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# GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money

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Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 20098
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2009, 17:10
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I thought I would address a topic that sometimes comes up on GMATClub, esp among the international students that may have modest budgets and frugal members that are just plain cheap

So here is one of the routes to break the 700 barrier for the least amount of money (Work in Progress):
I am going cheap all-in. Feel free to adjust to your tastes.

GMAT-related Expenses:
1. GMAT Registration Fee: \$250

2. Self Study Books
A great resource that many disregard are used and older GMAT books. For instance, I prepared using Kaplan's 2001-2003 Book and scored 750. Would I be able to to score 750 today? Probably so. The prep approaches may have gotten a bit refined, some minor mistakes fixed, layouts changed, etc, etc but the strategies in the 2010 edition of Kaplan are still the same as in the 2001-2003 book. If you have \$20 - always go for the latest book but if you are looking for bargains, you can pick up a Kaplan 2005 edition for \$0.27 + shipping. ROI does not get any better than this, esp. taking into consideration that all questions and tests have remained the same

One of the Official Guide's editions is the OG 10 - it is available for only \$3.19+shipping from Amazon. Some believe it does not have as many hard questions as the OG 12, but that's somewhat debatable.

Certain books should NOT be purchased used, such as above-mentioned Kaplan GMAT Live Online (CAT test access is online using a book code and expires 6 months after activation). Similarly, Manhattan GMAT Guides come with access to 6 online tests, access to which expires 6 months after activation. Keep in mind that you will most likely not get access to those resources, so in this case, buying a new book is the cheaper option.

As a rule, getting a new book, you will help you prepare in a more efficient and optimized fashion than an older one, but if your value of time is not high, getting an older edition may be worth it. See full listing of GMAT Club Recommended books here: top-gmat-prep-books-guides-reviews-comments-77703.html

3. Use Free GMAT Tests
1. GMAT Prep x2 - the best GMAT practice tests are free
2. Power Prep x2
3. GMAT Club Tests x2 and 30+ tests to members with 200 posts or 50 kudos
4. Manhattan GMAT x1
5. Kaplan x1
6. Princeton x1

4. Utilize GMAT Club Forums
Visit both Math and Verbal Forums on GMAT Club frequently - you will find that many people post questions here that they have issues with or don't understand. Guess what difficulty level those questions are? Hard! What else can you ask for if you have an army of people regularly posting hard questions for your review and another army replying with answers? How can you not get 700?

5. Want to save more money - drop the Official Guide
Yes - I know, I may sound mad, but that's true. I have personally prepared without the help of OG. Instead I used PowerPrep - previous version of the GMATPrep software and many of the questions it has overlap with the Official guide

6. Avoid GMAT rescheduling fees
If you want to reschedule your test date, it will cost you \$50. If you do that within 7 days of the test date, you will lose the entire \$250

7. Minor expenses
Many find that the GMAT Test simulation booklet is valuable and helpful for their practice. Most agree that it's not worth the hassle to make one since you can get it for \$10 from Amazon, but if you don't have one around, you can simulate the simulation booklet using laminated sheets and some dry-erase markers.
_________________
Senior Manager
Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 309
Location: San Francisco
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2009, 17:58
Nice post. I would like to add that most of the local libraries which have all the major test prep books.
Intern
Joined: 02 Jul 2009
Posts: 16
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Aug 2009, 10:51
This is really great, i have a modest buget and i am by nature a bit frugal , however i have bought the OG 12 edition and i bought Ez math basic workbook ( total waste of money, I am still kicking myself). I am really poor at math, so i also bought Cliff's Gmat math book ( great book and reasonably priced).

Originally posted by nickesha on 10 Aug 2009, 10:44.
Last edited by nickesha on 10 Aug 2009, 10:51, edited 1 time in total.
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2009, 18:52
Thank you bb. Very helpful specially for gmat takers from my country where we only get Barrons.
Manager
Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 130
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2009, 04:15
Check out CraigsList, especially around congested test times like Fall, people will be unloading materials for cheap....
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2009, 19:12
Hi bb - appreciate your post. I got Kaplan's verbal & math workbook both 2nd edition. Wondering whether I would miss much if I don't go for latest edition for these two books.
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 20098
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2009, 20:27
rezrahman wrote:
Hi bb - appreciate your post. I got Kaplan's verbal & math workbook both 2nd edition. Wondering whether I would miss much if I don't go for latest edition for these two books.

You won't miss much. I have the latest edition of the Kaplan Math Workbook (not verbal though) and it is IDENTICAL to the First Edition I used in 2002.
There were a couple of typos in that edition, which I believe got fixed in the second. I guess in the third they fixed the errors that they made while reprinting the first. Anyway, I don't think you are missing anything.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 25 Jan 2009
Posts: 9
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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25 Aug 2009, 20:52
This is a relief, thanks bb.

I have also noted in the forum that OG11 or OG12 any would do. If that is the case MGMAT 3rd edition can also be used in a much cheaper rate with OG 11. However don't know if there is any relation with MGMAT books with the separate OG quant or OG verbal book. Your observation pls.
Director
Joined: 03 Jun 2009
Posts: 610
Location: New Delhi
WE 1: 5.5 yrs in IT
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2009, 00:49
In quant for some extra practice take out your old high school mathematics books. Be careful to pick the topics and exercises very selectively. Believe me, this is what I did

For Verbal, start reading the editorials in a daily published english newspaper.
Manager
Joined: 14 May 2009
Posts: 115
Schools: AGSM '16
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2009, 02:08
I'd also like to add that Platinum GMAT (http://www.platinumgmat.com) is a free online resource for GMAT preparation.
Director
Affiliations: Consortium (CGSM.org), NSHMBA
Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 931
Location: New Haven
Schools: Yale SOM Class of 2012
WE 1: Investment Banking Summer Associate (Boutique tech M&A)
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money  [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2009, 10:30
I'd like to add: be on the lookout for free stuff! I got two of my books for free this way (they had writing in them, but they were still useful). I regularly visit another forum from my town that is completely unrelated to b-school or GMAT. One day, someone posted that they were giving away 2 books for free.. the OG 11 and a Princeton Review one. Also check craigslist.org for people selling used books for cheap in your area.

Also, for about \$20, you can get an MGMAT subject book + 6 full length practice CAT exams. I think this is the best deal out there, and I'd recommend that everyone at least spend this much. The full length tests are very helpful.
_________________
Re: GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money   [#permalink] 03 Sep 2009, 10:30

# GMAT Prep on the Cheap side - how to save the most money

Moderator: DisciplinedPrep