During my 5-month preparation for GMAT, I referred almost all the books available in the market. While some of them were awesome, the others were so so. Here is my take on them:

a)    Official Guide and Official Guide Verbal – Absolute must, they are like bibles for the preparation. Most of the questions in actual GMAT are more or less like the ones in OG. Go through this book once and keep revising it to strengthen your concepts and to get familiar with the GMAT-style questions. This is the book to start your preparation with.

b)    Manhattan series – Very good book series for building concepts specially in Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning. If you are struggling in thumb rules for Verbal Section, then these are a must. They don’t really have enough questions for practice. So, you will have to rely on other books to sharpen your sword.

c)    Kaplan - Good for practice. After you have gone through OG and Manhattan, these will not necessarily introduce any new concepts, but will just provide you with more questions to practice with.

d)    Kaplan 800 – This is a very good compilation of some really tough questions. If you are done with your basics and looking for some questions to really challenge your basics, this is the book to go for. This book is a must, if you aim for 750+.

e)    Princeton review – This one has mostly concepts and a few questions. An average book I would say. If you have Manhattan series then you can skip it, else it’s a good read for concepts.

What really made the difference for me personally was revising the books. Multiple revisions, especially of the OG, helped me to imbibe the concepts that I had learnt in the first go. Knowing the rules on ‘agreement of verbs with the subject’ were one thing and revising them, practicing them and imbibing them to actually improve my verbal score was another.

Wishing you all the best with fine tuning and planning your study schedule better!

© 2011, Deepanshu Malviya | Indian School of Business. All rights reserved.

Deepanshu Malviya | Indian School of Business

Deepanshu Malviya did his MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB) and B. Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K). He graduated from ISB with the dean's list and merit list honors and was among the top 3% of the entire graduating class. He made it through the MBA process while competing in the toughest pool, IT applicants. His high GMAT score was a key enabler in his profile when he applied to ISB and Yale. He got admission offers from both. Currently he works for Big-4 consulting firm. Prior to his MBA, Deepanshu worked with Morgan Stanley and Yahoo in their core technical division. At ISB, he was involved in preparing a business-plan for medical tourism in India. The plan was featured on CNBC TV show Enterprise Inc - 'The Pitch'.