Improving Reading Ability for CAT

Improving your ability to comprehend sentences is crucial if you want to crack the verbal ability and reading comprehension of the CAT.

The verbal ability and reading comprehension section of the CAT represents the biggest hurdle for aspirants who do not have a convent education. In fact, at times, even the ability to converse well in English cannot guarantee a high percentile for those with convent education. What strategy and action plan ten should you devise to enhance your scores in the language section of the CAT?

The most common advice concerning the verbal ability and reading comprehension section of the CAT is students should inculcate the habit of reading more and more. However, when given this suggestion the obvious question on the mind of any aspirant is whether developing a reading can actually help solve one’s problem in the language section in such a short time frame of four months?

The answer to this question is largely in the negative. You require at least two to three years of preparation to be able to successfully and considerably enhance your scores in VA and RC. Four months would merely be like scratching the surface. Having said that, the truth is you will have to read if you want to increase your scores in the VA and RC. Any way, reading is one of the primary activities that you would be doing as part of your preparations. However, the key is to do this activity with a defined purpose in mind rather than doing it blindly.

One of the key problems aspirants face when they take the CAT is the language is too complex and the options for the answers appear to be way too similar to each other. Your ability to crack this section would depend on three broad factors. These give rise to eight possibilities of the kind of language you are going to face:

1) Short sentences ( 10-15 words long) versus long sentences ( 25+ words long)
2) Easy vocabulary versus tough vocabulary
3) Familiar topic versus unfamiliar topic.

Learn to comprehend longer sentences:

Consider this paragraph from a reading comprehension section of the CAT 2008 question paper:

Finally, while we still have some other past societies to consider before we switch our attention to the modern world, we must already be struck by some parallels between the Maya and the past societies. As on Mangareva the Maya environmental and population problems led to increasing warfare and civil strife. Similarly, on Easter Island and at Chaco canyon, the Maya peak population numbers were followed swiftly by political and social collapse. Paralleling the eventual extension of agriculture from Easter Island’s coastal lowlands to its uplands, and from the Mimbres floodplain to the hills, Copan’s inhabitants also expanded from the floodplain to the more fragile hill slopes, leaving them with a larger population to feed when the agricultural boom in the hills went bust. Like Easter Island chiefs ever larger statues, eventually crowned by Pukao, and like Anasazi elite treating themselves to necklaces of 2,000 turquoise beads, Maya kings sought to out do each other with more and more impressive temples, covered with thicker and thicker plaster – reminiscent in turn of the extravagant conspicuous consumption, by modern American CEOs. The passivity of Eater chiefs and Maya Kings in the face of the real big threats to their societies completes our lists of disquieting parallels.

The above paragraph contains 202 words and six sentences making the average number of words in sentence 33.66! Needless to say, when aspirants face such difficult convoluted language they are unable to solve questions based on such passages. Thus, for you to crack the language section, it is crucial to read more and more the primary objective of your reading being the improvisation of your complex language.

In conclusion

1) Focus on improving your ability to comprehend longer sentences with complex vocabulary on unfamiliar topics.
2) Do all your reading activity with this goal in mind and you will realize that a three year cycle of development would crash into four months.