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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Welcome Verbal Help for all the Quant Folks, June 14, 2011
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This review is from: Foundations of GMAT Verbal (Manhattan GMAT Preparation Guide: Foundations of Verbal) (Paperback)
Before I jump into the book, let me ask you this question: Do you know what GMAT Tests?
It tests high school math, basic level of grammar, basic logic, and basic reading skills. What makes GMAT tough 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
- 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!
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Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 14, 2011 9:32:01 PM PDT
SM says:
Does this book give access to Manhattan GMAT 6 online CATs?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2011 9:52:32 PM PDT
It does not include access to the 6 CAT's.
None of the Supplements include access to the tests. You will have ot get one of the 8 MGMAT Guides instead.

Posted on Jun 18, 2011 8:48:55 AM PDT
SM says:
Is this book with OG/OG Verbal sufficient for preparation or should I augment with the individual MGMAT guides (SC, RC, CR).?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011 4:08:35 PM PDT
Hi, saw your post in the Forum - will reply there too!
You actually do need the other books but you can try just covering this one and seeing if you get to a good level. This book has the basics/foundation that you can't get around and must have for a good score. the individual books have mostly strategies and tools to help you spot errors/mistakes/traps, which you could technically do without and still get a good score.

So, the answer is - maybe. I would cover this book very well and then focus on the areas that are lacking. Does that make sense?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 18, 2011 5:01:51 PM PDT
SM says:
Great!! That it exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a lot!!!

Posted on Aug 26, 2011 9:10:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2011 9:16:22 PM PDT
Sumer says:
First and foremost, Thanks a Lot!! I have diligently followed your advises and reviews and as a result, I have saved a great deal of time and money. You are defiantly among the top most GMAT reviewers in the world. Your attention to detail in your analysis is immaculate.

I have two set of questions. First, I am a bit confused about the advance strategy guide. Ideally I would have gone with the Manhattan Advance Quant statergy guide (as I have worked on the 8 strategy guides). However, I already own a copy of the Kaplan 800. If Manhattan Advance is way ahead of Kaplan 800, then I dot mind investing in the book, Please advise.

For my second question (if you get time to answer), I humbly seek your guidance on my overall study plan. Scoring 700+ is crucial to meet my goals. I have 45 days to go for my GMAT and fortunately I can devote 10+ "quality" hours a day since I am on vacation. Till date I have completed the following material.

(In the same order)

1. Princeton review, cracking the GMAT
2. OG Quant Review
3. Nova Quant guide
4. Manhattan 8 strategy guide series
5. Foundation of Verbal (Manhattan)- should have done before number 4
6. OG verbal (underway)

I wish to invest next 5 days in completing OG verbal and quickly revise my notes from the 8 strategy guides.
Thereafter I plan to complete OG 11 and 300 new questions from OG 12. Earlier I thought of wrapping up both OG's in a week (as I am studying full time), and pick up another practice resource. However I have dropped quantity in lieu of quality. I plan to invest two full weeks (150 hours) on OG and focus not on solving questions but on the process and fundamentals.

This will leave me with 25+ days, which I plan to divide in the ratio of 1:3. 1x time for fundamental revision (from the notes I have made from 8 strategy guides) and investing the remaining 3x time doing one practice test a day with detailed analysis (10 online form different resources and 9 from Official GMAT test papers)

I will be very thankful if you can critically analyse my work-plan and advise any changes that I should incorporate.

Looking forward to your response.


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2011 11:24:33 PM PDT
Wow, you got quite a post.

Yes! the MGMAT Advanced Quant is better than Kaplan 800 - they are pretty different books. See my reviews of each
Your plan sounds good. I would focus on keep track of your errors (keep an error log of sorts or smth like that) and make sure you do any test/exercise in a timed environment or at least keep track of time. That's the key there.

Otherwise, you will probably cover the OG along with the 8 Guides since they reference the OG questions. This should be plenty.

Good Luck!

Posted on Jan 14, 2012 9:46:25 AM PST
Jiawen Wu says:
Hello BB, I would like to ask you for some advice.

I am planing to take GMAT in early April. I am starting from scratch and I can only devote about 2 hours a day to the preparation. I am now looking for the most "optimal" book for review.

I have bought the 12th Ed. Official Guide, and I would like one supplement. I feel like my weakness lies in the verbal part, so I am considering buying either an all-in-one book or one focusing on the verbal part.

Based on my research, I narrow down my choices to the following ones:

1. Barron's GMAT
2. Kaplan GMAT 2010-2011 Premier
3. Cracking the GMAT by Princeton

1. Manhattan GMAT Preparation Guide: Foundations of Verbal
2. Kaplan Kaplan GMAT Verbal Foundations

Given the time length of two and a half month and a goal of scoring about 600, could you give me a suggestion on choosing one of the books mentioned above?

Thank you very much!

Posted on Apr 1, 2012 1:06:40 PM PDT
munnaxxx says:
Hi BB, as always thanks for a great review. I should have read all of your reviews before doing any purchasing? My question is, this strategy guide does not seem to be included in Manhattan's 8-book set of strategy guides, am I right?
Are this book and Manhattan's Advanced Quant supposed to be bought separately from the 8-book set?
If so apart from the 8-book set and these two supplementary books rre there any other additional books from Manhattan worth purchasing?

Many thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 1, 2012 1:08:07 PM PDT
munnaxxx says:
Hi BB, how many supplements are there to the 8 MGMAT Guides? It is only this one and the Advanced Quant one?

Many thanks! Great reviews, you've really helped me plan my study strategy.
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