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Review Foundations of GMAT Verbal by MGMAT

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Review Foundations of GMAT Verbal by MGMAT [#permalink]

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Foundations of GMAT Verbal by MGMAT
Latest book from Manhattan GMAT, and just released on Amazon.

Do you know what GMAT tests?

Before we jump into the book, do you actually know what GMAT tests? It tests high school math, basic level of grammar, basic logic, and basic reading skills. What makes GMAT tough is the time limit. If you think GMAT tests some advanced topics, then this book is for you because the key to getting a high score, is having solid background and solid basics. You want to do as much as you can to build that foundation because without a sound foundation, the rest of the house falls apart and your fancy roof or granite counters will not help you when walls start settling.

This is the right book if:

  • You are looking for a review to polish some of your skills (this is a good book to thumb through)
  • You are an international applicant. Enough said probably but there is value from grammar as well Idioms/RC vocabulary (25% of the book is devoted to this)
  • You are short on time (you can use this book instead buying the 3 verbal Guides). You can cover this one in 1 week as opposed to 3 weeks for the CR, RC, and SC Guides (overlap is minimal but you get the most important skills here)
  • You keep failing to get a high verbal score and can’t quite pinpoint the reason (most likely you have skipped right to the more advanced topics & strategies, so this will be a good way to refresh/review)

This is the wrong book if:

  • Your English is poor (you must learn English first). This is not an ESL guide or a shortcut
  • You are looking for an in-depth Grammar guide (this touches on MAIN subjects but it is rather short for a grammar book – 90 pages of content and about 50 if you take out the examples and drills)
  • You are looking for advanced strategies or hard questions (there are some but very few). I would rather recommend to you GMAT 800
  • You are looking for more practice questions(very few GMAT-like questions) but there are drills and exercises.
  • You are looking for shortcuts or something quick. This book has a lot of material to learn and memorize (esp in the SC section)
  • If you have Verbal at 35+. Unless you are struggling with many gaps, you will probably know most of the topics and subjects. I felt it was a nice refresher but I could not tell how much it actually would help


  • Nice Pop Quiz questions to spot-test your comfort level (there are 19 of them)
  • Advanced Tips are highlighted in a box
  • There is coverage of Gerund!
  • The answers to Drill questions (these are not exercises or GMAT style questions) are posted on the same or next page which helps to keep the momentum when you are working through the chapter and also “makes” you read through some of the explanations to the questions you answered correctly and this is recommended for topics you have little comfort with
  • Self-evaluation box at the end of each section that asks about your comfort level. I love this dumb and simple thing – I see so many people moving on past sections they have no clue about (but they have read them and therefore “covered”). You do not want to move past a section until you are very comfortable with it. If you find the provided material insufficient to give you an in-depth review, google or find a more detailed grammar book. I found this to be unique to this book.
  • Idioms and Vocabulary coverage international students will benefit from (though GMAC claims there is no added value in studying GRE-level words, so do not get too carried away). There are 70 pages (25% of the book is devoted to Idioms)
  • Very interesting section in the Appendix: Helpful Hints for Indian speakers of English. It is only 5 pages but covers things such as Progressive, Subjunctive, Adverbs, and usage issue related to GMAT Math (actual math language)


  • The biggest weakness is the lack of practice questions. Many people need a series of examples and exercises to apply the material to and as with most MGMAT books, there are very few GMAT-like questions. Since the 8-book series, which rely on the Official Guide for practice questions, cover the entire Official Guide, there is nothing left for this supplement.
  • Makes the main guides a bit redundant – there is some overlap in material (more or less naturally)…
  • Answers to pop quizzes are on page 120 whereas drills are covered right there (?)
  • Handwritten notes, though they do give an idea how an actual person takes notes and keeps records, etc, they take a bit getting used to (see image I uploaded). Not sure if this is a real Con… the value here is to learn how to take notes and do your work on a scratch pad. Perhaps this is because I disagree about the need to diagram the arguments in the CR but this may be your golden strategy. If you are having a tough time with CR’s definitely try it
  • If your English is weak, this book is probably not going to really help you. It does not have a list of irregular verbs, or coverage of articles, or other marginal review

I would recommend that in addition to the Official Guide 12, you get the Princeton Review 1,012 questions book – the questions are not perfect but it does a great job at categorizing questions properly and providing very specific target practice.

Here is a full list of topics covered (beyond just the Table of Contents)

Chapter 2
- Nouns
- Ways to spot nouns
- Categories of nouns
- Singular and plural
- Pronouns
- Categories of pronouns
- Antecedents
- Pronoun “one”
- Making flashcards
- Adjectives
- Categories of adjectives
- Pronoun Errors related to adjectives
- Absolute Adjectives
Chapter 3
- Verbs
- Categories of verbs
- Gerunds
- Infitirves
- Subject-verb agreement
- Has/Have verbs
- Had verbs
- Adverbs
- Adverbs modifying adjectives and other adverbs
- Adverbs errors on the GMAT
- Adverbial phrases
Chapter 4
- Prepositions
- Prepositional phrases
- Prepositions separating subjects and verbs
- Ending a sentence with a preposition
- Conjunction
- Coordinating conjunctions
- Correlative conjunctions
- Subordinating conjunctions
Chapter 5
- How sentences are constructed
- Subjects and predicates
- Sentence fragments
- Punctuation
- The colon
- The semicolon
- Dashes
Chapter 6
- Modifiers
- Introductory modifiers
- That, who, when, and where
- Parallelism and comparisons
- Phrases beginning with that and when
Chapter 7
- Idioms
- Common idioms
- The subjunctive
Chapter 8
- Valid arguments vs sound arguments
- The structure of arguments
- Getting rid of extras
Chapter 9
- How GMAT critical reasoning is Unlike
- Real world decision-making
- Identifying patterns in arguments
- Logical flaws on the GMAT
- Gaps in critical reasoning
- Gaps related to conclusions
Chapter 10
- Argument diagramming
- Decoding the question stem
Chapter 11
- Putting it all together
- Looking at the first 5 questions in the Official Guide (Interesting)
Chapter 12
- Why GMAT RC is hard
- Kill the “gist”
- The phrases of reading comprehension
- Practicing the four phases of reading comprehension
Chapter 13
- What is the main idea?
- Organizing difficult information
Chapter 14
- Inference Questions
- Improving your reading in general
- How to study from the official guide
Chapter 15
- Why learn vocabulary for the GMAT
- How to learn vocabulary for the GMAT
- Vocabulary list
- RC idioms
- Helpful hints for Indian speakers of English (nice)

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Re: Review Foundations of GMAT Verbal by MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2011, 08:35
:P I m actually intrigued by
- Helpful hints for Indian speakers of English (nice)"

What exactly is this.

Fight for your dreams :For all those who fear from Verbal- lets give it a fight

Money Saved is the Money Earned :)

Jo Bole So Nihaal , Sat Shri Akaal

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Kudos [?]: 1907 [0], given: 235

Re: Review Foundations of GMAT Verbal by MGMAT   [#permalink] 15 Jun 2011, 08:35
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