38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Still not good enough
, March 18, 2012
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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