The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible: Book Review:

by on November 12th, 2009

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 PowerScore’s GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible.

Overview

PowerScore Critical Reasoning BibleThe PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible (or the CR bible, as you’ll see it commonly referenced in online forums) is published by the renowned LSAT-prep gurus, PowerScore. The LSAT and the GMAT have two question types that are somewhat similar: Reading Comprehension and Critical  Reasoning (known as ‘Logical Reasoning’ in the LSAT). This book comes in as an abridged form of the company’s massively successful Logical Reasoning Bible.  This CR bible has a solid reputation as a comprehensive guide to one of the most puzzling question types on the GMAT.

The CR bible covers the topic of GMAT Critical Reasoning with incredible depth and detail. Questions are neatly organized according to “families” in order for the reader to understand the various logical connections between question types. The book deals with ten types of Critical Reasoning questions, all remarkably well analyzed, in ten separate chapters (by the way, PowerScore offers a free chapter to BTG members). The CR bible even addresses many rarely-tested CR question types; although I would love to see a separate chapter for boldface critical reasoning questions in a future edition (boldface critical reasoning questions are considered among the toughest question tested on the GMAT). One could argue that this book will also help in case you’re having trouble with Reading Comprehension. I personally found the ‘Main Point’ chapter particularly enlightening and relevant to reading comprehension.

Pros

  • Detailed analysis of Critical Reasoning question types means that you will have a quick reference guide at hand should you ever feel the need to review for one topic or the other
  • Practice questions, although few, are the closest I’ve ever seen to actual GMAT questions (in terms of style). Explanations are also top notch, with great analysis of why a wrong answer is wrong. In my opinion, understanding why an answer is wrong helps you avoid common traps and is almost as useful as understanding why the correct choice is right
  • After reading the CR bible, you will be able to see why the GMAT is so popular with business school admissions. The process of “creating” a Critical Reasoning question is carefully explained, a fact which made me realize the amount of talent and effort that goes into making just one GMAT question. The author of the book clearly shows due respect to the GMAT test and its creators, which inspired me
  • If pressed for time, the book offers a quick strategy for studying the most important question types

Cons

  • At around 50 practice questions, the CR bible needs to be supplemented with other resources, such as the Official Guide or the Official Guide for Verbal Review
  • Unlike most prep books, this book does not come with a CD or online access to CATs (computer-adaptive practice tests)
  • The book only features two boldface questions (this question type is described in the ‘Method of Reasoning’ chapter)

Bottom Line

The PowerScore Critical Reasoning Bible is definitely worth the money if you feel you’re having trouble with Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. Its strategies and tips, if carefully studied and applied, will surely translate in an increase in your score.  I attribute much of my 11-point verbal raw score increase (from 36 to 47) to this book.

If you’re interested in purchasing PowerScore’s GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible, click here.  To view a free chapter of this book, click here.

Read more book reviews in the Beat The GMAT Book Recommendations section.

76 comments

  • Great review on a great book! I scored 38 in the verbal section of my first GMAT and then identified CR as one of my weaknesses. I purchased this book, and it helped immensely! In my second GMAT, I scored 44 - many thanks to this book.

  • Wow! Congratulations! That's a huge increase in score. All the best and good luck with your applications!

  • Hi Dana,

    As always, thank you for the useful review! I do have one question I would like to seek your opinion regarding general CR approach. The PowerScore CR Bible recommends reading the prompt before the question whereas just about all the other GMAT prep books (Princeton Review, Kaplan, Manhattan Review, OG, and MGMAT)recommend reading the question first then the prompt. From your experience, which approach do you recommend and why?

    Thanks in advance!
    Alex

  • Hi Dana,

    Thank you for the wonderful review! Based on your experience, did you find the PowerScore's approach of prompt first then question helpful when tackling CR questions? How does it compare to the more conventional approach of question first then prompt?

    Thanks!
    Alex

  • Well, even before I used the CR Bible I read the stimulus before reading the question and the reasons presented by the book definitely convinced me that I'm on the right path (at least for me - some might say the other way around works for them). The main reason for my strategy is the fact that reading without being influenced by the question helps you better evaluate the prompt without the stress to immediately identify your answer. I really like this because I can sort of try to anticipate a possible answer in my head, which makes it all the more interesting :)

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Dana!

