The 8 Best GMAT Prep Books to Buy in 2018

Ready to enroll in biz school? These test prep books can make it a reality

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So, you decided you're ready to enroll in business school. Now you need to study up and prepare for the GMAT. And we can help with that part. A quality GMAT prep book includes realistic practice questions similar to what you’ll see on the day of the exam, as well as strategies that fit your needs and a price that fits your budget. Whether you want to get into one of the top MBA programs in the country, improve your math score or secure a scholarship with a winning essay, you’ll find the GMAT prep book that’s right for you on this list.

Best Practice Questions: The GMAT Official Guide 2018

The GMAT Official Guide 2018
Courtesy of Amazon

The GMAT Official Guide (available on Kindle and in print) is written by the actual authors of the exam. As such, the questions you’ll see here are very similar to the ones you’ll encounter on the actual GMAT.

The GMAT Official Guide starts with a detailed description of each section of the test, which is especially helpful if you’re not yet familiar with the format or content. The book includes over 900 realistic practice questions and detailed answer explanations for each one, as well as a comprehensive math and grammar review tailored to the quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT. Your purchase also gives you access to valuable online practice resources, including customizable sets of practice questions that you can compile into quizzes that fit your particular strengths and weaknesses.

Best Advanced Math Strategies: GMAT Advanced Quant

If you’re already scoring highly on the GMAT quant section and looking for a boost, Manhattan Prep’s GMAT Advanced Quant can help you feel more in control. This guide is particularly suited for students who are already familiar with the basics of the quant section, don’t need a complete math refresher, and are looking to score a 650 or above on the GMAT math section.

Manhattan Prep’s guide to advanced quant includes over 250 practice questions and strategies for conquering especially high-level problem solving and data sufficiency GMAT problems. All the tips and tricks are geared towards the most complex quant questions you’ll see on exam day. Purchasing this book also gives you access to the Advanced Quant Homework Bank and the Advanced Quant Bonus Drill Set for extra practice.

Best Grammar Review: GMAT For Dummies

Even if you’re a skilled reader and writer, GMAT grammar can present a challenge. Very specific grammar issues are tested on the exam, especially in the sentence correction questions within the Verbal section. A GMAT-specific grammar review, like the one provided in GMAT for Dummies (available on Kindle, as well as in paperback) can allay some of your fears.

GMAT for Dummies is especially helpful if you’re not sure how to work through other, denser exam guides. It’s all in plain, conversational English. After a comprehensive overview of the exam, the book’s authors will take you through each part of the test step-by-step. The review of relevant grammar concepts (and accompanying practice questions) is superb, clear and straightforward. The book also includes five full-length GMAT practice tests, two in print and three online, and access to additional online practice materials.

Best Integrated Reasoning: McGraw-Hill Education’s Conquering the GMAT

The integrated reasoning section of the GMAT has only been around since 2012, so not all practice materials include in-depth tips (or any tips, for that matter) on how to ace integrated reasoning questions. If you’re having trouble with the short but complex IR section on your GMAT practice tests, McGraw-Hill Education’s Conquering the GMAT Math and Integrated Reasoning for Kindle and print) will be a good addition to your GMAT prep book collection. Although the book is largely devoted to GMAT math, it also includes one of the most in-depth guides to the integrated reasoning section on the market.

The trickiest thing about the IR section is how complex it is, with each question including multiple parts and requiring multiple kinds of reasoning. The authors of this prep book break down sample IR questions into their respective components so you’re never confused, and walk you through a variety of example questions so you can practice what you’ve learned. The book includes two full-length GMAT math practice tests and two full-length GMAT integrated reasoning practice tests.

Best Last-Minute GMAT Prep: Brandon Wu’s 30-Day GMAT Success

If you’re low on available study time and need to cram for the test, Brandon Wu’s 30-Day GMAT Success will help you in a pinch. Organized to provide a comprehensive guide to the GMAT in a short period of time, this prep book is especially accessible and easy to absorb.

Because it’s meant to help you in semi-desperate times, 30-Day GMAT Success — which can be purchased for the Kindle and or in paperback form — focuses more on tips and tricks than skill-building. Struggling with recognizing GMAT idioms? There’s a cheat sheet for that. Not remembering all the relevant GMAT math terminology? There’s a cheat sheet for that, too. (You get the idea.) There are practice questions and testing strategies here, but the unique thing about this book is that it helps you cut through the excess to get right to the meat of what you most need to study.

Best Critical Reasoning Tips: The PowerScore Critical Reasoning Bible

GMAT test-takers often find the critical reasoning questions to be some of the most challenging. In particular, it’s difficult to know not only that an argument is flawed, but precisely why. PowerScore’s Critical Reasoning Bible, part of its GMAT Verbal Bible Trilogy, will help you break down each argument on the GMAT and analyze it in depth. In particular, students report a significant reduction in the amount of time they spend on each GMAT critical reasoning question after using PowerScore’s prep strategies.

The book includes a detailed analysis of each kind of critical reasoning GMAT question, every kind of logical fallacy you’ll encounter on the GMAT, as well as a guide on how to separate common trap answers from the correct ones. The strategies you learn in this book will also help you with GMAT critical reasoning questions and the analytical writing assessment. Your purchase also gives you access to a variety of online PowerScore GMAT practice resources.

Best Essay Guidance: Vibrant Publishers’ GMAT Analytical Writing

Worried about how to approach the GMAT essay? Vibrant Publishers’ GMAT Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Argument Topics will give you all the examples you need for successful responses to GMAT essay prompts. It offers great value and a comprehensive guide to the GMAT essay.

The book includes sixty Analyze an Argument sample prompts for you to practice with, as well as a variety of pre-writing exercises. The book’s authors will take you through the ways to analyze a given argument, locate its critical flaws and propose alternatives that would strengthen the argument at hand. GMAT Analytical Writing also provides scoring guides for you to evaluate your own writing as you progress.

Best Reading Strategies: The PowerScore Reading Comprehension Bible

If you have trouble getting through GMAT reading comprehension passages in a timely manner or picking out the relevant information, The PowerScore Reading Comprehension Bible will be a godsend. The Reading Comprehension Bible includes sample passages, questions, and analyses of each question type, along with drills of particular skills.

The GMAT Reading Comprehension Bible will help you break down each kind of reading comprehension passage into its relevant components and evaluate it efficiently and effectively in order to find the information you need. In addition, to sample reading comprehension passages, questions, strategies and drills, the Reading Comprehension Bible includes access to additional online practice materials and tips.