Guide to buy Best GMAT Books and Preparation Software

April 18, 2007

Okay!! I know this is gonna be awesome! Books!! The best part of the entire exercise is the part where I get my new books. The smell is itself is so inspiring...forget about the content!! But yeah...there's a lot to be done before you get the books. Books and the prep material which you have can make or break your GMAT. So one needs to make a wise choice before buying the books. Also these books aren't very cheap so as to say. So when you get them, you better suck up every comma, full stop in that book.

Before you buy...think what you aim for, where do you stand right now, how much time do you have....things like that.

Many guys have been asking these questions again and again to me. So I was thinking of writing a post which tells you all about buying your books. And hey!! I am not endorsing any particular publications or any prep classrooms. Whatever I suggest to you is entirely based on my own experiences and my observations. So I can assure you that this is going to be the most unbiased and trustworthy suggestion you can get. And I am equally sure of the good results and benefits you all can reap. :)

Okay so enough of the the gyan:D

You want to start your GMAT prep??
Get these books :

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition
  2. Kaplan GMAT, 2007 Edition: Premier Program (Kaplan Gmat (Book & CD-Rom))
  3. Sentence Correction GMAT Preparation Guide (Manhattan Gmat Prep)
These books are a must. The OG is a must. I have told this several times that doing and redoing the OG is the key. The Kaplan Gmat book will help you know the question type better. It has good theory and will give you a solid background in all the sections. The Sc part is not very good in this book. So you will need a special SC book. No book does it better than the Manhattan SC. My acuracy in SC improved drastically. I cannot imagine my gmat prep without these books. For more info and reviews on these books, you can click on the thumbnails to your left.

You feel you need to work on the verbal/quant section??

Okay! So this is where the supplemental books come into the picture. You can get these books:

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review
  2. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review
  3. Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook
  4. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
You can get either the Official guide reviews or Kaplan Workbooks. Both are not recommended. I would personally go for Kaplan. Why because the language in this book is very inspiring and I feel motivated while doing the problems.

The Verbal review really helped me a lot. I didn't get the Math workbook for myself, but one of my students did. And I am happy to say that it helped him. So if you are really weak in maths, you should get one right away. Its not recommended for people who are above average level in maths.

I think I am in the 750+ league!!

Is that so?? Great!! If this is the thing then there's one book I know which is great and a must must buy for people aiming for somewhere around 750...anyone aiming above than 700 should do this book. And I am very sure that this book will improve your score by 20-30 points if you follow this book well. No surprises here!!

Kaplan GMAT 800 2008-2009

Shortcomings in these books: none of the books is good enough for tough maths. Actual GMAT has tougher question than any of the problems in these books when you reach the 50 level. These books do not give you the "gyan". But that you can always get it from here :D Any one book is not sufficient in itself. They all demand rigorous practice.

For the test materials:
GMAT to download
Kaplan cd...comes with the book
Apart from that paper tests...both power prep ones and kaplan ones.
And if you get timeyou can always help yourself with some tests there on the web.
But I really dont think you need to spend extra bucks for taking practice tests.

For more info and reviews on these books, you can click on the thumbnails to your left.

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  1. Thats an awesome gyan you are givin is no doubt...i'm just starting my GMAT prep and want to thank you for keeping a template for me to strtegize my GMAT cracker...

    P.S. I have included your blog's link in my blog...

  2. Anonymous11:06 PM

    Thanks a lot for all the tips.
    Since I had 10 days to focus on gmat, I entirely rely on your tips and files, especially OG!

    Your blog helped a lot. Seriously a lot :) I got 690, but quiet decent for 10 days preparation (thanks for the help :) ). I think I will take it again when I apply for MBA in few years. (now I am going to MSc Finance, Financial Engineering)

    Great blog.

  3. Anonymous1:18 AM

    u seem to be a die-hard Kaplan fan man!!! no princeton,no scoretop anywhere Kaplan tht good...

  4. Hey Mukul, congrats for writing such a great guide. Tell me to where you are finally heading to.

  5. How is application going on? by the way, great tips!

  6. hi
    it is a great guide. I am wondering should i get Crack the GMAT .Princeton review as well.

    I have the OG, Sentence Correction and Kaplan. Is it too many?

    Also i plan to take the exam only in July. is it too late?

