Best GMAT Books to prepare
Perhaps the first question any GMAT test-taker asks is this –
Which are the best GMAT books to prepare?
Here are the only books you should need for solving questions:
- The Official Guide for GMAT® Review, 13th Edition containing 957 questions, including a 100-question diagnostic test section.
- The Official Guide for GMAT® Verbal Review, 2nd Edition containing 300 questions, which include about 75 new questions.
- The Official Guide for GMAT® Quantitative Review, 2nd Edition containing 300 questions, which include about 75 new questions.
- CrackVerbal Study Guides containing theory, practice questions & strategy tips which are a complete & exhaustive learning resource for all GMAT test takers.
While there are many dozens of books out there from so many test prep companies I still suggest that you stick to only the above (popularly called as OG) to solve GMAT questions. There is a good reason for this.
Sometime ago GMAC had revealed that it cost them over $2000 PER QUESTION since they go through an elaborate process from the time the evil genius Mr.Psychomatrician (yes – that is actually a profession by that name) picks an evil weapon to draw blood from the innocent GMAT test-taker.
Okay! So I was exaggerating the blood bit. But really what happens is this – the questions are subjected to pretty rigorous checking to make sure that it follows the mandates laid out by the GMAT.
You may think that any test-prep company can actually do this. But the real magic sauce comes after that when it is put as an “experimental” question for many months. Data is collected from a wide variety of test-takers and the toughness is extrapolated with what they went on to eventually score on the test. I have written in depth about this topic here.
This is something which no test prep company can emulate in scale and richness of data. This is what makes the OG questions worth its weight in gold. Quite literally – a quick math reveals that the 3 books put together give you about 1500 questions. At $2000 a pop that is about $3million worth questions for you!
We at CrackVerbal strongly recommend that you supplement your prep with only official material from the good guys at GMAC (GMAC is the council that creates the GMAT questions). In our programs we cover all the questions from the OG in our homework. Solution to all the questions is available with your instructor.
This brings me to another point – do you think GMAT books are really needed? Since it is anyways an online format now – wouldn’t it make sense to only bring an online format? Maybe something in lines with what they did for OG 12th edition when they released ipad and iphone versions of OG 12. (A bit ironic if you ask me since the Mac version of the GMATPrep is sorely missed by all Mac lovers).
Maybe give an online access to questions and make it cheap? (How about keeping the pricing to $9.99 for unrestricted access to all questions?). Since anyways they are saving on the printing costs I think it will democratize the access to questions.
Hope these techniques make a positive difference to your GMAT prep! If you’d like to share what works for you and what doesn’t, please leave a comment in the comment section below.
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