Different Question Types in CAT Reading Comprehension Section

Reading comprehension is one of the most time-taking section in the CAT exam. Almost 17 RC based questions are included in the CAT VARC section every year. The reading comprehension questions require the candidates to have a proper reading and comprehending skills to be able to solve the related questions quickly and accurately.


There are multiple types of questions that one encounters while solving the CAT reading comprehension section. The detailed explanation of those different types of RC questions is explained below to help the CAT aspirants get acquainted with the question variations and prepare more effectively.

CAT Reading Comprehension Question Types-

Main Idea Based Questions

These questions ask the candidates to identify the main theme or idea of the passage. Some of the questions from this topic include-

  • What is the central idea of the passage?
    • What is the main purpose of the given passage?
      • The main point that the passage implies is-
        • Which of the options properly implies the gist of the passage?
          • The structure of the passage can be best described by-
          • In these type of questions, the candidates need to identify the subject of the passage correctly. Sometimes, it is easy to check the answer choices and identify the correct option. In the answer choices, be wary of the scope trap and ignore the choices which are too general or are less specific. Then choose the option which best describes the content and idea of the passage.


            Title Based Question

            In title based questions in CAT RC, the candidates are required to identify the appropriate title from the answer choices. Given below are few examples of title based questions.

            • Which of the following is the most suitable title for the passage?
              • The most apt title for the passage is-
                • The title of the passage can be perfectly represented by-
                • In title based questions, candidates need to understand the context of the passage properly and identify the subject accurately. Often answer options can be tricky and might include idioms to represent the subject. It is suggested to be careful with the answer options while attempting these questions.


                  Inference Based Questions

                  These are tricky ones and require the candidates to understand the passage carefully to answer them. In such questions, a logical conclusion has to be made and choose the option which perfectly fits that context and represents a particular fact aptly. Questions based on inference reasoning can be-

                  • What can be inferred from the sentence- “____”?
                    • What does the sentence “____” imply?
                      • It can be inferred from the passage that-
                        • What does the author mean by the line “____”?
                        • In inference questions, candidates need to identify inference sources and understand the context thoroughly. If a particular sentence is given, read the entire paragraph and check for particular clues. Answering these questions can be easy if the context and idea of the entire passage are properly understood.


                          Fact Based Questions

                          There are certain questions in the RC section that require the candidates to identify correct and incorrect facts from the passage. Some examples include-

                          • According to the passage, what is “___”?
                            • Which of the following sentence include incorrect facts?
                              • According to the passage, which of the following statement is correct?
                                • According to the author, what does the sentence “___” mean?
                                • To solve these questions, it is important to read the entire passage properly and keep the key facts in mind. This way, one can easily relate a particular question to the passage and answer it easily. Sometimes, logical or inferential facts are also asked in this type.


                                  Tone Based Questions

                                  In such questions, the candidates are required to identify the tone of the author in the passage. In these questions, the sentiments of the author are given as options and one needs to identify which one of the options best represents the sentiments. These questions are less frequent in the exam and can be tricky at times. Examples include-

                                  • The tone of the author is best described by-
                                    • What attitude of the author can be inferred from the following sentence?
                                    • In these questions, it is important to understand the nature first i.e. whether the passage is positive, neutral or negative. After identifying the nature, co-relate that with the answer options and choose the one that best describes it. Avoiding the most extreme answer choices can also be a good idea.


                                      Paragraph and Structure Based Questions

                                      In the RC section, questions might also be asked related to a particular paragraph or structure of the passage. These questions test the candidates’ intuitive and logical sense. Some of the examples include-

                                      • The organization of the passage can be best described as-
                                        • The second paragraph criticizes-
                                          • The third paragraph describes-
                                          • To solve these questions, candidates are required to comprehend each passage properly and keep the key ideas in mind. It is suggested to pay attention to certain definite words like “ironically”, although”, “but”, etc. These shape the idea of the passage and are extremely crucial to represent a particular passage.


                                            Vocabulary Based Questions

                                            These are the most repeated questions in the RC section. Almost every year, vocabulary questions are included. These questions are mostly based on synonyms and antonyms. Some example questions include-

                                            • Which word means the same as “___”?
                                              • What does the word “___” mean?
                                                • The antonym of the word “___” is?
                                                • To solve these questions, one needs to have a strong vocabulary base. Candidates are suggested to build their vocabulary to be able to tackle these questions. It is important to note that in these questions, contextual meaning is important and questions should be answered accordingly.


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