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Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook (Kaplan Test Prep)
Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook (Kaplan Test Prep)
by Kaplan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.69
37 used & new from $10.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Great Basics Review but Could be Better/Improved, May 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got 99th percentile on my GMAT 750(49, 42) and i used 3 books: this one, Kaplan's Premier Book, and the Verbal Workbook. I had access to PR book and GMAT Prep, but I did only tests from those. I found Kaplan's materials of quality and difficulty. Some whine that Kaplan is too hard, but that's good - if you can handle Kaplan, you can handle the GMAT. Please see the section at the very bottom of the review - I have included a list of my favorite problems from this book - those are the most fun!

~~~ PROS: ~~~
- Condensed math concept review - straight to the point
- No smart-aleck advice about some stupid tricks - only math review - exactly what I needed
- Solid problems that illustrate a lot of traps and multiple ways of solving them
- Starts with the basics - arithmetic, integers, primes, etc - the stuff that anybody can uses a review of. A lot of applicants underestimate how much they forgot the basics and skim/skip them. I would not do that, and that book does not either.
- Finally, the number of questions and quizzes in this book is impressive. I am giving a short summary of some of the sections of the book and number of quizzes and test questions. Quiz questions are math only; Test questions are GMAT-type questions.

~~~ CONS: ~~~
- No probability or combinations review, which would be very helpful. Get something. I bombed my probability question on the GMAT.
- I went through this book at least 3 times (helping others) and I found that solutions don't include some of the most genius ways to handle the problems. I think the authors of the questions went beyond themselves.
- Errors (even though this is the 6th edition and it barely changed compared to the 1st and 2nd, there are a few typos and just careless errors - it's a shame)
- Not as thorough as the MGMAT guides (those cover more topics in-depth and perhpas a wider area). Also, if you are rusty with math (really rusty), you may want to get the Kaplan Math Foundations or Foundations of GMAT Math by Manhattan GMAT.

--- PREVIOUS EDITION ---
The changes in the 9th 2015 edition are very minor and you can easily purchase the previous editions (including 8th, and 7th) if the books are cheap enough (often for a fraction of the cost). The books are 99.9% the same with several problematic questions replaced (a few of the advanced questions)

Arithmetic
-Number operations (15 quiz questions and 15 test questions)
-Number properties (15, 19)
-Averages (10, 19)
-Ratios (10, 24)
-Percents (25, 25)
-Powers and Roots (12, 17)

Algebra
-Level One (20, 26)
-Level Two (15, 15)

Word Problems
-Level One (10, 26)
-Level Two (37)
-Test (40)

Geometry
-Lines (6, 14)
-Triangles (16, 21)

-Quadrilaterals (15, 19)
-Circles (19, 13)
-Multiple Figures (4, 15)
-Solids (6, 8)

Data Sufficiency
-Test 1 (25)
-Test 2 (25)

~~~ HARD & INTERESTING QUESTIONS ~~~

Also, here is the list of the Most Interesting GMAT questions from this book (some are hard and others require an unusual approach) - make sure you can answer every one of them and know how to solve them by heart:
Number properties test: 8, 13, 14, 17, 19
Averages test: 4, 6
Ratios: 22
Percents: 4, 7, 8, 22
Powers and Roots: 5, 12
Algebra test 2: 2, 6
Basic Word Problem Exercise (p. 131): 6, 8, 9
Word Problems Test 1: 4, 19, 24
Percents, Ratios, and Rates: 34
General WP Test: 31, 35, 40
Geometry
Triangles Exercise: 7, 11
Triangles Test: 2, 15, 18
Quadraliterals and other polygons: 14, 16, 17
Circles: 2, 5, 10
Multiple Figures: 2, 6, 9, 14
Solids: 5
DS1: 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24
DS2: 3, 7, 9, 10, 15, 21, 23, 24

~~~ WHY ONLY 4 STARS? ~~~
1. No significant updates over the years. This book has remained virtually unchanged since the second edition (for the last 8 years). You are welcome to purchase any of the previous editions to have the same effect.
2. It is a good/great book but there are now other great books out there (MGMAT Guides, Veritas Prep Guides) that give this book a run for its money

Finally, please make sure you have a copy of the Official Guide for the GMAT (OG) - if you have not discovered it, I highly recommend you get yourself a copy as it is published by GMAC and contains 900 official GMAT Questions.

