Find all School-related info fast with the new School-Specific MBA Forum

It is currently 11 Feb 2016, 13:45
GMAT Club Tests


GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance


we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

Best MBA Books

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
Expert Post
13 KUDOS received
User avatar
Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 13327
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 3122

Kudos [?]: 17182 [13] , given: 4113

GMAT ToolKit User Top 10 in overall CAT Tests
Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2010, 15:56
This post received
Expert's post
This post was

Best MBA Books - overview, recommendations, and comments


Your MBA Game Plan - 3rd Edition - The Best Book on Applications & Essays (11/20/2011)
New edition released 11/20/2011
Essays: Provides 34 sample essays (unknown freshness - I need to buy a previous version of the book to compare)

- Fairly concise and can be read/covered pretty quickly (the fact that the book is well written helps)
- I like very much the suggestions for the 4 key dimensions of an applicant (Leadership, innovation, teamwork, and maturity). The book then creates a table with these as column headings and numerous parts of the application as the rows (such as transcript, work experience, resume, LOR, essays, GMAT, extracurricular activities) and allows you to tick off each element that contributes to any of the 4
- Chart of GMAT 80% distribution scores for the top 20 programs and a few other stats/charts
- Applicant profiles - the book splits up the application tips/strategy based on the applicant profiles
- Typical backgrounds of students at the MBA programs and also their career backgrounds. (Consulting is 25%)
- Interview tips (good but not very exhaustive prep)
- Information about each of the top 30 programs with details on application strategy (what the school focuses on, what they are looking for, who is a good fit, and also some additional unofficial insights that Vertas saw from the years of work with applications to each of the schools)
- Real sample Essay Analysis (34 total essays)
- Sevearal in-depth profile examples
- Sample Resumes (5)

- Though laid out fine, I am having a hard time finding information I have read previously. The markers on some of the essays and sections could be identified better or have some standard icons/symbols and Table of contents should be really expanded to include subsections. Right now it is not useful.
- Would be great to see things not to do/disaster stories/examples of poor fit (there are several essays at the back that are not stellar and are illustrations of exactly that) but would love to see more as well as common weaknesses and approaches to address/eliminate
- Add strategies for re-applicants
- Would benefit the most applicants who have 9 months for the entire process


Great Application Essays for Business School - 2nd Edition - The Best Book for Essays (12/20/2010)
New edition released 12/20/2010
Essays: Covers 8 most common essay questions; Includes 22 44 real essays (22 new essays)
This is by far the best book on MBA Essays I have reviewed. It is motivating to read and contains nuggets of value on every page. Even the obvious points in the "what not to do" section are strong
+ Fresh content - updated with latest questions, essays, themes, mistakes, figures, etc
+ Great self-diagnostic/reflection methodology
+ Real essays and real examples
+ What not-to-do section with every chapter
+ Practical - it is not a bunch of tricks or gimmicks but solid value
+ Numerous quotes from admissions officers
+ Section on Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
+ New section for Waitlist strategies with 2 case studies about successful converts from WL into Admits (Michigan Ross and Chicago Booth) - 20 pages of content following these 2 applicants

- Essays are getting a bit dated in this edition, so awaiting the second edition
- None really
Bottom line: taking into consideration that an Admissions consultant could cost $2-4K per school, this is a great guide. I wish this book was out when I was applying.

65 Successful Harvard Business School Application Essays, 2nd Edition

Number of Essays: 65 (41 recent essays and 24 essays that are 5+ years old)
Schools: Covers 1 school
- The main value: you can read the essays of the applicants who got into the HBS
- 41 recent essays; this is the new edition of the book and has been updated with 41 new essays (24 are carried over from the old edition)
- There is only one essay per person (both good and bad); you get more variety but at the same time only a fraction of the picture
- The only book with recent essays (all others have 5, 7, and 10+ year old essays)

- The main disadvantage: you see only a small piece of the puzzle and may potentially change your application for worse
- Analysis of each essay is very minimal and is not "official" per se
- Absolutely Zero advice/strategies/recommendations. The book starts off with essays

BOTTOM LINE: If you are going to a top 10 school, it is a $10 well spent. However, this book is only valuable as a reference/secondary guide. Find a good general book on essays such as Paul Bodine's Great Applications for Business School or How to get into the Top MBA programs by Richard Montauk and use them as the base and this book to compare your style, story, etc.

MBA Admissions Strategy: From profile building to essay writing Review by Vorskl
- excellent overview of all speps of the admission process
- it's important Avi starts with description of tools and techniques to extract your own stories, goals, value, failures etc - all the valuable material needed for high-quality essays. Follow these steps and don't skip them. 1 hour of data mining = 5 hours saved in essay writing.
- great breakdown of typical essay questions, their true meaning and traps

- too few practical examples! Sometimes it's hard to understand what Avi means or how to implement his ideas in practice
- the book is all about profile building and essays. There is not that much info about recommendations, interviews etc.
Value for money: 4.5/5

The Precision Essay Guide to Elite MBA Admissions Review by Vorskl
- very practical. There are no filling words in the guide, all text is there for a reason
- live and funny language, yet intelligent and smart. I truly enjoyed reading it!
- precise, actionable advices (step 1-2...5 instead of vague 'get to know your goals' you can find in many other sources)
- fresh material. There are no references to topics that were popular in Clinton's times.
- authors' advices closely follow examples they included into the book, there is no mismatch.

