If you are new to the GMAT, Kaplan Premier is a great book to start with - it provides a good intro to the test (explains the mechanics, basic priciples, gets you familar with the test structure, etc), has solid strategies that you can use regardless of your level, and finally, comes with 5 Adaptive tests. Think of it a starter camera/computer/car/etc - you don't want to start with anything expensive before you know what you are looking for. On the flip side, this book will last you for 2-4 weeks and most likely will only boost your score by 50-100 points. If you want a greater increase (and have 3 months to study, look below and may want to skip this book).
~~~ THE GOOD: ~~~ * Significant Revision - first major revision since 2008! I can see a big influence from the Manhattan GMAT approach and book structure. It seems this book (now at 1,100 pages) included many of the cliff notes from the MGMAT series. All sections have been revised and significantly beefed up - the book has added 450 pages since last edition! * Quite a few new questions - very good! * Some questions are now identified * Solid material with great Math and Verbal strategies as well as formulas/etc background * 49 pages covering Integrated Reasoning * 6 Full GMAT Tests (5 are in adaptive CAT format on the online and 1 is in a paper format in the book) * Online practice with additional exercises and quizzes - 18 online drills (increased by 3 since the 2011 edition) * Much of general info on gmat has been moved into online video format, called Fast Fact Videos; that helps with learning when you have had too much reading for the day * Great value for the money with 6 Full GMAT tests, practice questions, and many online Quizzes * Good amount of coverage for the INTEGRATED REASONING.
~~~ THE BAD: ~~~ * Errors - I have spotted a few typos and issues with explanations; I suspect there may be quite a few more * Access to the online components expires after 6 months. This is the only reason to buy a new book vs used * NO CD/DVD - online content only * Does not have the depth and width a 700+ score requires * 1,100 Pages and 6 LBS! - not a travel size book
~~~ OTHER STUDY OPTIONS & BOOKS ~~~ Many applciants, bypass Kaplan Premier completely and head straight for the more specialized books such as the Manhattan GMAT Set of 8 Strategy Guides, Fourth Edition OR Complete GMAT Course Set - 15 Book. These book sets come with 8-15 books that are targetting specific Math and Verbal areas. You have a much better chance getting a 700+ with those book sets (not guaranteed) but they also do require at least 2.5-3 months to cover them. The MGMAT Books come with 6 adaptive online tests. Veritas Prep books come with tests as well BUT only if you purchase from their website (Ugh) Finally, a book you should also now about is the The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition (more on that is below)
~~~ SOME OTHER THOUGHTS: ~~~ * What is a good study plan using Kaplan Premier? My recommendation would be to start with this book, finish it in about a month or so (by this time you will learn all the basics about the test, how it works, what is tested, and general strategies for answering questions). Then, you an figure out what's the best use of your time - you may have reached your target score and can stop or perhaps you are really lacking in Quant or Verbal and need a lot more serious practice.
* Will this book give me 700+ score? For the majority of applicants, No. It is not deep enough for most people out of college to refresh the math and verbal fundamentals. You will most likely need other books to help you get there.
* How do I get 700 then? There are several options: 1. Review each section separately using the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook and Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook 2. Thorough/Methodical review of each area - If you have a bit more time, grab the Manhattan GMAT Set of 8 Strategy Guides, Fifth Edition OR Complete GMAT Course Set by Veritas - 15 Book. These books are excellent and are actually used in the classroom setting for their classes, so you are definitely get the top books. If you dont need/want the entire collection, see my review for what stand-alone books to get. This plan is likely to get you a higher score with this section but it will also take up more time (about a month more). Decide on the approach based on your starting position, target score, time you have, and willingness to study math and grammar for months without a break.
* Any other books I need to know about? YES. There is one - The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition. This book is published by the creators of GMAT and contains real GMAT questions. You should also download the Official GMAT Prep software from GMAC's website (it's free).
* What if I have trouble getting through this book? Where can I find help? There are several books that can help you get up to speed with quant and grammar: 1. For Quantitative section: Manhattan GMAT Foundations of GMAT Math 2. For Verbal Section: Foundations of GMAT Verbal by Manhattan GMAT
Let me know if you have any questions about the book - I reply to comments! Good Luck, BB, GMAT 750 (q49, v42)
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Well worth the investmentSept. 21 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
For access to the 5 CATs and the paper-based test it is worth the investment. Being able to track your progress by routinely taking practice exams is critical to your success on the GMAT. Kaplan also provides a number of tips and tricks that won't be provided by the Official Guides written by the GMAC. Kaplan Premier, The Official Guide 13th Edition, OG Verbal Review, OG Quant Review, Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction Guide, and Manhattan GMAT Number Properties guide is the list of must haves when studying for the GMAT. Outside of those books you will NOT need anything else so there is no reason to waste your money. Trust me I have dedicated tons of time researching this test and the best way to prepare for it. I am shooting for a 730+ and am certain I will be there soon so I am not just some underachiever post about something he hasn't put much effort into. I hope this can help someone else that's the only reason I took the time out. Best of luck to you!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Good book to cover the basicsJuly 30 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I bought this book primarily to get a good review for the quant. section. I had previously used the 2011 version of this book (before the GMAT format change), so expected much of the same material between the versions. While many of the practice questions are the same/similar, I have found that the presentation of the review material seems to be much better in this version of the book than in the previous version.
The only thing I've been very disappointed about with this book is the iPad version (access is included with the book). The iPad version includes the full text of the book and is marketed as an alternative to carrying the heavy book with you. However, the formatting on the iPad could use some work - many questions require you to scroll over on the page to read the entire question, which is especially distracting on reading comprehension problems, and there is not an option to select a bubble for an answer choice or even to jump right to the correct answer, so it makes answering practice questions difficult. For this reason, I haven't found the app to be a good replacement for carrying the book.
While this book alone won't get you to an 800 score, it's a good start to get a basic review of the GMAT topics before diving into more complicated practice problems.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good for strategyAug. 27 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
I'm a former GRE teacher and tutor for Kaplan so I was familiar with the basic strategies and bought the basic version of this book (comes with one online CAT practice test) and hoped for a refresher on the strategies from the GRE class I taught several years ago and a good math review. The GMAT is different than the GRE - but the quant strategies are the same between the tests.
Here's the thing - the math strategies work and are helpful for eliminating answers and saving time during the test. I do recommend the Kaplan strategies. The book provides a basic overview of the strategies, when to use each, etc. The book provides next to nothing as far as organized math review, leaving it all to the explanations of the practice problems.
I took the GMAT last weekend and scored well, but not as high as I want so I will be retaking the test next month. I purchased this book because it comes with 5 CAT tests. That is where the value comes in. The more you can practice taking the test while simulating the actual format and test-taking environment the better equipped you will be to score well. The PowerPrep that you can download from the GMAT website is great (and FREE) but only comes with 2 tests with no explanations for questions provided.
I plan to use this book for the additional online tests. It's no joke that practice makes perfect!
ADDENDUM - I noticed from the comment left from another customer that this review might not be clear - the math review in this book is very in depth. It is the basic version that does not include math review.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Practice Tests Repeat QuestionsOct. 19 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
The 5 CAT's all recycle the same questions and ask them in a slightly different order. What a tremendous ripoff!