Best Books for CAT Preparation 2024 Recommended by MBA Experts

Common Admission Test 2024 ( CAT )

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Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content
Updated on Feb 28, 2024 18:18 IST

Are you planning to appear for CAT 2024? Get here the list of top 32 CAT books for preparation recommended by MBA experts. The list includes sections wise best books for CAT 2024 by Arun Sharma, Sarvesh Verma and other authors.

best CAT books

CAT books are the most essential resource for exam preparation. Any good book for CAT preparation should serve dual purpose - theory and practice. 

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Best books for CAT preparation are available online and offline but choosing the right ones can be a challenge. If you are planning to appear for CAT 2024 refer to only those CAT preparation books which have detailed explanation of every topicthat is included in the CAT syllabus as well as sample questions for practice. Those planning to appear for CAT 2024 must refer to the books that are recommended by experts only. To help candidates choose the best CAT books for exam preparation, we have prepared section-wise lists. But before shortlisting the books, we suggest that you have a CAT preparation strategy.

Q:   Which are the best books to prepare for CAT?

By Arun Sharma-How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT (Tata McGraw Hill) By Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay -How to Prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT (Tata McGraw-Hill) By Nishit Sinha-The Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning By Arun Sharma - How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for the CAT Common Admission Test (Tata McGraw-Hill) By Nishit Sinha-The Pearson Guide To Quantitative Aptitude And Data Interpretation By, Ajay Singh - Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (Arihant Publications) By, Muhamed Muneer- How to Prepare for the CAT (Om Books The Complete CAT Digest (Tata McGraw-Hill).

Q:   What type of Reading Comprehension passages are there in CAT?


Reading Comprehension passages in CAT exam are usually inference based. The topics are usually based on Economy, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences and Current Affairs. There are several types of questions, such as:

  • Central theme based questions
  • Vocabulary based questions
  • Inference based questions
  • Title based questions
  • Paragraph and Structure based questions
  • Tone based questions

The approach to every type of question has to be different depending on their theme. To master this skill, you will need to start preparing for English section of any entrance exam early on. Firstly, you will need to develop reading comprehension speed and skill, secondly, you will have to practice sample RC passages of different types to understand the difference in approach.

Q:   What are the best books for CAT Quantitative Aptitude preparation?

The best books for Quantitative Aptitude preparation of CAT exam are listed below. These books are recommended by experts and mentors not only for CAT but also for other MBA entrance exams. NCERT Mathematics books (Class 9-10) 1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma 2. Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Abhijit Guha 3. Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma 4. Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Nishit Sinha 5. Quantitative Aptitude by RS Aggarwal The NCERT Mathematics book is recommended for CAT preparation because it is the best source of building or revisiting the fundamentals of Algebra Geometry, Trigonometry Mensuration and Arithmetic. The NCERT books are extremely helpful to students from non-Engineering background. Quantitative Aptitude books by Arun Sharma, Abhijit Guha, Sarvesh Verma, Nishit Sinha and RS Aggarwal are the main books for CAT preparation as they cover all the topics at advanced level. They also have 1000s of sample questions of easy, moderate and high difficulty levels for practice.

Best Books for CAT Preparation and Other Study Material

Your CAT exam preparation should include a comprehensive study plan, relevant books and study material, a workable timetable and CAT mock test series. Some students opt for self-study with the help of CAT preparation books whereas others choose to study at coaching centres which provide complete guidance and best study material. Whichever approach you choose, the most important thing is to refer study material which inlcudes previous years CAT question papers, sample test papers and best books for CAT 2024 exam. There is a range of CAT preparation books available in the market but the question is – which CAT books to refer?

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CAT 2024 will be held on November 24 (official announcement will be made in July 2024). Equipped with a well-planned strategy and best books for CAT, candidates can crack the exam with high scores. Apart from coaching classes, focus on self-study to crack the CAT 2024 exam. Check out the lists of best books for CAT preparation in this article.

Also Read:

Q:   What are the best books for CAT Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension preparation?