- the books feels too thin..
- Chapter 5 - Major essay types - contains too few examples

Grading: 4.5/5
Great value for little money. Adding extra examples (into Chapter 5) would make the book one of the best essay guides on the market.

MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools Review by bb
Section on setting goals
Good self-assessment section
Research (how and where to learn about schools)
Addresses the common questions such as School Visit, R1 vs. R2, How many schools to apply to, etc
Each chapter has a good summary at the end
Goes into how AdCom's evaluate applicants
Writing Principles
15 essay examples that seem current
Very good LOR advice
Good bschool resume tips

Overview of what schools are looking for is a bit weak and the intro is slow.
Specific essay topics section is short
Name - it is hard to take the book seriously
I would love to see more essay examples, esp specific ones or full packages

How to Apply for an MBA - MBA Prep School
- Good content and practical tips; no fluff. 209 pages get to the point, though the font is too big at times (could have made it shorter)
- Good points about how not to get dinged (I really liked this section - it is pretty good). You can almost call this book, how not to get dinged
- Chapter review sections are helpful
- Good layout and formatting (well done ebook with good illustrations, not just a bunch of text)

- eBook only format

Outdated! Business School Essays that Made a Difference, 3rd Edition
Number of Essays: 61 Outdated Essays: from 2002
Schools: Covers 15 schools
Babson, Case, Claremont, Tuck, Gozueta, Sloan, Rutgers, Tulane, Booth, Tippie, Ross, Montana, Kenan-Flagler, Simon, McCombs

Comments:Each essay comes along with comments and critique from the author and admissions professionals (they give their perspective/feedback). In addition, the first third of the book has great general admissions/essays overview. It covers a general strategy "How to craft your essays", Common essay questions (what they are really asking), English grammar check list, interviews with students and also admissions directors from a number of the top 20 schools. Gives you an idea/perspective into what they are looking for in the essays and how decisions are made.

Outdated! Essays That Will Get You into Business School 3rd Edition

Number of Essays: 56 Warning: 5 Essays are from 2001 and 51 are from 1996
Schools: Covers 16 schools
Wharton, Darden, Tuck, Kellogg, HBS, Stanford, Wharton WEMBA, Yale, Columbia, Ross, UCLA, Booth, Sloan, Haas, Lauder, Fuqua

General MBA Application Strategy

How to Get into the Top MBA Programs, 5th Edition
- All-in-one book (covers every stage of the application process)
- Includes 67 Real Essays covering 31 specific Topics (however, there are some really old ones)
- Great sections on Recommendations (do's and dont's as well as what is appropriate), also good section on interviews.
- Has helpful insights (framed sections) that provide additional insight from admissions officers of schools on various topics such as gmat score split, recommendations, retaking gmat, etc
- Sets the proper expectation in terms of time needed for the process. Most people underestimate the time needed to take the gmat, write essays, proofread them, and then have time for a job/family.
- I found insights from admissions to be very valuable (in many sections of the book). Most of the time, they don't tell you some big secret, but get a confirmation about a certain process (waitlist for example or application review) is very helpful and comforting that you are on the right track

- Does not provide any information about schools specifics (???). It is called how to get into the top business schools but actually does not cover the top schools in detail
- Extra stuff (starts from Why MBA & types of MBA programs and ends with post-acceptance information, though frankly, for most, it will be the substance in between that will matter the most). Only about 400 pages out of 600 are the meat, which is plenty actually
- Some outdated parts that have changed since
- Some Essays are outdated (some are 10 years old - ouch). They are also really long. In the past 5 years the length has been cut down to just a page or even less.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
PE MBA Guide.gif
PE MBA Guide.gif [ 2.59 KiB | Viewed 164442 times ]
mbaprepschool.png [ 27.93 KiB | Viewed 146657 times ]


Founder of GMAT Club

Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... | Want to know your GMAT Score? Try GMAT Score Estimator
Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books

Co-author of the GMAT Club tests

Have a blog? Feature it on GMAT Club!

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

Last edited by kirstik on 18 Feb 2014, 12:43, edited 45 times in total.
Kaplan Promo CodeKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 421
Followers: 36

Kudos [?]: 59 [0], given: 11

Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 25 Aug 2011, 09:12
bb wrote:

I'd agree with that review. On the point about the book being thin, I conveyed the same to the Precision Essay team after reading it when it was just released. But I think what it lacks in volume, it more than makes up for it, by providing high quality, specific and actionable advice. For readers of their blog, the style and approach will sound familiar and appealing.

Excellent resource!