Let me know if you have any questions - I reply to comments!

Good Luck on the GMAT
BB, GMAT 750 (q49, v42)


Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook (Kaplan Test Prep)
Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook (Kaplan Test Prep)
by Kaplan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.37
43 used & new from $10.26

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent starter book but incomplete for a serious score increase, May 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
~~~~~ STRENGTHS ~~~~~
- No tricks, just straightforward strategies to every section (3-4 steps). Easy to remember and simple to use
- Was just the right length for me (covered it in 3 weeks)
- Good number of exercise questions; both 220 GMAT-like (220) and exercises in the chapters; the questions are on the harder side
- Style/Usage guide and list of idioms (you must know all of these)
- Sets the right expectations (GMAT-style reading is very different from casual reading). You must forget what you know and re-learn reading to succeed
- The CR approach to answer the question before reading answer choices works like a charm
- The RC section is what really shines in this book

~~~~~ WEAKNESSES ~~~~~
- I felt the SC section was a little weak (5 pages plus a grammar section in the back). If you are a non-native speaker, you should definitely plan on getting a dedicated grammar book. Kaplan's Verbal Foundations is not bad
- One of the question sets/banks overlaps with the online exercises in the Kaplan Premier book
- The CR questions are slightly different from the official "flavor", which is typical for third-party questions. Keep this in mind and make sure you train your ear on the Official Guide or GMAT Prep before the test

~~~~~ BOTTOM LINE: Though not as detailed as some of the dedicated RC, CR, SC books, it provides a good balance of useful strategies/instruction and time required to cover them. Good number of practice questions and also a grammar/style usage guide at the end. There is a total of 250 verbal questions (no new ones in the 7th edition)
SC: 96
RC: 82
CR: 72

There has been no changes besides some minor typo corrections from the last edition, so if you can get the seventh edition cheaper - get it. 7th and 8th edition books are the same.

~~~~~ SOME TIPS ~~~~~
Here is a list of both tips and mistakes I have seen people make through my years at GMAT Club:
- Whenever you practice, do so in a timed environment (give yourself an average of 2 mins). If you don't, you are really wasting your time and setting unrealistic expectations
- Follow the strategies to the "T". If you are not getting a good score, it is probably because you are not following the strategies exactly and cutting corners. It is very important to read the CR passages twice, and to read the RC completely
- Leverage your strengths and perfect the timing. Strike a balance between the question types. Reading was the hardest for me and I peaked at about 2.5 mins per RC question. (I noticed that if I spent only 2 mins on average, my success rate went down from 90% to about 60-70%) That was not good enough but instead of trying to break through that wall, I worked on answering SC questions in 1 min average and CR's in 1.5 mins average. That gave me enough time to approach RC properly
- Have a problem with keeping attention through the long or intense GMAT passages - try to be passionate about the passage. Imagine that it is the most interesting/revolting/provocative/unbelieavable stories. Care about it!
- Optional suggestion (which I think is very helpful by the way) - read quality fiction books in your spare time. Our minds are not prepared to read the GMAT-level passages (length or intensity or timing wise). You need to train your mind to be open to these and to know how to deal with them. I would recommend getting some quality fiction books - it will help not only with RC but also with SC as your grammar ear will be much more trained. This is how I managed to crack SC's in 1 minute or less.
- If you are a non-native speaker, make sure your English is OK before you start on the verbal section. Knowing strategies is valuable only when you understand what you reading. I know this sounds obvious but so many people ignore this
- On the test, draw a grid and use it to eliminate answer choices. By the time you reach the verbal section, you are 3 hours into the test and your mind will not be able to hold anything. A grid (which you can draw during a break or as you are reading the instructions) will help eliminate/track answer choices on hard questions
- You don't need to take dozens of practice tests. Don't use practice tests to learn material; instead, know it ahead of time and use practice tests to hone your strategies and timing. It should be enough to take 5-10 tests total.

