If somebody puts a gun to your head today and asks you to predict what questions will come in CAT, you would be safe in saying - that come what may - Reading Comprehension (RC) is bound to be part of the line up of questions! This simple fact underlines the importance of Reading Comprehension in CAT preparation. What is even more interesting is that it is the only part of the syllabus which is an open book exam. No need to mug any formula . No need to memorize data . Everything is right in front of you! All you have to do is to extract the answers !
Thus the question arises - what kind of reading schedule should a CAT aspirant maintain to be able to tackle the CAT Reading Comprehension?
Reading should be done on Three Levels
Level One - Interest Based Reading
a) If an aspirant currently reads he/she should increase the number of books read over the year ( at least 2 books per month ).
b) If the aspirant is not a reader - try to watch movies/serials and then read the related books - Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings , Sherlock Holmes , PS I love you. Start with a genre you are comfortable with initially.
c) Try to read as many books as possible related to your hobby . You will be expected to be an expert next year when you appear for interviews.
d) At least one book per month should relate to Business. Do not forget B in MBA stands for business and if you are not able to impress the panel with your Business Quotient you don't stand a chance . People have been rejected by IIM A despite having 100 percentile!!
e) Philosophy based reading - Reading about Aristotle , Freud , Sartre and Plato gives you a headache ? It better not . One out of three Reading Comprehension passages in the last two CATS have been based on philosophy.
Level - Two - GK Based Reading
A very high GK quotient will be required for the GDPI rounds of the CAT. In fact that will be the only weapon in the aspirant's armoury where it becomes a battle of first among equals!
And GK is not something that you can take two capsules of when you get the interview call ! In many cases for example - IIM Shillong the gap between call and interview is as little as two weeks!
Round the year preparation for GK is advisable!
Beyond this - GK is part of the written paper in exams like SNAP, IIFT, XAT ,TISS and MICA.
1. International - https://www.theguardian.com/uk (RCs came from this paper - 2004 , 2005) ( NY Times , HBR, McKinsey Quarterly )
2. National - http://indiatoday.intoday.in/ - ( Outlook Magazine )
3. Business - http://businessworld.in/ ( Business Today )
4. Competition Success Review Magazine (GK Today )
5. Readers Digest ( If VA is a concern area)
Level - Three - CAT Based Reading
1) Cover all CAT papers of period 1999 - 2008
Read one new topic per day. You are an engineer - read about the Great Depression This will ensure good reading speed outside your comfort zone. It will increase your GK.