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How, And Why To Develop Habit Of Reading For CAT

Do you know that just regular reading can help you in every section in CAT? Find out how to develop a habit of reading for CAT and its importance. By IIM SKILLS – online CAT coaching.




“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss


A habit of reading for CAT has benefits for both your mental and physical health. Some kids develop a habit of reading at a very early age. Reading is natural to them. Some people adopt the habit of reading later in life. There are different types of reading stuff- books, novels, newspapers, articles, poetry, and so on. In this article, we are going to talk about habit reading for CAT specifically. Reading books for literature, knowledge, non-fiction, poetry, etc.


Many business leaders across the world are also avid book readers. One of them is Bill Gates. Bill Gates vouches for his habit of book reading. Even when he was at the peak of his success, he says he always found time to read books every week. Bill Gates is one of the richest people today and is a known philanthropist and sponsor of health programs throughout the world, also in India.


Reading is obviously an enjoyable activity for many people. Some people just like the act of reading a good book. It allows us to transfer ourselves to another world. It stimulates our imagination and helps us learn new things. Reading widens our horizons and adds beauty to life.


But here we are going to discuss the benefits of A habit of reading for CAT preparation. The reasons why a candidate preparing for CAT should adopt a habit of reading, into their study plan.


We are going to strictly confine ourselves to the benefits of reading for a business student and a business manager. We are going to see how the habit of reading helps you make better decisions at your work. Also as a CAT aspirant, how the habit of reading will help you score more and give a better performance in CAT.

Recommended Reads


Better focus and concentration


Many questions in CAT especially the reading comprehension RC questions, would need extreme focus and understanding. You cannot comprehend the question properly without being concentrated. If your focus wanders every 3 seconds, you may spend double the time understanding the passage. You may also need to re-read it multiple times and end up wasting time.


When you read books, you have to focus on the text. Yes, your attention wanders, but you have to bring it back again and again repeatedly. This practice of trying to increase your attention span is great for focus. With time, your focus gets stronger and your attention span gets longer.


This is an important skill not just for the CAT exam but also for when you are at a job. You will need to read lots of reports and company literature from time to time. You will need great focus and comprehension skills to do that efficiently.


Reading is a fun and enjoyable habit. But it has benefits for thinking, critical skills, comprehension skills, and focus. This is great for school students, college students as well as employees who wish to rise high in their careers.  Reading stimulates the brain. Cat aspirants can benefit a lot from this habit.


Besides, this reason, the long-term benefits of reading include reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which is basically a memory-loss condition. Reading keeps your brain function healthily for a lifetime. Unlike watching TV shows, reading is not a passive but an active task. You have to read. TV is shown to you. TV is easy to focus on.


List of Top 10 CAT Coaching Institutes In Ahmedabad


Reading is fun


CAT aspirants should not treat reading as a way to score better in the CAT exam and WAT and PI. Instead, reading should be seen as a de-stressing activity. When you need a break, it is better to read a book, rather than watch TV or browse Instagram or TikTok.


This way you can feel relaxed rather than feel reading like a chore or something that ‘must be’ done. Enjoy it while you do it. The benefits of reading surpass and go much beyond your CAT exam score.


An easy way to incorporate a habit of reading for CAT into your daily schedule, if you are already not a reader, is to start reading newspapers every morning. Set a time limit for it. Focus on quality, not quantity. Read all the headlines. Then choose 2-4 articles you want to read in detail. This will give you a practical approach to reading.


Then you can adopt a habit of reading books while going to sleep. This is a good way to relax as well as learn something. The benefits of reading for your sleep are mentioned later.


Releases stress


Reading may be fun but it is also a great way to release all that stress from studying all day. It makes you forget bout your stresses and anxieties for a while and normalizes your blood pressure. All you need is to take a book and retire to your room.


Stress reduction has many further benefits. After a reading session, you can focus better on your work. This will notice tiny details of the work that you miss when under stress.


But stress is a big factor that reduces the performance of many candidates with time. Some candidates preparing for CAT cannot handle the sacrifices they are making for their CAT preparation, especially when they are working with people trying to crack CAT. In these times, it is essential to manage stress and depression, since these can ruin all the efforts that you put for months for the CAT exam.


This is why reading is a great habit before sleeping.


Increases your reading speed


This is an obvious one, but for a CAT exam aspirant, this is very useful to save those crucial few seconds that can help you solve one or two more questions. You will read the RC passage much faster and understand the same. You can go through it faster and re-read it. This way you can solve more questions in the same amount of time.


Writing skills


Another advantage of reading is you get better at writing. Any person who writes professionally knows how important reading is to improve writing. Reading helps us gather more information, more ways of expression, and better writing techniques. You can read articles in newspapers, good internet blogs, and novels.


Your writing skills are going to be important in WAT and PI. This is because the better you write, the better you will speak.


personality :


Reading good books or articles gives you the ability to reason and critique the work of the author. You can oppose an opinion of a newspaper article in your words. You can argue and debate it with your friends. In this way, reading will improve your conversational skills and make your personality better.


