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Best GMAT Prep Book

Instructor: Adam Nystrom

Adam owns a Master's degree in Professional and Digital Media Writing. During his time as a graduate assistant, he developed lesson plans for upper-level English courses.

Nothing says 'study time' quite like a good test prep book, but how do you decide which one to pick up for the GMAT? We did the work for you, so read on to find out which books are the best investment.

Review Criteria

To determine which GMAT book is the best of the bunch, we took into consideration the following factors:

  • Investment: How much are you getting versus how much are you paying?
  • Quality of content: How well-written is the material, and who are the authors?
  • Variety of options: In what ways does the book allow you to review and practice?

Below are the results of our study, and we think you have plenty of options depending on your budget, time constraints and personal preferences.

GMAT 2016 Official Guide Bundle

It might sound a bit obvious, but The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2016, authored by the same people that created the actual GMAT exam, is going to be your best choice. This comprehensive collection of three books carefully details exactly what to expect while taking all three of the tests, and more importantly, gives you access to a huge amount of practice questions that have been used in previous versions of the GMAT, which play a key role in helping you prepare for a marathon test like what you will be taking. Along with an answer key, you will receive detailed explanations for each answer. If you are looking to get the most out of your investment, the Official Guide Bundle is the way to go.

Manhattan Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set

If you're looking to get a much more in-depth study guide and you aren't worried about the price, the Manhattan Complete Strategy Guide might be your solution. Weighing in at no less than ten volumes, this set of books not only digs deep into the material on the GMAT, but is said to actually be more difficult than the exam itself. Plenty of practice tests are also provided, but be warned about the cost of this set, as it is significantly higher than anything else on this list.

Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition

For those on a budget, The Princeton Review is an excellent option. Their Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition offers one thing the other two in this section do not: actual adaptive computer tests that mimic the behavior of the GMAT's scaling to your score. The downside to The Princeton Review's book is only obvious if you have used other material, as it does not contain anything aside from additional computer tests that the others mentioned in this list don't already have.

Online GMAT Prep

If books aren't your thing or you just want a different approach to studying for the GMAT, you can also find a variety of online resources to help you prepare. Study.com offers engaging and brief video lessons that cover all the topics you'll need to know about for the GMAT exam through its GMAT Test: Online Prep and Review course.

This course offers the following features:

  • Flexible video lessons that you can watch from any location using your mobile device.
  • Self-assessment quizzes after each lesson to test your knowledge.
  • Worksheets you can print out to study on your own time.
  • A final practice exam to close out your study of the material.

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