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Customer Review

185 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this collection and an Official Guide 13th and you are set, April 25, 2012
This review is from: Manhattan GMAT Complete Strategy Guide Set, 5th Edition [Pack of 10] (Manhattan Gmat Strategy Guides: Instructional Guide) (Paperback)
I has a chance to review a preview set, and I see a number of meaningful changes in this edition:

- GMAT Roadmap and IR books are now included with this set, making it a total of 10 books
- The Quant books have been improved in terms of layout and structure (though content is mostly the same)
- The Verbal books have undergone a pretty significant improvement in terms of content (still analyzing the changes; check back in a few days for complete analysis)
- Now the series start with Fractions/Decimals/Percents, then go into Algebra, Word Problems, Geometry, and Number Properties. (I feel this is a good improvement - first, it is getting rid of some of the strange names MGMAT used and second, Number Properties was a pretty tough book to use as the first step)

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:
- 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 (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 13th 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.

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).

~~~ Coming soon: Comparison of the 4th edition vs 5th edition. ~~~
I have so far compared all of the quant books in the 5th and the changes are mostly on the layout and structure side but not so much the content.

Good luck on your GMAT.
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Showing 1-10 of 70 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 22, 2012 2:38:31 PM PDT
fcosorio says:
Hi, where can i find the comparison comments you wrote about the 4th and 5th edition of the MGMAT? Thanks!


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 10:50:00 PM PDT
Sorry for the delay - I have just made a brand new post about it. It is actually a spreadsheet and I can't upload it here.

But you can find it if you google for "mgmat 4 vs 5 edition club"

Best Regards,

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 9:00:25 AM PDT
Hi Hello,
This is very helpful.. i was just wondering for the GMAT Roadmap is that applicable to the New GMAT or can you recommend a new updated book please ?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 11:48:08 AM PDT
Well... GMAT Roadmap is not really tied to the old or new test. It is a collection of best practices, study tips, and recommendations that worked for others (could even be used for GRE to an extent). So, I don't think that should be a concern or something that needs fixing....

hope this helps.

Posted on Aug 11, 2012 2:39:09 PM PDT
Kev says:
I'm currently in the process of ordering materials to study for the GMAT and I have about 2 1/2 months to tackle it. I was just wondering if you would recommend these Manhattan's Study materials over the GMAT Prep Now's Complete Online Video Course ((

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2012 6:41:02 PM PDT
fcosorio says:
Thanks so much!

Posted on Aug 31, 2012 8:16:34 AM PDT
Phillip S. says:
Thank you so much for all your reviews! You helped enormously in my shopping for books to start studying for the GMAT

Posted on Sep 2, 2012 2:08:09 AM PDT
I am debating taking one of the MGMAT live-online courses, which after using the discount code on your website, comes out to around 1k.
Would you strongly recommend the online course, or do you think the books are fine, and I am better off saving my money?
Also, I couldn't figure out if the complete online course offerred all the same books, more, or less than these.
I have to register in the next couple days, so a quick response would be greatly appreciated!


In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012 2:16:21 PM PDT
Hi. Happy Labor Day!
Was out so did not get your message until today.

The books that MGMAT uses in the Course are the same 5th edition MGMAT guides. There are no additional books that are provided. You get the same materials.

To take or not take a course is probably a larger and somewhat philosophical discussion.
1. It is worth it if you have the money. It may not give you a much better score but it will save you time (you will get 700 in 100 hours vs 700 in 200 hours)
2. It may increase your score but not guaranteed
3. You do have to put your time and work in. You won't score well just by taking the class. You will have to study hard regardless. The course may give you a more or less structured framework to study but the amount of studying may not be different.

Good Luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2012 10:48:24 PM PDT
Thanks a lot, and I have already begun to take a look around your website for more advice. I only wish it addressed people who are taking the GMAT for purposes of entrance into Phd programs as well as MBA. (Looking to get into top school for Phd in accounting). Keep up the good work!
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