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# Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)

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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 Plan Advanced Plan Ultimate Plan Beyond Hardcore Plan General Strategy BooksExplain 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 testsKaplan GMAT Advanced- Poor guidebook, more of a question collection Kaplan Live Online+ comes with 6 practice testsKaplan GMAT Advanced- Poor guidebook, more of a question collectionGMAT Test Simulation Booklet+ Great for practice Kaplan Live Online+ comes with 6 practice testsKaplan GMAT Advanced- Poor guidebook, more of a question collectionGMAT Test Simulation Booklet+ Great for practice Quant BooksRefresh math principles, fill gaps, and learn patterns Kaplan Math Workbook- missing probability and combinations Kaplan Math Workbook- missing probability and combinationsMGMAT Number Properties 5 Quant MGMAT GuidesMGMAT Math Foundations 5 Quant MGMAT GuidesMGMAT Math FoundationsProbability and Combinations for Dummies Verbal BooksRefresh grammar rules, aquire CR and RC strategies Kaplan Verbal WorkbookOR: PowerScore Verbal Bible CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CRRC: MGMAT RCSC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SC CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CRRC: MGMAT RCSC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SCSC: Kaplan Verbal Foundations CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CRCR: LSAT Critical ReasoningRC: MGMAT RCRC: LSAT Reading ComprehensionSC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SCSC: Doing Grammar Practice QuestionsAdditional practice Official Guide 12th+ 900 retired real GMAT questions Official Guide 12th+ 900 retired real GMAT questionsVerbal Official Guide+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questionsQuant Official Guide+ 300 retired quant GMAT questions Official Guide 12th+ 900 retired real GMAT questionsVerbal Official Guide+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questionsQuant Official Guide+ 300 retired quant GMAT questionsPrinceton Review 1012+ Great target practice Official Guide 12th+ 900 retired real GMAT questionsVerbal Official Guide+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questionsQuant Official Guide+ 300 retired quant GMAT questionsPrinceton Review 1012+ Great target practicePaper GMAT Tests+ Official Retired tests available from GMAC TestsSimulated Practice GMAT tests GMATPrep, Kaplan, Free tests GMATprep, Kaplan, MGMAT, some GMATClub tests GMATprep, PowerPrep, GMAT Focus, Kaplan, MGMAT, GMATClub tests GMATprep, PowerPrep, GMAT Focus, Kaplan, MGMAT, PR, GMATClub tests

1. GMAT Math Books

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.
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

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

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

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
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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

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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

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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.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2009, 16:48
Navigator wrote:
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.

Thank you for your feedback! Very much apreicated.
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01 Oct 2009, 05:47
I'm new to studying for MATs and am unsure about what books to get. I took the diagnostic and did pretty poorly, which I excepted since I haven't done any math in the past 5 years. I'm a first year law student however, and am only taking the GMAT's to apply to the JD/MBA dual-degree program that my school offers. That said, between now and January I wont have a ton of time to devote to studying for GMATs. I took the LSAT last year, so I feel fairly secure in my verbal abilities (I haven't taken a diagnostic test yet) and so I'm looking to get a good general practice book that covers math and verbal as well as something with some full length exams. I do need to focus on studying math though.

Given the limited study time I have, and the fact that for what I'm applying for I'm not aiming to get an amazing score, what books would you all suggest? My math really needs a ton of work.

Thanks!
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11 Oct 2009, 00:40
After practicing OG-12, I feel I should understand formulas of arithmetic and geometry in detail. I am fairly good with work problems but require thorough understanding and practice on arithmetic and geometry problems.I am not looking for a very basic math book but slightly above average.

Could you please suggest a book which has above average math formulas and strategies, I am ok if the book doesnt have practice questions.

I am confused among the below listed:

1. Kaplan Math Foundations
2. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
3. MGMAT Guides
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11 Oct 2009, 22:53
Tejal wrote:
After practicing OG-12, I feel I should understand formulas of arithmetic and geometry in detail. I am fairly good with work problems but require thorough understanding and practice on arithmetic and geometry problems.I am not looking for a very basic math book but slightly above average.

Could you please suggest a book which has above average math formulas and strategies, I am ok if the book doesnt have practice questions.

I am confused among the below listed:

1. Kaplan Math Foundations
2. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
3. MGMAT Guides

Very simple:

1. Kaplan Math Foundations - most basic book with some basic examples - good to build confidence but does not really challenge you (good if math is weak or you forgot many things and want to be diligent in review)
2. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook - good middle of the road book (good time/return ration)
3. MGMAT Guides - extensive review (most results but also most time)

A good combination is Kaplan Math Workbook and MGMAT Number Properties - I will put that up in the first post.
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21 Oct 2009, 14:55
Just curious, but how helpful is Probability and Combinations for Dummies? I know these topics can appear on the test, but would most of the topics in this book be relevant to the GMAT?

