Most students, upon determining that they need to take the GMAT, go out and purchase a copy of The Official Guide to GMAT Review. In fact, if you have not done so already, you should go buy a copy (though remember, if you are signed up to take a Kaplan GMAT course we will provide a copy for you).
While The Official Guide is an invaluable resource as one of the few sources of GMAC written questions, students should be aware of the best way in which to study with it. Specifically, students must be aware of how to use The Official Guide when also taking a GMAT prep course.
Adopt One Set of Methods
The Official Guide includes methods and strategies for taking the GMAT. However, these methods and strategies will be different from, and sometimes conflict with, the methods and strategies you learn in your course. In order to succeed on the GMAT it is vital that you adopt one set of methods and strategies and stick to them, in order to fully master those strategies. If you jump between different methods, you may be unable to master any of them, which will lead to trouble on test day.
Thus, you should take the methods and strategies you learn in your GMAT course and apply them to the problems in The Official Guide. And when applying these strategies to The Official Guide problems, always make sure to time yourself. Keep in mind that you will have two minutes per quantitative problem on test day, and should therefore give yourself two minutes per problem when using The Official Guide.
Practice on the Computer
Finally, remember that as helpful as the practice questions in The Official Guide can be, ultimately you will be tested in a computer-based format, so don’t underestimate the importance of sufficient practice in that format. Many people find their test-taking skills and comfort level thrown off when moving from paper or book-based questions to the computer based experience, so be sure to mix up your study methods to include online practice tests in addition to studying with books such as The Official Guide.
By following these basic rules when using The Official Guide, you will be using the resources at your disposal to their fullest and will ensure that you are fully prepared for test day.