The 6 Best GMAT Prep Books [2020 Edition]

The 6 Best GMAT Prep Books [2020 Edition]

Talking about resources, using the best GMAT prep book when preparing for the test and studying them thoroughly will set you up for success in your exam. While preparing for GMAT, you will notice that there are quite a lot of different GMAT books on the market. While deciding what to buy, it is important to understand what a good GMAT preparation book should entail so that you do not waste your time and resources on a book that will prove to be a total waste. We have done the hard work for you as we’ll talk about what a good GMAT preparatory book should be. We have provided recommendations on the 6 best GMAT preparatory books for different circumstances. We also discuss other GMAT preparation sources and discuss how to choose the right book for you.

The best 6 GMAT prep books to ace the 2020 GMAT

1. All the GMAT by Manhattan Prep

All the GMAT by Manhattan Prep

All the GMAT by Manhattan Prep provides a comprehensive overview of all the topics that can be seen at the GMAT. This is an updated and expanded version of the top-selling 10-book Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set and the package is designed to give students substantial learning experience by helping them develop the knowledge, skills and strategic thinking they need to perform well during the test. The new bundle consolidated the 10-book Guide Set into three books: GMAT All the Quant guide, GMAT All the Verbal guide and GMAT Integrated Reasoning & Essay guide. Each book covers a specific part of the test with detailed instructions tailored to that particular section. The books do not emphasize the use of quick tips or tricks. Instead, they focus on developing methods and skills to improve your performance as you practice along. Read more user reviews on Amazon.


  • Updated version of bestseller GMAT prep book.
  • Provide the foundations and rudimentary fundamentals behind GMAT questions.
  • Six full computer-adaptive field tests (CATs).
  • A good addition to GMAT official guide.
  • Full access to Manhattan Prep’s GMAT Navigator which has solutions to all problems of GMAT OG.
  • Developed by actual instructors with 99th percentile GMAT scores.


  • Pricy but offer good value.
  • A few typos and spelling errors.
  • Requires a significant time investment on the books.

2. The Official Guide to the GMAT Review 2020

GMAT Official Guide

Coming in as a three-book bundle series, it contains all the basic info you need to know about the test, as well as actual outdated test questions from the GMAT. The three books included in the bundle are GMAT Review 2020 Guide, GMAT Quantitative Review 2020 Guide, and GMAT Verbal Review 2020 Guide. Between all three of these books, the entire test is covered. This is the guide you need to practice with real questions (what you should be). These manuals are super realistic because they were written by the test suppliers. The online tutorial interface has a test mode that is identical to the one shown on the actual test day so you can familiarize yourself with the questions in the test and navigation. The directives are not too expensive. In most cases, it is worth buying the bundle with the three manuals instead of one. Read more user reviews on Amazon.


  • 1700 real practice questions with detailed answer explanations.
  • Free access to the GMAT 2020 mobile app.
  • Comes directly from GMAT makers so credibility factor is high.
  • The question difficulty level mimics the GMAT pattern.
  • Questions are adaptive in nature to stimulate real-world test experience.
  • Free online question bank.


  • Focuses more on practice questions and full-length tests.
  • Some problem explanations can be confusing.
  • Lacks questions on the highly difficult end.
  • Prefer paperback version since the Kindle version may have formatting errors.

3. Manhattan Prep’s GMAT Foundations of Math 2020

Total GMAT Math

GMAT Total Mathematics serves as an best overall overview of the Quantitative GMAT section. The book contains tutorials explaining any kind of question that is likely to appear in the GMAT quadrant. The book contains sections that assess different types of questions, followed by a practice session with exercises to ensure that you can apply what you have learned. The book goes through all the basic areas of math: arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, but not the advanced areas, such as counting problems, probability, and statistics. These include exercises that aim to develop the basic skills you need for the exam. This book is essential for speed raising in the GMAT Quantitative section. Read more user reviews on Amazon.


  • 900+ practice problems for realistic review.
  • Easy-to-follow explanations of fundamental math concepts.
  • Good insight and the practice questions very similar to the real test.
  • Step-by-step application of concepts to example problems.
  • One year online access to the Foundations of Math Homework Banks with 400+ questions.


  • Lacks advanced quantitative questions.
  • Prefer paperback version since display problems on the kindle version.

4. GMAT Advanced Quant by Manhattan Prep

GMAT Advanced Quant

This Manhattan Prep book is specially for high GMAT grade students. It is mainly for students who already reach the 70th percentile in the quantitative part. It provides methods to solve the most difficult GMAT calculation problems. The book include problem-solving techniques, problem-solving strategies and tactics, data-lacking principles, data-lacking strategy and tactics, visual solutions sample questions, hybrid issues, general conditions, and quadratic templates. Problems in GMAT Advanced Quant are a lot more difficult than anything in the GMAT Official Guide, which are more characterized by simple or medium-sized questions. These questions will get you prepared for the most daunting of questions that you can see in the quantitative section. It is more of a cheap but useful addition to your other GMAT prep books. Read more user reviews on Amazon.


