Best books for XAT 2020 preparation
Aditi Garg, 1 day ago, #XAT
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Best books for XAT 2020 preparation – Books are agreeably the best bet and a student’s most trusted companion, especially when he/she is in the phase of preparing for an exam. It is all the more important to pick wisely when it comes to preparing for a crucial exam like XAT. Selecting the best books for XAT preparation and the right study material is the first step towards shaping the preparation and outcome of XAT. Thus, with no paucity of books and material for XAT available in the market and on the Internet, it becomes a challenge for aspirants to make the right choice. This feature of Careers360 suggests section-wise best books for XAT 2020 preparation for those test-takers, who are on the road to XAT 2020 preparation.

Latest: [Download free Question Papers and Sample Paper of XAT, Click here]

Xavier Aptitude Test, better known as XAT is the gateway to India's 150 premier management institutes like XLRI Jamshedpur, SPJIMR Mumbai, IIFM Bhopal and other top B-schools which accept XAT score. The national-level exam will be conducted in online mode tentatively in the first week of January 2020, by Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur. Around 90,000 students appear for the exam every year. The exam evaluates the test-takers's aptitude in English, Mathematics and Logical Reasoning.

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There are some most commonly referred authored materials for XAT which considered as best books for XAT preparation and are constantly recommended by XAT toppers. These books are a guide to the XAT section-wise preparation following the exam pattern of XAT. Let us first understand the XAT exam pattern and then look at the books which you will require for section-wise preparation.

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XAT Exam Pattern 2020


No. of Questions

Total Marks

Total Time

Negative Marking

Decision Making



180 minutes

  • 0.25 marks for any wrong answer

  • 0.05 marks for more than 8 unattempted questions

Verbal and Logical Ability


Quantitative Ability and Data Interpretation (QA & DI)


General Knowledge (GK)



For the benefit of XAT 2020 aspirants, here is the hand-picked list of study material and best books for XAT preparation recommended by toppers and experts.

Best books for XAT 2020 Preparation

Each section of XAT exam has a unique way of preparation. XAT toppers and experts have suggested the best books for Quantitative Ability (QA) and Data Interpretation (DI), Verbal and Logical Ability, and Decision Making. Aspirants can always make use of the online and offline XAT ebooks, video tutorials and timed online mock tests to aid section-wise preparation.

For General Knowledge section, one may not require specific books but rather needs to prepare by reading newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, The Indian Express, Economic Times, The Week, Frontline, Outlook, Statesman etc. In addition to it, aspirants may also refer to content available on various websites for GK section and keep themselves abreast of current affairs.

XAT 2020: Best books for preparation of each section

As for the other sections of XAT 2020, the must-read books and study materials are:

Best Books for XAT Quantitative Ability:

Practice is the sole key to crack this section. If Quant and DI are among the forte for some candidates, then they will sail past these two sections like a breeze if they practice regularly. For the ones whose forte does not lie in these areas, they need to first clear their basics and build on their fundamentals to go ahead. Clearing concepts of Quant at the initial stage of preparation is something which cannot be ignored at any cost. Thoroughness in any of the following books is sufficient to crack QA along with regular practice.

  • How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma

  • Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests For Admission into IIMs by Sarvesh K Verma

  • Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha

Best Books for XAT Data Interpretation:

  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma

  • Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

For quantitative ability, Arya, XAT 2018 topper studied from “How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT” by Arun Sharma. According to him, " The chapter-wise concepts were clearly explained, the solved examples and the exercise problems, segregated into different levels of difficulty, helped too."

Best Books for XAT Verbal Ability

For the ones whose strong areas lie in English, all they need to do is brush up on grammar to become a pro in grammar! Reading the editorial sections of the newspapers mentioned above is a good practice as it not only helps to build vocabulary and writing skills but also helps in staying up to date with current affairs.

XAT gives high weightage to the vocabulary areas and the Reading Comprehension questions are mostly inference based. Best books for XAT preparation for vocabulary skills are:

  • Word Power by Norman Lewis

  • Barron’s Dictionary

  • For RCs, reading different types of pieces, fiction or non-fiction, news or article followed by analytical introspection.

  • High School English Grammar & Composition by Wren, Martin

  • The Students' Companion Book by Wilfred D.Best

  • 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis.

Apart from studying from some of the books that are mentioned above for studying for XAT, Arya studied the editorial of newspapers such as The Hindu, The Statesman, Times of India.

Best Books for XAT Logical Reasoning

  • Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

  • How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT by Arun Sharma

  • Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

  • Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning by R. S. Aggarwal

  • Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations by T.I.M.E.

Sample papers and Question papers for XAT

XAT toppers constantly emphasize on taking XAT mock tests in the form of XAT sample papers and previous years papers of XAT.

Speaking about the importance of mock tests, another XAT 2018 topper, Aditi Srivastava was of the view that the importance of the mock tests cannot be ruled out. She added, "I don’t think I would have been able to crack CAT and XAT in such a short span of time had mocks not been there."

Rebecca Yesuvadian, XAT 2018 topper also highlighted the importance of mock tests and added that taking several mock tests proved to be crucial in her success. She said, "I started giving mock tests around July. I followed the class timetable which had mock tests every alternate week for the first two months and then the mocks were conducted every week." Rebecca joined the IMS online test series and added, "They had a variety of analysis done on the tests we took, like sectional analysis, area-wise analysis, time spent, difficulty level, etc. I used their analysis to focus on the topics I didn’t score well while trying to maintain the scores on the topics I was well versed in."

Rajas Yeotikar, who secured 99.98 percentile in XAT 2017 believes that giving mock tests helps you figure out the areas in which you need improvement. Priyadarshi Dasgupta, another XAT 2017 topper who secured 99.72 percentile believes that “Just taking mocks is not enough. You must also work on the aspects that you assess in these tests. A section-wise preparation strategy and topic-wise break-up is extremely helpful and gives you an idea of what to focus on.”

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