History and Geography: Reading comprehension has always been considered to be one of the most important sections of the CAT exam. It is one of the key areas of CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) section. 4-5 questions need to be solved at the end of the passage. There are different genres in Reading Comprehension, such as science, history, geography, current affairs, economics, humanities, etc. In this section, we focus on Reading Comprehension based on History/Geography.
Every single entrance exam related to management has a Reading Comprehension section, be it CAT, GMAT, XAT, NMAT, CET or SNAP. And these RC based questions usually constitute 24% of the total marks – which is almost one-fourth of the entire paper. For example, in CAT, there are 16 questions of RCs out of 24 questions in VARC i.e. having 70% weightage. Although the level of difficulty of the passages and the questions thereof vary from one exam to another – RC importance to a candidates’ overall performance in any management exam cannot be underestimated. Hence, the aspirants need to prepare well for this section as it takes time and constant practice to develop speed reading, understanding the context, and then correctly answer RC questions.
Let’s see some more details of number of times History and Geography passages have featured in the table given below:
The word ‘anarchy’ comes from the Greek anarkhia, meaning contrary to authority or without a ruler, and was used in a derogatory sense until 1840, when it was adopted by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to describe his political and social ideology. Proudhon argued that organization without government was both possible and desirable. In the evolution of political ideas, anarchism can be seen as an ultimate projection of both liberalism and socialism, and the differing strands of anarchist thought can be related to their emphasis on one or the other of these.
Historically, anarchism arose not only as an explanation of the gulf between the rich and the poor in any community, and of the reason why the poor have been obliged to fight for their share of a common inheritance, but as a radical answer to the question ‘What went wrong?’ that followed the ultimate outcome of the French Revolution. It had ended not only with a reign of terror and the emergence of a newly rich ruling caste, but with a new adored emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, strutting through his conquered territories.
The anarchists and their precursors were unique on the political Left in affirming that workers and peasants, grasping the chance that arose to bring an end to centuries of exploitation and tyranny, were inevitably betrayed by the new class of politicians, whose first priority was to re-establish a centralized state power. After every revolutionary uprising, usually won at a heavy cost for ordinary populations, the new rulers had no hesitation in applying violence and terror, a secret police, and a professional army to maintain their control.
For anarchists the state itself is the enemy, and they have applied the same interpretation to the outcome of every revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries. This is not merely because every state keeps a watchful and sometimes punitive eye on its dissidents, but because every state protects the privileges of the powerful.
The mainstream of anarchist propaganda for more than a century has been anarchist-communism, which argues that property in land, natural resources, and the means of production should be held in mutual control by local communities, federating for innumerable joint purposes with other communes. It differs from state socialism in opposing the concept of any central authority. Some anarchists prefer to distinguish between anarchist-communism and collectivist anarchism in order to stress the obviously desirable freedom of an individual or family to possess the resources needed for living, while not implying the right to own the resources needed by others…
There are, unsurprisingly, several traditions of individualist anarchism, one of them deriving from the ‘conscious egoism’ of the German writer Max Stirner (1806–56), and another from a remarkable series of 19th-century American figures who argued that in protecting our own autonomy and associating with others for common advantages, we are promoting the good of all. These thinkers differed from free-market liberals in their absolute mistrust of American capitalism, and in their emphasis on mutualism.
There are no specific concepts or written rules to answer the questions correctly for an RC passage. The most important skill is the candidates’ reading speed and understanding of the content. But still, we can use different strategies while practising and check which one works.
Passages on History and Geography usually have a wide array of topics ranging from talking about ancient kings and certain anecdotes from the past to talking about certain region and how it has evolved geographically over some time. But sorts of history questions have been asked in Slot 1 in CAT 2020. The Reading Comprehension for CAT from the History and Geography topics are usually filled with either facts or numbers or sometimes, both.
It is always advisable to skim through the passage in the first chance to understand the basic story-line of the passage. One might skip the data and values given in this chance. The next reading, when one is comfortable with the passage length and basic idea, should be the in-depth one.