Tag Archives: official guides

Download free GMAT 1000 series documents.

1000 series documents for verbal studies, are free study materials with literally tons of practise problems.
The documents were made by ScoreTop.com, the premium online GMAT forums that is now sued by GMAC.  If you’re curious about “When, why and how GMAC banned it?” you should visit scoretop.com site itself. It is history now and people, especially other GMAT forum administrators learned the lesson from the case. We at Beat The GMAT been following story. This thread cautioning users not to post Scoretop material or even visit the site will shed more light on the matter.
History apart there’s no doubt that 1000 series document used to be popular among GMAT students. I receive several requests for these documents each month, so I’m making these available to all fellow MBA aspirants. According to the source, these documents are actually the compilation of GMAT type questions, taken from several sources, including OG, official guides for GMAT review, which has retired, real GMAT  questions. The Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension (CR & RC) sets have questions borrowed from LSAT & GRE as well, making it very huge list of problems.
Did you know that 1000 RC doc has 3000 problems not 1000!! Follow my 1000 SC/ series related articles and you’ll find more info about these also you’ll notice that I do not actually recommend these materials. Nevertheless, they’re good if you dont wanna spend any money and want loads of practise problems.
Check following posts to download respective files.

Note: I do not encourage you to use live GMAT questions for you GMAT preparation. (Live questions are those which are recently tested in GMAT exam, which are still float on GMAT question bank. ) I’ve removed password protection from these files. Now they are easy to download. Enjoy!

800 GMAT by Kaplan is now Kaplan GMAT advanced 2009.

When I was preparing for GMAT back in 2005 I used to refer books from the library. I could not afford Official guide (yes, it was expensive!) also OG was not popular in India then (?). Talking about India, the only foreign brands which were/are popular here were Kaplan and Barons. And whenever I used to check for Kaplan’s GMAT 800 book, it was unavailable. Strangely, I checked 2-3 public libraries and most booked/engaged book among GMAT test prep books was Kaplan’s 800 GMAT !


Of course it was students’ favourite book! (& mine as well) FYI, that was the first book I purchased for GMAT preparation. It has magical number ‘800’ and a note that says that it’s meant for highly studious and those who want to excel their score to 99th %tile. Oh yeah! so even if you’re not that scholar, by buying this book you feel like you belong to that league. That’s the typical mentality & I was no exception. But I had already done quite a lot of research about GMAT test prep books and Kaplan 800 GMAT was the right choice for me.

Anyways, coming back to the news, as you already might have guessed by reading the title, Kaplan’s 800 GMAT is no more available in stores and it is replaced by new book GMAT advanced. So if you’re currently preparing for GMAT and already have GMAT 800 book, dont buy Kaplan’s GMAT advanced, because content wise both are almost same. To investigate, I checked Kaplan’s store on their website where the book was not available, I was suspicious because I could still locate GMAT 800 in Amazon with really unrealistic price!

Finally this confirmed by the Kaplan representative from GMAT online forums, that both books are same.

Why to buy GMAT OG12? & how GMAT works?

This is second part of the article. Part-I can be viewed here: When is the right time to take GMAT.

Before I explain the importance of OG12 I need to tell you how GMAT test works.

How GMAT adds new questions to their question bank & removes old questions, periodically.

Have you heard of experimental questions in GMAT? Around one quarter of GMAT questions you tackle in the test are experimental & they never get counted in your real GMAT score. They are present in both sections, verbal & quantitative and are placed randomly throughout the test. Yeah, but this is not important to us right now; our main concern is “why GMAC have them in the test when they are irreverent to the final score?

Well! As they call it, they are experimental questions; they are untested and are brand new. To figure out the difficulty level of each of these questions, they experiment with them by adding them in current GMAT question pool. Based on response collected from GMAT test takers all across the world, questions are “tagged” with certain difficulty level. Once the difficulty level is identified these questions come in test as ‘real’ questions. (which then no more remain ‘experimental’).

