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Different Categories of RC Passages


The reading passages in CAT and other B-school entrance tests are different subject areas like History, Philosophy, Literature, Economics, etc. On the basis of the subject matter, viz., RCs can be broadly classified into different genre viz., Literature, Religion and Philosophy, Economics and Business, Psychology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, etc.

A passage from Sociology, arts, or Philosophy can discombobulate a student from science background, and disturb the momentum of the entire paper.

Although the average length of passages has gone down significantly over the years to as low as 500-600 words, the subject matter can be quite unfamiliar and unfriendly to an average test taker. The primary reason behind this discomfiture is that students are seldom comfortable with the vocabulary and concepts used in these subject areas.

Therefore a serious aspirant must thoroughly read newspapers editorials, magazine articles and books from different areas which offer new ideas and challenging vocabulary. Expose yourself to new concepts and ideas through online glossaries and encyclopedia.

The idea is to develop a basic framework of knowledge so that the reader becomes comfortable with different branches of knowledge. This can greatly reduce the shock factor one faces while confronting the abstract passages in the test paper.

Let’s take a few sample passages from different disciplines. Be patient and keep your mind open to learning. Try to make sense of what the passage talks about, what the author is trying to convey.

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