If you are just starting out with GMAT prep - get this bundle; it's a good deal for the Manhattan GMAT Guides (separately they cost close to $150). These books don't emphasize tricks or easy ways to 700+ score, instead they methodically cover areas tested, and should be pretty much all you will need (besides the Official Guides - see below for links). If this is above your budget, then would recommend you pick the best of the pack:
- Number Properties Guide (condensed overview of Arithmetic and strategies for saving time/solving questions more effectively)
- Word Translations Guide (includes some of the hardest topics - probability, combinations, and statistics)
- Sentence Correction (best book out there and closely followed by PowerScore SC)
- Critical Reasoning (only second to PowerScore CR but by a slim margin)
- Reading Comprehension (there are no other dedicated RC books on market really)
Between these 5 books you should have 80-90% of the GMAT covered and the rest could be picked up from the remaining books and practice with the Official Guides. You can throw in a Kaplan Premier as well - a good intro to GMAT book with 6 free GMAT Tets. It is a good starter book to get your feet wet, but definitely not a must.
To make the most use out of the MGMAT guides, you will need the Official Guide 12th and also OG Verbal 2ed and OG Quant 2nd are recommended. The guides refer to these 3 books for additional practice questions. If you own previous versions of the Official Guide books, you can use those too with a translation table available from MGMAT's website.
*** Each book comes with access to 6 online gmat tests and additional question banks. Don't spend money on these as they are pricey ($45 for 6 tests on the MGMAT website).
Also, if you are new to the GMAT, download 2 official practice tests from [...]and take one of them before you start prepping to get your level - very helpful to track your progress along the way but don't waste these tests - they use real retired gmat questions and though it is possible to recycle them (there are close to 900 questions in the banks), would recommend you use something less valuable for your practice such as MGMAT tests included with these books).
One more thing, don't rush into questions and tests - you will only hurt your self confidence, instead methodically cover each math and verbal topic and only after you are done with each of the sections move on to take the tests (take math only after you are done with math and verbal only after done with verbal). Final word of advice - the main mistake (esp in verbal) is not following strategies. Whichever books or strategies you use (they are all pretty similar between MGMAT, PowerScore, and Kaplan) - follow them EXACTLY. These people are getting big bucks to develop methods to improve score and maximize performance - don't try to be smarter and change things around. Unless you are scoring 750+, I would follow each step of the strategy to the "T". If the book says to read the CR question twice, then that's what you do even though it may seem that it is faster to read it once - trust me, there is a reason why you read it twice. If you want to get 700+ and not worry about the GMAT, stick to the strategies and keep creativity low.
Hopefully this will get you started. For more details on each of the guides, see my reviews of each of the individual books
BB - Founder of GMAT Club.
P.S. Let me know if you have any questions about GMAT Books - I reply to comments and appreciate any feedback (especially negative and suggestions for improvement).
Good luck on your GMAT.