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Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not?

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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2008, 04:47
As a Kaplan Teacher (in training) I can say that their classroom material is very good quality stuff. The CATs are difficult, but like everyone here says, the harder questions (like GMATClub Challenges) make you better. Kaplan is an advocate for plugging in numbers, but not in every case. As you said, there are some questions that it just doesn't work. There are others, that for the vast majority of testers, plugging numbers is going to be the fastest way to tackle a tough problem. There are people that can do any problem without plugging numbers, but plugging numbers in where it can be helpful, does work for everyone.

ozzie123 wrote:
Not to sound cocky or anything, but Kaplan should change the name of the book to Kaplan 700 or the likes since the question is definitely not that hard. I found that the GMATClub test questions a lot harder. And the explanation for the answer is abysmal at best particularly because they are a big supporter of "plugging in numbers". I'm not against this strategy, but some questions really can't be easily solved by plugging numbers because on a 800 questions you will likely find 2-3 answers that fits your pickup number if you don't pick broad enough. In fact, all 800 (or at least 99 percentile) test takers I know (which is not much by the way) rarely use plugging number method.

I'd say, if you have a strong basic, you better go with Kaplan's CAT test as it offers a better tough question that is challenging compared to their book. I've heard first hand from former Kaplan student that their classroom material is far faaaaar better than their books (obviously, their tutor is their money making machine, not their books)

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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2008, 05:42
jallenmorris wrote:
As a Kaplan Teacher (in training) I can say that their classroom material is very good quality stuff. The CATs are difficult, but like everyone here says, the harder questions (like GMATClub Challenges) make you better. Kaplan is an advocate for plugging in numbers, but not in every case. As you said, there are some questions that it just doesn't work. There are others, that for the vast majority of testers, plugging numbers is going to be the fastest way to tackle a tough problem. There are people that can do any problem without plugging numbers, but plugging numbers in where it can be helpful, does work for everyone.

ozzie123 wrote:
Not to sound cocky or anything, but Kaplan should change the name of the book to Kaplan 700 or the likes since the question is definitely not that hard. I found that the GMATClub test questions a lot harder. And the explanation for the answer is abysmal at best particularly because they are a big supporter of "plugging in numbers". I'm not against this strategy, but some questions really can't be easily solved by plugging numbers because on a 800 questions you will likely find 2-3 answers that fits your pickup number if you don't pick broad enough. In fact, all 800 (or at least 99 percentile) test takers I know (which is not much by the way) rarely use plugging number method.

I'd say, if you have a strong basic, you better go with Kaplan's CAT test as it offers a better tough question that is challenging compared to their book. I've heard first hand from former Kaplan student that their classroom material is far faaaaar better than their books (obviously, their tutor is their money making machine, not their books)


jallenmoris - yes indeed. If you have the time and money, it's better to attend Kaplan class instead of learning from their book. I know a friend that was enrolled into their classroom program and my previous tutor is Kaplan's ex-trainer/tutor. Derived from their experience, I'm pretty sure that Kaplan only keeps the best method for their class, not their books :-P
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2008, 05:54
ozzie,

That may be true. I'm not sure that it would make much sense for Kaplan to do that though, even though it may seem true. If the first impression of Kaplan is the book, and the book isn't very good, there would be very little reason for a person to think the classroom would be worth $1,000+ if the student doesn't think the book was worth the price. I don't think it's natural to think "Well, I didn't like the book very much, but I'm sure the classroom would be worth all the extra money." First impressions are first impressions.

I think one of the main benefits of the classroom is the structure. The information may be better, but certainly, when you get a group of people together to discuss the information and problems, and have someone in the discussion that has scored in the 90th percentile (and higher than that many times) it makes it much easier to understand things. I believe this is why GMATClub is so popular. When preparing for the test, we can come here, read questions, answer questions, and discuss our approaches with people that have scored 750+, many people that have scored in the 99th percentile. Other than a structured setting like a classroom, I think GMATClub is one of the best resources out there. Certainly THE BEST free resource.

