The following book review was written by Dana Jinaru. Dana is currently a finance student in Europe and also serves as a moderator for Beat The GMAT. On May 13, 2009 she scored a 770 on the GMAT.
Here is Dana's analysis of the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
The Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook deals exclusively with the quantitative section of the GMAT. Even though the math tested in the GMAT is quite basic, even elementary math subjects will seem like rocket science if you've been out of school for a long time, which is why a good math review is always welcome. And here is where this book comes in. The Kaplan Math Workbook is both a general math refresher (with specific exercises for each topic) and a GMAT practice problem resource; a combination which means that this book is definitely worth some attention if you're struggling with quant.
The book offers a wide range of practice problems, presented in both drill format and GMAT format. What you'll find in the Kaplan Math Workbook:
- Arithmetic: 87 drills and 116 Problem Solving
- Algebra: 35 drills and 41 Problem Solving
- Geometry: 66 drills and 90 Problem Solving
- Word Problems: 10 drills and 103 Problem Solving
- 50 Data Sufficiency
- Solid math review, with well written content that will take you through most of the things you need to know in order to tackle the quantitative section of the GMAT. I'd say this book is particularly useful if math has not been a part of your life for some time. It's good as an introduction as well as a supplement for intermediate study
- With over 600 problems and exercises, the book is well worth the money if you're looking for practice
- Explanations for GMAT practice problems are detailed enough to make anybody understand the why and the how. I particularly liked the fact that some problems are dealt with in more than one way. The book generously providing several methods of solving a given question
- Each chapter's practice sets are divided according to difficulty, so you can focus on whichever level suits you best if you're pressed for time
- Backsolving and number picking are discussed, but only for a few pages, which is a plus, because in my opinion good test prep books should focus on a thorough concept review instead of tricks
- Not enough Data Sufficiency! This GMAT math question type is not presented as well as it could have been and there is a disproportionately small number of practice problems for the format. Since most people see this type of question for the first time while getting ready for the GMAT, I do believe it deserves more attention
- Some GMAT math concepts are not given sufficient attention and unfortunately it's the topics that you're likely to see if you're aiming for a high quant score. Statistics and probabilities are reviewed in just two pages, while there is no separate section for permutations and combinations.
- The answers to drills are not detailed, since the book only gives you the right answer. While most drills are there just to enforce concepts and thus are pretty basic, the fact that almost half of the practice problems in the book are not explained as well as they could have been is definitely a minus
- As with other Kaplan material, this book could have been edited a bit more carefully. You will see a few errors here and there, but this does not have a dramatic impact on the quality of the book
If quant is your weak area, the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook could be a valuable tool in your prep, provided you take the time to properly review all the information it contains and carefully work through the hundreds of problems. The book is useful for all levels of math knowledge, but you will probably see the highest return on invested time if your math skills are basic or intermediate. While there's no shortage of advanced problems, the workbook does not specifically target high-scoring test takers, as evidenced by the fact that topics perceived by most as difficult are not adequately addressed.
If you're interested in purchasing the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook, click here.
About the Author:
Dana is a finance student and a moderator for the Beat The GMAT - GMAT & MBA Community, one of the world's largest online resources for GMAT prep and MBA admissions advice.