The point is, questions in GMAT keep on changing but majority of questions remain in question bank for certain period. (In our checmical engineering terminology we call it space time 😉 ) Now you might realise the reason why you’re not allowed to retake the test immediately after your first (former) attempt. [hint! get the hint!!] (FYI, You need to wait for at least 30/31 days or something to retake it.)

In past when 11th edition just launched, I learned, test takers found quite a few questions from OG 11 in their real GMAT test …. same or similar set of questions. Although GMAT students can’t reveal the live questions they were certainly forunate to take the test during the period when OG was fresh and new. As time passed, test takers reported less questions or less similar questions in their real GMAT to official guide. It is therefore obvious to expect more similar questions in real GMAT these days when OG-12th edition is fresh-n-new.

So, what are you waiting for? Get the Official Guide 12th Edition now!

I must confess, this is series article & I drafted it in April 2009. But due to my erratic blogging frequency I didn’t publish it. I am fully aware that I should have posted it on OG-12th launch period but :sigh!: … anyways.

One more update is, official guide for verbal review & math review the two supplimentary books are about to be on stores in couple of months. Though I dont take them seriously, I just thought to inform you about it.

More about OG-12 & its review in next article <maybe> 😀

bbye!!

When is the right time to take the GMAT

This is the most common question/concern I hear from GMAT students. And I’ve answered it plenty of time. & let me tell you, the answer never change: the short version of the answer is: When you think you’re ready for the test; just take it.
But this time we have special occasion. & I would write a long answer. If you’re reading this article, most probably you’re facing this question currently and still haven’t booked date for the GMAT. I think you’re  fortunate if you’re in that boat. Because you still have the freedom to decide and schedule your preparation according to the date of GMAT exam you opt for.
Unlike the CAT (the national level Indian entrance test), GMAT can be taken any day, any month of the year/season. Therefore this question becomes very critical. (CAT on the other hand happens nationwide once in a year.)

I usually do not suggest to post-pone, delay/extend or per-pone the GMAT test. But specifically for this period, if you’re thinking of taking GMAT this or next month (ie. March/April 2009) I would suggest you to wait for NEW OG. It’ll be beneficial to you if you refer to new book, study it thoroughly and then take the test. If you’re in the middle of the preparation but haven’t booked the date for the GMAT, this is right opportunity to you to buy OG 12. Once you have OG 12 GMAT review book, add some 6 weeks to your preparation & book the date accordingly. It’s very important & I feel you very lucky to be in this situation. Having new OG fresh n young is like a goldmine, my reasoning for this para/statement: I’ll explain it in my next article. (stay tuned).

OG, the official guide, if you dont know already is called the bible of GMAT preparation; published by the people behind GMAT test (GMAC). Its latest edition is out on stores. Check out the following link of OG12
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition.
(My Indian visitors fyi the book will hit in most of the Indian book stores by month end. or you can always order online via the link above.)
The new edition has new set of questions, ( I’ll make a post about the detailed review on this book later in the 3rd part of this article) & it’s highly recommended that you should go through these new set of questions. I’ll explain you later why it is important to buy OG 12th edition even if you have earlier editions of offcial guide. (ie. OG 11, OG purple & OG green)

New GMAT official guide 12th edtion soon to be released

Though it may not be the breaking news to all of you who keep up-to-date information about the GMAT and the happenings; the new edition of the famous GMAT guide, the official guide aka the bible of GMAT preparation will soon be out in the stores. Rumours were OG 12 will be available by the end of 2008. & as usuual it was expected to delay the publication by 2/3 months.

Now (?) the releasing date is officially disclosed and confirmed:
The official guide to GMAT review, 12th edition will be released in March 2009 (23rd of March to be precise). The other two official guides of GMAT, verbal and quantitative review will be released -shortly- after the distribution of OG 12th edition begins.

