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Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)

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Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2009, 10:29
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Top Best GMAT Quantitative Books

This post is a part of a series on best GMAT Books. Also see:
Best GMAT Guidebooks
Best GMAT Verbal Prep Books
GMAT Fiction - improve reading skills on GMAT
Top 20 Best GMAT books - ranked by GMAT Club members



Common Book Combinations and Recommendatios
1. Need to figure out your weaknesses in GMAT math? Take a GMATPrep test or GMAT Club's free gmat diagnostic test
2. Rusty with Math or want to be very methodical - start with basics: Manhattan GMAT Foundations of GMAT Math
3. OK with Math but need a good review in a short amount of time: Kaplan Math Workbook + MGMAT Number Properties + MGMAT Word Translations
4. Need highest score and have time: MGMAT Guides + GMAT Club tests
5. Need specific question practice: PR 1012 (has some errors/typos), Quant OG, or use gmat club tags
6. Probability and Combinations review: combinations-permutations-and-probability-references-56486.html and MGMAT Word Translations


Book Bundles and Study Plans at a Glance
Standard PlanAdvanced PlanUltimate PlanBeyond Hardcore Plan
General Strategy Books
Explain how GMAT works, provide general principles and strategies, give an idea about weaknesses, provide practice tests
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan GMAT Advanced
- Poor guidebook, more of a question collection
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan GMAT Advanced
- Poor guidebook, more of a question collection
GMAT Test Simulation Booklet
+ Great for practice
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan GMAT Advanced
- Poor guidebook, more of a question collection
GMAT Test Simulation Booklet
+ Great for practice
Quant Books
Refresh math principles, fill gaps, and learn patterns
Kaplan Math Workbook
- missing probability and combinations
Kaplan Math Workbook
- missing probability and combinations
MGMAT Number Properties
5 Quant MGMAT Guides
MGMAT Math Foundations
5 Quant MGMAT Guides
MGMAT Math Foundations
Probability and Combinations for Dummies
Verbal Books
Refresh grammar rules, aquire CR and RC strategies
Kaplan Verbal Workbook
OR: PowerScore Verbal Bible
CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CR
RC: MGMAT RC
SC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SC
CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CR
RC: MGMAT RC
SC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SC
SC: Kaplan Verbal Foundations
CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CR
CR: LSAT Critical Reasoning
RC: MGMAT RC
RC: LSAT Reading Comprehension
SC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SC
SC: Doing Grammar
Practice Questions
Additional practice
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Verbal Official Guide
+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questions
Quant Official Guide
+ 300 retired quant GMAT questions
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Verbal Official Guide
+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questions
Quant Official Guide
+ 300 retired quant GMAT questions
Princeton Review 1012
+ Great target practice
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Verbal Official Guide
+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questions
Quant Official Guide
+ 300 retired quant GMAT questions
Princeton Review 1012
+ Great target practice
Paper GMAT Tests
+ Official Retired tests available from GMAC
Tests
Simulated Practice GMAT tests
GMATPrep, Kaplan, Free testsGMATprep, Kaplan, MGMAT, some GMATClub testsGMATprep, PowerPrep, GMAT Focus, Kaplan, MGMAT, GMATClub testsGMATprep, PowerPrep, GMAT Focus, Kaplan, MGMAT, PR, GMATClub tests


1. GMAT Math Books


1. Manhattan GMAT (MGMAT) Guides
Recommended for best results if you have the time.
Strengths:
1. Good balance between test taking strategies and background theory explanations
2. Single-topic focus of each guide allows the student to purchase only those guides that pertain to his/her weaknesses
3. Covered concepts are illustrated with examples that are conveniently assigned to either PS or DS section.
4. Access to 6 Online CAT's (same for each book)
5. Additional online practice question banks (different for each book)
Weaknesses:
1. Time and Money
2. Books themselves do not contain many practice questions (though online and OG 12 references more than compensate)
Notes: most often recommended guide is the Manhattan GMAT Number properties and MGMAT Word Translations




