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Best books for CAT Exam Preparation- Complete list of books

There are hundreds of books for CAT preparation available in the market, therefore one must choose wisely. Choosing the right books preparation is one of the most crucial steps before preparing for the test.

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You are also advised to read various news magazines, novels, newspapers, etc. for the Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds.

The question paper will be divided into three sections: Verbal and Reading Comprehension section, Quantitative Aptitude section and Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.

To prepare for an exam, books are the best source as they enhance knowledge and provide insights about topics. To help you crack CAT easily here we are listed best books for CAT preparation.

Best books for CAT exam preparation

Best books for Verbal and Reading Comprehension Section

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section will basically test your written and read language abilities.
CAT Best Books

English comprehension section mainly focuses purely on Reading Comprehension. Given below are the Best books for Verbal Ability & Comprehension:

  • How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT (Tata McGraw-Hill) by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

It is a comprehensive textbook on tackling the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension portion of the CAT and covers the entire range and all levels of questions asked in these examinations.

  • The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning by Nishit Sinha

This book for CAT provides a balanced coverage of both verbal ability and logical reasoning sections. Hints and problem-solving techniques provided in the book helps students fine-tune their interpretative skills.

Check here how to tackle easily CAT DI/LR Section

  • Word Power Made Easy by NORMAN LEWIS
  • A Communicative Grammar of English By Geoffrey Leech
  • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis


Preparation Tips:-

You should get into the habit of regular reading of a newspaper and any magazine which covers the contemporary events well. Listen to speeches or watch movies and/or documentaries with subtitles. This increases knowledge of spoken English and comes in handy while attempting questions on sentence completion. You should also practice as many reading comprehensions as possible for improving your reading speed and answering questions based on that.

Best Books for CAT Quantitative Aptitude Section

Here the problem-solving skills of a student are tested. Students often panic while attempting this section. Preparation Books for the Quantitative section is given below:

  • How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT  by Arun Sharma
  • Arun Sharma’s Quantitative Aptitude for CAT has been a bestseller in this segment for many years and has evolved into a ‘must read’ book on this topic for all competitive examination including CAT.
  • The Pearson Guide To Quantitative Aptitude And Data Interpretation For The CAT by Nishit Sinha
  • Quantum CAT: Quantitative Aptitude Common Admission Test for Admission Into IIMs (Paperback) by Sarvesh K Verma Publisher: Arihant
  • NCERT Mathematics books for Class 8, 9 & 10
  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations Tips, Techniques, And Short-cut Methods by Guha Abhijit

Preparation Tips:-

Candidate should brush up the basics to get a grip on the fundamental topics. Practice is the key to Quantitative Aptitude, so you must practice as many mock test as possible and do not use calculator while appearing for any mock/online test. Never make random guesses in this section and learn how to manage time properly. Don’t waste too much of time on one particular question.

Best Books for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

This section is termed as a calculation-intensive section. This section essentially tests your decision-making ability, identify patterns, understanding of logical links. This section also tests the ability to identify patterns, understanding of logical links. Below given are the best books for Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section:

  • How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT(Common Admission Test) by Arun Sharma

There are numerous DI test papers which follow modern examination patterns and cover multiple levels of difficulty.

  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT Common Admission Test by Arun Sharma
  • The Pearson Guide To Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT 1st Edition by Nishit K. Sinha

Preparation Tips:

Spend some seconds on a question and study each question carefully. You should make a habit to read all the response choices carefully before eliminating or choosing one of them. One of the good strategies in practicing data analysis and sufficiency questions is presenting it in form of charts or pictures. You should solve questions regularly to get a good grip on it as ample practice should be there and always manage your time properly.

Best Books for CAT Preparation for GD & PI Rounds

Candidates who will clear the required minimum Cut Off would be shortlisted for the next rounds which include Group Discussion(GD), Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview rounds(PI).

To prepare for these pre-admission rounds, candidates must prepare accordingly. Only after qualifying these rounds, candidates are selected for admission. To prepare for these rounds, the list of best books are mentioned below:

Novels (fiction/non-fiction)

  • Argumentative Indian
  • Tipping Point
  • Thinking Fast & Slow
  • Guns
  • Germs
  • Steel
  • Beyond the MBA Hype
  • The Black Swan
  • The Great Indian Novel
  • Midnight’s Children
  • India after Gandhi
  • The World is Flat
  • Freakonomics
  • The Last Mughal

Business magazines for CAT Candidates

  • Business Today by India Today Group
  • Competition Success Review
  • Business Line by “The Hindu Group”
  • Management Compass Career Launcher
  • Business World
  • Business & Management Chronicle by Chronicle Publications

Newspapers for CAT Candidates

  • The Hindu
  • Economics Times
  • The Statesman
  • The Indian Express

CAT Exam Pattern

Before we jump to the books, we think you should know about the exam pattern and syllabus to get familiar with the CAT examination.

CAT will be conducted via only online mode. The question paper will contain 100 questions of both types: Multiple Choice Questions(MCQs) and non-Multiple Choice Questions(non-MCQs).

The duration of the exam will be 180 minutes (60 minutes for each section). Candidates will be awarded three marks for each correct answer while one mark will be deducted for each incorrect answer.

  • Question paper will have 100 Questions divided into three sections
  • Total marks will be 300
  • Total time for the exam will be 180 minutes
  • The questions will be asked in English
Section No. of MCQs No. of Non-MCQs Total Questions
Verbal and Reading Comprehension 24 10 34
Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning 24 8 32
Quantitative Aptitude 24 10 34
Total 72 28 100

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