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What’s the Best GMAT Prep?

Studying for the GMAT can seem like a daunting process, especially considering all of the prep options out there. To ensure you reach your target score, you’ll want to invest in the best GMAT prep available.

Most people spend about three months studying for the GMAT. Everyone has different learning styles, and you know best what kind of prep will work for you. Before deciding on a study plan or the type of GMAT prep to purchase, be sure to consider:

  • When are the application deadlines of the schools you are considering?
  • How soon are you looking to take the GMAT? (Remember, GMAT scores are good for 5 years.)
  • Do you need comprehensive prep or are you just looking to brush up on select concepts and strategies?
  • How much time will you have to devote to studying?
  • What is your target score?
  • How do you like to study? By yourself? In a classroom? One-on-one?

Once you’ve identified your needs and cemented a timeline, you can begin to weigh your options. Here are the best ways to prep for the GMAT.

 

BEST GMAT PREP COURSES

  • 1) Studying with a GMAT Private Tutor

    There’s really no comparison to studying for the GMAT with a private tutor. Your tutor will cater to your schedule and specific study needs, identifying your weaknesses, and focusing your prep on your personal highest potential for score gains. Because a tutor will be completely focused on you, you’ll maximize every study hour. Some private tutoring courses, like Kaplan’s and Manhattan Prep’s, also give you access to online lessons or a full live online GMAT course, allowing you to supplement your in-person tutoring with self-study in all of the concepts the GMAT tests.

  • 2) Taking a GMAT Live Online Course

    Skip the commute and take a Live Online GMAT course. You can go to class from the comfort of your home (or anywhere you have wifi) and get expert instruction from a team of teachers. The experience is just like taking a GMAT course in a traditional classroom, but it’s online. One teacher leads the class on camera, and additional instructors answer your questions in realtime. Interact with the material without waiting for an opportune moment to raise your hand. Studying with a team of teachers will provide you with structure and keep you motivated.

  • 3) Studying in a Traditional GMAT Classroom

    Some people learn best face-to-face, tapping into the energy of an in-person classroom. Manhattan Prep instructors all score in the top 1% on the GMAT and endure a rigorous hiring/training process. Class sizes are small to strike the right balance of individual attention and active participation. To get the most out of an in-person class, make sure you have at least 2 months to study before you plan to take the GMAT. 

  • 4) Studying on Your Own With a GMAT Self-Paced Online Course

    If you study best on your own and know that you can hold yourself accountable to a consistent schedule, a Self-Paced Online Course is a great option. You’ll get a full on-demand course and online guidance to structure your studying. Kaplan’s Self-Paced Course comes with an Adaptive Qbank that personalizes the questions you tackle and an Official Test Day Experience—you’ll take a practice exam at a real testing center, under the same conditions as the real thing.

    Manhattan Prep’s Interact for GMAT is led by their top-1% GMAT teachers, who guide you through each interactive lesson. The program is entirely self-paced and available on all devices. If you just need to brush up one section, you can opt for the Quant Only or Verbal Only options.

  • 5) GMAT Bootcamps

    If you’re short on time, Manhattan Prep will get you ready for the GMAT in just 2 or 3 weeks with its GMAT Boot Camps. Classes meet generally about 5 times a week In-Person or Online, but you’ll want to make sure you also have time to dedicate outside of class to homework and self-study to make sure you are getting the most out of the intensive prep experience.

BEST GMAT PREP BOOKS

Studying with a book is a good way to delve into the GMAT. Look for books that not only have content review, but also provide you with plenty of practice tests and online practice resources—you’ll want to get computer-based practice before Test Day. 

  • 1) Manhattan Prep All the GMAT

    Manhattan Prep’s All the GMAT is a three-book comprehensive set that delves into each area of the exam, giving you detailed and specialized instruction beyond tips and tricks. The books are written by Manhattan Prep’s top-1% scoring GMAT instructors and are the top-selling GMAT prep books in the world. You also get six months of access to online resources including 6 computer-adaptive practice exams, 9 online question banks, 5 GMAT Interact Lessons, and the GMAT Navigator, which analyzes your performance and helps prioritize your studying.

  • 2) GMAT Prep Plus 2020

    Kaplan’s GMAT Prep Plus 2020 guides you through your GMAT prep step-by-step, with online practice and videos to ensure you’re ready for test day. Study Kaplan’s proven strategies, practice your pacing, and become an expert in the exam’s computerized format with six online practice tests.

  • GMAT Complete 2020

    Kaplan’s GMAT Complete 2020 is your comprehensive guide to acing the GMAT—master our proven strategies with four best-selling prep books, review key content, practice your pacing, and become an expert in the exam’s computerized format with online practice.

BEST GMAT PREP ADD-ONS

If you’re looking to fine-tune your prep rather than taking a full course or studying with comprehensive books, consider these prep tools.  

  • 1) GMAT Adaptive Qbank

    Kaplan’s GMAT Adaptive Qbank not only quizzes you, but also adapts to you, so you’ll keep improving your skill level. Each of the over 2300 questions comes with detailed explanations, and you’ll get a progress report that shows you what to study next. Work on any device, when it’s convenient for you.

  • 2) GMAT PRACTICE PACK

    You can add up to 8 full-length practice tests to your Adaptive Qbank with Kaplan’s Practice Pack. You’ll get unlimited access to realistic, full-length practice tests for 90 or 180 days.