June 14, 2013

RC in CAT Reading Comprehension

6 months for expertise in RC in CAT 2014

Read more! 15 minutes a day of reading an average size novel equals 18 books a year at an average reading speed!
If you have poor concentration when reading, practice reading for only 5 – 10 minutes at a time and gradually increase this time. Start with any news paper front page and than gradually move to editorial page.
Month 1 – 3 Solve basic level RCs and read newspapers
Month 4 – 6 Solve actual CAT paper RCs and CAT level RCs.

An RC a day…can carve your IIM’s way…

For all those who can only manage to marginally score well in quant, verbal section will rescue you.

3 Keys to unlock RCs.

Key 1- Understanding the author-
These are the most difficult to crack. Theses passages requires analysing the passage from the author’s point of view. Most of the questions are implicit in nature
-central theme
-what would the author do in a particular situation
-what is the author implying when he says ’xyz’
-What is the tone of the passage?
-appropriate title for the passage’ or ‘the author would have written this passage for a journal/a newspaper etc….’

Key 2-Understanding descriptions-
Descriptive passages generally describe an event/a person/a place, etc. The difference here is that these passages contain a lot of factual descriptions and in some cases some opinions.
The best part about these questions is that the answers are already given.

Key 3- Picking up the data
A certain number of passages are driven by data, the best way forward is to look for specific data. Such passages have a lot of numbers/percentages/fractions thrown around along with the author’s opinions on them. Most of the questions in the case of descriptive and data driven passages will be explicit questions that would deal with
– main idea
– correct/incorrect description
– vocabulary based questions
– writing structure and opinions of the author. These questions are relatively easy to answer .



RC questions in CAT 2013

Last year RCs were dominated by Main Idea and tone of RCs but this time its a perfect mix of fact based RCs and Inference based RCs.. Quant level of difficulty in your CAT might disappoint you but RCs will def delight you…

Passage 1 – Science based RC (easy to read)
Q1 Main point of the passage (Inference based ques)
Q2 Find the Inference based RC (Inference based ques)
Q3 According to the author “…..” (Fact based ques)

Passage 2 – Social RC women empowerment (medium to read)
Q1 Reason for “……” (Fact based ques)
Q2 “…….” means (Fact based ques)
Q3 Tone of the passage (Fact based ques)

Passage 3 – Management based passage (medium to read)
Q1 Find the theme of the passage (Inference based ques)
Q2 Inference of the passage (Inference based ques)
Q3 “……..” means (Fact based ques)
Q4 What question can be asked to author during the interview after reading the passage? (Inference based ques)


Reading Comprehension RC in CAT and CMAT

RC Tone of the passages workshop video:

CONCEPT TEST: Verbal: Reading Comprehension

Passage 1
I felt the wall of the tunnel shiver. The master alarm squealed through my earphones. Almost simultaneously, Jack yelled down to me that there was a warning light on. Fleeting but spectacular sights snapped into an out of view, the snow, the shower of debris, the moon, looming close and big, the dazzling sunshine for once unfiltered by layers of air. The last twelve hours before re-entry were particular bone-chilling. During this period, I had to go up in to command module. Even after the fiery re-entry splashing down in 81o water in south pacific, we could still see our frosty breath inside the command module.

1. The word ‘Command Module’ used twice in the given passage indicates perhaps that it
Deals with
(a) An alarming journey
(b) A commanding situation
(c) A journey into outer space
(d) A frightful battle.

2. Which one of the following reasons would one consider as more as possible for the
Warning lights to be on?
(a) There was a shower of debris.
(b) Jack was yelling.
(c) A catastrophe was imminent.
(d) The moon was looming close and big.

