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Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)

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New post Updated on: 26 Apr 2018, 13:08
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Top Best GMAT Quantitative Books

This post is a part of a series on best GMAT Books. Also see:
Best GMAT Guidebooks
Best GMAT Verbal Prep Books
GMAT Fiction - improve reading skills on GMAT
Top 20 Best GMAT books - ranked by GMAT Club members




2017-2018 version of this discussion is here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ma ... 35162.html


Common Book Combinations and Recommendatios
1. Need to figure out your weaknesses in GMAT math? Take a GMATPrep test or GMAT Club's free gmat diagnostic test
2. Rusty with Math or want to be very methodical - start with basics: Manhattan GMAT Foundations of GMAT Math
3. OK with Math but need a good review in a short amount of time: Kaplan Math Workbook + MGMAT Number Properties + MGMAT Word Translations
4. Need highest score and have time: MGMAT Guides + GMAT Club tests
5. Need specific question practice: PR 1012 (has some errors/typos), Quant OG, or use gmat club tags
6. Probability and Combinations review: http://gmatclub.com/forum/combinations- ... 56486.html and MGMAT Word Translations


Book Bundles and Study Plans at a Glance
Standard PlanAdvanced PlanUltimate PlanBeyond Hardcore Plan
General Strategy Books
Explain how GMAT works, provide general principles and strategies, give an idea about weaknesses, provide practice tests
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan GMAT Advanced
- Poor guidebook, more of a question collection
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan GMAT Advanced
- Poor guidebook, more of a question collection
GMAT Test Simulation Booklet
+ Great for practice
Kaplan Live Online
+ comes with 6 practice tests
Kaplan GMAT Advanced
- Poor guidebook, more of a question collection
GMAT Test Simulation Booklet
+ Great for practice
Quant Books
Refresh math principles, fill gaps, and learn patterns
Kaplan Math Workbook
- missing probability and combinations
Kaplan Math Workbook
- missing probability and combinations
MGMAT Number Properties
5 Quant MGMAT Guides
MGMAT Math Foundations
5 Quant MGMAT Guides
MGMAT Math Foundations
Probability and Combinations for Dummies
Verbal Books
Refresh grammar rules, aquire CR and RC strategies
Kaplan Verbal Workbook
OR: PowerScore Verbal Bible
CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CR
RC: MGMAT RC
SC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SC
CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CR
RC: MGMAT RC
SC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SC
SC: Kaplan Verbal Foundations
CR: PowerScore CR or MGMAT CR
CR: LSAT Critical Reasoning
RC: MGMAT RC
RC: LSAT Reading Comprehension
SC: PowerScore SC or MGMAT SC
SC: Doing Grammar
Practice Questions
Additional practice
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Verbal Official Guide
+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questions
Quant Official Guide
+ 300 retired quant GMAT questions
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Verbal Official Guide
+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questions
Quant Official Guide
+ 300 retired quant GMAT questions
Princeton Review 1012
+ Great target practice
Official Guide 12th
+ 900 retired real GMAT questions
Verbal Official Guide
+ 300 retired verbal GMAT questions
Quant Official Guide
+ 300 retired quant GMAT questions
Princeton Review 1012
+ Great target practice
Paper GMAT Tests
+ Official Retired tests available from GMAC
Tests
Simulated Practice GMAT tests
GMATPrep, Kaplan, Free testsGMATprep, Kaplan, MGMAT, some GMATClub testsGMATprep, PowerPrep, GMAT Focus, Kaplan, MGMAT, GMATClub testsGMATprep, PowerPrep, GMAT Focus, Kaplan, MGMAT, PR, GMATClub tests


1. GMAT Math Books


1. Manhattan GMAT (MGMAT) Guides
Recommended for best results if you have the time.
Strengths:
1. Good balance between test taking strategies and background theory explanations
2. Single-topic focus of each guide allows the student to purchase only those guides that pertain to his/her weaknesses
3. Covered concepts are illustrated with examples that are conveniently assigned to either PS or DS section.
4. Access to 6 Online CAT's (same for each book)
5. Additional online practice question banks (different for each book)
Weaknesses:
1. Time and Money
2. Books themselves do not contain many practice questions (though online and OG 12 references more than compensate)
Notes: most often recommended guide is the Manhattan GMAT Number properties and MGMAT Word Translations






