Verbal Strat
Comments 35

How to increase your accuracy on RC – 1

So much weight does RC have on the CAT, so many are the difficulties faced by test-takers and so frequent are the queries that I receive about RC, that I thought that it will be best to devote a series of posts to cracking Reading Comprehension.


Passage to questions or Questions to Passage or…

Now the big question has always been whether to read the passage first and then go the questions or read the questions first and then go to the passage.

The problem with reading the entire passage first is that it is a great strategy for those who are exceptionally good and comfortable with reading long texts.

What does being exceptionally good and comfortable mean?

  1. The ability to read through the whole passage without losing concentration and the thread of the passage
  2. The ability to answer the primary purpose, the central idea or other summary questions (questions that test your understanding of the passage as a whole) without going back to the passage
  3. The ability to remember the exact part of the passage to go back to find the answer to a specific question

With most Indian test-takers the first ability itself is suspect. While they might start with the best of intentions, by the time they reach of the middle of the passage they

  • start losing interest
  • start sneaking a peek at the questions
  • somehow manage to reach the end or
  • start going back and forth between the questions and the passage

The problem with looking at the questions first is that we are then not doing RC but Match The Following. So that is something that I would rule out straightaway.


Paragraph to questions approach

What I would recommend to most test-takers is a third way that addresses the problems of the first two.

  1. Read one paragraph, check if there is any question related to it. If there is then solve it immediately — this will increase your accuracy on specific questions since you will have just read the specific part of the passage.
  2. If there is no question related to it then go-ahead to the next paragraph and repeat the exercise.
  3. Solve all Summary Questions at the end
  4. If the paragraphs are short in length, say 4 lines or fewer, you can read two at a time and then go to the questions

While I have been advocating this approach I am still getting queries around both the approach and RC accuracy in general.

Screen Shot 2018-10-06 at 3.06.48 PM

The best way to answer this and other queries is to take RCs from a recent CAT and solve them using the paragraph to questions approach.


Passage 1: Creativity & Cities

Creativity is at once our most precious resource and our most inexhaustible one. As anyone who has ever spent any time with children knows, every single human being is born creative; every human being is innately endowed with the ability to combine and recombine data, perceptions, materials and ideas, and devise new ways of thinking and doing. What fosters creativity? More than anything else: the presence of other creative people. The big myth is that creativity is the province of great individual geniuses. In fact, creativity is a social process. Our biggest creative breakthroughs come when people learn from, compete with, and collaborate with other people.

Cities are the true fonts of creativity. With their diverse populations, dense social networks, and public spaces where people can meet spontaneously and serendipitously, they spark and catalyze new ideas. With their infrastructure for finance, organization and trade, they allow those ideas to be swiftly actualized.

As for what staunches creativity, that’s easy, if ironic. It’s the very institutions that we build to manage, exploit and perpetuate the fruits of creativity — our big bureaucracies, and sad to say, too many of our schools. Creativity is disruptive; schools and organizations are regimented, standardized and stultifying.

The education expert Sir Ken Robinson points to a 1968 study reporting on a group of 1,600 children who were tested over time for their ability to think in out-of-the-box ways. When the children were between 3 and 5 years old, 98 percent achieved positive scores. When they were 8 to 10, only 32 percent passed the same test, and only 10 percent at 13 to 15. When 280,000 25-year-olds took the test, just 2 percent passed. By the time we are adults, our creativity has been wrung out of us.

I once asked the great urbanist Jane Jacobs what makes some places more creative than others. She said, essentially, that the question was an easy one. All cities, she said, were filled with creative people; that’s our default state as people. But some cities had more than their shares of leaders, people and institutions that blocked out that creativity. She called them “squelchers.”

Creativity (or the lack of it) follows the same general contours of the great socio-economic divide – our rising inequality – that plagues us. According to my own estimates, roughly a third of us across the United States, and perhaps as much as half of us in our most creative cities – are able to do work which engages our creative faculties to some extent, whether as artists, musicians, writers, techies, innovators, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, journalists or educators – those of us who work with our minds. That leaves a group that I term “the other 66 per cent,” who toil in low-wage rote and rotten jobs — if they have jobs at all — in which their creativity is subjugated, ignored or wasted.