3. The statement that the dazzling sunshine was “for once unfiltered by layers of air” means
(a) That the sun was very hot
(b) That there was no strong wind
(c) That the air was unpolluted
(d) None of above

Passage 2
But I did not want to shoot the elephant. I watched him beating his bunch of grass against his knees, with the preoccupied grandmotherly air that elephants have. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to. (Somehow it always seems worse to kill large animal.) Besides, there was the beast’s owner to be considered. But I had got to act quickly. I turned to some experienced-looking Burmans who had been there when we arrived, and asked them how the elephants had been behaving. They all said the same thing; he took no notice of you if you left him alone, but he might charge if you went too close to him.

4. The phrase ‘Preoccupied grandmotherly air’ signifies
(a) being totally unconcerned
(b) Pretending to be very busy
(c) a very superior attitude
(d) calm, dignified and affectionate disposition

5. From the passage it appears that the author was
(a) an inexperienced hunter
(b) kind and considerate
(c) possessed with fear
(d) a worried man

b The author did not want to shoot the elephant because he
(a) was afraid of it
(b) did not have the experience of shooting big animals
(c) did not wish to kill animal which was not doing anybody any harm
(d) did not find the elephant to be ferocious

Passage 3
Harold a professional man who had worked in an office for many years had a fearful dream. In it, he found himself in a land where small slug-like animals with slimy tentacles lived on people’s bodies. The people tolerated the loathsome creatures because after many years they grew into elephants which then became the nation’s system of transport, carrying everyone wherever he wanted to go. Harold suddenly realised that he himself was covered with these things, and he woke up screaming. In a vivid sequence of pictures this dream dramatised for Harold what he had never been able to put in to words; he saw himself as letting society feed on his body in his early years so that it would carry him when he retired. He later threw off the “security bug” and took up freelance work.

7. In his dream Harold found the loathsome creatures
(a) in his village
(b) in his own house
(c) in a different land
(d) in his office

8. Which one of the following phrases best helps to bring out the precise meaning of ‘loathsome creatures’?
(a) Security bug and slimy tentacles
(b) Fearful dream and slug-like animals
(c) Slimy tentacles and slug-like animals
(d) slug-like animals and security bug

9. The statement that ‘he later threw off the security bug’ means that
(a) Harold succeeded in overcoming the need for security
(b) Harold stopped giving much importance to dreams
(c) Harold started tolerating social victimisation
(d) Harold killed all the bugs troubled him

10. Harold’s dream was fearful because
(a) it brought him face to face with reality
(b) it was full of vivid pictures of snakes
(c) he saw huge elephant in it
(d) in it he saw slimy creatures feeding on people’s bodies

Passage 4
Laws of nature are not commands but statements of acts. The use of the word “law” in this context is rather unfortunate. It would be better to speak of uniformities in nature. This would do away with the elementary fallacy that a law implies a law giver. If a piece of matter does not obey a law of nature it is punished. On the contrary, we say that the law has been incorrectly started.

11. If a piece of matter violates nature’s law, it is not punished because
(a) it is not binding to obey it
(b) there is no superior being to enforce the law of nature
(c) it cannot be punished
(d) it simply means that the facts have not been correctly stated by law

12. Laws of nature differ from man-made laws because
(a) the former state facts of Nature
(b) they must be obeyed
(c) they are natural
(d) unlike human laws, they are systematic

13. The laws of nature based on observation are
(a) conclusion about the nature of the universe.
(b) true and unfalsifiable.
(c) figments of the observer imagination.
(d) subject to change in the light of new facts.

14. The author is not happy with word ‘law’ because
(a) it connotes rigidity and harshness
(b) it implies an agency which has made them
(c) it does not convey the sense of nature’s uniformity
(d) it gives rise to false beliefs

Passage 5
Male lions are rather reticent about expanding their energy in hunting more than three quarters of kills are made by lionesses are in front, tensely scanning ahead, the cubs lag playfully behind and the males bring up the rear, walking slowly, their massive heads nodding with each step as if they were bored with the whole matter. But slothfulness may have survival value. With lionesses busy hunting, the males function as guard for the cubs, protecting them particularly from hyenas.

