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I am a Harvard grad, 99% scorer and professional GMAT tutor with 16 years of experience, and am fairly obsessed with this test. I also take the GMAT at least once a year to stay up-to-date, including a recent score of 770 (48 V/47 Q). The 2017 GMAT Official Guide Bundle receives my strong recommendation because it provides a great source of real GMAT questions at a decent price (it normally retails for about $45). Also, all of the typos from the previous 2017 editions have now been fixed.

One aspect of these books that you must understand is that they are not meant to teach you GMAT test-taking strategy. For that, look elsewhere (see product links below). However, they include some of the very best practice materials available, straight from the test-maker, and although the answer explanations are often convoluted, they are still useful in understanding how the GMAC thinks.

Why are the 2017 Official Guides the very best place to start your GMAT preparation, other than the free GMATPrep software? Because the questions in these books are super-realistic. They are just like the questions on the real GMAT, because these books are written by the test-maker and use actual, retired GMAT questions. Don't waste your time and money practicing on questions made by any other companies--these are merely inferior imitations of the real thing. If you must use other materials for test strategy, then that's fine, and in most cases necessary, but try your best to stick to official questions whenever possible.

Pro tip: You can take each of the 6 GMAT Prep CATs more than once, because the GMAT is an adaptive test (it adjusts the difficulty level of later questions based on your previous responses). There are about 4 to 16 times as many questions in the GMAC's question pool as there are in any given test, which means that every test you take will be different. Tests 1 and 2 draw from a (gigantic!) pool of about 1,500 questions, and tests 3, 4, 5, and 6 draw from a more modest pool of about 400 questions each. To re-take your GMAT Prep tests, click "reset" in the lower-left hand corner of the GMAT Prep software window, but make sure to take screenshots of your previous test sessions beforehand--frequent screenshots are a good idea anyway because the software is prone to crashing and losing your data. For your screenshots, use either the "Print Screen" (Windows Key + PrtScn) button on a PC or (Shift + Command + 3) on a Mac.

It's important to remember that although these physical GMAT books are extremely helpful, the GMAT is still a computer-based test, which means that you should still spend at least 50% of your preparation time reading a screen instead of reading a piece of paper. For this reason, consider buying the Kindle versions of the guides, as well as making full use of the computer-based practice options (Exam Packs, Question Packs, Mobile App, etc.) available from the GMAC (see detailed product links below). Or, if you prefer to buy the physical books, then you can also use the access codes located in the sealed pouches in the back covers of the books to access a free web-based version of the books, where you can try most of the questions in the books in an online format, and organize quizzes by question type / difficulty level (easy, medium, hard). You will also have to create a Wiley account, which is mostly painless. I strongly suggest that you save your login information on your browser so that you won’t have to enter your username / password every time you access the Wiley site.
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THE GREAT DEBATE: THE PRINT BOOKS + (INCLUDED) ACCESS TO THE FREE ONLINE QUESTION BANK FROM WILEY vs. THE (not yet available) KINDLE VERSIONS OF THE BOOKS

“In this corner…”

First of all, remember that you should be spending lots of time exploring the GMAT Prep software (both the Exam Packs and the Question Packs) during your studies, in addition to the questions in these books / the Wiley question bank, especially if you are going for a score of 700 or above.

Purchasing the print version of the books as a discount bundle seems like the obvious answer for many old-school GMAT tutors such as myself, since it also offers the option to use the online Wiley question bank, which includes nearly every question in the Official Guides in a computer-based format. Why not have the best of both worlds (print and digital) instead of digital only?

The Kindle version of the books—accessible not just for Kindle owners but on nearly any device with a screen—are exact copies of the physical books, in digital, searchable form. It’s very easy to navigate among the different chapters of the books, for example, and to review individual questions. It’s also helpful for Skype GMAT tutoring with a tutor like me, despite some formatting issues with equations, and it allows you to hold the entire Official Guide bundle in the palm of your hand.

The Wiley question bank (accessible through the codes located in the back covers of the books) includes 6 months access to a question bank where you can try random questions from the Official Guides through the Wiley website. You can sort your questions by difficulty level / question type, and answer explanations are provided. You can also choose different modes of study, including “practice mode” and “exam mode,” and you can also name your sessions for later review. When the question bank works (at the moment it is down for maintenance, and any interface dependent on an internet browser is found to malfunction sometimes), it works quite well.

The question bank is far from perfect, however, and the Kindle version clearly has its advantages, so this is not an obvious choice.

In some regards, the Kindle version is superior, because the Wiley interface is not nearly as easy-to-use. Also, if you don't have internet access, then the question bank is inaccessible, in contrast to the Kindle version, which is basically a static, searchable PDF that lives on your device instead of in the cloud.

There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both, but I think the print + Wiley combo is the way to go for most old-schoolers like me, who grew up in the era of paper tests and taking lots of notes. Keep in mind that if you don't have internet access for a while, you can still access the roughly 1,500 questions on Exams 1 and 2 of the free GMATPrep software.

I do have a Kindle, and I even use the Kindle versions of the books on my computer during my Skype sessions with private students, but I still enjoy the tangible feeling of having the physical books. That being said, the GMAT is still a computer-based test, so I would advise you to spend at least 50% of your preparation time reading a screen instead of a book.

It all depends on how you plan to use the books, their current costs, and your personal moral code. Here are some key factors:

1) Wiley requires internet access, Kindle does not (other than the initial download, of course).
2) Wiley allows you to select the difficulty level (E/M/H) of the questions, Kindle does not (remember, it’s just a PDF-style replica of the print books, which are only roughly ordered in terms of difficulty).
3) Kindle is quick and convenient, Wiley is not (you have to log into the question bank through your browser instead of a desktop application, you cannot access specific questions on demand, it has a clunky user interface)
4) Wiley requires an actual computer, and the Kindle does not (it will work through the app on your cell phone, etc.).
5) Like the GMATPrep Software (Exam Packs and Question Packs), Wiley resembles the actual GMAT exam more closely than does the Kindle version.
6) Kindle is (probably) better for the environment. But remember that all those glowing screens use a lot of energy too.
7) If you buy the Kindle version, then you will spend 100% of your time looking at a screen. If you buy the print + Wiley combo you will only be looking at a screen for about 50% of the time (GMATPrep software + Wiley question bank). In my opinion, 50/50 is better because we are human beings and thus subject to screen fatigue. Studying with paper versions of the books can be less stressful and is more convenient for taking notes, studying outside, etc.
8) Not a big deal, but the books are offered as a discount bundle on Amazon and the Kindle versions are not.
9) Perhaps most importantly, the Wiley bank is included, for free, with your purchase of the physical books. If you plan to do most of your work on the computer, then you could think of the physical books as a bonus to the online question bank, instead of the other way around.

Some GMAT tutors are of the opinion that you should be working off a screen nearly all of the time that you prepare for the GMAT. If you agree with this assessment, then the Kindle version is probably the best option for you, since it’s a lot better organized than is the Wiley question bank. However, I am of the opinion that working out of a book 50% of the time is fine, and in fact better for many, so I’m more inclined to recommend the print + Wiley combo for it’s “best of both worlds” (print and computer) quality. I also think that the random nature of the Wiley question bank (you cannot access specific questions by number, no answer key, etc.), one of its major weaknesses, is also one of its strengths, since this random question format is closer to the format of the GMAT itself, and the format of the GMAT Prep software (which contains far harder questions than nearly any question in the Official Guides!).

However, don’t expect the Wiley question banks to be a digital replica of the physical books. If you require that, then you’ll need to purchase the Kindle version. To state the obvious, the best thing to have is both. But if I had to choose one, I would probably go with the print books and Wiley question bank.

Finally, it should also be noted that the Reading Comprehension portions of the book are nearly impossible to study on the Kindle, due to the large number of digital "page flips" required to go back and forth between the questions and the passages.

Instead of giving you a paper and pencil, the GMAC also requires you to use a water-based maker and a laminated sheet like this one: Manhattan GMAT Test Simulation Booklet w/ Marker I don't recommend always using the laminated sheet when you study, because it's messy and harder to keep track of your notes that way. But it makes sense to at least use it a few times, just to get the feel of it before test day.
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“OVER 130 NEVER-BEFORE SEEN QUESTIONS / OVER 45 NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN QUESTIONS”

Approximately 15% of the questions in these 2017 editions of the OG are new to the Official Guides. However, it is worth noting that “never before seen” is not entirely true, since all of these questions are retired questions from past GMAT computer exams (it says so right there on the cover). A more accurate description would be “never before seen on paper,” but that probably wouldn’t sell as many copies.

For those of you who already have copies of the 2016 Bundle, here is a full list of the new questions in the 2017 version of the GMAT Official Guides:

MAIN OG / WHITE BOOK (old edition with typos) OR GREEN BOOK (new edition with typos fixed). 131 new questions:
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Integrated Reasoning (8 new questions): 9, 10, 11, 21, 28, 35, 41 & 43

Problem Solving (36 new questions): 2, 5, 7, 13, 19, 23, 32, 44, 45, 47, 50, 53, 62, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 88, 89, 91, 96, 100, 109, 116, 120, 123, 127, 128, 132, 140, 152, 192, 194, 201 & 209.

Data Sufficiency (26 new questions): 231, 237, 243, 252, 254, 255, 258, 259, 262, 274, 275, 278, 283, 288, 291, 294, 304, 305, 310, 315, 316, 325, 327, 332, 347 & 359.

