Hampster wrote:
Hi everyone,
From browsing the math threads, I've repeatedly read the advice to review the basics/fundamentals of math before even touching GMAT math questions. Because of the way the GMAT is structured, if you can't tackle the easy questions, you won't even see the more difficult ones-hence the need to review the basics.
My question then is for those of us who've forgotten high school math and even the most basic math, should we use GMAT math books to refresh or would books like The Idiot's Guide to Algebra or Algebra for Dummies be more appropriate?
It seems to make more sense to use the GMAT books because these books are geared for what will actually be covered on the GMAT and the development of shortcut techniques. However, would books like The Idiot's Guide to Algebra be easier to start with? I guess another way of phrasing this question is: for someone who's weak in math, and I mean really weak, as in need to review how to add fractions weak, which books would you guys recommend? The problem with alot of refresher books out there is that they don't do a good job of explaining the concepts to the math-challenged student, and I'm worried that the GMAT books are like that.
I'm about to start The Idiot's Guide to Geometry, and I'd like to know if I'm wasting my time. Am I better off just getting a GMAT math book? If so, what' a good one that really does a good job of explaining the concepts/techniques so that even someone who's terrible at math can understand it.
In the spirit of the above question, I thought we could list the most helpful math refresher books on here for reviewing the BASICS i.e. fractions, exponents, negative numbers, basic algebra, basic geometry, etc.
Great thread -let's get it going!
Getting an Algebra for dummies book may have been a recommendation a few years ago, when availability of GMAT books was not great, but today there are GMAT books specifically designed for applicants who have forgotten a lot of the high school math (that's what's tested). There are books on fractions, decimals, equations - pretty much all the way down to the 5th grade, which is great, because it does not leave any gray areas or weak spots - everything gets covered.
Now, why I would not recommend an Algebra for Dummies book? The only reason is Time. Although Algebra is Algebra, GMAT tests only certain concepts. GMAT Math is much more limited than what's covered in the books you are considering. Since our minds are faulty and hold only so much information, you will be storing quite a bit of information not useful for GMAT and based on your feedback/profile, filling your head with graphs is not your goal. Thus having a specialized GMAT book will save you time by omitting the concepts that are not tested and focusing your time/memory/attention on what's important.
In terms of books, here is what I could recommend:
If you are bad with math, try
Kaplan Math Workbook - covers almost everything excluding probability and statistics but those are high difficulty Math questions, which you may not need to worry at the moment.
If you are horrible, consider spending more time and $$$ on math and get the
Manhattan GMAT series:
Manhattan GMAT Number Properties Guide
Manhattan GMAT Word Translations Guide
Manhattan GMAT Geometry Guide
Manhattan GMAT Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Guide
Manhattan GMAT Equations Inequalities and Vics Guide
Hey bb first of all thanks for this amazing website, I can't tell you how much helpful it is for we GMAT aspirants.
Ok my question is that I am equally weak in maths as the one who started this post and I have completely lost touch of it after school. In short I need to start right from the basics and I mean the very basics. Now I am confused because here you recommend the Kaplan GMAT workbook or the
5 quant guides. However somewhere you have also suggested to go for 'Foundations of GMAT Math: GMAT Strategy Supplement'. So which one should I opt for for clearing my foundations? ANd after clearing my basics which other books would you recommend?
Secondly, I have read many people suggesting only the number properties and word translations books out of the 5 quant guides of
unlike the 3 verbal guides where mostly all of them are suggested. Excuse me if I sound naive but how should one cover the rest of the topics in quant then?
"The fool didn't know it was impossible, so he did it."