Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani

Preparing CAT? Know how to develop good ‘Reading Habits’

While MBA Aspirants seeking admission to Top B-schools require paying undiluted attention for preparation to Common Admission Test (CAT), they also need to simultaneously develop a good reading habit that could ease their CAT journey, GD-PI process, and time at B-schools. Besides your main preparation focused on section-wise preparation for Common Admission Test (CAT), you also need to take some time from your daily schedule to develop a reading habit. A good reading habit will not only increase your grasping capacity but also helps improve your vocabulary and language. It will also help you explore different kind of thought process and arguments which may prove to be a great help in your GD and PI process at final selection stages. It will also help during your time in B-school where you will be required to read a lot of stuff and process the same in different manners like presentation, research project, dissertation etc. For CAT aspirants,

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sometimes it also proves to be a stress-relieving exercise.  What, however should be the right reading habits, will depend upon your way of living. It may differ from person to person, working and non working, person with access to technology or no access.   1.Find your reading time – If you have to work till late night and get up late in the morning- you could have a great reading day. If the situation is just opposite, get up early in the morning and enjoy the reading. In the late evening also, you could have a reading time after dinner. The importance of reading is not when you read but how much do you enjoy the reading.2.Prepare a list of Books – The books that you will read need be listed.  This can also include some read necessary for your written MBA exams, Group Discussion, and Personal Interview. Whatever addition you want to make, do that as and when the thought comes to you for the first time.  Keep a running list and start reading them according to your interest. The object should be to cover the full syllabus.  Make a schedule and move on, as if embarking on a pleasurable journey.3. Make friends with books not TV- If you wish to develop a habit for reading; you need to reduce your time with Television sets. It will give you more time to focus on reading materials. Also, if you find it convenient reading on your tab or computer screen, the suggested way is to download your stuff and disconnect your internet connection when you read the same. It will help you avoid online distractions like Facebook, Chat etc.4. Reading environment – Find a calm and quiet place where you would like to study. Sit in a comfortable chair or whatever sitting gesture gives you more comfort and freshen yourself up with your desired reading material. A comfortable posture and cosy reading environment is very important as it helps you minimizes distractions and continue for long in one stretch.5. Sufficient Lighting – Make sure you have good lighting. If it is dusk and light appears dim, it will place unnecessary strain on your eyes and language processing modules in your brain. 

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If you are reading in Sunlight during the day, it is very good. But when you read in the night (as most of us do) ensure very good light should either come from your left or from the back.6. Your book-your companion- Wherever you go, keep a book along with you. If there is a time when you have to wait (like at a doctor’s place, at some office or bus stop etc.) take out your book and read to give you the desired satisfaction.7. Visit the Library – Nice place and excellent environment for study and concentrate –is the library.  Many students find trouble in concentrating in their rooms/apartments- for them also, the library is the excellent place to concentrate. Make it a matter of discipline and training to stay focused on your book.  Don’t let yourself carried away by other not so serious readers. Once you start visiting library, you may also find new books or good reads that you can exchange with your library group. 8. Read to Improve vocabulary – While reading, don’t forget to note down unfamiliar words and their usage in particular contexts. Find out their meaning and other usage in the dictionary. Use the words in conversation, writing. It will fetch you good reading results and build up your confidence level.9.  Find-out used books- make your trip to used book store off and on.  It will have twin advantages. You may find less expensive good books to read and sometimes these books become a part of treasure with some important marks and underlines that you might not notice otherwise.  10. Use Blogging– Blogging is one of the best ways to form a good habit of reading.  You may find suggestions and comments on your reading habits and the stuff you are reading. Motivation and improvement will come your way with the healthy and positive ideas posted on your blog.

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