Sameer Kamat | Founder - MBA Crystal Ball | Email: info at mbacrystalball dot com

Expert Post
User avatar
Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 13327
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 3122

Kudos [?]: 17182 [0], given: 4113

GMAT ToolKit User Top 10 in overall CAT Tests
Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2011, 21:25
Expert's post
The first post has been updated.
I have been waiting for the Veritas Prep Your MBA Game Plan to come out and I think it was worth the wait. It boils things down in the application process and provides quite ab it of de-mystification. Highly recommend it along with Paul Bodine's Great Applications, which is currently on sale for $7.91

Founder of GMAT Club

Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... | Want to know your GMAT Score? Try GMAT Score Estimator
Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books

Co-author of the GMAT Club tests

Have a blog? Feature it on GMAT Club!

GMAT Club Premium Membership - big benefits and savings

User avatar
Status: Seeking new horizons...
Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 64
Location: Taiwan
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
Schools: ESADE '15 (A)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 22 [0], given: 29

Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 13 Jun 2012, 00:57
Hi BB,
I have a question. I am following Guide to Business School Application, compiled by Rhyme, which appears to address most of the critical issues related to one's application.
Which book would you suggest to read along with Rhyme's awesome guide?

Learn to walk before you run.

Joined: 26 Feb 2012
Posts: 100
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 36 [0], given: 23

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 12:13
Thanks for the list bb. Pretty excited to get started on the applications!
User avatar
Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 11

Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 07:57
I have Montauk and Great Applications for Business schools...are those comprehensive enough, or I should I pick up another?

Thanks folks!
Non-Human User
User avatar
Joined: 01 Oct 2013
Posts: 420
Followers: 53

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 0

Top 10 in overall
Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 17 Jan 2014, 03:21
Hello from the GMAT Club MBAbot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

Want to see all other topics I dig out? Follow me (click follow button on profile). You will receive a summary of all topics I bump in your profile area as well as via email.
Joined: 06 Oct 2014
Posts: 6
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 06 Oct 2014, 19:31
Thank you for this suggestion. How can I purchase these books?
Joined: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 44
Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Strategy
GMAT 1: 700 Q47 V38
WE: Account Management (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 17

Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2014, 13:34
I'm considering using multiple mba books. The Best Business School Admissions Secrets for making sure I have a solid brand I can focus my application around. How to Apply for an MBA to make sure I clarify any issues as to make sure I strengthen various areas of my application. I just want to make sure I won't get dinged when I could have done something about it. Lastly, Great Application for Business Schools for everything else.

I'm not looking to apply until next year so I have plenty of time. I've already finished the first book, started the second book, and will consider buying Bodine's book soon as well. It seems like every book has its pros and cons and I just want to really make sure I am looking at it from multiple points of view.

Anyone have any thoughts on why I should or should not take this approach?

Posted from my mobile device Image
Joined: 02 Jul 2011
Posts: 11
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2015, 00:53
Can somebody give a review on 'The MBA Application Roadmap' by Stacy Blackman? ... 0912301899

I have so far been intrigued only by the 'Your MBA Game plan' book mentioned first up in the initial post of this thread, however since one of the cons mentioned is 'good for someone who has 9 months to apply', I clearly don't fit that slot.

So I'm looking for an alternative.

Expert Post
Admission Consultant
User avatar
Status: Harvard Alum
Affiliations: Harvard University
Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 138
Location: United States (NY)
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 24 [0], given: 1

Re: Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 18 Nov 2015, 08:05
Expert's post
Hi, I made a comprehensive list of the 5 best MBA admission essay books that will help you get into a "Top Ten" school. You can check out the list here: ... e-top-ten/

All excellent books!

[I'm a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard grad, and currently run the MBA admissions firm, out of New York. Feel free to contact me to request more information, and get into the school of your dreams! ]
Haas Thread Master
User avatar
Joined: 12 Nov 2014
Posts: 125
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
Followers: 10

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 12

CAT Tests
Best MBA Books [#permalink] New post 18 Jan 2016, 04:11
Hi friends,
For preparing MBA application at top schools, I bought almost best books on the market :-D- carefully selected and all books recommended by BB too . I would like to sell them out with so cheap prices to support you. Please email me if you are interested ( my contact is in the file). Books which are no sale- i might give away. I expect to collect few USD- i collect amazon gift card for convenience, except from Harbus essays book for Harvard ( which was bought with 70 usd ).
Thank you!!!
Ps : if this sale is illegal, i will remove it :(

MBA Application Books 29_12_2015.doc [44 KiB]
Downloaded 1 time

To download please login or register as a user


Happiness always comes to who always try the best ! Never give up never give in

Best MBA Books   [#permalink] 18 Jan 2016, 04:11

Go to page   Previous    1   2   3   [ 51 posts ] 

    Similar topics Author Replies Last post
Experts publish their posts in the topic Best books on b-school applications sepandee 7 28 Jan 2013, 12:43
Where is the best MBA on Leadership?! JustDeals 4 12 Feb 2008, 06:19
Best Books to buy? dalexc 11 07 Jul 2007, 15:32
Best MBA books to buy GMAT? 4 12 Dec 2006, 12:35
Best source for MBA rankings? MBABound16 1 15 Aug 2006, 06:52
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Best MBA Books

  Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  

GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group and phpBB SEO

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.