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Paperback The Official Guide for GMAT Review Book

ISBN: 0470449748

ISBN13: 9780470449745

The Official Guide for GMAT Review

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Book Overview

The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition is the only book on the market written by the creators of the GMAT exam. Inside you'll find more than 800 actual GMAT questions from previous tests with answers and detailed explanations. There's also a grammar review, math review, actual essay topics, sample responses, and scoring information insights into the GMAT exam that debunk test-taking myths. Plus, use the diagnostic section to pinpoint your...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

12 Edition Review: Not a Guidebook but an excellent source of Real GMAT Questions

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 - 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 an

GMAT Books Comparison

After going through all the GMAT books, here is my comparison about some of the most popular GMAT books: Official Guides: Pros - Excellent source of GMAT questions. Very well organized with real test like questions. Cons - No review of any math content or test-taking strategies. Not very good explanations of practice questions. Overall, the Official Guide is a must have for all test-takers. It will give you a good idea about the type of questions to expect on the GMAT; however, if you need more than just a bank of questions, you need to look at some other source. Kaplan: Pros - It covers every section of the test as much as possible by a single book. Also a good source for additional practice questions. Cons - Review of math content is not thorough but just the very basics. Not enough explanation of test taking strategies. Full of guessing techniques with no real mathematical solutions. Not good enough explanations of practice questions. Unrealistic questions. Princeton: Pros - Good for learning how to make educated guess and process of elimination. Focuses more on test taking techniques. Cons - Review of math content is not thorough but just the very basics. Not enough explanation of test taking strategies. Full of guessing techniques with no real mathematical solutions. Not good enough explanations of practice questions. Weird sense of humor of Joe Blogs. Dummies: Pros - Good book if you are looking for test taking strategies and brief overview as it covers every section. It's definitely worth the price. Cons - Not a regular standalone type of a book. You'll certainly need additional help. Barrons: Pros - Intensive math review. Big list of questions. Good test taking strategies. Very well organized. This is by far the best of the all-in-one kinds of books. Cons - Although the book has a good math review, it doesn't go deep enough into each concept. Does not have a good section for logical reasoning (permutation, combination, probability, etc) questions, which is one of the most important question-type. Does not break down the concepts/questions step by step. This is the only book I recommend you must buy apart from the OG. EZ Solutions (series of books): Pros - Thorough math review from A to Z in the review books. Effective test taking strategies. Abundant solved examples. Numerous practice exercises. Great practice question bank in basic and advanced workbooks. As with most books, you are expected to already have a good knowledge about the various match concepts, but with these books, you can literally start from scratch and reach the most advanced level of the GMAT. Cons - To get the best result from these books, you have to invest in buying several books (set of 10 books), but if you compare the cost and benefits, the benefits outweigh the cost, or you can buy a few not all. Missing the verbal section. This is not a good option if you are looking for a very basic brush-up. Recommended for serious test takers who have enough time for pr

An absolute must for any GMAT Prep

This book, coupled with the Official GMAT Verbal and Quant Review Guides (by the same company, GMAC) is enough to give you a thorough understanding, of the type of questions that can be expected in the GMAT and the reasoning needed to answer them correctly. I found the reasoning provided with each answer, especially useful. Another nice thing about these books is that the questions are arranged in increasing order of difficulty. So, if you find some questions very easy, just jump a few questions forward. The only setback with these books is that they do not give detailed explanations in the 'concepts review sections'. You will need to turn to other books/websites to get tips and tricks for the exam. I recommend Princeton for this purpose: The Princeton guide gave me very clear and effective test taking strategies that helped me a lot. I highly recommend NOT USING Kaplan, especially to take practice tests. The scoring is very tough, and you are tested in areas that are absolutely unnecessary for the GMAT. Also, very low scores on these tests are discouraging. I highly recommend taking the two Powerprep practice tests available for download from the GMAC website. These tests consist of 'retired' GMAT questions, and are very much identical to the actual GMAT. Your scoring on these tests would be identical to your actual GMAT score. My practice scores are as below (in chronological order): Powerprep Test 1: 630 (35 days before my GMAT) Princeton Test 1: 650 Kaplan Test 1: 600 Princeton Test 2: 670 Princeton Test 3: 700 Princeton Test 4: 720 Kaplan Test 2: 530 (One day before my GMAT - Very, very discouraging!!) Powerprep Test 2: 750 (One day before my GMAT) Powerprep Test 3 (Reinstalled): 760 (with some repetitions from Powerprep Test 2) GMAT: 750 (Verbal 40, Quant 50) My GMAT Prep consisted of lots and lots of practice, analysis of my practice test results, and noting down where I erred, and making sure that I did not repeat my mistakes.


