Tones of Reading Comprehension – GRE,GMAT,CAT

Tones of Reading Comprehension – GRE,GMAT,CAT


Tones of Reading Comprehension

The tone that an author uses greatly influences what kind of story he or she tells and how the audience perceives it. To develop a better understanding of the text and to answer well in entrance exams like CAT,GRE,GMAT,etc.; it is important to understand the style and tone of the passage.

Narrative and Descriptive:

In narrative reading comprehension – the author is the character himself and tries to convey a story or an event. It usually answers the question- “Then what happened?”. Narrative type of RC often present situations like a dispute, conflicts, problems & their solutions, motivational events, etc. The basic purpose is to gain and hold a readers’ interest and thus, to entertain. Topics like experience of the first day at school or something that changed your life,etc.

In descriptive reading comprehension, the focus is on describing the character, a place or an event in detail. The author wants you to visualize whatever he sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels.

Jovial and Jocular/Humorous:

When the author is humorous/Jocular, he tries to make the context of the passage funny and amusing. While being jovial, he is being happy,cheerful and friendly.


It conveys a meaning that is exactly opposite to the actual meaning.

Example – Sometimes I need what only you can provide: your absence.

Critical and Cynical:

Critical tone often describes a fault finding attitude of the author; in a negative sense. It may also indicate deep analysis of an issue with an impartial outlook.

Cynical tone is when the author conveys doubtful nature. He is pessimistic about whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile.

Example – 20% of the CAT will be from CATKing Basic Books

Critical Thought : How can you assure that it will just be 20% ? Are you the paper setter?

Cynical Thought : What about the rest 80% ?


Nostalgic tone conveys a sense of longing for the past. It can be a good as well as a sad memory.

Example – I didn’t go to the moon, I went much further—for time is the longest distance between two places. (The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams)



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