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Best GMAT Books of 2020

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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 20203
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
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Best GMAT Books of 2020  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 17 May 2020, 14:43
Best GMAT Prep Books and only the Best

Usually these books are a great starting point - they get you familiarized with the test format, sections, timing, and main strategies. Sometimes books are not the best tool and there are low-cost GMAT Courses out there, but this discussion is about books.

My recommendation - Get at least 2 books:
  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2020 (OG for short), you can get the online or print version - you will need it in every case since OG contains a collection of about 1,000 Real Test Questions. There is also a separate Verbal OG and Quant OG books with additional 300 Verbal and Quant questions (no overlap).
  2. Another Book or Bundle - this choice will depend on your needs and time you have. See a below Table for my ideas & suggestions.

For dedicated/specialized Math or Verbal GMAT guidebook, see:

The first column lists book categories and the purpose behind them and the other columns list approaches to the GMAT from average to most comprehensive. These are designed to copliment the GMAT Study plan thread.

Book Bundles and Study Plans at a Glance
Standard Plan
1-2 months
2-4 months
3-5 months
Infinity and Beyond
General Books & Bundles
Explain how GMAT works, provide question strategies, and offer practice tests
Kaplan Prep Plus
+ comes with 6 CATs
+ takes 4-6 weeks to cover
+ good for 650 score

MGMAT 10-Book Bundle
+ comes with 6 CAT's
+ Comes with GMAT Roadmap - I love this book of hacks & tips

OR Veritas Prep Bundle
+ comes with 7 CAT's
- expensive

MGMAT 10-Book Bundle
+ comes with 6 CAT's
+ Comes with GMAT Roadmap - I love this book of hacks & tips

OR Veritas Prep Bundle
+ comes with 7 CAT's
- expensive

GMAT Test Simulation Booklet
+ Great for practice
MGMAT Roadmap
+ Make sure you read it
Quant Books
Refresh math principles, fill gaps, and learn patterns
Kaplan Math Workbook
+ Compact and enough for Q48
- missing probability and combinations
Included in BundleIncluded in Bundle

MGMAT Math Foundations
+ Really good if you are rusty or were never good at math
GMAT Club Math Book
+ Written by some of the most brilliant minds on GMAT Club

MGMAT Advanced Quant
- Some say is too hard
Verbal Books
Refresh grammar rules, refine CR and RC strategies
Kaplan Verbal Workbook
+ Packed with good strategies
Included in BundleIncluded in Bundle

MGMAT Verbal Foundations
+ Great for internationals

GMAT Club's Grammar Book
+ GMAT-only grammar
CR: PowerScore CR
CR: LSAT Questions
SC: Powerscore SC

GMAT Fiction
+ Improve your Verbal skills while reading great books
Practice Questions
Additional practice
Official Guide 2019
+ 900 real retired GMAT questions
OG 2019 Bundle
+ 1,500 retired quant GMAT questions
OG 2019 Bundle
+ 1,500 real retired GMAT questions
Kaplan GMAT 800

Princeton Review 1,138
+ Great target practice

Old Official Guides
- may have overlap with GMAT Prep Tests

Forum Question Banks
Computer Adaptive Tests
Kaplan - 6
GMAT Prep - 2 Free
Free CATs - 5
GMAT Prep Tests 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
+ 20% off for Premium Members
Free CATs - 5
GMAT Prep - 2 Free
GMAT Prep Bundle
+ 30% off for Premium Members
Veritas Prep CATs - 7
+ Free for Premium Members
GMAT Club Tests
Tough Quant Tests for those looking for Q50+

1. GMAT Official Guide - 2020 Ed
Published by the creators of the GMAT. Must have to access to 1,000+ real GMAT questions but lacks any strategies.
1. 1,000 real GMAT questions
2. The practice questions follow actual GMAT test patterns - great to have one's ear trained
3. Online system but sometimes hit and miss
1. The book does not contain any strategies
2. It does have a few short review sections but they are very weak
3. Mostly low and medium difficulty questions. Not very helpful to a person aiming to get above 700.
Other Notes: OG 2020 Directory with difficulty and topics

2. Manhattan GMAT (MGMAT) Guides
The go-to book set for GMAT Prep and probably one of the best options out there
1. Good balance between test taking strategies and background theory explanations
2. Single-topic focus of each guide allows the student to purchase only those guides that pertain to his/her weaknesses
3. Covered concepts are illustrated with examples that are conveniently assigned to either PS or DS section.
4. Access to 6 Online CAT's (requires purchasing a bundle)
5. Additional online practice question banks (different for each book)
1. Perhaps more practice questions in the books

3. Veritas Prep 12 GMAT Guides Bundle
Strong challenger to the Manhattan GMAT set
1. Very in-depth overview of every GMAT subject in 12 dedicated guides (each is 100-200 pages long)
2. Comes with a test simulation booklet and a basic math book for those who need extra help (MGMAT charges extra for these)
3. Comes with 7 CATs
4. Has more practice questions than the Manhattan set
1. Could have used less paper - some books have only one question per page
2. Expensive! $250 for new on Amazon but you can find a good used deal.


4. Kaplan GMAT Prep Plus 2019
Recommended. Well-rounded guide for GMAT preparation. Questions are usually harder than GMAT and sometimes a bit off; however, the book comes with 6 GMAT Tests
1. Good review of fundamentals and valuable strategies - good first GMAT Book
2. 6 GMAT Tests included for the price of $28 with free shipping from Amazon
1. Several questions overlap with Kaplan 800 book
2. Some areas such as combinations or probability are not covered in sufficient detail
Other Notes: Updates have been lacking from edition to edition

5. Kaplan GMAT 800
This book is a great idea - create a resource for those who already mastered the lower levels of GMAT, do not require any information about the test or basic strategies but need to focus on higher difficulty questions, but it has its weaknesses, one of them, not living up to its name. Though a great marketing name, many feel it should realistically set expectations as a 650-700 bookStrengths:
1. Good for additional practice questions as a supplement
2. Contains more advanced strategies
3. Saves time for advanced test-takers
1. Review of mathematical content is not thorough enough and actually fairly basic
2. Guessing as well as Plug-in-the-number strategies are overused
3. Some questions are not very realistic (do not follow the GMAT patterns)
4. Few 750-level questions


6. Test Simulation Booklet with Marker ("Scratch Paper")
The laminated booklet and marker are exactly as the ones you will get at the test center. Great product to get familiar with the special laminated scratch paper.

Other Books You May Find Helpful:


Princeton Review 1,138 GMAT Questions
Not a guidebook and contains only practice questions.
1. Review of factorials, probability, combinations, groups, Yes/No DS, assumption, and parallel structure questions
2. Good split between PS and DS in math
1. Some errors in explanations have been reported
2. Weaker RC section
3. Verbal questions are a bit off but all non OG Verbal questions are off.

Feel free to suggest other books you have liked or critique my recommendations :wink:

Originally posted by bb on 16 Jan 2019, 22:53.
Last edited by bb on 17 May 2020, 14:43, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best GMAT Books of 2020  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2019, 00:39
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Re: Best GMAT Books of 2020   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2019, 00:39

Best GMAT Books of 2020

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