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Official Guide for GMAT Review, 10th Edition

I was pretty excited in September of 2000 when this book came out. I ordered it directly from the GMAT web site and pored over the questions when it finally arrived. To my great disappointment, most of the questions were not "fresh;" they were from older tests, mostly given in 1997 and before.

Of course, I was hoping that this new edition would contain questions given on real GMATs from 1998 and later, but I guess that would be hoping for too much from GMAT.

This book has all the advantages and disadvantages of the 9th edition, except that this edition (the 10th, for those of you who are keeping track) has about 400 more questions, and, as always, the more questions, the better!

Here's what I had to say about the 9th edition:

This book has LOTS of practice authentic practice questions. There is no substitute for official GMAT questions--the questions in the practice books are just not the same. Many of the practice books have mistakes and address topics that are not really related to what you will see on the GMAT. It is very easy to doubt these questions and to find fault with them. However, official GMAT questions are not like that--you will almost never be able to find fault with them.

However, this book has MANY problems--it is not a perfect solution for GMAT preparation. Some of the questions are too easy, especially the math questions--many of our students have said that the questions on the real test are much harder than the ones in the book. Many TestMagic students can get over 90%ile on the math section and they think the math in this book is too easy.

Moreover, the explanations are hard to understand--they are written for college professors! It doesn't make sense--obviously, if the questions were difficult for you, you need explanations that are easy to understand. These explanations are written in the same style as the reading passages--not very helpful for many people!

In fact, many of our students quickly finish this book and need more. Unfortunately, there are no other good materials available. This book is not enough.

Finally, some of the reading passages are shorter than the ones on the real test. We actually called ETS to complain about this and we were told, and this is a quote, "Well, we were just trying to give people an idea of what the test was like." In other words, the reading will be about as hard as the hardest passages in this book--prepare yourself!

Bottom line: This is the most important book to buy!

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