The common admission test, commonly known as CAT basically requires the student to be skilled in areas of mathematics and English. Good proficiency in numbers and a complete command over the English language is what the exam tries to access in a test-taker. If the student starts his/her cat preparation well in advance, i.e. a year or two prior to the test, there is a lot of scope for the student to explore and spend time with a variety of books.
For mathematics, to start with, the best books for CAT exam preparation would be the tenth and ninth standard CBSE (central board of secondary education) mathematics textbooks. These could help make basics clear before further practice. After the initial brushing-up-of-basics stage, the student could go for more advanced books like Arun Sharma, quantitative aptitude published by S.Chand publishers, Arihant publishers etc which are considered the best books for CAT exam preparation. Also, the study material and books for MBA entrance exams provided by leading coaching institutes like T.I.M.E and IMS are very good and helpful.
The sections dealing with numbers in the CAT exam includes both data interpretation and quantitative aptitude. Thus, to fare well in data interpretation section, the student must be able to deal with data containing numbers efficiently, for which specific books for practice are available. For example, Arihant publishers provide good data interpretation books for CAT preparation. Further, calculating quickly and accurately is a must-to-develop skill for any CAT test taker who is serious about the exam. Thus, constant exposure to numbers and frequent calculation practices should be maintained. The student should keep thinking about numbers and learn quick solving methods or shortcuts to develop the same. Buying Vedic-mathematics books will help in teaching you various shortcuts. Solving Sudoku in newspapers and solving puzzles, riddles and brain teasers will also help developing this skill in the students. Finally, after acquiring the materials, practicing devotedly is the key to success in CAT exam or any other exam for that matter.
To prepare for the English section, there is no one particular book for CAT exam that can help. The student must expose himself to a large variety of books and magazines and must be able to read anything under any topic without losing focus. Leading English newspapers like The Hindu or The Times of India, The Indian express, The Economic times or the Hindustan Times should be read compulsorily by the student. This would not only improve the student’s vocabulary, but would also improve his/her reading speed which is very important for excelling in the reading comprehension section. Moreover, since the English section includes both logical reasoning and reading comprehension, it’s also necessary to practice different forms of questions that would stimulate your logical thinking abilities. Books for this are available in the market, and coaching institutes provide with good books as well. Moreover, one can also solve puzzles from newspaper dailies to improve the same.