Sentence Correction (21 new questions): 668, 669, 683, 684, 685, 688, 696, 697, 703, 704, 705, 724, 725, 738, 739, 740, 747, 762, 771, 799, & 803.

Critical Reasoning (19 new questions): 546, 549, 562, 571, 582, 587, 592, 599, 607, 610, 612, 616, 617, 618, 619, 627, 629, 661, 666

Reading Comprehension (21 new questions): 415-423, 427-430, 460-462, 529-533

QUANT REVIEW GUIDE / BLUE BOOK (47 new questions):
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Problem Solving (26 new questions): 1, 10, 11, 16, 19, 24, 38, 53, 59, 63, 68, 71, 76, 77, 79, 83, 85, 87, 89, 114, 136, 137, 139, 145, 158, 164

Data Sufficiency (19 new questions): 184, 185, 186, 189, 194, 199, 202, 208, 211, 218, 219, 222, 225, 230, 236, 262, 295, 297, 300

VERBAL REVIEW GUIDE / PINK BOOK (45 new questions)
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Sentence Correction (17 new questions): 189, 190, 200, 210, 211, 216, 241, 243, 245, 250, 254, 258, 260, 279, 281, 296, 299

Critical Reasoning (13 new questions): 106, 110, 117, 124, 133, 139, 146, 153, 158, 166, 172, 180, 188

Reading Comprehension (15 new questions): 11-16, 46-54
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(For explanations and classifications of every question in the 2016 Official Guide, google "GMAT Club Guide to the GMAT Official Guide 2016.")

Are the questions from the 2017 versions any better than the questions they are replacing from the 2016 edition? No, not really. All of the questions in the books are old questions from past GMAT exams (“retired questions”), so there is no guarantee that these 220+ “new” questions are either any newer or any more helpful than are the questions they supplant from the 2016 Editions of the OGs. Moreover, early adopters of the 2017 editions will find that certain questions are so new that it’s hard to access online explanations until GMAT tutors like me (GMATClub username: mcelroytutoring) start posting them, which could take weeks or even months.

While I will concede that the questions in this book are roughly ordered from easy to hard, there are some curious places where low-numbered questions are quite difficult for most of my students, and vice-versa. Thus, I think that we can’t necessarily take GMAC at their word here, especially since there has already been evidence in past official guides of the GMAC moving the exact same questions to radically different locations in the books, which suggests that we shouldn’t trust the GMAC at its word in this regard. If the questions are truly ordered from easy to hard, for example, then why would a question numbered in the 30s suddenly show up numbered in the 90s in the next year’s edition?
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A WARNING ABOUT THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THE QUESTIONS IN THE OFFICIAL GUIDES:

It is important to note that the difficulty level of questions in these books is sufficient for most test takers, but is admittedly a bit lacking on the high end. High scorers take note: If you are aiming for a GMAT score of 700-plus, then you should spend more time practicing on questions from the GMATPrep software and Exams Pack 1 and 2, which offer more difficult questions that will bear a closer resemblance to the questions you will see on your actual test day.

Remember: the GMAT is an adaptive exam. If you answer a lot of questions right, then the test keeps getting harder (as your score rises), and if you answer a lot of questions wrong, then the test keeps getting easier (as your score lowers). And the questions on the test are “front-loaded” so that the first 1/3 of questions have a much larger impact on your score than does the final 1/3 of questions. (There is a SEVERE penalty for not finishing the sections, however, so make sure that you give yourself time answer all the questions before time expires, even if they are just random guesses. At all costs, make sure to answer every question before time expires.)

If you do run out of official GMAT Prep computer tests (the first two are free, and you can buy four more from GMAC), then I can recommend the Manhattan GMAT CATs (computer adaptive tests). Just buy one book from the Manhattan GMAT series, and it will give you access to all 6 online CATs: GMAT Sentence Correction (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides)

For free video explanations to all the math questions in these books, google "GMAT Quantum," or if you prefer to read your explanations, then just try google searching the first few lines of your question's text. I would also strongly recommend that you check out informative websites such as GMAT Club, Beat the GMAT, and Atlantic GMAT, and that you consider retaining the services of a qualified private tutor such as myself.
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HOW TO STUDY FOR THE GMAT:

My core philosophy: use official GMAT questions only! It’s OK if you end up memorizing all the solutions and answers—that’s part of the point, as is repetition of certain questions until you fully understand them. There are thousands of real GMAT questions available from the GMAC, so it’s unlikely that you will ever run out. Imitation questions are not quite the same, so why settle for anything less than the real deal?

For purposes of brevity, I am only including a one-month study plan, but the truth is that most students need at least 3-6 months to study for the GMAT. To turn this 1-month study plan into a 3-month or 6-month study plan, simply break the study plan into smaller increments.

Ideally, your studying should be done at regular intervals throughout the day, instead of one large chunk, to maximize retention. Take frequent breaks, but also try to get used to working for 4 hours straight at least once a week, to simulate test conditions.

If you don’t have time to take a full section, then don’t use the GMAT Prep Exams, because you will need to finish the entire test in order to review the questions afterward. Even if you only want to try a Quant section, for example, you will have to click through the rest of the test, or wait for time to expire, which is annoying. Better to use the Question Packs, the OGs or the Mobile App for smaller increments of time. Also, if you’re a Mac user like me, then you should know that the “Escape” button does not work on the GMAT Prep software. Instead, try (Command + Tab) to switch to other open applications.

Don’t forget to utilize GMAT club for explanations to any questions whose explanations in the books don’t make sense. Just google search the first few lines of your question’s text.
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MY RECOMMENDED GMAT STUDY PLAN:

"Section" = a timed, scored section from the GMATPrep Software (Exams 1 through 6). Helps you practice test-taking techniques, and leveraging the GMAT algorithm.
"Practice" = unscored (no composite score, only correct/incorrect) and the time limit is less strict. Take as long as you need for understanding.

Remember that you don’t necessarily need to pay for Exam Packs 1 and 2, because there are approximately 1,500 potential questions in (free) Exams 1 and 2, so you can just keep resetting the tests and using them again. The IR sections will be exactly the same (not adaptive!), but the quant and verbal sections will be different every time.

Another option is to install the GMAT Prep software on 2 different computers. 2 different computers = 2 different versions of the test = nearly twice as many questions to practice.

Here is a sample weekly schedule that I would recommend IF YOU ARE TRYING TO PREPARE IN ONLY ONE MONTH (see modifications for 2-6 month study plans below).

Day 1: COMPUTER DAY

1) 75 minute Quant Section - GMATPrep
2) 75 minute Verbal Section - GMATPrep
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quant Questions + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbal Questions + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 30 minute IR Section or Practice - GMAT Prep / IR tool from Wiley
6) 30 minutes Essay Practice

Day 2: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 3: COMPUTER DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in GMATPrep (Question Packs)
2) 41 Verbal Questions in GMATPrep (Question Packs)
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies

Day 4: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 5: COMPUTER DAY

1) 75 minute Quant Section - GMATPrep
2) 75 minute Verbal Section - GMATPrep
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 30 minute IR Section or Practice - GMAT Prep / IR tool from Wiley
6) 30 minutes Essay Practice

Day 6: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 7: Take a rest! You’re only human.

Repeat for three more weeks, and you’ve completed approximately 2,160 real GMAT questions out of the approximately 4,000 official GMAT questions available.

Here are my modifications for 2-6 month study plans:

2-month study plan: complete 3 assignments (numbered above) per day.
3-month study plan: complete 2 assignments per day.
4-month study plan: complete 1-2 assignments per day.
6-month study plan: complete 1 assignment per day.

The founder of the GMAT Club forum has also written an excellent GMAT Study Plan on GMAT club. To see it, google “GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition : General GMAT Questions and Strategies.”
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A QUICK AND IMPORTANT NOTE ON HOW TO REVIEW INCORRECTLY ANSWERED GMAT QUESTIONS:

Yes, the correct answers (along with mildly helpful explanations) are all right there in the books. But at all costs, don’t check the correct answer right away, because in many ways it ruins the utility of that question.

When it comes time to re-try the questions that you answered incorrectly, I recommend that you either buy a 2nd copy of the books to keep blank, or that you simply re-try the questions on your computer screen…BEFORE checking the answer. It's what I call a "blind review": going over all the questions you got wrong without first checking the correct answer/explanation, or seeing any of your previous work.

Yes, I know…when you get something wrong that you thought you got right, your first instinct is to immediately check the correct answer choice. However, try your best to avoid this temptation.

In my opinion, blind review is one of the key facets of effective test prep. Thus, when using the physical book, you should only mark your answers in the book as correct or incorrect (this is easier when working with a partner). Most importantly, don't write down or look at the correct answers before you get a chance to review / re-try them at least once.

Obviously, this type of study is much easier with a partner. If you’re working by yourself out of the physical books or the Kindle editions, then there is no way to check your answers without actually looking at the correct letter answers. So, if you’re studying solo, then I recommend that you write your answers—only your answers, not your work— on a separate sheet of paper. Do at least 40 questions at a time, to get a feel for what a GMAT Quant or Verbal section feels like. When you correct them, don’t indicate the correct answers in the book yet—simply mark incorrect answers as incorrect. And try to correct your questions all at once instead of one at a time, so that when you review the actual question afterward, you are less likely to remember the correct answer.

