continue doing it until you understand it.

For Example, for a science background student, it is sometimes difficult to understand the business related article. Because the economics/business terms used in it are not very known. So, in the starting take one or two articles and a dictionary. Once you build the vocabulary, you will find interesting to read such articles.

So, it is very important that you read a variety of articles to avoid facing major difficulty in reading articles in the exam.

What are the Variety of Topics to Read for CAT?

To improve your reading it is necessary that you read articles on a variety of topics. This way when a passage come from these topics, you will not face any problem in reading it.

  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • History
  • Art
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Economics
  • Business

What are the Things that Hinder our Reading Speed?

There are various things which distract us while we are reading an article. So, here are some tips which will help you to smoothly read an article.

  • Avoid murmuring or using the pen while reading. Do the reading consciously otherwise, these things will decrease your reading speed.
  • If you find a word whose meaning you are not aware of, then do not stick to that word. Continue reading and do not waste time reading the same line again and again.
  • Try to understand the passage in one go. Avoid re-reading just keep in mind the important points of each paragraph.
  • Don’t focus on the factual information much. Read to grasp the objective, tone, and the viewpoint of the author.
  • Do not read word for word, read three words in a row. In short read in a flow to understand the passage carefully.

How To Improve your Accuracy for CAT Reading Comprehension?

If you continue practicing reading comprehensions daily, then you will definitely see improved accuracy in this section. You may sometimes get frustrated with low accuracy. Always remember don’t get disheartened and practice until you reach your target.

Do not attempt all the questions

In a set, there are normally 3-6 questions. If two questions are fact-based and one is inference based, then you can skip the latter one. In short, do not waste time thinking on one particular question. If you are able to attempt a question in less than one minute then go for it otherwise skip it.

Choose the most interesting RC

When you start doing a mock do not just start with the first article. Go through the paper and see the topics from which reading comprehension are present. Then, choose the article which seems interesting to you. For example, if you like politics then you can give a shot this article first.

Types of Questions

Before start reading a passage you may read its questions, It will help you to know if questions are fact or inference based. If many questions are an inference based then you can skip that RC for a while.

Books to practice for CAT Reading Comprehension

Here are some books from which you can practice the reading comprehension questions for CAT

Get Here Best Books for CAT Reading Comprehension Section

For any doubts and clarifications, please ask in the comments below.


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