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Best GMAT Books/Study Guides for a Newbie

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New post 18 Nov 2008, 20:22
Hello everyone -

I'm just getting into the GMAT prep process and was looking for some advice on which books and materials to purchase. I am looking for something with a great test CD, lots of questions (with reviews and tactics as well), and some general insight into the whole testing process, as I am fairly new to the GMATs/MBA application process.

Any advice? I've heard OG, Manhattan, etc. are good ones to begin with. Thoughts? Thanks everyone!
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New post 25 Nov 2008, 10:27

SC - Powerscore SC guide was useless. It was confusing. Then I tried MGMAT SC guide. This was GOD SENT!!!! Explanation and examples were very clear. Concentrate on few core topics such as subject-verb agreement, parallelism, etc etc and practice OG problems non stop.
(Except for CAT exams I took, I never timed myself. I wanted to actually spend time and learn from my mistakes - as well as my correct choices)
Master SC strategies in MGMAT SC guide and YOU CAN at least guarantee 30 to 35 range in verbal in my opinion.

CR - Powerscore CR Bible wasn't that good in my opinion. In fact, it separated the topic into so many categories, I couldn't differentiate on type from another after completing all 250 plus pages. I actually used T DIAGRAM strategy learned in MGMAT class and pretty much used it for all types of CR questions. I think this increased my accruacy on this section to about 93 to 97 percent success range.

T DIAGRAM (for CR) pretty much is like this: Like accounting T DIAGRAM, identify conclusion and write on top of T. Then inside (and under the conclusion) the T - write down all premises. In parentheses, write down assumptions or skeptical counter arguments you can think of. Then read the ACTUAL question (that comes after stated premises and conclusion in the question). Practice using T DIAGRAM for all self study practices (but never on actual CAT or GMAT exams - time consuming). This will help you get used to CR questions and how to attack this kind of problem. trust me, you will see CR questions differently and actually want to see more CR problems in GMAT because they look sooooo easy!!!!

RC - used GRE prep books. Those are harder than actual GMAT RC questions.


DS - Used MGMAT strategy on DS type. Group answer choices to either AD-BCE or BD-ACE type and eliminate. For more info, get the MGMAT book or search this forum. I think i saw an explanation posted by someone else. This increased my DS accuracy to at least 90 percent success rate and saved sooooo much time.

PS - This was the most difficult part. I actually read and went through all MGMAT math books and reviewed/relearned fundamentals. Memorize lots of number property rules (also can be found in Beat the GMAT Flashcards) and etc etc. Then do all OG Math review problems. Then do all Math problems in OG 11. This is the only way to increase your math score.

Before my 2nd exam date, I did OG problems non stop for about 3 weeks. I think i went through every problem at least once. then I did all 6 MGMAT CAT exams plus few Kaplan CAT exams. EVEN IF YOU DID ALL OG PROBLEMS, YOU MUST DO AT LEAST 3 CAT EXAMS AFTERWARDS!!! This is where you can assess your readiness!!! if you don't like your CAT score, delay your GMAT date.

I consistently scored from 680 to 730 on MGMAT CATs and 600 to 620 on Kaplan CATs.

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New post 28 Feb 2009, 20:33
I really liked the Manhattan GMAT study guides and I found them very helpful. I thought they were quite straight forward and simple.
I also really liked Kaplan 800 although the questions were not 800 level but about 650. Nonetheless, there were some interesting question types in there and I am glad I used the book.
Re: Best GMAT Books/Study Guides for a Newbie   [#permalink] 28 Feb 2009, 20:33
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