It seems that Manhattan Word Translations should be enough for the statistics, probability, and combinations stuff.
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30 Oct 2009, 20:45
How abt NOVA GMAT Math Prep Course ... how is this book for maths?....
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31 Oct 2009, 17:09
Do the current Manhattan books (4th ed) still refer to the 11th ed of OG as the OP states? I have the 12th ed OG (and quant OG) and am looking for the best guide to help me increase my quant score. Don't have a problem spending a hundred or so on the Manhattan books if they are the best ones to get, but if they refer to the 11th ed of OG, that seems like a negative, no?
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31 Oct 2009, 18:37
jeckll wrote:
Do the current Manhattan books (4th ed) still refer to the 11th ed of OG as the OP states? I have the 12th ed OG (and quant OG) and am looking for the best guide to help me increase my quant score. Don't have a problem spending a hundred or so on the Manhattan books if they are the best ones to get, but if they refer to the 11th ed of OG, that seems like a negative, no?

My fourth edition states on the front cover that the book is "updated for the 12th edition of the Official Guide!" You can click on the book's image on Amazon for a close-up view:

http://www.amazon.com/Number-Properties ... 0982423845

I am currently using the Manhattan math series, and I like these books. Each chapter has about 15 practice questions (sometimes more, sometimes less). These end-of chapter questions, which are not OG problems, test and reinforce what has just been covered.

I say go for it!
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01 Nov 2009, 07:01
During a conversation with a friend, it hit me that I really haven't been exposed to GMAT math content since high school. I was an urban studies major and was able to satisfy a math requirement with a game theory course..lol. A while back, another friend (SAT tutor) recommended Peterson's GMAT/GRE Math Review. I also took note of GMATClub's review of Kaplan's Math Workbook. Initially, I looked at both but opted to really digg into the Peterson's book. I haven't really touched the Kaplan book maybe because of it's organization? Peterson's seemed to break down the content really well and in my case, served as a good primer to some Manhattan GMAT materials I'll be using the rest of the way.
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01 Nov 2009, 14:51
gottabwise wrote:
During a conversation with a friend, it hit me that I really haven't been exposed to GMAT math content since high school. I was an urban studies major and was able to satisfy a math requirement with a game theory course..lol. A while back, another friend (SAT tutor) recommended Peterson's GMAT/GRE Math Review. I also took note of GMATClub's review of Kaplan's Math Workbook. Initially, I looked at both but opted to really digg into the Peterson's book. I haven't really touched the Kaplan book maybe because of it's organization? Peterson's seemed to break down the content really well and in my case, served as a good primer to some Manhattan GMAT materials I'll be using the rest of the way.

Thanks for the feedback (I will try to review the book) - would be interested to hear your feedback about Peterson's after you are done with MGMAT guides.
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink]

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01 Nov 2009, 18:46
bb wrote:
gottabwise wrote:
During a conversation with a friend, it hit me that I really haven't been exposed to GMAT math content since high school. I was an urban studies major and was able to satisfy a math requirement with a game theory course..lol. A while back, another friend (SAT tutor) recommended Peterson's GMAT/GRE Math Review. I also took note of GMATClub's review of Kaplan's Math Workbook. Initially, I looked at both but opted to really digg into the Peterson's book. I haven't really touched the Kaplan book maybe because of it's organization? Peterson's seemed to break down the content really well and in my case, served as a good primer to some Manhattan GMAT materials I'll be using the rest of the way.

Thanks for the feedback (I will try to review the book) - would be interested to hear your feedback about Peterson's after you are done with MGMAT guides.

Hi bb, I'm wondering, if I need some basic math review, am I OK with just the MGMAT quant set, OG12, and the OG quant? Or should I buy something like the Kaplan workbook or the Kaplan "basics" (can't remember the exact name now)?

Thanks!
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02 Nov 2009, 03:14
jeckll wrote:
bb wrote:
gottabwise wrote:
During a conversation with a friend, it hit me that I really haven't been exposed to GMAT math content since high school. I was an urban studies major and was able to satisfy a math requirement with a game theory course..lol. A while back, another friend (SAT tutor) recommended Peterson's GMAT/GRE Math Review. I also took note of GMATClub's review of Kaplan's Math Workbook. Initially, I looked at both but opted to really digg into the Peterson's book. I haven't really touched the Kaplan book maybe because of it's organization? Peterson's seemed to break down the content really well and in my case, served as a good primer to some Manhattan GMAT materials I'll be using the rest of the way.

