FREE Reading Comprehension Practice Problems for CAT

Tips on how to approach CAT Reading Comprehension passages
  • Don’t get into the minor details of the passage; just focus on what each paragraph has to say
  • As you read, create a map of the passage; you must remember what thing is located where in the passage
  • Once you read the question, come back to the part of the passage that is likely to have the answer
  • Compare the options and eliminate the incorrect choices based on the evidence that you see in the passage
  • Choose the answer once you are convinced of the right choice

online CAT coaching

Reading Comprehension Practice Passage

The idea of building “New Towns” to absorb growth is frequently considered a cure-all for urban problems. It is erroneously assumed that if new residents can be diverted from existing centers, the present urban situation at least will get no worse. It is further and equally erroneously assumed that since European New Towns have been financially and socially successful, we can expect the same sorts of results in the United States.

Present planning, thinking, and legislation will not produce the kinds of New Town that have been successful abroad. It will multiply suburbs or encourage developments in areas where land is cheap and construction profitable rather than where New Towns are genuinely needed.

Such ill-considered projects not only will fail to relieve pressures on existing cities but will, in fact, tend to weaken those cities further by drawing away high-income citizens and increasing the concentration of low-income groups that are unable to provide tax income. The remaining taxpayers, accordingly, will face increasing burdens, and industry and commerce will seek escape. Unfortunately, this mechanism is already at work in some metropolitan areas.

The promoters of New Towns so far in the United States have been developers, builders, and financial institutions. The main interest of these promoters is economic gain. Furthermore, federal regulations designed to promote the New Town idea do not consider social needs as the European New Town plans do. In fact, our regulations specify virtually all the ingredients of the typical suburban community, with a bit of political rhetoric thrown in.

A workable American New Town formula should be established as firmly here as the national formula was in Britain. All possible social and governmental innovations as well as financial factors should be thoroughly considered and accommodated in this policy. Its objectives should be clearly stated, and both incentives and penalties should be provided to ensure that the objectives are pursued. If such a policy is developed, then the New Town approach can play an important role in alleviating America’s urban problems.


In case you have any doubt in this RC, you can tag Brijesh Pandey on our CAT Preparation Facebook group

Question: The passage contains information that answers which of the following questions?

Where did the idea of New Towns originate?
How does Britain’s New Town formula differ from that of other European countries?
What is the purpose of building New Towns?
What incentives and penalties will be necessary to make a New Town formula workable?
Why have European New Towns been financially successful?

Question: The author believes that New Towns are not being built where they are genuinely needed because

the government offers developers incentives to build in other areas
the promoters of New Town are motivated chiefly by self-interest
few people want to live in areas where land is still cheap
no studies have been done to determine the best locations
federal regulations make construction in those areas less profitable

Question: According to the author, ill-considered New Towns will tend to weaken existing cities in which of the following ways?

I. They will cause an erosion in the tax base of existing cities.
II. The will divert residents from existing cities to other areas.
III. They will increase the number of low-income residents in existing cities.
I only
II only

Question: According to the passage, as compared with American New Towns, European New Towns have been designed with greater concern for

social needs
financial factors
urban congestion
the profits of developers and builders
the environment

Question: The author’s tone in discussing “developers, builders, and financial institutions” can best be described as

critical
pedantic
evasive
captious
vitriolic

Question: It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes which of the following about suburbs?

They are a panacea for urban problems.
They will soon be plagued by the same problems that now plague cities.
They are poor models for New Towns.
They drive up property values in inner cities.
They alleviate some, but not all, of America’s urban problems.

Question: It can be inferred from the passage that the author considers the present American New Town formula to be

thoroughly considered
insufficiently innovative
potentially workable
overly restrictive
financially sound

Question: The author of the passage is primarily concerned with

arguing for a change in policy
exploring the implications of novel idea
comparing and contrasting two manifestations of the same phenomenon
proposing a radically new solution to an old problem
summarizing recent research on a topic

Also Check: CAT Quant Challenging Questions with VIDEO Solutions
Previous PassageNext Passage

Online Reading Comprehension Course for CAT 2018


500 Reading Comprehension (RC) practice questions with video explanations in detail

100 Critical Reaoning practice questions with video explanations in detail

Covers all major category of RC : Philosophy, Humanisties, Art, Literature, Business and Economics, Science and Technology etc

Based on the latest CAT pattern

Online Support : live online sessions for concepts building and doubt clearing

How to solve CAT RC Passages
2000+ CAT Verbal Practice Problems all with Video Explanations.
click here for FREE trial
FREE Reading Comprehension Practice Problems for CAT
4.8 (95%) 16 votes

What Students Say



For regular updates and FREE sessions, join our following GROUPS