It’s always a boon to use the things you learn in a book for conversations. People will instantly know that you are knowledgeable about the particular topic and you will become an interesting and a resource person for that topic. As you read more, you will be more knowledgeable about an even wider range of topics. This will build your personality and character.


Reading makes you have an opinion about many things. The more you read, the more you know about yourself and your stand regarding many issues.  This is a good quality in the personal interview in CAT when you encounter a random topic but are knowledgeable enough to say something about that. This will show the interviewers that the candidate is well-read and knowledgeable.



Improves vocabulary


As you read more and more books, you will across new words.  Notice these words and don’t skip them for later. Later never comes. Try to make some meaning based on the context. Make a list of these words in your vocabulary notebook. Revisit them and try to use them in conversations and writing.


It is easy to miss these words in the flow of reading. Do not forget to leave looking up for the definition of these words. You can read 15-20 words from just one book based on your vocabulary level. You can finish one book per week. This will give you 50-60 words per month. And these will be words in use in common English so you can use these words in conversations and essay writing in WAT in IIM entrance. By the time your CAT exam comes, you will have a whole repertoire of new and useful words.


In addition to vocabulary with a habit of reading for CAT, you will also read common phrases and idioms used in English. This will build up your language skills. If you planning to sit for GRE or TOEFL, you will have an advantage because of this.


Improves Imagination And Empathy


As a manager, it is important for you to understand and empathize with your colleagues and employees. An emotional quotient is a required skill in the workplace.  Gone are the days when employees were expected to straight-up produce work in exchange for a salary. It is very important to make your employees feel valued, acknowledged, and understood.

This is good for the company in two ways. One is that it increases the productivity of the employee. The second is that, when all employees in the company would feel valued, this will increase the efficiency of the whole company and result in an increase in revenue.


Another benefit is the increase and improvement in imagination. Reading transports you into a different world. A world where you are with the protagonist and witnessing that new world with the characters.  Your brain creates images with the help of words. This helps in building your imagination powers.


There are many benefits of imagination, but mainly, it makes you a better problem-solver. You find out-of-the-box solutions to difficult problems.


Helps you sleep better


Since reading relaxes and calms your mind down, it is not surprising that reading before sleeping helps you sleep faster and better. On the other hand, if you use a mobile phone to browse social media in the late hours, your brain will be over-stimulated and hyperactive. Social media has that effect on us. But any form of mobile content will have the same effect, even if you are just reading news on mobile. This is because of the neurotransmitter- dopamine. Which makes you chase the next most interesting thing all the time.


Another harm of using mobile before sleep is that the blue light emitted from the screens disrupt our sleep cycle. Often blue light or UV light has only one chief source- the sun. So evolution has made the brain identify when it is nighttime and time to sleep by the absence of blue light because the sun goes down after the evening. But the UV light in the phone confuses the brain and stops the release of sleep chemicals in the brain.


But reading does no such harm. Reading relaxes you and prepares you for sleep in the best way possible. A night of good sleep is essential if you want to work hard in the day.


Broadens your Mind

Books teach you about many different things, different people, different places and so on. Reading about different cultures and their lifestyle gives you more ideas and opens up possibilities for you to improve your own work. It helps you look at things from a different angle. For example, a book from a female perspective may help you understand them better if you are a man. A book from a perspective of a political leader helps you see their problems and how they face challenges.


This is good for problem-solving and analytical skills. This will surely help you in the CAT exam.


How to improve your reading for CAT?


Our main purpose of this article is to find the importance of a reading habit in CAT and how to improve and solidify a schedule for reading.

whether you are a fresher just out of college or someone with work experience, you can improve all sections of your CAT exam as well as GD and interview, with just one habit, Reading.


As we saw, reading is a habit that has benefits not only for CAT but for your whole management career. It will increase your speed of solving the CAT exam and help you solve RCs better. It will help you feel more confident in the group discussions and the personal interview since you will have good English and knowledge and so many topics.


You can score high percentile in the CAT exam and get a seat in the best IIM like Ahmedabad, Calcutta, and Bangalore.


As a CAT aspirant who is not already a reader, you might have many questions related to the habit of reading for the CAT exam. Like:

  • How reading helps with the CAT exam?
  • Won’t it be better to study for CAT sections instead of reading novels?
  • What should be your reading goals? What should you expect out of reading?
  • What books should I read for the CAT exam?

We will answer all these questions in this section.

First of all to get a complete list of all the books for CAT exam preparation, visit this link.


According to our experts at IIM Skills- online CAT coaching, you should immediately begin the habit of reading, if you do not have it already. Develop good reading speed and comprehension skills. Reading speed is going to help you in the whole exam while comprehension skills will help you attempt RCs in CAT faster and more accurately.