One of the things about Kaplan that I respect so much is that they prep in so many different areas taht it is easy to fail because of trying to be everything to everyone means you don't really do anything for anyone. But Kaplan has worked very, very hard to makes sure the stuff they put out, and the classes they offer are excellent. If you could see behind the scenes and see the extent to which the company goes to strive for excellence, I think most people would be impressed as well. Now, I wish they paid like Manhattan GMAT! But then again, to require 99% and already have an MBA from a top school like Manhattan GMAT requires is totally different than almost any prep course offered regardless of test.

ozzie123 wrote:
jallenmorris wrote:
As a Kaplan Teacher (in training) I can say that their classroom material is very good quality stuff. The CATs are difficult, but like everyone here says, the harder questions (like GMATClub Challenges) make you better. Kaplan is an advocate for plugging in numbers, but not in every case. As you said, there are some questions that it just doesn't work. There are others, that for the vast majority of testers, plugging numbers is going to be the fastest way to tackle a tough problem. There are people that can do any problem without plugging numbers, but plugging numbers in where it can be helpful, does work for everyone.

ozzie123 wrote:
Not to sound cocky or anything, but Kaplan should change the name of the book to Kaplan 700 or the likes since the question is definitely not that hard. I found that the GMATClub test questions a lot harder. And the explanation for the answer is abysmal at best particularly because they are a big supporter of "plugging in numbers". I'm not against this strategy, but some questions really can't be easily solved by plugging numbers because on a 800 questions you will likely find 2-3 answers that fits your pickup number if you don't pick broad enough. In fact, all 800 (or at least 99 percentile) test takers I know (which is not much by the way) rarely use plugging number method.

I'd say, if you have a strong basic, you better go with Kaplan's CAT test as it offers a better tough question that is challenging compared to their book. I've heard first hand from former Kaplan student that their classroom material is far faaaaar better than their books (obviously, their tutor is their money making machine, not their books)


jallenmoris - yes indeed. If you have the time and money, it's better to attend Kaplan class instead of learning from their book. I know a friend that was enrolled into their classroom program and my previous tutor is Kaplan's ex-trainer/tutor. Derived from their experience, I'm pretty sure that Kaplan only keeps the best method for their class, not their books :-P

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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2008, 05:59
jallenmorris - thanks for the info! Maybe it's true that because they tried to caters to too many different area (even some professional/charter test preparation if I'm not mistaken). I'd like to ask about how much they paid by the hour but I knew you wouldn't answer it :lol:

On another note, is there a correction/errata sheet for Kaplan Premier 2009 edition? I contacted them early October but haven't heard back.
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2008, 09:14
Kaplan GMAT 800 is one of the two books that really helped me (the other being the Official Guide). However, I think most of the "strategies" in the book are somewhat off the mark, or they are things that you probably already know if you are seriously taking a shot at a stratospheric GMAT (i.e. the aforementioned "plug in numbers" strategy).

The way the booked helped me is that it taught me to recognize tricky questions, and really focus on what the question was asking. The good thing about the questions in the book is that there is almost always some kind of higher-level thinking involved in answering them, and so it taught my brain to be ready for that stuff on the real GMAT. But I can see the downside too, in that the questions are not like the real GMAT. You definitely need another book.
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2008, 11:20
What is the OG? Is it the book you get once you register for the test?
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2008, 11:42
Depends on what you're registering for. If you register for a Kaplan class, then yes, you get a copy of the OG11 with your registration.

Lightcap wrote:
What is the OG? Is it the book you get once you register for the test?

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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2009, 18:06
I just finished K800..I thought it was easy. This week I took 2 PR CATS 560 and 590. I would say the questions are more a 650 level. IMO I would not rely on it to condition you for 700+ score.
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2009, 04:12
spgny, have you taken the GMAT yet?

spgny wrote:
I just finished K800..I thought it was easy. This week I took 2 PR CATS 560 and 590. I would say the questions are more a 650 level. IMO I would not rely on it to condition you for 700+ score.

