9 Best GMAT Books Reviews | 2020 Top Picks for Your Effective Test Prep

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Getting your MBA is no easy task and requires a lot of discipline and hard work. However, before you even think about completing your degree you need to make sure you get into business school first, which requires doing well on the graduate management admission test, or GMAT.
I've helped dozens of students achieve their target scores to get into their top schools and if there's one thing I know it's that you need to get the best GMAT prep book you can get.

While they are NO substitute to the best GMAT prep course you can afford or private tutoring, they are absolutely necessary if you want to do well on the GMAT to get into business school. My favorites have hundreds of practice questions, practice tests, and in depth material that includes a quant section, reading comprehension, verbal questions, critical reasoning, and strategy guide to help you prepare for the GMAT. 

4.7/5

  • You can study with confidence knowing you are preparing for your exams with a guide from the makers of GMAT 
  • The guide comes with 1,700 real GMAT questions from previous exams 
  • Answer explanations are included

4.5/5

  • This is a great resource for students who are preparing for the GMAT 
  • It covers all sections of the exam helping you boost your studies 
  • It is affordable

4.6/5

  • It is affordable 
  • It comes as a complete guide with 4 books, practice questions, and online videos 
  • It has all the strategies and practices that you need. Questions come with detailed answers

Table of Contents 

Everything you need to know about the top-rated GMAT prep books

Business schools use GMAT to assess applicants’ preparedness for graduate management programs. It is therefore important to prepare very well for the actual GMAT test to maximize your score.

If you are wondering what is GMAT, read on. GMAT stands for Graduate Management Admissions Test. It is a multi-choice, computer-based test used in admission of an MBA program.

It tests problem-solving ability, analytical skills, and critical reasoning skills needed for a management career. It has 4 main sections and they include integrated reasoning, Verbal, analytical writing assessment and quantitative. 

These books will help you get the highest score possible.

Best GMAT Prep Book Reviews

Editor's Rating:

4.7/5

Practice questions

This official guide comes with an online question bank. It has over 1,700 real GMAT questions that you can practice with and raise your score. The questions are from the makers of the GMAT exam which makes sense as to why it's the best GMAT prep book.

You will also get detailed answers explanations to the questions when you buy this book. They will show you how to answer the questions properly.

Preparations pay off

Get the GMAT Official Definitive Guide 2020 bundle by the makers of the test, GMAC (graduate management admission council). They are the author and one of the few resources that contain real GMAT questions from past exams.

You can now study with confidence and be fully prepared for the test day when you purchase this bundle. Use the guides to create a study plan and track your improvements. This is most popular book for my students and is the top resource to help you get into your dream business school.

Main Features

  • It is a guide with 3 books: GMAT official guide verbal review, GMAT official guide quantitative review 2020 and GMAT official guide 2020
  • You will get access to a new mobile app
  • Comes with an online question bank which has over 1,700 real GMAT questions 
  • Has detailed answer explanations to the questions asked
  • Questions are arranged from the easiest to hardest
  • It has customizable study tools
  • It has actual scoring information, essay topics, and sample responses
  • It contains an overview of the exam to help you be acquainted with it
  • It facilitates online access which you can use to get the question bank plus eBooks.

GMAT official guide

You will get a complete package with this guide. It comes with 3 books which include the following:

  • GMAT official guide verbal review
  • GMAT official guide quantitative review 2020
  • GMAT official guide 2020

All these books come with realistic test questions covering all sections of a GMAT. They have comprehensive math and grammar review, plus the focused study of verbal and quantitative exam sections.

Things We Liked

  • You can study with confidence knowing you are preparing for your exams with a guide from the makers of GMAT
  • The guide comes with 1,700 real GMAT questions from previous exams
  • Answer explanations are included
  • Has a new mobile app for online access.

Things We Didn't Like

  • None that I know of

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

Kaplan Test Prep

GMAT prep plus 2020 is a guide by Kaplan, Inc. Kaplan Test Prep may not be the maker of GMAT but in the field of practice tests, they have built a big name. They are renowned for designing tutoring and pre-courses.

Over 1,200 practice questions

This is a great resource that comes with 1,200 practice questions to help get a higher score in your GMAT. You can trust Kaplan, Inc. to deliver what they promise. They have realistic test questions with detailed explanations.

All GMAT sections are covered. All questions have been revised, reviewed and updated by the teachers of Kaplan.

Kaplan has great support. I had problems accessing their online resources but they helped me after contacting them through their Facebook page.

