The GMAT Test-Taker’s Ultimate Toolkit

The GMAT Test-Taker’s Ultimate Toolkit

In today's post, our friends at Magoosh discuss the best options available to make your GMAT prep a success.

There are almost as many GMAT prep materials as there are GMAT test takers. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration; but at times it may feel that you are sometimes drowning in options. So what to use, and where to start? Do you take a practice test every day (a tad sadistic) or every month (not that effective)? Do you only use book resources or are there other ways to prep (don’t just stick to books!)?

GMAT books

The Holy Grail of all books is the Official Guide (OG). There are actually a few editions of these over the last decade or so. The current one is the 13th edition. Each year, there is about an 80% question overlap. I’d recommend picking up a couple of editions and using them as a question resource. The explanations though aren’t always very helpful (sometimes they only sow confusion) and the strategies are close to nil.

For a solid grounding in the GMAT fundamentals, it is tough to beat the Manhattan GMAT (MGMAT) guides. These eight guides will help you with anything from the basics to the most advanced questions you can encounter on the quant section. Applying what you learn to the GMAT Official Guide questions is helpful. MGMAT even provides an explanation supplement to the OG that isn’t nearly as inscrutable, in terms of explanations, as those you’ll find in the OG itself.

GMAT on the web

The best online GMAT prep is often just a click away. Magoosh.com is a great resource that, like MGMAT, breaks down all the concepts into easy-to-digest fundamentals. There are practice questions galore, so you can reinforce the concepts you just learnt. Magoosh also provides idiom flashcards so you can prep on the go (assuming you have a smartphone!).

Both Magoosh and MGMAT are known for caring a lot about their respective content; both will provide questions that are closer to what you’ll get test day. On the other hand, there are a whole slew of other providers of GMAT material, in which the questions don’t too accurately mimic what you’ll see on the actual test.

GMAT forums

Need an expert to answer a question? In the past that would mean shelling out some serious cash at a local test prep outfit. These days, the world’s leading GMAT experts are only a click away on forums such as BeattheGMAT.com and GMATclub. Ask a question and it is likely within hours that an expert—or two!—will chime in with a helpful answer.

Forums are also a great place to come to if you need commiseration for the doldrums that are bound to set in at some point during GMAT prep.

GMAT blogs

Magoosh also has a helpful blog, in which you can get the latest news about GMAT tips and strategies to boost your GMAT score, and someone who will answer your question—as long as it is relevant to the blog post. 

MGMAT also has a blog that is an excellent place to learn about some of the finer points of grammar—which you’ll definitely need for the grueling Sentence Correction questions. 

This post was written by Chris Lele, resident GMAT and GRE expert at Magoosh, a leader in GMAT prep. For more advice on taking the GMAT, check out Magoosh’s GMAT blog.