If you are confused about how to build your habit of reading for the CAT exam, here are some steps to help you begin:

Read whenever you are free


You can read while commuting to work, or traveling, or during breaks to release your stress. The best way most candidates have found to adopt a habit of consistent reading is by reading before sleeping. This way you can manage to read 20-30 minutes every day. This will lead to 20-25 pages.


You can also read early in the morning. This habit gives a peaceful start to your day and you feel more in control and focused throughout your day. The important thing is to start the habit somehow.


Do not treat it as a chore


Reading is like having a conversation with the brightest minds. Provided you read good books. Reading also helps you develop personality and opinions and have internal discussions with yourself. The kind of books you read will have a huge impact on your personality. Don’t go for cheap contemporary writers who are just trying to sell more and get popularity in the film industry. Refer to the list of books at the end of this section.


Candidates who manage to develop a reading habit for the CAT exam as soon as possible are going to have an advantage over others. But do not treat it as a section in CAT like quant or DILR. Treat it as a wholesome habit that you have to continue even after a CAT exam throughout your life. Reading will help you relieve the stress of studying for too many hours. It will help you sleep better so you can study hard the next day. It will develop your imagination and your personality too.


The kind of books you read will depend on you as a person. We will suggest a miscellaneous list of different types of books but you will have to explore more after finding your taste. There are different genres like humor, mystery, non-fiction, etc. You can find more books once you find out what kind of books do you like.


Treat books as your friends

Good books will enlighten you on many subjects. They will provide you different perspectives on several problems. Spend less time on social media and spend more time with books. You have to start behaving like a professional. You will anyway have to quit spending hours on social media once you join the MBA college. There will no time to waste. It’s better to do today, what is anyway due tomorrow. Spend time with friends only when they help you learn something and make you feel and become better.


Create a reading condition

If you have a spot in your house or in your room, where you can comfortably sit for hours without being disturbed by people passing or noises, choose it and develop it to make it more comfortable. Sit in a proper position so you do not sleep while reading. Stay away from the noises of TV or computer. Keep your mobile phone away too to minimize distractions. The place should also have a good and direct source of light. your pages should be properly illuminated so they will not spoil your eyes.

If you read at night, keep lights on until you are reading or use a flashlight. There are also products on amazon that help with the light issue for book readers. During the day, prefer a spot that has ample sunlight, like near a window.


Make a list of books

Once you read more, you can find more books like that on amazon recommendations. Prepare a timetable of books to read. Try to read at least 4 books a month. Keep the habit consistent and stick to the plan. Do not slack off. don’t spend too much time preparing the timetable. It is more important to just start.

The books that you will read for the examination are required to be listed. Whatever addition you want to make, do that when the thought comes to you for the first time. Keep a running list and start reading them according to your interest. The object is to cover the full syllabus. Make a schedule and move on, as if embarking on a pleasurable journey.


Visit the library

Libraries are heaven for readers. It is overwhelming, the number of books that have been there sitting, waiting for a suitable reader to discover. There is so much knowledge. You can start with a section you like and start reading any topic. Libraries are designed to help with attention. There will be other readers too. This will motivate you. you can not talk or use your phone so no distractions also. Don’t take your friends there, unless they are serious too.


Libraries help with discipline and consistency of the habit of reading. It’s also a great place to find books.


Be disciplined and consistent

Just like any other habit, it is very important to be consistent and disciplined with your reading habit. Even if you read just 30 pages in one day, read every single day. Unless you do this, you are not going to see any benefits of reading. Only after weeks of reading will it increase your reading speed and RC solving capabilities. Increase the number of your daily page as you go. Use what you read in talks and writing too.


Buy used books

If you do not want to spend too much on books, you can also buy old books. This is good for your pocket as a student as well as for the environment. You can visit the old book store and find some good books.


Set time limit

Whenever you read, track what is your reading speed. You are supposed to get better with time. The CAT exam has many RC sections. It is not possible to solve all of them unless you have blazing fast reading speed. But you can try to attempt more. And for this, you will need a great reading speed. Focus not just on speed but also on comprehension and understanding. Speed should not come at the cost of understanding. You will attempt the question wrong and instead of scoring more, you will end up with a negative mark.


Good books to begin reading for the CAT exam

This is a list of some books which you can start as a beginner of a habit of reading for CAT exam.

  • The God of small things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho ( very easy language and vocabulary. Good to begin with)
  • A brief history of time by Stephen Hawking
  • Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  • War and Peace by Tolstoy
  • Cycles of Time – by Roger Penrose
  • Parallel Worlds – by Michio Kaku
  • Wholeness and the Implicate Order – by David Bohm
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything – by Bill Bryson
  • Amish Tripathi
  • Devdutt Pattanaik (great leadership books based on Indian mythology)
  • The magic of Thinking Big


Visit our online CAT blog for more informative articles about CAT preparation.


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Gaurav is a Content Writer at IIM Skills. He has a B.Tech. degree but then he switched to the creative side by doing his master's in advertising and public relations. Gaurav is also a part-time blogger and graphic designer currently living in Mumbai

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