Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023: RC Tips For CAT, RC Questions

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Updated on
August 14, 2023

Reading Comprehension or RC in CAT Exam is the most important section with high weightage. RC commands highest sectional as well as overall weightage in CAT exam score. Out of the three sections in CAT exam, the first Section consists of Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) topics with major share of Reading Comprehension questions.

 

RC based questions in CAT can be solved with right approach. However, you need to prepare for Reading Comprehension section in CAT with an attentive and focused strategy. Arun Sharma, the well known CAT mentor and founder of CAT Coaching Institute Mindworkzz, has recommended to work on building your skills to be able to understand complex passages, complex articles on complex topics and must learn how to catch hold of the idea in RC even if it's slightly above the level. Read below the importance of RC based questions in IIM-CAT exam, weightage, Key Trends, what is the composition, how to prepare, how to solve RC based questions and more 

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Table of Contents

  1. What is RC for CAT Exam?
  2. Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 Exam: Key Highlights
  3. RC Questions in CAT: Composition, Details, Weightage
  4. Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 Exam: Sectional Composition
  5. CAT Reading Comprehension Questions and Answers
  6. How to Prepare Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023?
  7. RC for CAT Exam: 4 Steps to Crack
  8. How to Solve the RC based Questions in CAT?
  9. Reading Comprehension Questions for CAT: Number & Type
  10. Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 Books
  11. CAT Toppers Reading Comprehension Preparation Strategy  
  12. Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 Tips
  13. CAT Previous Year Reading Comprehension Vs Current RC based Questioins
  14. FAQs on Reading Comprehension preparation for CAT 2023

1. What is RC for CAT Exam? Components, Types of passages, Questions
Before exploring on how to prepare Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023, we should know what is Reading Comprehension, what is its composition, what is the difficulty level, what type of questions are asked on RC Passages in CAT exam among other details.

2. Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 Exam: Key Highlights

  • Reading Comprehension for CAT exam 2023 has a lion’s share in the composition of VARC Section
  • Share of RC questions for CAT in the VARC section has been increased to 80% from 45%
  • Total Number of RC Questions for CAT 2023 will be 18-19 out of total 24 VARC questions
  • Most of the RC questions for CAT 2023 are of MCQ type and carry penalty of 1/3 negative marking
  • Although the length & size of RC for CAT exam has been reduced, the Reading Comprehension Passages for CAT now are more difficult from earlier one and have rich vocabulary words

3. RC Questions in CAT 2023: Composition, Details, Weightage
Reading Comprehension test for CAT 2023 is a crucial section in the exam since around 70% of the part in VARC section is based on Reading Comprehension Questions and Answers. Improving on Reading Comprehension Questions and Answers is important because if you do well in the RC for CAT, you will do well in other related questions like Para-jumbles and Para-completion also. The revised pattern awards following weightage to Reading Comprehension questions in CAT exam:

Total Questions in CAT Exam
66
Weightage Awarded
Total Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT Exam
19
29% Overall Weightage for RC Questions in CAT   
Total Questions in VARC Section
24
80% Sectional Weigthage to RC based Questions (19 RC, 5 Others)
Number of Reading Comprehension passages in CAT Exam
  4
2 Long RC Passages of 800-900 words followed by 5-6 questions each; 2 Short passages of 400-500 words followed by 4 questions each
Type of Reading Comprehension based questions
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
All 19 RC based questions are of MCQ type, other 5 questions are Non-MCQ type
Scoring Pattern for Reading Comprehension questions in CAT
+3 for each correct answer
-1 for each wrong answer

Key Points to Note

  • Total Questions in Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by IIMs are reduced now
  • Earlier there were 100 questions, now the questions have been reduced to 66 which are divided into three major sections, namely VARC, DILR and Quant
  • Prior to 2015, CAT had 60 questions divided into two sections VALR and QADI.
  • The Logical Reasoning part from Verbal Ability & Logical Reasoning (VALR) section is separated now resulting in the lion’s share of questions based on Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023.

4. Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 Exam: Sectional Composition
The first section in the CAT exam is Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension. Earlier it used to be the last section. The RC questions for CAT 2023 play an important role to achieve high sectional score as well as in improving the overall CAT percentile. The composition of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT 2023 is as below: 

RC Questions for CAT 2023
Sectional Composition
Section Name
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Total VARC Questions
24
Number of Reading Comprehension Passages for CAT
  4
Type of RC Passages for CAT
2 Long RC Passages; 2 Short RC Passage
Total questions Based on Reading Comprehension passages for CAT
18-19
Bifurcation of RC Based Questions
5-6 Questions follow each Long RC passage
3-4 questions follow each short RC passage
Type of Questions Based on RC Passages in CAT
MCQs
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Time to attempt the complete section
40 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer
+3
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer
-1
Difficulty Level of RC passages
Moderate to tough Reading Comprehension Passages
Number of Reading Comprehension questions with No-Negative Marking
Nil

5. CAT Reading Comprehension Questions and Answers
Sample RC Passages followed by questions and answers can help more to understand the question pattern and approach how to answer the RC based questions.

Reading Comprehension passages for CAT
Number of questions
Type of Questions
Long Passage-1 – Usually moderate based on facts
5-6
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Long passage-2 – Difficult-based on abstract topic/opinion based/literature based, may contain too many unknown vocabulary words
5-6
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Short passage-1 – Moderate to difficult; business-economy/geography based
3-4
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Short passage-2- sometimes difficult with difficult words; based on historical facts, opinion, future plans
3-4
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking

Read More 

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6. How to Prepare Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023?
Unlike Verbal Ability Reading Comprehension requires different preparation strategy. Let us understand in detail the strategy how to prepare for Reading Comprehension. Sharing key VARC preparation tips for CAT, Arun Sharma said, “Remember one good thing about CAT prep in Verbal that you're going to be challenged with only 800-word RC passages. Your ability to understand the meaning of a large sentence is key. Paragraphs are nothing but sentences, and RC is simply a few paragraphs!”

 

So, following are the most important guiding points on how to prepare Reading Comprehension for CAT Exam:

  • RC passages are very long and are of around 800 words
  • Read each para as complete RC passage is a combination of few paras expanding the same idea
  • Understand the Main Idea of RC Passage and then proceed to solve questions
  • Prepare as per latest trends on Reading Comprehension questions in CAT  
  • Read the Best books on Reading Comprehension for CAT
  • Get Updated CAT  Reading Comprehension Preparation Material of Best Coaching Institutes
  • Read CAT toppers’ Reading Comprehension Preparation Strategy
  • Take CAT Reading Comprehension Mocks and Analyse Each One.. Read More

7. RC for CAT Exam: 4 Steps to Crack
One thing should however be remembered that Reading comprehension exercises are only expanded form of the Unseen Passages that you used to solve in your matriculation standard.

 

Sharing the reading comprehension for CAT 2023 tips on how to prepare for Reading Comprehension questions, Experts and toppers suggest the four steps to crack the Reading Comprehension Test for CAT:

  • Understand the English vocabulary,
  • Continue with Consistent flow of thoughts in RC Passages,
  • Read between the lines to cracking the meaning
  • Arrive at the correct and decisive answer option for the questions based on Reading Comprehension passages for CAT

8. How to Solve the RC based Questions in CAT?
Before answering the RC passage based questions in CAT, the candidate should put himself/herself into author’s shoes and should understand the central idea what author wants to say. Therefore, you should take following steps while approaching the RC questions in CAT:

  • Understand what facts and arguments are given by author in the passage to strengthen his idea in the respective paragraph as well as in the complete passage
  • What is the tone of the author? Is he sarcastic, or making fun, or mocking, or angry on the events, or analysing? Each tone carries different meaning of the same phrase, so understand and then answer

9. Reading Comprehension Questions for CAT: Number & Type
While vocabulary, Phrases/idioms remain as the basics for CAT Reading Comprehension, the areas and topics on which Reading Comprehension questions for CAT are prepared as per the Changed type of RC pattern are as under:

CAT 2023 –Expected Type of RC based questions
Expected number of questions
Key features
Reasoning type of questions
4-5
Statement, Assumption, True-False, Inference, Judgement 
Vocabulary based Questions
4-5
Explaining the similar meaning of the word/phrase used in the RC passage
Opposite Meaning questions
3-4
Picking out the answer option with the opposite meaning of the word/phrase as used in the passage
Thought based
2-3
Summarising the idea as expressed in the passage
Fact verification
2-3
Choosing the answer that agrees/disagrees with the idea expressed by the author