There are a range of books available for preparation of Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section of CAT. However, the most recommended books are mentioned below: 1. How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay 2. Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT by Nishit Sinha 3. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis 4. High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin 5. 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis/Simon and Schuster For English Grammar and Vocabulary, High School Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin is the best book. For Verbal Ability preparation, practice questions of different difficulty levels are a major part of preparation. The abovementioned books are the best resources of Verbal Ability and practice questions. To prepare for Reading Comprehension, candidates should read books, novels, magazines, research papers, newspaper editorials, etc. Along with these books.

Q:   What are the topics on which I should read books for RC preparation?


Candidates must read books on economy, philosophy, science, astronomy, psychology, sociology, history, geography, psychoanalysis, economics, astronomy, art & culture, literature, fiction novels, auto-biographies and biographies. Most of the passages that appear in any MBA entrance exam are based on these topics. The RC passages length may vary but most of the times the language is tough with foreign words and expressions or a good amount of data.

It is also recommended to candidates to read research papers, survey reports, etc. to have the practice of understanding and relating data in a quick read. Always refer to dictionary for word meanings while reading books.

Best CAT Books for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) is an analytical section that require candidates to have a keen eye for detail and the skill of reading complicated graphs or unravelling jumbled patterns. Check the list of best books for CAT DILR:

CAT Books

Author/Publisher Name

Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Gautam Puri

Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for the CAT

Nishit K. Sinha

Data Interpretation & Data Sufficiency

Ananta Ashisha

How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT

Arun Sharma

Best CAT Books for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) often turns out to be a tough section with dense RC passages and confusing para jumbles. Verbal Ability questions of the CAT are comparatively easier. Check the list of best books for CAT VARC:

CAT Books

Author/Publisher Name

How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

Arun Sharma and Meenakshi Upadhyay/Arihant

30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary Mass Market Paperback

Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis/ Simon & Schuster

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

Sharma and Upadhyay

PSC for VA for CAT

Nishit Sinha

Best CAT Books for Quantitative Aptitude

Quantitative Aptitude (QA) is the last section of the CAT question paper are require mental stamina to go through calculation intensive questions. The more you practice the better it is. Check the list of CAT books for QA:

CAT Books

Author/Publisher Name

NCERT Mathematics books (Class 9-10)


How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT

Arun Sharma

Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT

Sarvesh Verma

Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Nishit Sinha

Quantitative Aptitude

 RS Aggarwal


Shiksha spoke to a few experts from top MBA coaching institutes across the country to know which are the best books for CAT 2024 preparation. They shared with Shiksha their list of highly recommended CAT books:

Tarun Malik

So, the very first thing the CAT takers need to make sure is that their fundamentals should be in place. The next very important aspect to crack CAT is 'test taking strategy'. So, an aspirant must understand the importance of taking tests because only by testing, one can create a strategy to crack CAT. The strategy will include 'selection of questions', 'sequence of questions to attempt', 'Speed with accuracy' and most importantly 'pressure handling'.

Although the material and mocks distributed by coaching institutes are more than sufficient. We can recommend these CAT books if a student has finished all the course material given by the institute.

Best Books for CAT Preparation Recommended by Tarun Malik

CAT Books

Author/Publisher Name

Quantum CAT

Arihant Publications

High School English Grammar and Composition Book

Wren and Martin

Word Power Made Easy

Norman Lewis

Past Years' CAT Questions

G.K. Publications

Newspapers and magazines recommended by Tarun Malik for CAT preparation:

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

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Pratik Gour

CAT Preparation 2024 will not be complete without going through a few CAT books like the IMS Theoretical Books of Verbal & Quant. This is a set of books that would not only clear concepts but would also consist of questions to solve which helps to practice.

CAT 500 is another special book from IMS consisting of '500 Must Solve Questions'. If you can solve these questions correctly and in the target time (average 2.5 minutes) then you can be assured that you are on the right path.