15. According to the passage male lions generally do not go for huntings because
(a)theydon not like it.
(b) they want lioness to get training
(c) they wish to save their vigour for other things
(d) they are very lazy

16.Male lions protect their cubs
(a) from the members of their own species
(b) from hyenas only
(c) from hyenas as much as from other enemies
(d) more from hyenas than from other animals

17.Lioness go for hunting
(a) all alone
(b) with their male partners only
(c) with their cubs and male partners
(d) with their cubs only

18.When the lionesses go in search for their prey, they are very
(a) serious
(b) cautious
(c) playful
(d) sluggish

Long RC

HIV/AIDS has established a firm foothold in South Asia. Large population numbers in the region means that prevalence rates appear reassuringly low. But pockets of high prevalence are like the smoke of a wildfire on the horizon. It could spread and spread quickly, with grave consequences. Half a billion people in South Asia still live on less than $ 1 a day but in the decade since 1992, the region’s GDP has nearly doubled. Poverty has been substantially reduced and real gains have been made in human development such as education and child health. Some good news is indeed coming out of South Asia as Governments put in place the much-needed reforms and grapple with conflicts. Challenges remain, to be sure, but this complex region is, by many measures, making a positive difference in the lives of most of its 1.4 billion citizens. As political leaders, government, ministers, development agencies, people living with HIV/AIDS, NGOs, and others prepare to meet in Bangkok for the 15th International AIDS Conference, we need to focus on the impact of the disease on this progress. The smoke on the horizon that is HIV/AIDS could wipe out hard-won development gains. Bangkok provides an opportunity togalvanise a response to this warning while there is still time. And it will require leadership across South Asia at every level. The first case of HIV/AIDS in South Asia was reported in India just 18 years ago. Now it is estimated that India is home to four-and-a-half million HIV positive people. Bangladesh, with a population of 136 million, had 13,000 adults and children living with HIV infection at the end of 2002. UNAIDS estimates that 62,000 out of 24 million people in Nepal are living with HIV/AIDS. In Pakistan, 70,000 to 80,000 persons are infected with the virus. Sri Lanka, with a population of 19 million, has a relatively smaller number of HIV-infected people-about4,800 adults and children-as of the end of 2002. Even in Afghanistan, for which there is little data, the first AIDS death has just been recorded.
If South Asian countries want to get ahead of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, they need to scale up activities exponentially. To do this will require leadership. Political leaders at the national, regional, and local levels must take a stand-to declare and act upon commitment to steer South Asian countries clear of the trap of inaction and denial. Some political leaders have shown strong concern and supported’ HIV/ AIDS projects in their countries, often at great risk to their careers. And while they have made a difference, their numbers are still too few. A tremendous social stigma surrounds HIV/AIDS in South Asia. This will not disappear unless those who lead public opinion are determined to change it. Discrimination and social ostracism-already a tragedy for those infected–drives the epidemic underground where it is harder to treat and more likely to spread unhindered. If ever the time was ripe for political leaders to take a stand on a difficult issue for the future of their countries, it is now. HIV/AIDS, which respects no boundaries, is a global tragedy to which the global community is responding. There is today an abundance of international financing being offered to South-Asian countries for HIV/AIDS programmes. The most recent World Bank funding for HIV/AIDS activities in South Asia has been in the form of grants that require no repayment.
So far, however, most countries in the region have not been able to fully absorb the assistance because of weak institutional capacity, because they have not made the necessary changes in their health systems and because they have not made enough productive use of the financing provided specifically for HIV/AIDS projects. For the first time ever, this year’s international HIV/AIDS conference will feature a programme focusing on the leadership response to the epidemic. The Government of Thailand has asked ‘ the World Bank to co-chair these sessions, which will attempt to bring global attention to the role and concrete contribution of leadership-from all sectors and all levels, from all parts of the world-and secure commitments to reversing HIV infection and containing the epidemic. We strongly urge that HIV/AIDS be treated for what it is: a pressing development issue which, when it reaches a critical mass of people, will cause overwhelming social and economic losses that will affect us all. The everyday heroes, who work directly with those- personally affected by HIV/AIDS, will continue their efforts and others will join them. But they require those in higher levels of leadership to create an environment in which they can succeed. South Asian countries face many development challenges, and many advances have been made. But if leaders do not lead now, these gains will be lost to HIV/AIDS.

