As a 99 Percentiler in VA-RC in CAT 2019, I have been asked how I was able to score such a good percentile where most of the engineers and people from technical backgrounds have difficulty in scoring. My answer has always been read, read and read a lot. Though its time consuming you would love the journey. It would not only help in scoring a good percentile in VA-RC but would also transform your perspective by giving you a broader sense of things. Here’s my top 10 list of books that I would recommend you to read!
So here’s my list of 10 must-read books before appearing for CAT -2021
1) Sapience by Yuval Noah Harari- This book is an extremely compelling and thought-provoking book with profound insights through the brilliantly use of distinct vocabulary, Sapiens has acquired cult status among different kinds of audiences, captivating the readers with the power of storytelling. 16 million copies had been sold around the world and the book has been translated into 60 different languages.
2) Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- This is a novel about relationships specifically the relationships between Amir, Hassan, and Baba at the backdrop of the instability of the Afghan political system in the 1970s and how the complex relationships in our lives overlap and connect to make us the people we are. You will laugh, you will cry at various instances throughout the book ultimately falling in love with this book. One of the most recommended books for developing comprehension skills.
3) Animal Farm by George Orwell- This masterpiece was published in 1945. This novel is based on the backdrop of a farm and the characters were played by animals. The author used it as a metaphor to describe the events of the Russian revolution of 1917. The book has simple and easy to comprehend language. However, what is interesting is its allegorical theme and therefore many RCs are taken directly from this book in the CAT exam.
It’s an interesting book and a short read. For all the novice readers, who are just starting to read and does not like reading that much, give this book an attempt and you would really like the experience of reading and it would incline you towards reading.
4) Alchemist by Paulo Coelho- This is a classic novel by Paulo Coelho in which a boy named Santiago embarks on a journey seeking treasure in the Egyptian pyramids after having a recurring dream about it and on the way meets mentors, falls in love, and most importantly, learns the true importance of who he is and how to improve himself and focus on what really matters in life. Major learning- “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it “.
5) Man’s search for meaning by Victor Frankl- This book provides a detailed account of Victor Frankl’s experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz. The book focuses on love and hope, it also showcases how a purpose in life could help one endure and overcome harrowing experiences. Learning from these books would not only help in comprehension skills but would also teach you the importance of having a purpose in life.
6) Straight from the Gut by Jack Welch-In this book, Welch is both a storyteller as well a coach, using his exceptional career as the backdrop to share his thoughts on what it takes to be a great leader. In his autobiography, Jack makes it apparent how the man who’s considered as one of the finest corporate executives of his generation built his business and his reputation. The career of former General Electric CEO Jack Welch teaches many lessons in management, business, and leadership. For those of you, who dream of acquiring the position of CEO one day should definitely read this book.
7) Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki- This book is about the author and his two fathers- one his real father (poor dad) and the father of his best friend (i.e. Rich dad) and how they have influenced the author’s perception of money and investing. One also learns the generic terminology of finance and it acquaints one with a rudimentary knowledge of investing.
8) Making Smart Decisions HBR- The future MBAs would be the key decision-makers of different corporate giants and for that, one must have an understanding of various biases involved in decision making which can surely affect the outcome of your decisions. Do give it a read, you would get familiar with reading articles by Harvard Business Review as with most of the premier B schools using Harvard case studies as part of the curriculum.
9) Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell-In this book, the author examines the nature of success using various success stories as case studies. Gladwell makes a point that achievement and expertise don’t just happen, but rather they are the result of various crucial and many a time apparently superficial contextual factors. This book would help in expanding the horizon and learning something new.
10) The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy- This 1997 published book has won the Booker Prize. Compared to the works of writers like Dickens and Faulkner, Arundhati Roy’s award-winning debut novel is piercing and captivating, one must read this masterpiece to get acquainted with the beauty of language and storytelling.