In contrast, if you go over questions by checking the correct answers right away, then you can create false confidence by fooling yourself into thinking that you understand the questions fully, when in fact you are still prone to those types of mistakes. The best way to know for sure is to try the questions again, from scratch, *without* the aid of the answer key, your previous answer, or the answer explanations. Only then should you confirm the correct answer and read the explanation provided.
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For those of you who are just getting started, here is the overall structure of the GMAT:

1) Analysis of an Argument Essay (AWA or Analytical Writing Assessment): 30 minutes, 1 question.
2) Integrated Reasoning (Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Two Part Analysis): 30 minutes, 12 questions. Please note: unlike the Verbal and Quantitative sections, the IR section is not adaptive. For this reason, every time you try a GMATPrep Exam you will see the same 12 IR questions.
3) Optional 8-minute break
4) Quantitative Section (Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency): 75 minutes, 37 questions (2 minutes per question)
5) Optional 8-minute break
6) Verbal Section (Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction): 75 minutes, 41 questions (1.8 minutes per question)

Keep in mind that on the GMAT you cannot go back or skip any questions, and that the first 12-15 questions of the Verbal and Quantitative sections have the most impact on your score due to the adaptive scoring algorithm. A correct answer will yield a slightly harder question in most cases, and vice versa, and the GMAT will gradually determine your score as you go. The largest adjustments are made at the beginning of the test, which is why the first 1/3 of questions are so essential. Also, approximately 10 to 25% of the questions on the actual GMAT (and 4 of the 12 IR questions) are experimental—you don’t know which ones they are, and they don’t count toward your score.

Here are my most essential GMAT Resources:

Practice:
1) Free GMATPrep Software - 2 diagnostic CATs (Exams 1 and 2: 180 questions total) and 90 practice questions out of 1,500 possible questions
2) GMAT 2017 Official Guide Bundle - 1 diagnostic test and over 1,500 practice questions and answer explanations (you are here) - about $45
3) GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 - 2 diagnostic CATs (Exams 3 and 4: 180 questions total) out of 400 possible questions - GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 [Online Code] $50
4) GMAT Prep Exam Pack 2 (New Release with 2 New Tests -- not yet available on Amazon) - 2 more diagnostic CATs (Exams 5 and 6: 180 questions total) out of 400 possible questions - $50
Please note: you can save $10 by buying #3 and #4 together as an Exam Pack Bundle from the GMAT website for $90.
5) GMATPrep Question Pack 1 - 404 questions with answer explanations and ability to sort questions by type and difficulty - $30 GMATPrep Question Pack 1 [Online Code]
6) The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 Mobile App The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 -$5 for 50 questions and $30 upgrade for an additional 800 questions
7) GMAT Focus Quizzes - 24 questions per quiz (math only) - $30 per quiz and 4 total. GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool: Single Use GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool: Single Use [Online Code]
8) IR Prep Tool - 48 Integrated Reasoning Questions GMAT IR Prep Tool [Online Code] - $20
9) GMAT Write - 4 Auto-Graded Essays for $30
10) GMAT Enhanced Score Report - Technically this is not a practice tool, but it provides an in-depth look at your score, including overall rankings, rankings by question type, time management information and a summary of your strengths and weaknesses, which can be helpful if you plan to take the test more than once. - $25

Strategy:
1) GMAT Club Forum - Free explanations to nearly every official GMAT question, as well as questions written by other companies (I do not recommend practicing on non-official questions).
2) GMAT Quantum - Free video explanations to nearly every official GMAT quantitative question.
3) Manhattan Prep GMAT Series: $144 for the entire series Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides) or about $49 for access to 6 online CATs.
4) Ace the GMAT by Brandon Royal: $8 for Kindle version Ace the GMAT: Master the GMAT in 40 Days
5) LSAT Preptests for Extra Critical Reasoning and Critical Reading Practice: $20 for 10 tests 10 More, Actual Official LSAT PrepTests: (PrepTests 19 through 28) (Lsat Series)
6) Magoosh Free Online Materials
7) Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible: $21 The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
8) Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible: $35 The PowerScore GMAT Reading Comprehension Bible
9) The Complete GMAT Sentence Correction Guide by Erica Meltzer The Complete GMAT Sentence Correction Guide

Princeton Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition with 6 Computer-Adaptive Practice Tests, 2017 (Graduate School Test Preparation) and Kaplan are OK for strategy too. I prefer Princeton Review’s GMAT guide (full disclosure: P.R. is my former employer) to Kaplan’s (in my humble opinion, a mediocre, corporate behemoth who somehow always manages to rank #1 on Amazon with lots of suspect 5-star reviews), but any effort to write an "all in one" guide to a test as complex as the GMAT is destined to be at least a partial failure. The Kaplan and Princeton guides can be helpful if you are a below-average scorer trying to obtain an above-average score without too much effort, but the perfectionists among us will be frustrated by their lack of depth and unrealistic practice questions.

Finally, you can google "GMAT Action Plan - McElroy Tutoring" to read my personal, frequently updated recommendations for GMAT Prep.

Please feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions below--I enjoy analyzing the intricacies of this challenging test.
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Update 7/21/16: For some reason, this edition of the usually flawless Official Guide is riddled with 50+ errors, so I recommend the 2016 Bundle instead.GMAT 2016 Official Guide Bundle See comments for more info.

I am a Harvard grad, 99% scorer and professional GMAT tutor with 16 years of experience, and am fairly obsessed with this test. I also take the GMAT at least once a year to stay up-to-date, including a recent score of 770 (48 V/47 Q). The 2017 GMAT Official Guide Bundle receives my strong recommendation because it provides a great source of real GMAT questions at a decent price (it normally retails for about $45).

One aspect of these books that you must understand is that they are not meant to teach you GMAT test-taking strategy. For that, look elsewhere (see product links below). However, they include some of the very best practice materials available, straight from the test-maker, and although the answer explanations are often convoluted, they are still useful in understanding how the GMAC thinks.

Why are the 2017 Official Guides the very best place to start your GMAT preparation, other than the free GMATPrep software? Because the questions in these books are super-realistic. They are just like the questions on the real GMAT, because these books are written by the test-maker and use actual, retired GMAT questions. Don't waste your time and money practicing on questions made by any other companies--these are merely inferior imitations of the real thing. If you must use other materials for test strategy, then that's fine, and in most cases necessary, but try your best to stick to official questions whenever possible.

Pro tip: You can take each of the 6 GMAT Prep CATs more than once, because the GMAT is an adaptive test (it adjusts the difficulty level of later questions based on your previous responses). There are about 4 to 16 times as many questions in the GMAC's question pool as there are in any given test, which means that every test you take will be different. Tests 1 and 2 draw from a (gigantic!) pool of about 1,500 questions, and tests 3, 4, 5, and 6 draw from a more modest pool of about 400 questions each. To re-take your GMAT Prep tests, click "reset" in the lower-left hand corner of the GMAT Prep software window, but make sure to take screenshots of your previous test sessions beforehand--frequent screenshots are a good idea anyway because the software is prone to crashing and losing your data. For your screenshots, use either the "Print Screen" (Windows Key + PrtScn) button on a PC or (Shift + Command + 3) on a Mac.

It's important to remember that although these physical GMAT books are extremely helpful, the GMAT is still a computer-based test, which means that you should still spend at least 50% of your preparation time reading a screen instead of reading a piece of paper. For this reason, consider buying the Kindle versions of the guides, as well as making full use of the computer-based practice options (Exam Packs, Question Packs, Mobile App, etc.) available from the GMAC (see detailed product links below). Or, if you prefer to buy the physical books, then you can also use the access codes located in the sealed pouches in the back covers of the books to access a free web-based version of the books, where you can try most of the questions in the books in an online format, and organize quizzes by question type / difficulty level (easy, medium, hard). You will also have to create a Wiley account, which is mostly painless. I strongly suggest that you save your login information on your browser so that you won’t have to enter your username / password every time you access the Wiley site.
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THE GREAT DEBATE: THE PRINT BOOKS + (INCLUDED) ACCESS TO THE FREE ONLINE QUESTION BANK FROM WILEY vs. THE (not yet available) KINDLE VERSION OF THE BOOKS

“In this corner…”

First of all, remember that you should be spending lots of time exploring the GMAT Prep software (both the Exam Packs and the Question Packs) during your studies, in addition to the questions in these books / the Wiley question bank, especially if you are going for a score of 700 or above.

Purchasing the print version of the books as a discount bundle seems like the obvious answer for many old-school GMAT tutors such as myself, since it also offers the option to use the online Wiley question bank, which includes nearly every question in the Official Guides in a computer-based format. Why not have the best of both worlds (print and digital) instead of digital only?

The Kindle version of the books—accessible not just for Kindle owners but on nearly any device with a screen—are exact copies of the physical books, in digital, searchable form. It’s very easy to navigate among the different chapters of the books, for example, and to review individual questions. It’s also helpful for Skype GMAT tutoring with a tutor like me, despite some formatting issues with equations, and it allows you to hold the entire Official Guide bundle in the palm of your hand.

