The Official Guide for GMAT Review 12th Edition is shipping on March 23rd, 2009 (originally reported as March 30th) and available for pre-order from Amazon. In case you don't know about this book - it is a must-have for any MBA applicant who is seriously considering getting a high GMAT score. Over 1 million copies of the book have been sold.
GMAT Official Guide 2009
Though there are many other more advanced GMAT Books available on the market by Kaplan, Princeton Review, and others, the Official Guide has a unique value proposition - the questions in this book are Real GMAT Questions from past tests and therefore are the closest to the real questions you will encounter on the test date. Of course not all types are covered, questions are not very recent, and there are no explanations, but who cares as long as you get a glimpse behind the curtain.
The current, 11th edition of the Official Guide for GMAT, came out back in 2005, so a new edition has been long overdue. Important to note, the 2009 Official GMAT Guide has 840 pages compared to 832 in the 2005 Official GMAT Guide. I hope it means more or new questions because what everyone wants to know is - will the GMAT Official Guide for 2009 contain any new questions? It's been a big let down when the owners of the 10th edition, discovered that the 11th edition, did not really have anything new. Are we up for another disappointment?
Would I buy it if I were taking GMAT in April? Probably not as I already would have had the 11th edition. I would probably go to a bookstore and compare it, but I strongly doubt it has new questions - I'd love to be proved wrong though.
Would I wait till April to take my GMAT? Definitely not. Most of the schools have final round of admissions closing in February and March, so this book is intended for test takers for the next application year. Of course certain schools keep their deadlines rolling or open longer, but I doubt the new edition is worth changing your plans.
However, if I were buying an Official Guide for GMAT review AFTER March 30th, I would definitely go with this version and here is why:
The publisher promises a new section that covers scoring insights (REALLY?) that refute GMAT Myths and GMAT Test taking techniques. I doubt this will be anything groundbreaking as GMAT Scoring Algorithm is one of the closest guarded secrets but I will buy the guide just to see this section.
By the way, love the cover - it is bold red with orange letters, compared to the orange cover with white letters on the 11th edition cover, and weaker green cover white letters on the 10th edition cover. GMAC is definitely taking bolder steps and that's a welcome sign - I just hope they will put some of those new tricky questions they have been throwing at us lately instead of recycling old questions, but that's what happens when you have a monopoly - what can you do?
On the positive side, the MSRP remained the same - $36.95.