133 of 141 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2010
I am not blasting this book - I am giving you a rating based on the expectation that the description of this book sets. It does not live up and you are bound to be disappointed. However, it is actually a valuable book but you need to be aware of what you are buying and probably how to use it best when you buy it:
As a pure guidebook - 1 star
As a question collection - 3.5 stars
What You Will Find Inside:
28 Critical reasoning questions
31 Reading comprehension questions
110 Sentence correction questions
107 Problem solving questions (only 7 of which cover combinations and probability)
37 Data Sufficiency questions
***** CONS *****
* No review of math principles or grammar rules. This book assumes that you have gone through the Kaplan's main GMAT book. If you need help with basics look into getting the Math or Verbal Workbooks before getting this one.
* Illogical structure. Instead of the typical approach of providing a rule and then questions to practice that rule on, this book just lists questions in each of the sections. All of the valuable information and tips are scattered around the explanations section. The book assumes you will read/review explanations for every question. In defense, the main point is often emphasized, so they are not too hard to find.
* Question difficulty. Fewer than 50 people per year score 800 on the GMAT, and most of the lucky guys get past 700. To appeal to a broad audience, Kaplan designed this book at a 650/700-level
* Math section is fairly easy and lacks meaningful practice in advanced subjects such as probability, combinations, or coordinate geometry, statistics. If these are your weak areas, you should look elsewhere
***** PROS *****
* The book does what it was supposed to do - provide advanced selection of questions, giving the necessary practice with relevant questions. Though Kaplan's questions are not one-for-one official GMAT questions, I found them fairly close overall. I also liked the explanations - they were very detailed
* Good verbal section with valuable RC practice; huge selection of SC's
* Good quality publishing and paper; good layout
* Price - I thought it was worth every penny :)
Bottom Line: This is not a guidebook or a book to start with - if you need to get better in a certain question type, then get it but don't expect it to be sufficient to give you the background often needed to score 700+.
[+++] Here is the list of the hardest questions in the book (if this is all you are looking for).
CR tough questions:
Chapter 2: Prob # 3, 7
Chapter 3: #9,10,11
Chapter 4: #1,2,4,7,9,10,13,16,20,21,27
RC tough questions:
Chapter5: Has no questions
Chapter6: Passage 1: #1, #4, Passage 2: #1, #3, Passage 3: #4, Passage 4: #3
Chapter7: Passage 1: #2, Passage 2:None, Passage 3: #3, #4, Passage 4: #1, #2.
Chapter 8- no questions
Chapter 9: Ques #: 8,10,13,15,16,19,20,25,27,29,32,35,36,37
Chapter10: Ques #: 44,45,46,49,57,58,59,60,62,63,64,66,67,68,72
Chapter 11: Ques #: 2,6,11,14,16,23,25,27,29,34,35,36,37,39
Chapter 12: no questions
Chapter 13: #14
Chapter 14: #3
Chapter 15: #13
Chapter 16: no questions
Chapter 17: #3,16,17,27,28,29,36
Chapter 18: #9
Chapter 19: #1,3,7
Chapter 20: No questions
Chapter 21: #7
Chapter 22: #4,8,16,17,18
FYI: This book is the re-branded edition of a book previously called Kaplan GMAT Advanced
The two books are identical in terms of content (very minor changes); for exact changes see:
CHANGES IN THIS EDITION:
* CR Section: Several questions have been clarified/corrected
* RC Section: Half-page write up about Road Mapping passages; periods have been added at the end of each answer choice
* SC Section: Unchanged
* PS Section: Extra note added to the strategy section to double-check answers at the end
* DS Section: New sentence in the DS strategy section; several explanations have been clarified/corrected. Parentheses added for answer choices
I regularly review all and every GMAT book - do not hesitate to post your questions here; I reply to comments!
BB, Founder of GMAT Club, GMAT 750.
52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2010
I strongly disagree with the one-star review given here and feel compelled to give my own take.
This books is tough and painful to get through. But, if you are serious about getting into a Top 10 Business School, then this is the best book you can get. Look, if you are even considering a Top 10 school you probably score reasonably well on the GMAT to begin with. This book is a collection of the toughest questions that can be found. It gives some guidance on how to get through the questions, but the real value is simply going through them all and figuring out the patterns yourself. I was scoring in the high 600's before this book. I then spent about an hour every night going through it until I had done every question in every section twice. It was painful, to be sure, but the 780 I got at the end of it all made it all worthwhile.