3. Veritas Prep Guides
Rival of the MGMAT bundle though a bit higher priced.
Strengths:
1. 12 total guides + an intro book for quant + test simulation booklet
2. Practice questions. Every one of the guides is packed with practice questions
3. Fresh questions; you probably have not seen them on forums/etc since these books have just been published

Weaknesses:
1. Price: $250
2. Spacing is a bit strange sometimes with only one question per page







3. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
A solid supplement to the Official Guide
Strengths:
1. Fairly comprehensive review of the basic math concepts needed for the GMAT
2. Structure of the book allows you to work from start to finish, building on previous skills learned
3. Sections devoted to Word problem and Data Sufficiency questions
Weaknesses:
1. Statistics, Combinations/Permutations and Probability are not covered
2. Questions do not reflect GMAT questions, but rather are designed to insure that the material is mastered
Notes: Recommended/most interesting problem compilation from Kaplan Math Workbook
Faster than going through the math MGMAT Guides, but also not as thorough




4. Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review
Great for additional math practice questions, but don't expect to find any strategies or math lessons here.
Strengths:
1. 300 real GMAT questions
2. Real GMAT questions retired from past tests
3. The practice questions are organized by level of difficulty
4. The practice questions follow actual GMAT test patterns - great to have one's ear trained.
Weaknesses:
1. The book does not contain any strategies
2. It does have a few short review sections but they are very weak
3. Mostly low and medium difficulty questions. Not very helpful to a person aiming to get above 700.
Bottom Line: this book is optional; usually OG 12 is sufficient by itself.









Notable Specialized Books - Arithmetic, Probability, Combinations, DS, etc


Combinations & Probability


Veritas Prep Combinations & Probability - added 08/24/10
[Reveal] Spoiler: Table of Contents
Attachment:
veritas_probability-TOC.gif
veritas_probability-TOC.gif [ 42 KiB | Viewed 394027 times ]

Dedicated Combinations and Probability Guide considered by many to be the best
Strengths:
1. Good strategies
2. Plenty of practice questions
3. Well organized and laid out

Weaknesses:
1. Possibly crosses into non-gmat section but a very minor concern



.

5. Manhattan GMAT Word Translations Guide - added 11/11/09
1936240122
[Reveal] Spoiler: Table of Contents
Attachment:
wordtranslations.png
wordtranslations.png [ 24.83 KiB | Viewed 393353 times ]

Contains material on Combinations and Probability
Strengths:
1. Coverage of combinations and probability
2. Coverage of Statistics and Overlapping sets problems
3. Comes with 6 MGMAT tests
Weaknesses:
1. As with all MGMAT Guides, lacks practice questions and relies on the Official Guide for additional practice. If you have covered the OG, you may have to look elsewhere for practice, such as GMAT Club's free collection of probability questions: combinations-permutations-and-probability-references-56486.html






6. Manhattan GMAT Foundations of GMAT Math - Added 2/5/2010
[Reveal] Spoiler: Table of Contents
Attachment:
mgmat_foundations_TOC.gif
mgmat_foundations_TOC.gif [ 24.12 KiB | Viewed 392988 times ]

Great for refreshing math concepts and building confidence in math
Strengths:
1. Works well with other MGMAT books (structured in a similar way)
2. Best book for brushing up on long forgotten math concepts (fractions, powers, etc)
3. Comes with additional online practice questions
Weaknesses:
1. The book has 400 practice questions but they are not in a GMAT format, rather a math-textbook format
2. Long! 300 full-size pages - I think the expectation is that you skip parts that you know
3. No access to MGMAT tests that usually are included with all of the other 8 guides
Notes: recommended instead of the Kaplan Math Foundations. See a very detailed review of the Foundations of GMAT Math by a member






[Reveal] Spoiler:
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kaplan_foundations.jpg [ 7.13 KiB | Viewed 521990 times ]
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Last edited by kirstik on 19 Mar 2013, 10:25, edited 50 times in total.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2011, 04:30
I am in the same boat as you! BFA from MassArt. Our math/science requirement was 1 math OR science class in four years! I got all the MGMAT math guides, and I'm only halfway through the Number Properties guide, but it has helped me immensely. I definitely recommend it.