Good Luck on your GMAT and let me know if any questions - I Reply to Comments!
BB, Founder of GMAT Club
750 (q49, v42)


Kaplan GMAT Premier 2016 with 6 Practice Tests: Book + Online + DVD + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep)
Kaplan GMAT Premier 2016 with 6 Practice Tests: Book + Online + DVD + Mobile (Kaplan Test Prep)
by Kaplan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $33.45
37 used & new from $23.60

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Mid-Tier Book (No changes since last edition), May 16, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you are new to the GMAT and looking for a quicker prep plan, Kaplan Premier is a good book to work with - it provides a good intro to the test (explains the mechanics, basic principles, gets you familiar with the test structure, etc), has solid strategies that you can use regardless of your level, and finally, comes with 5 Adaptive tests. Think of it a starter camera/computer/car/etc - you don't want to start with anything expensive before you know what you are looking for. On the flip side, this book will last you for 3-4 weeks and most likely will only boost your score by 50-75 points. If you want a greater increase (and have 3 months to study, skip this book and pick a bigger caliber package from Manhattan GMAT or Veritas Prep that have a comprehensive overview of everything GMAT-related).

~~~ THE GOOD: ~~~
* Quite a few practice questions
* Solid material with proven Math and Verbal strategies as well as formulas/etc background
* 49 pages covering Integrated Reasoning
* 6 Full GMAT Tests (5 are in adaptive CAT format on the online and 1 is in a paper format in the book)
* Online practice with additional exercises and quizzes - 18 online drills
* Much of general info on gmat has been moved into online video format, called Fast Fact Videos; that helps with learning when you have had too much reading for the day
* Great value for the money with 6 Full GMAT tests, practice questions, and many online Quizzes
* Good amount of coverage for the INTEGRATED REASONING.

~~~ THE BAD: ~~~
* Errors - I have spotted a few typos and issues with explanations; I suspect there may be a few more
* Access to the online components expires after 6 months. This is the only reason to buy a new book vs used
* NO CD/DVD - online content only for Tests
* Does not have the depth and width a 700+ score requires
* 1,100 Pages and 6 LBS! - not a travel size book

~~~ OTHER STUDY OPTIONS & BOOKS ~~~
Many applicants, bypass Kaplan Premier completely and head straight for the more specialized books such as the Manhattan GMAT Set of 8 Strategy Guides, Fourth Edition OR Complete GMAT Course Set - 15 Book. These book sets come with 8-15 books that are targeting specific Math and Verbal areas. You have a much better chance getting a 700+ with those book sets (not guaranteed) but they also do require at least 2.5-3 months to cover them. The MGMAT Books come with 6 adaptive online tests. Veritas Prep books come with tests as well BUT only if you purchase from their website (Ugh) Finally, a book you should also now about is the The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition (more on that is below)

~~~ SOME OTHER THOUGHTS: ~~~
* What is a good study plan using Kaplan Premier?
My recommendation would be to start with this book, finish it in about a month or so (by this time you will learn all the basics about the test, how it works, what is tested, and general strategies for answering questions). Then, you an figure out what's the best use of your time - you may have reached your target score and can stop or perhaps you are really lacking in Quant or Verbal and need a lot more serious practice.

* Will this book give me 700+ score?
For the majority of applicants, No. It is not deep enough for most people out of college to refresh the math and verbal fundamentals. You will most likely need other books to help you get there.

* How do I get 700 then?
There are several options:
1. Review each section separately using the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook and Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook
2. Thorough/Methodical review of each area - If you have a bit more time, grab the Manhattan GMAT Set of 8 Strategy Guides, Fifth Edition OR Complete GMAT Course Set by Veritas - 15 Book. These books are excellent and are actually used in the classroom setting for their classes, so you are definitely get the top books. If you dont need/want the entire collection, see my review for what stand-alone books to get. This plan is likely to get you a higher score with this section but it will also take up more time (about a month more). Decide on the approach based on your starting position, target score, time you have, and willingness to study math and grammar for months without a break.