  • Hi Dana, I stay in India and the Powerscore CR guide isnt available in retail locations. Ordering online will either take 15-20 days or is too expensive for a quick international delivery. Would you know about a paid online download that I can get access to? I'm looking for the book urgently.

    rgds

  • I have no idea, honestly. The best thing to do would be to take a look over the PowerScore site, they should have all the information regarding this.

  • Hi Dana,

    I scored 38 on my verbal section on my first attempt on the gmat five years back. I am looking to give it again in a few months, and hoping to improve my score. CR is a clear area for improvement for me, and I have been spending the last couple of weeks studying from the Powerscore guide. Just a couple qs wrt to your experience in improving your CR skills (and thus verbal score):-

    1. Do you manage to pre-phrase the answer to most qs?

    2. How much time would you say you needed to spend to improve your CR skills?

    3. By doing all the practice drills on the powerscore, I've collected a lot of data on my accuracy levels on different q types. Do you reckon excessive practice on particular q types can improve a generic skill like CR (one's analytical ability)? are there a finite number of concepts / logic patterns that can be mastered to do well on the CR section?

    4. Where did you access advanced CR problems for practice?

    rgds

  • 1. Yes, I did. I was probably right something like 75% of the cases... It's something you acquire by practicing, I believe. You end up recognizing patterns that are tested over and over again. This holds true for the real exam as well, not only the official practice material. On test day, I had several questions that had basically the same structure as some I'd seen in the OGs.

    2. Hmm... I did not study constantly, but I'd say you need something like a good week or so to go through the CR Bible, because it contains virtually tons of useful info that you just don't want to simply go over.

    3. As I've said, there are certain patterns. If they're finite or not, I can't say for sure. The CR Bible questions are a bit harder than what you should expect on the real thing, so don't get worried if you don't have 100% hit rate or something like that. However, I do believe that practice ("excessive" is actually a pretty subjective measure, so I can't comment) does boost your accuracy quite a bit, since you:
    a. identify patterns
    b. get used to prephrasing
    c. get a better grip of structures of arguments

    4. LSAT sets are good practice. However, they're much harder than the real GMAT. I remember that while my GMAT CR hit rate was 100%, my LSAT LR hit rate was something like 80%. You can download two free LSAT sets here:
    https://www.beatthegmat.com/suggested-lsat-material-cr-rc-t44191.html

    • Thanks Dana for the quick and precise reply.

  • How weird that you should ask that right now! I've only just finished reviewing the PowerScore Verbal Bible (which includes an RC section) and the MGMAT RC guide! I think the former was ever so slightly above the latter...

    For advanced practice, try some LSAT sets. You can find two free ones here:

    https://www.beatthegmat.com/suggested-lsat-material-cr-rc-t44191.html

  • Hi Dana,

    Any pointers on good RC material(700+ scores)?

  • Pls lemme know the password to open the GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible.pdf.

  • We do not support the illegal distribution of copyrighted material on this forum. The CR Bible is a valuable book and should be bought for its merits.

  • 90% hit rate is awesome! Congrats!

    1. I don't really know - I did everything that I could get my hands on, really! I did the OG 11 and the verbal supplement, but since you have the OG 10, then you pretty much did what I did, because its questions are drawn from the OG 10. I also worked through the questions in Kaplan Premier and Advanced, but they're not as good of a resource for CR as the OGs.
    2. Actually, CR was my obsession, so it was absolutely pointless for me to redo questions because I had already memorized most of the answers! This was the only section of the test for which I got really worked up for.
    3. You can check out the link I've posted above for two free LSAT tests:
    https://www.beatthegmat.com/suggested-lsat-material-cr-rc-t44191.html

  • Hi Dana,

    Thx for your advice earlier - I've gone through the Powerscore guide and have done most of the 12th OG & 10th OG qs. I've found my hit rate improve to 90 odd % so the guide+ og seem to have helped. I've started drawing some of the patterns you mentioned above as well.

    A couple of qs:-
    1. Roughly how many CR qs would you have practiced before giving the exam?

    2. Did you find doing a question 2-3 times giving you a better idea of patterns & structures?

    3. what did you find as a good source for advanced CR problems?