Acing the CAT exam and getting the GD-PI calls from targeted B-Schools is just the first step. Beyond that every student needs to build their skills on communication for acing further rounds. There are a few CAT books that we would recommend in different areas which could be a good read like:

CAT Books Recommended by Pratik Gour:

CAT Books



Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey


A Brief History of time

Stephen Hawking



Carl Sagan


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

Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela

Autobiography - Politics

Wings of Fire

APJ Abdul Kalam



David Gregory Roberts

Autobiography – City Life

Other Books Recommends for CAT Preparation by Pratik Gour

Pratik suggests that CAT aspirants must also read non-fiction novels so that they have an incentive to keep reading. For example:

CAT Books



Around the world in Eighty Days

Jules Verne


The Time Machine

H G Wells

Science Fiction

Caves of Steel

Isaac Asimov

Science Fiction

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

Dystopian Fiction

Three Men in a Boat

Jerome K Jerome


Something Fresh

P G Wodehouse


Where Eagles Dare

Alistair McLean


Best Books for CAT Preparation Recommended by Deekshant Sehrawat

Deekshant Sehrawat, MBAguru, recommends the following books for CAT preparation 2024:

Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Kumar Verma
Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit Sinha
RS Aggarwal’s Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations
Verbal Ability & Reading Comprehension by Ajay Singh





Free: DILR Questions with Answers for Practice

Free: QA Questions with Answers for Practice

Free: VARC Questions with Answers for Practice

Read most popular articles on Shiksha for CAT Preparation 2024:

CAT Preparation 2024

How to crack CAT 2024: Prep tips from 100 percentilers

How to prepare for CAT 2023: Tips from experts

CAT: Preparation Plan for Verbal Ability

CAT: Preparation Plan for Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning

Quantitative Aptitude preparation plan for CAT 2024

CAT preparation: Your love for reading can get you the desired result

CAT exam 2023: How to prepare without quitting your job

CAT Preparation 2023: Simple tips to optimize exam preparation

CAT Topper Interviews: Exam Tips and Strategy for 2024

Know which CAT books previous year's CAT toppers studied to crack the exam. Also get key exam day tips from CAT toppers to optimise your performance.

CAT Toppers

CAT Topper Interviews

Risshi Agrawal

CAT 2022, 99.99 percentile


Mocks play a crucial role while preparing for CAT. It helps you determine the strategy which suits you the best.

Read Risshi’s full interview

Parul Arora

CAT 2022, 99.93 percentile

I started preparing for CAT in April. My preparation strategy for CAT was to clear my basic concepts in all topics and then maximum practice.

Read Parul’s full interview

Aditya Singh

CAT 2022, 99.90 percentile

For my first attempt I attended offline coaching classes, post which I only took the online test series. This year I took the test series from two of the most renowned coaching institutes. Coaching really helps a lot. 

Read Aditya’s full interview

Atish Naskar

CAT 2022, 99.81 percentile

I started my CAT preparation back in January 2022. I set a daily target for all 3 sections that included daily 3-4 RCs daily 3-4 LRDI sets 20-30 QA questions or some QA concept understanding. The last 2-3 Months gave mocks and analyzed them properly.

Read Atish’s full interview

Tushar Sarkar

CAT 2022, 99.80 percentile

My serious preparation started in the month of June 2022. My overall strategy had three parts: Diagnosing my problems, guiding policy for improving and actions.

Read Tushar’s full interview

Chirag Gupta

CAT 2021, 100 percentile

I started preparing in March 2021. I focused mainly on giving mock tests and analysing them. I used to work on my weaknesses by watching various CAT preparation YouTube videos on various topics.

Read: Chirag's full interview

Bir Anmol Singh
CAT 2021, 99.94 percentile 

I started preparing in April 2021. I solved Arun Sharma sir's CAT books for VARC, LR, DI and Quant. I attempted as many past year CAT questions papers (timed attempt) that I could attempt, on weekends. I used to analyse my shortcomings to improve further.

