Kaplan GMAT Advanced 2009-2010 Edition (Kaplan GMAT 800) Review

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Review of Kaplan GMAT Advanced, formerly Kaplan GMAT 800 – 3.5 Stars out of 5
This book review is a part of GMAT Club’s comprehensive GMAT Book analysis

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I am not blasting this book – I am giving you a rating based on the expectation that the description of this book sets. It does not live up and you are bound to be disappointed. However, it is actually a valuable book but you need to be aware of what you are buying and probably how to use it best when you buy it:

As a pure guidebook – 1 star
As a question collection – 3.5 stars

What You Will Find Inside:
28 Critical reasoning questions
31 Reading comprehension questions
110 Sentence correction questions
107 Problem solving questions (only 7 of which cover combinations and probability)
37 Data Sufficiency questions

Issues that I had with this book:

* No review of math principles or grammar rules. This book assumes that you have gone through the Kaplan’s main GMAT book. If you need help with basics look into getting the Math or Verbal Workbooks before getting this one.

* Illogical structure. Instead of the typical approach of providing a rule and then questions to practice that rule on, this book just lists questions in each of the sections. All of the valuable information and tips are scattered around the explanations section. The book assumes you will read/review explanations for every question. In defense, the main point is often emphasized, so they are not too hard to find.

* Question difficulty. Fewer than 50 people per year score 800 on the GMAT, and most of the lucky guys get past 700. To appeal to a broad audience, Kaplan designed this book at a 650/700-level

* Math section is fairly easy and lacks meaningful practice in advanced subjects such as probability, combinations, or coordinate geometry, statistics. If these are your weak areas, you should look elsewhere

Items I found valuable:

* The book does what it was supposed to do – provide advanced selection of questions, giving the necessary practice with relevant questions. Though Kaplan’s questions are not one-for-one official GMAT questions, I found them fairly close overall. I also liked the explanations – they were very detailed

* Good verbal section with valuable RC practice; huge selection of SC’s

* Good quality publishing and paper; good layout

* Price – I thought it was worth every penny :)

FYI: This book is the re-branded edition of a book previously called Kaplan 800.
One reason Kaplan changed the name of this book is that it did not live up to expectations – it was not a book for those aiming for 750+ but rather for those seeking 650+.

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