Main Features

  • It’s a GMAT guide by Kaplan Test Prep
  • Comes with 6 online practice tests
  • The guide has over 1,200 practice questions
  • Has online videos
  • Has 6 full length online practice tests
  • Covers all sections of GMAT
  • The questions have been reviewed and revised by expert teachers of Kaplan
  • Have great support from their Facebook page
  • There is also a 200 question online quiz bank
  • The books are written by veteran GMAT teachers.

Things We Liked

  • This is a great resource for students who are preparing for the GMAT
  • It covers all sections of the exam helping you boost your studies
  • It is affordable
  • It has been prepared by Kaplan. The organization has been in the field of preparing tests for over 80 years now.
  • Has a great support

Things We Didn't Like

  • None that I know of

Editor's Rating:

4.6/5

Best GMAT Prep Books

It is worth noting that this comprehensive guide comes with 4 books. They include:

  • GMAT math workbook
  • GMAT verbal workbook
  • GMAT prep plus 2020
  • GMAT 800

All 4 books have detailed content that covers all the sections of the GMAT. They also come with over 2,000 practice questions answers. The questions will help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions asked on the test.

Do not waste your time practicing with questions that do not resemble actual test questions.

Good GMAT Prep Books

It is worth noting that this comprehensive guide comes with 4 books. They include:

  • GMAT math workbook
  • GMAT verbal workbook
  • GMAT prep plus 2020
  • GMAT 800

All 4 books have detailed content that covers all the sections of the GMAT. They also come with over 2,000 practice questions answers. The questions will help you familiarize yourself with the types of questions asked on the test.

Do not waste your time practicing with questions that do not resemble actual test questions.

Great Resources

You will not only get practice questions with Kaplan guide but there is also 6 full length online practice tests and online videos to help you improve your score within a short period of time.

This is a complete guide by Kaplan test Prep. As I mentioned before, Kaplan has been designing prep books and other resources to help students with their exams.

Main Features

  • It is a guide by Kaplan test Prep
  • It has 6 full length online practice tests
  • It comes with online resources
  • Comes with 4 prep books that cover all sections of GMAT
  • It has over 500 questions online quiz bank
  • Features over 2000 practice questions with detailed answers

Things We Liked

  • It is affordable
  • It comes as a complete guide with 4 books, practice questions, and online videos
  • It has all the strategies and practices that you need. Questions come with detailed answers
  • Kaplan has great support on their Facebook page
  • The books are written by veteran GMAT teachers

Things We Didn't Like

  • I noticed some questions don’t have answers. However, I discovered there are many questions online with answers

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

Test-taking strategies

This is a guide that has been designed with a GMAT test taker in mind. It comes with all the strategies needed to succeed on the official test day. Book came in perfect condition after ordering it.

It has tips on how to improve the GMAT score, how to identify strengths and weaknesses, plus how to create a study plan. It’s a good GMAT book, but you can do better than this one by choosing any of the 3 above.

Main Features

  • It is a GMAT prep book by Test Prep Books (Author)
  • This is a 3rd edition book
  • Comes with practice test questions with detailed answers
  • The guide covers all the sections of GMAT: Quantitative reasoning, analytical writing assessment, integrated reasoning and verbal.
  • Has test-taking strategies

Things We Liked

  • It has a comprehensive review for each section of the test
  • Comes with practice questions with detailed answers
  • It has an online syllabus that will track your progress
  • It comes with 2 eBooks which you can access online
  • You will get tips for improving your scores
  • It is affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • None that I know of

Editor's Rating:

4.2/5

GMAT practice tests

If you are in the market looking for the best practice tests, look no further because Princeton’s review will sort you out. This guide comes with 6 computer adaptive practice tests including the toughest question types.

They come with questions that closely resemble actual GMAT test questions. No need to worry about answers because the guide has included detailed explanations. They will help you develop the needed strategies for performing well on an exam.

The Princeton Review

Cracking the GMAT Premium 2020 Edition is a book by the Princeton Review. This is a company that has been helping students to prepare for various exams since 1981. It has published books and many online courses.


Additionally, the company has over 4,000 teachers in the USA and other international countries that design these guides. Tests that they major in include GMAT, ACT, SAT, GED, TOEFL, PSAT, just to name a few.