Although it had the press release some 2/3 months ago I somehow missed to write a post about it. Though I must have given some hints in the forums, I forgot to inform our Forums…
So most of you currently preparing for GMAT but have not yet booked the date for the test would wonder as to wait to new books or just to go ahead with earlier official materials…
Yes, thats the geniene question. And answer is not easy for such situation…
The ideal answer to the question: “when should you take the GMAT?” is “when you’re ready”.
If you’re currently in middle of your prep or more (ie. almost over with your preparation)  I presume by the time new edition of OG would come you should be completely ready for GMAT and thus in this scenario it’s not the good idea to wait OG 12. But if you’ve just started googling for GMAT or looking for GMAT study materials haven’t spend too much in books etc, and you don’t have a b-school application deadline coming, you can think of delaying your GMAT plans.
In a way so that you could give justice to new book, say at least a month after you buy 12th edition.
Actually I am so tempted to write more, more about OG & its credibility. But I’d rather direct you to the GMAT forum and ask you to search-n-seek.

Strategy for GMAT : study under a month.

The general answer for EVERYBODY :
PREPARATION for GMAT: STRATEGY for 30 days schedule:

[Here’s quick-n-dirty article about ‘study under a month’. Many people have aced the test by just 3 to 4 weeks of study. If you’re in time crunch, dont worry! by using right approach/ method you too can ace it.]
I presume you have sound knowledge of: all areas that GMAT tests; how GMAT works; what is its structure etc…
I assumed this because you generally register a date at least one month before. (if you’ve not, you should. …at least this is what I recommend! The early you book a date, easier it will be for you to plan a killing strategy). Lastly, of course, I assume you do get acquainted with GMAT before sending them your credit card number!
So you’ve thirty days. or let’s say, just four weeks!
Since it is much short period than ideal period to study for the test, you might need to compromise on few study materials which are not significant to you.
e.g. If you’re weak in verbal and Math is your strength you should devote more time for verbal (obviously! )
Coming to materials:
GMAT official guide 11th Edition is must:
Purchase the book immediately if you haven’t already!
As they suggested in the OG (official guide), ‘start with the diagnostic test’. Know your weak areas and know your strengths.
Repeat diagnostic test next day to see how awfully you score. Do meticulous analysis (let’s call it MA here onwards; I’ll come to it in next paragraph.) about your test/answers.
OG 11 has labeled/classified each question (which is great!). Use these tags in the future prep too….know which question belong to which category.
My definition of MA (meticulous analysis) and when & how to apply it:
While practicing GMAT problems I advise to solve at least 35-60 questions in one stretch. GMAT is more about mental stamina and patience! The real test is FOUR hours long and it tests your endurance like no other online test. 40-60 questions assures that you can sit at least for an hour at one go.
Make a table, on spreadsheet (on your computer) or on paper, of no. of rows you’ll be taking questions. And write details about how you feel about each question. This should be done while you’re doing the questions. So dont spend more than 2-3 seconds on filling the table (you can tick on pre-defined columns that will save your time). It can be used as a future reference for your study: the table should enable you to quickly realise your problem areas and which type of questions you require maximum amount of time. One session of this sitting should at least be of 35-40 questions; be it from any section: PS, SC, CR, RC or DS.
(…maybe I’ll put snapshots of table if you’re still confused, please remind me at my blog )
Same amount of time you should spend in reading explanation and analyzing each answers as the amount of time you spent in answering these questions. If you got many questions wrong, increase the analysing time.
Coming back to books and materials:
You can refer basic math books, college algebra or high school grammar books to brush up your verbal and quant skills if you really wanted. But with given time constrains like “GMAT in a month” I think I would instead stick to GMAT materials. If you study smart you, over the time, would know that GMAT asks particular type of questions; and they just love to ask them that way 😉 You’ll be familiar with GMAT style if you solve more OG problems.
Refer to Official guide 11.
Check the math section of the book. Read it (~10 hours?) and re-read all its theory to know the syllabus of GMAT right. Don’t end up studying subjects that are not tested in GMAT.
Download GMAT Prep software for simulated CAT from mba.com. It’s free!
There are many other sim CATs (simulated Computer Adaptive Tests)� that you should purchase.
Check out the article to know more about these sim C A Ts
You can finish OG11 in 5-6 days (Yes you can! but you shouldn’t). Many folks I know finished it in a week (I too did it once-just for fun); but that is not the right strategy. Since the time is short you surely can compromise on other books but not on OG11.
The problems in OG 11 are arranged in ascending order of difficulty. That means, you get harder (/upper range) questions at the end of the problem sets in each section. However problem types (categories) are mixed throughout the sets. This makes many things easy in setting a study schedule. You know your level and can begin the OG accordingly 😉
They say OG11 is a bible of GMAT! Solve as many as problems you can; examine the answers carefully do the ‘MA’ as suggested above. Make Analysis chart.
Try to go through OG 11 twice in the month. (Since I’m not suggesting any other book along with OG, I think its possible to do this.) Check your progress regularly. Once you finish OG for first time you’ll get idea of how many day it’ll take to you to study one more time! If you think you have more time left you should check with other two official guides
OG Verbal guide
and the OG Quant guide.

