Best Books for CAT Preparation 2023

Updated on 4th April 2023 | 17:00 pm | #CATPreparationBooks

What are the best books for CAT preparation? This is a question that students often have when they begin their CAT journey. There is an added confusion owing to the wide variety of books and study material online. So to help you save time and effort, we have collated a list of the best books to aid you in the preparation of each section.

However, before getting to the list, aspirants should understand the guidelines to choosing the books best suited for their preparation. As preparation books are often quite similar in the content and resources provided, an aspirant's own preparation level and understanding of the material should guide the selection of books for CAT prep.

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How to select the best books for CAT Preparation?

You need to consider several factors before deciding which are the best books for CAT Preparation. There is a 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 and syllabus. They must also 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 that should be kept in mind when creating a booklist for CAT preparation-

Parameters Details

Latest Edition

Choosing the material with the latest edition helps you to get an overview of the entire syllabus. Though old editions would also work, they might not include the most recent changes in the syllabus or exam pattern.

Relevant content

books that cover most of the important topics, come with a lot of solved examples, proper practice questions, answer keys 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 have received positive feedback for years. It is always advised to conduct your research on digital platforms like Amazon and Quora while searching for the material to attest to the publisher's credibility. Try buying books authored by a well-established CAT-veteran.

Best Books for CAT Preparation: VARC Section

1. 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 your preparation.
  • It will help in understanding the word structures and break down a complex word to explain the meaning of the word.
  • Thus it will boost vocabulary and help in the Verbal Ability section since it allows the candidate to understand the statement and context better.

2. 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, previous years’ question papers and analysis of the same.
  • It also offers defined segregation between topics related to the 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 for providing maximum readability and understanding to CAT first-timers.

3. Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT- Ajay Singh

  • This VARC guide contains more than 200 passages for gaining expertise in the RC section of CAT.
  • It contains various sample exam papers for 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 the basics.

Other Books for VARC

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:



PSC for VA for CAT

Nishit Sinha

High School English Grammar

Wren and Martin

Past Years' CAT Questions

GK Publications

A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning

R.S. Aggarwal

9th and 10th Grammar Books

Apart from these books, 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 current affairs in the world as well (which can be helpful in the group discussion and interview rounds).

Best Books for CAT Preparation: DILR Section

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 include mock tests and sample papers.
  • The book also includes several new chapters aligned to the latest examination guidelines of the DILR section and includes exercises to practically understand the basic 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 fast and reliable ways 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.
  • These books are not a thoroughfare 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 Books for DILR

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



A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning

R.S. Aggarwal

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Gautam Puri

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT


Best Books for CAT Preparation: QA Section

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

1. How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma

  • This book includes all the topics as per the latest syllabus of CAT
  • Examples mentioned in the book are good and easy to understand
  • Students can easily check their progress by attempting questions across three main levels in the book i.e. Basic, Intermediate and Advanced.

2. 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

3. Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT – Sarvesh Verma

  • Segregation based on various topics based on level of difficulty
  • Simple and easy to solve problems up to level 2
  • Helps in identifying and solving simple questions in CAT to score better
  • Simple and easy to solve problems up to level 2
  • More than one answer method for the question is provided
  • More than one solution for the question are given

Other Books for QA

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:



Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations

RS Aggarwal

Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Ajay Singh

Quantitative Aptitude for All Competitive Examinations

Abhijit Guha

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.

Importance of Choosing the Ideal Booklist for CAT Preparation

It goes without saying that a relevant list of books will help a candidate prepare well. However, here are a number of reasons why you should invest time in choosing the best books for CAT preparation.

  • The latest CAT books will keep in mind the changes in exam patterns and syllabus and accommodate them in the book.
  • The right books will save you unnecessary time in reading and preparing owing to their accuracy and good explanations.
  • A strong booklist for CAT preparation means you will identify weak spots easily and improve quickly based on the guidelines and tricks that the authors teach you.
  • Most of the books contain mock papers and previous years’ papers indicating that the candidates will be getting insight into their preparation and the paper’s expectations.
  • Fundamentals and basic concepts must be extremely clear before diving into practice questions. These books will strengthen your foundation and help you score well in the exam.

Career Launcher's Books and Materials

CL's MBA courseware is an exhaustive offering for MBA/CAT 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 for 750+ questions
  • 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.


Just like there is no perfect study plan, there is no one set of best books for CAT Preparation but there is enough material available to ensure that you are adequately prepared. 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.

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