Creativity itself is not in danger. It’s flourishing is all around us – in science and technology, arts and culture, in our rapidly revitalizing cities. But we still have a long way to go if we want to build a truly creative society that supports and rewards the creativity of each and every one of us.

Question 1

In the author’s view, cities promote human creativity for all the following reasons EXCEPT that they contain spaces that

(A) enable people to meet and share new ideas

(B) expose people to different and novel ideas, because they are home to varied groups of people.

(C) provide the financial and institutional networks that enable ideas to become reality.

(D) provide access to cultural activities that promote new and creative ways of thinking.

Question 2

The author uses ‘ironic’ in the third paragraph to point out that

(A) people need social contact rather than isolation to nurture their creativity

(B) institutions created to promote creativity eventually stifle it

(C) the larger the creative population in a city, the more likely it is to be stifled

(D) large bureaucracies and institutions are the inevitable outcome of successful cities

Question 3

The central idea of this passage is that

(A) social interaction is necessary to nurture creativity

(B) creativity and ideas are gradually declining in all societies

(C) the creativity divide is widening in societies in line with socio-economic trends

(D) more people should work in jobs that engage their creative faculties

Question 4

Jane Jacobs believed that cities that are more creative

(A) have to struggle to retain their creativity

(B) have to ‘squelch’ unproductive people and promote creative ones

(C) have leaders and institutions that do not block creativity

(D) typically do not start off as creative hubs

Question 5

The 1968 study is used here to show that

(A) as they get older, children usually learn to be more creative

(B) schooling today does not encourage creative thinking in children

(C) the more children learn, the less creative they become

(D) technology today prevents children from being creative

Question 6

The author’s conclusions about the most ‘creative cities’ in the US (paragraph 6) are based on his assumption that

(A) people who work with their hands are not doing creative work

(B) more than half the population works in non-creative jobs

(C) only artists, musicians, writers, and so on should be valued in a society

(D) most cities ignore or waste the creativity of low-wage workers


Paragraph 1

A quick scan through the questions shows that there is no question based on the first paragraph. So you can move to the second one without answering any question.

Do not try to remember questions, if you do so then you will again be doing method 2 — match the following instead of RC.

Paragraph 2

The first question is a specific question based on paragraph 2.

It is an EXCEPT question that is asking you to identify the reason that is NOT stated to make the claim that cities promote creativity.

This has to be the easiest RC question of all time — A, B and C are clearly stated in the passage, D is not mentioned anywhere.

In effect, you have 3 marks in the bag in under 4 minutes.

Paragraph 3

As you start reading the first sentence of the third paragraph itself you should know that there will be a question on this; the first sentence itself says — it’s ironic. It goes without saying that they will test your understanding of what ironic means. The paragraph itself explains it. You go to the questions to find the next question based on it and pocket 3 more marks.

It is again pretty direct and you should have no trouble confirming option B as the right option.

By now you should have 6 marks in 6 minutes.

If you find this question tough then I am afraid there is a fundamental comprehension problem that no amount of strategies or shortcuts can solve. It might sound harsh but you might have to really take another shot at the CAT and spend a lot of time improving your ability in reading and comprehending text written in English.

If you have taken 10 minutes to score these 6 marks from three paragraphs then reading speed is a major issue. The only way out is to practice RCs alone non-stop for a week so that you put so much stress on your reading muscle that it has to grow.

Paragraph 4

After reading this paragraph, you should again scan the questions and you will find that question 5 is related to it.

This is where you will first encounter a mild case of — I am caught between two options.

Options B and C might seem to be vying for your vote.

So how do you break this deadlock?

In the words of my colleague Sujit Sir, who is the author of a famous RC Book, and is the one who makes most of the SimCAT RC questions, the first step is to identify the superficial difference between the options.

When caught between two options,

  1. Phrase the difference between the two options
  2. See which one is relevant to the question and eliminate if possible
  3. If not go the specific part of the passage
  4. If you are still unable to break the deadlock, go the previous paragraph

Option B — Schooling smothers creativity

Option C — Learning smothers creativity

Even without going back to the paragraph you can see that C has to be wrong! Between learning and schooling, the latter is definitely the culprit.

If you go the paragraph it will be clear the Ken Robinson is an education expert and he is referring to schools.

If it is still not clear then go to the previous paragraph, the last sentence screams the answer out loud.

