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Why is Reading Comprehension Asked?


RC is the most important and wide question type of the English section of the CAT and other B-school entrance test. RC section helps examiners in assessing the expertise of one in understanding the language. Besides, RC also checks how well a person understands someone else’s (the author’s) view point his preferences and prejudices.

  1. Reading Comprehension is integral to success in the CAT
    Reading is important not only for RC, but also for English Usage area (especially in the Critical Reasoning or FIJ or Sentence arrangement questions), and LR/DI section. Having a good reading habit will make more time available for solving the problem.
  2. Reading is essential to do well in a B-school.
    Life in a B-school demands extensive reading and research for case studies, presentations, and business projects. Today’s global manager has to keep pace with the latest happenings in the corporate world, political changes in the country and the world, changing preferences of the customer. Therefore, newspapers, journals and business magazines form the staple diet of a wannabe professional.
  3. Reading helps in getting ahead in career.
    Recent researchers have tried to analyse the reading habits of adults working in different organizations at different levels of management hierarchy. One such research finds that people at the higher levels have more positive attitudes toward reading and spend more time in reading. It gives us an idea that reading helps probably because a well read person will have viewpoints and knowledge about diversified fields in his/her occupation, that may lead to faster growth. 
    Let us now go through a sample RC passage:

Breaking the Ice with RC and English Usage

Read the passage carefully and answer the questions on the basis of the information supplied by the passage.

With Barack Obama taking oath yesterday as America’s 44th and first African-American president, the United States turned a page and closed a chapter. Obama’s spectacular success story is packed with poignant, and powerful, symbolism. If he accepted the Democratic nomination last August on the
anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, his inauguration follows the American holiday in memory of King. It is the culmination of an extraordinary story and a new beginning. Obama rode on a ticket for change. A country left bitter, fearful and divided by eight years of George W Bush’s presidency, welcomed him with relief and expectation. The world, which had viewed America with growing alarm during these years, tuned in to Obama as well. He represented hope that America would manage its own house responsibly and favour consensus and cooperation while dealing with the world. But as enormous as his moment in history are the challenges Obama will face from day one. 

Undoubtedly, the gloomy economy will consume much of the new president’s energies and he has so far shown signs of clear thinking on how to get America up on its feet again. Equally tough are the assortment of challenges that will present themselves on Obama’s foreign policy plate. One war needs to be wound down responsibly while America’s attention has to shift to the real battleground in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama cannot afford to engage Pakistan only to tackle al-Qaeda and the Taliban. To continue the world’s war against terror, he will have to pursue the other extremist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba and its front organizations which export violence from that country. They have had a generally free run despite Pakistan’s claims to the contrary. For the sake of the world’s security, Obama must press Islamabad to clamp down on these groups and close down their bases, something that the Bush administration failed to do for most of its run. And then there is the Middle East mess. Trying to achieve a degree of resolution there will require fresh commitment and thinking from Washington. It is evident that Obama will have to hit the ground running. There are soaring expectations which cannot be all fulfilled. But he has a good base of credibility to start from. Opinion polls show he enjoys close to 80 per cent approval ratings as he picks up the keys to the White House and that the American people across political divides, are willing to give him a chance and their time. His commitment to consultative governance while being firmly in charge, and the A-list team he has picked, would hopefully serve America and the world well. Obama’s inauguration party which has seen millions of Americans pour onto the streets to have a blast is a fine celebration of democratic ideals and values. Democracy’s enabling promises are why Americans and those who share similar values elsewhere are raising a toast as they welcome President Barack Hussein Obama.



What does the author want to convey from the state­ment: ‘But as enormous as his moment in history are the challenges Obama will face from day one’
(a) His ascent heralds a significant change but it also poses many daunting tasks ahead.
(b) The challenges in front of Obama are insignificant in comparison to his heroic stature.
(c) This the biggest moment in the history of the US, but also marks the beginning of Obama’s onerous journey.
(d) Obama shall face the toughest challenges in the first phase of his presidency.


The passage conveys that the change is remarkable but also throws new challenges ahead, hence, option (a).
The other options talk about something which is nowhere given or indicated in the passage.



What can be inferred about the policies of Obama’s predecessor?
(a) His policies had less room for consensus and cooperation in world affairs.
(b) His policies lacked clear thinking on how to get America upon its feet.
(c) Pakistan was not engaged to tackle al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
(d) He showed lack of commitment to tackle the Middle East crisis.


It can be inferred from the second paragraph fourth line ‘He represented hope that …. dealing with the world,’ hence, option (a) is the answer.



According to the passage, Obama is likely to face all the following major challenges except:
(a) To wind up the unresolved war.
(b) To improve the gloomy economic situation.
(c) To find a solution to the Middle East crisis.
(d) To get the complete support of the White

House and the American people push his plans ahead.


The passage talks about 80 per cent approval ratings as he picks up the keys to the White House and that the American people across political divides’, therefore ‘to get the support of people’ is not a challenge for him, so option (d) is the answer.

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