CAT Common Admission Test

CAT Exam: Dealing with RC passages for computer based test

If you are planning for the CAT Exam then you must be getting worried about handling the Reading Comprehension questions.

The question that perturbs the students most is, ‘How will I manage the Reading Comprehension passages if they are too long?’ The other questions that they are worried about is, ‘How do I underline or mark the passages?’ Our experts help you answer these queries in this article.

Firstly, the experts mention that you should not worry just because the format of CAT exam is computer based and not paper pencil based. As Vivek Gupta, CAT expert, author and IIM Bangalore alumnus mentions, CAT is a very relative exam and it will affect everyone equally. So you need not bother about the Reading Comprehension. But you should know the right methods to deal with the computer based test, especially for the Reading Comprehension section.

Get used to computer based environment

Those who are not very familiar with the computer based testing environment, should start using computers at the soonest. “The CAT has gone online does not mean that the concepts required to tackle the test have changed. What is required though is the ability to read and solve questions while looking at a computer screen for a long time,” says Vinayak Kudva, Product Head, IMS Learning.

For that, the best method is to read from the computer itself. “Read e papers and e books so that you are habituated reading long passages from screen. Also notice if you are able to retain the data after reading a long passage or data,” mentions Gejo Sreenivasan, Principal Consultant, Career Launcher.

Length of Reading Comprehension passages

Experts have observed that in the computer based format of CAT exam, the length of the passages for Reading Comprehension section are moderate so that the test takers don’t have to scroll much. “Since reading long passages and repeatedly scrolling down is not possible the passages have gotten much shorter. Last year there was no passage that was longer than 600 words,” mentions Kudva.

So now instead of worrying about the lengthy passages, you can focus on practicing Reading Comprehension from medium length passages from computers.

Utilize the tools properly

In the CAT Exam and other major computer based exams, an important tool was Mark and Highlight. With the help of that, you can mark or highlight a particular section or part of the passage. While reading the passage, you can highlight an important section and note down relevant points in your scratch sheet. You can also check the questions first and when you read the passage and find out the portion relevant for answering a question, mark it and then answer it. “Utilize the marking and highlighting tools of the CAT exam. In this way you can not only find it relatively easier to solve the Reading Comprehension passages but also the other sections as well,” says R Shiva Kumar, Director, (R & D), Career Launcher.

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