List of Important CAT Preparation Books

Important CAT Preparation BooksA lot of candidates ask me about the important CAT Preparation books to be referred while preparing for CAT. They are also confused about whether to join any coaching center or not. If yes, then which CAT coaching institute to join.

In this post, I will try to clear these doubts. I will give you important books list for CAT Preparation. Also, I will share some good resources/material which will help you a lot in your CAT preparation.

I have included links to most of the books & resources. This list is the latest list of books updated for CAT 2016 preparation.

List of Important CAT Preparation Books

Quantitative Ability

There are two good books for Quantitative Ability. Practicing only one of these is enough for your preparation.

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

This is the most popular book for quant preparation. It is a very good book with questions segregated into different difficulty levels.

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT For Admission into IIMs by Sarvesh K. Verma

This is another good book. It was suggested to me by a friend and I referred this book for my Quant preparation.

 

Verbal Ability

This is the most important section of CAT which becomes the reason for unexpected CAT scores. Following books should be referred for this section.

Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

This is the most important book of your entire CAT preparation. Read it from end-to-end as per the instructions in the book and your vocab would never be the same.

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay

This is a good book for Verbal Ability and can be used as the base reference.

Apart from these two, you will also need to refer to study material for Verbal preparation which I will explain later in this article.

 

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

DI & LR are very scoring sections of CAT and should be handled very efficiently. I have listed three books here- two individual books for DI & LR each, and one book for both DI & LR. Do not get all three. Either get first two books, or the third one.

How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT by Arun Sharma

This book by Arun Sharma is a popular choice for DI.

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

This is a book on Logical Reasoning by Arun Sharma.

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT by Nishit K. Sinha

This is a good book which covers both the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. You can practice DI & LR questions from this book.

 

Previous Year’s Papers

Once you get through the basics, start practicing previous year’s papers. It will give you a good idea about the exam.
There is one book with last 25 years question papers published by Career Launcher which may be useful.

CAT (Common Admission Test) Topicwise solved papers 1990-2015

 

Study Material

Apart from books, you can use the study material of any one good coaching institute. No need to collect material from multiple institutes. I would recommend either to use TIME material or Career Launcher’s. I used TIME material and it was good.

For quant you will get a lot of questions in various books. But the study material is very much beneficial for Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning. Try to practice all the questions from these topics.

The study material can be bought from the websites of these institutes or from the local market.

 

Bonus Material

I have no information about Erudite, but I found this CAT Preparation material from Erudite on Amazon and it has good reviews. In case you are unable to get material from other coaching centers, you can buy this from Amazon.

 

Coaching vs Self Study

A lot of students are in dilemma whether to join any coaching or not. Coaching is usually good to ensure regularity in our preparation. However, in case you are working or have less time to spare, you can do without it.

Working candidates with limited time can either opt for weekend classes or no coaching at all. Exhausting yourself too much with added burden of coaching will not help.

For college students and non-working candidates, coaching is recommended.

Regarding CAT coaching institute, you can join any good coaching center available in your area. Some of them are TIME, Career Launcher, IMS etc.

 

Here is my detailed article about How to start preparing for CAT.

 

More Digital Resources (To be updated)

I have some additional digital resources which I will share with you shortly. I will update this article with the link of those resources. (Please check back in some time for the same)

I hope this information would prove useful to you and you will crack the CAT and secure a seat in an IIM.

All The Best.

How to start preparing for CAT (IIM)

How to start preparing for CATHow to start preparing for CAT? As mentioned by many, CAT (Common Admission Test) is one of the toughest exam to crack. It is the gateway to getting into prestigious IIMs and other top B-schools of India. A lot of CAT aspirants ask me how to prepare for CAT. Here I am sharing a few tips which I feel helped me in cracking this exam.

Understand the syllabus

This is a useful tip for almost any exam. Understand the syllabus by going through past year’s papers and official guidelines. CAT can be segmented into four broad parts-

  • Quantitative Ability
  • Data Interpretation
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Verbal Ability

The concepts used in this examination are broadly of class 10 level. However, the questions are little bit tricky to solve and require good amount of logical thinking. But it can be developed by practice.