  • 250 extremely difficult practice questions.
  • Two additional online exercise sets.
  • One year of online access to the Advanced Quant Homework Bank.
  • Free access to Advanced Quant Bonus Drill Set.
  • A must for anyone aiming for 750+ in GMAT Quant.


  • A few typos in the problems text.
  • No access to six full computer-adaptive field tests (CATs).

5. Kaplan’s GMAT Verbal Workbook

Kaplan’s GMAT Verbal Workbook

Kaplan’s GMAT Verbal Workbook helps you build a solid foundation of knowledge for all the specific verbal skills required for the GMAT. The book offers clear strategies to cover each section (reading comprehension, critical thinking, and sentence supplementing) through the verbal part. The book also contains a list of vocabulary lists and phrases that are particularly useful for non-English native speakers. It gives a good picture of the difference between informal reading and GMAT reading and specifically shows you how to read for the GMAT. The Reading Comprehension section is generally very comprehensive and contains strategies and tips to help you develop your skills. Critical reasoning strategies are also very helpful: they learn to systematically and efficiently address the questions in order to reduce errors. Read more user reviews on Amazon.


  • 2220 GMAT-style questions.
  • Easy to remember and simple straightforward strategies to every section.
  • Detailed overview of the content you need to know in GMAT Verbal.
  • Free access to six full-Length GMAT tests.


  • Need more focus on Sentence Correction section.
  • A few questions not mimics the GMAT pattern.

6. The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible

PowerScore GMAT

The GMAT Critical Reasoning questions are notoriously difficult. In this book, you’ll learn to understand GMAT reasoning, recognize question types, and separate the right answer from wrong answers. It provides a detailed overview of critical reasoning strategies and approaches for various questions.

PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning clearly subdivides CR question types and specifies specific strategies for each type of question. In addition, general errors are treated for each question type. The CR exercise questions are very realistic. Each question is accompanied by solid statements that can help you to not only solve a question but to solve it correctly. Read more user reviews on Amazon.


  • Best GMAT prep book for Critical Reasoning.
  • Focuses on the common mistakes for each type of questions.
  • Detailed overview of the content you need to know in GMAT Critical Reasoning.
  • Very realistic practice questions that mimic the GMAT pattern.


  • No online test or questions.
  • Some problem explanations can be complicated and confusing.

Things To Look Out For In A Good GMAT Book

A good GMAT book is one that should guarantee a certain percentage increase in price through consistent practice and review. Here are few pointers to look out for while on the search for the best GMAT prep books that will prove to be really useful and rewarding in the end.

How Realistic is their Test Questions?

It is very important that your book contains realistic test questions. GMAT questions are written in a very specific style. If you have realistic practice questions, you’ll learn the style of those questions and practice the skills you really need during the test. Practicing unrealistic questions is wasting your time and may lead you to develop strategies that will not help you with the test or, worse, lead to wrong answers.

The best sources for realistic GMAT practice questions are the official GMAT manuals and the preparation software. You can also get questions that are very similar to actual test questions in solid GMAT test preparation books, although they are never as good as the official practice questions.

Concise and clear Review Section

The best GMAT books will help you learn more about the content that will be covered during the exam. The book must contain clearly defined assessment sections to help you develop your skills in various areas. For example, the book contains a chapter on sentence correction questions with lessons to build your knowledge and exercises to develop your skills. The explanation in these chapters must be logical, easy to understand and accompanied by exercises or questions that will test your knowledge.

While good GMAT preparation books may not have all of these features, they must have at least one or two specific goals and strengths to help you achieve your GMAT goals. Now that you know more about the criteria that make up a good GMAT book, let’s look at eight examples.

Detailed Explanations of Questions

Although almost all GMAT books contain answer keys, the best GMAT preparation manuals contain answer keys and detailed, detailed explanations of why each answer is correct. Thorough answers will help you to understand the skills and strategies you need to perform well during the test.

We even consider it so important that the PrepScholar GMAT online course contains comprehensive answer instructions for each of our over 1000 practice questions, which not only explain why the right answer works but also why every wrong answer is wrong.

Explainer Video

Video clips explaining a certain aspect of the answers to questions will go a long way in helping to shed more light on the difficult concept that might prove to be shallow in the description as illustrated on paper. Such video will not only prove vital but might be the difference between gaining that percentage score increase or not.

Includes Full-Length Preparation Test

Performing full field tests is one of the best ways to achieve a realistic GRE prep experience. The GMAT is a long test. It is important that you build up your stamina by practicing the test completely, so you do not get tired of the test day. Think of it as a marathon. A marathon runner would never go out and run without a few long training rides. As a GMAT test subject, you should improve your endurance by doing extensive field tests.

Since the GMAT is a computer-aided test, performing computer-aided practical tests is the best possible option to realistically simulate the test day. Good GMAT books often offer the opportunity to open online practice tests and test question banks.

Additional Online resources

The GMAT is a unique test. In addition to building your knowledge of the content of the exam, it is important to build an internal bank of testing strategies that you can rely on during the test. These strategies may have to do with time management by quickly eliminating wrong answers, identifying question types, making assumptions, or acquiring other skills. With these skills, you can save time and quickly get the right answer on the day of the test.

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