* Any other books I need to know about?
YES. There is one - The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition. This book is published by the creators of GMAT and contains real GMAT questions. You should also download the Official GMAT Prep software from GMAC's website (it's free).

* What if I have trouble getting through this book? Where can I find help?
There are several books that can help you get up to speed with quant and grammar:
1. For Quantitative section: Manhattan GMAT Foundations of GMAT Math
2. For Verbal Section: Foundations of GMAT Verbal by Manhattan GMAT

Let me know if you have any questions about the book - I reply to comments!
Good Luck,
BB, GMAT 750 (q49, v42)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 23, 2015 10:43 AM PDT


Sentence Correction GMAT Strategy Guide, 6th Edition (Manhattan Prep Instructional Guide Series)
Sentence Correction GMAT Strategy Guide, 6th Edition (Manhattan Prep Instructional Guide Series)
by Manhattan Prep GMAT
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.53
60 used & new from $9.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best SC Resource (comes with 6 GMAT tests online but few practice questions), March 28, 2015
This is the Gold Standard for GMAT SC. The only other book that has a shot is the Veritas Prep SC (2 books actually) or Powerscore SC, though it could get an update. In any case, you won't find anything better. The latest 6th edition update has aligned the Idioms in the book (trimmed them) and updated some content including more meaning and style that were very needed.

As with all MGMAT Books, when you buy a book, you are entitled to free access to 6 of their practice tests as well as an online question bank of about 20-100 questions (depending on the book). The book itself has very few practice questions. There is 1 or 2 that are used to carry the point across and then there are "In Action" collection of 10-25 sentences at the end of each chapter (plus some online practice) but the book assumes that you will be using the Official Guide or the Verbal supplement for the official Guide. You should get those books anyway, but beware that they are required for practice.

### Strengths: ###
* Only the relevant information and grammar points. Saves a tremendous amount of time
* In-depth overview of each error type to notice the patterns
* Good structure and gradual progression from basic to more advanced topics
* Includes advanced strategies for advanced test takers (650/700+ level)
* Finally, it provides approaches and strategies that work
* Excellent layout - very conducive to learning - especially helpful for visual learners (I am one). The book is actually so well laid out and published that it is enjoyable to read.
* Access to 6 online GMAT Tests online

### Weaknesses: ###
* Few practice questions included (mentioned above) and reliance on the OG

Let me know if you have any questions about this book - I answer comments on Amazon.
Good Luck on your GMAT,
BB, Founder of GMAT Club
GMAT 750 (Q49, V42)


Foundations of GMAT Verbal
Foundations of GMAT Verbal
by Manhattan Prep GMAT
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.25
110 used & new from $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Welcome Verbal Help for all the Quant Folks, March 28, 2015
The reality is that GMAT tests high school math, basic level of grammar, basic logic, and basic reading skills. What makes scoring high on the GMAT hard is the time limit. If you think GMAT tests some advanced topics, then this book is for you because the key to getting a high score, is having solid background and solid basics. You want to do as much as you can to build that foundation because without a sound foundation, the rest of the house falls apart and your fancy roof or granite counters will not help you when walls start settling.

~~~~ This is the right book if: ~~~~
- You are looking for a review to polish some of your skills (this is a good book to thumb through)
- You are an international applicant. Enough said probably but there is value from grammar as well Idioms/RC vocabulary (25% of the book is devoted to this)
- You are short on time (you can use this book instead buying the 3 verbal Guides). You can cover this one in 1 week as opposed to 3 weeks for the CR, RC, and SC Guides (overlap is minimal but you get the most important skills here)
- You keep failing to get a high verbal score and can't quite pinpoint the reason (most likely you have skipped right to the more advanced topics & strategies, so this will be a good way to refresh/review)

