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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:
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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:
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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 380812 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






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Last edited by kirstik on 19 Mar 2013, 10:25, edited 50 times in total.
Updated
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2009, 00:54
Great info ...guys ...thnkxx
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2009, 12:54
Hi guys,

I already have a copy of the Kaplan GMAT Premier Program 2009 book. Is the Kaplan GMAT Workbook an exact copy of the math section from the premier program?
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2009, 22:46
Expert's post
seseoppa wrote:
Hi guys,

I already have a copy of the Kaplan GMAT Premier Program 2009 book. Is the Kaplan GMAT Workbook an exact copy of the math section from the premier program?


Nope - completely different. I recommend it.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2009, 06:32
bb wrote:
seseoppa wrote:
Hi guys,

I already have a copy of the Kaplan GMAT Premier Program 2009 book. Is the Kaplan GMAT Workbook an exact copy of the math section from the premier program?


Nope - completely different. I recommend it.


Thanks. I will definitely check it out.
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Manhattan GMAT Word Translations (Positive Review) [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2009, 19:34
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I kept reading here about the Manhattan GMAT here and decided that I needed a strategy book (at least one) for my studies. I don't see Kaplan helping too much now (at least the results aren't as tangible as I've hoped) and the official guide can get you only so far. I figured since I read good things here and maybe something that's not "mass produced" like the Kaplan and Barron's (I bought the latter too, barely read it and didn't like it), might help. Then again, I'm very skeptical of these strategy books. I find that they're often very similar and teach me very little new information. So I decide on the Manhattan GMAT and specifically the word translations that seem to make up a large bulk of the math.

Lo and behold, I'm reading the Manhattan GMAT and it's showing me practical strategies that I've never seen before. Age and rates problems that used to seem convoluted have been solved brilliantly. By brilliantly, I don't mean "correctly", of course every book would have the correct solution. But the brilliance in it is that the book helps YOU solve these problems. I always considered myself strong in math, but let's face it, even algebra can be confusing. With my penchant for dumb mistakes, that hurts even more. But their strategy of organizing this material in tables, works wonders. I've never seen these tables before. Now everything is so much clearer and easier. Kaplan and the $1,500 that I've shelled out has not shown me how to solve these problems as clearly and as easily as the Manhattan GMAT. I'm up to combinatorics and am actually looking forward for more strategies that will help me solve these problems and save time. Thanks guys for letting me know about this series, this book is highly recommended.
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Re: Manhattan GMAT Word Translations (Positive Review) [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2009, 22:56
Expert's post
GmatNY86 wrote:
I kept reading here about the Manhattan GMAT here and decided that I needed a strategy book (at least one) for my studies. I don't see Kaplan helping too much now (at least the results aren't as tangible as I've hoped) and the official guide can get you only so far. I figured since I read good things here and maybe something that's not "mass produced" like the Kaplan and Barron's (I bought the latter too, barely read it and didn't like it), might help. Then again, I'm very skeptical of these strategy books. I find that they're often very similar and teach me very little new information. So I decide on the Manhattan GMAT and specifically the word translations that seem to make up a large bulk of the math.

Lo and behold, I'm reading the Manhattan GMAT and it's showing me practical strategies that I've never seen before. Age and rates problems that used to seem convoluted have been solved brilliantly. By brilliantly, I don't mean "correctly", of course every book would have the correct solution. But the brilliance in it is that the book helps YOU solve these problems. I always considered myself strong in math, but let's face it, even algebra can be confusing. With my penchant for dumb mistakes, that hurts even more. But their strategy of organizing this material in tables, works wonders. I've never seen these tables before. Now everything is so much clearer and easier. Kaplan and the $1,500 that I've shelled out has not shown me how to solve these problems as clearly and as easily as the Manhattan GMAT. I'm up to combinatorics and am actually looking forward for more strategies that will help me solve these problems and save time. Thanks guys for letting me know about this series, this book is highly recommended.


Thank you! I have added your review to our Math Book Thread.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 03 Sep 2009, 23:51
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The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review, 2nd Edition is out!

There are 44 new Problem Solving and 31 new Data Sufficiency Questions (a total of 75 new questions out of 300).

List of Changes:
Problem Solving (PS)
- 4 new easy questions
- 21 new medium questions
- 19 new hard questions
Data Sufficiency
- 13 new easy questions
- 8 new medium questions
- 9 new hard questions

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.

As to content, changes, it is interesting to see many of the tables and data-interpretation questions go and addition of sequence questions. Also, DS lost many of its arithmetic questions, which were replaced by Word Problems.

Overall - pretty much the same book - would have loved to see more new questions, but $12 for 28 new hard and 29 medium REAL questions is not bad. By the way, the first edition is on sale right now The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review for $6.78!

Here is the full list of new questions for reference:
PS: 1, 2, 7, 41, 56, 60, 61, 62, 64, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 102, 103, 108, 112, 117, 131, 135, 142, 145, 146, 147, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 160, 162, 173

DS:
1, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 21, 22, 24, 31, 33, 43, 48, 51, 66, 70, 73, 79, 82, 85, 96, 102, 104, 106, 107, 111, 116, 117, 122

Good Luck on your GMAT!
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 05 Sep 2009, 12:32
Just one small question... Which book replicates the difficulty level of the actual gmat math questions the best?
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2009, 01:52
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urchin wrote:
Just one small question... Which book replicates the difficulty level of the actual gmat math questions the best?