  • actually i know about gmat critical reasoning bible,where i can get this book?

  • sorry, i want to know about where i can get the book gmat critical reasoning book?

  • You can easily order it online on amazon.com. I'm not sure about books stores though, you'll need to check that on your own.

    • Hi Dana,

      How does power score sentence correction score over manhattan sentence correction? Which is a better reference for sentence correction according to you?

  • To be honest, I don't know - I've only reviewed the PowerScore CR Bible and the Verbal Bible, but not the SC book. The Verbal Bible's CR section was a cut down version of the CR Bible, so I suspect they did the same for the SC section.
    It's not the first time I'm being asked this question and I will give you the same reply: if I were you, I'd buy the CR Bible for CR and the Manhattan book for SC, because this also grants access to their online CATs. Sadly, PowerScore does not offer CATs with its products.

  • Hi DanaJ
    Thanks for the review... But i would like to know if you would recommend me to buy SC and CR bibles separately or buy verbal bible ...
    Thanks in advance:)

  • It depends on how much time you have for your prep. If it's one month, buy the Verbal Bible. If it's two months, buy the CR Bible and the SC Bible or the CR Bible and the SC guide from Manhattan. The good thing about buying the SC guide from Manhattan is that it also comes with access to their 6 online CATs, while, the SC Bible does not grant access to CATs.

  • Thank you:)

  • Sorry, the article I am referring to is not written by you. Please find the link:
    https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2009/08/17/formal-logic-sorting-out-the-necessary-and-the-sufficient

  • Page 160 in powerscore bible says that When cause doesn't occur, the effect doesn't occur condition will strengthen the stimulus. But somewhere your article says
    if x, then y
    ==> if not y, then not x

    dana ,
    please correct these two contradictory views.

  • I've checked with the book and it is indeed how you mention it. However, I can't seem to find the reasoning that you presented in my article above. If you were talking about something else, please let me know or quote directly, it would be a faster reference.

  • I think you need to distinguish between strengthening statements and necessary statements. Necessary statements follow the pattern described in the article you quote. A necessary statement is absolutely required to make an argument valid.
    On the other hand, strengthening statements just bring an extra bit of info to support an argument that already makes sense as a whole. With strengthening statements, the logic works as in the CR Bible.

  • Hi Dana,

    I have been preparing for the last couple of months on various strategies for SC, CR, RC and have done decent amounts of practice & used guides like MGMAT SC & Powerscore CR.

    In the GMAT Prep 1 that I gave before my preperation, my verbal score was 37. I am aiming to improve my score to 41-44 and feel good abt the prep until now, but I want to give some good tests to get some predictability of my current level & areas of improvement. I will be giving the GMAT in exactly 2 months, so I am in the optimization stage of my prep.

    Besides the 2 GMAT Prep tests, from amongst the other tests - Kaplan (4), Manhattan (6), 800score Old (5), 800score New (5) (or any others), which ones would you recommend for quality questions & quality scoring, that will give me a better idea of my level & areas to optimize?

    rgds

  • Hi Dana,

    Dont think my last email went through.

    I have been preparing for the last couple of months for SC, CR, RC from books such as MGMAT SC & Powerscore CR & have done a good amount of practice until now.

    I gave the GMAT Prep 1 before the start of my preperation and scored a 37. But I have been preparing to improve my score in the 41-44 range. I have a good feeling about my preperation until now, but need some good tests to give me some predictability of my level. I will be giving my GMAT in exactly 2 months from now.

    From amongst the following tests: MGMAT (6), Kaplan (4), Old 800 Score (5), New 800 Score (5), or any others, which ones would you recommend for quality questions & quality scoring? I need some benchmarks to optimize further.

    rgds

  • I think MGMAT or Kaplan would be better for figuring out your score, although each of them does need some improvement... So what you should know about these tests is that:
    - MGMAT is usually more lenient in verbal. In GMATprep, in high scores (i.e. above 45), one question missed translates in about one raw score point less. That is to say, the scoring goes something like: for 2 missed, you get 49; for three missed you get 48 or in this range. This is what I've noticed anecdotally, but it's not a guarantee.. However, with MGMAT tests, even if you miss quite a few you can still get a very high score.
    - Kaplan is a bit off as far as RC and CR go. RC texts are waaay too convoluted for the GMAT and CR is not really GMAT-like. The arguments are sometimes weirdly put together...
    So whichever test you choose, you should be aware of the fact that the results you obtain are not as accurate as GMATprep. However, this does not make them less good practice, it just means you need to interpret your scores in context.