2. Veritas Prep Guides
Rival of the MGMAT bundle though a bit higher priced.
Strengths:
1. 12 total guides + an intro book for quant + test simulation booklet
2. Practice questions. Every one of the guides is packed with practice questions
3. Fresh questions; you probably have not seen them on forums/etc since these books have just been published

Weaknesses:
1. Price: $250
2. Spacing is a bit strange sometimes with only one question per page









3. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
A solid supplement to the Official Guide
Strengths:
1. Fairly comprehensive review of the basic math concepts needed for the GMAT
2. Structure of the book allows you to work from start to finish, building on previous skills learned
3. Sections devoted to Word problem and Data Sufficiency questions
Weaknesses:
1. Statistics, Combinations/Permutations and Probability are not covered
2. Questions do not reflect GMAT questions, but rather are designed to insure that the material is mastered
Notes: Recommended/most interesting problem compilation from Kaplan Math Workbook
Faster than going through the math MGMAT Guides, but also not as thorough







4. Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review
Great for additional math practice questions, but don't expect to find any strategies or math lessons here.
Strengths:
1. 300 real GMAT questions
2. Real GMAT questions retired from past tests
3. The practice questions are organized by level of difficulty
4. The practice questions follow actual GMAT test patterns - great to have one's ear trained.
Weaknesses:
1. The book does not contain any strategies
2. It does have a few short review sections but they are very weak
3. Mostly low and medium difficulty questions. Not very helpful to a person aiming to get above 700.
Bottom Line: this book is optional; usually OG 12 is sufficient by itself.










Notable Specialized Books - Arithmetic, Probability, Combinations, DS, etc


Combinations & Probability


Veritas Prep Combinations & Probability - added 08/24/10
Spoiler: :: Table of Contents
Attachment:
veritas_probability-TOC.gif
veritas_probability-TOC.gif [ 42 KiB | Viewed 749072 times ]

Dedicated Combinations and Probability Guide considered by many to be the best
Strengths:
1. Good strategies
2. Plenty of practice questions
3. Well organized and laid out

Weaknesses:
1. Possibly crosses into non-gmat section but a very minor concern





.

5. Manhattan GMAT Word Translations Guide - added 11/11/09
1936240122
Spoiler: :: Table of Contents
Attachment:
wordtranslations.png
wordtranslations.png [ 24.83 KiB | Viewed 747997 times ]

Contains material on Combinations and Probability
Strengths:
1. Coverage of combinations and probability
2. Coverage of Statistics and Overlapping sets problems
3. Comes with 6 MGMAT tests
Weaknesses:
1. As with all MGMAT Guides, lacks practice questions and relies on the Official Guide for additional practice. If you have covered the OG, you may have to look elsewhere for practice, such as GMAT Club's free collection of probability questions: http://gmatclub.com/forum/combinations- ... 56486.html







6. Manhattan GMAT Foundations of GMAT Math - Added 2/5/2010
Spoiler: :: Table of Contents
Attachment:
mgmat_foundations_TOC.gif
mgmat_foundations_TOC.gif [ 24.12 KiB | Viewed 747557 times ]

Great for refreshing math concepts and building confidence in math
Strengths:
1. Works well with other MGMAT books (structured in a similar way)
2. Best book for brushing up on long forgotten math concepts (fractions, powers, etc)
3. Comes with additional online practice questions
Weaknesses:
1. The book has 400 practice questions but they are not in a GMAT format, rather a math-textbook format
2. Long! 300 full-size pages - I think the expectation is that you skip parts that you know
3. No access to MGMAT tests that usually are included with all of the other 8 guides
Notes: recommended instead of the Kaplan Math Foundations. See a very detailed review of the Foundations of GMAT Math by a member








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Originally posted by bb on 23 Apr 2009, 10:29.
Last edited by Bunuel on 26 Apr 2018, 13:08, edited 55 times in total.
UPDATED.
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New post 04 Feb 2010, 08:28
I am picking up a few misunderstandings from your note, let me address them:

1. Official Guide is not a textbook but a collection of questions. If you think you can improve your score considerably by simply going through 900 questions, think again.

