Best Verbal GMAT Prep Books
Previously you could get a general GMAT Book and then more specialized GMAT books to go deeper into each section. Today, there is a shift towards just getting a number of specialized GMAT books such as the 8 Manhattan GMAT Guides
and 15 Veritas Prep Guides
. Whichever GMAT Book you decide to use, remember to also get the Official Guide for GMAT Review – it is the only source of the real GMAT questions.
My Other GMAT Book Reviews
Common Book Bundles
- Need to figure out your weaknesses? Take a GMATPrep test or one of the other many free GMAT tests available.
- Looking for a verbal study plan? General GMAT study plan | Verbal GMAT study plan
- Need to start with basics? (recommended for international applicants) - start with MGMAT Verbal Foundations
- OK with verbal but need some help in a short period of time? Try the Kaplan Verbal Workbook
- Need highest score and have time: MGMAT Guides + MGMAT Verbal Foundations (esp for RC)
- Need specific question practice? use gmat club tags
- Need help with Grammar? Try Ultimate GMAT Grammar book by GMAT Club
1. General Verbal Review Materials Official guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2nd EditionExcellent for additional verbal practice questions, but don't expect to find any grammar rules or verbal strategies here.Strengths:
1. 300 real GMAT questions
2. Real GMAT questions retired from past tests
3. The practice questions are organized by level of difficulty
4. The practice questions follow actual GMAT test patterns - great to have one's ear trained.Weaknesses:
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.
Note: See detailed comparison between First and Second Editions here: the-official-gmat-verbal-review-1st-edition-vs-2nd-edition-83882.html?view-post=628557#p628557 Kaplan GMAT Verbal WorkbookGood Verbal review but only 650-700 level. Specialized books recommended for a higher score.Strengths:
1. Realistic strategies for every part of Verbal section
2. Useful Idioms and Vocabulary list
3. Good paper and publishing qualityWeaknesses:
1. Few hard verbal questions
2. Some questions (CR) are not very representative of the "authentic" questions Other notes:
All the practice questions from this book are available on CD-ROM that comes with Kaplan Premier
2. Critical Reasoning The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning BibleConsidered the best GMAT book for Critical Reasoning questions. Strengths:
1. Clearly divides the CR question types and provides with specific strategy solutions for each type
2. Gets the results - this is the most recommended book on GMAT Club for CR
3. Well laid out, making learning easy and quickWeaknesses:
1. Though more questions are available than in the MGMAT book
/online quiz bank, it could still use more practice questionsNote:
This book is very similar in terms of strategies or tips to the MGMAT CR
book; there is no value in owning both
For chapter by chapter book notes, see this post: summary-of-the-powerscore-cr-book-82539.html
Manhattan GMAT Critical ReasoningSecond best - comes with access to MGMAT's 4 online CAT tests yet refers to the OG for practice questionsStrengths:
1. Strategies that work
2. Explanations to the OG questions are very clear
3. Comes with access to 6 online CAT tests (all Manhattan GMAT books
have this feature)Weaknesses:
1. Requires purchase of OG 11
or Verbal OG
. No practice questions in the book - instead it provides reference to questions in the Official Guide
2. Online question bank is comparatively small Note:
This book is very similar in terms of strategies or tips to the PowerScore CR
book; there is no value in owning both
3. Sentence Correction Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction Highly recommended. Considered the best book for SC.Strengths:
1. Thorough coverage of GMAT grammar concepts
2. Convenient layout
3. Access to 6 Online MGMAT CAT'sWeaknesses:
1. Practice question are not provided but refer to the 11th edition of the Official Guide and the Official Guide SupplementsOther notes:
One of the most referenced books for SC on GMAT Club forum.
Aristotle SC GrailPretty good and would make an excellent supplement to MGMAT SC Strengths:
2. The content is organized in a very effective manner
3. The Idioms List!
4. Overall, the organization is crisp and conciseWeaknesses
1. It is a PDF.
2. There are no practice problems or associated content (there is a separate question bank available now)
3. It doesn't go into too much detail.
GMAT Club's Ultimate GMAT GrammarUltimate Grammar Book for the SC section of the GMAT. Strengths:
1. All SC areas covered and explained in detail
2. 500+ exercises and 500+ GMAT-like SC questions
3. GMAT idioms with explanations and examples, tables, usage, problematic words, etc
4. Optional section on punctuation and also section on articles and other often ignored subjects/topics that international students struggle withWeaknesses
1. Not yet - maybe a tad too long - 294 pages.
4. Reading Comprehension Manhattan GMAT Reading ComprehensionOne of the first RC books on the market - could be better.Strengths:
1. The first and most used GMAT book fully dedicated to RC (contains 69 questions)
2. Comes with RC passages and questions unlike the other MGMAT materials that only refer to OGWeaknesses:
1. Too few practice questions to deliver a significant score improvement
2. Needs more strategies. I felt the MGMAT Verbal Foundations
had a lot more RC basic skill development tools and strategies
Veritas Prep Reading ComprehensionGood overall strategy and provides useful insider tipsStrengths:
1. Plenty of practice - 96 Reading Comprehension questions in 23 passages
2. Good passages in terms of difficulty and quality
3. 30 pages of strategies and RC skill-developmentWeaknesses:
5. Free BooksGMAT Pill eBook: How to Ace the GMAT
A 120 page EBook covering SC/CR/RC/PS/DS split into 2 pieces with questions and tips on how to ace the GMAT.
6. Exotic BooksPowerScore LSAT Reading Comprehension BibleFor hardcore RC practice only! Usually not necessary and only to be used by 700+ applicants. It is a level higher than GMAT.
See a review of this book by bmillan01 review-of-powerscore-s-rc-bible-86718.html
LSAT Critical ReasoningIf you need to turbocharge or nuke your Critical Reasoning this may be a book to consider. Note - not a pure GMAT book and does contain significant amount of irrelevant information. With that said, a good source of 700+ questions.Discussion of LSAT materials for use on GMAT
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