Reading comprehension is the most important part of verbal ability section. Infact without RC questions, it’s very difficult to crack CAT. Every year, 4 to 5 Reading comprehension passages with each of 3-6 questions appear in CAT.
Reading Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers for CAT:
The passage below is accompanied by a set of six questions. Choose the best answer to each question.
Creativity is at once our most precious resource and our most inexhaustible one. As anyone who has ever spent any time with children knows, every single human being is born creative; every human being is innately endowed with the ability to combine and recombine data, perceptions, materials and ideas, and devise new ways of thinking and doing. What fosters creativity? More than anything else: the presence of other creative people. The big myth is that creativity is the province of great individual gen.iuses. In. fact creativity is a social process. Our biggest creative breakthroughs come when people learn from, compete with, and collaborate with other people.
Cities are the true fonts of creativity… With their diverse populations, dense social networks, and public spaces where people can meet spontaneously and serendipitously, they spark and catalyze new ideas. With their infrastructure for finance, organization and trade, they allow those ideas to be swiftly actualized.
As for what staunches creativity, that’s easy, if ironic. It’s the very institutions that we build to manage, exploit and perpetuate the fruits of creativity — our big bureaucracies, and sad to say, too many of our schools. Creativity is disruptive; schools and organizations are regimented, standardized and stultifying.
The education expert Sir Ken Robinson points to a 1968 study reporting on a group of 1,600 children who were tested over time for their ability to think in out-of-the-box ways. When the children were between 3 and 5 years old, 98 percent achieved positive scores. When they were 8 to 10, only 32 percent passed the same test, and only 10 percent at 13 to 15. When 280,000 25-year-olds took the test, just 2 percent passed. By the time we are adults, our creativity has been wrung out of us.
I once asked the great urbanist Jane Jacobs what makes some places more creative than others. She said, essentially, that the question was an easy one. All cities, she said, were filled with creative people; that’s our default state as people. But some cities had more than their shares of leaders, people and institutions that blocked out that creativity. She called them “squelchers.”
Creativity (or the lack of it) follows the same general contours of the great socio-economic divide — our rising inequality — that plagues us. According to my own estimates, roughly a third of us across the United States, and perhaps as much as half of us in our most creative cities — are able to do work which engages our creative faculties to some extent, whether as artists, musicians, writers, techies, innovators, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, journalists or educators — those of us who work with our minds. That leaves a group that I term “the other 66 percent,” who toil in low-wage rote and rotten jobs — if they have jobs at all — in which their creativity is subjugated, ignored or wasted.
Creativity itself is not in danger. It’s flourishing is all around us — in science and technology, arts and culture, in our rapidly revitalizing cities. But we still have a long way to go if we want to build a truly creative society that supports and rewards the creativity of each and every one of us.
Question 1: In the author’s view, cities promote human creativity for all the following reasons EXCEPT that they
a) contain spaces that enable people to meet and share new ideas.
b) expose people to different and novel ideas, because they are home to varied groups of people.
c) provide the financial and institutional networks that enable ideas to become reality.
d) provide access to cultural activities that promote new and creative ways of thinking.
Question 2: The author uses ‘ironic’ in the third paragraph to point out that
a) people need social contact rather than isolation to nurture their creativity.
b) institutions created to promote creativity eventually stifle it.
c) the larger the creative population in a city, the more likely it is to be stifled.
d) large bureaucracies and institutions are the inevitable outcome of successful cities.
Question 3: The central idea of this passage is that
a) social interaction is necessary to nurture creativity.
b) creativity and ideas are gradually declining in all societies.
c) the creativity divide is widening in societies in line with socio-economic trends.
d) more people should work in jobs that engage their creative faculties.
Question 4: Jane Jacobs believed that cities that are more creative
a) have to struggle to retain their creativity.
b) have to ‘squelch’ unproductive people and promote creative ones.
c) have leaders and institutions that do not block creativity.
d) typically do not start off as creative hubs.
Question 5: The 1968 study is used here to show that
a) as they get older, children usually learn to be more creative.
b) schooling today does not encourage creative thinking in children.
c) the more children learn, the less creative they become.
d) technology today prevents children from being creative.
Question 6: The author’s conclusions about the most ‘creative cities’ in the US (paragraph 6) are based on his assumption that
a) people who work with their hands are not doing creative work.
b) more than half the population works in non-creative jobs.
c) only artists, musicians, writers, and so on should be valued in a society.
d) most cities ignore or waste the creativity of low-wage workers.
CAT Reading comprehension passage Solutions:
1) Answer (D)
In the paragraph starting with ‘cities are true fronts of creativity’, author mentions that cities have diverse population.
The author also mentions that cities provide the space where people can meet and share ideas. Then, the author discusses the financial and organizational infrastructure that cities provide for ideas to flourish.
No where has it been mentioned that cities provide access to cultural activities. We cannot infer option D from the passage.
Therefore, option D is the right answer.
2) Answer (B)
‘Irony’ is a term used to define an activity defeating its very purpose. Therefore, the answer must be along similar lines – a method or activity that stifles its purpose.
In the passage (1968 survey), the author describes how schools and colleges, the institutions that were supposed to foster creativity, stifle it. Also, in the paragraph preceding the paragraph about survey, the author mentions explicitly that the institutes created to promote creativity stifle it. Therefore, option B is the right answer.
3) Answer (A)
The entire passage revolves around how cities provide grounds for creativity to flourish and how our education system stifle it.
Option B states that creativity and ideas are gradually declining. But, in the last paragraph, the author mentions that ‘Creativity itself is not in danger’. Therefore, we can rule out option B.
Option D states that more people must engage in creative jobs. But it cannot be said to be the central idea of the passage. As we have discussed, the passage revolves around social interaction and creativity divide. Therefore, we can eliminate option D too.
Options A and C are close. But, the author describes creativity divide more as an effect than the problem itself. Barring the last 2 paragraphs, the author describes about the importance of social interaction and how the lack of it kills creativity. Since the question is about the central idea, option A can be deemed a better fit than option C. Therefore, option A is the right answer.
4) Answer (C)
In the passage, the author clearly describes that Jane Jacobs attributes creativity to the type of leaders. From the paragraph about ‘squelchers’, we can infer that Jane Jacobs holds leaders responsible for the creativity of the people. Therefore, option C is the right answer.
5) Answer (B)
There has been no talk about technology in the entire passage. Therefore, we can eliminate option B straight away.
Also, option A states that children become more creative as they get older. However, the exact opposite has been discussed in the passage. Therefore, we can eliminate option A too.
Among options B and C, option C attributes reduction in creativity to learning more. But, in the paragraph about ‘what staunches creativity’, the author mentions that institutions that were created to promote creativity stifle it. He then produces the 1968 study as a validation of the argument. Therefore, the author implies that schools and colleges stifle creativity. Hence, option B is the right answer.
6) Answer (A)
In the paragraph regarding creative cities, the author makes a remark that the creativity of only those people who work with their mind are utilized. Therefore, we can infer that the author thinks that the creativity of people who do not work with their minds (who work with their hands) is not utilized. Therefore, option A is the right answer.
Hope this Reading Comprehension Passages with Questions and Answers for CAT are helpful to understand the difficulty level of the questions that appear in CAT and how to take CAT RC’s.