  • Hi dana,

    thanks for the quick reply at your end. Just 2 follow-up questions on the tests:-

    1. So, if I had to prioritize my time on the tests, would you suggest I look at the 6 Manhattan ones over the 4 Kaplan ones for verbal? From your response, I am understanding that the question quality for SC, CR & RC is overall better in MGMAT. I am comfortable with the scoring pattern having issues, but I am more sensitive to the quality of qs for all 3 sections.

    2. The Kaplan software also contains 3 mini-tests each for SC, CR & RC. Do they have the same problem as the Kaplan CATs, where the CR & RC questions might not shadow the GMAT patterns? How would you rate the Kaplan quality of questions for SC?

    thanks

  • 1. Yes, overall you'll see a slight improvement in the quality of questions in MGMAT tests as compared to Kaplan. That does not make Kaplan questions bad, just "improvable". MGMAT questions aren't perfect either, but I personally feel they're a bit more representative. I suppose that if you ask someone else, you might get a different response! it's all about perception, there's no science to it.
    2. I have not tried an of the three minidrills you mention, but I suspect they share the issues that all questions have. In the end though, remember that what I am talking about is general perception: one Kaplan question might be awesome, another might be really weak, another might be somewhere in the middle... You can't simply dismiss all questions based on my perception.

  • I need to purchas the book. I an in Hyderabad India. From where should i can get this book?

  • Unfortunately I cannot help you with this one, since I am not based in India. You can try ordering it on amazon.com though, you'll find a link to the exact amazon page at the end of the book review.

  • Hi Dana,

    What is your opinion about RC & CR as tested in the MGMAT tests and how does it compare to the level with the GMAT Prep tests? Specifically, on points such as ambiguity of answer choices & patterns tested on the actual exam. It would be good to know your experience with MGMAT relative to your actual performance on the real exam.

    I gave the first GMAT Prep & according to it, I'm in good control of CR & RC, while when I gave the the first MGMAT test, it shows I'm not in good control of those sections.

    rgds

  • They are a bit different. I myself found that my scoring in CR and RC was lower in MGMAT than GMATprep, but I only took 2 tests. IMHO, consider GMATprep as being more accurate.

  • Hi Dana,

    How long would it take to go through this book...on average about 4 hours of study a day. I have about a month and 10 days left to D day and i wanted to spend the last month just reviewing weaknesses & doing prac tests. This is pretty much the last topic i need to cover and was wondering if i should buy this book or just get the mgmat one. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • To me, this books is slightly better than the one from MGMAT. This is because this book is more complete and contains challenging CR questions that were licensed from the LSAT. If you have a choice, then go for the CR Bible, but the CR guide from MGMAT is also pretty decent.
    I actually did not spend more than 3 days reviewing this book because I was in a hurry, my test was one week away when I got my hands on it. I'd say that if you were to truly review it properly (i.e. making notes and re-reading some important stuff), it would take about double that given the fact that you plan to study 4 hours a day.

  • Hi Dana

    Since there is no powerbook specifically for RC, do you think reading the CR powerbook will somewhat improve your RC score as well? I have already gone over manhattan RC and CR, but both are at about 70-75% hit rate.

  • Well, there is a PowerScore book you could use for RC: the Verbal Bible. However, the CR Bible is pretty good anyway, it helps for RC as well. If you want to practice some more, you could try the Veritas Prep RC book.

    • The PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible sounds good. Thank you so much.

  • Is there a huge difference between PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning 1st edition and 2nd edition.? I have managed to get one from a friend but its first few pages including the cover page is missing and therefore I am not able to make out if I have the latest version?

  • As far as I can recall, there's really only one version.

    • Hi Dana, there are two versions available as of today, could you confirm if there is significant difference between the two. The one i have has 305 pages and 14 chapters, is that the same one you are talking about. Also could you mention how long will it take to finish the book, i'm guessing 20-25 concentrated study hours.

