CAT is an online test the IIMs conduct as the first step into admission in Graduate Management Programs.

The test has three sections:

  • Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VA/RC)
  • Quantitative Ability (QA)
  • Data Interpretation and Logical Ability (DI/LR)

The sections are independent, and candidates must score well in each area. B-schools mandate both overall and sectional cut-offs to qualify for the WAT/GD/PI round.

What should students follow in the run-up to the CAT?

How do Ninety-nine plus hundred percentilers and manage good scores in the CAT?

While understanding the concept is a crucial step to the preparation, reading, and mock-test taking are equally important too.

Which books prepare the CAT taker for the test?

There is no one-stop solution — students must prepare for each section by reading books on the various topics. In addition, there are numerous books and web material. However, some books serve as the best reference for almost all entrance tests, including the CAT.

Quantitative Ability


Book name




NCERT Mathematics books (Class 6-10)


●NCERT Mathematics books are relevant for students of non-Science background

●They help in grasping basic concepts and theorems to solve advanced-level Math.


How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT

Arun Sharma

CAT aspirants swear by Arun Sharma’s books.

● The book covers all the quant topics for CAT 2021

● It provides elaborative examples.

● It comes in three difficulty levels.


Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations

Abhijit Guha

● Abhijit Guha’s book is a comprehensive resource for Quant preparation

●It also helps in preparing for other MBA entrance tests.


Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT

Sarvesh Verma

Sarvesh Sharma’s book is quite helpful for students from non-math backgrounds or those who find QA difficult.

● The book covers topic-wise division and practice tests.

● It provides more than one solution for the questions.


Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Nishit Sinha

An IIM Lucknow alumnus and CAT expert, Nishit Sinha, has written a book that is one of the best sources to understand advanced concepts and applications. 

●The book contains practice tests with different difficulty levels.

● It provides questions with solutions.

● It comes in five modules.


Quantitative Aptitude

R S Aggarwal

Aspirants have followed R S Aggarwal’s book on QA since 1989.

● It covers all the quant topics for CAT prep.

● It also provides over 5500 questions with answers for practice.


Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 


Book name




A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning

R S Aggarwal

R S Aggarwal’s book is a boon for beginners who need to start with the basic LR concepts.


Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT

Nishit Sinha

● The book has five sectional tests.

● It covers topics other than competitive exams as well.

●It provides 500+ solved DILR questions and self-assessment tests and model questions for SNAP, XAT, and IIFT.


How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT

Arun Sharma

● The book takes students through the latest CAT syllabus

●It provides Quick and accurate problem-solving methods.

● It includes new chapters.

It covers mock tests and sample papers for better understanding.

● It covers topics for other competitive exams as well.


How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT

Arun Sharma

● The book covers both topics of Data Interpretation and Data Sufficiency.

● It also exercises in boosting logical skills.

● It provides sample questions, previous years’ CAT questions, and model test papers.


CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Gautam Puri

●The book provides advanced-level topics and solved problems.

It also contains five mock tests and topic-wise solved CAT papers of the past fifteen years.


Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension. 


Book name




How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT

Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay

● The book covers chapters lucidly.

● It provides mock tests.

● It comes with analyses of past years’ papers.

● It has topic-wise segregation.


Mastering the Verbal Ability for CAT

Ajay Singh

● The book has over 200 passages for better preparation.

● It contains Test papers of other B-School exams.

● It covers the topics extensively as per the CAT syllabus.


Word Power Made Easy

Norman Lewis

● The book improves users’ Vocabulary

● It provides the origins of words by explaining roots, prefixes, and suffixes

● It covers correct usage of words

● It contains review exercises at the end of chapters

● It has oriented sections


Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT

Nishit Sinha

● This book contains the latest topics and exercises of VARC.

● It provides five mock tests, over 2000 solved questions and seven years’ solved CAT question papers.


30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary

Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster

●The book provides material for developing Vocabulary and usage

● It helps in improving pronunciation with simple exercises and self-tests.

The books mentioned so far would suffice in preparation for the QA and DI/LR sections. However, the RC section contains passages that cover a wide range of topics. Tackling RC questions call for a dedicated reading of newspapers, magazines, journals, and books. Reading varied daily newspaper columns, including the editorials, pays off in comprehending the passage in a limited time.

Reading both fiction and non-fiction improves a student’s grasping skills and enhances speed too. Here is a list of books to strengthen comprehension skills:

Name of the Book



Animal Farm

George Orwell



George Orwell



Carl Sagan


War & Peace

Leo Tolstoy



James Joyce


An Illustrated Retelling of Mahabharta – Jaya

Devdutt Patnaik

Mythology & Management

India in Slow Motions

Mark Tully


Capitalism & Freedom

Milton Friedman


Maximum City

Suketu Mehta

City Life – Mumbai


David Gregory Roberts

Autobiography – City Life

The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho


To Kill A Mockingbird

Harper Lee


Wings of Fire

APJ Abdul Kalam



David Gregory Roberts

Autobiography – City Life

The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy


A Brief History Of Time

Stephen Hawking


The Hard Thing About Hard Thing

Ben Horowitz


Three Men in a Boat

Jerome K Jerome


Having a good prep strategy is the first step in the right direction & getting your study material right will just help you have a clear version of what you need to work with.

To know more about CAT 2021 & to gain more insights on CAT Prep 2021, Join: ?CAT Exam 2020-21 Preparation, Exam Dates, Results & Discussion – PaGaLGuY

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