Manhattan GMAT Geometry GMAT Strategy Guide, 4th Edition: Book Review:

by on May 3rd, 2011

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 Geometry Guide.

Overview

The fifth and final guide in the series of quant guides from Manhattan GMAT deals with the subtleties of geometry. This is another important topic tested on the GMAT, since you’ll undoubtedly see quite a few problems on triangles (at least two, I think) and the occasional problem on other shapes (particularly circles, squares and solids made up of these two). The guide is pretty exhaustive with regards to the theory you’ll need on test day, but it could have been improved by the addition of some more problems in the circles department and a chapter on overlapping shapes.

The first part of the book concerns polygons, triangles, circles, angles, the coordinate plane and solids, featuring 75 “in action” problems (similar to Problem Solving, but with no answer choices). The second part is fairly small and only has 8 questions. In my opinion, this latter section would have benefited greatly from a few tips and practice items on overlapping shapes, since these tend to be the more difficult of the geometry subset (I actually had to guess on one such problem on my real test).

Pros

  • Pretty much all of the theory you’ll need on geometry is explained in this book. Their tips on the maximization of the surface area of polygons were particularly interesting, since I have not seen this discussed in any other strategy book on the market
  • Comes with access to 25 online questions and 6 adaptive tests (some of the best in the industry). You’ll also find the classical Official Guides problems list to help you practice with real, retired questions
  • The problems they supply in this book do tend to test more than one concept at a time, which is a plus. Their explanations are also pretty detailed

Cons

  • No chapter on overlapping shapes! I find these problems to be some of the more challenging in geometry. Also, no Data Sufficiency practice problems is definitely a minus, since these questions tend to be extremely confusing for most students (they combine this relatively puzzling question type with geometry that you sometimes have to draw on your own)
  • More problems on the trapezoid, polygons with more than 4 sides and angles within circles would have been nice. I also couldn’t find a review of tangents to circles
  • The issues mentioned above also impact the overall difficulty of the problems in this book. If the topics would have been included, the book would also contain more advanced problems than it does right now (only a few, sadly)

Bottom Line

The Manhattan GMAT Geometry guide earns four stars out of five for its coverage of the concepts you’ll need to know to do good on GMAT geometry. Overall, this book still needs a bit of work, but its contents currently contain what most student will need for their test. The elements that are missing are almost all advanced topics, of which you won’t see more than one or two problems in the GMAT.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Manhattan GMAT Geometry GMAT Strategy Guide, 4th edition, click here.

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

Special 10% Discount: Take 10% off this book and other Manhattan GMAT books this week only (May 2 to 8).  Buy Now.

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