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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2009, 09:26
I just finished up about 4 months of foundation studying. I think I did every book in the Amazon top 20 bestsellers (Kaplan, PR, MGMAT, Barron,s, Dummies ARCO Math, OGs),!!. I did probably 1000+ questions. So I figured confident in the material/tricks and figured it was time to start simulated tests. I am aiming for an mid-April test date.

However, I took my first 3 CATS this week. They were PR...got 550 , 560, 590. So I am questioning the reality of my current level.

Since I felt K800 was not that challenging of questions, I figured if I could do those I was at least at a 650 level (target 680). So I am sort of confused.
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2009, 09:29
I bought and completed Kaplan 800 relatively recently. Here are my thoughts...

PROS
--A lot of questions that are relatively realistic for the GMAT
--You don't need to go through the easy questions

CONS
--The book should be called Kaplan 650. The math problems were not that difficult. I could most of them in about 30 seconds and they did not have the tough combinatorics and series questions.
--The explanations were not that thorough.

My verdict: I am glad I bought it, but it is not quite 800 level questions.
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Feedback on Kalpan 800 [Merged] [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2009, 20:55
Hello All,

I would like to hear your feedback before jump onto quant section of Kapan 800. Currently my quant score varies in between 47 and 48 so I am looking forward to improve my quant score to 5* range. From several blogs and posts I realized that careless mistakes are the culprit and, though, we can not nullify the careless errors our aim should be minimization of such errors as far as possible on test day.

In the same context, I do agree that out of 7 mistakes in quant my 3-4 mistakes are careless errors but still in rest of the problems either I have no clue or I cannot find the best way to proceed. For example, I do not follow back calulation therefore sometime it takes lot of time to solve the word problems in conventional way.

Now I am considering quick review of Kaplan 800 book in order to know any good method/concepts to tackle the questions wisely. I would appreciate if anyone suggests me whether quick review of Kaplan 800 would be worth of time. Secondly, should I go through all the topics or through only those topics that I have low success rate?

What's your overall feedback on Quant part of Kaplan 800?

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Re: Feedback on Kalpan 800 Quant Part [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2009, 01:05
Expert's post
I think mostly the feedback is that Kaplan 800 is not that hard really, Kaplan 700 would be a better name, but YMMV.
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Re: Feedback on Kalpan 800 Quant Part [#permalink] New post 02 Apr 2009, 04:31
Kaplan 650..IMO...not very hard.
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 03 Apr 2009, 09:03
I think the new 2009-2010 book KAPLAN ADVANCED GMAT is good.
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2009, 09:34
mousymouse wrote:
I think the new 2009-2010 book KAPLAN ADVANCED GMAT is good.



I thought this was just the new title for GMAT 800?
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 06 Apr 2009, 13:12
spgny wrote:
mousymouse wrote:
I think the new 2009-2010 book KAPLAN ADVANCED GMAT is good.



I thought this was just the new title for GMAT 800?



yes it is. they have touched it up a little and organised it better etc etc. it helps to practice some of the tougher qs.
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2009, 23:21
I have the KAPLAN GMAT 800 2005-2006 EDITION. Should I buy the KAPLAN ADVANCED 2009-2010 edition?

Is there any difference between the 2?

Thanks,
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2009, 00:04
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neeravks wrote:
I have the KAPLAN GMAT 800 2005-2006 EDITION. Should I buy the KAPLAN ADVANCED 2009-2010 edition?

Is there any difference between the 2?

Thanks,
Neerav


Nope - no difference. (well, the cover is different, and a few typos have been moved around, but I am just being legalistic)
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Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not? [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2009, 01:07
I think Kaplan 800 is mostly good.
But it is not for people who want a perfect score (definitely).

My critic to Kaplan (and many GMAT prep books, including the OG's) is that they repeat many questions every version.
They do the LEAST.

I saw the Kaplan 800 2008 edition and compared to the 2010 and they are almost the same book!

It is a shame...
Re: Kaplan GMAT 800 - Good or not?   [#permalink] 29 Oct 2009, 01:07
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