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Review of The Official Guide for GMAT Review 2015

GMAC released new versions of the Official Guides a week ago, and for the past few days we’ve been testing the quality and usefulness of the material. Here are the facts about the new material and our evaluation.

First of all, there are no new questions in this bundle. It contains exactly the same questions as the GMAT Official Guide 13th edition, which was published over two years ago. So if you have the OG13, you probably don’t need to buy this new book.

The only new feature of the GMAT 2015 bundle is the addition of an online component. An access code is enclosed with the book that allows you to simulate different test-taking conditions: Diagnostic, Practice and Exam Mode. You can choose from all 900 Quant and Verbal practice questions, and customize them according to difficulty. There is a separate site for IR questions. There is some video content, but unfortunately we’ve been unable to access it. The explanations for the answers are no different from what you will find in the previous manuals.

In addition to the comprehensive 900-question OG, there are separate Quant and Verbal guides; these also allow online access to the material.

So, should you buy these guides? Well that depends on whether you’ve been working on the GMAT for a while and whether you’re still acclimating to the Computer Adaptive context. Here’s our recommendation for different types of test-takers:

1) If you’ve just started prepping for the GMAT, get all three new guides because you get not only the books, but also the customizable online test simulator.

2) If you’ve been working on the GMAT for a few months and have the OG13, you should only get the new guides if you are still struggling with the Computer Adaptive context. There’s no new material here, but we all know the benefits of the test-prep placebo effect.

3) Otherwise, don’t buy this new material.

– Review by Jawad Ali and Matt Kirisits