Reading Comprehension for CAT

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : February 16th, 2022

CAT Reading Comprehension is a part of the VARC Section in the CAT exam. In RC for CAT, the aspirants are given a passage and then asked questions on the basis of the information mentioned in the passage. You may find several challenges to prepare Reading comprehension for CAT as this part can not be prepared by memorizing the formulas, and shortcut techniques. 

Usually, the CAT RC section is of moderate difficulty level, therefore proper preparation can help you score well. In this article, BYJU’S Exam Prep Experts have listed some strategic Reading comprehension for CAT tips along with details on how to improve reading comprehension for CAT. 

Table of Content

How to Improve Reading Comprehension for CAT

The aspirants must follow a strategic preparation strategy to grasp this section well. Our experts have listed some guiding points on how to improve RC for CAT.

  • The aspirants must be prepared as per the latest trends of CAT Reading Comprehension questions. Get updated with CAT RC preparation study notes from BYJU’S Exam Prep CAT online classes.
  • Read the best books to practice RC for CAT. 
  • While attempting CAT Reading Comprehension questions, balance your time in reading the question and the passage. Do not invest too much time in reading the passage.
  • One of the best Reading comprehension for CAT tips as per experts is to choose which RC to attempt while giving the exam. It is important to judge whether you wish to attempt the question or leave it.

Below are some well-curated books for Reading comprehension for CAT practice.

CAT Reading Comprehension Practice Books

Author's Name

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant

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

Sharma and Upadhyay

Reading Comprehension for CAT Tips

The aspirants need to practice repeatedly to prepare for the CAT RC questions. Practising is very important to build a good grip on English vocabulary skills. Additionally, if you practice regularly, you will understand what type of passages you will get in the CAT exam and how to extract information from them to answer the questions. Try to solve 2-3 passages each day for CAT reading comprehension practice

When it comes to reading comprehension, the aspirants should aim to acquire new words, synonyms, antonyms, meaning, error correction, and answering strategies for the RC questions. Here, BYJU’S Exam Prep experts have highlighted quick tips and tricks and tips on how to improve RC for CAT 

Be Focused on the Core Idea of the CAT RC Passage

The aspirants must focus on the core ideas of the passage given in the CAT reading comprehension question. It is very important to understand the meaning of the passage to solve the questions accurately.

If you read the CAT RC passages carefully, you will be able to analyze the passage and its meaning. It will help you to fix your confusion so that you can easily conclude the entire passage.

Improve Your Reading Habits

The aspirants must enhance their reading habits by reading novels, storybooks, fiction, non-fiction magazines, and newspapers like TOI, Economist, and The Hindu. You must give preferences to your reading skills first to solve RC questions in the CAT exam. The aspirants can also read magazines and online articles from their areas of interest. It is good to be updated with the latest information because CAT RC passages often come from current events.

Focus on Vocabulary Skills

Reading Comprehension for the CAT exam relies on a combination of context, vocabulary, and the interaction of words. So, you must understand the meaning, importance, and application of each before starting your preparation.

The aspirants can also follow the dictionary to look up the meaning and application of the words they are unfamiliar with. It is really helpful to enhance the work stocks with their synonyms, antonyms, and usage in the sentences.

Maintain a Diary to Make Important Notes to Improve RC for CAT

The aspirants must maintain a diary to note down every uncommon word with its meaning and uses in the sentences. It is helpful to make time-to-time revisions. Additionally, if you make notes, you can do a quick revision before the exam dates.

Maintaining a diary will also boost your memory. If you prepare anything with writing practice, you can easily recall them at the time of the exam. Additionally, it keeps your preparation on track.

Use Your Freetime

The aspirants must use their free time by revising the study materials they have followed during practising the reading comprehension for CAT. If they ignore revising, they will forget what they have studied. So, you must revise your notebooks in your free time to gain more confidence to solve the CAT RC passages.

You can also utilize your free time by reading good novels, as it is very helpful to enhance English vocabulary. The RC passages in CAT questions are very standard; therefore, reading habit for good novels is required.

Solve Previous Year CAT RC Questions

The aspirants must solve previous years’ CAT question papers to get an idea about CAT RC passages. It will help them to understand the types and difficulty level of reading comprehension and be prepared accordingly. You can also attempt BYJU’S Exam Prep CAT RC mock test for practising reading comprehension for CAT. It will help you to analyze your preparation level. 

