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Best Books for CAT Preparation

One of the most important questions that every CAT aspirant wonders about is the best books for CAT Preparation. With the advent of the internet, there is a huge amount of information available and yet the credibility of the sources has come into question (is there an ulterior motive behind this recommendation?). We, at Career Launcher, have decided that this uncertainty must be put to an end now and have come up with a list of recommendations regarding the best books for CAT Preparation albeit for the basic CAT Preparation.

How to select the right CAT material?

You need to consider several factors before selecting the most relevant books for CAT preparation. There are significant number of publishers who have been generating CAT study material since inception. However, the right kind of books are the ones that have been authored as per the latest CAT pattern, syllabus and provide in depth details of all the topics across three main sections of the exam e.g VARC, DILR and QA. Here are the important parameters to select the right CAT material

Parameters Details
Newest Edition Choosing the material with newest edition helps you to get an overview of the entire syllabus. However, old editions would also work as well as the newest edition.
Relevant content books that covers most of the important topics, comes with a lot of solved examples, proper practice questions, answer key with different shortcut solving methods, past year CAT papers etc are the ones you should go for. These selection guidelines can help you sift your preferences
Reliable Publisher A publisher is reliable if the books are rich in content, trusted by students across the country and has received positive feedback since years. It is always advised to conduct your research on digital platforms like Amazon, Quora while searching for the material to attest the credibility of the publisher. Try buying books authored by a well-established CAT-veteran.

Best Books for CAT Preparation for VARC

The Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension topic is somewhat difficult to prepare for due to the unpredictable nature of it. However, there are still some books which can help you in your CAT Preparation for the Verbal section listed below:

    Word Power Made Easy- Norman Lewis
  • In order to improve your vocabulary and boost your chances of understanding the Reading Comprehension passages, Word Power Made Easy is a good book to start from. It will help in understanding the word structures and break down a complex word to get an idea of the meaning of the word. This boost in vocabulary would help in the Verbal Ability section as well since it allows the candidate to understand the statement and context better.
  • How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT- Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
  • This VARC guide comes with inbuilt mock tests, past year’s question papers and analysis of the same and defined segregation between topics related to VARC section of CAT. Arun Sharma is one of the most renowned names in the management fraternity. He is known for his lucid and fluid writing style and providing maximum readability and understanding to CAT first timers.
  • Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT- Ajay Singh
  • This VARC guide contains more than 200 passages for gaining an expertise over the RC section of CAT, in keeping with sample exam papers of CAT and other management entrance exams. The passages and the questions are strictly lined with the latest syllabus of CAT to provide maximum clarity towards basics.

Other relevant material to refer

In case you do not find any of the above-mentioned books in the market, the below mentioned replacements will be equally good and advantageous:

  1. PSC for VA for CAT by Nishit Sinha
  2. 9th and 10th Grammar Books
  3. High School English Grammar by Wren and Martin
  4. Past Years' CAT Questions by GK Publications
  5. Coaching study material

Apart from this book, practice is the best way to improve your performance in this section and in the CAT Preparation in general. Reading as much as possible would help especially when it comes to newspapers since it allows the candidate to remain knowledgeable about the happenings in the world as well (which can be helpful in the group discussion and interview rounds).

Best Books for CAT Preparation for DILR

The Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning section is even trickier than the Verbal section because of the wide variety of questions that can potentially be asked. Due to the lack of a fixed exam structure or pattern, it becomes difficult to prepare for the section.