By the way, I watched the Ken Robinson videos a long time back — this and this are definitely worth a watch.

9 marks in 8 minutes.

Paragraph 5

There is a question on this as well — question 4 — and as mildly indirect as a question can get. The answer is Option C.

If you are keeping count 12 marks in 10 minutes.

Paragraph 6

The last question is based on this. It is an assumption question that is pretty direct

The author says — in most of our cities 1/3, and in some 1/2, of our people work in creative jobs or jobs of the mind, while the other 2/3 have no jobs or do rotten jobs.

The assumption is captured by only by option A. 15 marks in 13 minutes.

At the end of the exercise, you are left with one unanswered summary question.

This is one of those typical CAT RC questions on which the options frustrate me since I do find any of them to be precisely correct. So the best option on CAT RC questions — reject don’t select. Your heart won’t leap and dance when you see the correct option, you have to reject and be happy with whatever is left.

Question 3

The central idea of this passage is that

A) social interaction is necessary to nurture creativity

B) creativity and ideas are gradually declining in all societies

C) the creativity divide is widening in societies in line with socio-economic trends

D) more people should work in jobs that engage their creative faculties

If we go by rejection then

  • A can be kept
  • B can be rejected since the last paragraph categorically says that creativity is flourishing
  • C can be rejected since the passage only says that creative divide follows the socio-economic divide it does not say that the divide has increased
  • D can be kept

Now we again boil down to two options and this is a summary question.


You can defend and not score instead of getting out

Should you always mark an answer for every RC question you encounter after you read a passage?

The summary question above is a poorly made one since neither option exactly captures the central idea.

Now if I look at my time spent so far, I have 15 marks in about 13 minutes, which is great from an MPM or Marks Per Minute perspective.

So do I need to break my head and waste my time over this silly question?

Nope, I will be better off moving on without collecting a negative.

Test-takers refuse to consider letting a question go an option. If they have spent so much time reading they think they might as well mark.

The odds of getting it right when stuck between two options are still 50 percent provided you haven’t eliminated the correct option!

So do yourself a favor — defend and not score instead of getting out.

Just to close things on this passage, between A and D I would choose A since it covers a larger portion of the passage and the author is not directly making a claim that more people should be doing creative jobs. The author only says that more people can be in creative jobs.

In the first version of this post, I only wrote this much about the last question of this passage.

But then I started a receiving a few queries that made it clear to me that for many test-takers weak VA scores have a basic problem with a few fundamentals.

They do not clearly look at what the question is asking but only look at the content that question refers to.

What do I mean by this?

The last question is an assumption question.

What is an assumption?

Something which is not stated but is central to drawing a conclusion.

Unlike the real world in which anything that is stated but not proven is not an assumption, on aptitude tests, it is an incorrect premise.

Which is why an assumption is also called the missing premise.

Premise 1 + Missing Premise (Assumption) = Conclusion

The paragraph is asking you to identify the behind the conclusion drawn in paragraph 6.

So before you go to the options go back and paraphrase the conclusion — Creativity divide mirrors the socio-economic divide.

Premises 1 — Cities that are more creative have 1/2 of the population doing work of the mind. Cities that are less creative have 1/3 doing work of the mind.

Premise 2 — The rest of the population is doing rotten jobs or is unemployed.

The conclusion has the term — creativity. The two premises have the terms work of the mind and rotten work.

So the missing premise has to connect creativity and work of the mind or rotten work. Only the first option does that.

So as a process when it comes to assumption questions please follow this process. Otherwise, you will always end up caught between the option that is relevant to the content but is not the answer and the actual assumption.


The reason I favour this approach is that as a question-setter (I have made a few RCs for this year’s SimCATs as well) I know that to make 6 questions I have to mine each and every paragraph for questions.

You can maybe have a 3-question passage with no question from a particular passage. But a 6-question passage will have 3 questions from three separate paragraphs.

I know that one passage isn’t enough to prove my point. So I will take up all the passages from the slot that this passage appeared in and analyze them through this lens. Hope by the end of this series of posts your RC woes will have reduced considerably.

35 Comments

  1. Arvind says

    Sir, I have noticed that beyond a certain level of difficulty, my VARC scores plummet from around 95 percentile to around 60 percentile. What can I do when I am not able to solve RC passages with dense language and full of philosophy ?