1.”South Asia has low prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS.” In the context of the passage, the given statement is
1. True; these countries are aware and it is this awareness that is culminating in the Bangkok Conference.
2. False; the numbers are pretty high in most of these countries.
3. True; the ratio is small because these countries are highly populated.
4. False; that is why the passage talks about a challenge for the leadership.

2. Which of the following is not true regarding indications that South Asia has made progress over the last decade?
1. There has been a substantial growth in the economy of the region.
2. There has, been an increase in the per capita income of the region.
3. Human development indicators have shown a positive sign.
4. Commodities have become cheaper and $1 a day is more than sufficient.

3. What is the author’s opinion of the activities undertaken to combat HIV/AIDS in South Asia?
1. They are adequate to get rid of the epidemic.
2. They do not enjoy any political backing.
3. They need a much greater support from the political leadership.
4. Both 2 and 3

4. Why does the author advocate for not discriminating against those living with HIV/AIDS?
1. It makes life hell for such persons.
2. Such a move would be politically incorrect.
3. It would lead to an increase in the number of such persons.
4. All the above

5. In spite of international financing, South Asian countries continue to suffer from HIV/AIDS menace. Which of the following
is not one of the reasons for this?
1. They are not aware of such financing.
2. They do not have the proper institutions in place.
3. Their health systems are not adaptive.
4. All the above are reasons

When you examine Government leaflets and White papers, or leading articles in the newspapers, or the speeches and broadcasts of politicians, or the pamphlets and manifestoes of any political party whatever, the thing that nearly always strikes you is their remoteness from the average man. It is not merely that they assume nonexistent knowledge: often it is right and necessary to do that. It is also that clear popular, everyday language seems to be instinctively avoided. The bloodless dialect of a government spokesman is too well known to be worth dwelling on. Newspaper leaders are written either in this same dialect or in an inflated bombastic style with a tendency to fall back on archaic words (peril, valour, foe, succour) which no normal person would ever think of using. Left-wing political parties specialise in a vocabulary made up of Russian and German phrases translated with the maximum of clumsiness. And even posters, leaflets and broadcasts which are intended to give instructions, to tell people what
to do in certain circumstances, often fail in their effect. For example, during the first air raids on London, it was found that innumerable people did not know which siren meant the Alert and which the All Clear. This was after months or years of gazing at ARP posters.

