Now that CAT is behind you, all you aspirants are sure having a pretty relaxed time. Well, you deserve it, after months of toiling and the frenzy building up just before the exam. But now that the heat is behind you, no matter what the outcomes are, what to do to fill up the time? You could travel, party, binge-watch tv series, go on with worklife, sure. The best possible solution is: READING.
One of the most common complain one hears from a CAT aspirant is that the verbal ability section, specially the reading comprehension part, seem ‘uncrackable’. Moreover, there doesn’t seem to be a readymade formula or a thumb rule to help the candidate crack the RC code. Each RC passage is different form the next.
In all such situations, there is but one strategy that can help a long way in getting used to long stretches of reading, with comprehension. There is no better way to do this than to do some actual reading. Those who have been in regular touch of books are known to have it easier in the RCs, and the VA section as a whole. Question such as those on jumbled sentenc es, become more intuitive, when one has had a habit of regular reading. For any MBA aspirant, it helps to spend at least one hour a day reading magazines, books or newspapers.
While reading as a habit is important for VA, this is all the more imperative now, post-CAT. One can always expect the GD/WAT/PI to focus on current issues of importance. If not, one can quote examples of recent times to substantiate the point one is making. There is hardly anything which sounds smarter than making well-read references! Moreover, some exams like IIFT and XAT even have a specific section for general knowledge.
Another common misconception is that you only need to brush up on the current events happening right at the time of your GD/PI round. Trust me, no news story emerges in a day; it is all a build-up of what has been happening for a while. Moreover, you would not get a proper grasp of the concepts if you only rush through newspapers a week before your GD/PI rounds.
While newspapers and magazines are important from the current affairs POV, there are certain books which can give you loads of gyaan as you prepare for a business school grad life ahead. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to stock up your reading list with some good titles, does it? Who knows, you might run into ‘someone special’ who shares your interest in books!
Here are my favourite books to read in your free time post-CAT:
- Tuesdays With Morrie: The simplest motivational book one can come across. It conveys so much in so few words, and makes you sit up and take stock of your life.
- Freakonomics: a very unique, and funny, take on everyday life situations, which are connected to economics concept in ways one might not even imagine
- Why I am a Hindu: A great insight into the history of Hinduism by Shashi Tharoor
- 1984 + Brave New World: The best dystopian classics there are. Two starkly different imaginary worlds, yet each makes you shudder in its own way. You end up loving our flawed little world a little more!
- Freedom At Midnight: A very detailed and well researched behind-the-scenes footage of all the stakeholders and their lives at the time of India’s, and Pakistan’s, independence.
- India After Gandhi: one of the best books to brush you up on whatever has happened in the country since independence.
- The Selfish Gene: A pretty scientific read, but gives you in-depth ideas about evolution, survival, and certain social behavior.
- I do what I do: An insightful book by Raghuram Rajan, which is a collection of his lectures while he was the RBI Governor. This book gives you clear ideas about the state of the economy, and how various global events shape up the moneys.
- The Power Of Habit: This book gives you really practical ideas about how to make or break certain habits in you. One of the best self-improvement books out there.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy: Well, some pure fun is also needed once in a while!
This is but a rudimentary list of books you could choose to begin with, or add to your reading list. You could be interested in genres other than those mentioned here. The idea should be to develop and continue reading as a habit. It helps!