    Like

    • Hi Arvind,

      The thing is that the philosophy passages trip up most people and SimCAT 5 was intended to test whether you have the ability to strategically clear the cut-off.

      19 marks would give you an 85 percentile in that SimCAT.

      Not a single passage would have been 7 and above (if you have seen my rating method in the SimCAT Strategy videos in the CHANNEL tab of myIMS).

      In that case, the strategy is very clear, VA first.

      Getting 15 Marks in 30 mins from VA would not have been tough at all provided you have mastered the technique and don’t solve on gut-feel.

      And then 2 passages in 30 minutes for another 15 marks.

      You would have got your 95. If you started with RC and attempted all passages then it would have been an illustration of the Domino effect.

      The moral of the story, when you are faced with the philosophy passages there is no other way than to slow down and allocate 15 minutes to compensate for the denseness (you can score as many runs off a Bumrah when he is on song).

      And that fifteen minutes you allocate after you have squeezed everything out of VA and the remaining RCs.

      Hope this makes sense.

      All the best!

      Like

  2. vatsal1509 says

    Sir,
    I am scoring around 95 percentile on average in the VARC section and I am able to do relatively well in RC’s but my accuracy in para jumbles is very low. How can I improve in para jumbles to further improve my scores?

    Like

    • Hi Vatsal,

      Para jumbles are a pain but with the right technique, one can get fairly good returns on the same.

      I have demonstrated my method in the video solutions I have done for the SimCATs 1 and 4; my colleagues have also used the same method in their video solutions as well. Just watch them and execute the same.

      I will be taking a VA Masterclass In the first week of September that will cover the techniques of all three VA question types.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. pahadifootprints says

    Hi sir, my VA-RC Score fluctuates from 90 percentile to 60 percentile. I read correctly but in the end, I mess up answers by going with my gut feel. Any suggestion to make me good at this ?

    Like

    • Hi,

      Well, the most direct solution would be for you to tear your guts out but that won’t be feasible (just joking)!

      The only option is to talk yourself through the processes you have to execute before you start every q-type and for that you need to have a rock solid technique for RC and each of the three VA q-types.

      Just recently I have solving a few advanced GMAT SC questions and every question I made a mistake on was because I did not follow my own process and pulled the trigger on gut feel.

      Learn the process by watching my VA-RC solution and analysis videos for SimCATs 1 & 4.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ANON says

    Hello sir ,
    I am a B.tech 4th Year Student and have been preparing for CAT Since March. I had hit the straps running and been consistently scoring more than 99 percentile and the graph was rising. But in July a consulting company came into my campus for placements and I started preparing for it. It was a long process and I did manage to get in but I lost a whole month from Prep. My percentile also fell from 99.5 to 95 and then to 93 in SIMCAT 5 . I do want to give this CAT with utmost seriousness but have been finding it tough to find the momentum again as I have a lot of syllabus to cover. I also have a project and semester work to do. I have been contemplating on changing my approach to giving 2 tests every week and analysing it thoroughly since running behind the syllabus seems a little tough now. Could you provide some guidance?

    Also would you suggest giving GMAT before joining the job just after CAT or preparing for it thoroughly after joining the job.

    Sincerely
    PJ

    Like

    • Hi PJ,

      Congrats on the consulting job!

      Honestly if you were scoring 99+ then there is very little you need to do in terms of syllabus!

      I would suggest ensuing you take all the IMS tests – proctored and take home – would come to around 2 a week – and spend time in post test analysis (not the stats but resolving of the questions you were not able to solve).

      6 hours in total per test, which would mean 12 hours a week of prep.

      I would not in the least recommend throwing the GMAT into the midst this point – college and CAT suffice!

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  5. Shivam says

    Hello Tony sir,
    I had a doubt in the above mentioned question 5
    In the passage the study shows that as children grew older their creative ability declines.
    But option B says that schools does not promote creativity; should’nt the correct answer be schools stifle or smother creativity, by that logic I marked option C.
    If my reasoning is correct, then in this case there are flaws in both options B and C, kindly shed some light on it
    Thanks a lot

    Like

    • Hi Shivam,

      As I wrote in the explanation it’s about the difference between the two words, learning and schooling. Both the paragraph with the study and the paragraph preceding it talk about education and schools. The whole point being that from being creative as children the education and schooling system makes individuals less creative.