Main Features

  • It comes with 6 computer adaptive practice tests with scores and answers
  • It has bulleted chapter summaries so you can reference quick
  • It’s a GMAT prep book by The Princeton Review
  • Gives access to online tools such as video tutorials
  • It has drills for each test section
  • The book reviews all section of the GMAT
  • Has video tutorials
  • It features over 80 practice questions

Things We Liked

  • It is very affordable
  • It is all in one solution. Comes with practice tests, questions with answers and video tutorials to help prepare for your test
  • The guide covers all GMAT sections
  • There are drills for each test section

Things We Didn't Like

  • None that I know of

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

Achieve a high score in a short time

This is a book with many strategies on how to score 780 in 30 days. It is ideal for those students who have an admission deadline or don’t have enough time to study. There is a guideline on how to create a plan that will enable you to study smart.

There is also advice on how to discover your weakest areas and how to work on them.

3rd Edition of 30 Day GMAT Success

This is a third edition book by Brandon Wuhan. In this book, he has shared a secret or study plan that made him score 780 on the GMAT after studying for 30 days.

He is an entrepreneur and received his MBA from the University of Southern California.

It also comes with practice questions with answers. These will give you the needed knowledge to do well on the test.

Main Features

  • It’s a GMAT prep Guide by Brandon Wu
  • It is the 3rd edition of 30 Day GMAT success and has new features
  • It contains test-taking strategies like study smart, time management, creating a study plan, work on your weaknesses
  • Comes with practice questions with their answers
  • The study covers all sections of GMAT. Has a math section, integrated reasoning section, verbal section, analytical writing assessment and quantitative. 
  • It has 382 pages

Things We Liked

  • It has a comprehensive review for each section of the test
  • Comes with practice questions with detailed answers
  • It has an online syllabus that will track your progress
  • It comes with 2 eBooks which you can access online
  • You will get tips for improving your scores
  • It is affordable

Things We Didn't Like

  • None that I know of

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

Strategies for Preparing Effectively

One thing I love about this guide is that it comes with strategies on how to prepare effectively for your exams. It has detailed guides on how to manage your time properly, how to identify your weaknesses and strength.

It also comes with real GMAT questions plus answers to practice with.

Manhattan Prep

This is a test preparation company. It has over 20 years of designing tests such as GMAT, LSAR, and GR. It has experienced and talented teachers who promise to help students reach their potential.


Online bonus Materials

You will not only get 3 books with this guide but there are online bonus materials such as 2 eBooks, online practice tests and an online study syllabus to help with your studies. The eBooks contain hard questions.

The study syllabus has more assignments to familiarize yourself with questions of the real test.

Main Features

  • It’s a GMAT prep book by Manhattan Prep
  • Comes with 6 online practice tests
  • It comes as a complete package with 3 books which include GMAT all the Verbal Guide, GMAT ALL THE Quant Guide and GMAT Integrated Reasoning and Essay Guide
  • Has strategies for tackling the test
  • Has a review of the 4 sections of the test
  • It is an updated version of the 10 books complete GMAT strategy guide Set 6th edition
  • It has 6 full-length practice tests
  • There are also video interactive lessons

Things We Liked

  • It comes with a study syllabus to track your progress
  • It comes as a complete package with online bonus materials
  • It has strategies for preparing for the exam which I found very useful
  • It has video interactive lessons

Things We Didn't Like

  • It’s a bit pricy compared to the other books I have reviewed here. It is worth buying though considering it comes as a complete package plus has online bonus materials

Editor's Rating:

4.5/5

GMAT practice questions

If you want to perform very well on your GMAT, you need practice questions from a trustable book like this one. It has similar questions that you will find on your test day. There are also strategies to help you study effectively and smartly.

The questions cover every section of the test and come in a similar style.

Manhattan Prep

GMAT All the Quant is a book by Manhattan prep. This is a renowned test preparation company. It was founded in 2000 and now has instructors and talented teachers to prepare guides for various exams such as GMAT, LAST and GRE.

Online bonus materials

You will get a lot of resources to study for your exams when you select this guide. There is a guide book plus full-length practice tests and an eBook that has hard content. Earning your dream MBA requires a complete course that has been prepared by experts.

Main Features

  • It’s a GMAT prep book by Manhattan Prep
  • It is an updated version of the 5 books GMAT Quant Strategy Guide Set 6th edition. 5 books were combined into 1 book
  • Comes with practice questions with answers
  • The book has the following content areas: Number properties, algebra, word problems, percentages, decimals, etc.
  • It comes with strategies of how to manage time, how to create a study plan
  • There are also online bonus materials such as a full-length practice test, eBook with hard content and more questions
  • Practice questions were designed by experts who got high GMA scores
  • There are interactive video lessons

Things We Liked

  • Comes with many resources to help prepare for the test
  • It is affordable
  • It contains strategies on how to study smart
  • The guide has been created by expert teachers and instructors

Things We Didn't Like

  • None that I know of

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

2,000+ practice questions

This is a guide worth investing in. It comes with over 2000 practice questions with their answers. This shows you how comprehensive the guide is. It is ideal for people who are serious about their exams and want to score high in their first try.

