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Customer Review

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still not good enough, March 18, 2012
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This review is from: The Official Guide for GMAT Review (Paperback)
I have this recurring dream that - some day, GMAC will publish an Official Guide that will cater to the entire spectrum of students taking the GMAT (from those aiming a score in the low 500s to those aiming in the high 700s). Alas, if you aim to be in 96 percentile or above, then nothing has changed. I'd stick my head out and venture that the book's still not good enough to get you into the 700s. Unless you are one of those 'GMAT pingers' - keep taking (pinging) the GMAT every few months and hope that you miraculously cross that magic number. FWIW, my review of this book is strictly addressed to the crowd that aspires to get 700+.

Problem Solving: The publishers have tried to up the game in this edition but it's still not good enough. Don't be thrown off by marketing terms like '20% new material', etc. Remember it's quality over quantity. Most of the problems are still very easy and straight forward. Don't expect to encounter the same level of questions in the exam (especially, if you are tracking higher).
For e.g; problem #s 28 and 61 are deceptively simple. You would be tracking a score in the 400s if you'd ever see one of these problems in the exam! Unless I somehow missed it, I didn't a single Permutation and Combination question in this section.

Data Sufficiency: GMAC ups the game in this section and you can see discernibly harder problems. But the jury's still out whether the caliber of questions is good enough to prepare for the actual exam. Even the GMAT Prep software has much harder problems than these.

Verbal: A lot of new passages in the Critical Reasoning section. I see a new emphasis on the question type - 'Which of the following...'. Sentence Correction remains the same, albeit with some newer questions. But the explanations still s()ck and everyone's invariably going to gravitate toward the MGMAT SC book. Dude, where are the subjunctives?

Integrated Reasoning: This is the new section. The format of the exam changes this June. The book has an overview of the concept but there are no questions here. The back of the Guide has instructions on to access these questions from the GMAC website.

On a silly note, I noticed that the publishers of this book switched the printing from black ink (OG 12th Ed.) to a darker shade of gray ink in this edition. Which genius at Wiley decided that this was a cool idea we will never know. Maybe, it's meant to deter piracy (scanner unfriendly), save cost on the ink, etc. The conspiracy theorist in me says that it was a deliberate move - probably, the ink starts fading faster, thereby, killing the re-sale value of the book. All in all, I'm not a big fan of this move.

Verdict: Irrespective of what most reviewers say, everyone is going to purchase this book (and GMAC knows that). I only wish that the book had questions of the level that you'd typically encounter in the exam.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 19, 2012 5:49:21 PM PDT
Dims says:
Hi Shantanu,
I recently bought OG 12th edition as the 13th version was not available until recently. Can you assist me in the following:
1. Do you think I would benefit more if I replace the older 12th with newer 13th? I know that they have added questions related to Integrated reasoning but it seems the other contents are more or less same. Also, other publishers are planning for Integrated reasoning books such as Manhattan. Will buying those books make more sense rather than going for OG 13th edition
2. Which books would you suggest for people aiming for 700+ score?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 11:51:01 AM PDT
Even if a lot of questions overlap from OG12, I'd still purchase the new OG. It's not a big investment given the stakes. The DS section has definitely been revamped in the new OG to reflect some realistic questions. I will say that this move is a good start in the right direction but still not enough. Do you have all the MGMAT guides? If not, I'd wait for the new version (coming out in May 2012).

Unfortunately, there isn't a magic formula that you could follow to hit the 700+ score. But if you follow the trends/experiences of other exam takers on various GMAT prep forums, you can get a general idea of resources and efforts that are needed to cross that barrier. The only advise that I have for you is that don't keep pinging the actual GMAT exam (keep trying repeatedly till you don't cross that magic number). Admission committees usually frown upon such practices. And if for some reason your score dips in the next attempt that you will have a big problem on your hand (how to explain that to the Adcom). Who do you think will be admitted first - the guy who took 3 attempts to get to a 720 score or the guy who cleared it on the first attempt? So prepare diligently and be sure of your capabilities before taking the exam. The GMAT Prep test (besides MGMAT CATs) will give you a good idea of what your competency is before you sit down and take the actual exam.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2013 2:38:31 PM PDT
Viral says:
Hi Shantanu,

You mentioned GMAT prep tests from MGMAT (I assume you mean the Manhattan program here). What are other good options for GMAT exams that are good representative of the real one? I am new to GMAT so any help would help. I am trying to gauge my level and find what areas I need to focus.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2013 1:32:37 PM PDT
Camilo A. says:
Hi Shantanu B. I'd never heard about GMAT until a few days ago. I want to prepare myself to take the exam (I need at least 600). So, could you please recommend a good book to follow? What do you think about Cracking the GMAT?

Thank you.
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