  1. How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT - Arun Sharma
  • Arun Sharma is a well-known name amongst CAT aspirants.
  • The reason he is chosen over most authors is that a lot of his books are multipurpose and can be used to practice for other examinations including MBA examination, bank examination and civil examination.
  • The solving methods in the book have been very well brainstormed and inclusive of mock test and sample papers.
  • The book also includes several new chapters aligned to the latest examination guidelines of DILR section and includes exercises to practically understand the basics concepts related to DILR.
  1. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT - Nishit Sinha
  • Nishit Sinha has earned an immense reputation in a very short period in the CAT market.
  • His work is mainly distributed across three levels I.e Basics, moderate and advanced.
  • The topics are subdivided into fundamental and advanced types. The examples provided in the books are self-explanatory and helpful to candidates who have generally faced issues with this section.
  • The book is written in a simplified and elaborate manner to make students believe that learning concepts of Data Interpretation and logical reasoning can be an easy and eventful experience.
  1. Past year CAT papers
  • One of the best options for practicing the questions in the DILR section would be going through past CAT papers and looking out for questions that seem extremely challenging.
  • In case you are not able to solve the questions on your own, social groups like Facebook, Quora and reddit can come to your immediate rescue. This is also one of the recently discovered and a fast and reliable way to prepare for CAT
  1. Coaching Study Material
  • Believe in the study material provided by your coaching center. Such material is individually designed keeping in mind the candidate’s present situation, earnestness and the need of the hour. Such books are not thorough fare and can only be bought if the person is associated with that training center
  1. Online Mock Tests
  • Another good source of CAT Preparation in the DILR section is the mock tests that every candidate should be attempting. Solving the DILR section in the mock tests would be the perfect practice since it would allow you to solve the section in exactly the same circumstances as the actual CAT paper including the same time limit and the exhaustion after solving the VARC section before it.

Other relevant material to refer

In case you do not find any of the above-mentioned books in the market, the below mentioned replacements will be equally good and advantageous:

  1. Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency, Ananta Ashisha
  2. How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT, Arun Sharma
  3. A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning- by R.S. Aggarwal

Best Books for CAT Preparation for QA

The Quantitative Ability section is the one section which most candidates spend the most time preparing for. The major reason for this is that in this section there is a rough syllabus at least which the candidates can use to plan their preparation.

  1. How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT- Arun Sharma
  • This book includes all the topics as per the latest syllabus of CAT 2020
  • Examples mentioned in the book are good and easy to understand
  • Students can easily check their progress by attempting questions across three

main levels of in the book. I.e Basic, Intermediate and Advanced.

  1. Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT-= Nishit Sinha
  • Practice handouts across diverse mathematical topics
  • Shortcut techniques and alternate solving methods present at the end of every question
  • Categorization of questions into 5 main modules based on the level of difficulty
  1. Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT – Sarvesh Verma
  • Segregation based on various topics based on level of difficulty
  • Simple and easy to solve problems upto level 2
  • Helps in identifying and solving simple questions in CAT to score better
  • Will help strengthen fudamental approaches
  • More than one answer method for the question is provided
  • More than one solution for the question are given

Other relevant material to refer

In case you do not find any of the above-mentioned books in the market, the below mentioned replacements will be equally good and advantageous:

  • RS Aggarwal's Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations
  • Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh
  • Quantitative Aptitude for All Competitive Examinations- by Abhijit Guha

Career Launcher's Books and Materials

CL's MBA courseware is an exhaustive offering for MBA/CAT 2020 aspirants, who intend to do self-preparation. The material is being updated every year based on the changes in the actual examination and has been a dependable & trusted aid amongst the MBA aspirants.

  • Printed books and material, being dispatched in 4 packets
  • Video solutions to certain seemingly difficult questions delivered by CL Gurus GP, Shivku, GB, Tarun and Saral. (Faculties of Night Classes)
  • Concepts explained in detail followed by practice questions both solved and unsolved.
  • Practice questions graded for difficulty level.
  • Online support for doubt handling through email.


. Most of the syllabus of the QA section is derived from Class 9 and 10 Mathematics, so establishing your command over these textbooks is generally a good way to begin the CAT Preparation for QA.

The other sources of practice for QA would be similar to the DILR and VARC sections. The study materials from the coaching classes and the past CAT Papers can be used as practice material to ensure that you are as prepared as possible.


Just like there is no perfect study plan, there are no best books for CAT Preparation but there is enough material available to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the CAT Exam. After all, the CAT Exam is as much a test of wit as it is of dedication and preparation.

To have a look at the best books for CAT Preparation compiled by Career Launcher, please click on this link.