Since GMAT is an adaptive test and adapts to YOUR level of difficulty, this is not the right question to ask. If you are wondering which book has more of harder questions or ones that resemble the real GMAT, then that's the GMAT Official Guide 12th edition.

The Quant OG lacks harder questions.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2009, 05:05
Thanks BB ... I guess i put the question in a wrong way. What i meant was which book has questions of the 700+ level difficulty.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2009, 13:25
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new to the forum...

Is it me, or is Princeton Review 1012 absolutely riddled with errors? So far I have found at least 8 mistakes in the answer keys or diagrams.

thanks,


acc
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2009, 15:13
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tweakxc03 wrote:
new to the forum...

Is it me, or is Princeton Review 1012 absolutely riddled with errors? So far I have found at least 8 mistakes in the answer keys or diagrams.

thanks,


acc


I have not solved through the questions, but that's what the feedback comes back.
The unfortunate reality of a new book - was released not fully proofed, definitely makes studying more complicated.

By the way, if you can, would REALLY help everyone if you can post question numbers and a list of issues - would help a lot!
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Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2009, 17:39
Here are the books that I have from the Manhattan GMAT so far and my thoughts:

1) Word Translation- Loved it. The most difficult material from the math books that I had from them. That's probably because this material is in fact the most difficult in the quant section. Even the easiest Word Translations are more difficult than some medium difficulty numbers property questions. I feel like this taught me some strategies that Kaplan never taught me. Such as the RTD/RTW table. The anagram method (though I don't use it much, for some reason I find the regular formula more intuitive).

2) Numbers properties- Pretty good. However a great majority of it was stuff that I can easily solve. However things like number of factors might help on test day. Also helps with many data sufficiency problems.

3) Geometry- Good book. Some of the stuff it goes over, is stuff that I got wrong before on CATs and wouldn't have if I knew it. Like the largest possible area of a triangle when you know 2 sides. Also, similar triangles. Diagonal of a rectangular solid. It seems like it didn't go over the hardest problems (polygon's within polygons etc.)
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 19 Sep 2009, 12:31
has anyone tried veritas course books? I am taking the Quant portion of the class and wondering if I should go thru their math workbook as well or opt for MGMAT mathbooks.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2009, 13:38
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Some Errors in PR 1012:

Page 314, Question 2, Lines and Angles Drill - They placed either the x or the y in the wrong space in the figure. The answer explanation indicates that x and y comprise both a "large angle" and a "small angle" created by the line intersecting 2 parallel lines. This is not the case as both are large angles.

Page 320, Question 5 of Triangles Drill - They don't indicate that any of the triangles in the figure are right triangles, making it impossible to determine if a triangle is indeed a Pythagorean Triple.

Page 333 Question 8 of Circles Drill - Answer explanation gives B as the answer, but you need A to provide the radius of the circle. Answer should be C.

Page 334, Question 10 of Circles Drill - Statement 1: x =72. There is no X in the diagram!! retarded....

Page 335, Question 13 of Circles Drill - Answer explanation says "Statement 1 gives you the second of two of the three sides of the smallest triangle." Incorrect... It only gives you one of the three. They may have left out a number they meant to put in.


That's what I have so far. There are some others but I can't find them at the moment.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2009, 10:14
I have been referring to Veritas course material. Its pretty good. It has good tricks and shortcuts.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2009, 11:00
How are veritas compared to MGMAT math books? any idea?
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2009, 15:52
The McGraw-Hill gets a really really bad review in amazon by the Gmatclub, but it is because the text has tons of errors that could mislead you on your study.

The practice tests dont have hard questions, they are just average, o a little above it. The answers to those questions are not deep, they just state it with one simple sentence or two. So i didn't find that much of a learning opportunity by doing them.

However, the book has chapters dedicated to the admitions process, and life during and after Bschool. I think the value of the book is on how the authors put the admitions process, your career and the gmat into perspective.

It is a good read, but not because of the excercises and math theory. So if you don´t have much time to study, stay away from that book.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2009, 16:20
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fmckee wrote:
The McGraw-Hill gets a really really bad review in amazon by the Gmatclub, but it is because the text has tons of errors that could mislead you on your study.

The practice tests dont have hard questions, they are just average, o a little above it. The answers to those questions are not deep, they just state it with one simple sentence or two. So i didn't find that much of a learning opportunity by doing them.

However, the book has chapters dedicated to the admitions process, and life during and after Bschool. I think the value of the book is on how the authors put the admitions process, your career and the gmat into perspective.

It is a good read, but not because of the excercises and math theory. So if you don´t have much time to study, stay away from that book.


Thank you for sharing
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink] New post 29 Sep 2009, 06:40
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I recently completed the Kaplan Math Foundations book and I agree that the few errors in the review explanations (I noticed only a handful throughout the book) did not outweigh the benefit of the book.

I think the book is best for people who either 1) need to begin at square one with math, or 2) notice that their math foundations are holding them back from achieving a higher score. Since I was a liberal arts major in college (and have not really dealt with math since high school), I felt like I needed the book before delving into the MGMAT guides. In that regard, it has served me well and I feel like my footing is much stronger.
Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2009, 06:40
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