I felt it was an OK starter book that explained how the GMAT works and logic behind the test, etc but after that it started to fall apart. In particular, I had a few issues with the strategies and expectations this book set - it gave an impression that GMAT was pretty easy and it was a guessing game rather than a test of skill and knowledge (it is definitely not a game).
- Approaches GMAT from high level strategies such as POE, getting into the mind of test writer, backsolving, and others, which are all great strategies but they really belong at the very end of the book, not upfront. Basics such as blocking and tackling need to go first; otherwise it works in a controled practice environment but fails on the test
- Lack of basics coverage for Verbal (very little review of questions, grammar)
- Reading Comprehension strategy needs to be reconsidered. Every other provider such as Kaplan, Manhattan GMAT, Manhattan Review, PowerScore, Veritas, and others suggest to read the passage in its entirety. Which I strongly agree with. Princeton continues to insist on briefly reading the passage and then jumping into the question - the result is the same as above - jumping into hot water unprepared and fumbling through questions. By changing my reading strategy I was able to go from 30% success rate to about 60-70. Literally within 2 days.
- Weak AWA section (thoug this is not anything you should spend more than a day on)
- A few typos carried over from the 2010 edition
- The online interface for tests does not resemble the actual GMAT
- Has a pretty good math review section covering even topics such as Statistics and Probability
- 2 GMAT tests are included (online) - there is a code at the back of the book to be redeemed online
- Practice questions in the book are structured by difficulty (convenient)
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Bottom Line: I felt this book emphasized tricks and tips more than a solid knowledge of Math, Grammar, and Logic, which is Ok if you are looking for a 600 but not enough to get past that.
P.S. This book officially comes with 2 online tests (though for some reason I got access to all 4). The same book with DVD, provides access to 4 online tests. The actual DVD does not have much besides a few practice questions in video format. All of the tests are online. The trade off for $10 is the 2 extra tests.
SOME OTHER THOUGHTS:
* How do I get 700 then?
There are several options:
1. Review each section separately using other books such as 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 collection of 8 Manhattan Guides. These books are excellent and are actually used in the classroom setting for their classes, so you are defintely 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, 12th 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 [...] - they offer 2 tests for free. These are great to get a feel for the official GMAT interface, official questions, and also the official score (make sure you don't click past that at the end; if you do, you can't recover it and it will remain a mystery). I would suggest taking one at the very beginning of your prep. Many feel that it's a waste of one practice test but in reality it is not. You can take these multiple times and after a few months, your level will be much higher than when you started (hopefully), and the questions you will encounter on the re-take will be froma differen difficulty level, thus not overlaping and thus not wasting anything :)
* 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: Foundations of GMAT Math by Manhattan GMAT
2. For Verbal Section: Kaplan GMAT Verbal Foundations (grammar only)
Let me know if you have any questions about the book - I reply to comments!
BB, Founder of GMAT Club
GMAT 750 (q49, v42)