Top Tips to Quicken Your Reading Speed

tips quicken reading speed cat

One issue that a lot of test-takers encounter with CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension is time. Of course, time can be an issue on the entire exam—you have less than two minutes to answer each problem, after all—but the long and sometimes dull passages in Verbal can take up more time than necessary. With that in mind, CAT test-takers should work on sharpening their reading skills so they can spend more time on the problems, not the passage. Here are our top tips to quicken your reading speed for the CAT.

Top Tips to Quicken Your Reading Speed: Focus on the First and Last Paragraphs

CAT Verbal questions like to ask about the author’s main idea a lot. You can often find this idea stated or implied in the first or last paragraph of the passage. This means that, while you can skim other parts of the passage, you should be spending a good amount of time here to gain the maximum amount of information.

Top Tips to Quicken Your Reading Speed: Focus on the First and Last Sentences

…of each paragraph, that is. These will commonly introduce the paragraph’s main idea or example, giving you the general idea of what each paragraph’s about. Don’t completely ignore the rest of the paragraphs, of course, but this is where it’s generally okay to skim. You may want to jot down examples the author uses if they’re particularly important (or if you’ve seen them in the questions), but otherwise, go for broad strokes, main idea notes.

Top Tips to Quicken Your Reading Speed: Take Notes

Taking notes may slow you down at first, but you’ll notice that as you keep practicing, it actually helps you get not only more accurate, but also faster. Why? You’ve already written down everything you need to answer the questions!

Top Tips to Quicken Your Reading Speed: Use the Questions

What’s the point of CAT Reading Comprehension passages? To provide material for questions. Look through the questions you’ll be answering, and identify key words and phrases. Take note of them. Now, as you read, you can target in on those very terms so that, when you go back to answer the question, you won’t waste any time searching for the information in the passage.

Top Tips to Quicken Your Reading Speed: Read a Lot of CAT Material

Of all the top tips to quicken your reading speed on the CAT, this may be the most important. The more practice tests you do and the more drill sets you complete, the more you’ll start to see the pattern within CAT Reading Comprehension passages. These passages have to be standardized, after all, to allow every student to have a fair chance on the exam. The more passages you read, and the more questions you look at in combination with the passages, the more you’ll realize the places you should focus on and the places you can skim in CAT Reading Comprehension passages during the official exam.

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