Here is my short little GMAT story. I started studying at the beginning of June and just took my GMAT today. The books I used were the OG set, Kaplan Premier
and Kaplan Advanced
books, MGMAT Guides
set, and Peterson's. I also did 7 GMATCLUB tests
During the last week, I found that it was hard to gauge the difficulty of the tests from anywhere on the internet. I found that the actual test looks and feels exactly like GMATprep (down to the light-blue/white color scheme and font) but is much harder in both Verbal and Math. The math section is not as hard as Manhattan GMAT
tests, harder than GMATprep, but grades a bit easier than the GMATPrep. So if you're doing well on GMAT prep you can expect around the same exact score, even if you get harder questions on the actual test that you usually got on GMAT prep.
In terms of books, I found that Manhattan GMAT
was more helpful than anything else - review your number properties! For math you should feel totally comfortable with all the rules regarding odds and evens and positive negatives, etc. If you have to try numbers to remember if oddxodd=odd or don't see that ab<0 means that a and b are opposite signs w/out even thinking, then you're in trouble for getting a very high math score.
The verbal section is, interestingly, harder than both GMATprep and Manhattan GMAT
. I never met questions as hard the ones in my exam during preparation. Manhattan GMAT sentence correction
helps in some sense for the "rules," but some sentences had a confusing "meaning/logic" in the first place that I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to say. I would say for verbal, take notes on the Manhattan GMAT books
, and get a set of books that no one talks about - Peterson's. Peterson's
is published I think by McGraw Hill - I've seen them at Barnes and Nobles everywhere. Even though no one talks about them on this forum, I found that they are good for verbal. This is because they were written by someone who usually writes LSAT prep books. So the math on them is not helpful almost at all, but the verbal (esp. critical reading) and AWA were extremely useful. One of the books is just the typical GMAT general book and the other is called something like "GMAT official guide
to essays" or "answers to official essays." This guy has taken almost half of all the AWA topics published on the GMAT website and written a 6-level example essay for it. This REALLY helps. I mean you can't plagarize, but reading lots of them just makes you feel like it's so easy to write AWA and you know exactly what they're looking for.
Peterson's also gives you 9 practice test (3 cats) which were fairly accurate. Very hard verbal though - about in the same league as actually super-top level GMAT verbal questions.
Best of luck!