CAT 2011: Improve Your Reading Comprehension Skills

Noida, India (PressExposure) June 29, 2011 -- The Verbal Ability section of CAT exam is predominantly divided into three sections, Reading Comprehension, Verbal Reasoning and Grammar and Vocabulary. Amongst these areas, Reading Comprehension often causes a hindrance as it involves reading passages, understanding them and then answering the questions. In this article, we will provide you the strategies to overcome the difficulties as suggested by the experts.

There are various difficulties which you might face while attempting the questions on Reading Comprehension. For that, we will offer you the strategies for MBA preparations which you should follow in order to succeed in this often dreaded section!

The strategies, as said by the experts are as follows:

Read a lot: Reading helps as you get to know about a lot of topics and that increases your general knowledge as well. "In order to improve on your RC and VA section you need to broaden your background knowledge by reading newspapers, magazines and books. Try discussing one topic of the paper with your parents or friends. This will help you to develop interest and will help in comprehension," says Vinayak Kudva, Product Head, IMS Learning.

Apart from reading a lot, what you should practice is Speed Reading. Speed Reading will help you comprehend the passage faster and hence score better in the Reading Comprehension passages for your MBA Preparations.

Kudva mentions the following points for speed reading.

1. Focus on three to four main words in a sentence.

2. Time your reading speed and decrease the time you take to read gradually.

3. Identify main parts of the paragraph.

4. You can mark the important points/ words/sentences in the beginning but gradually you should be able to identify these without marking them.

5. While reading, move your eyes fast from left to right, focusing on main words.

6. After finishing an article, write the gist of that. This will help you know how much you remember of that passage.

Choosing the Reading Comprehension passages

Among the various passages, you need to select those passages which will be easier for you to answer. Kudva suggests factors which you should keep in mind while choosing the Reading Comprehension passages. "The topic of the passage, whether it is to your liking or not; question patterns, whether they are direct or twisted are some of the important factors. The ratio of the length of the passages and the number of questions is another important factor. A long passage with few questions will pay little dividend in relation to the time one puts in," he says.

Dealing with long Reading Comprehension passages

Most of you face the question: How to answer the questions of long Reading Comprehension passages in a short span of time. If it is a long passage, everyone else will take time. What you need to do is to comprehend it fast, rather than reading it fast. "Your focus while reading should be NOT to READ fast but to COMPREHEND fast while the CAT Exam," says Sreenivasan.

Try to get more practice in reading, particularly in reading dense materials fast. Learn to look at each question in the exam from first principles. You can also time your reading of the passages. "When you are starting out with your Reading Comprehension preparation, cut out passages, which have a similar style and are more or less of equal length. Determine your reading speed on day one. Let's say it is 150 words per minute. Read at that speed for sometime, say a week or something and after that, stretch yourself by increasing time constraints, say 150 words per 45 seconds," explains an expert.

Solving Reading Comprehension passages in Computer Based Tests

Since last year, MBA exams like CAT, NMAT and MAT have become computer based. Those who are concerned about dealing the Reading Comprehension passages from the screen instead of paper, experts suggest ways to handle it. Experts suggest that if you practice reading more articles and news on your computer and take notes in your rough paper (to be provided in the online CAT exam) while reading it, you will be better equipped. Kudva says, "Focus on comprehending the passage and not on speed reading. You may make a note of important points as you read on the rough paper provided. This will help you answer the questions faster and minimize the time required to browse through a passage every time you answer a question. You have to make full use of the highlight option which is provided in the computer based CAT exam."

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Press Release Submitted On: June 29, 2011 at 6:14 am
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