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?
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
|Magoosh eBooks |
and flashcards (free)
Read the review
|GMAT forums (free)|
Read the review
Read the review
|The Official Guide |
for GMAT Review
Read the review
Read the review
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.
|Resource||Company||Why You'll Love It|
|Magoosh.com||Magoosh||Wide range of free resources, including study schedules, eBooks, newsletters, video lessons, and practice questions.|
|GMAT Math Flashcards||Magoosh||Available for Android, iPhone, or web. You can study anywhere.|
|GMAT Idioms Flashcards||Magoosh||Available for Android, iPhone, or web. You can study anywhere.|
|Beat the GMAT||Beat the GMAT||Forum for GMAT students and instructors. Honest reviews on GMAT prep options.|
|GMAT Club||GMAT Club||Forum for GMAT students and instructors. Honest reviews on GMAT prep options.|
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:
Or 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 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.
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!
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.)
|Book||Publisher||Pages||Most Recent Edition||Practice Tests/Questions||Approximate Price on Amazon (New)||Notes|
|1||Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set||Manhattan||1912||6th||6 practice tests||$147||10 book series. You don't need all 10 books. You don't need the newest edition.|
|2||The Official Guide to the GMAT Review||GMAC||1440||2017||1500+ questions||$46||3 books. Worth buying for the official practice material from GMAC.|
|3||GMAT Math Prep Course||Nova||528||2016||600+ math questions||$38||Worth buying if you need additional challenging math practice.|
|4||The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible||PowerScore||374||2016||NA||$25||Learn to dissect Critical Reasoning questions like a pro.|
Best GMAT Prep Book: Manhattan GMAT (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 Manhattan GMAT Series, Books 1 – 5
- The Manhattan GMAT Series, Book 6
- The Manhattan GMAT Series, Books 7
- The Manhattan GMAT Series, Books 8
- Manhattan GMAT Advanced Quantitative
- Manhattan GMAT 6-online tests
The Official Guide for GMAT Review (OG) by GMAC
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
3) The OG Quant Review & OG Verbal Review books
4) The old GMAT Paper-based tests, available from GMAC
Need even more math questions? Nova’s GMAT Math Bible is filled with nail-bitingly tough Data Sufficiency questions and Problem Solving ones.
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.