For most, GMAT preparation means an investment of money into courses and products. Not many of us can simply sign up for the test and then just show up the day of and pass with a staggeringly high score.
But which products and prep courses are the best?
There are, of course, official GMAT preparation products from GMAC. Because many of them are free, this is probably the best place to start. GMATPrep is their free software that includes practice tests as well as practice questions with detailed answers. You can then purchase another packet of brand new questions and explanations.
Most of us also look to invest in a good GMAT preparation book. However, with so many out there, how do we know what’s worth the money? GMAC also offers products for the textbook approach (The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition), which also offers an access code to a web address that includes an Integrated Reasoning online section.
There are other books, as well, both from independent sources as well as books published by major prep course companies, such as Princeton Review and Kaplan. You will want to think about what you want from an individual book—more guidance on how to answer specific types of questions, more overall help, or more practice tests? Most books will offer some type of all of these things, so you’ll likely want to check out a few before making your final decisions.
After you utilize your books to help identify your baseline and your specific areas of focus, you might also want to consider a specialized approach. There are many GMAT preparation books and web apps that help you focus your study. GMAT Write, for example, is a web-based tool that gives you real time essay writing practice. It can even judge your writing and tell you how you would most likely score.
Other supplemental materials can focus on Verbal review, which will focus on Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, and Sentence Correction, or on Quantitative review.
Of course, none of these materials will guarantee you a higher score unless you properly utilize them! Continuously evaluate your progress and redirect your course of study as needed. What kind of GMAT preparation have you done for your applications to MBA programs in Virginia?