Good luck with your studying! :)


fllfthm5 wrote:
Just signed in today and am new to the site.

I wanted to relay my experience so far as a math novice. My goal is to take the GMAT sometime around October and do well enough to get into a top tier school. This should give me plenty of time to sufficiently prep for the one area where I am lacking in knowledge - math. Here is my game-plan: about a month ago I bought the CliffsNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests and am combining it with a steady diet of Khan Academy. I have not seen Khan Academy mentioned on this site but it is the single greatest resource I can imagine. I have gone from literally an elementary understanding of math to a solid understanding of Geometry, Algebra, Trig and combinations and permutations, and it has taken only a month - which for me is pretty incredible. Also, Sal Khan, who runs Khan Academy has a module where he works through, step by step, all 404 "The Official Guide for GMAT Review" quant problems.

So, here are my future plans: I will continue brushing up my general math skills for about another month, honing in on specific GMAT concepts as I go. After that, I will start to target the GMAT specifically. I am planning on buying some of the MGMAT books (and perhaps a few others) as well as the official GMAC guides and then continue to supplement with Khan Academy.

Also, I have a BFA from Juilliard. We didn't have math. I haven't touched any math since I was a sophomore in High School (which was a loooong time ago), and that was Algebra II (and I didn't do particularly well so it was really Algebra I). Now, however, I am already starting to feel confident. So, if I can get this stuff anyone can. I promise you.

Thanks for this site btw, very helpful!

Happy Studying!
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2011, 03:52
This is great detailed description about the books
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2011, 03:07
Thanks for sharing
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2011, 18:10
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Guys...I wanted to share my experience and take on the GMAT Advanced Quant Book.

advanced-gmat-quant-from-manhattan-gmat-114166-20.html

In the thread I posted above -- I could not stop raving about the advanced quant book. I still think it's an excellent book -- but I am not too sure it's really relevant to your GMAT preparation. It's a wonderful book filled with excellent problems -- but the tone of the problems are not what you find on the real gmat.

Different perspective post exam: I took the real GMAT a couple of days ago -- scored Q50. My overall score was 760 (Q 50, V 44). I was always pretty strong in the verbal section (LSAT prep years ago and I write reports and grant proposals). But quant really scared me -- I invested a lot of time in the advanced quant book mainly because my first manhattan CAT quant did not go all that well.

Now what I realized is this (post real gmat and gmat prep practice) -- the manhattan quant questions are a lot of fun if you like solving difficult math problems. But they are not representative of the real deal. The real gmat questions are very elegant -- in that -- they are not HARD -- they are just *brilliantly* tricky. Manhattan problems take a long time to solve -- they require a lot of work. But the real gmat questions have this tone about them -- its so unique. Most of the problems on the real gmat can be cracked with a proper technique and an analytical approach -- you don't need to use fancy formulas or solve complex expressions and equations.
I am very pleased with my Q50 -- but I don't think the manhattan advanced quant guide helped me all that much. The real GMAT questions are very subtle -- they are not over powering. The best guide you can use is the GMATPrep software. Keep resetting this software and do every problem (there are plenty of problems in both the bins) on there. I could hardly complete the Manhattan quant sections -- but I completed my real gmat quant exam with 8 minutes to spare.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 04 Dec 2011, 01:37
Thank you for this-it is very helpful
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2011, 20:37
Thanks for this post! It has been really helpful in my decision to choose my prep books. Currently finishing up MGMAT but not sure if I should purchase the advanced math book by MGMAT.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2011, 21:39
Expert's post
gladiator2k wrote:
Thanks for this post! It has been really helpful in my decision to choose my prep books. Currently finishing up MGMAT but not sure if I should purchase the advanced math book by MGMAT.