2. There is no magic guides. Search for feedback on the EZ books - they are too easy, even the title says it.

See this post for details: gmat-study-plan-for-gmat-novices-start-your-gmat-journey-80727.html
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New post 04 Feb 2010, 08:51
Hi All

Im planning to give my GMAT by the end of November this year. Before I drop in my question, I would give you a brief background of myself... I have done my grad 4 years back and not in touch with math since the past 7 years or so, really forgotten all the basic and concepts. I wont mind shedding few more funds on buys books.

After going through various post and threads I have developed 2 plans for my study material, I would really appreciate if you could provide your advice on the same:


Plan A:

Math- I will start with Kaplan Math Foundation, moving forward to Kaplan math workbook and then the MANHATTAN GMAT book

Verbal- Will Start with Kaplan Verbal Foundation, moving on to Kaplan verbal workbook and then the MANHATTAN GMAT books.

Will use All OG's for practice and Kaplan GMAT Live Online 2010 for general strategies (won’t use this for practice as I have a major phobia for this book)

Plan B:

Math- I will start with Kaplan Math Foundation, moving forward the MANHATTAN GMAT books ( Will Skip the Kaplan Workbook)

Verbal- Will Start with Kaplan Verbal Foundation, moving to the MANHATTAN GMAT books ( Will Skip the Kaplan Workbook)

Will use All OG's for practice and Kaplan GMAT Live Online 2010 for general strategies (wont use this for practice as I have a major phobia for this book)


The only difference between Plan A and Plan B is that I won’t use the Workbooks in plan B

Please advice me keeping in consideration that im really poor in math and have some good amount of time to spend for my preparation.

Many thanks
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New post 04 Feb 2010, 08:57
Plan B.

You only need the "foundations" books if you are very rusty with math/verbal.
For your plan, since you will be using MGMAT Guides, would suggest you get the MGMAT Foundations of GMAT math (fits in better and has fewer typos)

For verbal, Kaplan Verbal Foundations is grammar only - helpful if you are international but may be boring if you are very familiar with grammar/english.
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New post 27 Apr 2010, 11:50
DAYNE wrote:
what books do you guys suggest for dating sufficiency


GMAT Data Sufficiency Prep Course - This is the only pure DS book out there. I have gone through it and am not convinced.

To BB or anyone else:

Can you please comment on the Quant Workbooks from Veritas? I have read some debriefs where people mention that the questions were the closest the the real GMAT, yet I do not see them ranked in the best Quant prep material. Any reason for this?
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New post 27 Apr 2010, 19:26
1
youven wrote:
DAYNE wrote:
what books do you guys suggest for dating sufficiency


GMAT Data Sufficiency Prep Course - This is the only pure DS book out there. I have gone through it and am not convinced.

To BB or anyone else:

Can you please comment on the Quant Workbooks from Veritas? I have read some debriefs where people mention that the questions were the closest the the real GMAT, yet I do not see them ranked in the best Quant prep material. Any reason for this?



You are talking the $450 set of books here: http://www.veritasprep.com/course-materials/#fullset ?
Edit: These books are currently available for $299 or $199 at Amazon

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New post 02 Jun 2010, 23:58
I bought the 2.4 Kaplan Math Foundations
I confirm all of the points listed in the description but I would also add a personal observation, I feel this book isn't meant to break the 80th-85th percentile of the quant section.

For example:
- I clearly remember I had a question with cones involved but the geometry section doesn't even mention it! (no big deal but anyway)
- I would have expected a formula of the distance of a point from a line...again missing.
- Another question I had was about a triangle whose sides were not parallel to any axes of the coordinate plane. The question was asking the area... No hint in the book about the strategy to follow (how to calculate the area of a trinagle knowing the measure of its sides).

I scored Q47 and I feel my score could improve to Q48 after reading this book (no need to say that this increase it's not statistically significant) and therefore I do not recommend this book to those who are seeking a high score in the Quant section...a total waste of money.

