Best Books for CAT Exam: The Detailed List

  • By Bhavya Thakkar
  • 25 July 2022
Best Books for CAT Exam: The Detailed List

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Best books to buy for CAT Exam: The detailed list

There is a wide range of CAT exam preparation books available in the Indian market today. While a handful of these CAT exam books are used for all the various portions of the exam, many books are also available to provide an in-depth understanding of each section. In this article, we discuss a few of the major books to assist you with MBA courses.

CAT preparation books by Arun Sharma

Book Title: How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

Authors: Arun Sharma, Meenakshi Upadhyay

Publisher: McGraw Hill Education

Key Features:

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension by Arun Sharma is considered to be one of the best books for the CAT exam’s VA/RC section.

  • The book is divided into three sections which include reading comprehension, verbal ability, and verbal reasoning, followed by CAT sample and practice papers.
  • Part 1, focusing on Reading Comprehension, deals with approaches to improving reading skills, strategies on how to tackle different types of reading comprehension questions, solved reading comprehension passages from past CAT exams and sample tests on RC of varying levels of difficulty.
  • Part 2, focused on Verbal Ability, comprises chapters, exercises and expert tips on vocabulary, usage, word formation, phrases, practice questions etc. it also contains relevant questions from past CAT question papers of varying difficulty levels.
  • Part 3 explains the basics of the concept of verbal and critical reasoning and follows with different types of exercises and previous years’ CAT questions that are relevant.
  • Part 4 of the book comprehensively contains past years’ CAT question papers and mock tests.

Why is this the book to study for CAT preparation?

This book is the one-stop solution to VA/RC preparation for CAT and other competitive MBA exams like XAT, IIFT, CMAT, MAT, IRMA etc. The book is updated regularly and written with the latest CAT pattern in mind. The book is full of exercises and practice tests with answers and detailed solutions.

Book Title: Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

Author: Nishith K. Sinha

Publisher: Pearson

Key Features: 

  • This book is authored by CAT exam Topper IIM Lucknow alumnus Nishith Sinha.
  •  The book is divided into 6 parts: verbal ability, verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, CAT question papers and sectional tests and answers.
  • The book constitutes section-wise presentations on Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension with practice questions and model test questions.
  • There are five simulated CAT online test CDs attached to this book.
  • It contains 2000 solved questions.
  • The book contains updated topics and exercises as per the recent patterns of the CAT exam including non-CQ-based questions.
  • The book contains seven years of solved CAT question papers.

Why choose this book for CAT preparation?

The exercises in the book are arranged in order of difficulty to enable candidates to test themselves on their preparation and recognise comfort questions and those that require their particular attention.

Considered among the best CAT prep books, it is a comprehensive one for MBA aspirants preparing for CAT and other similar examinations like XAT, SNAP, IIFT etc. The book is concise and is written in a clear and comprehensive manner.

Book Title: Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension

Author: Ajay Singh

Publisher: Arihant

Key Features:

  • Arihant's book on Verbal Ability is considered one of the most effective CAT preparation books and is one of the recommended books on Reading Comprehension.
  • It contains more than 450 pages divided into sections on Verbal Ability, Verbal Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension.
  • While many CAT preparation books on RC do not have updated exercises, or have fewer in number, this book contains more than 200 reading passages of varied difficulty levels.
  • The questions in this book are arranged and marked in order of increasing complexity to guide the students from the basic level of questions to more difficult levels. This could be a reason for it being one of the foremost CAT preparation books suggested by the toppers.
  • The latest solved test papers for not just CAT, but other different MBA entrance exams are included in the book.

Book Title: Word Power Made Easy

Author: Norman Lewis

Publisher: Penguin

This book is one of the most popular books among CAT aspirants. It is considered among the best books for CAT to improve vocabulary and enhance English reading skills.

Key Features:

  • Among the CAT preparation books for vocabulary, this is the most recommended one.
  • Word Power Made Easy uses simple, step-by-step methods to improve vocabulary and usage skills in candidates.
  • It is divided into hundreds of contextual usages of vocabulary.
  • The book helps you learn how words are pronounced and how they may be used correctly without making grammatical errors.
  • It is a book not specifically developed for the CAT exam, but a great book to keep handy and practise specific parts of the English language. 

Other Good Books for CAT DI/LR Preparation

A few of the best book for CAT exam Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning sections are listed in the table below:

Book Name


How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT

Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill) 

How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT

Arun Sharma (Published by McGraw Hill) 

A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning 

RS Agarwal

CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning 

Gautam Puri

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT 

Nishit K Sinha

Best books for CAT recommended by toppers

During preparation for CAT, choosing the right books is very important. A number of CAT toppers have recommended the most effective books for preparation according to the subjects. CAT toppers from IIM Ahmedabad like Akshay Mehndiratta and Pranjal Agarwal and from IIM Calcutta like Anjali Sam, Nikita Choudhary, and Shivam Shrivastava have recommended section-wise CAT preparation books by Arun Sharma and Nishith K Sinha.

An IIM Bangalore student of the MBA batch of 2020-2022, Tanuj Ruia has recommended CAT preparation books written by Arun Sharma. Nandan Goel from IIM Calcutta 2021-2023 batch said that he found the books to be self-sufficient and was convinced that he would make it without any external help if he followed the books thoroughly.

As verified by CAT toppers, CAT preparation books are the best kind of preparation guides.  However, they suggest following only one or two excellent CAT preparation Books. This article provides overviews of CAT books by the famous authors all toppers swear by. In this article, we also share a detailed review of the best book for CAT exam preparation.

Why is it important to select the best books for CAT?

Master of Business Administration or MBA is the aim for CAT aspirants. The goal is to secure the sectional cut-offs in the CAT exam and pave the way for a career among the bests in the corporate world. Moreover, CAT is one of the most challenging and competitive exams where millions of MBA aspirants contest for a few hundred seats in the top-tier institutes

Hence, preparation is critical, and with the power of the best books for CAT, you will get the right guidance and directional preparation at the current industrial level. Besides, if you are seeking expert guidance and mentorship, visit the official Sunstone website today.

About Sunstone

Sunstone is a leading higher education services provider that works with academic institutions in upskilling students for employability. Sunstone offers career-oriented training interventions for undergraduate and postgraduate students at 40+ institutions across 30+ cities.

Sunstone’s training programs are industry-endorsed to enhance employability. These programs are designed for hybrid delivery with an unparalleled focus on soft skills and personality development. Sunstone’s focus is to provide students with a holistic educational experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which book is best for preparing for the CAT exam?

There are a few books, such as How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT and How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for the CAT, among others, by Arun Sharma that can be considered the best for CAT preparation.

Is the CAT exam easy or tough?

CAT exam is a comprehensive eligibility test for the top-tier management programmes of the country. It is one of the most challenging and competitive exams in India today. 

Can I self-prepare for the CAT exam?

Yes, you can self-prepare for the CAT, but it is not easy. It will require the right guidance alongside dedicated practice and motivation.

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