Read in detail the CAT Syllabus on Reading Comprehension  

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10. Reading Comprehension for CAT Books
If you are doing self-preparation for Reading Comprehension for CAT, you cannot deny the importance of choosing the best Reading Comprehension for CAT books. Most of the CAT toppers who were weak in CAT Reading Comprehension opted for self –preparation after making thorough search on best books for Reading Comprehension. Some of the best books for Reading Comprehension for CAT are:

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT’- by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT’ - by Nishit K Sinha 
  • Arihant Book on Verbal Ability:Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh

Read More

 

10.1 Best Study Material for Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023
In case you are preparing Reading Comprehension for the CAT with the help of coaching centres, or wish to go for a mix of coaching supported preparation and self-Preparation to get the best of both in Reading Comprehension Preparation, alongwith the best book for Reading Comprehension for CAT 2023 you will be getting the best study material with more Reading Comprehension exercises for CAT.. Read More

 

11. CAT Toppers Reading Comprehension Preparation Strategy 
Many CAT toppers with 99 and 100 percentile have shared that they found Reading Comprehension was their weak area but they improved a lot in it with consistent preparation. What made CAT toppers improve so much and how they could score so high in Reading Comprehension in CAT? Sharing with MBAUniverse.com, CAT toppers spoke about their preparation strategy for Reading Comprehension and also shared advice to CAT aspirants: Read More

 

12. Reading Comprehension for CAT Tips
According to CAT preparation experts and past toppers, you need to begin your preparation for VARC much earlier than for other sections. The Reading comprehension in VARC section has become more dominating during past few years.  

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Important Reading Comprehension for CAT Tips

  1. Make it the regular practice to read the editorials, articles in the news paper.
  2. Underline the difficult words-search out their meanings and put them to use in writing, in conversation etc. Tests have shown that the number of unfamiliar words in a passage, if exceeds about one in twenty, the reader will lose track. If the proportion is lower, the reader may skip over the unfamiliar words and grasp, at least the general meaning.. Read More

13. CAT Previous Year Reading Comprehension Vs Current RC based Questions: Key Trends
The CAT previous year Reading Comprehension questions and Verbal Ability questions till 2019 were 34, but in 2020, the number of questions were reduced to 26 and in 2021 the questions in CAT Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability section were further reduced to 24. The questions on RC for CAT are divided in MCQs and Non-MCQs. Out of it, 70 to 80% weightage goes to the RC based questions in CAT and 20-30% weightage is assigned to Verbal Ability topics. RC questions in CAT exam commands 24% overall weightage.  Trends for CAT Previous Year Reading Comprehension based questions for last seven years are shared below:

CAT Exam Year & Total Questions in CAT VARC section
RC Based Questions
VA questions
2015 to 2019: 34 Questions
24
10
2020: 26 Questions
18
  8
2021: 24 Questions
19
  5
2022: 24 Questions
16
  8

It can be observed that despite reduction in total questions in 2020, 2021 and 2022, the weightage of RC for CAT has increased.  Earlier, Reading comprehension test for CAT had only 1/3rd part in the Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning section as the VA, RC and LR were clubbed together in CAT exams, but now they have been separated focusing oneself to solve only with the verbal bend of mind.

 

As such, the CAT Reading Comprehension (RC) is the most important part that needs you to score high percentile in the exam. Your skilled and intelligent performance in answering the questions in RC for CAT can get you higher chances for shortlisting by IIMs.

 

14. FAQs on Reading Comprehension preparation for CAT 2023
Frequently Answered Questions on RC preparation for CAT are given here

 

Q. How many questions are based on Reading Comprehension in CAT exam?
A. RC based questions in CAT exam are 16-19 out of total 24 questions in VARC section

 

Q. What is the type of RC questions in the CAT exam?
A. Questions based on Reading Comprehension are of MCQ type

 

Q. Are there any non-MCQ or no penalty questions based on RC passages?
A. Usually No! Although there may not be any non-MCQ following the RC passage, there may be one or two MCQ without negative marking. In such case, Verbal part may consist of questions with negative marking  

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