    • Sorry but I haven't been as in the loop about recent product releases. I am pretty sure that no matter which edition you choose, it's really solid. I would say you need about 30 hours to go through it properly, but it also depends on your personal pace.

  • Hi Dana,

    I'm in the middle of self-study as I prepare to retake the GMAT. In your review, you mentioned that this book can be helpful for RC questions, in addition to CR question. I can definitely use some improvement with CR so I will be purchasing this book regardless. However, I have REALLY struggled with the RC questions in the past. A big part of my struggles hasn't been so much understanding the question type, but rather my stratedgy with evaluating the passage to extract the necessary information. With this being said, do you think it would be in my best interest to purchase the MGMAT RC guide in addition to purchasing this book? I want to be prepared, but I don't want to waste time and funds if the books are totally redundant.

    Thanks,
    Rob

  • If you're struggling with RC, then it's best to also buy the Manhattan GMAT RC guide in addition to the CR Bible. The PowerScore book is pretty awesome and will help with inference questions (that you'll sometimes see in RC too), but it won't help what you describe (reading and understanding the passage). The MGMAT RC book would definitely not be redundant in this case.

  • Hello Dana, I would be preparing my 3rd attempt at Gmat (1. 420 2. 490). I have previously studied MGMAT Quant sets. As per your last response about the areas where I lack you were spot on. At present I have Mgmat SC, Power Score Bible CR, OG, Kaplan Premier 2012. I plan to study each topic of Quant and solve practice q's from Kaplan and other sources. Same method for Verbal. Later i would take sectional tests to test my Weak and strong areas. Later, I plan to take full length GMAT test (one per week) and review it. How do you rate my plan ?

    Also, which online test emulates real GMAT apart from tests on mba.com, caus in my practice test from MANhattan free trial - 610 , Veritas free trail 620. Which test company's online tests only should I buy , ex. knewton, Kaplan, Manhattan, Veritas (I thought was not atall close to real gmat)?

  • I think this is a good idea, although I wouldn't necessarily waste tests by taking just sectional parts of them. I'd probably go for the full length test. You can tell if you're doing well in quant/verbal by just doing sets of practice questions and checking your hit rate (percentage of correct out of total). I've heard good reviews about the Manhattan GMAT tests.

  • Hi Dana, First of all, thank you so much for your reviews about the books Kaplan mathwork book, MGmat Number Props and Veritas Prep Combinatorics and probability. I have been using those books and those books have helped me to great extent. Now, I am looking some more practice questions besides the ones in OG and in those books. Could you please suggest something?

    Thanks, Kapil

  • Looks like I have posted the above question in a wrong place!!! anyways, I will be waiting for a suggestion from you. Thanks, Kapil

  • hi dana
    my paper is in second week of April and i still have one month to improve
    I have identified my weak areas. need you advise how to go about them
    scored 620, 630 in my two tests of MGMAT
    planned to cover improve upon individual topics every week and keep on giving tests till i hit 730-740.
    Also, i want to know any question bank available in market to hone targeted topics.

  • @Kapil, have you also used the OG supplements? The two quant and verbal specific guides? Those contain plenty of practice too. Other than that, you can go for the Veritas books, they're pretty packed with practice. Or, if you're looking for more advanced quant, try the Manhattan GMAT book for Advanced Quant. They also have an online practice question bank called the Challenge Archive. Good luck!

  • @Abhay, it seems that you're on the right track with your studies. You can use the corresponding books from MGMAT to target your weaknesses and also use their recommendations on which OG questions to practice. In terms of more practice, you can either go for the Veritas books or purchase access to the MGMAT Challenge question bank here: http://www.manhattangmat.com/Store.cfm Other than that, there are some products currently available on the market like Grockit (but it's considered to be fairly easy) and Magoosh GMAT.

  • Thanks for your suggestion Dana. I will be needing much more suggestions from you once I start preparing verbal :-) Thanks, Kapil

  • Hi Dana,

    Need your advise on preparation especially on CR.

    I have been preparing from several months and have become very good in SC with accuracy rate between 80% and 85% and average time 1:10.

    As quant is concerned, I am studying from MGMAT and Kaplan (going good in quant)

    However, CR is new for me. I haven’t done CR before or checked my reasoning skills before.

