Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of the GMAT books on the market in 2013. Not all of these are new. In fact most of them aren’t, but that’s okay. There’s plenty out there that will help you on the GMAT, but be wary, there’s quite a bit of chaff to separate from the wheat. Follow the links to get detailed reviews of any book or topic.
GMAT book reviews – the GOOD
My good friend Chris has reviewed the best GMAT resources. These include the Manhattan GMAT books (MGMAT), which are some of the finest GMAT study sources in print, and of course, the OG13, which every prospective GMAT test-taker should own.
GMAT book reviews – limbo
In our view, the Kaplan GMAT 800, 8th edition and Kaplan New GMAT Premier 2013 books certainly do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as MGMAT and the other good sources, but they’re not nearly as atrocious as the ones we will meet below. Thus, we have created a special limbo zone expressly for these two books.
Also earning a shelf in limbo are the two NOVA math books, the GMAT Math Bible and the GMAT Math Prep Course. These are not for everybody, but if you’re a math nerd who already has exhausted other GMAT Math practice question sources, and you’re just looking for a truckload of math problems to practice, either of these books is wonderful.
GMAT book reviews – the BAD
Both the Peterson’s Master the GMAT 2013 and the Princeton Review Cracking the GMAT 2012 are books that don’t have too much to recommend them. From our point of view, it would disastrous if you made either one of these your sole source of preparation, and even as a supplement to another main source, neither one of these contributes much new that would be valuable.
GMAT book reviews – the UGLY
Run away! Run away! These two are the bottom of the barrel —- if you are given either of these books for free, give it away without opening it! The first is the Barron’s GMAT 16th Edition —- a surprising failure from an otherwise trusted name in test review. Barrons — not bad at all for the SAT, but an unmitigated disaster for the GMAT. The other is the GMAT for Dummies. This 2006 book is woefully out of date — it doesn’t even know that the Integrated Reasoning section exists! If this book were totally up-to-date, it would land in the “Bad” category, but the combination of mediocre material and half-a-decade behind the test — that combination lands it at the bottom of our list.
There’s a lot to sift through when searching for the right study materials. Do you have any experiences you would like to share about any of these books? Any questions? Please let us know in the comments section below!