Tuesday, 25 October 2016

GMAT: Exam Pattern and Recommended Books

This blog post of mine will highlight all the features required for GMAT preparation. GMAT is a type of exam which requires a particular strategy or mentoring to crack. Although it is certainly not one of the toughest exam when it comes to Quant and AWA section. Before describing which book to follow for a specific section, let me first make you familiar with the exam and it's different sections.


The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer-adaptive test (CAT) intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to a graduate management program, such as an MBA.

Following are the various sections under which different questions are framed, and are to be solved in a particular time limit:

GMAT Test Section – Analytical Writing Assessment
# of Questions – 1 Topic
Question Types – Analysis of Argument
Timing – 30 Minutes

GMAT Test Section – Integrated Reasoning
# of Questions – 12 Questions
Question Types – Multi-Source Reasoning, Graphics Interpretation, Two-Part Analysis, Table Analysis
Timing – 30 Minutes

GMAT Test Section – Quantitative
# of Questions – 37 Questions
Question Types    – Data Sufficiency, Problem Solving
Timing – 75 Minutes

GMAT Test Section – Verbal
# of Questions – 41 Questions
Question Types    – Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction
Timing – 75 Minutes

Total Exam Time    – 3hrs, 30 minutes

Now, moving towards one of the famous aspects of GMAT preparation i.e “WHICH BOOKS TO GO FOR GMAT PREPARATION”
Here are some of the best books which are recommended by various GMAT experts(according to the data collected by me after browsing through various GMAT tutorial websites) :

1. For Overall prep
  • The Official Guide for GMAT® Review.
  • Kaplan GMAT 800: Advanced Prep for Advanced Students.

2. For Verbal prep
  • The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review.
  • Manhattan GMAT guide for Sentence Correction.
  • The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible.
  • Princeton’s Review Verbal Workout for the GMAT – largely for essay writing and reading comprehension.

3. For Quant prep
  • The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review.
  • Quantitative Aptitude for CAT by Arun Sharma.
  • The Integrated Reasoning Online Section of The Official Guide (though not a book but kind of closer to this category).


There are three books that are a “Must-Buy”:

1. The Official Guide for GMAT Review (Latest Edition).
2. Kaplan GMAT Premier (Latest Edition).
3. GMAT Sentence Correction Strategy Guide (By Manhattan GMAT).


1) Time Management is the key skill to crack GMAT.

2) RC solving tips and  Sentence correction tips from above books will help you score higher.

3) Identify your strengths for the exam. Maintain an error log of the mistakes.

4) Lastly, it is not about how many questions you practice for the GMAT, but understanding correct approach i.e. why the right answer is right, why the wrong answer is wrong.

 I hope the above information adds something to your preparation. If you score well (i.e 650+) apply for the top b-schools of the world. ALL THE BEST.

Written by Deepak Sharma
An ambivert by nature and a keen business editorial reader. I believe - "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing"

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