MBA aspirants are usually worried about a lot of aspects about their CAT preparation, and choosing the right preparatory resources ranks right up there. While it is quite natural to worry about laying your hands on the best aptitude books possible, understand that it is not the factor that is going to determine your success in the exam. Know that there are many great quantitative and verbal aptitude books available in the market, and there is a very thin line that separates all of them. Make sure that you tackle your CAT preparation with an all-round approach. Take the help of aptitude books, free online resources like QS Leap and free mock tests. This 360 degree approach will help you way more than just relying on a couple of quantitative and verbal aptitude books alone.
Now that this is out of the way, let’s look at some of the best study materials available for CAT preparation. Many of you would perhaps try out books from coaching centres such as IMS and TIME. While these pretty good, you should also know the best books from an exam perspective. Understand that CAT is all about basics, and a good aptitude book does just that - soak you into basics!
Coming to the main focus of the article, Quantitative Aptitude is considered to be one of the toughest of all the sections of CAT and might need a test takers extra attention. Abhishake Koul, CAT Topper 2014, says, “The best strategy to prepare for your weaker section is to follow a book. I followed Arun Sharma for Quantitative Aptitude [QA] and also practiced from the same.”
While Abhishek selects Arun Sharma, Ravi Handa and the Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude & Data Interpretation by Nishit Sinha as his preferred sources and books to prepare for QA, this article delves into few more trending and helpful resources to assist you in beating the Quant blues.
Here is a rundown of top ten CAT quantitative aptitude books -
Name & Author
Why should you buy it?
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal
R.S Agarwal is a math pioneer and a good choice to follow while dealing in topics under the Quantitative Aptitude section.
How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma
Tata McGraw Hill
This is one of the most recommended books everywhere and by everyone. Wherever you look or whoever you ask, be it websites, mentors, teachers or students, Arun Sharma’s book is the one they recommend for an almost sure chance of success in QA of CAT.
Quantitative Aptitude Quantum CAT Common Admission Tests for Admission into IIMs by Sarvesh K. Verma
Provides a segmented approach and solved sample papers.
Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Nishit K Sinha
Provides practice questions with difficulty levels – Warm up, Foundation, Moderate, Advanced.
The Pearson Guide to Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by Dinesh Khattar
Explained in a lucid manner, this Pearson book helps you grasp the many mathematical topics that come with Quantitative Aptitude.
How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT by Arun Sharma
Tata McGraw Hill
Has over 6000 MCQs, solved papers and blend of old and new.
Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Verma
Usually touted as the best resource book for students without a math background, this Arihant book gives you an insight into the basics of QA.
Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Dinesh K. Sinha
Cengage Delmar Learning India Pvt
Contains a lot of exercises, full length tests and has simulations developed on Android to aid students.
Complete course Pack for CAT [Set of 12 Books] (Quantitative Aptitude, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning,
Even though this isn’t specific to Quantitative Aptitude, this is a good set to have at hand to gain the much-needed boost during preparation and final leg of the test dates.
Quantitative Aptitude For CAT And Other MBA Entrance Examinations
This book though deviates from strictly CAT it provides the students much needed variety in problem solving and methodology.
Apart from these quantitative aptitude books, there are are host of verbal aptitude books available as well. Some of the more popular verbal attitude books include:
How to prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for CAT by Arun Sharma
Pearson Guide to Verbal Ability and Logical Reasoning for CAT by Nishit Sinha
If time permits, you can also spend some time on:
Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis
High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin
While the last two books focus on a lot of grammar which may not be that significant for the CAT, understanding some basic concepts will definitely improve your performance in the verbal section of the CAT.
Looking For Online Test Series for CAT. Here are your options
Boost your CAT Prep with the Best Free Material Online
Boost your CAT Prep with the Best Free Material Online
On an average an aspiring MBA candidate pays over INR35000 for coaching classes. Over and above this, there is the impending cost of an MBA education from a top tier B-school in India that is no less than INR15,00,000.
At this juncture, candidates want to make sure that they have access to the best learning resources without having to spend so much money as a fresher out of college or a young executive who is saving up for other things. A great way to do so is to rely on some of the many free learning resources available online. Here are a few that you may want to consider –
QS LEAP is a free test prep platform for CAT. It is a thriving community for tutors, admission experts and students. It provides students with content, curated practice questions and tutors to help you with CAT prep and post CAT activities. It organizes free webinars where experts can help you with GD/PI/WAT.
Log on to this website to gain access to a host of new methods that help you improve your vocabulary. With hundreds of free online tests to practice with, you will be able to make an independent assessment of your own performance and understand where you need most improvement.
This platform acts as an interesting forum to connect with other CAT aspirants, share and download free study material, get relevant information and gain access to a host of free resources for your practice.
Handa Ka Funda
This online course for CAT preparation offers a variety of videos and live classes taking you through various concepts that are a part of your entrance exam syllabus. Browse through all the different video tutorials made available on the website to learn new concepts, brush up on old ones and ace the ones you are otherwise having trouble grasping.
