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CAT Books 2021: Check Section Wise Books for QA, VARC, DILR and Topper Suggestions

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Shekhar Sumann

Exams Prep Master | Updated On - Nov 10, 2021

CAT Books are very helpful while preparing for the exam. Candidates can refer to Arun Sharma CAT Books like How to Prepare for DILR/ QA/ VARC for CAT. CAT aspirants are advised to choose books that have been updated according to the latest exam pattern and syllabus only. Check CAT Exam Pattern 2021

Also, candidates may decide the right CAT book by checking what the toppers have referred to for each subject. CAT books should also contain topic-wise solved and unsolved questions for practice. Most of the toppers also suggest Pearson Guide for Verbal Ability as well as CAT books by Nishit Sinha. Check CAT Syllabus 2021

Read the article to know more about CAT Books for preparation and books suggested by toppers. 

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CAT Books Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma CAT Books

Arun Sharma CAT Books for preparation are one of the best ones available in the market. Majorly because his books are available for all three sections that form part of CAT exam pattern. Here are some of the key features of CAT preparation books by Arun Sharma:

  • Arun Sharma CAT books consists of present and past pattern of CAT along with the key changes marked.
  • The book is constantly updated with new chapters, topics, exercises and the replica questions along with the approach to answering these questions.
  • There is a conceptual clarity on each topic along with fundamentals explained. All the books by Arun Sharma include topic-wise quizzes and practice questions.
  • There are separate books available for each VARC, DILR and Quant so that student can focus on the weak topics individually.
  • All the books also previous year topic-wise CAT questions for practice and better understanding.
Section Book Author Publication
VARC How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT Arun Sharma & Meenakshi Upadhyay McGraw Hill Publication
DILR How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma McGraw Hill Publication
DILR How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT Arun Sharma McGraw Hill Publication
Quant How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Arun Sharma McGraw Hill Publication

CAT Books by Nishit K. Sinha

Books from Nishit K Sinha are also quite popular among CAT aspirants. The book is available for each of three sections. It also has up-to-date CAT pattern and questions. 

  • Previous year questions along with detailed answers are present. 
  • The speciality of the books by Nishit K. Sinha is that each book focuses on conceptual clarity. The questions and the solutions are well explained in detail. 
  • Students can find a lot of practice questions which may help them to get an understanding of a variety of questions
Section Book Author Publication
VARC Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT Nishit K. Sinha Pearson Publication
DILR Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation for CAT Nishit K. Sinha Pearson Publication
Quant Quantitative Aptitude for CAT Nishit K. Sinha Pearson Publication


CAT Books for VARC 2021

In order to seek admission into the top management colleges such as IIMs, it is essential to have a good preparation strategy for CAT. To cover all topics, one must choose the best CAT books for self learning.

1. How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

Author Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay
Publisher McGraw Hill Education
Latest Edition Eighth Edition
ISBN 9789353160197

CAT Book Analysis

  • This book not just helps in VARC preparation for CAT, but also is a one-step solution for other MBA exams like XAT, IIFT, CMAT etc.
  • The latest CAT pattern is followed and is updated regularly.
  • The book is full of practice tests with detailed solutions.
  • Proper analysis is done for the past year papers.
  • It is written in a lucid manner along with topic-wise segregation.

Download CAT VARC Practice Papers

2. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

Author Nishit K. Sinha
Publisher Pearson
Latest Edition Third Edition
ISBN 9332570027

CAT Book Analysis

  • This book is one of the recommended books by experts for CAT preparation.
  • There is a hierarchical order of difficulty in practice exercise which helps the student to test his preparation level. It also helps recognize the weak areas that need attention.
  • It is counted among the best CAT prep books. It is a comprehensive book for aspirants aiming for CAT, XAT, SNAP and IIFT.
  • The book is presented in a crisp, clear and compact manner.
  • Test papers of other exams are also provided with an extensive solution.

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3. Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Author Ajay Singh
Publisher Arihant
Latest Edition Eleventh Edition
ISBN 9312145754

CAT Book Analysis

  • The book includes all types of questions with detailed solutions as per the latest exam pattern of all the MBA entrance exams.
  • It contains the management entrance solved papers from 2016 onwards for MAT, CAT, IIFT, SNAP, XAT and others
  • The book is comprehensive and will help the student improve performance in English Language Section for all MBA exams.
  • It has more than 200 passages for extensive practice.