This book is not for everyone. If you are an average test taker or student you will simply find this book to be too nuanced and specific for your needs and it will likely not help you much. But, if you are a serious candidate for the top schools, this is a really great book and is something I recommend to everyone I meet who is applying to top tier b-schools.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2010
I bought this book to supplement my core preparation materials, namely The Official Guide, some Manhattan books and the Kaplan Premier Program book. To give some relevant background, my initial diagnostic score was approx. 600, and my latest practice score is 750: Quantitative 77th percentile, Verbal 98th percentile. The 750 was an unexpected surprise, but since I wasn't happy with my Quant percentile I referred to Kaplan 800.
There are some good time-saving techniques in this book, but overall an advanced student won't find every page challenging or even useful. Most, if not all, of the "challenging" Quant questions are covered in the Official Guide. From my experience, you will face a greater depth and breadth of challenging questions by practicing the last third of the questions in the Official Guide, and most importantly reviewing your mistakes diligently. With a 77th Quant percentile in a practice test, I'm obviously not a genius in Math who would find most concepts super-simple; like most students, I'm someone who needed a lot of basic practice to get to where I am now. Given that similarity, I think most fellow test-takers won't benefit immensely from Kaplan 800.
However, it is possible that students will find the Verbal section useful. My verbal score was already at an advanced level before picking up this book, but I still found some of its techniques noteworthy. This book doesn't offer a large number of practice questions, rather it focuses on theory, which it then exemplifies through a couple of questions following each theoretical concept. The concepts, as I mentioned, can be useful, but as the book itself states they are not comprehensive. If you want comprehensive, go Manhattan.
Overall, my recommendation is to focus instead on the Official Guide, Manhattan books depending on the areas you need to focus on the most, and the main Kaplan book (especially the Kaplan practice tests). This set of materials was recommended to me by someone who got a 760, and I know others who've used the same; their scores were 740 and 710. Save your money and (more importantly?) your time instead of perusing this book. Good luck!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2010
If you are looking to improve your 600+ score, this book is ideal. I would only recommend it for the final stage of your preparation, and only if you are very ambitious about your score.
- Questions for every section are challenging.
- Detailed answers/explanations
- Content structure makes the book easy to follow
- Strategies are not covered in depth
The book shouldn't be taken as reference material, but rather as an additional practice before your exam.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
this book alone would not help to prepare for the GMAT but is a great addition to other review material because it is more in-depth in some areas.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
The book has 2 parts: First 2/3 verbal and last 1/3 math. There are very FEW questions and no practice tests in this book.
The math part is OK, but do not expect any good tips or examples of difficult GMAT questions. It is NOT any different from regular GMAT books in terms of difficulty of questions. The title 800 GMAT is absolutely and completely misleading. The questions do not resemble GMAT questions. For example, divisibility and mods, which are quite frequent in GMAT, are not covered (I got 2 in my GMAT). Princeton Review's Cracking GMAT book has more difficult questions than Kaplan 800 GMAT. Last but not least, there are duplicate questions in the book.
The verbal section is in complete disarray. The questions are not great and the explanations for answers of some questions are ridiculous, unclear or insufficient. It feels like they just didn't want to put any attention into the content. It feels like it was assembled by a greedy corporation.
Overall, the book was worse than useless. It did not improve my math score (I scored same before and after studying this book), but it may have lowered my verbal score due to confusing and misleading explanations to questions. I recommend Princeton Review Cracking GMAT over Kaplan 800 GMAT.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
This is an excellent book for one searching for examples of difficult questions that appear on the GMAT with accompanying explanations. While others may be disappointed the book doesn't provide an in-depth explanation of the test format and structure, it doesn't claim to do that-it claims to provide difficult examples problems with explanations. This it does superbly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2012
It approaches differents topics of the GMAT using highly complex exercices. I do recommend for those who are close to take the test or who have taken and need to improve score. Verbal exercices bring really great challenges and prepare practioners to the test. Highly recommended. Helped me to improve from a 660 to a 720 in one month (Verbal - from 31 to 38).