The questions in the official guide are relevant. Kaplan questions point you in the wrong direction and are a waste of time. I focused entirely on the official guide during the last 2 weeks beforethe test and I loved the verbal section esp because its highly accurate in the kinds of questions you are faced with in the real exam. The quantitative questions are not good enough ie hard enough and so even the official guide is inadequate if you want to score 90 percentile and beyond in Q. powerprep1 : 760 q:49 v:44 Kaplan1 : 560 kaplan2 : 610 kaplan3 : 690 kaplan paper : 670 Kaplan4 : 660 (50/36) powerprep2 : 770 q:50 v:44 After practicing with other Quant books and the Sentence correction guide of Manhattan GMAT, I improved my score. Actual : 770 (q50,v46)

A Must Have

The secret for the GMAT is practice and stamina. For my own preparation, I used The Princeton Review, Kaplan's Book and ETS' The Official Guide for GMAT Review. I will go through the advantages and disadvantages of each, and explain why The Official Guide for GMAT Review was the best of the three and why you should give it more time than the others. Princeton: Plus - Good review sections (both quantitative and verbal) - Practice tests similar to the GMAT - Online tests are easy to review - Provides you with a test strategy on how to crack the questions - Explicitly advises you to practice also with The Official Guide for GMAT Review Disadvantages - Does not explain why a choice is wrong - Not enough practice questions Kaplan: Plus - Good quantitative review sections (appendix was great) - Interactive software for reviewing the Kaplan GMAT strategies - Practice tests similar to the GMAT - Practice tests and sections are difficult, this creates in you a sense of urgency - Plenty of practice questions Disadvantages - The software interface is old and slow, you are left to work with a little box on the screen - Practice tests and sections' answer choices are not very well explained - The questions are far fetched and do not fall in the spirit of the GMAT, this might lead you the wrong path The Official Guide for GMAT Review: Plus - More than plenty of practice questions - You might get the same or similar questions on the GMAT (like I did) - The practice questions are organized by level of difficulty, the last ones are the most difficult - Free PowerPrep software that has two practice tests exactly similar to the GMAT in look and feel (free online tests at the mba dot com website - The practice questions reveal actual GMAT test patterns Disadvantages - Absence of test taking techniques - The skills review sections are poor - Only the last 200 questions in every practice section will be like the ones you will see on the GMAT (unless you perform poorly) This Official Guide from GMAC should be the cornerstone of your preparation, simply because the questions are from past tests and are very thoroughly researched. This will allow you to develop insight into the test mentality. Equally important the correct and the wrong answer choices for each question are explained in detail. You will learn the various ways used to lead you in error and consequently, you will develop the feel to spot and eliminate wrong answers. The rules of grammar on which the GMAT Sentence Correction questions are based are best outlined in this guide. I had a lot of difficulty with the Verbal section until I read through the explanations here. Overall, this book shows you all the tricks of the GMAT. I did not have bad surprises when I took the actual test; it seemed that I had seen all the questions before.

The Official Guide for GMAT Review Mentions in Our Blog

The Official Guide for GMAT Review in How to Avoid Spending Hundreds on Textbooks You Probably Won't Read Anyway
How to Avoid Spending Hundreds on Textbooks You Probably Won't Read Anyway
Published by Eva • December 21, 2015

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