This portal is ideal for students appearing for a number of different entrance exams. This website allows you to learn words through roots and also offers a variety of free tests that help you improve your vocabulary and English language skills in general.
Mnemonics makes it extremely easy for anyone to learn and remember new concepts of theories. Especially when you are learning new words, you may not be able to grasp them all in one go. This website makes learning extremely fun, useful and efficient.
In addition to this, there are a number of websites that offer online test series for all the sections in your CAT exam, and other learning material for no cost at all. A simple Google search can give you access to a world of resources that may or may not work for you. Each student is different and while one resource may benefit you it may be difficult for someone else to learn from.
When CAT exam dates are imminent, the MBA aspirants have to get into the preparation mode with full throttle. Apart from the classroom or coaching-based studies, you can take help from online resources as well. In this regard, Facebook is a robust platform providing resourceful pages, forums, and groups for this like-minded community. Here are given top 10 pages on facebook for preparation of CAT
This page has more than 87, 900 followers. It offers online test prep and classroom study prep advice for various national and international entrance tests.
2IIM CAT Preparation:
This Facebook page is a venture by IIM and IIT Alumni. It has over 12, 850 followers and provides an extensive range of topics for CAT preparations.
Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E.):
With more than 1, 31, 779 followers, it is one of the best FB pages to prepare for CAT exams. It answers the queries mostly within a day and shares a lot of useful information for the CAT aspirants.
CAT Bulls Eye:
This page on Facebook has 7877 followers. It shares preparation tips, strategies, and resources along with event alerts for the CAT aspirants. It is dedicated to MBA preparation for all the leading B-schools in India.
With more than 30, 300 followers, LEAP is a huge platform for students preparing for CAT and other international MBA programs.
CAT Exam Preparation:
It is a page that works as a discussion group and online forum for CAT aspirants. It has more than 3000 followers. It is regularly updated with latest news and information pertaining to this exam.
The Facebook page of MBA Gyan is followed by 16, 937 people comprising of students, faculty, and experts. It allows the followers to schedule a meeting for online consulting sessions and introductory phone calls.
This page followed by over 36, 100 people is created by IIM Ahmedabad Alumni. Here, tips and questions related to CAT preps are regularly updated.
It is an FB page liked and followed by over 66, 868 people. Apart from its enriching resources, it also provides free CAT test series 2016 for the students preparing for this exam.
This page focuses on vocabulary and test prep requirements for English. It is liked by more than 19, 830 people preparing for leading entrance exams including CAT.
These are the 10 Facebook pages and groups given in a random order. You can take help from any of these resources to strengthen your CAT preparations.
Top Online Resources On RC Passages For Daily CAT Practice
Top Online Resources On RC Passages For Daily CAT Practice
In your CAT preparations, you should lay emphasis on practicing at least one RC passage on a daily basis. It will not only enhance your knowledge of contexts but also improve your reading skills. Furthermore, it assists to improve your speed of solving the passages in a minimum timeframe. You can do a rigorous practice for this section by reading a plenty of books, novels, and articles. But, if you want to get an exact idea of the RC passages given in the actual test, try some online resources. These websites provide 1-2 RC passage everyday to read and solve the questions related to it.
Given below are some of the best online resources for your help:
It is one of the most reliable and favored learning websites for the aspirants preparing for CAT, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, and SAT. Here, you can find RC passages that will give you insights into the format of this section and types of questions being asked in CAT’s verbal ability test.
It is the best free resource to prepare for RC. It has a series of RC passages posted on daily basis to be used as practice material by the students. They have passages posted with 3-4 questions for each passage. The topics are chosen from varied niches just like it is done in the CAT.
On this site, you can find many test series for different sections of CAT. You can do free practice of RC on this website. It provides the desired practice and gives an insight about the type of questions asked in the actual test.
This is a leading online learning portal for CAT aspirants. It provides one RC passage per day to practice and hone your skills of solving this part in the CAT exam. The site chooses topics from subjects like economics, social sciences, humanities, technology, etc.
It is a great free learning resource and an amazing community of MBA aspirants. Here, you can find one RC forum having questions on a different variety of topics with varying degrees of difficulty levels.
It is a wonderful resource to practice your RC passages for CAT. On the home page of this website, one passage is given with a quiz. On solving this quiz, it will show your progress on scale of a US grade school.
These are some of the best online resources where you can practice your RC passages comprehensively.
Just CATchy things: Comprehending RC Question Types
Just CATchy things: Comprehending RC Question Types
The Reading Comprehension section on the CAT has more to it than just strategizing and mastering reading ability. Being a good reader only pays off when you are confident that you will be able to leverage your abilities well on test day. In fact, most people can actually read and comprehend quite swiftly, but deliberately don’t. This is simply because they’re afraid to miss the facts. What if a there’s going to be a question on this? What if I have to come back and re-read this? Isn’t it just better if I take my time with the reading and then be super-quick with the questions? If I read very, very carefully, there’ no way I can’t answer the questions quickly, and well. Is there?
