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There are many books available in the market to help students prepare for CAT. While there is no shortcut to the road to success, there are guides that can help you reach your goal faster and easier. Choosing the correct study material makes a lot of difference. Some CAT Books are more trusted and popular among students than others, making them both student and expert recommended.
One of the highest recommended authors by experts and toppers is Arun Sharma. His work revolves on Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation helping aspirants Prepare for CAT.
The book is regularly updated with new chapters, aspects, topics, exercises and the replica questions along with the new approach to answering these questions.
Conceptual clarity on each topic is the prime focus along with fundamentals explained. All the books by Arun Sharma include topic-wise quizzes and practice questions.
All the books also include previous year topic-wise CAT questions for practice and better understanding.
Listed below are the books authored by Arun Sharma with the ISBN number:
|Book Name||Publication||ISBN Number|
|How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude for the CAT||McGraw Hill Publication||9789353160180|
|How to Prepare Logical Reasoning for the CAT||McGraw Hill Publication||9339205588|
|How To Prepare For Data Interpretation For Cat||McGraw Hill Publication||9352606930|
As a graduate from IIM Bangalore himself, Arun Sharma has been into the role of training CAT aspirants for about two and a half decades. His record of clearing the CAT exam 16 times in a row with 99.99 percentile makes him an expert on the matter of clearing this entrance exam. With an advanced knowledge on each topic and years of expertise in teaching, his method of explaining all CAT related topics is to this day the most reliable.
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Every CAT aspirant especially beginners have found his texts to be very useful. His books should used by you if you are:
Looking for a simplistic material: Students who are looking for an easy to understand book with a rather simplistic approach should find Arun Sharma’s book rather easy to absorb. This is because every problem is explained with a step by step solution that caters to students who are yet to reach an advanced level.
Students who are beginners: Chapters in books by Arun Sharma are divided on 3 levels of difficulty. While writing, the author keeps 3 types or levels of students in mind - those who are i) weak at the subject, ii) have moderate or average knowledge and iii) are strong/ have solid knowledge.
Struggling with time management: All the basic concepts, formulas, and tricks are explained well in his texts. As basic concepts are of vital importance in this exam, these levels have proven to be of great help to gradually move from the easiest level to the hardest.
It has been noticed that about 10 - 20% of CAT questions over more than a decade have been taken directly from Arun Sharma. Apart from CAT, educational resources by him can also be used by students who are preparing for the MAT (Management Aptitude Test) examination.
The components of a book are perhaps the most important factor that contributes to the overall content quality and helpfulness to the students. Arun Sharma structures his books in a manner so that readers can understand every chapter without external help.
Listed below are some of the key components that makes Arun Sharma’s CAT preparation books stand out:
Comprehensive solutions: Each chapter has comprehensive solutions for all three levels of difficulty. Instead of just putting the answers in the answer section after each chapter, step by step solution helps students understand how a particular type of question should be approached.
Training ground: This additional helpful feature according to the author is probably the biggest differentiator. This is because the training ground is one area through which students are taught real time higher end problem solving methods.
Arun Sharma also makes a student's experience in the exam hall stress free by discussing how to think and tackle questions of any given difficulty. He advises every management aspirant not to miss the training ground sections.
Additional exercises: In case of some chapters, an entire additional exercise has been added based on it’s concepts. This is meant to help students get important concepts that would help them solve other similar problems fully clarified. This block wise practice sessions are included to ensure that students do not miss out on any probable questions.
Introductory write ups: Arun Sharma has written an introduction to both Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation. This introduction is meant to help all CAT aspirants get a better understanding or a holistic view to the exam. Students can expect to have a fair idea on how to approach the online CAT from the perspective of an examinee. This section gives readers an idea on what has changed in the CAT exam pattern over the years and the preparation process students should embrace to succeed.
Practice tests: At the end of each chapter, questions according to the level of difficulty along with answer keys are given. Students can practise from these sections based on how advanced their knowledge is on that chapter. These questions cover all possible types of problems one can expect in the exam.
Worked out problems are also given before the question section from which students can get an understanding on how to approach these problems.
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Most students prefer to follow more than one author or different sections in CAT. Some students even follow more than one book for each given section. Different authors have different styles of explaining a topic and one particular style might be more appealing to some than another. A method that works for a particular student might necessarily not for others.
Arun Sharma has written extensively for all sections of the CAT exam but to this day his most popular works are his books on Quantitative Aptitude and Data Interpretation. This is based on the feedback of students who chose to refer to multiple books for each section and provided their analytical insights on the same.
Preparing for CAT takes meticulous preparation on a regular basis, especially for students who are preparing all by themselves without help from coaching centres. Before we get into how to tackle these sections, let us understand the question pattern for each of these sections. Time limit for each section is one hour (60 minutes).
There will be 34 questions from Quantitative Aptitude, which means this section is out of 102 marks (34 x 3). Candidates can expect about 24 - 27 MCQ and 7 - 10 non MCQ questions.
There will be 32 questions from Data Interpretation, thus this section is out of 96 marks (32 x 3) in total. Candidates can expect about 12 MCQ and 4 non MCQ questions.
How are his books helpful? Lets know these books better.
Students who want to avoid coaching or tution classes altogether can rely on Arun Sharma for preparation. Here’s how:
Assess where you stand: Arun Sharma has employed the learning curve methodology which can be used by students to evaluate themselves in terms of how much knowledge they currently have. The levels he used are:
LOD 1: Level of difficulty one is for beginners or students who do not have a strong mathematical background. Number of questions falling under this category range between 8 - 10.