These new two official guides, (also known as purple and green guides,) are
published when GMAC stopped the production of OG 10th edition. While new
problems are in OG 11; purple and green guides give you lot of repeats from OG
10th edition. Therefore it is wise not to buy these two books iff you already have OG 10.

Three official guides (along with the sim CATs ) are enough for a month study!
Usually, I suggest to take as many simulated CATs as possible. Practice them periodically; say, one in three-four days.
Practice tests play very significant role in your preparation. You’ll need four hours to solve each of them and two more hours to analyze them.
Since they are Computer Adaptive tests you get only one question at a time and at times, you become curious to know your score and you hurriedly complete the test. (just to know where you stand and see the answers) Needless to say: dont do that 😐 While these CATs are especially created to gauge your performance for actual GMAT, I see practice tests purely for practice. These tests hone your endurance, mental stamina to face four hour long real GMAT test! The tests are time consuming and drains your energy and hence you should keep special period for these CATs in your schedule. Be ready to spend ~6 hours for a test. Keep your cell phone on silent mode. Don’t start the test at 10.30 in the night: I know most of you out there are owls 😀 but it really not going to help in your real test. (You cant take the real-McCoy in the night, right? 😉 In fact, once you know your test times be sure to take these practice tests on the same time of the day… say: start your test everytime on 1.30 pm if your real test is scheduled on 1.30 pm of the G-Day!
——————————————————————————————–
I think this much is enough!
If I receive any comment I might add something you wanted.
To sum up the article I can say:

  • Eat OG 11.
  • if time permits study OG verbal and quant
  • Eat OG 11 one more time
  • GMAT Prep : the official computer adaptive practise test for GMAT
  • Plus other CATs

Note that I have not set any particular order in this you should all of it simultaneously.
Hope that helps everyone who is in time crunch.

How to Approach the GMAT

A beginner’s guide to GMAT Materials:

The first thing any MBA aspirant should do is visit official MBA/GMAT site …spend some 2-3 hours there. (or even 2-3 days!) & read as much as you can. The information published there is unbiased, genuine, authentic, eye-opener & myth-breaker.

Then you should download a sim CAT GMAT test available there: name is GMAT Prep; it’s of ~25MB size.

The site mba.com will help you understand: what’s GMAT in general terms, its significance, its structure and the way company conducts the test worldwide.

(I will not go into GMAT structure in detail since that’s not the purpose of this article. Let’s focus on resources/study materials for GMAT! )

You’ll obviously need some books to prepare for GMAT. GMAC, the organisation that sets GMAT test, published three books recently, known as official guides.