    How can I improve on CR ? (My GMAT target score is 650; however if anything comes above that I will take it as incentive)

    I have all the books power score CR bible, MGMAT CR, and O.G’s. I do understand to what all these books say. But if I do questions under time constraint
    such as 2 mins / question, i am not able to complete the question. Time kills me in CR. It completely shatters me.

    So, I thought of making this strategy:-
    1. First understand how the argument is made.
    2. What is tested ? or How the questions being asked ?
    3. Evaluate every answer choice properly (to know why correct answer is correct and why incorrect answer is incorrect).

    And after doing some bunch of questions of the same type in the above way, I should then time the questions.

    What do you suggest ? If you have any better strategy or anything, then please please let me know. I really want to improve on this part.

    (I am excluding RC from this because currently CR is my weak area)

    Looking forward to your reply.
    Thanks & Regards
    Vinni

  • The first thing I noticed when I read your post was that you have the CR Bible and the Manhattan CR book as well. Have you decided which one you're actually going to follow? Because for instance, MGMAT advocates reading the question stem first, while the CR Bible recommends reading the argument first. I'm not saying that the two are incompatible, but at the same time I feel you should pick one and follow the advice. My vote is for the CR Bible, I thought it was better than the MGMAT book.
    I also have a feeling you haven't really studied well from these books. You mention you have them and "understand" what they're saying, but you don't seem too convinced of your own skills and level of understanding. Have you gone through these books with a pen and paper at hand, taking notes? Have you read all the examples and noted the structure of the argument?
    When it comes down to analyzing questions, you must be able identify the argument and its parts: premises, assumptions and conclusion. Then you note what you need to do to answer the question: strengthen? weaken? draw an inference? Next, start working on the answer choices and see which one fits best. Obviously, like you say, I would definitely spend time reviewing the answers and figuring out which is which.

    • Dana, thanks for your reply.

      I started my CR with powerscore bible. After reading all the examples of a particular question-type, i started practicing that question-type from the O.G's

      During the time of practicing questions from O.G i never made notes and used to mark the premise and conclusion in the book. The biggest mistake did (which I think it was a blunder) was that after looking questions from the bible i started practicing questions under time constraint and here i started loosing focus. I focused more on time than on questions due to which i wasn't able to solve the question.

      Then after reading reviews i bought MGMAT CR, which talks about diagramming or taking notes. From last few days i have completely stopped timing the questions and focused more on the argument structure, the way it is constructed, making notes, evaluating answer choices to check whether they are even in the scope of the argument etc.

      and i have seen improvement with an accuracy rate between 60% and 65% (without timing the questions)

      Is this the right way ? If it is, then i should exhaust every material of CR and then practice the questions with time.

      This is the way I prepared for SC. I solved almost 300 questions without timing them. I reviewed every choice properly, and now i practice with time and have seen a lot of improvement.

      Need your advice on this.

      Sorry my details are a bit long. Actually i am confused.

      I will really appreciate your reply.

      Thanks & Regards
      Vinni

  • I guess if this is the approach that worked for you in SC, then it's worth trying for CR as well. Although please keep in mind that while at first you don't need to time your practice, you will eventually have to do that as well. In the end the GMAT is a timed test.
    Yes, I do believe it's worthwhile to spend a bit more time in the beginning to understand argument structure and weigh the options carefully. I would however advise against taking too elaborate notes - brief ones are enough given the length of a CR argument. You wouldn't want to spend more time on note taking than actually solving the question!

    • I hope that helps.
      As notes are concerned, i am also against taking elaborate notes. Doing so eats a lot of time.

      One last question. I have CR bible, MGMAT CR (10 problem set questions), and O.G (both of them).
      What practice book should i buy that can increase my verbal score. As i mentioned my overall target score is 650, but if anything goes beyond that i am going to take it as an incentive.

      Vinni

  • I think nothing beats the OG in terms of quality of questions. However, if you run out of questions completely, I would check out the Veritas Prep CR books.

    • Thanks Dana. Appreciate your help.

