CAT Books | Examination Pattern, Syllabus, Notes, List of Colleges, Study Materials

CAT Books: Planning to appear in CAT? Buying the best CAT preparation books is the most critical phase of the CAT preparation plan, which also includes a comprehensive study plan, mock test series and timetable. Some students opt for self-study while others choose to study at coaching centres. There are a variety of CAT preparation books accessible offline and online. In this article, we have yielded the list of best CAT books which will help you grapple marks in your exams.

CAT 2020 will be held on November 29. Provided with a well-planned strategy, students can score well in the exam. Check out the best books for the exam in this article.

CAT Books and Reference Materials

The CAT exam prepares and guides your broad career. The syllabus for the main exam includes Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA). Applicants can check out the CAT books to read and refer to any topics.

  • CAT Examination Pattern
  • CAT Syllabus
  • CAT Notes and Books
  • List of Colleges
  • CAT Study Materials
  • Conclusion

CAT Examination Pattern

CAT exam pattern provides details about the overall structure of the exam. Applicants will be able to know details about the marking scheme, different sections, syllabus and books and the total number of questions by going through this pattern. Here are the exam pattern highlights.

Sections VARC, DILR and QA
Duration of exam 40 minutes per section (Total 120 minutes)
Total number of questions 100
Section-wise number of questions
  • VARC – 34
  • DILR – 32
  • QA – 34
Total marks 300
Language of question paper English
Type of questions MCQs and Non-MCQs
Marking Scheme
  • 3 marks for every correct response
  • Negative marking of 1/3 (-1) for every wrong MCQ response
  • No negative marking for wrong non-MCQ response

CAT Syllabus

IIM prescribes the CAT syllabus, and it covers all the essential topics of Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).

CAT Syllabus Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

VARC is the first part of the CAT question paper and is solved within the time limit of 40 minutes.

  • Fill in the blanks
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Sentence completion
  • Grammar
  • Syllogisms
  • Jumbled paragraphs
  • Para Completion and inference
  • Contextual usage
  • Foreign language words used in English
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Analogies
  • Sentence correction
  • Verbal Logic
  • Different usage of the same word
  • Idioms
  • Para jumbles
  • Antonyms
  • One word substitution

CAT Syllabus Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

DILR is the second part of the CAT question paper and is solved after the VARC section. The section is divided into two parts- DI and LR. The sectional time limit for DILR is 40 minutes.

  • Blood Relations
  • Series
  • Proposition
  • Direction Sense
  • Coding-Decoding
  • Assumptions
  • Puzzles
  • Clocks and Calendars
  • Statements
  • Data Arrangement
  • Family Tree
  • Binary Logic
  • Seating Arrangement
  • Sets & Caselets
  • Syllogism
  • Venn Diagram
  • Data Structures
  • Tables & Pie Charts
  • Data Sufficiency
  • Bars & Line Graphs

CAT Syllabus Quantitative Aptitude (QA) 

  • Geometry
  • Trigonometry
  • Algebra
  • Mensuration
  • Partnership (Accounts)
  • Profit & Loss
  • Ratios and Proportion
  • In-equations Quadratic and linear equations
  • Surds and Indices
  • Time-Speed-Distance
  • Number System
  • Geometric Progression
  • Inequalities
  • Work and Time
  • Percentages
  • Logarithms

CAT Notes and Books

The preparation of the CAT exam is entirely reliant on the books. One should start with the most recommended books. These CAT books are essential for understanding each topic of the CAT syllabus conceptually and theoretically. The best books for CAT cover the subjects of the exam thoroughly. They are easy to present material related to the CAT syllabus and also give great practice questions. Here is a subject-wise listing of the essential CAT preparation books:

CAT Books for Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC)

To prepare for the VARC CAT exam, the applicants need to have a different approach for each part. For example, reading comprehension should be started earlier as it all about cultivating and developing the habit of reading. Here is the list of essential books that will help you to prepare more for the exam.

  • Meenakshi Upadhyay and Arun Sharma – How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension
  •  Nishit Sinha – Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension For The CAT
  • Word Power Made Easy- Norman Lewis
  • High School Grammar and Composition – Wren and Martin
  • Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster – 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback

CAT Books for Quantitative Aptitude (QA)

To prepare for QA, the candidates need to study Math topics like Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Mensuration. To exceed in this section, candidates should be through with the formulae, concepts and theorems.