The Wiley question bank (accessible through the codes located in the back covers of the books) includes 6 months access to a question bank where you can try random questions from the Official Guides through the Wiley website. You can sort your questions by difficulty level / question type, and answer explanations are provided. You can also choose different modes of study, including “practice mode” and “exam mode,” and you can also name your sessions for later review. When the question bank works (at the moment it is down for maintenance, and any interface dependent on an internet browser is found to malfunction sometimes), it works quite well.

The question bank is far from perfect, however (in fact, it is not functional at the moment as they are upgrading to the 2017 version), and the Kindle version clearly has its advantages, so this is not an obvious choice.

In some regards, the Kindle version is superior, because the Wiley interface is not nearly as easy-to-use. Also, if you don't have internet access, then the question bank is inaccessible, in contrast to the Kindle version, which is basically a static, searchable PDF that lives on your device instead of in the cloud.

There are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both, but I think the print + Wiley combo is the way to go for most old-schoolers like me, who grew up in the era of paper tests and taking lots of notes. Keep in mind that if you don't have internet access for a while, you can still access the roughly 1,500 questions on Exams 1 and 2 of the free GMATPrep software.

I do have a Kindle, and I even use the Kindle versions of the books on my computer during my Skype sessions with private students, but I still enjoy the tangible feeling of having the physical books. That being said, the GMAT is still a computer-based test, so I would advise you to spend at least 50% of your preparation time reading a screen instead of a book.

It all depends on how you plan to use the books, their current costs, and your personal moral code. Here are some key factors:

1) Wiley requires internet access, Kindle does not (other than the initial download, of course).
2) Wiley allows you to select the difficulty level (E/M/H) of the questions, Kindle does not (remember, it’s just a PDF-style replica of the print books, which are only roughly ordered in terms of difficulty).
3) Kindle is quick and convenient, Wiley is not (you have to log into the question bank through your browser instead of a desktop application, you cannot access specific questions on demand, it has a clunky user interface, it logs you out frequently, etc.)
4) Wiley requires an actual computer, and the Kindle does not (it will work through the app on your cell phone, etc.).
5) Like the GMATPrep Software (Exam Packs and Question Packs), Wiley resembles the actual GMAT exam more closely than does the Kindle version.
6) Kindle is (probably) better for the environment. But remember that all those glowing screens use a lot of energy too.
7) If you buy the Kindle version, then you will spend 100% of your time looking at a screen. If you buy the print + Wiley combo you will only be looking at a screen for about 50% of the time (GMATPrep software + Wiley question bank). In my opinion, 50/50 is better because we are human beings and thus subject to screen fatigue. Studying with paper versions of the books can be less stressful and is more convenient for taking notes, studying outside, etc.
8) Not a big deal, but the books are offered as a discount bundle on Amazon and the Kindle versions are not.
9) Perhaps most importantly, the Wiley bank is included, for free, with your purchase of the physical books. If you plan to do most of your work on the computer, then you could think of the physical books as a bonus to the online question bank, instead of the other way around.

Some GMAT tutors are of the opinion that you should be working off a screen nearly all of the time that you prepare for the GMAT. If you agree with this assessment, then the Kindle version is probably the best option for you, since it’s a lot better organized than is the Wiley question bank. However, I am of the opinion that working out of a book 50% of the time is fine, and in fact better for many, so I’m more inclined to recommend the print + Wiley combo for it’s “best of both worlds” (print and computer) quality. I also think that the random nature of the Wiley question bank (you cannot access specific questions by number, no answer key, etc.), one of its major weaknesses, is also one of its strengths, since this random question format is closer to the format of the GMAT itself, and the format of the GMAT Prep software (which contains far harder questions than nearly any question in the Official Guides!).

However, don’t expect the Wiley question banks to be a digital replica of the physical books. If you require that, then you’ll need to purchase the Kindle version. To state the obvious, the best thing to have is both. But if I had to choose one, I would probably go with the print books and Wiley question bank.

One very annoying aspect of the 2016 version of the Wiley site was that it automatically logged you out due to inactivity after a very short amount of time. Hopefully the 2017 version of the website will fix this bug. Check the comments section below for updates on this issue (although I have received the physical book, I can’t comment on any potential improvements or changes to the somewhat frustrating Wiley Question Bank interface because it is not yet fully functional on my end).

Instead of giving you a paper and pencil, the GMAC also requires you to use a water-based maker and a laminated sheet like this one: Manhattan GMAT Test Simulation Booklet w/ Marker I don't recommend always using the laminated sheet when you study, because it's messy and harder to keep track of your notes that way. But it makes sense to at least use it a few times, just to get the feel of it before test day.
——

“OVER 130 NEVER-BEFORE SEEN QUESTIONS / OVER 45 NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN QUESTIONS”

Approximately 15% of the questions in these 2017 editions of the OG are new to the Official Guides. However, it is worth noting that “never before seen” is not entirely true, since all of these questions are retired questions from past GMAT computer exams (it says so right there on the cover). A more accurate description would be “never before seen on paper,” but that probably wouldn’t sell as many copies.

For those of you who already have copies of the 2016 Bundle, here is a full list of the new questions in the 2017 version of the GMAT Official Guides:

MAIN OG / WHITE BOOK (131 new questions):
——
Integrated Reasoning (8 new questions): 9, 10, 11, 21, 28, 35, 41 & 43

Problem Solving (36 new questions): 2, 5, 7, 13, 19, 23, 32, 44, 45, 47, 50, 53, 62, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 88, 89, 91, 96, 100, 109, 116, 120, 123, 127, 128, 132, 140, 152, 192, 194, 201 & 209.

Data Sufficiency (26 new questions): 231, 237, 243, 252, 254, 255, 258, 259, 262, 274, 275, 278, 283, 288, 291, 294, 304, 305, 310, 315, 316, 325, 327, 332, 347 & 359.

Sentence Correction (21 new questions): 668, 669, 683, 684, 685, 688, 696, 697, 703, 704, 705, 724, 725, 738, 739, 740, 747, 762, 771, 799, & 803.

Critical Reasoning (19 new questions): 546, 549, 562, 571, 582, 587, 592, 599, 607, 610, 612, 616, 617, 618, 619, 627, 629, 661, 666

Reading Comprehension (21 new questions): 415-423, 427-430, 460-462, 529-533

QUANT REVIEW GUIDE / BLUE BOOK (47 new questions):
— —
Problem Solving (26 new questions): 1, 10, 11, 16, 19, 24, 38, 53, 59, 63, 68, 71, 76, 77, 79, 83, 85, 87, 89, 114, 136, 137, 139, 145, 158, 164

Data Sufficiency (19 new questions): 184, 185, 186, 189, 194, 199, 202, 208, 211, 218, 219, 222, 225, 230, 236, 262, 295, 297, 300

VERBAL REVIEW GUIDE / PINK BOOK (45 new questions)
— —
Sentence Correction (17 new questions): 189, 190, 200, 210, 211, 216, 241, 243, 245, 250, 254, 258, 260, 279, 281, 296, 299

Critical Reasoning (13 new questions): 106, 110, 117, 124, 133, 139, 146, 153, 158, 166, 172, 180, 188

Reading Comprehension (15 new questions): 11-16, 46-54
-- --

(For explanations and classifications of every question in the 2016 Official Guide, google "GMAT Club Guide to the GMAT Official Guide 2016.")

Are the questions from the 2017 versions any better than the questions they are replacing from the 2016 edition? No, not really. All of the questions in the books are old questions from past GMAT exams (“retired questions”), so there is no guarantee that these 220+ “new” questions are either any newer or any more helpful than are the questions they supplant from the 2016 Editions of the OGs. Moreover, early adopters of the 2017 editions will find that certain questions are so new that it’s hard to access online explanations until GMAT tutors like me (GMATClub username: mcelroytutoring) start posting them, which could take weeks or even months.

While I will concede that the questions in this book are roughly ordered from easy to hard, there are some curious places where low-numbered questions are quite difficult for most of my students, and vice-versa. Thus, I think that we can’t necessarily take GMAC at their word here, especially since there has already been evidence in past official guides of the GMAC moving the exact same questions to radically different locations in the books, which suggests that we shouldn’t trust the GMAC at its word in this regard. If the questions are truly ordered from easy to hard, for example, then why would a question numbered in the 30s suddenly show up numbered in the 90s in the next year’s edition?
— —

A WARNING ABOUT THE DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THE QUESTIONS IN THE OFFICIAL GUIDES:

It is important to note that the difficulty level of questions in these books is sufficient for most test takers, but is admittedly a bit lacking on the high end. High scores take note: If you are aiming for a GMAT score of 700-plus, then you should spend more time practicing on questions from the GMATPrep software and Exams Pack 1 and 2, which offer more difficult questions that will bear a closer resemblance to the questions you will see on your actual test day.

Remember: the GMAT is an adaptive exam. If you answer a lot of questions right, then the test keeps getting harder (as your score rises), and if you answer a lot of questions wrong, then the test keeps getting easier (as your score lowers). And the questions on the test are “front-loaded” so that the first 1/3 of questions have a much larger impact on your score than does the final 1/3 of questions. (There is a SEVERE penalty for not finishing the sections, however, so make sure that you give yourself time answer all the questions before time expires, even if they are just random guesses. At all costs, make sure to answer every question before time expires.)

