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Types of Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT 2021: Sectional Analysis and Tips

Yash Dhamija
Yash DhamijaUpdated On: November 27, 2021 | CAT

Around 3-4 RC questions are asked in the CAT exam. Candidates can check the number and type of RC questions asked in the CAT 2021 in this article. They can also check the weightage of RC in the CAT exam.

Types of Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT

Reading Comprehension questions covers more than half of the VARC section in the CAT 2021 exam. Around 18 questions in the VARC section are from RC. The RC (Reading Comprehension) questions require the candidates to have good comprehension skills so that they can solve the related questions accurately and quickly.

There are 7 types of RC questions asked in the CAT exam. All the types of questions require a different approach and mindset. This article will help you understand different types of Reading Comprehension Questions asked in the CAT exam. Tips to solve Reading Comprehension questions, as well as sectional analysis of Reading Comprehension are also provided here.

Types of Reading Comprehension Questions in CAT 2021

Provided below are the 7 types of RC questions that are asked in the CAT exam.

Main Idea Based RC Questions

In these types of questions, you will have to identify the main idea or the subject of the passage correctly. Some of the questions that are asked from this type of RC are:

  • What is the main idea/ purpose of the passage?

  • The main idea/ concept the passage implies is:

  • Which of the following option implies the main idea of the passage correctly?

How to solve the Main Idea Based Based Questions?

You should read the passage carefully in order to solve this type of problem. You can read the options provided below the question and choose the one that perfectly describes the idea behind the passage. 

Also Read: What after CAT 2021 Exam? Here Are Some Important Things To Do

Title Based RC Questions

In this type of passage, you will have to identify the appropriate title using the choices provided below the problem. Some of the forms of title based RC questions are:

  • The most appropriate title for this passage is:

  • Select the one option provided below that suits the title of the passage.

  • Which of the following perfectly describes the title of the passage?

How to solve Title Based Based Questions?

You can solve this type of question by identifying the option that hints at the title of the passage. You might face some of the tricky/ confusing choices. You are advised to carefully read all the choices before selecting one.

Also Read:CAT 2021: How Scaled Score will be Calculated for Three Shifts?

Inference Based RC Questions

These are the most difficult type of problems you will face in RC. You will have to think logically to answer these types of questions. There are two types of Inference Based RC Questions namely Genuine Inference based questions and Fact re-statement. You will have to read the passage carefully to identify the type of problem. Some of the Inference questions are provided below.

  • The sentence, ‘_____’, implies that

  • What can be inferred from the sentence,‘_____’

  • It can be inferred from the passage that:

  • What does the author want to say through the line “____”?

How to solve Inference Based Based Questions?

You should read all the lines provided before and after the line provided in the question in order to solve these this type of questions. Besides this, you are advised to understand the passage carefully before selecting the correct option.

Also Read: Exam Day Tips for CAT 2021 - Key Tips to Help You Succeed

Fact Based RC Questions

In these types of questions, you will have to identify the correct and incorrect facts from the passage. Some of the examples of these questions are:

  • Which of the following statement is incorrect/ correct as per the passage?

  • The authors mention the following except:

  • According to the author, which of the following is incorrect/ correct?

How to solve Fact Based Based Questions?

You will have to identify the correct option that supports the main idea behind the passage. These type of questions includes logical or inferential facts. You are advised to spot the facts and information provided in the passage and then solve the questions carefully.

Also Read:Important Topics for CAT 2021: Expected Subject-Wise Weightage

Tone Based RC Questions

In this type of question, you will have to identify the tone/ attitude of the passage. You will be provided with 4 options and you will have to choose one option that perfectly explains the sentiments or tone of the passage. Some of the examples of these types of problems. 

  • The tone of the passage is:

  • The tone of the passage can be described by:

How to solve Tone Based Based Questions?

You can solve this type of problem by understanding the nature and sentiments of the passage. You can read all the options provided in all the problems and then pick the option that correctly explains the tone of the passage. You are advised to read the passage carefully in order to identify whether the passage is positive, neutral or negative.

Also Read: What is a Good CAT 2021 Percentile/ Score? - Check Here

Paragraph and Structure-Based RC Questions

With these types of questions, you will have to analyse the logical reason and intuitive sense behind the paragraph. Here are some types of paragraph and structure-based RC questions.

  • The second/ third paragraph describes-

  • The organization of the second passage can be best described as-

How to solve Paragraph and Structure Based Based Questions?

You can identify some of the keywords such as “ironically”, although”, “but” in order to identify these types of problems. You should read the complete paragraph carefully before answering these types of questions. 

Also Read:How to Approach CAT 2021 Question Paper?