      Regards
      Vinni

  • hi dana,
    This is vendher.I need your advise to prepare for my gmat.I completed my engineering and i am ok in quant(with basics and stuff).I am facing a huge problem in sentence correction and critical reasoning.so what books do you suggest me to improve on these sections.Overall i think i am not doing good at verbal.I am comparatively better in Rcs.I have an OG with me,would appreciate if you suggest some more books which can help me.Comming to SCs i am looking for books which starts off from scratch as i feel i lack basics.I am not from an english speaking background.
    And regarding quant i am able to do basic level questions and i am having a problem with questions above that level.so what book do you suggest for quant which has questions closer to the gmat.How good is the kaplan gmat 800 book.will it be useful? All i have is two months time to prepare and i am looking for a score above 650.I would be really greatful to you if you could help me regarding this.

  • For verbal, here are my favorite books:
    - Manhattan GMAT SC guides
    - PowerScore CR Bible
    - Veritas Prep RC book or Manhattan GMAT RC book.
    I also advise you to check out the Manhattan GMAT Verbal Foundations book if you are really struggling with this section. Other than that, you can use the OG verbal supplement for more practice. The Veritas Prep verbal books are really good for practice as well.
    For quant, the Kaplan book is not good enough in my opinion. The Manhattan GMAT quant books are much better.

  • Hi Dana,
    I have recently completed the OG 12th Ed. with a hit rate of 85%-88% in all of the sections. I scored 650 in GMAT prep. My exam is scheduled on 26th Sept. and I do not know which books to refer. I am going through MGMAT SC but other than that I have no clue how to proceed. I want to focus on hard and medium level problems. Can you help me out by referring the books which I should buy?

    • Forgot to mention : Prep test score : 650, q49 v30

  • I'm not sure if pure practice is what's good for you. Are you 100% sure that you've covered all the theory? The MGMAT book is a good one to work on from that perspective. For verbal, I can strongly recommend the OG verbal supplement for more practice. Alternatively, check out the Veritas books for even more of that. For quant, I liked the Advanced Quant book from MGMAT.

    • Hi Dana,
      Thanks for your swift reply.. I am reading up the advanced topics of quant (Probability,permutations&Combinations, etc) via any material I get on internet. For SC I have ordered MGMAT SC, For CR,RC and DS I was guessing that pure practice will help me in those areas. Can you tell me the theory books for CR and RC? Is Advanced Quant sufficient for improving DS?
      I have also ordered OG Quant & Verbal supplement both.
      Here is what I have planned:
      To finish up OG Quant & verbal supplement first
      1 Mock test every week
      MGMAT SC in parallel with OG Quant & Verbal, as SC is my weakest area.
      Can you help me out in improving this plan?

      Thanks in advance for your wonderful support and patience.

  • For CR, the CR Bible is best. For RC, I prefer the Veritas Prep guide, although the MGMAT one is also decent. DS is a tricky one. Practice is always good, but there should be some structure to it. If you want you can also buy the DS Veritas Prep guide.
    Your plan sounds solid, although I'm not even sure you need to take one practice test per week. Sometimes that's too tiring and you're better off just practicing, but in any case as long as you don't take more than one per week you should be fine.

  • Hi Dana, I am currently preparing for the GMAT exam. During prepration I have referred to MGMAT for SC, whereas, I followed Princeton basic guide for CR. Presently, I am not very convinced with the way I am adapting to CR questions. I have scheduled the GMAT at the end of this month, though can delay it by a week or two. Do you recommend me to go for Power Prep CR bible at this stage or should I cling to the previous concepts build through Princeton. I do find handling CR questions as bit of a challenge. If you can lend your guidance then it will be a great help.

    Regards Abhishek

  • I do think the CR Bible is a much better resource for CR. I think you have enough time to go through it properly, so my recommendation would be to do just that.

    • Thanks Dana,
      I have started to refer this guide, I will share my experience with it.
      One more question on CR Bible- I am still comfortable reading the question first, is it ok? 
      I also would like to know if I should purchase GMAC's question bank for practice?

      Lastly,which test series would u like to recommend me for practice?
      Thanks in advance for your guidance.

      Regards
      Abhishek

  • I think you should be fine even if you read the question first. I don't believe that rule should be set in stone either way. The OG 13 and OG Verbal should be sufficient for practice.

  • Hello All,

    I already own a softcopy of 1st edition of Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible... I am aiming for a 750 in GMAT. Should I be buying the 2nd edition of the same? I also have the 5th edition MGMAT CR book. Please advise!!

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