Barron’s GMAT Review

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Prep Test Pros

Updated: December 8, 2021

3/5 Pisa Rating

✅ Low-budget GMAT prep

✅ Comprehensive GMAT syllabus coverage

✅ A suite of online resources

If you are looking for a low-priced GMAT prep book, Barron’s GMAT is an 800-page guide to the GMAT written by U.S award-winning teachers.


It’s in its 18th edition and packs conceptual discussions, sample questions, test-taking strategies, diagnostics tests, full-length practice tests, and comprehensive subject reviews.


A quick word about GMAT study methods


Want to see all GMAT options?

Check out our in-depth best GMAT prep courses post to compare all GMAT options and find which is the best for you!

1. Online GMAT Prep Courses

Often, online courses are the best option to prepare for the GMAT. They offer resources such as guided instructions, question-answer banks, computer adaptive practice tests, customizable study plans, and student support with the advantage of being available to desktop and mobile device users anywhere, anytime. Online courses are often more engaging and fun; no wonder most users stick with the curriculums to the end. The only con is they tend to be on the expensive end.

2. Private GMAT Tutors

It’s no secret that hiring a qualified GMAT tutor is one of the best ways to prepare for the exam. Tutors work with you directly to help grasp the concepts you find challenging. Furthermore, most tutoring packages are completely customized; from your test goals to your learning style and the topics you need to cover, the tutor will tailor their teaching methodology to help you learn best. 

You’ll get one-on-one instruction, immediate feedback, and ready answers to any of your questions. That said, private coaching is often the most expensive way to prepare for any exam. Rates can range anywhere from $150/hr. to $300/hr. It can also be hard to know if the tutor you are hiring is really good. 

Finally, you will only have access to a tutor for a few hours per week, and the rest of the days, you are on your own; so, you must be confident in your skills to prep on your own when they are not around.

3. GMAT Prep Books

Test prep books aren’t popular today as they were before the age of the internet. Most students find most books to be either boring, out of date, or even subpar. Still, there are good reasons to use prep books, and if you look carefully, you will find good GMAT prep books on the market.

Why Use a GMAT Prep Book? 🤔

According to Kaplan, it takes roughly 120 hours to prep for the GMAT. Most online courses offer roughly the same number of study and practice hours. A good prep book will suffice if you don’t have the money to spend on online courses. 

The best GMAT study books teach students useful test-taking strategies, common types of questions they’ll see in the exam, and best practices for a productive study time.

These GMAT books are especially useful for learners who intend to put a significant amount of time into their prep to increase their scores. Knowing your target score and the areas you need to improve, you can select the best books and start preparing for D-Day.

Barron’s GMAT Book Overview

Barron GMAT is a comprehensive manual for the GMAT. It’s 800 pages long and provides a diagnostic exam to identify areas needing thorough study. Once you’ve taken the diagnostic exam, you can proceed to the detailed topic reviews covering GMAT math, data sufficiency, problem-solving, critical reasoning, sentence correction, reading comprehension, and essay writing. 

At the end of the book, you will get full-length practice tests accompanied by solutions, analyses, and guides to computing your score. You’ll also learn the test-taking strategies to transform your score from good to great.

The book comes with a CD-ROM containing two more computer-adaptive practice tests with automatic scoring. There’s also an online companion manual containing instructions for obtaining additional test preparation materials online.

About Barron

For 70 years, BARRON’S experts have been helping students surpass their expectations on standardized tests. Barron’s started as a book store in the 1930s in Brooklyn, New York. It was founded by Manuel H. Barron to provide study guides for the New York State Regents exams. Mr. Manuel created the study guides himself after realizing there wasn’t anything available.

Barron’s GMAT was first published in 2001 and has been updated throughout the years to reflect the changing trends in GMAT examinations. For example, the newest edition has been updated to provide the best balance in both the depth of content and breadth of strategies.