Begin with the end in mind

Start your preparation with sheer determination. Whenever you feel demotivated, you can dream about the day when you will crack the exam and it will definitely motivate you. March-April is a good time to start preparation for the exam which will be held in October-November.

Should you join coaching?

This is based on a lot of things. If you have a lot of time, you can go for coaching. However, if you are into a hectic job and get very little time to study, you can prepare on your own without wasting that time in going to coaching. Coaching will only give you guidance. Rest depends on how sincerely you practice.

Also, the syllabus of this exam does not require any special training. Most of the things we already study in our school. There are few concepts which can be revised from books and other material. Rest is a lot of practice.

Books and material

First of all, get CAT preparation material of some good coaching institute.

For Quant, there are two good books- Arun Sharma & Sarvesh Varma. You can refer to any of these. I referred the latter one as suggested by one of my friends. However, I think the former is more popular with the students. Both the books are good. But don’t buy both. No need to unnecessary collect a lot of books & material. If you have limited time, solving one book is enough. Go for the second book only when you have finished the entire syllabus.

No special book for concepts of Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability. You can rely on the coaching material for all the concepts and can solve all the practice questions. However, you can refer to some books on these topics only after you finish the entire syllabus.

For verbal, you also need to read “Word Power made Easy” by Norman Lewis. It is a very good book which helps in increasing vocabulary not by memorising stuff, but by understanding the ideas behind the words. It is distributed into 45-47 sessions meant to be read one at a time. It is a must-read book and should be completed within two months of starting your preparation.

You also need to read a few good story books as explained in the next point.

That’s it. Yes, you do not need any other book for concepts. This much is enough.

Note- For detailed list of important books, please refer my post “List of Important Books for CAT Preparation“.

Reading, reading & reading

Many students, specially engineers are already good at quant but perform badly in verbal. Earlier, CAT was heavily based on vocab and grammar concepts. But these days, it is more of a general English exam which tests one’s command over English in common usage. You should be very much familiar with English.

The only way to improve your verbal score is to read a lot of good books written in standard English. These can be fiction, non-fiction or anything, just written in good English. I have already written a blog post regarding this. You can read it here: How to develop the habit of reading. I have also mentioned the example books there. Reading 4-6 books during your preparation would increase your familiarity with English and you can easily score good.

Test Series

This is like the Holy Grail of CAT preparation. Subscribe to one good Test Series and write all the tests very sincerely in simulated environment. Fix a day, say Sunday, fix a time, say 9 AM, and give the test every week at the same time. Sit in proper position while attempting the test and tell all your roommates or family members not to disturb you at that time.

Once you write 15-20 such tests, CAT will no longer be a stranger to you. When you will sit for actual CAT, you will feel as if you have done this a lot of times and it will help you to remain confident during the exam.

Most coaching institutes try to set the Mock Question paper to be as near to the real exam as possible. Subscribe to a test series which is more difficult than actual CAT. You may find it difficult to score good in the mock tests. But it will boost your confidence when you will find the actual CAT to be easier than the mock tests. Many good test series are available.

News coverage for post-CAT preparation

Once you clear CAT, you need to qualify the Personality Test rounds of various colleges which include Group Discussions, Written Tests and Personal Interviews. Qualifying CAT makes you eligible to attend this stage and its your performance in these rounds which finally help you getting selected. Preparing for this stage immediately after CAT result can be difficult. Try to follow the basic news in your daily life from today itself. This will ease down the load of preparation for Personality Test rounds and boost up your confidence as well.


And that is all. I followed these things and I feel it helped me to get through this exam (Scored 99.41 percentile in CAT). I hope these tips will help you in preparing well for CAT. All the best for getting into an IIM!