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 8, 2012
Just finised the Sentence Correction, PS and DS sections on the Kap 800 .. Here is my take :
Quant: It should not be considered anything more than a collection of questions, and should be used as a question supplement to the Kaplan Premier or MGMAT quant books (for basic concept development and understanding). As a question source, i seriously doubt that this book is a collection of 700-750 or 750+ level questions. I will go as far as guessing that no more than a fourth of this book includes 700 level questions(at the maximum), and majority of them are in the 650 range. Having said that, i do not think that this is all that disappointing. Any person looking to go from a 600-650 GMAT score to a 700+ score will most likely need to get PAST the HUMP that is - "The 650 level questions" .. Anyone who gets say a 700-720 will get a lot of 650-700 level questions that he or she would need to get right in order to move to higher questions.. What this book tries to simulate are the tough questions that are tough because the test makers have laid traps in order to trick you towards a particular answer choice. I feel that a lot of the quant questions towards the back end of the OG problem set do the same thing (questions that could be safely clubbed in the 650+ level), therefore these questions on the Kap 800 do make you better at avoiding common traps especially in word problems. The DS section is a bit disappointing, and i seriously feel that the last 20-25 questions on the OG13 (DS section) are better for practice.
If it is STRICTLY 700+ questions that you are looking for, The MGMAT Advanced Quant is the book, but i would guess that any one scoring say a 720 on the GMAT would only get around 5-8 of those questions that involve really tough concepts or rarely tested topics (in the quant section, given that it is reasonable to expect 6-10 experimental questions, and the first few are medium diffuculty level questions, only 20-25 questions will be TRULY ADAPTIVE) . The rest would be either 650-700 level questions or 700+ level questions that club multiple much simpler concepts and topics.. From the free Questions attempted it seems that the GMAT CLUB tests are a couple of notches above the MGMAT Advanced quant. and therefore, they probably are the best recourse for 750+ level questions on the planet (that are still relevant for the material tested on the GMAT, and are written with similar style).
Sentence Correction: Although some tough questions, i feel that many answer choices are not as clear as those given in the OG.. yet overall i am satisfied, and do not feel that i have wasted time on mediocre questions especially after having finished the OG13 SC questions and done all in the KAP premier. I also feel that no recourse other than the OG tests the new emphasis on the SC (as per reports from test takers) ie. long passages which are completely underlined and involve multiple categories (parral., modifiers, pronouns etc) and cannot be split vertically. I strongly believe that practicing Sentence corrections questions beyond a point is not an optimal allocation of time, and that once one has done the OG problems, and perhaps a 100 or so more problems, it is better to spend 2-3 hours a week reading the primary SC book and going over basic grammar rules. I spend 30 minutes daily on going over ONE particular topic of SC from the MGMAT SC guide, and then use the grammar resources on the internet to read more about that topic. Doing this for a couple of months, one can cover all the topics and then move onto the CAT's. I am on my third reading of the MGMAT SC guide and discover something new every time .
Conclusion: I feel this is a book for someone who gets around 600-620 and wants to touch 700 and maybe go a bit over..Especially for those whose weak area is WORD PROBLEMS and who makes careless mistakes...It will by itself not Guarantee a 700 by any means (as i am learning, now with CAT's) but will help if supplemented with the OG's and online resources. It will almost never help you achieve 800, nor will it enable a 720-750 level person to get 800. Infact if you are consistantly scoring 700 or above in CAT's i think this book will be a waste of time, and anyone in that situation would find it better to get the MGMAT Adv. quant or move to the GMAT club tests for the extra boost (considering that GMAT club tests are so many in number, and include both quant and verbal) ... So the NAME KAPLAN 800 is only a marketing gimmick and one must look past that. This is a logical supplement for the Kaplan premier, and those that have started off with the Kap premier (as a huge number does) then this is a couple of notches above that in difficulty. For those that start off with MGMAT set, and do well in the 400 or so questions that come with that can perhaps skip this book and move on to the MGMAT Adv quant.(if they are getting a good score on some of the practice CAT's )
Pros: Provides a decent amount of questions witin the 650 range of difficulty at a reasonable price
Is a logical supplement for the Kaplan Premier book
Covers WORD PROBLEMS in detail, and provides valuable practice for those looking to improved careless mistakes
Cons: Does not cover many topics like Probability, Permutations & Combinations, Statistics etc in detail
The structure, and the explanations are poor and and because of this, it cannot be used as a review book, therefore must be supplemented with the Kaplan premier
Does not reflect the TITLE ie. Does not provide a single 750 level question let alone a 800 level question
Does not cover Integrated Reasoning
Too Few D.S. Questions: Since DS is considered by many to be the trickiest portion of the quant (and many consider it the toughest in the whole GMAT) any advanced book should cover DS
strategies, for tough questions in details and contain a large amount of DS practice questions.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2010
As the title of the book suggests, this book is geared towards advanced students. I would not suggest this book for people looking for a general GMAT prep guide. However, for test takers looking to be challenged, this is the ideal book.