Monday, May 19, 2008

GMAT - Books that would really help!

You would be thoroughly confounded when you go to a book store to buy GMAT books for your study. Today there is a plethora of books that are available in the market for all kinds of aptitude tests including GMAT. Here I am going to tell you about some books that I found useful and would be enough to get you through GMAT smoothly.

The Official guide for GMAT review

Currently the 11th edition is out in the market for your reference. However even if you get hold of a previous version it would not make much of a difference. This being the official guide is the best place to start with your GMAT preparations. It contains section wise and chapter wise study of various subjects that are required for GMAT. After chapter study it offers a vast variety of questions on each section to give you enough practice.
Apart from this the official version comes as two separate books for the verbal and quantitative section also.
This book also contains about 5-6 full length tests covering the entire GMAT exam.
The book is useful to begin your study but I would not recommend it as the only source for your GMAT study. The reason being this book has slightly easier questions when compared the real GMAT examination. Hence, it would definitely give you practice but not help much in taking you above a score of 700. I would thus suggest starting with this book and once you are confident with the basics moving on to the tougher and more real questions!

Princeton Review - Cracking the GMAT

Frankly I am personally not very fond of this book. I would not recommend this book if you already have the official guide mentioned above. This book does not offer anything new technique wise or questions wise. In case you do not get hold of the official guide you could use this book as a start point for your preparations. This book also has section wise study and many questions. However, it lacks enough data for professional GMAT study. The tests in this book have been rightly divided as easy, medium and difficult so that you have enough practice for all these type of questions but the questions themselves are too less in number to give you enough practice! The full length tests are not at all useful and should be used only for practice early in your preparation cycle.

Kaplan GMAT 2008 Premier Program with DVD

This is the ultimate guide to GMAT according to me. When I read this book I realized I did not have to use any other material except for more practice questions. This book explains the basics of each type of question in a very easy to understand manner. It also gives you a lot of tricks and tips to solve the not so easy questions. Another important thing is that the difficulty level of the questions in this book is slightly higher when compared to other GMAT books. When I wrote my GMAT exam I realized that this was the only book that came close to the real questions on GMAT. The tests in Kaplan are very exhaustive and give you enough practice to take the computer simulated GMAT. I never really scored very high marks on Kaplan tests - that is above 700. In fact the marks used to be around 640-680 but managed to get a 710 on my final exam. I would recommend this book as a must have for GMAT studies.

Well, these are the only three books that I recommend for your GMAT studies. Remember that the key is not having ten books and studying only two. You should get two good books and thoroughly study each section of both books with diligence. Apart from these books I have a lot of practice questions for all sections that I would be posting here. The trick is to understand each type of question very well and then do atleast 500-600 questions of each for practice.