Kaplan GMAT Premier 2014 with 6 Practice Tests: Book + DVD + Online + Mobile (Anglais) Broché – 4 juin 2013
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~~~ 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!
BB, GMAT 750 (q49, v42)
This was my GMAT studying experience: Overall, I spent just under thruee months studying for the exam while working full-time. I usually studied 20-60 minutes most weekdays and 2-4 hours most Saturdays and Sundays. I went through the Princeton Review book over the course of a few weeks, and my score increased from about a 550 to a 600 based on their practice tests, even though I felt like I thoroughly understood most of the concepts in the book. I bought the Kaplan book, and I did worse on the diagnostic than on the Princeton Review tests, which made me think the PR tests were too easy. The verbal section wasn't a problem for me, but even after going through the whole Princeton Review book, I was only getting about halfway through the Integrated Reasoning section and two-thirds of the way through the quant section before time ran out, so I definitely wasn't satisfied.
I bought the Kaplan and went through the book over the course of a few weeks, doing the problem sets as I went along, and taking a full-length practice test every two weeks to make sure I didn't forget too much of the previous material. I had no major issues in the verbal section from the beginning, so I spent a lot more time reviewing the math and writing down key formulas and points I needed to remember. I did worse on the second test than the first test, but I noticed that I was missing much harder questions that never even appeared on previous tests, so it was progress, in a way. I took a final practice test after finishing the book and scored a 700, with significant improvement in my quant score. I was aiming for a 700 and probably would have been satisfied with a 650, so I took the GMAT a week later. I ended up getting a 740 on the GMAT (47q, 45v, 7ir, 6awa), much higher than any of my practice tests. This leads me to believe that the Kaplan practice tests are harder than the real thing, but not to a ridiculous degree. The real test still had most of the same types of problems in the book, but they were often slightly less complicated.
My only complaint is that each section has so few practice problems. I wish they had more practice tests for each type of question, either in the book or online. Instead, it seems you are limited to long and generalized practice, which may or may not include a few of the question types you need to practice.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is in a similar situation as I am. If you're not a native speaker of English, it probably won't be good enough. Also, if none of the math in the book even looks familiar to you, you may want to start with more basic books. However, if you vaguely remember doing this type of math in high school or college, this book is probably a sufficient refresher and will help a lot with strategy.
-The questions tend to be challenging. Despite the fact that I needed help on a lot of them, the practice tests showed my results improving throughout the book. I like that they ask the challenging questions by default, as it's better prep for the test.
-The practice tests look almost exactly like the real test, as far as the visual layout.
-The practice tests seem to give a very accurate assessment of where you're at. I took three practice tests and scored a 640, 610, 600. Then crammed for three days and scored a 640 on the test.
If I had one more month to study this book along with additional practice test problems, I think I would have probably scored 680 or better. I highly recommend Kaplan as a study guide, and I also recommend finding supplementary practice tests or problems. There aren't enough in this book to really build ability through repetition. The GMAC is a great book that contains hundreds of problems.
All in all, I highly recommend.
Quiz Banks: When you take the class you get a large online quiz bank to work on target areas. If you want a math quiz bank +$300, if you want a Data quiz bank +$300, and I didn't see a way to get verbal quiz banks... odd. The online portion of the book is what makes it great but it would be nice to have a quiz bank.
Smart Reports: You do get Smart Reports showing what you got wrong but its not as detailed as the class. If only the book smart report showed % break down of hard/medium/low. I find that becomes important to target focus areas.