Read: Bir Anmol's full interview

Sagar Sengar

CAT 2021, 99.48 percentile 

I started preparing around the end of June this year and went into the full-throttle mode by end of August. My overall strategy was to first complete the theory end to end and then practice different kinds of problems across all the sections.

Read: Sagar's full interview

Ved Vineet

CAT 2021, 99.40 percentile

It is not at all important to join a coaching institute for CAT preparation. You just need to prepare in a disciplined manner.

Read: Ved's full interview

Sareen Shah
CAT 2021, 99.35 percentile 

Don't delay your prep. Start as early as possible. Solve as many questions as you can. Understand RCs and DILR sets properly. Quality over Quantity should be your aim.

Read: Sareen's full interview


FAQs Related to CAT Books and Study Material

Q: Which are the best books for CAT preparation?

A: For CAT 2024 preparation, books by Arun Sharma, Sarvesh Varma, Nishit K Sinha, Wren & Martin and Word Power Made Easy are highly recommended. They are very helpful in building a strong base in Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Verbal Ability as they have large number and large variety of sample questions for practice.

Q: What should be the CAT preparation strategy for freshers?

A: Freshers should start CAT preparation with brushing up basics of Maths and English grammar. Then, move to studying topics of each CAT section. They must also keep solving sample questions to know if they have understood the topic or not. Once, they have completed the CAT syllabus and gained confidence, they must move to solving full length CAT mock tests.

Q: Is studying from recommended CAT books enough to score well in exam?

A: Apart from CAT books, aspirants should practice CAT mock tests, sample papers, previous years CAT question papers and secondary study material for complete preparation. It is very important to understand and practice the application of concepts to be able to solve questions quickly in a speed-based test. For VARC, reading newspapers, books and magazines are a must. for DILR and QA candidates must practice mathematical and pattern based puzzles to develop reasoning and analytical skills. They should also practice mental math for faster calculation.

Q: Can I prepare for CAT 2024 exam in six months?

A: Yes, many previous CAT toppers prepared for the exam in six or less months. However, mostly candidates from Science and Technology background stand a chance of successfully preparing for CAT in six months as they do not have to study Maths topics from the scratch, unlike candidates from Arts background. So, those who have not studied Maths in HSc or Graduation must start CAT preparation much earlier, preferably by March-April.

Q: Which book should I refer for English grammar section of CAT?

A: High School English Grammar by Wren and Martin is highly recommended for strengthening English grammar. Candidates must refer to this book for strengthening fundamentals of English Grammar. It is quite helpful in understanding the rules of English language and usage of words in different context. Sample questions and practice exercises also help in understanding rules of English grammar better.

Q: Are Arun Sharma’s books enough for CAT preparation?

A: Books by Arun Sharma are comprehensive and explains concepts in a simple manner, which is easy to understand. The books also contain test papers having questions of low to high difficulty level which can be immensely helpful in preparing for CAT 2024. However, candidates must refer to other books as well so that they have the experience of a larger pool of practice questions.

Q: Do CAT preparation books that are available in the market have sample questions?

A: Yes, CAT preparation books have sample questions with solutions for candidates to prepare well. Most of the CAT books have 100s of sample questions of  a wide variety and different difficulty levels - easy, moderate and high. These sample questions are for practice purpose and highly helpful in mastering application of theorems and formulas.

Q: How many CAT mock tests should I attempt?

A: About 35-40 CAT mock tests should be enough to prepare you for cracking CAT with 99 plus percentile. However, some 100 percentilers of previous years have practiced more than 50-60 mock tests. Candidates must solve mock tests as per their preparation level, because it is quality not quantity that matters in CAT. If they have started scoring 99 percentile in their mock tests, then they must stop and focus on keeping the preparation level high with revision.

Q: From where can I buy CAT books?

A: CAT books are available at bookshops as well as at online stores such as Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Coaching institutes also provide CAT books and study material to registered candidates. Candidates can buy hardcopies as well as get PDFs from various offline and online platforms.

Q: Is study material provided by coaching centres enough for CAT preparation?