LOD 2: Level of difficulty two mainly consists of where formulas are used but vastly involves application of the analytical aspects. Problems in this section are unique in nature and do usually have a trick is the key to solving it.
LOD 3: Candidates may avoid this level. Questions in LOD 3 are complex in nature and required a lot of thinking. Candidates can expect about 2 - 5 questions from this level.
Make use of the explanations: Each chapter is well explained with examples and step by step solutions. Understanding these basics is the first step to solve complex problems. Do not get bogged down if you are unable to solve level 3 questions. Arun Sharma himself suggests that LOD 3 questions should rather be used to learn how complexities can be created from a particular chapter.
Back to school: This is an assessment test section to help you understand where you currently stand on a particular topic from that particular block. You can try to solve questions from this section after you have brushed up on your basics. Students can also use the solved questions for reference if they want as many would argue that it is not a good idea to jump to problem solving before understanding the basics. Nevertheless, the approach is upto the student to decide based on what works for them.
Arun Sharma’s book How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude for Common Admission Test & other Management Examinations has earned thousands of positive reviews from students and teachers alike. It is the most recommended book for this section. Updated every year to keep up with the latest changes and tougher levels every year, the Quantitative Aptitude book is like a personal guide for beginners and advanced students alike. This book covers every topic and subtopic in CAT in detail.
Students who do not have a strong mathematical background are often discouraged from taking this exam.
But Arun Sharma’s block wise approach instead of dividing this section chapter wise which often becomes unmanageable and energy draining for students has made this book more consumable.
The chapters are grouped according to their common concepts which makes mastering Quantitative Aptitude which is a rather lengthy section much faster and easier.
The author has also described the importance of each chapter by analysing the question trends in previous years. Importance level of all chapters are marked as very high, moderate to high, low for each management exam like MAT, CMAT, SNAP, IMRA, IIFT, XAT, NMIMS and obviously CAT.
How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for Common Admission Test & other Management Examinations by Arun Sharma is another widely recommended book for this section. It is written and structured in a manner that is simple to give students a realistic experience of every possible situation that is found in Data Interpretation questions.
This book prepares students in a way that ensures that whenever you are looking at a DI question in an exam or mock test, you feel experienced and know what the problem is asking you to do. This is applicable for all major entrance exams in India.
Arun Sharma has also included test papers based on the latest syllabus. A unique section called ten minute test session that is meant to help students get into the habit of performing under pressure in under exam conditions. Tips, tricks, and shortcuts that would reduce the time spent on a lengthy problem are included all over the book.
In another critical part of the book “challenges in DI”, Arun Sharma explores the depth of DI questions to give students an understanding of the way Data Interpretation questions are usually framed. As far as DI is concerned, one can opt for Arun Sharma only which is a complete resource for CAT aspirants.
|General Tips for Data Interpretation||General Tips for Quantitative Aptitude|
|Understand and familiarize yourself with each type of questions from this section such as tables, pie charts, graphs, data sufficiency, and so on.||Many students make the mistake of trying to memorize each step for all common problems. This should be avoided at all costs and effort must be made to understand the basic concepts so that you can solve a question even if you are not familiar with it.|
|Memorise the tricks and shortcuts to convert fractions to decimals in order to tackle large or lengthy calculations faster. Avoid over approximations for the sake of simplification.||Learn all tables at least till 20, squares, and other common numerical values. Maintain these in a notebook along with all tricks and shortcuts you learn.|
|Read questions more than once in order to understand it correctly. Do not make any assumptions on something if the data is not clearly stated.||While revising, start with the simpler chapters like number system and move to the complex ones such as algebra or permutations and combinations later.|
|Pay close attention to terms such as only, if, apart from, other than, unless, and so on. You may note down the conclusions or facts established from each statement to avoid making factually incorrect errors.||While solving mock question papers, practise time management. Try not to spend more than one and a half minutes on each problem as you will get only 2 mins for each question in the hall.|
As mentioned before, Arun Sharma can be used by students of all levels. If you are a beginner, here are some tips on how to use his books to prepare for CAT:
Basics are your friend: One cannot score well in the CAT exam if they are not familiar with the basics. So make sure that you have gone through the explanations and examples for trying to solve any problem.
Understand the core concepts - Arun Sharma has discussed a few concepts both before the beginning of a block and the chapters before each exercise. Maintain a separate notebook for all the new formulas and tricks you learn them or simply highlight those with a marker for references.
Go through the solved questions: before you try to solve the questions at the end of each chapter, go through the solved questions. Alternatively students can also try to solve these examples on their own. Do not look at the answer before you are done.
Work your way through each level: Arun Sharma’s books are divided into levels of difficulty to help readers learn according to their knowledge and capacity. Experts suggest that students may skip the third level of difficulty completely as CAT does not set questions that tough. But beginners however must complete at least level two after clearing the first one.
Memorise the easier methods: For any management or entrance exam, experts recommend by hearting the shortcut methods, tricks, and formulas to increase the speed of solving complex problems. Arun Sharma’s books have many sections that are dedicated to give students an easier way out of complex problems with simple tricks.
Many students who are new to the CAT exam or preparing for the first time, are often at a loss when it comes to choosing the right resources. Though both are eminent authors, students should choose books which are better suited for them. The comparison below will help you make the right choice:
|Arun Sharma||Sarvesh K Verma|
Arun Sharma’s use of easy language combined with exemplified explanations makes it the right guide for students who do not have a good command over the English language and students who are new to the CAT exam.
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