The book provides a thorough review of all four GMAT content areas. Most importantly, it provides solid strategies for dealing with the unique challenges posed by this essential, computer adaptive test. Barron’s GMAT offers the following for each of the GMAT sections (Quantitative, Verbal, Integrated Reasoning, and Analytical Writing Assessment):

  • Diagnostic Skills Tests: starting quizzes that assess your strengths and weaknesses within a specific topic accurately and quickly
  • Targeted Review Questions: Further questions concerning the common problem areas in the exam (probability, data sufficiency, parallelism) enable students to focus on their particular needs
  • Strategic Step-by-Step Methods: the authors’ approaches to each type of GMAT question; the strategies have been tested on a diverse group of test-takers with different skills and goals
  • Full-Range Content: questions, methods, and tips for all students, whether you aim to score better than 70% or 95% of all test-takers, studying while still in school or after some time in the workforce.
  • GMAT practice tests: You will get three full-length GMAT practice tests with solutions, analyses, and guides to help estimate your score.

What Other Resources Will You Get When You Purchase Barron’s GMAT?🤔

Barron’s GMAT comes paired with a CD ROM and an online companion.


The CD-ROM is available upon request and presents additional questions in all four test areas, including answers and explanations.

The Online Companion

The Online Companion comprises an extra diagnostic test to establish your skill profile, a personalized study plan, progress tracking, Video lessons and solutions for difficult drills, extra practice questions.

Advantages of Barron’s GMAT 👍

From the book’s content to its price and the bonus items it comes with, there’s a lot to like about Barron’s GMAT. Here’s a look:

✅ Decent concept Review

Users on the internet have a lot of good things to say about Barron’s GMAT. The majority of them agree that the book is impressive and that the author takes a balanced approach to GMAT, thoroughly explaining the fundamentals of preparing and studying for the exam.

The first few chapters provide an in-depth background to the GMAT; first-time test-takers will find this very helpful. You will also learn the strategies for dealing with the various types of questions.

The author goes over some of the most common “tricks” GMAT examiners employ when setting the exam. For example, you will discover that many math questions can be solved quickly if you read the questions carefully and apply logic instead of trying to provide a long and tedious solution.

You’ll also learn the most effective time management techniques. Overall, this book serves as a mini-refresher for students whose arithmetic, geometry, algebra, and statistics skills have become a little bit rusty. 

Many sample questions are provided, and a thorough analysis of how to approach them and come up with the right answers. There are plenty of pointers for solving “trick” questions along the way. At the back of the book, there are two full-length practice GMAT tests

✅ Four Full-Length Practice Tests

Barron’s GMAT contains four full-length practice tests; this is impressive because some GMAT courses like Magoosh, Economist, and PrepScholar don’t even provide that many practice tests. Barron’s GMAT practice test comes with solutions, analyses, and guides to help evaluate your score at various stages of your prep.

✅ A Diagnostic Test

There’s no better way to start your GMAT prep than with a diagnostic test. If you want to know your current skill levels, this is the way to go. Barron’s GMAT provides a diagnostic test that examines your strengths and weaknesses across all GMAT topics. You can use this information to develop a focused prep that hits more on the areas you need to improve for maximum score gain in a short time.

✅ Price

Barron’s GMAT book costs only between $34-$50. On the other hand, most online GMAT courses cost between $250-$700, with the exception of PrepScholar, which has a course for as low as $140. Barron’s GMAT is a good alternative. 

You are on a tight budget but still want to ensure you are prepared for the exam. You will get in-depth GMAT instruction, a diagnostic test, proven strategies, practice questions, practice tests, progress tracking, and video lectures.

Cons 👎

❌ Poorly Edited

Barron’s GMAT book wasn’t proofread well before publication. It has too many mathematical errors and typos.

Wrap Up 🎁

This book offers in-depth GMAT concepts reviews and fantastic tips for test-taking and is fairly priced hence three stars. But if you are the kind of student who really likes textbooks as part of your exam prep, you may get frustrated trying to figure out where you went wrong in your solution when in fact, the error is in the text itself. For that reason, consider checking other prep books such as Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides, Kaplan GMAT Complete 2018, or GMAT Official Guide 2018 Bundle.