The reading comprehension questions in the CAT exam are a little time-consuming, as this is the only section that does not follow any formulas and shortcut tricks to solve the questions. Thereby, you must practice this section well and try to follow strategic preparation tactics to score well in this section. Check section-wise preparation tips for the CAT exam.

Reading Comprehension for CAT- Types of Questions

The baseline of the RC for the CAT exam remains the same with the chances of idioms, phrases, and vocabulary. However, the central idea of the passage may vary with the recent updates of news and current events.

Note the table below to get a thorough understanding of the types of questions you may face to solve reading comprehension CAT questions. The types of RC questions in CAT mentioned below are as per the previous year analysis. 

RC CAT Question Types

Key Features

Reasoning based Questions

It includes Statement, Assumption, True-False, Inference, Judgement

Vocabulary Questions

Find out the similar meaning of the word or the phrase used in the RC passage

Opposite Meaning questions

Pick out the answer option with the opposite meaning of the word/phrase as used in the passage

Thought based

Summarised the central idea of the passage in your own words 

Fact Verification

Choose the answer that agrees or disagrees with the idea expressed by the author

How to Practice Reading Comprehension for CAT?

Everybody knows that reading books is the best way to capture interest in comprehension passages, as it improves our focus and accuracy. The CAT RC passages are generally extracted from the below areas:

  • Business and Economics
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Current Events

Thereby, give priority to reading the passages in the CAT exam to understand the subject and core information. Note the table below to get an idea about what type of topics you will face during the CAT exam.

CAT RC Topics 2021

Slot 1

Slot 2

Slot 3

Utopia Distopia


(Ghar Bahar)


T Trade


(Truth and Power)


Experiments on CuttleFish

Languages (Weish)


What Mayans Considered a Person


(Detach Yourself)

Time and Clock

RC for CAT - Best Books to Prepare 

The aspirants must remember that there is no definite syllabus for preparing RC passages for the CAT exam. Our experts have listed down some books by analysing the previous years' questions, which you can follow while preparing for CAT RC passages. 

For Reading comprehension for CAT practice, you must download the question papers and solve multiple CAT mock tests. 



Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Stephen Covey

A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking


Carl Sagan

An Illustrated Retelling of Mahabharata - Jaya 

Devdutt Patnaik

India in Slow Motions

Mark Tully

Capitalism & Freedom 

Milton Friedman

Maximum City 

Suketu Mehta

Long Walk to Freedom 

Nelson Mandela

Wings of Fire

APJ Abdul Kalam


David Gregory Roberts

Around the world in Eighty Days

Jules Verne

The Time Machine

HG Wells

Caves of Steel 

Isaac Asimov

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Three Men in a Boat 

Jerome K Jerome

Something Fresh

P G Wodehouse

Where Eagles Dare 

Alistair McLean

Besides, the above-listed books, the aspirants can also follow newspapers and journal articles to read for RC for CAT. 

News and Journals

The Hindu

Times of India

The Stateman

Business Week

The Economist


The National Geography


Business World

The Telegraph




write a comment


  • You can pick any passage from storybooks, magazines, newspapers to understand your abilities to solve RC for CAT. Reading and solving mock test is the best way to practice reading comprehension for CAT. Be focused on your vocabulary and try to summarise the meaning of the passages with clarity.

  • Try to follow reading comprehension for CAT tips as per the experts to build conceptual clarity for the questions. If you once clarify the questions, your knowledge of RC for CAT exam will be improved.

  • As per CAT analysis 2021, you can expect 16 RC questions in CAT (4 sets of RC passages with 4 questions). The number of questions might vary. 

  • First of all, you have to read the RC passage carefully. Then using the keywords in the questions to find the answers of RC in CAT exam.


  • Try to approach reading comprehension in CAT in the following way:

    • Understand the concept of the given RC passage.
    • Check the question’s keywords 
    • Find the answers in the passage and pick the right choice
  • Not at all. If you follow a strategic preparation strategy and have a good grasp of English vocabulary, then you can easily solve CAT reading comprehension questions.

  • If you have confidence, then you can prepare it by yourself. You can also join BYJU’S Exam Prep online classes to practise CAT RC questions in a scheduled way.

  • There are no fixed books from where the CAT RC questions are prepared. So, follow daily habits of reading newspapers, business magazines, and good novels to prepare yourself.

  • For CAT RC preparation, the aspirants must follow books on economy, art & culture, philosophy, psychology, sociology, science, astronomy, history, geography, literature, fiction novels, autobiographies, and biographies.

  • Yes, practising RC sample questions for the CAT exam is really required to develop accuracy, solving speed, and avoid negative marking.

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