They are:  (Follow the link to read reviews about these books)

  1. The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 11th Edition
  2. The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review
  3. The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review

they are nicknamed as orange, purple and green guides respectively. (Note that the article first published in early 2007/late 2006; today OG 12th edition & 2nd edition of Verbal & Math guides are available You can check the detailed review in my GMAT books review page.)
Official guide 11th edition is THE book you should start with and end your preparation.

You should trust these guides along with GMATPrep software (mentioned in 2nd para).

Although these guides and a simulation software for CAT (computer adaptive test) are fantastic for the practice problems, they don’t provide study strategies…

In short: when it comes to problems solving in practice sessions, nothing beats above mentioned materials. But for strategies and tactics (read shortcuts! ) you need to look for some extra materials.

Other books I would recommend:

(I’ll write an article exclusively for recommended books some time soon.) By the way, these books offer good strategies to attack GMAT; they’ll show you how to approach each section and each problem individually.

But then for taking the test in one go you need to have a patience, faith and stamina. & for that, you need to take as many GMAT simulation tests/ CATs as possible.

[Note: Do not rush and sign up for just any sim CATs available on would wide web.]

Following are the GMAT prep companies you should trust: Reason : they have done enough research to come near to the real GMAT test… (still they are not as near as GMAT Prep or POWER Prep)

[Note that I am not talking about GMAT coaching institutes but the online resources for practice tests ]

  • mba.com (nearest possible)
  • manhattangmat.com (?near? quant tough)
  • 800score.com (easier)
  • kaptest.com (tough)
  • pricetonreview.com (neutral)

They offer good Sim GMAT tests.

Note that I have not mentioned about other books or other sites for practice tests which simplymeans they are NOT worth your time & money. Caution: This has exception of Veritas Prep. I haven’t had chance to review their products.

Now let’s have some non-brand materials,

Materials those are freely available on cyberspace and have no copyright issues.

BeattheGMAT’s flashcard (best flashcards you could get )

Grammar Notes:

Sahil’s Grammar Notes
Spidey’s Sentence Correction Notes & some more docs such as Rajat-nda’s notes.

You will get above documents anywhere online, just search around on GMAT related forums. The reason why I am so selective in mentioning about the resources is, people just take any darn test or soft copies of books available on internet just to end up in pracitsing non-GMAT questions.

Therefore I am with trusted and reputable resources. I insist…

DONT WASTE YOUR TIME IN STUDYING AND PRACTISING WRONG SETS OF PROBLEMS.

…still if you want more practice problems then download thousand series by scoretop

  • 1000 SC
  • 1000 CR
  • 3000 RC

Again, these documents are available freely everywhere on internet. Note that documents do not have explanations to the problems. You will have to join some GMAT realated online forums to discuss those problems. I am not pro-1000 series doc as such but I feel these documents are one of a kind. You’ll never get such a great no. of questions compiled in a single document and that too absolutely free!

[OK! After some time getting into GMAT prepeparation/studying environment, you should start realising the easy methods to solve the problems, you should be able to discover some shortcuts. Key is you should examine the strategies that are discussed in prep books and use them according to your needs & study-style.] If you see these signs you know that you’re going in the right direction. All the best 🙂

Post GMAT course for getting admission into MBA programs

While prepping for GMAT you should also be aware of the b-schools you want to apply. You must have a long term plan & You should do some research on the b-schools that suits your long term goal.

For such informations you have b-schools’ own web-sites which give all information about MBA programs you desire/along with plenty of other good sites:

Dave’s MBA Journey

Hjort’s b-school corner from GMAT Club Forums :

There are MBA admission consultants, ready to give you free advice & assessment. Check them out!

Accepted.com

ClearAdmit

Stacy Blackman Co. blog

Above blogs update several times a week; keep tab on all these site & be informed. I think that’s enough for now. Feel free to comment. & yes, subscribe, spread the word! for world peace!
PS: If you like this article, you might like to take a look at this one too: GMAT in a month: strategy.