~~~~ This is the wrong book if: ~~~~
- Your English is poor (you must learn English first). This is not an ESL guide or a shortcut
- You are looking for an in-depth Grammar guide (this touches on MAIN subjects but it is rather short for a grammar book - 90 pages of content and about 50 if you take out the examples and drills)
- You are looking for advanced strategies or hard questions (there are some but very few). I would rather recommend to you GMAT 800
- You are looking for more practice questions(very few GMAT-like questions) but there are drills and exercises.
- You are looking for shortcuts or something quick. This book has a lot of material to learn and memorize (esp in the SC section)
- If you have Verbal at 35+. Unless you are struggling with many gaps, you will probably know most of the topics and subjects. I felt it was a nice refresher but I could not tell how much it actually would help

~~~~ Pros ~~~~
- Nice Pop Quiz questions to spot-test your comfort level (there are 19 of them)
- Advanced Tips are highlighted in a box
- There is coverage of Gerund!
- The answers to Drill questions (these are not exercises or GMAT style questions) are posted on the same or next page which helps to keep the momentum when you are working through the chapter and also "makes" you read through some of the explanations to the questions you answered correctly and this is recommended for topics you have little comfort with
- Self-evaluation box at the end of each section that asks about your comfort level. I love this dumb and simple thing - I see so many people moving on past sections they have no clue about (but they have read them and therefore "covered"). You do not want to move past a section until you are very comfortable with it. If you find the provided material insufficient to give you an in-depth review, google or find a more detailed grammar book. I found this to be unique to this book.
- Idioms and Vocabulary coverage international students will benefit from (though GMAC claims there is no added value in studying GRE-level words, so do not get too carried away). There are 70 pages (25% of the book is devoted to Idioms)
- Very interesting section in the Appendix: Helpful Hints for Indian speakers of English. It is only 5 pages but covers things such as Progressive, Subjunctive, Adverbs, and usage issue related to GMAT Math (actual math language)

~~~~ Cons ~~~~
- The biggest weakness is the lack of practice questions. Many people need a series of examples and exercises to apply the material to and as with most MGMAT books, there are very few GMAT-like questions. Since the 8-book series, which rely on the Official Guide for practice questions, cover the entire Official Guide, there is nothing left for this supplement.
- Makes the main guides a bit redundant - there is some overlap in material (more or less naturally)...
- Answers to pop quizzes are on page 120 whereas drills are covered right there (?)
- Handwritten notes, though they do give an idea how an actual person takes notes and keeps records, etc, they take a bit getting used to (see image I uploaded). Not sure if this is a real Con... the value here is to learn how to take notes and do your work on a scratch pad. Perhaps this is because I disagree about the need to diagram the arguments in the CR but this may be your golden strategy. If you are having a tough time with CR's definitely try it
- If your English is weak, this book is probably not going to really help you. It does not have a list of irregular verbs, or coverage of articles, or other marginal review
- It does NOT come with access to the MGMAT Tests (none of the supplements do, only the Guides have this feature)

I would recommend that in addition to the Official Guide 12, you get the Princeton Review 1,012 questions book - the questions are not perfect but it does a great job at categorizing questions properly and providing very specific target practice.

