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Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
09 Jul 2010, 06:55

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Basic Description: The entire collection totals 1800 math problems and is divided into 18 sets of 100 questions each. The five major topics covered in these question banks include: Algebra, Arithmetic, Geometry, Number Properties, and Word Problems. Each major topic has a “Fundamental” and “Challenge” set. Additional sets that have a more narrow focus are also available. The whole package costs about $250. Each set is sent as a PDF file. For a more thorough description, refer to the following webpage:

Pros: 1.Quality – These questions are very similar to the GMAT and the explanations are absolutely stellar. Practicing with 1800 questions and fully reading their explanations will definitely reinforce concepts previously learned and improve your math skills. 2.Organization - Sackmann divides his sets into a number of math topics, so you can pick specific sections to focus on (statistics, word problems, geometry, etc.). He also organizes the sets and even the questions according to difficulty. This helps you to record your progress more accurately. And no more guessing the difficulty level of a particular question! 3.Online Practice - Reviewing the sets as a PDF provides an opportunity to grow accustomed to working out math problems that appear on a computer screen.

Cons: 1. Price - At $250, the entire set is very expensive! 2. Time Limitations - It takes a bit of time to complete the sets along with other question sources (OG, GMATClub, etc.). For those who have a strict timetable, this could pose a problem.

Overall Assessment: The organization, quality, and quantity of these questions are fantastic. I simply cannot recommend these problems highly enough. My first practice test was a quant score of 18. And this was after I had read a GMAT book! Even after finishing the Manhattan math guides, I still struggled with the OG questions to the point of actually crying and hitting myself on the head with a notebook (the metal rings part). I simply couldn’t execute what I had learned and had no idea how to adjust. Sackmann’s math sets literally saved me and allowed me to advance to the GMATClub Tests – the most powerful quant questions on earth – and perform well on the real test. Without these two resources, I couldn’t have achieved my goals.

As to who could benefit from these questions, it all depends on the person’s situation. If you’re a math whiz and find the OG easy, it’s probably best to go for the GMATClub Tests and Jeff Sackmann’s Extreme Challenge. But if you have already covered the concepts and still struggle with the OG, or have a “learning-by-doing” mentality, then the complete set is something you should definitely consider as a compliment - but not a substitute - to your studies.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
09 Jul 2010, 10:19

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RGM wrote:

Thanks for the review! I'd probably not buy the entire set - but I'd definitely buy some combos.

That's a good idea. It's certainly not necessary to purchase all 18 sets, but I don't regret doing so. As I recall, his Extreme Challenge and Geometry Challenge were very difficult and worth reviewing. His Probability and Sets was good too.

The best thing is to use the sets that will help you to improve any weak spots you might have. But for those aiming for a very high quant score, Sackmann's Extreme Challenge and GMATClub Tests are important.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
14 Jul 2010, 03:28

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bmillan01 wrote:

RGM wrote:

Thanks for the review! I'd probably not buy the entire set - but I'd definitely buy some combos.

That's a good idea. It's certainly not necessary to purchase all 18 sets, but I don't regret doing so. As I recall, his Extreme Challenge and Geometry Challenge were very difficult and worth reviewing. His Probability and Sets was good too.

The best thing is to use the sets that will help you to improve any weak spots you might have. But for those aiming for a very high quant score, Sackmann's Extreme Challenge and GMATClub Tests are important.

I bought the Extreme Challenge set and I liked it, but I think that Sackmann put a disproportionately high emphasis on probability & combinatories. In the real test you see just a few questions of this type.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
14 Jul 2010, 09:49

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I bought the Challenge 8-set and was quite pleased with the overall quality, similarity to real GMAT questions and detailed explanations.

I would say his Quant question sets are the most underrated study tool out there. I would even go as far as to put it on the record that his question sets are as close as you can get to a "best kept secret" in terms of study materials.

His "Total GMAT Math" guide is good for high-level review but nowhere near as detailed as the MGMAT guides. Unless your an quant-jock engineer, get MGMAT - you'll need it!

Overall, I endorse his products and would say its a worthwhile investment. Right up there with GMATclub tests.

His customer service is quite good as well. I ordered on a Friday afternoon and had the sets in my email box only a few hours later. _________________

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
14 Jul 2010, 13:02

Expert's post

MBAUncle wrote:

I bought the Extreme Challenge set and I liked it, but I think that Sackmann put a disproportionately high emphasis on probability & combinatories. In the real test you see just a few questions of this type.

Most people share this opinion. But from what I understand, those topics usually appear more frequently once you enter the 700-plus range. I'm not sure whether that's true or not, though. I had three questions on probability and combinatorics on the GMAT.

MBAUncle wrote:

I would say his Quant question sets are the most underrated study tool out there. I would even go as far as to put it on the record that his question sets are as close as you can get to a "best kept secret" in terms of study materials.

His "Total GMAT Math" guide is good for high-level review but nowhere near as detailed as the MGMAT guides. Unless your an quant-jock engineer, get MGMAT - you'll need it!

I'm in complete agreement with you, TheSituation. Sackmann's questions, along with GMATClub Tests, are amazing, but MGMAT offers the best math guides. I didn't particularly care for the end-of-chapter questions in the MGMAT books, though.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that a good way to study would be to use Sackmann's problem sets alongside the MGMAT math series. Do you think that would work?

