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 Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction guide.
The Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction (SC) Guide, is one of the most popular resources on the market for mastering GMAT grammar. This is because many non-native test takers do not have access to prep courses and, in their effort to get a high score with self prep, they will often be brought down by the cruel English grammar tested on the GMAT.
As a company, Manhattan GMAT has built a very strong reputation in the test prep industry. For most of its history, the company focused exclusively on the GMAT and no other standardized test (the company began serving the LSAT market in 2008). In this respect, it has published a set of 8 GMAT guides which should cover not only the basic GMAT topics, but also the advanced issues that the GMAT test taker will face. The SC guide is by far their most popular product, often described as a must have in online study forums.
The book is structured in two parts: General (10 chapters) and Advanced (3 chapters). It also includes a handy Official Guide List and Matrix, where you will find a breakdown of topics tested in each of the questions found on the Official Guide 12th Edition (OG) and Verbal Review 1st Edition. Note that Manhattan GMAT published this 4th edition shortly after the release of the OG 12th, in spring, before the 2nd edition of the Verbal Review was released later that summer. This is important because the current Manhattan GMAT SC edition references the OG 12th edition and OG Verbal 1st edition, so you should plan your GMAT shopping list accordingly.
- Good analysis of common error types, excellent for non-native speakers of English interested in taking the test. The book covers the Sentence Correction concepts with amazing depth
- Comes with a one-year access to 6 online computer-adaptive practice tests (CATs), which I consider to be pretty decent estimators of your score, second only to the GMATprep software from MBA.com. The CATs are sold at $39 on their official site, so you'd be getting these tests and the book at a fraction of the cost.
- Structured according to error types, so if you feel you're having trouble with a certain question type, you can hone in on your weak spot by reading through the corresponding section
- Even if you're an advanced test taker, this book is still worth your time. Unlike some general strategy guides, it does not neglect this advanced test taking demographic. This is one of the advantages of having a targeted book at hand
- While the book's focus is Sentence Correction, the grammar lessons will also help you in the Analytical Writing Assessment section of the GMAT. Even though the score for the AWA does not count towards your general GMAT score, feeling confident about grammar will help ease the stress of writing your essays on the test
- HUGE MINUS: not enough practice questions. Each chapter has In Action problem sets and you also get access to 25 questions online, but that is not nearly enough GMAT practice. You will however find an Official Guide for GMAT Review reference list at the end of each chapter as well as the matrix described above
- The book's structure could be improved, in my opinion. The writing does not flow as easily as in the PowerScore Critical Reasoning Bible, for example.
- You need to allocate significant time to review this book. The multitude of rules and tips it presents will likely form a dark cloud in your head unless you take the time to properly digest the material
If GMAT sentence correction is causing you nightmares, this book will surely help you get rid of some of those bad dreams. Besides the grammar improvement, access to the CATs means that you'll have decent tools to assess your progress.
If you're interested in purchasing the Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction GMAT Preparation Guide, 4th Edition, click here.
Read more book reviews in the Beat The GMAT Book Recommendations section.
About the Author:
Dana is a finance student and a moderator for Beat The GMAT. Click here to learn how to get started in the Beat The GMAT community.