Taking Advantage of GMAT Hacks Resources

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Making sense of all the GMAT resources available these days can be bewildering. Many of you have recognized that my approach to the test is a valuable one and invested in some or all of my resources. (Thank you!) Once you narrow down the field to my books and problem sets, there's still some planning to be done.

Math and Verbal

Regardless of the resources you choose, I generally recommend that students start with math. There are far more gritty details to learn (or re-learn) on the Quant half of the test than on the verbal. No matter how you go about it, it just takes time to internalize the mathematical skills you need.

Thus, the best place to start is Total GMAT Math. It takes you through every topic you'll see on the test, and quizzes you to ensure you're learning as you go.

Don't wait too long before starting on the Verbal, though. Once you're getting some traction with the math, start alternating math and verbal. If you're stretching out your study time over a couple of months, you can alternate by doing math on one day, verbal on the next. If you're rushing to prepare over the course of a week or two, you should do some of each almost every day.

Total GMAT Math and Total GMAT Verbal are a great way to help you manage your preparation time. Most chapters are small enough to be manageable in one sitting, but sufficiently in-depth to ensure you're learning something.

The Official Guide

Total GMAT Math and Verbal give you all the background you need. By the time you've worked through those two books, you'll be familiar with all the question types, all the formulas, and plenty of techniques to help you handle them. It's time to work through hundreds of realistic practice questions.

The Official Guide (published by the testmaker) is the best possible way to ensure that you've learned the material. My books expose you to one topic at a time, which is a great way to learn, but not how the test itself will work. Plowing through hundreds of realistic questions will force you to evaluate each question on its own and recognize what techniques to apply.

My Guides to the Official Guide are designed to help you make the most of your study time. They only cover the Quantitative questions, but the explanations I provide are much more practical and on-point than those in the Official Guide itself.

Problem Sets

Some people are ready to take the test when they finish The Official Guide. If that's you, that's great! Others, though, need a bit more to polish their skills.

The most common areas of weakness after finishing The Official Guide are difficult math topics, including Data Sufficiency. My problem sets are designed to fill that need. If you're struggling with harder Data Sufficiency questions, you can pick up a set of 100 tough DS questions. If Geometry stumps you, I've got sets of Geometry questions too.

The problem sets are particularly useful if you're retaking the test. If you've gone through most of the outline to this point and then gotten a disappointing score, it's tough to know where to get additional resources. My sets amount to 1,800 practice questions. All of those may not be relevant to your needs, but a whole lot of them are.

Additional Study Tips

I've written a lot on this site about effective study techniques, from how to do practice problems to setting up a study schedule to integrating timing into your practice regimen. I recommend checking those out, regardless of which materials you use to prepare for the GMAT.



About the author: Jeff Sackmann has written many GMAT preparation books, including the popular Total GMAT Math, Total GMAT Verbal, and GMAT 111. He has also created explanations for problems in The Official Guide, as well as 1,800 practice GMAT math questions.

Total GMAT Math

The comprehensive guide to the GMAT Quant section. It's "far and away the best study material available," including over 300 realistic practice questions and more than 500 exercises!
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