CAT 2017 - Must read books for preparation

CAT 2017 - Must read books for preparation

To prepare for an exam, books are the best source as they enhance knowledge and provide insights about a topic. Preparing for a highly competitive exam like CAT,  aspirants often face the problem of plenty. There is no dearth of books and resources, but to choose the right one, and preparing strategically along with adequate practice is the key to success.

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CAT 2017 is likely to be announced on the fourth Sunday of July and the CAT application process is expected to begin from the first week of August. Following last year's trend, CAT 2017 will be conducted tentatively in the first week of December 2017. With few months left for the big test day, it is time to roll up the sleeves and plan out a strategic CAT study plan. But one must also be cautious in selecting the right books. Careers360 bring to you the must read books for CAT preparation for its three different sections namely, Quantitative Aptitude (QA), Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DI & LR) and Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC). 


Not only us, or the experts, even CAT toppers suggest preparing from the available books. Abishake Kaul, CAT Topper, to prepare for his weak section in CAT, prepared from books and solved the practice papers of the books. He says, “The best strategy to prepare for your weaker section is to follow a book. I followed Arun Sharma for QA and also practised from the same”.


When it comes to books, there are some highly recommended authored material for beginner and advanced level preparations'. Let us have a look at the some of the books cum study material available for different sections of CAT. These will support you to have CAT section wise preparation in the best possible way. 


Top Books for Quantitative Ability (QA):


This section tests the problem-solving approach of the aspirants. With high difficulty level, QA covers topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Number System, Modern Mathematics and other questions related to Higher Maths. The top books to prepare for this section of CAT are:

  1. Arun Sharma’s ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Ability for CAT’, published by Tata McGraw Hill- This book is most recommended for CAT aspirants to prepare for QA section. The book follows the latest pattern of CAT with a focus on one of the most important components of the CAT exam is Quantitative Aptitude. Each chapter has questions at the end that have been split up into three sections, based on the level of difficulty. Mock papers are also available in this book.

  2. Arun Sharma’s The Complete CAT Digest, by Tata McGraw-Hill, is a must-have for any CAT aspirant. It covers the basics of CAT entrance examination with the QA examination as its main focus.

  3. How to Prepare for the CAT Common Admissions Test by Muhamed Muneer, published by Om Books, is another book that is simple and easy to understand, and has mock tests and solved CAT papers from previous years.

  4. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha (Tata McGraw-Hill) has a comprehensive step-by-step problem-solving guide.

  5. Quantitative Aptitude for CAT and Other MBA Entrance Exams by Trishna Knowledge Systems (Pearson) has many practice exercises in increasing difficulty for a gradual transition.

Top Books for Verbal and Reading Comprehension (VRC):



This section basically tests the English language skills of the test takers. The question types are divided into two parts, Reading Comprehension and English Usage. The English Usage questions can be further classified into Vocabulary, Grammar and Verbal Reasoning. Top books to prepare for this section are:

  1. How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay (Tata McGraw-Hill) is a workbook with practice questions and tips based on previous CAT papers.

  2. Nishit Sinha’s The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning (Pearson) covers a wide range of topics explained in an easy-to-understand manner.

  3. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.

  4. Barron’s Pocket Guide to Vocabulary.

Top Books for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR):


 The questions from this area are mainly in the form of caselets. The test takers have to analyse the data given in various ways and answer the questions. The topics covered in this area are Data Arrangement, Seating Arrangement, Blood Relations, Bar Graph, Data Sufficiency etc. The books to refer include:

  1. How to Prepare for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning for CAT (Tata McGraw-Hill) by Arun Sharma covers all the fundamental concepts of Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning.

  2. Trishna's Verbal Ability And Logical Reasoning For The CAT And Other MBA Examinations by TIME Publisher: Pearson

CAT Facts:


The Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most coveted MBA entrance exam. CAT is a computer-based test has a dynamic exam pattern, which changes every year. Last year the CAT was taken by over 1.95 lakh candidates for admissions to various management programmes. Last year, the CAT was conducted by IIM Bangalore. The number of applicants also increased to a seven-year high, to 2,32,434. Although, it is expected that there will be no changes in the test pattern and the number of applicants and test takers will also increase. 


Also Read:

CAT Exam Pattern

10 Tips to Crack CAT

CAT Topper Strategies

How to utilize group studies


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First Published On : 25 Sep 2015 05:59 PM IST
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Urvashi Dalal

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