If you care, here is a full list of topics covered (beyond just the Table of Contents)
Chapter 2
- Nouns
- Ways to spot nouns
- Categories of nouns
- Singular and plural
- Pronouns
- Categories of pronouns
- Antecedents
- Pronoun "one"
- Making flashcards
- Adjectives
- Categories of adjectives
- Pronoun Errors related to adjectives
- Absolute Adjectives
Chapter 3
- Verbs
- Categories of verbs
- Gerunds
- Infitirves
- Subject-verb agreement
- Has/Have verbs
- Had verbs
- Adverbs
- Adverbs modifying adjectives and other adverbs
- Adverbs errors on the GMAT
- Adverbial phrases
Chapter 4
- Prepositions
- Prepositional phrases
- Prepositions separating subjects and verbs
- Ending a sentence with a preposition
- Conjunction
- Coordinating conjunctions
- Correlative conjunctions
- Subordinating conjunctions
Chapter 5
- How sentences are constructed
- Subjects and predicates
- Sentence fragments
- Punctuation
- The colon
- The semicolon
- Dashes
Chapter 6
- Modifiers
- Introductory modifiers
- That, who, when, and where
- Parallelism and comparisons
- Phrases beginning with that and when
Chapter 7
- Idioms
- Common idioms
- The subjunctive
Chapter 8
- Valid arguments vs sound arguments
- The structure of arguments
- Getting rid of extras
Chapter 9
- How GMAT critical reasoning is Unlike
- Real world decision-making
- Identifying patterns in arguments
- Logical flaws on the GMAT
- Gaps in critical reasoning
- Gaps related to conclusions
Chapter 10
- Argument diagramming
- Decoding the question stem
Chapter 11
- Putting it all together
- Looking at the first 5 questions in the Official Guide (Interesting)
Chapter 12
- Why GMAT RC is hard
- Kill the "gist"
- The phrases of reading comprehension
- Practicing the four phases of reading comprehension
Chapter 13
- What is the main idea?
- Organizing difficult information
Chapter 14
- Inference Questions
- Improving your reading in general
- How to study from the official guide
Chapter 15
- Why learn vocabulary for the GMAT
- How to learn vocabulary for the GMAT
- Vocabulary list
- RC idioms
Appendix
- Helpful hints for Indian speakers of English

Best Regards,
BB, Founder of GMAT Club
GMAT 750(q49, v42)

P.S. Let me know if any questions about this book - i reply to comments!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 4, 2015 9:36 PM PDT


Cracking the GMAT with 4 Practice Tests & DVD, 2014 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)
Cracking the GMAT with 4 Practice Tests & DVD, 2014 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)
by Princeton Review
Edition: Paperback
59 used & new from $7.89

2.0 out of 5 stars Same content as 2015 Premium but missing 2 CATs, December 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
See my review about the premium edition (titled: get something else instead).
This book is a copy of the Premium 2015 Edition but with fewer tests (4 instead of 6). I would recommend that you get something else but if you must or interested in this book, would suggest you get the premium 2015 version due to the extra CAT tests.

P.S, Keep in mind that buying a used edition will still give you access to the tests as the book does not rely on any kind of a unique code to get CAT access.

Good Luck on your GMAT!


Cracking the GMAT with 2 Practice Tests, 2014 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)
Cracking the GMAT with 2 Practice Tests, 2014 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)
by Princeton Review
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from $5.23

2.0 out of 5 stars Same as Premium, just has fewer tests, December 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
See my review about the premium edition (titled: get something else instead).
This book is a copy of the Premium 2015 Edition but with fewer tests (2 instead of 6). I would recommend that you get something else but if you must or interested in this book, would suggest you get the premium 2015 version due to the extra CAT tests.

P.S, Keep in mind that buying a used edition will still give you access to the tests as the book does not rely on any kind of a unique code to get CAT access.

Good Luck on your GMAT!


Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set, 6th Edition
Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set, 6th Edition
by Manhattan Prep GMAT
Edition: Paperback
Price: $151.01
54 used & new from $125.00

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This bundle + Official Guide 2015 is all you neeed, December 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The 6th edition has better structure in quant and substantial improvements in Verbal. See my comparison vs. 5th edition below.
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 or you are in a rush, then would recommend you pick the best of the pack:
- The GMAT Roadmap Great collection of wisdom (see my review of this book)
- Number Properties Guide (condensed overview of Arithmetic and strategies for saving time/solving questions more effectively)
- Word Propblems Guide (includes some of the hardest topics - probability, combinations, and statistics)
- Sentence Correction (the best book out there on SC)
- Critical Reasoning (only second to PowerScore CR but by a slim margin)
- Reading Comprehension - a significantly revised book (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 20015 and also OG Verbal 2nd and OG Quant 2nd editions 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 ($40 for 6 tests on the MGMAT website).