      Option C does not mention schools and education and is thus incorrect.

      And the most important thing to remember is that we have find the best for and not the perfect answer and in that sense does not encourage and smothers can be used interchangeably but the subject has to be right – the system and not learning.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  6. Tanvi Sharma says

    Thank you so much for this blog sir. I have two doubts one related to RC strategy and the other about 40 minutes VARC section.

    Whenever I read and practice RC I like reading the passage not only for the sake of solving questions but also learning something new about a topic.
    The CAT passage is roughly about 500 words and I don’t like stopping in between (to checkout questions) as it kills my reading momentum and once i finish reading the whole passage, I can quickly solve the questions. This technique has worked for me especially in case of descriptive passages and sometimes in argumentative passages too.
    The technique which you discussed is very useful if the passage is difficult like on topics about philosophy, psychology, ,history and all other non-technical boring topics (please forgive this engineer calling certain non-technical topics boring). Also if the passage is heavily analytical in nature i find it difficult and time-consuming.
    whether I should go ahead practicing two different strategies for “easy” and “difficult” passage for I should stick to one?

    My second doubt is about managing 4 passages in 40 minutes.
    I straight away look to eliminate one passage by ABC approach, rather than using the same for selection. It is quick for me to eliminate one rather than select three passage’s order of attempt.
    This way i have time to solve VA question, especially the TITA ones.
    At my usual speed now i complete 3 passages in 30 minutes (accuracy ~80%).
    Is it ok a have this predetermined test taking strategy anticipating the the pattern and difficulty level of past CAT VARC and also recent SIMCATs?

    I want to anyhow score 50 marks in VARC to compensate for my poor DILR scores. Right now i am scoring ~40 marks.

    Warm Regards,
    Tanvi

    (sorry for this long query and even after reading many of your blogs, seeing your video on channel tab and your simcat feedback.)

    Thank you for your time

    Like

    • Hi Tanvi,

      What I find from the comments on this post is that people at bad at reading even a post on RC!

      Right at the very outset, I said that the passage to questions approach works best for people who are comfortable with RC and the para yo questions for those who struggle to read a passage from start to end!

      So, if passage to question works for you then stick to it.

      The split method can also work since it boils down to reading, comprehending and answering — whatever works in whatever situation!

      As far as attempting strategy goes, one cannot in the least try to predict the actual CAT difficulty based on the previous year’s difficulty.

      You can go with a fixed strategy but it cannot be the be-all and end-all of it.

      So, for example, your strategy of leaving 1 passage out is perfect but the catch is what if all passages are easy?

      Will you solve 3 passages in as relaxed a manner as possible, then move to VA, and still leave or half-heartedly take a stab at the last passage?

      The good test-takers will have solved the three passages faster than usual, solved VA and solved the last RC passage.

      You should have a strategy that is realistic but you should be flexible enough to tweak it.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  7. Anand says

    Have been troubled by VARC for long. I hope this strategy works for me. Will definitely apply this one in SIM-CAT 6 and will let you know. Fingers crossed!

    Like

    • Hi Anand,

      Do not evaluate based on one SimCAT!

      Think about it, you will take some time to get comfortable with it.

      Solve at least 30 passages and a few SimCATs and then evaluate it.

      All the best!

      Like

  8. jhilmil says

    Hello Sir,
    I am reading enough articles but still there is almost no improvement in my rc score. What should I do, how can I improve my varc which is quite poor even after solving questions.

    Like

    • Hi Jhilmil,

      Reading articles has little or no direct impact on RC scores in the shorter run. It is something that one does when one starts the prep a year or so before the CAT and is looking to build basic fitness. It has no bearing on actual RC marks the way running, jogging, and gym-ming have no bearing on a batsman is getting out frequently in cricket!

      You are better off solving RCs with questions. And it takes at least 200-300 RCs before one develops any competence.

      And even this will bear fruit only if you have the right technique to solve RC.

      I have handled this in detail in the RC-1 Masterclass and the video solutions of SimCAT 1 and 4. If you are just reading articles and solving on gut-feel then it is not going to work out at all.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  9. raj says

    hello sir,
    I have been facing issues in eliminating passages. Most of the time I pick the wrong passage which seems difficult to me. how can I overcome this situation?