Vocabulary Based Questions

These are the most repetitive type of questions asked in the RC section. These questions are based on synonyms and antonyms. Some of the examples of these types of questions are:

  • The synonym of the word “___” is?

  • Which of the word means the same as “___” 

  • What does the word “___” mean?

How to solve Vocabulary Based Questions?

You should have a strong vocabulary to solve these types of questions. These types of questions will totally depend upon how good is your vocabulary. 

Reading Comprehension Questions for CAT 2021: Number & Type

Provided below are the types and number of RC questions you might face in the CAT 2021 exam.

CAT 2021: Types of RC Based QuestionsExpected Number of Questions
Vocabulary Based Questions3 - 4
Thought Based1 - 2
Reasoning type of Questions2 - 3
Fact Verification1 - 2
Opposite Meaning Questions2 - 3

Tips to solve Reading Comprehension questions in CAT 2021

Check some of the tips that can help you solve the reading comprehension problems in CAT 2021.

  • Improve your vocabulary

  • Practise many reading comprehension questions

  • Read newspapers daily and improve your reading speed

  • Try to solve at least 3-4 CAT mock tests in a week

  • Refer to the CAT best books suggested by the toppers and experts 

  • Try to understand the meaning and idea behind the passage by reading it

RC Questions in CAT 2021: Composition, Details, Weightage

Check the infographic/ chart provided below to understand the weightage and composition of the RC section in the CAT 2021 exam.

RC Questions in CAT: Composition, Details, Weightage

Sectional Analysis of CAT 2021 Reading Comprehension

The main aim of the reading comprehension is to test the reading speed and understanding ability of the candidate. RC is the first section of the CAT exam. You will not be allowed to move on to the other sections of the CAT exam before 40 minutes. You can check the sectional analysis of RC in the CAT exam from the table provided below.

Section Name

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

Number of Reading Comprehension Passages for CAT


Total VARC Questions


Total questions Based on Reading Comprehension passages


Type of RC Passages for CAT

2 Short RC Passage and 3 Long RC Passages

Type of RC Questions you will face in the exam


Difficulty Level of RC passages

Moderate to High

Marks for Each Correct Answer


Negative Marks for Each Wrong Answer


Time to attempt the section

40 Minutes

Also ReadHow to Shortlist a B-School Basis CAT Percentile?

Study Material for CAT 2021 Reading Comprehension

Some of the recommended books for the RC section for CAT 2021 are listed below:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha

  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Sharma and Upadhyay

  • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback by Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster

You are advised to solve previous years’ question papers of CAT in order to know what was the difficulty level of RC questions that were asked in the exam. Besides this, if you have any questions regarding the CAT exam, you can ask questions on the Collegedekho QnA zone.

After giving the exam and when the CAT 2021 answer key is out, you can use the CAT 2021 percentile predictor to get an idea of your score. Soon after the declaration of CAT 2021 results, you can also refer to the CAT 2021 college predictor to know which colleges you can get admission to. Check the articles provided below to know preparation tips for CAT 2021.

Toppers Tips for CAT 2021: Check How Toppers Prepare for CAT, Strategy & Study Tips to Score 99 Percentile

Tips to Solve Para jumble Questions in CAT: Exam Pattern and Preparation Tips

Tips to Answer Logical Reasoning Questions in CAT: Strategy and Exam Pattern

Common Mistakes to Avoid During CAT Preparation: Tips and Strategies

CAT 2021 Study Plan for Students in Final Year of Graduation - Check When and How to Start CAT Preparation

Common Admission Test (CAT) Preparation 2021: How You Can Make the Cut


What is the difficulty level of the reading comprehension asked in the CAT exam?

The difficulty level of the reading comprehension asked in the CAT exam will range from moderate to difficult.

How to prepare for reading comprehension in CAT?

You are advised to solve the maximum number of mock test papers and previous years’ questions papers to prepare for RC questions.

What types of RC questions are asked in CAT?

Around 7 types of RC questions are asked in CAT namely Main Idea Based, Title Based, Inference Based, Fact Based, Tone Based, Paragraph and Structure-Based and Vocabulary Based.

What is the marking scheme of RC questions in CAT exam?

Candidates will be awarded 3 marks for each correct answer while 1 mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer.

How many RC questions are asked in CAT exam?

A total of 24 questions were asked in CAT exam till CAT 2019. However, candidates may expect a change in the total number of RC questions in CAT 2020 due to the change in the exam pattern.

CAT Previous Year Question Paper

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2018 Slot 2

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 1

CAT Question Paper 2019 Slot 2

CAT question Paper 2017 f1

CAT question Paper 2017 F2


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