Reading Comprehension (RC) For CAT


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Reading Comprehension (RC) For CAT 2019: RC Tips For CAT, RC Questions
Updated on August 17, 2019


Reading Comprehension is one of the most important sections and high scoring area in CAT exam. The weightage of Reading Comprehension for CAT is higher than in any other MBA entrance exam. The Reading comprehension in CAT exam commands not only high sectional weightage but also high weightage in overall CAT exam. 

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Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by IIMs is divided into three major sections and the first section in the CAT exam is Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (RC). In this section on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC), the Reading Comprehension questions for CAT 2019 occupy 70% share.  Out of the total 100 questions divided in 3 sections in CAT exam, VARC consists of 34 questions and out of them 24 questions are RC Questions for CAT 2019.

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Weightage of Reading Comprehension in CAT Exam
The revised pattern awards following weightage to Reading Comprehension questions in CAT exam:

Total Questions in CAT Exam
Weightage Awarded
Total Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT Exam
24% Overall Weightage for RC Questions in CAT   
Total Questions in VARC Section
70% Sectional Weigthage to RC based Questions (24 RC, 10 Others)
Number of Reading Comprehension passages in CAT Exam
3 Long RC Passages followed by 6 questions each; 2 Short passages followed by 3 questions each
Type of Reading Comprehension based questions
Multiple Choice Questions
All 24 RC based questions are of MCQ type, other 10 questions are Non-MCQ type
Scoring Pattern for Reading Comprehension questions in CAT
+3 for each correct answer
-1 for each wrong answer

RC for CAT Exam: Look before you Leap
Before  exploring on how to prepare Reading Comprehension for CAT, we should know what is the composition and share of Reading Comprehension Passages for CAT in the CAT 2019 Exam pattern which remains similar to CAT previous year Reading Comprehension section.. Read More on RC Passages


Reading Comprehension for CAT Exam: Sectional Composition
The CAT exam now begins with the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension as the first section instead of last section. The RC questions for CAT 2019 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 2019 is as below: 

RC Questions for CAT 2019
Sectional Composition
Section Name
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)
Total VARC Questions
Number of Reading Comprehension Passages for CAT
Type of RC Passages for CAT
3 Long RC Passages; 2 Short RC Passage
Total questions Based on Reading Comprehension passages for CAT
Bifurcation of RC Based Questions
6 Questions follow each Long RC passage (Total 18 questions);
3 questions follow each short RC passage (Total 6 questions)
Type of Questions Based on RC Passages in CAT
Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension Time to attempt the complete section
60 Minutes
Marks for Each Correct Answer
Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer
Difficulty Level of RC passages
Moderate to tough Reading Comprehension Passages
Number of Reading Comprehension questions with No-Negative Marking

Reading Comprehension for CAT Exam: Key Highlights

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
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Long passage-2 – Moderate to difficult with rich vocabulary – more literary and opinion based
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Long passage-3 – Difficult-based on abstract topic/opinion based/literature based, may contain too many unknown vocabulary words
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Short passage-1 – Moderate to difficult; business-economy/geography based
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Short passage-2- sometimes difficult with difficult words; based on historical facts, opinion, future plans
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking
Short Passage-3 – may be more difficult than other two; usually on Abstract topic
MCQs with 1/3 Negative Marking

Read More


How to Prepare Reading Comprehension for CAT?
Unlike Verbal Ability Reading Comprehension requires different preparation strategy. Accordingly following are the most important guiding points on how to prepare Reading Comprehension for CAT Exam:

  • 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

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 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

Let us understand in detail the strategy how to prepare for Reading Comprehension:


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 2019 –Type of RC based questions
Expected number of questions
Key features
Reasoning type of questions
Statement, Assumption, True-False, Inference, Judgement 
Vocabulary based Questions
Explaining the similar meaning of the word/phrase used in the RC passage
Opposite Meaning questions
Picking out the answer option with the opposite meaning of the word/phrase as used in the passage
Thought based
Summarising the idea as expressed in the passage
Fact verification
Choosing the answer that agrees/disagrees with the idea expressed by the author

Read in detail the CAT Syllabus on Reading Comprehension


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:

Read More


Best Study Material for Reading Comprehension for CAT
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 you will be getting the best study material with more Reading Comprehension exercises for CAT.. Read More


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, CAT toppers spoke about their preparation strategy for Reading Comprehension and also shared advice to CAT aspirants: Read More


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. 


Key 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

FAQs on Reading Comprehension preparation for CAT 2019
The key Frequently answered questions on RC preparation for CAT are given here.. Read More


Read More: CAT 2019 - Exam Date, Registration, Syllabus, Preparation, Books 

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