Most helpful critical review
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Muddling explanations; Kaplan books better for real review
on November 25, 2008
I bought this (along with a couple of other supplemental EZ Solutions books for the GMAT) with high expectations, admittedly based on only the two reviews submitted thus far to Amazon.com.
Pros: The books do seem to be very comprehensive, and they provide plenty of practice questions for you to review the material you just reviewed in each section. The explanations are mostly adequate.
Cons: Like all other test prep books I've used, this one has its share of mistakes. On more than one occasion, a mistake in a problem was corrected only in the SOLUTION, not in the original problem. Still, it's not as egregious as Kaplan, for example, although the fact that the mistakes are hand-corrected with a pen is a little distracting.
The explanations are adequate, BUT they veer towards the downright technical, as the author often makes assumptions about one's grasp of math concepts that may not be warranted. Those of you only recently graduated from college, with algebra and calculus still fresh in your memory, might not find it a problem, but the author's explanations can be very confounding. For example: "Let E be a nonempty and non-equal subset of S, and let P(E) be the probability that is it possible but uncertain that it will occur." Errrr...come again? No clarification follows this sentence, so if you're math-challenged like I am you'll be left staring at the sentence for several minutes trying to wrap your brain around it.
In terms of overall clarity of explanations, I found Kaplan to be the best resource. The BIG problem with Kaplan, of course, is that their GMAT book is riddled with mistakes, so my suggestion is that you use Kaplan to learn/review the concepts, and use the EZ Solutions workbook (or the Official GMAT review book, or Kaplan's own online practice tests) as your dry runs.
Another thing I found off-putting about the books is the sheer expense, although when you compare it to the cost of, say, a live tutorial or class, it's obviously cheaper. Also, occasionally the language can be difficult to understand and can get in the way of answering the question properly, e.g., "How many people must be in a group in order to ensure that at least 2 people in the group have last names that begin with the same alphabet?" (Obviously, the sentence should end with 'letter,' not 'alphabet.'
Overall, the book is an okay resource. If you're looking for a quick refresher and are not starting from scratch, this may be a good option. If you're not necessarily math-oriented and want a book with more user-friendly explanations of even the more advanced math concepts, you're better off looking elsewhere.