If you do run out of official GMAT Prep computer tests (the first two are free, and you can buy four more from GMAC), then I can recommend the Manhattan GMAT CATs (computer adaptive tests). Just buy one book from the Manhattan GMAT series, and it will give you access to all 6 online CATs: GMAT Sentence Correction (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides)

For free video explanations to all the math questions in these books, google "GMAT Quantum," or if you prefer to read your explanations, then just try google searching the first few lines of your question's text. I would also strongly recommend that you check out informative websites such as GMAT Club, Beat the GMAT, and Atlantic GMAT, and that you consider retaining the services of a qualified private tutor such as myself.
— —

HOW TO STUDY FOR THE GMAT:

My core philosophy: use official GMAT questions only! It’s OK if you end up memorizing all the solutions and answers—that’s part of the point, as is repetition of certain questions until you fully understand them. There are thousands of real GMAT questions available from the GMAC, so it’s unlikely that you will ever run out. Imitation questions are not quite the same, so why settle for anything less than the real deal?

For purposes of brevity, I am only including a one-month study plan, but the truth is that most students need at least 3-6 months to study for the GMAT. To turn this 1-month study plan into a 3-month or 6-month study plan, simply break the study plan into smaller increments.

Ideally, your studying should be done at regular intervals throughout the day, instead of one large chunk, to maximize retention. Take frequent breaks, but also try to get used to working for 4 hours straight at least once a week, to simulate test conditions.

If you don’t have time to take a full section, then don’t use the GMAT Prep Exams, because you will need to finish the entire test in order to review the questions afterward. Even if you only want to try a Quant section, for example, you will have to click through the rest of the test, or wait for time to expire, which is annoying. Better to use the Question Packs, the OGs or the Mobile App for smaller increments of time. Also, if you’re a Mac user like me, then you should know that the “Escape” button does not work on the GMAT Prep software. Instead, try (Command + Tab) to switch to other open applications.

Don’t forget to utilize GMAT club for explanations to any questions whose explanations in the books don’t make sense. Just google search the first few lines of your question’s text.
— —

MY RECOMMENDED GMAT STUDY PLAN:

"Section" = a timed, scored section from the GMATPrep Software (Exams 1 through 6). Helps you practice test-taking techniques, and leveraging the GMAT algorithm.
"Practice" = unscored (no composite score, only correct/incorrect) and the time limit is less strict. Take as long as you need for understanding.

Remember that you don’t necessarily need to pay for Exam Packs 1 and 2, because there are approximately 1,500 potential questions in (free) Exams 1 and 2, so you can just keep resetting the tests and using them again. The IR sections will be exactly the same (not adaptive!), but the quant and verbal sections will be different every time.

Another option is to install the GMAT Prep software on 2 different computers. 2 different computers = 2 different versions of the test = nearly twice as many questions to practice.

Here is a sample weekly schedule that I would recommend IF YOU ARE TRYING TO PREPARE IN ONLY ONE MONTH (see modifications for 2-6 month study plans below).

Day 1: COMPUTER DAY

1) 75 minute Quant Section - GMATPrep
2) 75 minute Verbal Section - GMATPrep
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quant Questions + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbal Questions + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 30 minute IR Section or Practice - GMAT Prep / IR tool from Wiley
6) 30 minutes Essay Practice

Day 2: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 3: COMPUTER DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in GMATPrep (Question Packs)
2) 41 Verbal Questions in GMATPrep (Question Packs)
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies

Day 4: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 5: COMPUTER DAY

1) 75 minute Quant Section - GMATPrep
2) 75 minute Verbal Section - GMATPrep
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 30 minute IR Section or Practice - GMAT Prep / IR tool from Wiley
6) 30 minutes Essay Practice

Day 6: BOOK (OG) / WILEY DAY

1) 37 Quant Questions in OG / Wiley
2) 41 Verbal Questions in OG / Wiley
3) Review Incorrectly Answered Quants + Math Concepts and Strategies
4) Review Incorrectly Answered Verbals + Verbal Concepts and Strategies
5) 12 IR Questions - Any Source

Day 7: Take a rest! You’re only human.

Repeat for three more weeks, and you’ve completed approximately 2,160 real GMAT questions out of the approximately 4,000 official GMAT questions available.

Here are my modifications for 2-6 month study plans:

2-month study plan: complete 3 assignments (numbered above) per day.
3-month study plan: complete 2 assignments per day.
4-month study plan: complete 1-2 assignments per day.
6-month study plan: complete 1 assignment per day.

The founder of the GMAT Club forum has also written an excellent GMAT Study Plan on GMAT club. To see it, google “GMAT Study Plan - 2016 Edition : General GMAT Questions and Strategies.”
— —

A QUICK AND IMPORTANT NOTE ON HOW TO REVIEW INCORRECTLY ANSWERED GMAT QUESTIONS:

Yes, the correct answers (along with mildly helpful explanations) are all right there in the books. But at all costs, don’t check the correct answer right away, because in many ways it ruins the utility of that question.

When it comes time to re-try the questions that you answered incorrectly, I recommend that you either buy a 2nd copy of the books to keep blank, or that you simply re-try the questions on your computer screen…BEFORE checking the answer. It's what I call a "blind review": going over all the questions you got wrong without first checking the correct answer/explanation, or seeing any of your previous work.

Yes, I know…when you get something wrong that you thought you got right, your first instinct is to immediately check the correct answer choice. However, try your best to avoid this temptation.

In my opinion, blind review is one of the key facets of effective test prep. Thus, when using the physical book, you should only mark your answers in the book as correct or incorrect (this is easier when working with a partner). Most importantly, don't write down or look at the correct answers before you get a chance to review / re-try them at least once.

Obviously, this type of study is much easier with a partner. If you’re working by yourself out of the physical books or the Kindle editions, then there is no way to check your answers without actually looking at the correct letter answers. So, if you’re studying solo, then I recommend that you write your answers—only your answers, not your work— on a separate sheet of paper. Do at least 40 questions at a time, to get a feel for what a GMAT Quant or Verbal section feels like. When you correct them, don’t indicate the correct answers in the book yet—simply mark incorrect answers as incorrect. And try to correct your questions all at once instead of one at a time, so that when you review the actual question afterward, you are less likely to remember the correct answer.

In contrast, if you go over questions by checking the correct answers right away, then you can create false confidence by fooling yourself into thinking that you understand the questions fully, when in fact you are still prone to those types of mistakes. The best way to know for sure is to try the questions again, from scratch, *without* the aid of the answer key, your previous answer, or the answer explanations. Only then should you confirm the correct answer and read the explanation provided.
— —

For those of you who are just getting started, here is the overall structure of the GMAT:

1) Analysis of an Argument Essay (AWA or Analytical Writing Assessment): 30 minutes, 1 question.
2) Integrated Reasoning (Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Two Part Analysis): 30 minutes, 12 questions. Please note: unlike the Verbal and Quantitative sections, the IR section is not adaptive. For this reason, every time you try a GMATPrep Exam you will see the same 12 IR questions.
3) Optional 8-minute break
4) Quantitative Section (Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency): 75 minutes, 37 questions (2 minutes per question)
5) Optional 8-minute break
6) Verbal Section (Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction): 75 minutes, 41 questions (1.8 minutes per question)

Keep in mind that on the GMAT you cannot go back or skip any questions, and that the first 12-15 questions of the Verbal and Quantitative sections have the most impact on your score due to the adaptive scoring algorithm. A correct answer will yield a slightly harder question in most cases, and vice versa, and the GMAT will gradually determine your score as you go. The largest adjustments are made at the beginning of the test, which is why the first 1/3 of questions are so essential. Also, approximately 10 to 25% of the questions on the actual GMAT (and 4 of the 12 IR questions) are experimental—you don’t know which ones they are, and they don’t count toward your score.

Here are my most essential GMAT Resources, ranked from most important to least:

Practice:
1) Free GMATPrep Software - 2 diagnostic CATs (Exams 1 and 2: 180 questions total) and 90 practice questions out of 1,500 possible questions
2) GMAT 2017 Official Guide Bundle - 1 diagnostic test and over 1,500 practice questions and answer explanations (you are here) - about $45
3) GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 - 2 diagnostic CATs (Exams 3 and 4: 180 questions total) out of 400 possible questions - GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 [Online Code] $50
4) GMAT Prep Exam Pack 2 (New Release with 2 New Tests -- not yet available on Amazon) - 2 more diagnostic CATs (Exams 5 and 6: 180 questions total) out of 400 possible questions - $50
Please note: you can save $10 by buying #3 and #4 together as an Exam Pack Bundle from the GMAT website for $90.
5) GMATPrep Question Pack 1 - 404 questions with answer explanations and ability to sort questions by type and difficulty - $30 GMATPrep Question Pack 1 [Online Code]
6) The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 Mobile App The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 -$5 for 50 questions and $30 upgrade for an additional 800 questions
7) GMAT Focus Quizzes - 24 questions per quiz (math only) - $30 per quiz and 4 total GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool: Single Use [Online Code]
8) IR Prep Tool - 48 Integrated Reasoning Questions GMAT IR Prep Tool [Online Code] - $20
9) GMAT Write - 4 Auto-Graded Essays for $30
10) GMAT Enhanced Score Report - Technically this is not a practice tool, but it provides an in-depth look at your score, including overall rankings, rankings by question type, time management information and a summary of your strengths and weaknesses, which can be helpful if you plan to take the test more than once. - $25

