Reading Comprehension for CAT, MAT, SNAP, XAT Exams

By : Raghavendra Singh

Updated : Dec 28, 2020, 8:32

Reading Comprehension (RC) forms an integral part of the syllabus of all MBA entrance exams. Questions on RCs feature in the verbal ability section of MBA exams like CAT, XAT, GMAT, IIFT, SNAP, NMAT, MAT, etc. Reading Comprehension section in CAT includes a passage in which the candidates are expected to read and then answer the questions based on that passage. Going by the Reading Comprehension definition, the associated questions are asked to evaluate the candidate’s knowledge of the English language, reading ability, and grammar.

RC passages generally involve a theory, concept, or an issue of humanities, social sciences, economics, business, or management. To score well in the exam, you need to spend adequate time and effort on Reading Comprehension practice questions.

Important Reading Comprehension Topics

While there is no fixed syllabus for RCs, you need to prepare this part considering the frequently asked questions, Reading Comprehension questions for CAT are mostly fetched from the following concepts.



Vocabulary Usage

Questions from vocabulary relate to the words given in the RC passage. Vocabulary-based questions require the candidate to choose a suitable synonym/antonym, grammatical usage or check its usage in a given sentence.

Tone of Writing

Tone refers to the author's attitude towards the given subject of the passage. It can be objective, biased, critical, humorous, harsh, etc.

Writing Styles

The writing style of a passage implies the author’s way of expression or approach in explaining a topic. It can be narrative, factual, analytical, argumentative, etc.

Tips to Prepare Reading Comprehension Questions

It is highly crucial to ace Reading Comprehension questions to crack CAT. Even though there is no standard topics to prepare for this subject, you can do well with the following Reading Comprehension tricks:

  • The first and foremost thing for getting hold of RCs is to build a strong vocabulary. For this, you need to read regularly. Invest time in reading newspapers, magazines, and good blogs on the internet.
  • Use flashcards or similar techniques to note down new words you come across. Also, try using these newly learned words in your routine conversation
  • Alongside the efforts to strengthen your vocabulary, practice through Reading Comprehension quizzes and monitor your progress. While you attempt an RC, glance through the questions before reading the passage.
  • Solve the complete CAT sample papers that contain Reading Comprehension questions and answers.

Importance of Reading Comprehension in CAT

The following points illustrate the significance of Reading Comprehension in CAT:

  • Out of the total 100 questions in CAT, there are 34 questions of Verbal Ability, of which RCs carry maximum weightage.
  • An overwhelming 60-70% of the questions in Verbal Ability belong to RCs.
  • Generally, there are five RC passages in CAT verbal ability, of which three are long, and two are short.
  • Since some question types of RCs (vocabulary-based, inferential, etc.) overlap with the other topics of Verbal ability; it is advised to put special focus on practicing Reading Comprehension test questions.

Most Recommended Books for Reading Comprehension

You will come across a variety of Reading Comprehension study guides available for preparation and practice.However, you should choose the best and the most effective books for Reading Comprehension to ace your preparation level. We have listed some of the widely popular and good books to practice Reading Comprehension Questions for CAT.

Book Name

Author Name

Word Power Made Easy

Norman Lewis

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT

Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay

30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary

Simon & Schuster/ Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis

Apart from the above-listed books, you can also get books that exclusively comprise Reading Comprehension problems with solutions.

Why prepare Reading Comprehension from BYJU'S Exam Prep? 

BYJU'S Exam Prep offers an extensive source of Reading Comprehension notes in the form of video lectures, pdfs, articles, quizzes, and mock tests. All the Reading Comprehension examples and practice tests are formatted as per the latest pattern of CAT, XAT, and similar other management entrance tests. 

After taking the tests, you can go through the test analysis and download Reading Comprehension questions and answers pdf. Besides, you can also get doubts clarification from expert tutors as well as interact with your competitors at the BYJU'S Exam Prep's community platform.

Once you are thorough with the conceptual understanding of the subject, try attempting previous year papers with common Reading Comprehension questions and solutions. Lastly, keep practicing RC mock tests on a periodic basis to attain accuracy in the section.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the common types of Reading Comprehension questions in CAT?

RC questions mainly revolve around the following parameters of passage: central idea/title, tone questions, structure, agree/disagree statements, inference, fact-based/direct, and vocabulary.

2. What are Inference questions in RC?

Inference questions are slightly indirect in nature. Here, the candidate is asked to deduce, restate, or indicate what the author tries to convey in an implicit manner

3. What are structure-based questions in RC?

The structure of a passage indicates the organization or logical flow of ideas presented in consecutive paragraphs. These questions probe into the function or purpose of particular paragraphs of the RC.

4. Which newspapers should I read to improve my RC skills?

Among the newspapers, The Hindu, The Economic Times, and Business Standard are considered best for enhancing language skills. You may also read the blogs of The New York Times, The Guardian, etc.

5. Are there any Non-MCQ or TITA questions in RCs of CAT?

Generally, there are no non-MCQs for the RC portion. However, other parts of verbal ability include some non-MCQs.