When Sir Richard Acland, in the early months of the war, was drawing up a manifesto to be presented to the Government, he engaged a squad of Mass Observers to find out what meaning, if any, the ordinary man attaches to the high-sounding abstract words which are flung to and fro in politics. The most fantastic misunderstandings came to light. It was found, for instance, that most people don’t know that ‘immorality’ means anything besides sexual immorality. One man thought that ‘movement’ had something to do with constipation. And it is a nightly experience in any pub to see broadcast speeches and news bulletins make no impressions on the average listener, because they are uttered in stilted bookish language and, incidentally, in an upper-class accent. At the time of Dunkirk I watched a gang of navvies eating their bread and cheese in a pub while the one o’clock news came over. Nothing registered: they just went on stolidly eating. Then, just for an instant, reporting the words of some soldier who had been hauled aboard a boat, the announcer dropped into spoken English, with the phrase, ‘Well, I’ve learned to swim this trip,
any way!’ Promptly you could see ears being pricked up: it was ordinary language, and so it got across. A few weeks later, the day after Italy entered the War, Duff Cooper announced that Mussolini’s rash act would ‘add to the ruins for which Italy has been famous’. It was neat enough, and a true prophecy, but how much impression does that kind of language make on nine people out of ten? The colloquial version of it would have been: * Italy has always been famous for-ruins. Well, there are going to be more of them now’. But that is not how Cabinet Ministers speak, at any rate in public. Examples of futile slogans, obviously incapable of stirring strong feelings or being circulated by word of mouth, are : ‘Deserve Victory’, ‘Freedom is in Peril. Defend it with all your Might’, ‘Socialism – the only Solution’, ‘Expropriate the Expropriators’, ‘Evolution not Revolution’. Examples of slogans phrased in spoken English are: ‘Hands off Russia, ‘Make Germany Pay’, ‘Stop Hitler’, ‘No Stomach Taxes’, Examples about mid-way between these two classes are: ‘Go to it’, ‘Dig for Victory’, ‘It all depends on ME, and some of Churchills phrases, such as ‘the end of the beginning’, ‘blood, toil, tears and sweat’ and ‘never was so much owed by so many to so few’. One has to take into account the fact that nearly all English people dislike anything that sounds high-flown and boastful. Slogans like. ‘They shall not pass’, or ‘Better to die on your feet than live on your knees’, which have thrilled Continental nations, seem slightly embarrassing to an Englishman, especially a working man.
When recently I protested in print against the Marxist dialect which makes use of phrases like ‘Objectively counter-revolutionary left-deviationism’ or ‘Drastic liquidation of petty-bourgeois elements’, I received indignant letters from lifelong, Socialists who told me that I was ‘Insulting the language of the proletariat’. In rather the same spirit, Professor Harold Laski devotes a long passage in his book Faith, Reason and Civilisation, to an attack on Mr. T.S. Eliot, whom he accuses of ‘writing only for the few’.
Now Eliot, as it happens, is one of the few writers of our time who has tried seriously to write English as it is spoken. Lines like:
And nobody came, and nobody went,
But lie took in the milk and he paid the rent are about as near to spoken English as print can come. On the other hand, here is an entirely typical sentence from Laski’s own writing:
As a whole, our system was a compromise between democracy in the political realm – itself a very recent development in our history – and an economic power oligarchically organised which was in its turn related to certain aristocratic vestigial still able to influence profoundly the habits of our society.
This sentence, incidentally, comes from a printed lecture; so one must assume that Professor Laski actually stood up on a platform and spouted it forth, parenthesis and all. It is clear that people capable of speaking or writing in such a way have simply forgotten what everyday language is like. But this is nothing to some of the other passages I could dig out of Professors Laski’s writings, or better still, from Communist literature, or best of all, from Trotskyist pamphlets. Indeed, from reading the left-wing press you get the impression that the louder people yap about the proletariat, the more they despise its language.

6. According to the author, which of the following should propagandist literature contain?
A. Use of colloquialisms
B. Avoiding ill-understood words.
C. Testing of public opinion.
D. Use of the right words and right tone.

1. A, B and C only
2. B, C and D only
3. All the above
4. None of these

7. According to the passage, why did people fail to respond to the Air raid sirens?
1. Because the posters were not translated properly from Russian and German languages,
2. Because the style used was bombastic and inflated.
3. Because the phrases and expressions used had no definite meanings and hence made no impression on the people.
4. The reason is not mentioned in the passage.

8. What, according to the author, is the main weakness of propagandists?
1. Their desire to impress ordinary men with their languages skills.
2. Their failure to notice that spoken and written English are two different things.
3. Their desire to make speech more practical to communicate effectively.
4. Their use of an educated upper-class accent.

9. Which of the following is not a characteristic feature of government speeches, news bulletins, etc.?
1. Use of phrases and words that have no real currency in speech.
2. Assumption that the lay man thinks what he ought to think.
3. Lack of feeling, emotion and attachment to what is being said.
4. Use of cockney or provincial accents.

10. What is the author’s complaint against Prof. Harold Laski?
1. Laski was critical of tile Marxist and socialist dialect.
2. Laski used a heavy, dull, bookish lingo as suitable for a lecture.
3. Laski was critical of the works of T.S. Eliot, who was one the best writers of the time.
4. Laski used a style that was suitable or intelligible only to a few elites.