Strategy:
1) GMAT Club Forum - Free explanations to nearly every official GMAT question, as well as questions written by other companies (I do not recommend practicing on non-official questions).
2) GMAT Quantum - Free video explanations to nearly every official GMAT quantitative question.
3) Manhattan Prep GMAT Series: $144 for the entire series Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides) or about $19 for one book which gives you access to 6 online CATs GMAT Sentence Correction (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides).
4) LSAT Preptests for Extra Critical Reasoning and Critical Reading Practice: $20 for 10 tests 10 More, Actual Official LSAT PrepTests: (PrepTests 19 through 28) (Lsat Series)
5) Magoosh Free Online Materials
6) Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible: $21 The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
7) Powerscore Reading Comprehension Bible: $35 The PowerScore GMAT Reading Comprehension Bible

Princeton Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition with 6 Computer-Adaptive Practice Tests, 2017 (Graduate School Test Preparation) and Kaplan are OK for strategy too. I prefer Princeton Review’s GMAT guide (full disclosure: P.R. is my former employer) to Kaplan’s (in my humble opinion, a mediocre, corporate behemoth who somehow always manages to rank #1 on Amazon with lots of suspect 5-star reviews), but any effort to write an "all in one" guide to a test as complex as the GMAT is destined to be at least a partial failure. The Kaplan and Princeton guides can be helpful if you are a below-average scorer trying to obtain an above-average score without too much effort, but the perfectionists among us will be frustrated by their lack of depth and unrealistic practice questions.

Finally, you can google "GMAT Action Plan - McElroy Tutoring" to read my personal, frequently updated recommendations for GMAT Prep.

Please feel free to leave comments and/or ask questions below--I enjoy analyzing the intricacies of this challenging test
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88 comments| 90 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on April 23, 2009
I started GMAT Club - online MBA community; my GMAT score is 750 (49, 42), and here are my thoughts about this book:

Strengths:
1. 907 real GMAT questions retired from past tests
2. Practice questions are organized by level of difficulty
3. Practice questions follow actual GMAT test patterns (it's great to have one's ear trained, esp. in verbal)
4. Contains a 100-question diagnostic test

Weaknesses:
1. Does not include any test-taking strategies
2. Though it has a few short review sections for each area, they are weak and very unfriendly
3. Questions are predominantly low to medium in difficulty which is often not representative of questions one encounters on the test
4. There is a 66% overlap with the previous version (11th edition)

Contents (number of questions per section):
1. Diagnostic Test - 100 questions
2. Problem Solving - 230 questions
3. Data Sufficiency - 174 questions
4. Reading Comprehension - 139 questions
5. Critical Reasoning - 124 questions
6. Sentence Correction - 140 questions

* Why is this book valuable/must-have?
The Official Guide is published by the creators of the GMAT and therefore it is the only source of actual GMAT questions representative of what you will see on the test.

* Why is the book not sufficient by itself?
This Guide contains only questions and lacks insightful information about the test, a math/verbal concept review section, or any test-taking strategies. To get up to speed, you will need to get a study guide such as Kaplan Premier Program or Princeton Review's Cracking the GMAT Cat.

* How should this book be used?
This book should NOT be used as a study-guide. It is a collection of questions - think of it as a way to practice your test-taking strategies but not a way to learn them.

* What if I own a previous edition of this book?
If you have the 11th edition, the only difference between the two is 300 new questions, or about 30%. Most test-takers agree that 300 new questions is not a compelling enough reason to own both editions, as the 11th edition offers enough practice. If you do need additional practice questions, get the Math or Verbal workbooks instead as they each have 300 questions.

* What is a recommended study plan using The Official Guide?
There are a number of approaches that work - here is one that most find reasonable:

Step 1: Buy a GMAT Guide from Kaplan or Princeton Review. Get familiar with the test and brush up on fundamentals (math and grammar); also these books will give you a good base for test-taking and timing strategies.

Step 2: Take a GMAT Prep (2 free tests downloadable from MBA.com) - but don't waste these; these are free but very valuable tests. Take 1 after you go through the Guidebooks and save the second one for later. These tests will be representative of your GMAT score (plus/minus 40 points).

Step 3: (Optional - if you want a 650+ score) Get a specialized Math and/or Verbal workbook from Kaplan, the 8-book set form Manhattan GMAT and do a deep dive into the fundamentals - this is what will help you crack the test - solid knowledge of Math and Grammar.

Step 4: By now you should have a good understanding of question patterns, strategies, and timing. Start working on the Official Guide and honing your skills - this is especially important for Critical Reasoning questions that have certain unspoken patterns and rules that only the Official Guide offers - work through the questions to train your ear. Keep in mind that these questions are on the easier side if you are aiming for 650+.
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2626 comments| 688 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 17, 2014
First of all - if you own the previous version (13th edition), there are no new questions in the this book. The only reason you may want to purchase these is to have the online quiz engine available to you but it is a pretty bad system and not worth buying the guide for.

~~~ Strengths ~~~
1. Real GMAT questions retired from past tests - 907 real GMAT questions retired from past tests.
2. Online quiz engine allows you to build practice sets using the OG but it is very weak and cumbersome (more below)
3. Practice questions follow actual GMAT test patterns (it's great to have one's ear trained, esp. in verbal)
4. Overview of the Integrated Reasoning section (50 questions online)

