Why Building a Reading Habit is an important part of CAT 2021 Preparation?

Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Why Building a Reading Habit is an important part of CAT Preparation

I hope that anyone reading this article would know that the CAT exam is broadly divided into 3 areas:

  • Reading Comprehension and Verbal Ability
  • Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation
  • Quantitative Aptitude

I guess that some of you would not know how important Reading Comprehension is in the entire scheme of things. What I know for a fact, is that a large number of CAT aspirants neglect ‘Reading Comprehension’ in the early stages of their preparation and more often than not – never actually end up performing up to their peak potential. It is a problem that is quite common and CAT aspirants who are trying their hand at the exam for the second time make the same mistake of neglecting ‘Reading Comprehension’ over and over again.

If you just look at the data from the past 5 years, you would realize that ‘Reading Comprehension’ has formed approximately one-fourth of the paper. I have been teaching for close to 15 years and I don’t think there are even 10% of CAT aspirants who dedicate 1/4th of their preparation time towards improving in ‘Reading Comprehension’. There are three main reasons behind this:

  1. Over–Confidence: A lot of them believe that they don’t need to prepare for Reading Comprehension. At the end of the day, it is just reading a passage and answering questions based on it.
  2. Lack of knowledge: Even if CAT aspirants want to prepare for Reading Comprehension, they don’t really know how to prepare for it. They keep practicing passages from previous year papers / books / coaching institute material.
  3. Lack of resources: Even if they realize that just solving some passages is not enough, they don’t know what else to do.

In the coming few days, I am planning to put out a series of articles under ‘Reading for CAT’. With this, I would try to help CAT aspirants out with their Reading Problem. It will not be a perfect solution but to those who are willing to put in the effort, I hope to guide them in the right direction. If you want to get future posts on whatsapp, I will post a link for them in our WhatsApp group / Telegram group. You can click on the links to join them.

I hope I have now established the need to do well in Reading Comprehension and what are some of the common pitfalls because of which people fail but the most important and effective thing that you as a CAT aspirant can do to improve in Reading Comprehension is – Build a Reading Habit.

Let’s face it – most of us don’t really read as often as we should. We might like to pretend that we are voracious readers in front of people we are trying to impress but we can’t fool ourselves. Hell, I would be the first one to admit that I don’t read as often as I would like or even as much as I say I do on twitter. I think in 2020, I read a grand total of 3 books. There was a time when I used to easily read 3 books a month, if not more. But then – I just lost it. Yes you can find multiple culprits for it like social media, mobile phones, app notifications, etc. but at the end of the day – you know that the fault lies with you.

And you can fix it!

Developing a reading habit, say reading 1 hour a day, is extremely important as a CAT aspirant for multiple reasons.

  • It will instill the much needed discipline that you will need in the exam and during your prep.
  • It will improve your vocabulary and grammar, which will help you in Verbal section.
  • It will improve your reading speed, which will help you with Reading Comprehension.
  • It will improve your comprehension on topics that you are unfamiliar with.
  • It will expand your knowledge base, which will help you in Group Discussion – Personal Interview process.
  • It will help you compose better essays, which will be required in the Written Ability Test
  • You will develop the habit of concentrating for long periods of time.

Imagine that you are a sportsperson who is expected to perform at the international level. Do you need to be good at just your sport or you also need a fit body? Unless you are blessed with talent like the official Rhino Ambassador for WWF-India, you will need to be really fit. And for that you will need to exercise. Developing a reading habit for CAT is like exercising to be a top level sportsperson. From the outside, it might not look like a direct co-relation to success but it is.

I hope that I have been able to convince you to pick up a book or at least a magazine. If not, I hope to do that in the next few posts. I am assuming that you will at least read them. And with that hope, I will end this post. If there is something specific that you want us to cover in this series on ‘Reading for CAT’, please feel free to email me on [email protected] or WhatsApp me on 9765142632.


Ravi Handa,

Founder, Handa Ka Funda


This article is a part of series that we are doing on ‘Reading for CAT’. Posts in this series are:


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