CAT Books for DILR

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation tests a candidate’s ability to think fast and solve tricky questions. Must Read: CAT Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning Preparation

CAT Important Books

1. How to prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT

Author Arun Sharma
Publisher McGraw Hill Education
Latest Edition Sixth Edition
ISBN 9353167140

CAT Book Analysis

  • The book is written according to the latest CAT pattern and syllabus.
  • It is a one-stop solution for all other MBA entrance exams like XAT, IIFT, SNAP etc.
  • The exercises are designed in a manner which boosts thinking in a logical manner.
  • All the new chapters are included. It also has the latest mock test papers for extensive practice.
  • Shortcut, tips and tricks are present to solve each type of questions.
  • Questions on Data Sufficiency are one of the best explained in this book. It contains a variety of questions in this area.

2. How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT

Author Arun Sharma
Publisher McGraw Hill Education
Latest Edition Fifth Edition
ISBN 9353167132

CAT Book Analysis

  • It offers a simple and well-defined approach to get an idea of LR topics.
  • It is one of the best CAT prep books which has a lot of exercises and different types of questions in each topic.
  • The best thing about this book is that it has the concept of Reaction tracker which helps us to solve a particular LR problem.
  • There are practice questions with varying difficulty as per revised CAT exam pattern.
  • This book also has reasoning questions from IIFT and XAT with detailed solutions.

Download CAT Logical Reasoning Practice Papers

3. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT

Author Nishit K. Sinha
Publisher Pearson
Latest Edition Sixth Edition
ISBN 9386873516

CAT Book Analysis

  • It is one of the books suggested by toppers which covers both LR and DI parts of CAT.
  • The book has all the fundamental and advanced DI topics along with detailed cases.
  • Each chapter is followed by exercise which provides clarity on the concepts.
  • The book is self-sufficient for other MBA exams like XAT, SNAP, IIFT etc.
  • The book also contains 5 section tests in a CD for practice.
  • There are more than 2500 solved DILR questions with varying difficulty.

CAT Books QA

CAT Books for Quantitative Aptitude

CAT Preparetion books

This is a tough section compared to the other 2. Quant for CAT books include:

1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Author Arun Sharma
Publisher McGraw Hill Education
Latest Edition Eighth Edition
ISBN 9353160180

CAT Book Analysis

  • Among all CAT prep books by Arun Sharma, this book is the best for Quantitative Aptitude and is highly recommended by toppers and experts.
  • The book clarifies on fundamentals and also guides to the approach towards questions of higher difficulty level. The detailed explanation is easy to understand.
  • It has the latest trends of questions which are useful for all MBA entrance exams.
  • One of the best parts is that the author explains how to use the elimination process for a quick answer to save time.
  • Mock test papers are available with extensive solutions.

Must Read: CAT Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Strategy

2. Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT

Author Sarvesh K. Varma
Publisher Arihant
Latest Edition Tenth Edition
ISBN 9313195283

CAT Book Analysis

  • Among the Arihant CAT books, Quantum CAT is one of the most popular and recommended books. The book has more than 300 concepts of quant section explained.
  • The book is rated as one of the best books for Quantitative aptitude. The latest edition has more than 4000 solved questions.
  • The book gives an easy approach to the problems and is recommended by many toppers.
  • The book contains the tips and shortcuts to approach CAT questions for all the topics.

Download CAT Quantitative Aptitude Practice Papers

3. Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Author Nishit K. Sinha
Publisher Pearson
Latest Edition Fourth Edition
ISBN 9332570019

CAT Book Analysis

  • The book has all the major topics of CAT syllabus explained in detail. It also has some tips and strategies along with analysis of each problem.
  • This book has a huge question bank for practice.
  • The difficulty of the questions varies in each topic for benchmarking. The new edition is one of the best and recommended by toppers.
  • The book also contains a CD with 5 online tests for practice.

