Customer Reviews: Manhattan GMAT Set of 8 Strategy Guides, Fourth Edition (Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides)
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on November 28, 2009
If you are just starting out with GMAT prep - get this bundle; it's a good deal for the Manhattan GMAT Guides (separately they cost close to $150). These books don't emphasize tricks or easy ways to 700+ score, instead they methodically cover areas tested, and should be pretty much all you will need (besides the Official Guides - see below for links). If this is above your budget, then would recommend you pick the best of the pack:
- Number Properties Guide (condensed overview of Arithmetic and strategies for saving time/solving questions more effectively)
- Word Translations Guide (includes some of the hardest topics - probability, combinations, and statistics)
- Sentence Correction (best book out there and closely followed by PowerScore SC)
- Critical Reasoning (only second to PowerScore CR but by a slim margin)
- Reading Comprehension (there are no other dedicated RC books on market really)
Between these 5 books you should have 80-90% of the GMAT covered and the rest could be picked up from the remaining books and practice with the Official Guides. You can throw in a Kaplan Premier as well - a good intro to GMAT book with 6 free GMAT Tets. It is a good starter book to get your feet wet, but definitely not a must.

To make the most use out of the MGMAT guides, you will need the Official Guide 12th and also OG Verbal 2ed and OG Quant 2nd are recommended. The guides refer to these 3 books for additional practice questions. If you own previous versions of the Official Guide books, you can use those too with a translation table available from MGMAT's website.
*** Each book comes with access to 6 online gmat tests and additional question banks. Don't spend money on these as they are pricey ($45 for 6 tests on the MGMAT website).

Also, if you are new to the GMAT, download 2 official practice tests from [...]and take one of them before you start prepping to get your level - very helpful to track your progress along the way but don't waste these tests - they use real retired gmat questions and though it is possible to recycle them (there are close to 900 questions in the banks), would recommend you use something less valuable for your practice such as MGMAT tests included with these books).

One more thing, don't rush into questions and tests - you will only hurt your self confidence, instead methodically cover each math and verbal topic and only after you are done with each of the sections move on to take the tests (take math only after you are done with math and verbal only after done with verbal). Final word of advice - the main mistake (esp in verbal) is not following strategies. Whichever books or strategies you use (they are all pretty similar between MGMAT, PowerScore, and Kaplan) - follow them EXACTLY. These people are getting big bucks to develop methods to improve score and maximize performance - don't try to be smarter and change things around. Unless you are scoring 750+, I would follow each step of the strategy to the "T". If the book says to read the CR question twice, then that's what you do even though it may seem that it is faster to read it once - trust me, there is a reason why you read it twice. If you want to get 700+ and not worry about the GMAT, stick to the strategies and keep creativity low.

Hopefully this will get you started. For more details on each of the guides, see my reviews of each of the individual books
BB - Founder of GMAT Club.

P.S. Let me know if you have any questions about GMAT Books - I reply to comments and appreciate any feedback (especially negative and suggestions for improvement).
Good luck on your GMAT.
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on September 16, 2010
When I first started studying for the GMAT, I had not heard of Manhatten GMAT, though I was impressed with the positive feedback they received on Amazon. Only a few weeks into studying I now understand why they have received such positive feedback. I have tasted their Koolaid and highly recommend using their entire suite of tools for all things GMAT related...

Manhatten has come very close to perfecting the art of studying for the GMAT. Their strategy guides provide the most comprehensive, easy to understand GMAT roadmap on the market. I highly recommend purchasing the entire study guide if you are just beginning your studies, or purchase any of their 8 strategy guides if you need targeted practice in a specific area on the GMAT.

Who should use these guides:
Anyone who is serious about getting a good score on the GMAT AND has the time to invest in getting that great score. Manhatten GMAT's philosophy is to teach students to "do more with more" rather than to "do more with less". This is a great concept for anyone who has the time to invest in learning the test and for those with the desire to score well above average.

Who shouldn't buy these guides:
Those who don't have time to invest and just need a basic understanding of the test. Manhatten really caters to those who are trying to get above a 600 (if not above a 700) on the GMAT. If you are a last minute studier or don't have the desire to ace the test, then I would recommend going with either Kaplan or just the Official Guides provided by the test makers.