Their many online resources will further help you prepare for your exam. Moreover, it comes with strategies on how to reach your goals quickly.

Best GMAT study books

Kaplan designs the best prep books. This is a test preparation company that has been in operation for over 80 years. Since then, it has been acquiring more test preparation companies with their teachers.

Its mission is to help students all over the world increase their knowledge and prepare for important exams.

Proven Strategies

This is a book that has been prepared by Kaplan experts such as veteran GMAT teachers. They, therefore, have proven strategies that can help you study smart and score higher on your exam.

Main Features

  • It’s a 3 book set by Kaplan Test Prep. They are GMAT Math Workbook, GMAT Prep Plus 2021 and GMAT Verbal Workbook
  • Has 6 practice tests
  • It has proven strategies of getting high scores
  • It comes with over 2,200 practice questions. The sections cover the following areas: analytical writing, verbal, integrated reasoning and quantitative. The questions have detailed answers
  • Gives access to online resources such as 6 full practice tests and extra questions
  • Kaplan has great support on their Facebook page
  • There are also videos with more strategies on how to get a high score
  • The books are written by experts such as veteran GMAT teachers

Things We Liked

  • Has advanced and proven strategies to help you study smart and score high
  • Comes with over 2000 questions to practice with. All the questions have answers
  • Has a great support
  • Has 6 full-length tests to practice with

Things We Didn't Like

  • It is a bit pricy but it is worth investing considering what you will be getting

What Makes a Good GMAT Prep Book?

Realistic Test Questions

Only buy a guide if it has realistic test questions. These are questions that you will find on your exam. You are sure to get a high score if you practice these types of questions. Do not waste your time buying guides with questionable content.

In the early stages of your preparation, you can start with untimed questions. Later you can start timed practice.

Computer-based Test

GMAT is a computer adaptive test. This means that you will get questions depending on your ability to answer them.

If you get a question right, the next question will be harder. If you fail a question, you get an easier one. It is important that you replicate the test situation of solving easy and difficult questions.

Time yourself. You can give yourself 1 or 2 minutes to answer each question. Also, try to increase speed in answering questions. You might take 3 to 5 minutes at the start when solving a hard question but speed will come as you practice more.

The Best GMAT Books have Comprehensive Answer Explanation

Every guide should have a detailed explanation of questions so you can know how to answer them correctly.  First of all, all the books that I have reviewed here come with answers.

Not only should they have answers but explanations too. Some guides have online resources that give score reports so you can tell where your weakness and strength is.

Full-Length Practice Tests 


Select a guide if it has full-length practice tests. Many of the guides that I have reviewed here comes with 6 full-length tests to help you fully prepare for your tests.


The guide should give you access to their online tests. This is because GMAT is a computer-based exam and you need to simulate test day. Make sure you practice with the tests every day to build stamina.


GMAT is a long test and if you will not practice with the whole test, you will wear out quickly on the test day. A full test will build your exam-taking endurance. Otherwise, you risk getting exhausted quickly on the exam day if you will not practice a lot.


Also, the tests will give you the knowledge that you need.

Useful Test-Taking Strategies

The best GMAT prep books should have useful test-taking strategies. There should have strategies on how to manage your time properly, creating an effective study plan, and how to answers your questions properly.

Many test-takers will agree with me that the hardest part of preparing for your test is managing your time properly. Have a book that will show you how to create an effective plan.

A study plan will keep you organized. It will help you allocate enough hours to study and even help you track your progress effectively.

The same applies when doing the test. Many students don’t finish on time. To be fully prepared, the guide books should have enough tests to practice with. Complete each section within the given time.

Clear Review Sections

A good book should contain all the information that you need. For that, it should cover all the sections of GMAT and that includes integrated reasoning, verbal, analytical writing assessment and quantitative. 

There should be detailed reviews so you can fully understand each section and have the needed knowledge to do your exam. Also, the reviews should be easy to understand. No need to buy a difficult book.

The best prep book should be prepared by experts such as veteran GMAT teachers or GMAT makers themselves. These experts know what is tested in the exam, know what students need plus have the answers.