Hope I read this post before :lol: !

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New post 02 Jul 2010, 10:38
Also, what do you guys think about GMATHacks? The opinion seems to be split and reviews far in between. What are your takes on it? Reviews?
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New post 02 Jul 2010, 10:46
RGM wrote:
Also, what do you guys think about GMATHacks? The opinion seems to be split and reviews far in between. What are your takes on it? Reviews?


I think it can boiled down to (please jump in anyone) is that:
1. Expensive
2. The extreme challenge is good
3. The 1,800 question collection is an overkill; the OG 12 and OG Quant should be sufficient;
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New post 14 Jul 2010, 10:43
1
Do you think combining KapMath workbook with MGMAT's Number Properties and Word Translations books would work for building good understanding needed for the quant section? (that is, before beginning to work on OG).

Thank you for your time and detailed responses - its GREATLY appreciated!
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New post 20 Jul 2010, 06:47
MariaS wrote:
Do you think combining KapMath workbook with MGMAT's Number Properties and Word Translations books would work for building good understanding needed for the quant section? (that is, before beginning to work on OG).

Thank you for your time and detailed responses - its GREATLY appreciated!



Yes. There are 3 options basically (from least to most effort and supposedly score):

1. Kaplan Math Workbook
2. Kaplan Math Workbook + MGMAT Number Properties and MGMAT Word Translations
3. 5 MGMAT Guides

P.S. If you have a hard time with quant you find in these books, you can also consider getting MGMAT Math Foundations.
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New post 04 Aug 2010, 16:21
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My two cents, the Manhattan books were TREMENDOUSLY helpful. I agree with everyone else, that Word Translations and Number Properties were the most useful ones (also the thickest ones), but I got all five and the other 3 are not a waste of time to go through. Equations, geometry, and Fractions, in that order. The books are expensive, but used books are cheaper and help the environment!

Also, I didn't see it here, but the Kaplan 800 book was great too. They have some good tips and general strategies, though the organization of the book wasn't that great.
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New post 20 Aug 2010, 07:49
My first post:
I´m studing for the Gmat and i started some days ago with the Quant part of the test, I want to have some hope bc i´m not a english nativ speaker and in the Verbal part I really suck, i´ve failed almost the 50% of the questions.
but i did all the OG 12th edition problems of the Quant part. I want to do harder problems.
Any one can recommend me any guide book with difficult problems? Are the questions in OG Quant book in the same level of difficulty?

Thank you
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New post 28 Aug 2010, 17:22
1
kokey13 wrote:
I want to do harder problems.
Any one can recommend me any guide book with difficult problems? Are the questions in OG Quant book in the same level of difficulty?

The Kaplan Advanced book contains questions mostly in the 650 to 700 range. This is purely a collection of questions. Veritas Prep's Combinations & Probability guidebook also discusses advanced math topics. It has a decent amount of practice questions.

Other question sources include the GMATClub Tests and Jeff Sackmann's Extreme Challenge set. Both of these collections are very challenging.

The only other hard questions that I know of are the MGMAT Challenge Archive and Ariel Goldberg's GMAT Quant Problems. I personally didn't like the MGMAT Challenge questions. I have never used Goldberg's stuff, but at least one member found his product useful.

You can also visit the math forum.
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New post 18 Aug 2011, 18:10
3
Guys...I wanted to share my experience and take on the GMAT Advanced Quant Book.

advanced-gmat-quant-from-manhattan-gmat-114166-20.html

In the thread I posted above -- I could not stop raving about the advanced quant book. I still think it's an excellent book -- but I am not too sure it's really relevant to your GMAT preparation. It's a wonderful book filled with excellent problems -- but the tone of the problems are not what you find on the real gmat.

Different perspective post exam: I took the real GMAT a couple of days ago -- scored Q50. My overall score was 760 (Q 50, V 44). I was always pretty strong in the verbal section (LSAT prep years ago and I write reports and grant proposals). But quant really scared me -- I invested a lot of time in the advanced quant book mainly because my first manhattan CAT quant did not go all that well.