    Like

    • Hi Raj,

      Since the section is a 4–minute one with 4 passages, change the focus on eliminating the one worst passage and doing the rest. That should do the trick.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  10. Himon Roy says

    Hello Sir
    In Simcat, I have following technique (LCT) explained by you in choosing RC’S. The problem I am facing is that many times after reading the entire passage only 2 or 3 questions I am able to answer confidently. In remaining there is a situation like I am stuck between two options and I used to mark the mark the wrong option many times (thinking of the number of attempts and in a way I don’t have time to read one more extra RC). Now I will definitely try to solve RC’S using this approach.
    In 40 mins format it is really difficult to manage the time, how to keep yourself calm if you have chosen one paragraph after that you are able to solve 2 questions only and of course it is impossible for me to read all the passages in 30 mins time(leaving 10 mins for VA)
    Sir In LRDI section how to overcome a situation when you have chosen a set based on the marking system and some how you couldn’t solve and you have wasted 12-13 mins, at present it’s become very difficult for me to solve any set after that. How to overcome such situation?

    Like

    • Hi Himon,

      Solving all 26 questions in 40 minutes is quite tough unless you are already an ace at VA-RC, in which you will not be facing completion issues.

      The realistic thing is to not target 3 of the easiest passages — not necessarily only by selecting but also by rejecting the one tough passage or the relatively toughest passage of the 4.

      So, 3 Rcs, VA, followed by the last RC is time permits should be able to get you a good score. If the paper turns out to be really easy and you are able to save time on the 3 RCs or on VA, you can take a shot at the last RC as well.

      For DI-LR, 3 sets in 40 minutes will more easily get you the 95th percentile, so the task is to be absolutely clinical in selecting only 3 and that cannot be based on strengths and weaknesses — say LR over DI — it has to be based on the absolute difficulty level of the set.

      It will take some time for you to develop this competence and one way to do it is to take more tests, and also solve all the sets later so that you are able to differentiate between the truly difficult sets and what you thought was difficult, else you will always be selecting from a narrow pool of sets and they might infact be tougher than the ones you left.

      And even if you get stuck on one for some reason you need to be able to put it behind you; I wish I had a solution for how to tackle the mental block of not being to solve a set after one set does not crack open but I guess it is like support being able to put minor setbacks behind and still go on to do a competitive job is a skill will be tested — teams losing a few quick wickets need to find a way to put a good score on the board, tennis players who lose the first set should be able to come back.

      The big thing is that one should not take things personally — I do not have the capability etc — but to know that the test-setter might have managed to deceive you and take it in your stride when that happens.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  11. Prachi Dev says

    Sir this technique appeared as a magic trick to crack RCs for me. Thanks, a lot sir I am now able to solve more questions in less time. Thanks a tonne!!

    Like

  12. Himanshu says

    Hello Sir,

    simCAT 5 was a nightmare for me and as far as I could analyse, a couple of things caused the harm including test environment and other things. But I’m more concerned about stability in VARC scores. Mostly I get between 80 to 90 but sometimes (once in 6-8 tests), it slips to 60 and sometimes more than 90. The latter part is something which I am happy about but can you please suggest something to get consistency? I have reduced my attempts and it has improved my accuracy as bit. Now, I again want to increase number of attempts but I’m afraid of getting negative marks so I prefer leaving the question.

    Like

    • Hi Himanshu,

      The most important thing is to know that the number of attempts will be determined by the level of difficulty of the paper on test day and not beforehand!

      For example, on an easy paper, you might have to solve all 26 questions and on a difficult paper, you might have to leave two passages!

