Tips to crack the RC section in CAT

  • Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 08, 2014 12:53 IST

Cracking the reading comprehension (RC) section of the Common Admission Test is like winning a war. Apart from the clichéd suggestions of reading a lot and reading a variety of topics, there are a couple of strategies that are necessary to perform better in this section.

The most important among all these is to try and get into the examiner’s mind. After all, the questions that follow the passage are the ones that matter. More than what the author is trying to say, it is important to know what the examiner is thinking.

To make it challenging, the examiner is definitely going to lay some traps. And you are not prepared for this if you have no clue of what lies ahead of you. From the examiner’s perspective, he cannot set a good trap if he does not understand the way CAT aspirants would react to a question.

Here are three types of test takers, when it comes to attempting reading comprehension questions.
# Those who read a passage very fast
# Those who bring in things from outside of what is mentioned in the passage
# Those who read the passage and still have no clue as to what it’s about

The trap for the type 2 is set when the examiner creates an option that has information from outside the passage. It is important not to extend the scope of the passage beyond what is actually given there. The type 3 will anyways get trapped if the topic of the passage is just a ‘bit’ difficult to comprehend. Here are some tips that may help you in your approach.

Don’t skim all passages: Breezing through a passage by way of skimming helps only if you have some sense of familiarity with the passage/topic.

Eliminate and not select: In most cases, elimination of choices may work better than selection of the choices.

Here is an approach to eliminate – BANE. Eliminate choices that are too broad, too narrow, that are alien and too extreme. Take a look at the RC passages that you have attempted and analyse them applying these tips.

There is a good chance that your approach to taking this section could take a completely different turn.

Compiled by HT Education and Career Launcher

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