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
17 Jul 2010, 12:04

Since I already own several GMAT study guides and the OG12, is it be a good idea to only order the problems sets, or should I also look into buying his books as well.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
17 Jul 2010, 12:17

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Hi, Strauss.

Since you already own multiple math guides, along with the OG books, I wouldn't recommend Sackmann's e-books. The problem sets are great. You don't need to buy his guidebooks.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
18 Jul 2010, 16:52

TheSituation wrote:

I'm becoming more and more convinced that a good way to study would be to use Sackmann's problem sets alongside the MGMAT math series. Do you think that would work?

Fantastic idea. If I could go back and change my study approach I would have read the MGMAT math guides (including end of chapter questions, which I actaully liked) and then hammer thru Sackmanns material for extra practice to cement concepts. With Sackmanns materials segregated by topic, it lends itself well for this type of strategy.

Once your ready then take on Gclub tests for an extra challenge as well as pacing/timing practice.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
02 Oct 2010, 08:30

thanks for these posts - thinking of buying some of these sets myself to really cement what i learned in mgmat - unfortunately there just aren't enough practice questions at the back of each mgmat chapter!

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
02 Oct 2010, 18:28

n2739178 wrote:

thanks for these posts - thinking of buying some of these sets myself to really cement what i learned in mgmat - unfortunately there just aren't enough practice questions at the back of each mgmat chapter!

First and foremost, you should do all the questions from OG (12, Q) before attemping GMATCLUB tests or Sackman's.

Second, there is no sense in start doing these advanced sets before you reach a minimum score of Q48 on the CATs.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
03 Oct 2010, 03:13

okgreat thanks MBAUncle ... I did a GMATClub test yesterday after having only completed around 15% of the OG questions - and was getting stressed ! I will do all the OG questions first then.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
03 Oct 2010, 05:27

i guess doing all the OG questions first sets you up to be able to do the GMATCLUB tests... i will do the OG error log as i work through them all to ID weaknesses and then brush up on weaknesses ...

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
25 Aug 2011, 20:25

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I have the entire Sackmann Math set collection. I am going through the fundamentals section as I write this, particulary the exponents, roots - DS section. Should I be going through some pain while trying to solve these? I am trying to learn from my mistakes and jotting done some small tidbits notes from the explanations for certain things I do not know.

I use Manahattan Gmat materials, and have gone through all the basic sections of the Numbers Properties, FDP, and Equations guides, including the end-of-chapter problems. I want to do Sackmens fundamentals and then hit OG part 1 questions, then move to the Advanced section and finish OG part 2. After that, I will try the challenge sets and extreme challenge sets. (That's gonna be a war!) I find I am not that off from alot of answers I get wrong, all it takes is one tiny error, I just need to sharpen up.

When starting the OG problems I found that some of the problems I was missing went over to a different categories that I did not study yet. So that is why I just read the bulk of those three guides I mentioned.

I had attempted the Total Gmat Math once, it was tough. You cannot answer all the questions 100% just from reading the chapter. I too feel it's not that great. Only, maybe, if one has already done Manhattan then you can use it. I also have Barron's Math workbook, but I think I have my work cut out for me with Sackmann and OG12 plus 2nd ed. Review.

Does everything I mentioned sound like a sufficient strategy? I just want to hit a 40+ in quant...41-42.

Lastly, how many problems per day would you say would be okay? I did about 90 the first day and my head felt extremely heavy afterwards. I could do 90 per day, but I like to read my PowerScore CR book in the morning time, and save the math for the evening. But the most I can do is like 20 then. The DS ones are harder than the PS. I was thinking it would be better to do both some verbal studying and math studying in one day as the GMAT will be like this obviously. I have some time off work too so that is why I will be able to do these long sessions. Sorry for such a long post. Thanks!

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
25 Aug 2011, 21:25

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Professor5180 wrote:

I had attempted the Total Gmat Math once, it was tough. You cannot answer all the questions 100% just from reading the chapter. I too feel it's not that great. Only, maybe, if one has already done Manhattan then you can use it. I also have Barron's Math workbook, but I think I have my work cut out for me with Sackmann and OG12 plus 2nd ed.

Thanks for the info! I encountered all these books in my study. Manhattan is superior to Total GMAT Math. Skip the Barron's guidebook.

The Fundamental sets shouldn't give you too much trouble, but it seems that the main error source here is simple math error. I struggled with this issue too. Just train yourself to fully focus on each question and write down each step (don't skip!). The more you write down, the less room there is for error.

And finish all the Manhattan books completely. I didn't gain a firm grasp of the concepts until after reading those twice, the second time alongside Sackmann's problems.

You have the right material, but just make sure you get the most out of it. That means rereading the Manhattan math books, practicing with all of those math questions, and learning from your mistakes through constant review.

Re: Review of Jeff Sackmann's Math Sets [#permalink]
14 Sep 2011, 13:16

I received a 48Q on my first GMAT attempt and want to try to solidify my math skills and improve a bit if possible when I take the test again. I do have the MGMAT book set along with Advanced Quant Supplment and Total GMAT Math by Jeff. What books would you recommend to read?

It sounds like doing the extreme challenge set and GMAT Club tests would be great for practice questions... am I right?

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