Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VA-RC) section is one of the most important sections across all MBA exams. For some, it is even considered to be a make-or-break section since it is assumed that there is no single strategy involved in solving questions from this section.
Within VA-RC, Reading Comprehension is what may trouble most aspirants. In the recent competitive exams, RCs have been data-heavy, and have often revolved around current affairs, history, philosophy and scientific case-studies. What is difficult is that most of the options appear to be the same, and it is difficult to distinguish the correct answers from the erroneous ones. However, as is with the other two sections (DI-LR, QA), practice is what can help you ace this section.
Here is a list of things that you must read to prepare for the Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension section of competitive MBA exams.
Note - The articles that appear in competitive exams are very random. This list will only help you practice and prepare well to tackle even the most difficult RCs that may come in the test.
What Is McKinsey Insights -
McKinsey & Company is the leading global management consulting firm and is the oldest firm out of the MBB firms (McKinsey, BCG, Bain). Their reputation has earned them the credibility to become thought leaders, wherein top McKinsey consultants share their views and opinions on business trends across the globe, along with research articles from the McKinsey Global Institute.
Why McKinsey Insights -
These articles require careful reading and understanding to grasp the base concept of the write-up. For instance, this article by McKinsey underlining the impact of Artifical Intelligence on the economy is of the type that can be expected in CAT and XAT Reading Comprehension sets. What's more, you also get to learn the views of top analysts and strategists in the business - learnings you can use in your interview processes as well.
Download the McKinsey Insights App to read articles on your phone.
Also check: Preparation Tips for CAT (section-wise)
What Is The Guardian -
The Guardian is a 200-year-old British daily newspaper, trusted by millions across the globe for quality news reporting and daily updates.
Why The Guardian -
What is noteworthy about The Guardian is the kind of language and words that the authors use to convey their stories to the readers. There is an automatic development of one's vocabulary as well as general awareness. These type of articles are likely to feature in CAT, and one of the RCs in CAT 2005 was from this newspaper.
What Is The National Geographic -
The National Geographic is a US-based television network which is a household name across the globe. Their articles revolve around fact-based documentaries on history, nature, culture, science etc.
Why National Geographic -
Remember those RCs in your mock tests on the discovery of new species, or a report on over-fishing or the impact of global warming on marine life, etc.? Most of those articles are picked up from the Nat Geo website/magazine. Much like McKinsey, Nat Geo articles require careful reading to understand the base concept of an article. For instance, this article about a historic face transplant, or this one on the impact of air pollution on the human brain, can be expected in an exam such as CAT. You can follow them on Facebook to get daily article updates.
What Is The Hindu -
The Hindu is a Chennai based newspaper which is one of the most popular and widely distributed newspapers of India. It is 140-year-old and produces excellent quality of articles on a daily basis.
Why The Hindu -
People read The Hindu for news. Aspirants read the newspaper for its Editorials. The Hindu editorials are legendary and are known for being highly informative with the complex vocabulary used by leading intellectuals and writers. There are also detailed interviews prior to the Editorials section, which can also serve as a source for RC practice.
The Hindu will also help you stay updated with current affairs. You can subscribe to their e-paper as well!
What Is The World Economic Forum -
The WEF is a Swiss non-profit organization which produces research reports and sector-specific initiatives. It is a 50-year-old organisation which is well known for its annual meetings conducted in Davos, a resort in the Swiss Alps, where thousands of business and country leaders gather together to discuss the most pertinent issues that affect the world as a whole.
Why The World Economic Forum -
The World Economic Forum prepares and compiles various in-depth reports on a variety of topics. This makes their articles/reports data-heavy, with a lot of information to process. The credibility and quality of articles is also very high. By reading the WEF articles, you can train yourself to read only the important material in a large article, and you can enable yourself to increase your reading speed and eye-span. You will also, simultaneously, educate yourself on various topics.
This article on the 'Future of Energy & Mobility' is a good example of the type of RCs that can come in CAT and other competitive exams.
Other Resources -
These are also important resources that you must refer to in order to increase your reading speed and general awareness:
- New York Times - Daily global news
- The Atlantic - Daily global news, editorials
- The Indian Express - Opinion pieces, daily news
- Brain Pickings - Philosophy, Motivational
- Reuters - Financial news, International news
- WIRED - Economy, Politics, Emerging technology
- TechCrunch - Startup News and Technology
- LiveMint - Financial news, Industry news
Free course on the theory of solving VA-RC section by Takshzila.
These are all the resources that I use to prepare for VA-RC.
If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments below!