The constant tussle with time during the test can indeed become so crippling that students often forget the purpose of the exam itself. While your imagination is convincing you of the test’s apparent malice, your ability to reason is taking a back seat. The CAT has its priorities predetermined and when the RC questions are designed, those priorities are heavily taken into account. If you are prepared, you will know this even before you have started reading, and hence, will be more likely to be aware of what’s coming up.
More than anything else, the test wants you to grasp the reading material presented in its entirety. Nobody can remember every little detail from every line, but it’s important that you learn to identify where it’s all headed. You must learn, through practice of course, to identify what information is worth retaining and what is not. A good way to understand this is to become familiar with the types of questions that appear on the test, and WHY they appear. There are the broad global questions, answers to which are found throughout the length of the passage, and then there are the narrower inferential questions that rely on your ability to reason with the information presented in the passage. There are also the relatively easy cause and effect questions, and questions that quote a specific part of the paragraph to ask the reader what it represents. Let’s take a look at each in turn:
Global Questions are the overarching questions and are usually easy to tackle if one has read the passage thoroughly. Questions that involve the main idea, the passage’s logical structure, and the writer’s style and tone are the usual variants of these questions, because they are all predetermined and remain consistent throughout the write-up.
Questions involving the main idea might ask you re-assert the main idea or to summarize and re-phrase it. Additionally, they may also include questions about the author’s purpose behind writing the passage, and questions that ask of you a suitable title. Clearly, questions like these are asked to ensure that the reader has grasped the overall meaning of the passage and has not merely skimmed through the writing for the sake of it.
Questions involving the logical structure of the passage ask you to analyse and evaluate the construction, organization and logical composition of the passage. This means that you will be asked about how the passage was planned; whether it defines, whether it compares and contrasts, whether it supports an idea or whether it refutes and challenges opposing ideas. Questions like these are asked on the test to assess the reader’s critical reasoning skills. Therefore, you may also be expected to answer questions framed on the assumptions the author makes in presenting his/her ideas, or asked to evaluate how the author’s ideas can be strengthened or weakened.
Questions involving the passage’s style and tone are based on the language used by the writer. Questions that ask you for the tone have words like “critical”, “supportive”, “narrative”, “pragmatic” etc. in the options, and to answer these you need to identify the kind of language that is consistently used throughout the passage. Remember that a few words of criticism in paragraph one cannot make the overall tone of the passage “critical”. Likewise, the writer’s attitude towards the ideas presented will determine his/her writing style, and is typically determined by the choice of words he/she uses in the writing. Questions like these are asked on the test to assess the reader’s ability to go beyond the literal meanings of the words used in the passage.
Inferential Questions can broadly be of two types; one that demands inferences based on information presented within the passage, and one that asks how the presented information can be applied to an external context. For both these types of questions, remember to strictly keep within the scope/boundary of the passage. Make sure that, in your attempt to visualise an external context, you use only and only the information that you definitively derive from the passage alone. It is easy to breach this rule if you already have some knowledge on the matter, so bear exclusive caution if and when that is the case.
Questions that ask for internal inferences (i.e. based on information within the passage) are often asked when ideas in the passage are not stated explicitly, but are implied. These types of questions assess your ability to deduce those ideas from the information that has been stated in the passage, and are asked to gauge how well you can read between the lines. The correct option for a question like this will strongly suggest this implicit idea, and your challenge is to find the part of the passage where the inference may be hidden. A good way of doing this is to find the supporting details that point to each of the four options, and observe in which case these details actually string together to form the idea. You should be able to recognize these questions because of their use of words like “implies”, “infer”, “suggests” etc. that provoke you to look for something within the passage.
Questions that demand external application (i.e. require you to apply presented information elsewhere) are inherently difficult because you need to be able to differentiate between relationships/ideas presented in the passage and other parallel ideas/situations that lie outside its scope. In order to answer questions like these, you have to be very clear about what the passage was about and what it was intending to do aside from merely remembering details it presented. Only then will you be able to recognize the attributes and implications of these ideas, and use it in the new context that the question poses. Questions like this are asked on the test to assess your advanced reasoning skills, and are usually what make the RC section wildly unpredictable.
Cause and Effect Questions are relatively easier to solve, because they are very direct, and the cause-effect relationships on which the questions are based, are explicitly stated in the passage. The only skill required to answer these questions is the ability to distinguish between the cause and the effect. Remember that the cause always precedes the effect, and once again, a clear understanding of the passage’s plan and organization should help you answer questions like these.
Questions that pick out on a specific part of the passage are one of the most common types on the CAT. This specific part could be a sentence, phrase or a meaningful argument, based on which an entire question is constructed. Since these excerpts are directly from the passage, answering questions of this sort can be easy if you have understood the passage well, and can trail back to the part where it came from. This is because the options created for these questions either pick up directly or rephrase the sentences that surround the specific detail.
Now that you are familiar with the types of questions that appear on the test, remember to bear them in mind whenever you practice for the RC section. In fact, for good reading practice, why not incorporate them whenever you read at all? A good place to start could be with the passages posted on the CAT Verbal Prep Group.
The discussion awaits!