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CAT Study Material - The Complete Guide [2022 Book PDF]

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Every year, more than 2 lakh candidates compete for around 5000 seats offered by the 20 IIMs. This makes CAT one of the most competitive exams in the country. It doesn’t come as a surprise that many CAT aspirants feel an intense burden of expectations on their shoulders and the pressure to perform in the exam. It becomes all the more necessary that the aspirants choose the right study material for CAT to give them the best chance of cracking the exam.

As you will see in all CAT exam material available in the market, the sections and section-wise topics will be clearly mentioned. The first thing an aspirant should do is to understand the CAT syllabus thoroughly. The three main sections in CAT are:

  1. Quantitative Aptitude

  2. Verbal Reasoning and Reading Comprehension

  3. Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning

Under each of these three sections, there are a number of topics, which the candidates must be familiar with. Some of the most prominent topics are given below:

CAT Study Material

The next step for the aspirants is to identify the best CAT preparation exam material, which will help them in their preparation. There are a number of sources available to the students to access the right study material. Some of these are free of cost, while others are paid. To add to this, students taking coaching classes get study material prepared by their respective coaching centres. Among such extensive resources available, students must decide what’s best for them. They should look at a few online books and PDF Files, available for free or skim through the section-wise CAT books available in the market before finalising the material that meets their needs.

Qualities of Good Study Material for CAT All aspirants spend much of their time with their study material. Good material provides the support they need to score well in the exam. So, they must choose wisely. While browsing through and finalising the material, candidates must keep in mind the following points: 1. Online or Offline This choice will depend on aspirants’ comfort level. CAT material can be found both online on multiple websites, as well as offline in conventional bookstores. Aspirants, who are tech savvy and can easily access the internet, can opt for online study material. This is available in the form of E-books, E-notes, PDF files and Audio Books. A lot of candidates prefer hardbound books as they are more convenient to study from and the candidates can skim through the entire book before finalising. There is a lot of variety in the market and aspirants can easily find books on all sections, covering all topics. 2. Covers all topics The right preparation materials are those that cover all possible CAT topics. Aspirants should familiarise themselves with all topics given above and should look for material that includes them. There are different kinds of materials available, from separate section-wise to individual topic wise to one complete set. It is for the candidates to decide what’s best suited to their needs.

3. Student Friendly Approach The aspirants can look for exam material, which has a student friendly approach. As they are going to depend on the material for their preparation, they should be able to understand the way in which the material has been drafted and its purpose. Different authors have different approaches to writing, some focus on dense theory, some focus on practical questions, while some maintain a balance. Students can choose the ones they prefer. 4. Includes sample papers and mock tests The right study material must include sample papers and mock tests. This is a crucial aspect of the preparation for CAT. Before CAT, all aspirants end up solving a number of sample papers and mock tests to gauge their performance and identify their weak areas. Solving these tests also teach students time management, which comes in handy during the CAT exam. 5. Opt for different sources Aspirants must never rely on a particular resource. Instead, they must keep their options open and browse through multiple sources. The idea is to be completely prepared and to cover all bases. Only a balanced approach will help them achieve this.

CAT BOOKS There are a number of books in the market for CAT preparation. The following are some of the known names popular among aspirants:

Name of the Book


1. How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Arun Sharma

2. Quantitative Aptitude for CAT

Nishit Sinha

3. Quantum CAT

Sarvesh K. Verma

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

Arun Sharma

5. The Personal Guide to Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT

Nishit Sinha

​6. Word Power Made Easy

Norman Lewis

7. How To Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT

Arun Sharma

8. Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation

Nishit Sinha

9. A Modern Approach to Logical Reasoning

R.S. Agarwal

CAT Coaching Material In addition to the above books from renowned books and publishers, CAT aspirants also rely on coaching material provided by established names in the CAT coaching domain. Most popular among them are: 1. Career Launcher’s Books and Materials- This is an exhaustive material for aspirants who wish to do self-preparation. This includes printed books, practice questions and video solutions. 2. T.I.M.E. Study Material- A trusted name for CAT preparation, this includes a set of study notes, videos and test papers. Ultimately, aspirants have to decide which combination from among these materials suit them the best.

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