Tones of Reading Comprehension – GRE,GMAT,CAT

Tones of Reading Comprehension – GRE,GMAT,CAT


Tones of Reading Comprehension

The tone that an author uses in a reading comprehension 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.

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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?”. A narrative type of RC often present situations like a dispute, conflicts, problems & solutions, motivational events, etc. The basic purpose is to gain and hold a readers’ interest and thus, to entertain. Topics like the 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.

Also Read: CAT Strategy

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.

Weightage of Reading Comprehension in CAT

Critical and Cynical:

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

The 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%?

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Nostalgic tone conveys a sense of longing for the past. It can be 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)


How might you express your dissatisfaction for something or somebody brutally? Here comes the part of the acerbic tone. The author uncovers his conflict with a specific hypothesis or may express his despise towards a man in an acerbic tone. When you recognize this tone, you will have the capacity to answer the questions that are asked in RC.


Like the above type, this type of tone demonstrates the creator’s outrage towards the subject justifiedly. How would you justify your outrage towards any unfair system? You may do as such by a few arguments, realities and illustrations with respect to the subject. So also, the author means to justify his outrage by expressing different reasons identified with the issue.


As the name expresses, this sort of tone is utilized to express regret or blame in regards to the setbacks or tragedies that may have happened before. RC sections in light of this tone, by and large, discuss speculations identified with world wars, natural disasters events or other such calamities that have affected humankind adversely. Such sections may likewise incorporate a lot of statistical data points.


In which tone do you think two warring parties converse with each other? As you would figure, they are forcefully unfriendly towards each other. This is when the author receives a belligerent tone of writing. RC passages in light of this sort of tone effectively comprehend and let you effortlessly predict the responses to conclusion based questions.


While favoring a certain thing/person/group over the other, we tend to utilize a one-sided tone to show our tendency towards it. Likewise, the author utilizes a one-sided tone and displays contentions for a specific thing/hypothesis in the section. When you distinguish the author’s stand, you will be able to make sense of the responses to the required question.


This kind of tone is utilized to express pain or show sensitivity for a man or a gathering of individuals experiencing partial practices or social standards. The writer plans to familiarise the reader with the trauma experienced by the sufferers


A condescending tone suggests a mentality of patronizing superiority of a specific thing/individual/gathering. As you would expect, such RC sections may show snobbish or contemptuous tones with respect to things considered inferior in the author’s view.


Do you have a tendency to talk about individuals you find doubtful? Here comes the part of the skeptical tone. Sections are written in a negative tone uncover the writer’s perspective of society being driven purely by self-interest. 


You should have some firm convictions and point of view with respect to specific parts of life. In what sort of tone will you talk about them? This is the place one-sided tone becomes an integral factor. At the point when the creator is self-assured with respect to his sentiments, he utilizes a fanatical tone to pass on his perspective.


How would you express your despising or contradiction without being hostile or blunt? In such a case, metaphorical tone acts as the hero. RC sections in this sort of tone make utilization of indirect and implicit statements.


As the name suggests, this type of tone is adopted by passages written in a descriptive or abstract style. The passage may appear more elaborative than necessary. Also, sometimes abstract passages utilize a grandiose tone of writing.


How would you talk about analyzing your feelings or contemplate your actions? Well, an introspective tone is employed in the passage so as to self-examine and reflect upon one’s actions and feelings.

Incendiary/ provocative         

You may have come across some famous speeches by great orators and found their words moving or soul-blending. Well, that’s an incendiary tone into play. It’s the tone of speech utilized by revolutionaries and politicians as well. In other words, an incendiary tone is intended to affect individuals in a negative or positive course.


How have you commended something or somebody you respected? That is the thing that commendatory tone sounds like. Regularly, descriptive passage embraces this sort of tone in order to talk about a specific subject alongside specific justification.


When a passage appears neither interesting nor complex to you, probably it has a pedestrian tone of writing. In other words, this kind of tone is used when the RC passage talks about commonplace, things, and ideas.


As the name says, a populist tone is used to discuss theories and characteristics exhibited by the general populace. The author of the passage utilizes a populist tone to explain the features and behavior of common people.             


Try expressing your disliking indirectly and without sounding too serious? All things considered, a large portion of us have talked along these lines at one time or the other. At the point when the author expresses a negative feeling about something in an insulting or unexpected way, he utilizes a snide tone in the section.


We do read about different articles in daily papers monetary, political, and so forth. Also, RC sections clarifying any such hypotheses embrace a theoretical tone of composing. Putting it other ways, such passages revolve around hypothetical things and expert opinions.

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