Here is the list of essential books that will help you to prepare more for the exam.

Quantitative Aptitude – RS Aggarwal The oldest reference book for QA since 1989, this RS Aggarwal authored book covers all the topic and has over 5500 questions with answers for practice
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT – Nishit Sinha This book has 4000 solved questions and five online mock tests
NCERT Mathematics books (Class 6-10) These books consist of the fundamental concepts and theorems to solve advanced-level Quant problems later.
Preparation for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT – Arun Sharma This book covers the topics on Partnership (Accounts), Profit & Loss, Ratios and Proportion and many more.
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations – Abhijit Guha This book by Abhijit Guha is a comprehensive resource for Quant preparation for not on CAT but also other MBA entrance exams as well as competitive exams
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT – Sarvesh Verma This book is highly recommended for students from non-Maths backgrounds or those who find QA difficult. Its USP is easy flow of language and over 4000 questions with answers

CAT Books for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR)

To prepare for DILR, one should have clarity of basic concepts. The questions in this section are based on logic and data. Some of the essential topics of DILR are Tables, Bar Charts, Mixed Charts, Line Charts, Pie Charts. Here is the list of essential books that will help you to prepare more for the exam.

A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning This book is by RS Agarwal recommended for beginners who need to start with LR concepts.
How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT book – Arun Sharma This book comprises all the topics of Logical Reasoning. Each topic is accompanied by problems with different difficulty levels for applicants to assess and practice their preparation level.
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT book – Arun Sharma This book covers the topics of DI and also has sample questions and previous year model test papers.
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT This book by Nishit Sinha has five-section test papers and 500+ solved DILR questions.
Data Interpretation – Nishit Sinha This practice book deals with Data Interpretation and covers mock test sample papers.
CAT Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning This book by Gautam Puri. It covers all advanced-level topics and solved problems.

List of Colleges Offering CAT Course

  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Calcutta – Indian Institute of Management
  • FMS – Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University
  • IIM Kozhikode – Indian Institute of Management
  • DMS IIT Roorkee – Department of Management Studies
  • IIM Ranchi – Indian Institute of Management
  • IIT Kanpur – Department of Management Engineering and Industrial
  • IIM Trichy – Indian Institute of Management

CAT Study Materials

In addition to books, other references to study materials assist an individual’s CAT preparation and promote an in-depth practice for students. A few more suggested reading references and study materials for CAT preparation are as follows:

Book Author Genre
First Among Equals Jeffrey Archer Political Fiction
A Brief History Of Time Stephen Hawking Cosmology
The God of Small Things Arundhati Roy Fiction
Shantaram David Gregory Roberts Autobiography – City Life
Long Walk to Freedom Nelson Mandela Autobiography – Politics
The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Fiction
Capitalism & Freedom Milton Friedman Economics
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen Covey Management
A Brief History of time Stephen Hawking Science
Cosmos Carl Sagan Science
India in Slow Motions Mark Tully Politics

Conclusion on CAT Books

The CAT Books, Notes, and Study Materials are discussed above aim to help students at the time of exam preparations. Applicants can practice and refer to the given CAT sample papers, Notes and Study materials from this article.

FAQ’s on CAT Books

Question 1.
What are the strategies applied to study for the CAT Exam?

To excel in the CAT Exam there are three elements  –  practice, conceptual clarity and revision. They should make proper notes on all related topics from the essential books and study materials for easy preparation. They should practice more mock tests and test series and explore more competitive books for CAT.

Question 2.
What is the best book for Quantitative Aptitude preparation?

The best books for Quantitative Aptitude are Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha, Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma, How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Quantitative Aptitude by RS Aggarwal.

Question 3.
How many mock tests should a CAT aspirant practice?

CAT aspirants should attempt at least 25-30 full-length CAT mock tests. This will help the students to grapple marks in their exams.

Question 4.
What are the important topics for the CAT exam?

The important topics for the CAT exam are Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning (DILR), Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension (VARC) and Quantitative Aptitude (QA).

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