The most popular resource for GMAT preparation is undoubtedly the Official Guide. Designed by the makers of the GMAT test, several applicants find it customary to practice GMAT-styled questions to understand the question types that appear on the exam. But is it ideal to start your GMAT preparation with what we lovingly call the GMAT OG (Official Guide)? Before we answer this frequently asked question for you, let us understand what the GMAT essentially tests.

What does the GMAT test?

The GMAT does not just test your conceptual knowledge. So, the common belief that practicing more questions will improve your score proves futile. Along with testing the student’s conceptual knowledge, the GMAT also tests your application skills. So, you should center your GMAT prep around learning concepts and accurately applying these concepts to solve questions. In other words, using the correct methodology to solve questions is key to acing the GMAT.

Also Read: Scored Well on Mocks but Failed Miserably on the Actual Test?

Why Should You Not Begin Your Prep With the GMAT Official Guide?

As we discussed above, the correct way to carry out your GMAT prep is to practice questions only after you learn your concepts and approaches to questions from that topic. Now ask yourself, does the OG help you understand theories and methodologies effectively? It most definitely does not.

Also Read: 5 most common GMAT mistakes and how to avoid them

It’s always better to start preparing with a definitive resource to help you learn concepts while formulating a consistent strategy to solve questions before practicing them from the OG. This way, your preparation will be a lot more structured, and the chances of you leaving gaps in your learning will be significantly less. Now, it is likely to have one more question bubble in your mind –

Is the GMAT Official Guide sufficient? 

Before answering this question, let’s define what practicing means in terms of GMAT preparation. When you take a quiz during your GMAT preparation, you have to analyze solutions to every question you solve. So, when someone says practice questions, make sure to include the step of “analyzing the solutions” in that process.

The more detailed the solution is, the better your understanding of the right approach will be. The right way to analyze the answer to a question is to go through each step of the solution, compare your approach with the right one and identify the exact stage at which you made a mistake. Analyzing your errors is how you nullify the gaps, eventually learning the right strategy.

Here’s why OG is not enough – 

The solutions provided in the OG are not as detailed and exhaustive as a beginner or a first-time taker might need them to be. The answers provided can be vague, and students may often find it challenging to understand the explanations. Therefore, it is important that you choose a resource that can help you with the following:

  • In-depth conceptual understanding
  • Learning the right strategy to solve/approach a question
  • Standardized questions to prepare for the actual GMAT
  • Detailed solutions that follow a consistent methodology for easy, medium, and hard level questions

Once you accustom yourself to a specific plan of action that works for all types of questions, it is safe to begin working on and solving questions from the official guide. In the GMATWhiz course, we provide you with the question numbers of the respective subject from the OG to practice by applying concepts using the proper methods. This way, you will have a pretty clear picture of the topic by the time you move to the official guide.


All in all, make sure you have a strong base with your concepts and strategy before you begin practicing from the OG. Feel free to schedule a call with our GMAT Strategy Consultant if you need any help with the GMAT study strategy.

All the best!!

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