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Best GMAT Books and Resources

What are the best GMAT books? And which GMAT resources are the most up-to-date and comprehensive? Look no further.  Here are our up-to-date reviews of the top GMAT books and resources available. Our current recommendations include material from Magoosh itself, online GMAT forums, Manhattan GMAT, Nova, PowerScore, and GMAC.

Before you discover our favorite GMAT prep options on the market, be sure to take a look at this giant list of Magoosh’s free GMAT resources. Free is nice, right? Also, check out our complete list of GMAT practice test resources here. (You can never have too many!)

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Finding The Best GMAT Books and Resources

The first step in preparing for the GMAT is finding the best resources. (Note: Sometimes the best GMAT books aren’t the newest editions.) With the welter of test prep companies touting their respective books, this first step can be downright daunting.

Below is a list of the only GMAT books and resources you will ever need to use. So don’t feel overwhelmed. Your prep starts and stops with the material below.

Table of Contents

The resources and book reviews in this post are organized by cost. We’ll start with three free resources and then look at four paid ones.

We know that you’re busy and have probably already done your fair share of research on the available options. Feel free to click the links below to jump ahead in the post. No judgement.

All GMAT Resource Reviews

best gmat prepbest gmat prepbest gmat prep
Magoosh eBooks
and flashcards (free)

Read the review

 
GMAT forums (free)
Read the review
 
Manhattan GMAT
Read the review
 
best gmat prepbest gmat prep
The Official Guide
for GMAT Review
(from GMAC)

Read the review
 
Nova
Read the review
 
PowerScore
Read the review
 

Best Free GMAT Resources

Remember: Just because a resource is free doesn’t mean that it isn’t high quality. A lot of students begin prepping for business school and start to think that the number of dollar signs in front of something is a symbol of quality. Sure, there’s often a correlation there — but $:quality it isn’t a causal relationship. Most students will use a mix of paid and free resources to prep.

Here are the best free resources you can start using right away.

ResourceCompanyWhy You'll Love It
Magoosh.comMagooshWide range of free resources, including study schedules, eBooks, newsletters, video lessons, and practice questions.
GMAT Math FlashcardsMagooshAvailable for Android, iPhone, or web. You can study anywhere.
GMAT Idioms FlashcardsMagooshAvailable for Android, iPhone, or web. You can study anywhere.
Beat the GMATBeat the GMATForum for GMAT students and instructors. Honest reviews on GMAT prep options.
GMAT ClubGMAT ClubForum for GMAT students and instructors. Honest reviews on GMAT prep options.

Magoosh.com

Want to get accustomed to taking a stressful test on a computer? Magoosh (that’s us!) offers hundreds upon hundreds of practice questions, all with the stress-inducing timer. Want to learn the fundamentals á la MGMAT, but on a computer? Magoosh has hundreds of lessons modules to get you up and running. That’s our paid product.

But Magoosh is all about making prep accessible. So, in addition to our brilliant Premium GMAT Prep, we offer lots of free online resources. And they’re all awesome. (Sure we’re a little biased toward our own prep program, but it’s a seriously great online resource.)

I mean, just check out this blog! Have you seen GMAT Tuesdays with Kevin? Or tried some of Mike’s crazy hard practice questions?

And don’t forget to check out our free GMAT eBooks:

Magoosh's Complete Guide to the GMAT eBook Magoosh's GMAT Idiom eBook Magoosh's Complete Guide to GMAT Integrated ReasoningOr our detailed GMAT study schedules.

You can sign up for our GMAT newsletter to get tips and resources in your inbox.

And watch videos on our YouTube channel.

While you’re at it, check out our video explanations for the Official Guide for GMAT Review 2016.

And if you’re interested in something you can use on the go…

FREE Magoosh GMAT Math Flashcards

Learn and review the most important GMAT math concepts with free online flashcards. Improve your GMAT Math score. Available for Android, iPhone, and web.

free magoosh gmat math flashcards

Get the iOS, Android, and Web links here.

FREE Magoosh GMAT Idioms Flashcards

Master the 160 most important GMAT idioms and grammar rules with free online flashcards. Improve your GMAT Verbal score. Available for Android, iPhone, and web.

magoosh gmat idioms flashcards

Get the iOS, Android, and Web links here.