Bottom Line:
Manhatten GMAT provides the most comprehensive, in depth coverage of the GMAT. These books, which are accompanied by access to their online practice center (and 6 practice exams), are worth the premium compared to other study material.
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on June 1, 2010
I bought the Kaplan GMAT book and breezed through it and thought I was prepared for the GMAT... Luckily a friend recommended the Manhattan GMAT books to me just in time - they were orders of magnitude better than Kaplan.

These books are much, much more thorough and really break down "typical" GMAT question formats - there will be few if any surprises on the actual test. The Sentence correction strategies were useful, but if you have to cut costs/time, skip the reading comprehension stuff (assuming you're a native english speaker).

Manhattan really shines in the quantitative books - even if you're good with quant and good at taking tests, these questions can be tricky when you're under the gun. The books lay out step-by-step processes for every type of question that makes them very easy to solve.

The online practice tests are also invaluable and did a very accurate job of predicting my actual score (in fact, they were slightly harder than the actual GMAT).

[I scored a 760]
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on April 6, 2012
The Manhattan set is highly recommended but the product is not good for people out of school for a number of years and if your background isn't in math. The reviews on GMAT Club and Beat The GMAT come from people with engineer backgrounds or they are very good at math. If your fundamentals are terrible then this set will go over your head. Manhattan assumes you know the basics. After you get your fundamentals down then this set will be useful. Try the Manhattan GMAT Foundations of GMAT math first or another book to get your basics down. The three stars do not reflect the quality of the books but how useful the material was to my studies.
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on August 17, 2010
I bought this set of guides due to great reviews and I was definitely not disappointed. Long story short, I used only these guides to learn from and practiced from the Official Guide 12th ed, as well as the Quant and Verbal books - got a 770 after 3 months of diligent study.

With these books, you have your work cut out for you - but it is definitely straightforward. Buy with confidence! (my used set is listed here if you want some magical karma :) )
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on October 2, 2011
These are the top of the line... very structured and every topic is compartmentalized within itself, then further broken down into additional topics. If you like structure then this is for you -- so listen up, all you engineers applying to business school! The books rightly focus on how to master *taking the GMAT*, not how to learn concepts that will propel you in school. If you want to learn a topic, go get a textbook... if you want to learn the GMAT get these. Then just go through each one. Lots of little things that you might not think about even if you're smart -- remember the GMAT doesn't test how smart you are or how well you know a topic... it tests how well you understand the GMAT methods and tricks. These guys have it down for sure.
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on June 9, 2010
I used the manhattan gmat series to improve my quant and sentence correction. It takes about 2 months to go through the math guides, but the improvement was unbelievable. I went from the 50th to the 80th percentile in quant, raising my overall GMAT score from 610 to 700. I would recommend working through this series of books before spending large sums of money on a tutor (a tutor may still be beneficial in conjunction with the books). Top class.
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on March 9, 2013
Bottom line: I studied using these books and increased my score by 110 points. I also bought the simulation booklet and marker from Manhattan GMAT, as well as the official Quant review book from GMAC, and that's it. Overall, I think I probably spent about $200 on study materials and probably 150-200 hours of studying. The practice tests that come with these books seemed much closer to the real test than the practice tests provided by the GMAC. If you are motivated, these books and maybe one or two of the official GMAC books are all you need to excel on the GMAT.
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on November 3, 2011
DISCLAIMER: I only used the Number Properties book, the Fractions/Decimals/Percents book, and the SC book.

Speaking only of the above books I used, the set is superb. You also gain access to MGMAT's CATs, and those are fantastic (widely regarded as the next best thing to GMAT Prep), with excellent problem explanations. The set and the CATs definitely helped me get what I got on the exam.

I would also highly recommend the GMAT Math Prep Course book, as that book was what put the extra layers and the icing on the cake that were necessary for the jump to 750. GMAT Math Prep Course
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on June 2, 2012
These books are great, probably not useful anymore as I just took one of the last tests without IR (so if you're reading this, buy their new version). The best part about Manhatten is the online services. The tutorials and posts on the website are what made me make that last push which brought my CAT from 1 week ago to my real test today from 660 to 710. Thank you!
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