~~~ Weaknesses ~~~
1. The quiz system is too simplistic and cumbersome. For example I have no idea how to start working on question 10. I have to restart from the beginning every single time and it seems it is not even tracking what questions I have attempted??? Very odd... perhaps I have been spoiled with good GMAT Prep and other CAT Test interfaces. I am struggling here. The exclusive videos are also not much to write about; it is very similar to what you can find on GMAC's youtube channel.
2. Questions are EASY in general (only about 5 questions are really a 750 level) based on GMAT Club member feedback. Here are the hardest ones: (V Diag 25, PS 218, DS 129, DS 131, DS 141).
3. Does not include any test-taking strategies. Though it has a few short review sections for each area, they are weak and very unfriendly
4. Questions are predominantly low to medium in difficulty which is often not representative of questions one encounters on the test
5. We really could have used some new questions. The official Guide questions are generally on the EASY side.
6. There is a 100% overlap with previous edition. 13th Edition has an 83% overlap with the 12th edition. 12th edition has a 66% overlap the 11th edition.

~~~ Contents (number of questions per section)~~~
1. Diagnostic Test - 100 questions
2. Problem Solving - 230 questions
3. Data Sufficiency - 174 questions
4. Reading Comprehension - 139 questions
5. Critical Reasoning - 124 questions
6. Sentence Correction - 140 questions
7. Integrated Reasoning - 50 questions (not included in the 907 count)

P.S. If you own the previous 13th edition, I could see some still buying the book for the advantage of having the online practice quiz access, but the issues that the online quiz engine has I would not buy it.

Let me know if you have any questions - i reply to comments
BB, Founder of GMAT Club
750, q49, v42.
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on March 20, 2012
The OG13 has flaws, as did its predecessors. Why five stars, then? Because, hands down, this latest incarnation of the OG is still the one book to get, if you can only get one book to prepare for the GMAT with. There's simply no better all-in-one source of retired GMAT problems.

Could the explanations be better? Sure.
Could the GMAT folks have replaced more than just 1 in 6 problems from the OG12? Absolutely.
Why did some repeated problems illogically jump the line backwards or forwards, given that both OG12 and OG13 are supposed to be in order of difficulty? Who knows.

All that said, the OG is still THE primary religious text of the GMAT. Everything else--including all that we write in print or in byte--is commentary.

The 158 new problems in OG13 all exude that sweet, ineffable air of GMAT-ness. Even if you're taking the GMAT before the changeover (on June 5), in your shoes I'd buy this book for those new problems alone. In the grand scheme, I'd consider that a good investment.

If you're taking the GMAT on June 5 or after, you also need to prepare for the new Integrated Reasoning section. This book gives you access to 50 IR practice problems on a separate site online. Another reason to purchase.

Now, on to the analysis...

Analysis of the 13th Edition Official Guide

(This analysis was originally published with additional content at [...])

The 13th Edition of the Official Guide for GMAT Review has finally been released publicly. Here at Manhattan GMAT, we've done an initial analysis of the OG13 book.

1. Not Radically Different

OG13 contains 907 practice problems for the "main" part of the GMAT (Quant & Verbal). Of those 907 problems, only 17% are new. Since you know your fraction equivalents, we don't have to tell you that 17% is about 1 out of 6.

Out of 907 problems, 749 are repeats (yes, that's 5 out of 6). If you already have the 12th Edition, a good way to look at the 13th Edition is as a source of 158 great new practice problems. We've listed them by number at the end of this post.

Much of the book is unchanged from the 12th Edition:
- For repeated problems, the explanations are identical, except for a few extremely minor edits (e.g., fixing an error in numbers chosen to test Statement 1 in DS #135).
- Various sections, such as the Diagnostic Exam (all 100 problems), Math Review, Test-Taking Strategies and Directions, are unchanged.
- Each of the 5 major types (PS, DS, RC, CR, and SC) has the same number of problems as before: 254 PS, 198 DS, 156 RC, 141 CR, and 158 SC.
- Excluding the Diagnostic Exam, practice questions are organized by difficulty, according to the GMAC--just as they are in the 12th edition--but with an asterisk we'll explain below.

We've done all the new problems, and they're just what you'd expect--good, clever GMAT problems. Each one has its own unique flavor, but they're all from the same big box of cookies. Given that only 1 in 6 are new, we don't ascribe too much meaning to the unavoidable micro-shifts in topical balance.

Do not over-interpret changes from OG12 to OG13! Some variation is to be expected. Nothing suggests a shift in how you should prepare for the exam.

2. Transition If And When You're Comfortable

If you've been getting ready with the 12th Edition, treat the 13th Edition as a source of additional practice. But you do not need to switch, especially if your exam is before June 5, when the new GMAT arrives.

If you're taking an "old" GMAT, consider mining the 13th Edition for a few new problems. But your time may be better spent reviewing practice problems you've already encountered. Or you might just do online practice with GMATPrep, GMATFocus, or practice exams such as ours.

3. Integrated Reasoning is Integrated

If you are taking the "new" GMAT (on or after June 5), the OG13 has some relevant goodies for you: a short introduction to IR, plus access to 50 brand-new practice problems online. Even though the IR section won't count for much in the admissions process, you don't want to face it completely cold. Running through these 50 problems will help warm you up.

In fact, you might catch fire and start freaking out about IR. If that happens, go dunk your head in water. IR is not that important. You just want to give it a decent shot. Save your strength for the main event of the GMAT.

4. Order Oddities

Both OG12 and OG13 claim to be laid out in order of difficulty (except for the 100 Diagnostics). Since all the problems are retired from the real exam, that order should never change--so you'd expect repeated problems to maintain their relative positions in the hierarchy.

Weirdly, though, 25 repeated problems have jumped out of position. Here are the rebels:

Problem Solving:
13th Ed.|12th Ed.|Change
20 203 -183
25 200 -175
31 64 -33
55 196 -141
65 28 37
67 201 -134
95 106 -11
109 69 40
126 228 -102
132 93 39
181 202 -21

Data Sufficiency:
13th Ed.|12th Ed.|Change
4 47 -43
38 134 -96
53 165 -112
58 171 -113
67 30 37
78 137 -59
81 58 23
119 173 -54
120 147 -27
125 107 18
128 157 -29
135 128 7
143 161 -18
166 132 34

While we've understood and agreed with the OG difficulty ordering in broad strokes, we've always wondered about some of the specific rankings. Is Marcia's Bucket (DS #174) truly the hardest DS problem on the planet, three editions running--11th, 12th, and 13th? That one has always bewildered us.

The reshuffle is generally in the right direction, if we were doing the ranking of those 25 problems. For instance, we think that PS #69 in the 12th is harder than PS #196 in the 12th, not conceptually but in actual execution. Old #69 is tricky! Now the new numbering (#109 and #55, respectively, in OG13) reflects that opinion.

However, the mystery is why this reshuffling is happening at all. If the problems were in relative order of difficulty in one edition, any repeats should stay in that order till the end of time--since the problems are most definitely retired!

This weird reordering happened before on a smaller scale, when the supplemental Review OGs transitioned from 1st to 2nd Editions. One problem in each slipped out of position. That level of change could be chalked up to clerical error or to random genetic mutation caused by a stray cosmic ray or what have you.

However, with 25 problems on the quant side (and none on the verbal side) acting illogically, we can only guess at something larger. It should be straightforward for the GMAT to measure difficulty--it's a basic parameter for each question, a single number developed during the problem's experimental stage and then frozen. Perhaps, for a whole batch of questions, these parameters were recorded in a systematically erroneous way, and now GMAC is fixing the problem. Maybe the way GMAC measures difficulty has some quirks to it, and under an update to the algorithm these problems would somehow get a different ranking.

Regardless, we don't think there's anything nefarious to all this--there's no reason that GMAC would deliberately mess with our heads. After all, the 10th Edition of the OG, for those of us who go back that far, was comfortably chaotic. It had no order whatsoever. The 11th Edition was the first one that the GMAT folks put in order of difficulty--and we all welcomed that change. It made studying so much more productive to know how hard a problem was to the GMAT, if only in relative terms.

As we find out more on this matter, we'll let you all know.

5. Stay Tuned

More generally, as we dig further into OG13, we'll keep you posted on any juicy discoveries. Again, we don't want to squint too hard at the tea leaves. We'll start seeing things that aren't really there: "Is there one more or one less Probability problem, and what signal is the GMAT sending...?" That road leads to madness. This OG is pretty much the same as the last one, just with some new good problems in it.

6. New Problems

And now, what you've been waiting for... here are the new problem lists, all by number in the OG13. We're moving a couple of topics around ourselves, so these breakouts reflect the upcoming topical alignments.

Problem Solving: 12, 13, 14, 15, 37, 49, 56, 57, 60, 61, 69, 71, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 91, 92, 108, 110, 112, 113, 114, 117, 118, 119, 127, 128, 129, 137, 158, 163, 166, 170, 177, 178, 182, 183, 196, 198, 199, 218, 229

PS Fractions, Decimals, & Percents: 15, 56, 57, 71, 80, 108, 113, 114, 163, 170, 177, 182, 198, 218
- Digits & Decimals: 163, 170, 218
- Fractions: 15, 80, 108
- Percents: 57, 71, 114, 177, 182, 198
- Ratios: 56, 113

PS Algebra: 14, 37, 117, 129, 196, 199
- Linear Equations: 14
- Exponents & Roots: 196
- Quadratic Equations: 37, 117, 199
- Formulas: 129

PS Word Problems: 12, 49, 60, 79, 81, 91, 112, 119, 137, 158, 178, 183
- Algebraic Translations: 60, 137
- Rates & Work: 49, 79, 81
- Statistics: 12, 91, 112, 119, 183
- Consecutive Integers: 158
- Overlapping Sets: 178

PS Geometry: 13, 61, 69, 75, 78, 92, 166
- Polygons: 13, 78, 166
- Triangles & Diagonals: 75, 92
- Circles & Cylinders: 69
- Coordinate Plane: 61

PS Number Properties: 77, 110, 118, 127, 128, 229
- Divisibility: 77, 110, 118, 127
- Positives & Negatives: 229
- Combinatorics: 128

Data Sufficiency: 11, 15, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 32, 33, 34, 37, 39, 41, 42, 52, 57, 65, 70, 74, 75, 79, 80, 83, 85, 92, 96, 97, 99, 102, 109, 123, 131, 133, 141

DS Fractions, Decimals, & Percents: 23, 25, 29, 75, 80, 92, 131, 133
- Digits & Decimals: 75, 80, 133
- Fractions: 29, 92, 131
- Percents: 25
- Ratios: 23

DS Algebra: 15, 24, 33, 41, 52, 85, 96, 99
- Exponents & Roots: 15, 41
- Quadratic Equations: 99
- Formulas: 24, 96
- Inequalities: 33, 52, 85

DS Word Problems: 18, 20, 22, 34, 37, 57, 65, 70, 109, 123, 141
- Algebraic Translations: 57, 65, 141
- Rates & Work: 22
- Statistics: 20, 37, 70, 109, 123
- Consecutive Integers: 18
- Overlapping Sets: 34

DS Geometry: 11, 42, 74, 79, 102
- Polygons: 42
- Triangles & Diagonals: 79
- Circles & Cylinders: 102
- Coordinate Plane: 11, 74

DS Number Properties: 32, 39, 83, 97
- Divisibility & Primes: 83
- Positives & Negatives: 97
- Odds & Evens: 32
- Probability: 39

Reading Comprehension: 1, 2, 3, 4; 11, 12, 13; 14, 15, 16, 17; 37, 38, 39, 40, 41; 52, 53, 54, 55; 84, 85, 86; 111, 112, 113, 114 (passages separated by semicolons)

7 new passages
- Length: 2 long, 5 short (3 of the shorts are just 1 big paragraph, though!)
- Themes: 2 biological science, 2 business, 2 social science, and 1 physical science

Question types:
7 General questions (4 Main Idea, 3 Structure) - roughly 1 per new passage
20 Specific questions (8 Detail, 12 Inference) - roughly 3 per new passage

Since you'd never do all the questions of 1 type at once (you always do RC by passage), there's little point in breaking them out by number.

Critical Reasoning: 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 17, 19, 22, 29, 33, 39, 49, 59, 65, 69, 74, 81, 86, 94, 100, 106, 114, 124
- Assumption: 106
- Evaluate the Argument: 114, 124
- Flaw: 8, 100
- Strengthen: 1, 11, 19, 29
- Explain the Discrepancy: 3, 6, 9, 17, 22, 49, 86, 94
- Complete the Argument: 12, 33, 39, 59, 65, 69, 74, 81

Sentence Correction: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 15, 19, 26, 35, 38, 40, 48, 56, 65, 68, 71, 74, 79, 87, 97, 107, 111, 114, 132, 138
- Subject-Verb Agreement: 7
- Parallelism: 4, 15, 38, 56, 74, 79, 87, 138
- Pronouns: 111, 114
- Modifiers: 1, 19, 35, 48, 65, 68, 132
- Verbs: 40, 71
- Comparisons: 9, 107
- Connecting Punctuation: 2, 26, 97
66 comments| 220 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on February 19, 2017
If you are looking for a quick brush up on the concepts used for the test, these books will do the trick. If, however, you find you need a little more practice or intensive help relearning some of the concepts presented, you'll need to invest in another book or prep class.

These books come with a good size set of questions. Additionally, included is a code to log on to a website to answer the questions in a simulated test taking environment. The questions in the website and book appear to be identical (the website will even point you to the question number from the book once you've completed the practice exam).information from the supplemental books appears to be duplicated into the green book (green book contains more info on test taking procedures, diagnostics tests, etc.). Without comparing qord-by-word, I'd have to say the supplemental books really don't add anything to the green book, unless you are looking to carry around a slightly smaller book when studying.

Overall, these books are ok, but will certainly not get you all the way there if you need to rebuild your understanding of concepts from the ground floor.
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on July 9, 2014
I started GMAT Club - online MBA community; my GMAT score is 750 (49, 42), and here are my thoughts about this book:
First of all - if you own the previous version (2nd Edition), there are no new questions in the this book. The only reason you may want to purchase these is to have the online quiz engine available to you but it is a pretty bad system and not worth buying the guide for. (see screenshots I uploaded). It may be worth it, if the system is improved.

The main issue with the first edition was low question difficulty. This edition addresses the issue slightly, but as you can see, not by much. One issue that was fixed is the total number of questions. The first edition claimed (just like this one) to have 300 questions, but only had 294 - how can you make that mistake in the Official Guide for Quantitative Review? The question split is 176 for PS and 124 for DS.