Thanks for the feedback (I will try to review the book) - would be interested to hear your feedback about Peterson's after you are done with MGMAT guides.

Hi bb, I'm wondering, if I need some basic math review, am I OK with just the MGMAT quant set, OG12, and the OG quant? Or should I buy something like the Kaplan workbook or the Kaplan "basics" (can't remember the exact name now)?

Thanks!

Yes, you should be more than fine.
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02 Nov 2009, 16:53
I have just went through the Kaplan Math Foundations and the MGMAT NP book. The Kaplan book is very basic, I am very rusty in math but I found that it was difficult for me to relate the material in this book to actual GMAT questions. The MGMAT NP book on the otherhand is very relevant and is specifically targeted to the GMAT questions, I really saw a connection between the material and the actual questions in the og. I am excited to start the rest of the series. I'll keep you posted.
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03 Nov 2009, 00:15
I have just went through the Kaplan Math Foundations and the MGMAT NP book. The Kaplan book is very basic, I am very rusty in math but I found that it was difficult for me to relate the material in this book to actual GMAT questions. The MGMAT NP book on the otherhand is very relevant and is specifically targeted to the GMAT questions, I really saw a connection between the material and the actual questions in the og. I am excited to start the rest of the series. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!
Yes, probably the fact that quite a few questions in the Kaplan Math Foundations are not GMAT-format questions does not help either. So, not recommended?
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03 Nov 2009, 04:47
Thanks!
Yes, probably the fact that quite a few questions in the Kaplan Math Foundations are not GMAT-format questions does not help either. So, not recommended?

No I would not recommend the Kaplan Book, right now I am trying to make my way through all of the Manhattan GMAT Quant Books. I actually was going to buy the Kaplan Verbal Foundations but after going through the Quant I think I am just going to stick with the Manhattan GMAT set.
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03 Nov 2009, 07:13
Thanks!
Yes, probably the fact that quite a few questions in the Kaplan Math Foundations are not GMAT-format questions does not help either. So, not recommended?

No I would not recommend the Kaplan Book, right now I am trying to make my way through all of the Manhattan GMAT Quant Books. I actually was going to buy the Kaplan Verbal Foundations but after going through the Quant I think I am just going to stick with the Manhattan GMAT set.

The only reason you may need the Verbal Foundations book is if your grammar is very weak. If you are not international, don't get it. If you are, do the MGMAT SC first, and then see your results - you may need to.
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11 Nov 2009, 00:03
Guys, I am not sure if this had been addressed before but how useful is MGMAT Word Translation? From most of the posts so far, it seems that a lot people skipped it.
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11 Nov 2009, 10:10
lonewolf wrote:
Guys, I am not sure if this had been addressed before but how useful is MGMAT Word Translation? From most of the posts so far, it seems that a lot people skipped it.

I am actually planning to add it to the list. The word-translations book has Combinations and Probability coverage.

See this list of the most popular GMAT Books: top-20-best-gmat-books-on-gmat-club-76582-20.html

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14 Nov 2009, 03:41
I am a bit suprised to find that no one has mentioned this book:
EZ Solutions - Test Prep Series - Math Practice - Advanced Workbook - GMAT (Ez Solutions: Test Prep Series)(http://www.amazon.com/EZ-Solutions-Prac ... 362&sr=8-1)

Has anyone else used this?

Like the title implies, this is definitely not the book you want to get if have just started studying for GMATs. But if you have studied Quant quite a bit and you are looking for extra practice, this is definitely the book to get.

One caveat: The problems in this book do not resemble the GMAT questions at all. Instead what you will find is A LOT of different problems, each aimed at giving you practice or testing a very specific topic. If you can complete the problems in this book, that means you have already mastered the key topics you will need to do well in the GMAT.

I this this difference is very important. With a lot of these GMAT books, we often get caught up trying to solve problems that we forget that the most important thing to do is to make sure that we understand the concepts being tested in GMAT.

The book covers a broad range of topics including, Number Properties, Word Problems, Geometry, and Prob&Statistics.

After completing the problems in this book, I am sure you will see an improvement in your overall quant scores (I'm talking to 600-690 group here).
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations) [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2009, 19:32
bb wrote:
lonewolf wrote:
Guys, I am not sure if this had been addressed before but how useful is MGMAT Word Translation? From most of the posts so far, it seems that a lot people skipped it.

I am actually planning to add it to the list. The word-translations book has Combinations and Probability coverage.

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Thanks bb. I am wondering how good is the book on Combination and Probability? I figure out that is my weak point after a few practices and would like to get a more specific book on that.

P.S. I also take a look at P&C thread on this forum. It is been helping a lot so far.
Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2009, 19:32

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