1. Option C. Command module means The portion of a spacecraft in which the astronauts
live, communicate with a ground station, and operate controls during a flight. So only answer c
is correct.

2. Option C
Catastrophe means tragedy and imminent means close at hand.A one type of tragedy close at
hand and this is a nearest tragedy.So the answer is C.

3. Option A. We will get direct sunlight as there will be no ozone layer to filter it.

4. Option D. As grandmothers are generally tend to be calm and affectionate,the
answer should be D.

5. Option B. “I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to”. This statement shows his nature

6. Option B. Lines of author “I had never shot an elephant” and never wanted to. Author’s first immediate feeling is he had never shot an elephant which clearly means that he had no experience of shooting big elephant which is backed by second thought..that he does not like to do so. So we should go with his first immediate feeling.

7. Option C. From the first and second line of the passage” ….he found himself in a land where small slug-like animals with slimy tentacles lived on people’s bodies. The people tolerated the loathsome creatures because after many years they grew into elephants which then becam….”
8. Option C Second line of given passage “he found himself in a land where small slug-like animals with slimy tentacles……”

9. Option A .Last line of Paragraph” He later threw off the “security bug” and took up freelance
work.” Indicates this

10. Option D. In the paragraph it is given that he saw slimy creatures feeding on people’s body so
Answer is D.

11. Option B
Since in the last line it stated that,” On the contrary, we say that the law has
beenincorrectlystarted. “. it tells us that there is a possibility that it could has been
startedcorrectly.It means that there is no one to control these laws. Hence option (B) is correct.

12. Option A. From 1st line of the passage ” Laws of nature are not commands but statements of acts”

13. Option D

14. Option C. According to the line ” It would be better to speak of uniformities in nature” simply shows that author was not happy with the word”LAW” because it does not convey the uniformities in nature.

15.Option C

16. Option D

17. Option C

18. Option B


1. This is clearly written in the second sentence of the passage: “Large population numbers in the region means that prevalence rates appear reassuringly
low.” [Ans. (3)]

2. Since the region’s GDP has nearly doubled, 1 is true. Since poverty has substantially been reduced, 2 is true. And real gains have been made in human development such as education and child health which means 3 is true. But 4 is not true. If a dollar a day were sufficient, the author would not voice concern that ‘half a billion people in South Asia still
Live on less than $ 1 a day’. [Ans. (4)]

3. Statement 1 is simply not true; otherwise the passage would have no cause for concern. 2 is not true because of the word any. We are told that some political leaders ‘have made a difference”. Thus
4 is also eliminated. But such leaders are
Few and far between, Hence, 3.
[Ans. (3)]

4. 2 is not hinted at in the passage. Hence2 and 4 are ruled out. Between 1 and 3, the focus of the passage is on the latter.[Ans. (3)]

5. Go through the tenth paragraph carefully.[Ans. (1)]

6. Throughout the passage, the author finds fault with propagandist literature being remote to the common men. To make it
effective, it must be understood by common men. So use of colloquialisms and right words that reach the lay man
is essential. The vocabulary and ideology of layman can be found out only by testing public opinion. [Ans. (3)]

7. The people could not respond to the
sirens properly because the posters were not written properly and hence people could not understand them. We do not
know for certain that the style was bombastic. Moreover 1 cannot be the answer as it refers to ‘left wing’ literature
Only. [Ans. (3)]

8. Refer to para 2. The author, with illustration, clearly states that colloquial versions are better understood than high-flown
language. Moreover refer to the last para. These people do not differentiate between spoken and written English.
They speak as if it were a piece of writing that they were reading. [Ans. (2)]

9. Refer to para 2: “And it Is a nightly …. in an upper-class accent”. This refers to an educated accent and so we can infer that
propagandists rarely use provincial or local accents. [Ans. (2)]

10. Refer to the last para: “This sentence incidentally … everyday language is like”. [Ans. (2)]