~~~ Strengths ~~~
1. Real GMAT questions retired from past tests
2. Online quiz engine allows you to build practice sets using the OG but it is very weak and cumbersome (more below)
3. Practice questions follow actual GMAT test patterns (it's great to have one's ear trained, esp. in verbal)

~~~ Weaknesses ~~~
1. The quiz system is too simplistic and cumbersome. For example I have no idea how to start working on question 10. I have to restart from the beginning every single time and it seems it is not even tracking what questions I have attempted??? Very odd... perhaps I have been spoiled with good GMAT Prep and other CAT Test interfaces. I am struggling here.
2. Questions are EASY in general (only about 5 questions are really a 700-level) based on GMAT Club member feedback.
3. Does not include any test-taking strategies. Though it has a few short review sections for each area, they are weak and very unfriendly
4. Questions are predominantly low to medium in difficulty which is often not representative of questions one encounters on the test
5. We really could have used some new questions. The official Guide questions are generally on the EASY side.
6. There is a 100% overlap with previous edition.

P.S. If you own the previous edition, I could see some still buying the book for the advantage of having the online practice quiz access, but the issues that the online quiz engine has I would not buy it.

Let me know if you have any questions - i reply to comments
BB, Founder of GMAT Club
750, q49, v42.
55 comments| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
I am a professional GMAT tutor with 15 years of experience, and am fairly obsessed with this test. I also take the GMAT at least once a year to stay up-to-date, including a recent score of 770 (48 V/47 Q).

I'm not a big fan of classifying GMAT questions by category--each one is different, and many GMAT questions defy categorization. So I'll just say that the questions in this book are super-realistic. They are just like the questions on the real GMAT, because the book is written by the test-maker and use actual, retired GMAT questions. Don't waste your time and money practicing on questions made by any other companies--these are merely inferior imitations of the real thing. If you must use other materials for test strategy, then that's fine, and in most cases necessary, but try your best to stick to official questions whenever possible.

Pro tip: You can take each of the 6 GMAT Prep CATs (computer adaptive tests) more than once, because the GMAT is an adaptive test (it adjusts the difficulty level of later questions based on your previous responses). There are about 4 to 16 times as many questions in the GMAC's question pool as there are in any given test, which means that every test you take will be different. Tests 1 and 2 draw from a (gigantic!) pool of about 1,500 questions, and tests 3, 4, 5, and 6 draw from a more modest pool of about 400 questions each. To re-take your free GMAT Prep tests (mba.com), click "reset" in the lower-left hand corner of the GMAT Prep software window (but make sure to take screenshots of your previous test sessions beforehand--frequent screenshots are a good idea anyway because the software is prone to crashing and losing your data).

It's important to remember that although this physical GMAT book is extremely helpful, the GMAT is still a computer-based test, which means that you should still do the majority of your work on a computer. For this reason, consider buying the Kindle versions of the guides, as well as making full use of the computer-based practice options available from the GMAC. Or, if you prefer to buy the physical book, then you can also use the access codes located in the sealed pouches in the back covers of the books to access a free Web-based version of the book (gmat.wiley.com), where you can try most of the questions in the book in an online format, and organize quizzes by question type / difficulty level (easy, medium, hard). You will also have to create a Wiley account, which is worth it because it allows you to travel without the physical book, so long as you have internet access and a computer.

If you do run out of official GMAT Prep computer tests (the first two are free, and you can buy four more from GMAC), then I can recommend the Manhattan GMAT CATs. Just buy one book from the Manhattan GMAT series, and it will give you access to all 6 online CATs: GMAT Sentence Correction (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides)

For free video explanations to all the math questions in these books, google "GMAT Quantum," or if you prefer to read your explanations, then just try google searching the first few lines of your question's text. I would also strongly recommend that you check out informative websites such as GMAT Club, Beat the GMAT, and Atlantic GMAT, and that you consider retaining the services of a qualified private tutor such as myself.

For those of you who are just getting started, here is the overall structure of the GMAT:

1) Analysis of an Argument Essay (AWA or Analytical Writing Assessment): 30 minutes, 1 question.
2) Integrated Reasoning (Multi-Source Reasoning, Table Analysis, Graphics Interpretation, Two Part Analysis): 30 minutes, 12 questions. Please note: unlike the Verbal and Quantitative sections, the IR section is not adaptive.
3) Optional 8-minute break
4) Quantitative Section (Problem Solving, Data Sufficiency): 75 minutes, 37 questions (2 minutes per question)
5) Optional 8-minute break
6) Verbal Section (Reading Comprehension, Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction): 75 minutes, 41 questions (1.8 minutes per question)

Keep in mind that on the GMAT you cannot go back or skip any questions, and that the first 12-15 questions of the Verbal and Quantitative sections have the most impact on your score due to the adaptive scoring algorithm. A correct answer will yield a slightly harder question in most cases, and vice versa, and the GMAT will gradually determine your score as you go. The largest adjustments are made at the beginning of the test, which is why the first 1/3 of questions are so essential.

Here are my most essential GMAT Resources, ranked from most important to least:

Practice:
1) Free GMATPrep Software - 2 practice tests (180 questions) and 90 practice questions (mba.com) out of 1,500 possible questions
2) GMAT 2016 Official Guide Bundle - 1 diagnostic test and over 1,500 practice questions and answer explanations GMAT 2016 Official Guide Bundle - about $45
3) GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 - 2 diagnostic CATs (180 questions total) out of 400 possible questions GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 [Online Code] - $50
4) GMAT Prep Exam Pack 2 (New Release with 2 New Tests -- not yet available on Amazon) - 2 more diagnostic CATs (180 questions total) out of 400 possible questions - $50
Please note: you can save $10 by buying #3 and #4 together as an Exam Pack Bundle from the GMAT website for $90.
5) GMATPrep Question Pack 1 - 404 questions with answer explanations and ability to sort questions by type and difficulty - $30 GMATPrep Question Pack 1 [Online Code]
6) The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 Mobile App The Official Guide for GMAT® Review 2016 -$5 for 50 question with $30 upgrade for an additional 800 questions
7) GMAT Focus Quizzes - 24 questions per quiz (math only) - $30 per quiz and 4 total GMAT Focus Online Quantitative Diagnostic Tool: Single Use [Online Code]
8) IR Prep Tool - 48 Integrated Reasoning Questions GMAT IR Prep Tool [Online Code] - $20

Strategy:
1) GMAT Club (free), and online resources / videos
2) Manhattan Prep GMAT Series: $144 for the entire series Complete GMAT Strategy Guide Set (Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides) or about $16 for one book which gives you access to 6 online CATs (see top link above).

Finally, you can google "GMAT Action Plan - McElroy Tutoring" to read my personal, frequently updated recommendations for GMAT Prep.
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on July 28, 2016
DONT BUY 2017 EDITION UNTILL SEPT.
On GMAC Website: We recently released The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2017 and we have discovered that this first version contains a number of typos that occurred during the publishing process. We realize that these errors may make it difficult to understand certain content and could affect the study experience for the GMAT exam. To resolve this issue, we have created an up-to-date errata document that candidates can reference for corrections. We will also provide a free replacement copy of The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 2017 when the corrected version is ready for distribution.

Both the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) and Wiley deeply apologize for the inconvenience these errors may have caused individuals studying for the exam. We are committed to high-quality publication standards, and moving forward we will make every effort to ensure that our study products are superior to enable the best practice for the GMAT exam.

There are a select number of errors in each of the 2017 Quantitative and Verbal guides.

Although I had pre-ordered before release on 7th June, it was delivered a week late and errata is released post 30 days, now Amazon won't return it. Waste of money. Better study from 2016 version or wait until September.
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on July 24, 2015
Equations do not render in the Kindle version what a ripoff! In other words, the equations are garbled to the point where you can't read them. (see photo). You have to squint your eyes to read superscripts and subscripts when dealing with exponents, for example. And that's if the values are even clear enough to begin with! Often times a you can't solve a problem don't know what the heck is written in the question stem.
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33 comments| 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

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