      Scores fluctuate in VA-RC because of two reasons:

      1. Despite the paper becoming tough most people attempt the same number of questions — above 20 — and scores go up and down as per the level of difficulty of the paper

      2. Lack of technique to handle questions between the moderate and difficult level — most people solve questions on gut-feel and without a rock-solid process that they can fall back on whenever questions get tougher — look at the video solutions of SimCATs 1 and 4, which I have done and figure out whether you follow the process every single time or only sometimes.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  13. netram says

    HELLO SIR,
    My VARC is not good. I am trying my best to make it up to the mark. So I request you to provide some strategy to me so that I can bag 22-25 marks (more than 75%ile) in CAT i.e; how many RC or VA should I attempt.
    Also one more thing sir, how to increase accuracy in VA.
    THANKS SIR

    Like

    • Hi Netram,

      The only thing to do is to reduce attempts — choose the two easiest passages and answer all the eight VA questions. This will give you enough time to answer the questions correctly and clear the cut-off (15 questions with 10 right, or 67% accruacy)

      If you are an IMS student (not test-series) then you can look at the RC Masterclass 1 that I have taken to see how to improve your RC scores.

      For VA, just learn and follow the three techniques for three question types, that I have demonstrated in the video solutions of SimCATs 1 and 4.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  14. Pranjali says

    Hello sir,
    Sir i am able to solve the passages when i am practicing, i usually do 2 passages everyday, but i take a lot of time. However when i take simcats i can only solve 5 questions overall, whenever the timer starts i get very anxious and it distracts me from focusing on passage which otherwise i would be able to solve. I constantly keep looking at the timer and even though the passage is easy i get very low score.

    Like

    • Hi Pranjali,

      It is primarily an issue of not having the required skills for VA-RC.

      I am not sure if solving 2 passages a day is the best option right now. Why not for a change, just to get your brain completely required with respect to VA-RC, solve only RCs for a week, as many as you can every day so that you put your brain under some severe RC stress and see how it responds? And then do another week of only VA-RC section tests?

      After you have developed the requisite skills then go ahead and see if you still have issues with the timer. If you still do watch this video:

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  15. Jagriti Aggarwal says

    Hello Sir,

    Thanks for this amazingly informative blog. I have one doubt
    How to actually figure out which passages are easy without spending much time on it ? Because I am unable to do so while say doing say 2-3 rcs I end up speeding up thinking that the other passage might be easier which is actually screwing up my accuracy.
    Why I am saying this because it has happened with me in few mock CATs that I have seen while the language of the passage seems tough i do find questions pretty direct that can be solved if I understand just the gist of the passage instead of going line by line and I have scored 40+ too whereas in few others the marks drop down to the range of 20. How to solve this ? so that i can stabilise my accuracy and marks

    Like

    • Hi Jagritti,

      You win some and you lose some, but all you can do is to read the first paragraph of RCs and choose ones that are easy to read. In retrospect, the tough passage will seem to have easy questions but during the exam, tougher passages take more time out of you in terms of reading and adversely affect your accuracy on others.

      Finally, nothing can compensate for reading and comprehending all types of content with great speed. So, I would say set a realistic goal of solving 2/4 or 3/4 passages, choose the easiest ones in terms of content. In terms of technique and accuracy and selection, I have done the video solutions of SimCATs 1, and 4 and have also demonstrated selection processes the same. So, if you are an IMS take a look at the same.

      All the best!

      Like

  16. Ramesh says

    Sir, I am very poor in VA RC getting less than 10 marks in mocks. I am taking 12 to 15 mins to solve a RC .Sir I want to get 80 percentile + in cat.How should i prepare to solve RC’s.Is solving two passages efficiently and some of the question from va section in the test can fetch me a required percentile.

    Like

    • Hi Ramesh,

      Since your goal is to score 80-85 and clear the cut-off all you need to do is:

      1. 2 passages for 8/9/10 questions in 25 minutes for 15-18 marks (You have to choose the easiest passages)
      2. 8 VA questions in 15 minutes for 12 marks.

      This would comfortably help you cross 80 percentile.

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

  17. Nishant Mishra says

    Hello Sir,
    I tried the above RC in your post with a Timer and I got 3 correct,2 incorrect and 1 unanswered and that too The summary Question.
    It Took me 7 minute and 22 Seconds.So Sir overall I just got 7 Marks Despite of Solving the RC within the Time Limit So what can be Done To increase the Score And Accuracy?

    Like

    • Hi Nishant,

      The time is fine, accuracy is dependent on having the right solving technique. I have demonstrated the same in the video solutions of SimCATs 1,4,8 and also discussed things in detail during the two RC Masterclasses (which you will have access to based on the variant you have enrolled for).

      And yeah, go through the rest of the posts in the RCs series!

      Hope this helps,

      All the best!

      Like

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