GMAT Forums

GMAT club forum
beat-the-gmat

No man is an island, John Donne once intoned. So don’t be an island, and get out there with you newly acquired GMAT knowledge. Think you can provide a strong explanation to a question? Help the community out. Stumped? Then there are experts waiting to give you a hand over at the GMAT forums. You’ll probably even run into our GMAT expert Mike while you’re at GMAT Club!

Improve your GMAT score

Reviews of the Best GMAT Prep Books

Printed books generally cost money, and these GMAT prep books are no exception. When it comes to paid products, Manhattan GMAT, Nova’s GMAT math book, PowerPrep GMAT and the Official Guide to the GMAT get our top recommendations.

Remember before when I said that most students use a mix of free and paid prep resources? If you’re on a really tight budget (many students are), try to avoid discounting resources because they cost some money. GMAT prep is an investment. Magoosh’s goal is to make test prep accessible to all students. The point of this particular post is to help you save money by purchasing only the resources that are most worth your valuable time and money. Prep should be efficient and fun.

So, without any further ado, here are our top recommended GMAT prep books. (Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the table to view more information.)

 BookPublisherPagesMost Recent EditionPractice Tests/QuestionsApproximate Price on Amazon (New)Notes
1Complete GMAT Strategy Guide SetManhattan19126th6 practice tests$14710 book series. You don't need all 10 books. You don't need the newest edition.
2The Official Guide to the GMAT ReviewGMAC144020171500+ questions$463 books. Worth buying for the official practice material from GMAC.
3GMAT Math Prep CourseNova5282016600+ math questions$38Worth buying if you need additional challenging math practice.
4The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning BiblePowerScore3742016NA$25Learn to dissect Critical Reasoning questions like a pro.

Best GMAT Prep Book: Manhattan GMAT (MGMAT)

MGMAT

This series is the GMAT bible. Don’t just learn a bunch of nifty tricks; learn the fundamentals behind the questions, so you won’t just be flailing about test day, relying only on guessing strategies.

The Official Guide for GMAT Review (OG) by GMAC

best gmat books

Some would argue that the GMAT OG material is the actual bible of GMAT preparation, and the rest mere apocrypha. After all, these are the brilliant people (the GMAC) who actually write the questions you’ll see test day. But don’t rely on the Official Guides for strategies (the way you would with MGMAT), use Official material for the best source of high quality GMAT questions.

Do you have to have the most recent edition of the OG? Not necessarily. If you don’t own a copy of the GMAT OG, then of course, buy the most recent edition. But, if you already own a copy of the GMAT OG, and then a new one is released, don’t panic and don’t rush out to buy the new one. Any of the versions of the OG from 2012 onward would be fine (i.e. the 13th edition, published in 2012). You can get an elite score using any one of these recent editions of the GMAT OG.

Other official resources that have questions just as good as the GMAT OG

      1) GMAT Prep (free

downloadable

    software)

2) Assorted “exam packs” and “question packs” you can buy for GMAT Prep

3) The OG Quant Review & OG Verbal Review books

4) The old GMAT Paper-based tests, available from GMAC

Nova

nova gmat math prep course book review

Need even more math questions? Nova’s GMAT Math Bible is filled with nail-bitingly tough Data Sufficiency questions and Problem Solving ones.

PowerScore

powerscore gmat critical reasoning bible book review

PowerScore built its reputation as an LSAT company with its LSAT Critical Reasoning Bible. For those who don’t know, the LSAT is the GMAT Critical Reasoning section on steroids, so you can bet that PowerScore really knows how to dissect one of the most difficult question types on the GMAT.

 

GMAT Study Material: What You Really Need to Know

As you’ve seen in these reviews, many of the best GMAT study materials come from online forums, reputable websites, and book publishers such as Manhattan, Nova, PowerPrep, GMAC and so on. But good GMAT study material can come from many other sources. What’s important is that you seek out as much high quality GMAT prep as possible.

That’s all for now! Don’t see your favorite study materials? Want a review of a book we haven’t gotten to yet? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February of 2013, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

 

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