A: Coaching centres provide comprehensive study material for CAT preparation such as notes, sample tests, problem solving notes, video explanations, etc. and many students have cracked CAT with high percentile by studying that study material only. However, if one feels they need to look at a few more reference books on CAT, they should do that.

Q: What should be my last month CAT preparation strategy?

A: In the last month of CAT preparation, focus on practicing mock tests and working on your weakness. Keep revising important topics and your strong areas. Once you've achieved maximum score in the mock test stop practicing more questions. Focus more on revision. 

About the Author
Vipra Shrivastava
Senior Manager - Content

Vipra is a massive Breaking Bad fan. When not watching crime drama series, she spends time in updating the list of places she wants to visit and people she wants to meet, but she is happiest in the company of dogs. ... Read Full Bio

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Answered Yesterday

Yes, you can join Sangam University for an MBA programme without needing to take the CAT exam. Sangam University accepts various other entrance exams for admission to its MBA program, such as SUAT, MAT, or CMAT scores.


Tamalika Basumata

Contributor-Level 8

Answered 2 days ago

MAH MBA CET (Maharashtra MBA Common Entrance Test)

This is a state-level entrance test conducted by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) Maharashtra for admission to MBA/MMS programs in VIT.

CMAT (Common Management Admission Test)

Conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), is another natio



Koushik Sarkar

Beginner-Level 5

Answered 2 days ago

Yes, you can join RR Group of institutions without CAT for MBA But you have appeared other management entrances Exam like XAT, SNAP, NMAT, CUCET, CMAT. 

As per the AICTE norms it is mandatory that no programe will take its students without a national level test score.


Amresh kumar Verma

Beginner-Level 5

Answered 2 days ago

The NIFT will be a multi-stage exam. For instance, for admission to the B. Des programme, the candidate has to first appear in the written exams GAT and CAT; if shortlisted, the candidate has to next appear in a Situation Test. 

M.Des candidates, on the other hand, who get shortlisted (based on GAT a



Manashjyoti Hazarika

Contributor-Level 10

Answered 3 days ago

Although the ideal CAT percentile range for admission to the MBA programme at Accurate Group of Institutions could change year, it is generally advantageous to aim for a percentile above 70. It would be more competitive to aim for a CAT percentile above 80 or even 85 in order to improve your chances



Udipta das

Beginner-Level 4

Answered 3 days ago

A CAT score in the 85th percentile is regarded as respectable and can get you into a lot of MBA schools. Institutions may have different prerequisites for admission, therefore it's important to take into account things like the volume of applications, level of competition, and Accurate Group of Inst



Udipta das

Beginner-Level 4

Answered 5 days ago

Yes the percentile of 85 is vey good for admission to MBA at RR group of institutions

Commonly accepted tests include CAT, MAT, CMAT, and state-level exams like UPSEE.


Desired CAT ranges would be to get 50+  to 60+ percentile in the examination for getting into RR group of institutions.


Dr. Ravi Kant Singh

Beginner-Level 5

Answered 5 days ago

Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 50% aggregate marks.

Most colleges accept students from all educational backgrounds

Commonly accepted tests include CAT, MAT, CMAT, and state-level exams like UPSEE.

Desired CAT ranges would be to get 50+ percentile in the examination for getti



Dr. Ravi Kant Singh

Beginner-Level 5

Answered 5 days ago

Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) Vidyalankar Institute of Technology in Mumbai, Maharashtra, offers substantial tuition fee waivers for its MBA programme based on CAT/GMAT scores. Students scoring at or above the 95th percentile receive full waivers, while those at or above the 90th percentile



Anurag Singh

Beginner-Level 4

Answered 5 days ago

A CAT score of 90 or higher is seen as competitive for admission to leading business schools in India, with a score of 95 or above further boosting chances. Tier-2 and tier-3 MBA colleges generally consider a CAT score within the 75–90 percentile range as favorable. However, admission standards vary



Anurag Singh

Beginner-Level 4