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CAT 2024 VARC | How to Read CAT Like Aeon Essay | CAT Exam Reading Comprehension Source
June 28 2024

How to Read CAT Like Aeon Essay 

Reading CAT passages effectively, especially those that are dense and thought-provoking like Aeon essays, requires specific strategies to enhance comprehension and critical thinking. Here's a guide to help you read CAT passages like Aeon essays:   Join Our Courses

1. Understand the Structure

  • Introduction: Identifies the main topic and often presents a thesis or main argument.
  • Body Paragraphs: Develop the argument with evidence, examples, and elaboration.
  • Conclusion: Summarizes the main points and restates the thesis, often with implications or broader context.

2. Active Reading Techniques

  • Preview the Passage:
    • Skim through the passage to get an idea of its structure and main points.
    • Look for headings, subheadings, and keywords.
  • Annotate as You Read:
    • Highlight or underline key points, arguments, and unfamiliar words.
    • Write brief notes or summaries in the margins.
  • Question the Text:
    • Ask yourself questions about the author's intent, the argument's strength, and the evidence provided.


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3. Comprehension Strategies

  • Identify the Main Idea:
    • Determine the central argument or thesis of the passage.
    • Look for topic sentences in each paragraph.
  • Recognize Supporting Details:
    • Identify the evidence, examples, and explanations that support the main idea.
    • Note any counterarguments and how they are addressed.
  • Understand the Author’s Tone and Style:
    • Pay attention to the author’s choice of words, tone, and style.
    • Recognize any biases or perspectives.

4. Critical Analysis

  • Evaluate the Argument:
    • Assess the strength of the arguments and the validity of the evidence.
    • Identify any logical fallacies or weak points.
  • Analyze the Structure:
    • Understand how the passage is organized and how each part contributes to the whole.
    • Note transitions between paragraphs and sections.
  • Reflect on Implications:
    • Consider the broader implications of the argument.
    • Think about how the argument relates to other concepts or current events.

5. Practice Regularly

  • Read High-Quality Sources:
    • Regularly read essays and articles from sources like Aeon, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and others.
    • Focus on diverse topics to build a broad understanding.
  • Summarize and Discuss:
    • Summarize the passages in your own words.
    • Discuss the passages with peers or mentors to deepen understanding.

6. Timed Practice

  • Simulate Exam Conditions:
    • Practice reading and answering questions within the time limits set by the CAT exam.
    • Focus on improving speed and accuracy.
  • Review Mistakes:
    • Analyze mistakes to understand where comprehension broke down.
    • Adjust reading strategies based on these insights.

7. Expand Vocabulary

  • Learn New Words:
    • Regularly learn and use new vocabulary words found in the passages.
    • Understand the context in which these words are used.
  • Use Vocabulary in Context:
    • Practice using new words in sentences and discussions.


Excelling in the VARC Section of CAT: A Comprehensive Strategy

The VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) section of CAT evaluates your proficiency in English through questions on reading comprehension, verbal ability, and critical reasoning. It typically comprises passages followed by questions, sentence rearrangement, summary writing, and questions on grammar and vocabulary. Here’s how to approach each component effectively:

1. Reading Comprehension (RC)

  • Daily Reading Practice: Read diverse materials daily, including newspapers, magazines, novels, and academic journals. This helps build a strong vocabulary and improve comprehension skills.
  • Active Reading: Practice active reading by summarizing paragraphs, noting down key points, and critically questioning the content.
  • Timed Practice: Time management is crucial. Practice RCs with a timer to simulate the exam environment and improve your speed and accuracy.

2. Verbal Ability (VA)

  • Parajumbles: Focus on understanding the logical flow of ideas. Practice regularly and use techniques like identifying introductory and concluding sentences, and looking for connectors.
  • Summary Writing: Practice writing summaries of various articles. Focus on capturing the essence of the passage concisely without losing key information.
  • Vocabulary Building: Use flashcards and vocabulary apps to learn new words daily. Keep a vocabulary journal to track progress and revisit it regularly.

3. Critical Reasoning (CR)

  • Understanding Arguments: Work on identifying the structure of arguments, premises, and conclusions. This helps in tackling assumption, inference, and strengthen/weaken questions.
  • Practice with Variety: Practice CR questions from different sources to get exposed to a variety of question types and difficulty levels.


The VARC section of the CAT exam can be a daunting challenge, but with the right strategy and dedicated practice, it is possible to excel. By incorporating daily reading, active engagement with texts, strategic practice of verbal ability questions, and thorough preparation for critical reasoning, you can improve your VARC score and move closer to your dream of joining an elite business school like IIM Ahmedabad.

Also Read

How to Prepare for CAT Exam 2024: Complete Study Plan for CAT Exam Preparation

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Rahul Singh

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