I am not sure either - it is intimidating in a good and a bad way.
I would recommend MGMAT Roadmap instead ( it is an easy and fast read that I think will bring more value on an hourly basis). The MGMAT Advanced Quant will only kick in at the 40+ level or higher and as number of books say, you may only see 2-3 truly hard questions on your Quan section (which means you are studying a long time to solve those 2-3 questions). I personally had only 1 hard probability question on my GMAT. The rest were tricky but straightforward.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2011, 23:05
My score isnt improving from 44 in quant , I did KAPLAN and OG 12 . MGMAT books I found very basic .
As if now I am practicing from GMAT club . There are some 35 tests . I think these 35 test would be enough . Just that sometimes I dun get the explanations as they are sometimes to the point only .
Any other suggestions for practice ? I have done OG review also (Questions were very easy ) .

Is OG 12 lot different from OG 11 ?
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 25 Dec 2011, 23:21
Expert's post
neha2785 wrote:
My score isnt improving from 44 in quant , I did KAPLAN and OG 12 . MGMAT books I found very basic .
As if now I am practicing from GMAT club . There are some 35 tests . I think these 35 test would be enough . Just that sometimes I dun get the explanations as they are sometimes to the point only .
Any other suggestions for practice ? I have done OG review also (Questions were very easy ) .

Is OG 12 lot different from OG 11 ?


There are 30% new questions in the OG 12 compared to the OG 11.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2012, 08:52
Nice & informative
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2012, 06:34
Target Test Prep is coming out with a new Quant study guide - I was given access to it in the digital format and thought it was VERY well-constructed. They have a few typo's to work out but this may be one of top resources in the not-too-distant future.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 27 Feb 2012, 22:02
Guys I need recommendation for a math refresher, which covers the concepts and is not very time consuming.
Please help....
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 01:04
Have trouble finding answers on this site?
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 28 Feb 2012, 01:17
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2012, 13:01
Hi all, planning on taking the GMAT in September for tier 1 school. As Math goes, I have completed MGMAT all 5 books, OG 12 and OG Quant. Thoughts on Probability For Dummies? Very tempted to buy to further polish probability and combination. Will start Gmat Club Test soon. Anything else I should look at to prep for Quant? Thanks.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2012, 11:04
manhattan Advanced Quant missing from the list
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2012, 11:05
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01dynamic wrote:
manhattan Advanced Quant missing from the list



Thanks! I am not sure it should be a mainstream enough book to include but I will with that caveat.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2012, 17:52
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I have been getting 47-49 in quant and i Just bought Manhattan advanced quant book and found this book to the point. This book has only the harder problems which i could not solve within 2 mins during the actual gmat. Worth taking look at if you trying for Q51.

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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2012, 04:04
bb I really should have read your reviews on Amazon before purchasing books :( bought a few that are not appropriate for me.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2012, 12:15
Okay so I'm at a wee bit of a loss. I have now looked at quite a few quant prep books, and own a lot of them, to ensure a top quant score. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a cohesive and uniform consensus between what I am reading here on GMAT Club and what I see when reading GMAT Club's Amazon reviews. For instance, Total GMAT Math by Jeff Stackman and Nova's GMAT Math Prep Course are rated very highly on Amazon by GMAT Club, but Nova appears nowhere on this site and Total only appears under the Self Prep - Verbal GMAT Prep tab. (weird) GMAT Club states on Amazon that Total is "The most complete GMAT Math Guide hands down", and that Nova is really geared for those who are looking for a 700+ score, stating that it is "a nice alternative to Kaplan and MGMAT" and "the best use for this book if you are aiming for a high quant score and willing to sweat for it". So what's the deal? I am aiming for a high score and willing to sweat for it and am prepping from the cobbled ashes of my jurassic math past. I have bought all of MGMAT's quant books (including Foundations and Advanced GMAT Math), have Kaplan's Math Workbook, Probability for Dummies and now I see that Total is "the most complete" and that Nova is only for those "willing to sweat for it" as if it were the Everest of GMAT Math books.

What is an ambitious GMAT rookie to do? :?
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)   [#permalink] 12 Apr 2012, 12:15
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