The English section of the CAT requires a seriously focused long-term preparation of minimum one year, provided the student already has a considerably good proficiency in the language. But unlike other sections, this section does not require you to make hectic schedules for preparation; you can prepare for CAT English without stress if you start early enough.
During the first few months of preparation, read extensively. Developing a healthy reading habit is a must. Read a wide range of books. In case of novels, choose books like Jeffery archer, Ken Follet, Wilbur Smith, Kay Hooper, Salman Rushdie, Shashi Tharoor, Amartya Sen, Shobaa de, and other expert writers in English. This will develop your language along with giving you something interesting to read. Also, reading news-items, especially editorials from leading newspaper dailies like The Hindu, The Times of India, and The Indian express, The Economic times or the Hindustan Times will help you a great deal in tackling the English section in CAT.
The reading comprehension part of CAT might consist of 4 to 5 passages, each of a different genre. The passages might deal with art, philosophy, literature, scientific thesis, stories, current-affairs, fiction, or anything under the sun. The test taker must get used to reading every kind of article. Losing focus during reading should be avoided even if the topic is dull and boring, for this is how the CAT tests the attention span of the potential managerial candidate. Keeping oneself abreast of current affairs and what’s happening in other areas of interest is a must, as this would also help you in group discussion or personal interview sessions after the Common admission test. CAT English preparation material can be obtained from coaching institutes like TIME or IMS. Wren and martin grammar books are still useful. Other word power books or word power columns in readers digest will help you in enriching your vocabulary extensively.
The CAT exam English question types can be in various forms. Reading comprehension questions fill in the blanks; choose the appropriate word from two similar words, etc. Thus, what are required of the student are an extensive vocabulary as well as a very good reading speed. To improve reading speed, you can time your reading sessions and observe how many words you read and understand in a minute. Gradually try to improve on the same.
Moreover, this year, the logical reasoning part has been added to the English section. Therefore, one must solve a lot of reasoning type questions and practice from various books to excel in this section and cross the cut-off marks. Finally, once you feel you’ve prepared enough, start taking practice tests. Diligently time it and solve each paper and check with the solutions. Make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes again by noting down your errors in a notebook. Acing the cat is a skill that comes with confidence planning and of course, undoubtedly, hard work.