Also, if you are new to the GMAT, download 2 official practice tests from GMAC 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.

~~~ Comparison of the 5th edition vs 6th edition. ~~~
I have gone through all of the books and here is how it looks:
Overall, all books have undergone some degree of updating; not just slapping a new cover as some providers do, so you will be better of buying the 6th if you are deciding. If you own the 5th edition already, I would recommend getting only the IR and RC books, however as they have undergone the most transformation. The rest is organized better (more logical); it will help those who are short on time; the pages now also have more graphs, charts, and cheat sheets at the end (a number of books added this feature including Geometry and CR).
IR - substantial changes and improvements - the book needed them, and is now split by question type and organized a lot better
Quant - mostly minor updates (less than 10% new content)
RC - Major update
SC - Restructure with the main difference is that the idiom section is cut down and rewrite of most chapters (more than 20% of content updated)
CR - Improvements in text-heavy areas that put people to sleep before. Cheat sheets added after each chapter. I do like pre-thinking, however, in CR, so I still feel that CR book can be improved.

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 750 (Q49, V42)

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).
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 26, 2015 2:16 AM PDT


Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition with 6 Computer-Adaptive Practice Tests, 2015 (Graduate School Test Preparation)
Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition with 6 Computer-Adaptive Practice Tests, 2015 (Graduate School Test Preparation)
by Adam Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.07
71 used & new from $18.14

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get something else.... still, December 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have used a much earlier edition of this book for my prep and comparing to this edition there are hardly any changes, which is sad.

I did not end up using Princeton Review for my GMAT Prep. I spent about a month on this book (on and off) and having seen no improvement, switched to Kaplan guides instead and was able to score 750 with those. I felt the book was OK; it explained how the GMAT works and logic behind the test, etc but after that it started to fall apart. I had a few issues with the strategies and expectations this book set - it gave an impression that GMAT was pretty easy and it was a guessing game rather than a test of skill and knowledge (it is definitely not a game).

~~~ POSITIVES: ~~~
- Has a good math review section covering even topics such as Statistics and Probability
- 6 GMAT tests are included (access online).
- Practice questions in the book are structured by difficulty (convenient)
- Variety of practice questions and bins but verbal ones are a bit "skewed"

~~~ NEGATIVES: ~~~
- Approaches GMAT from high level strategies such as POE, getting into the mind of test writer, backsolving, and others, which are all great strategies but they really belong at the very end of the book, not upfront. Basics such as blocking and tackling need to go first; otherwise it works in a controled practice environment but fails on the test. What it does, it makes you feel comfortable wiht the book but then on the test, the questions don't fit the patterns and it does not help at all (probably hurts more than helps). The key to getting a high score on the GMAT is in the basics. You must know math and grammar to get the answres right. Strategies are important, but they are a finishing touch, not the core.
- Lack of basics coverage for Verbal (very little review of questions, grammar)
- Reading Comprehension strategy needs to be reconsidered. Every other provider such as Kaplan, Manhattan GMAT, Manhattan Review, PowerScore, Veritas, and others suggest to read the passage in its entirety. Which I strongly agree with. Princeton continues to insist on briefly reading the passage and then jumping into the question - the result is the same as above - jumping into hot water unprepared and fumbling through questions. By changing my reading strategy I was able to go from 30% success rate to about 60-70. Literally within 2 days.