Now what I realized is this (post real gmat and gmat prep practice) -- the manhattan quant questions are a lot of fun if you like solving difficult math problems. But they are not representative of the real deal. The real gmat questions are very elegant -- in that -- they are not HARD -- they are just *brilliantly* tricky. Manhattan problems take a long time to solve -- they require a lot of work. But the real gmat questions have this tone about them -- its so unique. Most of the problems on the real gmat can be cracked with a proper technique and an analytical approach -- you don't need to use fancy formulas or solve complex expressions and equations.
I am very pleased with my Q50 -- but I don't think the manhattan advanced quant guide helped me all that much. The real GMAT questions are very subtle -- they are not over powering. The best guide you can use is the GMATPrep software. Keep resetting this software and do every problem (there are plenty of problems in both the bins) on there. I could hardly complete the Manhattan quant sections -- but I completed my real gmat quant exam with 8 minutes to spare.
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New post 21 Dec 2011, 20:37
Thanks for this post! It has been really helpful in my decision to choose my prep books. Currently finishing up MGMAT but not sure if I should purchase the advanced math book by MGMAT.
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New post 21 Dec 2011, 21:39
gladiator2k wrote:
Thanks for this post! It has been really helpful in my decision to choose my prep books. Currently finishing up MGMAT but not sure if I should purchase the advanced math book by MGMAT.


I am not sure either - it is intimidating in a good and a bad way.
I would recommend MGMAT Roadmap instead ( it is an easy and fast read that I think will bring more value on an hourly basis). The MGMAT Advanced Quant will only kick in at the 40+ level or higher and as number of books say, you may only see 2-3 truly hard questions on your Quan section (which means you are studying a long time to solve those 2-3 questions). I personally had only 1 hard probability question on my GMAT. The rest were tricky but straightforward.
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New post 12 Apr 2012, 12:15
Okay so I'm at a wee bit of a loss. I have now looked at quite a few quant prep books, and own a lot of them, to ensure a top quant score. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a cohesive and uniform consensus between what I am reading here on GMAT Club and what I see when reading GMAT Club's Amazon reviews. For instance, Total GMAT Math by Jeff Stackman and Nova's GMAT Math Prep Course are rated very highly on Amazon by GMAT Club, but Nova appears nowhere on this site and Total only appears under the Self Prep - Verbal GMAT Prep tab. (weird) GMAT Club states on Amazon that Total is "The most complete GMAT Math Guide hands down", and that Nova is really geared for those who are looking for a 700+ score, stating that it is "a nice alternative to Kaplan and MGMAT" and "the best use for this book if you are aiming for a high quant score and willing to sweat for it". So what's the deal? I am aiming for a high score and willing to sweat for it and am prepping from the cobbled ashes of my jurassic math past. I have bought all of MGMAT's quant books (including Foundations and Advanced GMAT Math), have Kaplan's Math Workbook, Probability for Dummies and now I see that Total is "the most complete" and that Nova is only for those "willing to sweat for it" as if it were the Everest of GMAT Math books.

What is an ambitious GMAT rookie to do? :?
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New post 12 Apr 2012, 13:30
Thank you for doing such diligent research.
I have to say those reviews were written independently of each other (and some books were reviewed earlier than others so the comparison was not done per se on each book).

I would start with the MGMAT Guides - they provide a great balance of material, questions, and ease of understanding.

i would also recommend the MGMAT Math Foundations. Does this help?
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New post 05 Jun 2012, 22:06
bb wrote:
Thank you for doing such diligent research.
I have to say those reviews were written independently of each other (and some books were reviewed earlier than others so the comparison was not done per se on each book).

I would start with the MGMAT Guides - they provide a great balance of material, questions, and ease of understanding.

i would also recommend the MGMAT Math Foundations. Does this help?


bb, he made a really good point. In my initial research, I too stumbled upon other books, particularly Sackmann's Total Math as highly regarded yet very seldom mentioned on here. Did you get in a fight with that guy or something? Why is it no good?
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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2012, 22:28
Here is that Review:

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Re: Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)   [#permalink] 05 Jun 2012, 22:28

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Best GMAT Math Prep Books (Reviews & Recommendations)

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