Controlled source audio-frequency magnetotelluric (CSAMT) is typically used to obtain data regarding Cagniard resistivity by calculating the ratio between the electric field and magnetic field. However, noise conditions tend to provide different influences on the electrical and magnetic field component data. Therefore, it has become necessary to develop alternative methods to define apparent resistivity using suitable component data. In addition to the traditional Cagniard resistivity, the conventional single-component and modified single-component apparent resistivity methods have been proposed. In this research we discuss those three different apparent resistivity definitions from the aspects of theoretical formula, applicability, and calculation results of a synthetic model. We find that the modified single-component apparent resistivity method can be successfully used to achieve higher data quality nearer the source, thereby improving the exploration precision. Finally, a case study is conducted to verify our results, which show that the modified apparent resistivity method has the ability to effectively reflect the geoelectric profiling information.