  7. Hi aub & syl!
    So this is gud enuf for i have said..these are a must. you shud finish it fast and then do a checkup and then decide whether u shud go for kaplan 800 pr not. I wud suggest u doing the present material thoroughly and then redo them together with kaplan 800 and other supplemetal books if time permits.
    Its all about how much u want and how much u can put in. But yes, for now this is ok. this will suffice for 4 weeks.


  8. For all the folks curious bout my applications...
    I am not applying this yr. I'll prolly apply next yr, thats for 2010 fall. And my dream colleges is Stan. Dun ask why!

  9. Anonymous1:03 AM

    I am planning to get my GMAT books from USA as one of my friend is coming back in a weeks time. Would getting second hand books make much difference and if yes for which ones can I go for second hand.

  10. Hey ,

    I had to leave my prep in between due to my work load, but I am planning to start again.

    I really dont think Kaplan is worth its money ...I have used it before and its verbal and math are cake walks.

  11. Anonymous7:33 AM

    nice blog!!

  12. Anonymous10:01 AM


    I have now been studying for my GMAT for the past 5 weeks! My focus has been on the OG-11th edition quantitative section... my areas of weakness are problem solving questions and questions that require the use of Venn diagrams...

    Also, I've been told to focus on the last 100 questions of the Problem Solving section and the last 50 questions for the Data Sufficiency section for OG11 as it closely reflects the type of questions that would appear on the GMAT test... is this true?

    Based on your experience, am I spending too much time on this area? I'm thinking to start the verbal - Sentence correction section!

    I've allocated 4 months to prepare everyday! Am I over doing it?

    Any feedback is appreciated!

  13. I wud appreciate if u look up my post on the schedule/plan and get an idea as to how to plan out. Also always do two things at a time....meaning if u are doin verbal as well...and overstressing depends on how gud/bad u r in that topic. I wud say that OG 11 is not very near to the actual thing....use kaplan...

  14. Anonymous5:47 AM

    This may be a dumb question, but what does "gyan" mean? Thanks.

  15. Anonymous9:05 PM

    Thanks so much Mukul. You have given everything in great detailed which inspired me to take the exam asap. I hope its going to be of great use. Thanks again.

  16. Rajesh11:26 AM

    'Gyan' is a wonderful hindi meaning for 'The Knowledge' (no the raw one)

  17. Hi Mukul,
    I wanted to know how good a match are the manhattan test scores to the real gmat. I mean if there's any comparison mapping or something of this sort aat all.

  18. Thanks for this blog!! It is extremely helpful!!
    Suggestion: It would be really nice if you could share your views about finding the right college and funding the education.

  19. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Dear Mukul,

    You have maintained a very comprehensive guide for GMAT.

    I like this 2 month guide. But I have a question. Did you join any GMAT coaching class or you studied on your own.

    Please share you views on the coaching classes for GMAT.

  20. I did join a coaching institute. But without being modest I would say that I was smarter than most of the faculty there. So i quit going after a few classes. Infact I was the one troubleshooting the problems for my other classmates after the classes. But In general it may help. but it greatly depends on who is teaching rather than which coaching company you have joined. It may be worth a while to go check out the classes before u enroll.

  21. Can one use the same books used to prepare for the GMAT to prepare for CAT for IIMs?

  22. preethy9:50 AM

    yeah...even i wd like 2 knw if dez buks help fer CAT as well....the sections r almost d same....

  23. No they will not help you with CAT. CAT is much tougher. May be the Critical Reasoning section is the only similar difficulty level. Absolute no no for Quants. Quants on CAT is super tough.
    In word "NO".

  24. Thanks Mukul! :)

  25. Anonymous7:20 PM

    I definitely agree about the Official Guide. Definitely indispensable when studying for this test. I didn't use the Kaplan books. I thought the Manhattan GMAT books were great, as well as the Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible. You can see more at my site below. Good post!

    How to Study for the GMAT

  26. Thanks for the tips, now i will keep these things in mind at the time of book purchase.

  27. Thanks for this post , 800 score review is mainly based on GMAT Prep Package , product reviews and very simple and easy to use tests.

  28. I want to do a Masters in management abroad preferably in Europe! How do I go about it?

  29. Thank you for sharing this information if you are in search of GMAT preparation . Then you can go for Global Campus.


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