NCERT Books to Refer for CAT Preparation

NCERT books are a good way to start CAT preparation if you need to clear your basic concepts. The NCERT mathematics class 6-10 books may help you to learn some useful basics. But remember that only start your preparation from NCERT books if you have a lot of time in hand before the exam. It may be useful to brush up some concepts to go ahead with the advanced problems. If you have limited time to study, it is recommended that you should go ahead with other publications books as mentioned.

Must Read News

Newspapers to Refer

Newspapers to Refer for CAT Preparation 2021

It is also recommended that aspirants should read newspapers and journals to improve reading comprehension skills. Reading these materials will help to get a strong command over the English language which in turn will help in the VARC section.

  • The Hindu
  • Time
  • Business Week
  • Newsweek
  • The Economist
  • National Geographic
  • Fortune
  • Business World

Topper Tips on the selection of CAT Books

Previous year CAT toppers have also recommended the best books for preparation. Before the suggestion, the toppers advised on the following books:

  • Always get to the conceptual depth on every topic of CAT.
  • You should have only one or two good CAT preparation books.
  • Don’t forget to solve the exercises, practice questions are given after each topic in the preparation books. Also, give mock tests regularly.
  • Do focus on the weak areas and try to solve as many questions on those topics.

CAT topper, Akshay Mehndiratta, who is currently at IIM Ahmedabad and other students in IIM Calcutta with 99+ percentile like Shivam Shrivastava, Anjali Sam, Nikita Choudhary etc. recommend the following books and strategy for the exam. The recommendations from CAT toppers on CAT preparation books are:

  • Read the articles and editorials in the newspaper regularly. It will help improve your RC skills.
  • Keep focusing on your weak areas and solve more practice questions and mocks.
  • Keep the fundamentals clear.
  • The books that are recommended for CAT preparation are the books by Arun Sharma and Nishit K. Sinha.
  • Always go for the latest edition of CAT preparation books.
  • DILR section is practice-based. Hence, solve a lot of practice questions in this section.
  • If you are taking coaching, use CAT preparation material provided by the institute.
  • If you are stuck on a particular topic in a book, don’t waste time on it. Move on and solve other questions.

Must Read:

CAT Books FAQs

CAT Books 2021 FAQs 

Ques: What are the best books recommended for CAT?

Ans: Some of the best books for CAT preparation are by Arun Sharma and Nishit K Sinha. All three books by Arun Sharma for VARC, DILR and QA are highly recommended.

Ques: Should I take up coaching for CAT preparation?

Ans: No. It is not necessary to take coaching. There is enough material available for CAT preparation like reference books, online material and test series if candidates are willing to prepare via self study.

Ques: Is study material provided by coaching centre necessary while preparing for CAT?

Ans: No. You can refer to other material like books from different authors. These books can be a great source for preparation.

Ques: Which are the other sources for CAT preparation?

Ans: There is a lot of material online available which is also free. Apart from this, online test series for mocks is a great way of learning. Other paid online coaching may also be helpful.

Ques: How much time do I need for CAT preparation?

Ans: There is no definite answer to that. The time depends on your current knowledge of CAT concepts. However, a good 7-8 months of preparation can help you get great results.

Ques: What are some of the best colleges to target after writing CAT?

Ans: Some of the top IIMs which accept CAT score are IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow, Indore, etc. Some other top colleges are FMS, SP Jain, MDI also accept CAT score.

Ques: What is the CAT fee structure?

Ans: For the past three years, the fee for CAT is Rs 1700/- (general category) and Rs 850/- (reserved category). The application mode is online.

Ques: Is there General Awareness section in CAT?

Ans: XAT, IIFT, SNAP, TISSNET, CMAT, MAT exams have GK section. CAT does not have a GK section mentioned in the exam pattern it only covers Qunats, DILR and VARC. But candidates are judged on their awareness skills during WAT/PI rounds.

Ques: Is a calculator allowed in CAT?

Ans: No, you cannot bring your own calculator. However, one on-screen calculator is present in CAT exam.

Ques: Is there any age restriction for giving CAT?

Ans: No, there is no age limit for giving the CAT, candidates fulfilling academic eligibilitycriteria can appear for the exam.

Ques: When does the CAT take place?

Ans: CAT is generally scheduled in the 3rd week of November every year by any one of the third generation IIM asa convening body. It is conducted online by TCS group.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.


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