~~~ Bottom Line: ~~~
I felt this book emphasized tricks and tips more than a solid knowledge of Math, Grammar, and Logic, which is Ok if you are looking for a 600 but not enough to get past that.

~~~ OTHER THOUGHTS: ~~~
* How do I get 700 then?
There are several options:
1. Review each section separately using other books such as the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook and Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook or digg even deeper with 8 Manhattan GMAT Guides or 15 Veritas Prep Guides
2. Thorough/Methodical review of each area - If you have a bit more time, grab the collection of 8 Manhattan Guides. These books are excellent and are actually used in the classroom setting for their classes, so you are defintely get the top books. If you dont need/want the entire collection, see my review for what stand-alone books to get. This plan is likely to get you a higher score with this section but it will also take up more time (about a month more). Decide on the approach based on your starting position, target score, time you have, and willingness to study math and grammar for months without a break.

* Any other books I need to know about?
YES. There is one - The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition. This book is published by the creators of GMAT and contains real GMAT questions. You should also download the Official GMAT Prep software from GMAC's website (Called GMAT Prep) - they offer 2 tests for free. These are great to get a feel for the official GMAT interface, official questions, and also the official score (make sure you don't click past that at the end; if you do, you can't recover it and it will remain a mystery). I would suggest taking one at the very beginning of your prep. Many feel that it's a waste of one practice test but in reality it is not. You can take these multiple times and after a few months, your level will be much higher than when you started (hopefully), and the questions you will encounter on the re-take will be froma differen difficulty level, thus not overlaping and thus not wasting anything :)

* What if I have trouble getting through this book? Where can I find help?
There are several books that can help you get up to speed with quant and grammar:
1. For Quantitative section: Foundations of GMAT Math by Manhattan GMAT
2. For Verbal Section: Kaplan GMAT Verbal Foundations (grammar only) or Manhattan GMAT Verbal Foundations

* What if I need harder questions? Where can i get 700+ level questions?
There are a few books that offer that: Manhattan GMAT Advanced Math is one and Total GMAT Math is another. For verbal there is not a whole lot. I would also recommend Kaplan GMAT 800 as a decent question collection or Princeton Review 1012 questions (it is a question collection only)

Let me know if you have any questions about the book - I reply to comments!
Good Luck,
BB, Founder of GMAT Club
GMAT 750 (q49, v42)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2015 3:27 PM PST


Reading Comprehension GMAT Strategy Guide, 6th Edition (Manhattan Gmat Strategy Guide: Instructional Guide)
Reading Comprehension GMAT Strategy Guide, 6th Edition (Manhattan Gmat Strategy Guide: Instructional Guide)
by Manhattan Prep GMAT
Edition: Paperback
Price: $18.40
62 used & new from $12.41

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new take on the RC - substantial revision to the 5th edition, December 8, 2014
Most of you will buy this book as a part of the bundle. If you did not use the MGMAT Bundle, I recommend this book despite some of the shortcomings listed below. And even if you own the 5th edition, this book is worth buying.

**** PROS ****
1. I found good examples how to take notes - that's helpful and what takeaways to jot down along with some short hand examples (it is helpful to learn short hand)
2. New exercises, passages, and examples added (not all but I would say at least 30% of practice content is new, and potentially more)
3. It seems the RC approaches/strategies have been simplified focusing on getting the most important things right - the 80% rule, which is a welcome improvement
4. Good selection of Scope questions though there is no dedicated chapter/section on scope (perhaps I missed it?)

**** CONS ****
1. Fewer passages and questions. I found only 21 passages and 40 questions
2. The book never really stops to show a nice diagram of the RC question attack process - similarly to how SC book has it. That is the crown jewel and would be very helpful to use as a guide. I felt the book just threw me into the RC without easing into it (I felt the SC book did a better job of easing into the SC). This is a relatively minor grievance but it would be helpful to have a central reference point
3. Found some typos already (Page 18 has #6 instead of #2 and Page 23 has a different word in the answer explanation). Again, these are minor and every book out there has them so I would not fixate on this fact too much.

**** Takeaway: if you have 5th edition and need extra help with RC, buy the 6th edition MGMAT RC book. It will be worth a new fresh look... esp since the RC options are meager. If you are still struggling with RC, try the Kaplan Verbal Workbook - it is much more spartan in terms of content and strategies, but perhaps that is exactly what you need - a solid basic foundation.

**** Other Resources: Keep in mind that MGMAT has the MGMAT Verbal Foundations book - if you are a non-native speaker, buy it as a pre-requisite. It will be the most valuable book of all for you.


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