You can also refer to my detailed interview published in a MBA preparation magazine (Careers360) here: http://www.bschool.careers360.com/cat-topper-interview-iim-student-abhineet-mittal-shares-cat-preparation-tips

Note: I have not suggested any particular coaching center for coaching, material or test series because I do not know names of a lot of coaching centers. I know only two which are TIME and Career Launcher. I subscribed to TIME Test Series and referred to CAT preparation material from TIME. But I have heard that Career Launcher is equally good and you can refer to that as well. It all depends on your convenience and availability in your area.

How to develop the habit of reading

How to Develop Reading HabitFrom our childhood we are told that reading habit is a very good habit. Specially, if you are preparing for any competitive exam like CAT, GMAT, GRE or even UPSC (it now has a paper with questions on reading comprehension), you must read a lot of books written in English. In this context, from here on, by reading I mean reading books written in English language.

Why Reading Habit is good?

Reading improves our comprehension as well knowledge. Reading a lot of good books makes us familiar with English language and we no more need to memorize grammar rules to find out if any sentence is wrong. It is the same way as a child learns his native language just listening to his parents and not by learning grammar rules.

Once a respected gentlemen rightly said that to write well, you need to read a lot. So, apart from helping us to understand what others write, reading is also essential to express our thoughts in good words and proper language.

But what if someone doesn’t read at all? What if mere thought of reading a book makes you yawn? Is there any way to develop this habit, easily?

Well, all big things in life require some amount of work. However, there are few ways to do it the right way so that you get maximum benefit in minimum amount of time. And obviously, you need to be motivated enough and self-determined to maintain a disciplined schedule, atleast when you begin.

I was not exactly a reading buff. Though I read books every once in a while, I was not the kind of guy who reads scores of books every month and asks for even more. Every time I finished a book, it used to be an achievement for me. But during my CAT preparation, I realized that I need to read a lot and I was actually able to read a lot of books during that time. How? I followed a simple approach.

Pick the right book

First of all, reading here does not mean reading “anything”. I am no one to criticize Chetan Bhagat for his books. He writes books in simple, lucid language to be easily understood by anyone. But for the kind of competitive exams mentioned above, those books may not help you. You need to read something with a higher level of English. Books of famous English authors written in standard English is a good point to start with.

Pick a book from a famous author, an interesting one. You can pick J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books or Dan Brown’s books like DaVinci Code, Angel and Demons etc. There are many more authors like John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Stephen King, you can pick any of their books based on your interest. This is because once you get involved with the story of the book, you would like to continue reading it, even if you find the English difficult or boring.

Stick to a simple schedule & Take it easy while reading the first book

Now make a schedule to read for 15-20 minutes every day before you go to bed. Yes, this much is enough to begin with. Whatever happens, read for some time everyday before you go to sleep. Slowly your reading time will increase as you will get involved with the story. Don’t worry even if you do not understand many words. No need to look them up in a dictionary. Just try to understand the meaning from the context and move ahead. Referring dictionary continuously will obstruct the flow and make reading boring. Completing a book is more important at this time.

Level up once you cross the milestone

After 1-2 months of this when you finish reading your first book, you will definitely feel accomplished. You would also have developed at least some interest in reading. Now you can refer to difficult words while reading the next book. You can also read using an ebook reader as it is very easy to look-up words in these devices without breaking the flow of reading. You just need to touch the word and its meaning pops up.

Finally, keep it going

Slowly and gradually you can read more and more books. Finishing each book, will boost your confidence and as you go on, you will get familiar with more words making it easier for you to understand and time to finish a book will keep on decreasing. If all goes well, by this time, you would have developed the habit to read books. It will be no longer a far-fetched dream.


The method described above may not be the best way to develop this habit but it worked pretty well for me.

I hope you too find this useful. Feel free to leave feedback or suggestion in the comments section below.


Additionally, if you are preparing for CAT, you may find following links useful-

For CAT Preparation, you can refer to my article here- How to start preparing for CAT (IIM)

List of most important books for CAT Preparation- List of Important CAT Preparation Books