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GMAT Verbal Review 2016

GMAT Verbal Review 2016

More tough questions would have been helpful but the GMAT Verbal Review 2016 is a welcome update to the aging Verbal Review 2nd edition. This isn't the book for testing how bad-ass your GMAT verbal skills have become but can certainly aid you in your GMAT journey as a tried and true skill builder. There are plenty of useful questions even for those already scoring well in the verbal and aiming for 700+ GMAT scores.

Reading Comprehension

More reading comprehension passages are certainly welcome. A bunch of these additions are on the very easy side so won't be helpful for any of you verbal high achievers. But for those just starting out or really struggling on the reading these will certainly be useful. If you are struggling with your reading go ahead and get in the habit of reading a challenging article every day. It's important to develop your active reading. Here is an article on using the Economist for GMAT Reading Comprehension. A quick aside: for some extra tough verbal practice you can always look to LSAT or GRE reading comprehension. Both are a bit denser than GMAT RC and are certainly at the same level of quality.

Critical Reasoning

The GMAT Verbal Review 2016 critical reasoning aligns more with the Official Guide 2015/2016. There have been a bunch of new additions in the "fill in the blank" category which now accounts for a full 20% of the section compared to 8% in the Verbal Review 2nd edition. Only one new assumption question has been added. Nothing to complain about in terms of the difficulty of the new questions: we've gotten a good proportion of medium to tough questions in this update including a boldfaced/role question that resembles a miniature reading comprehension passage. If only the RC and SC updates had been this good! If you are looking to take the critical reasoning to the next level you might tackle some LSAT logical reasoning. Here's an article on using LSAT for GMAT critical reasoning practice.

Sentence Correction

Tough sentence correction is hard to come by and remains so even with this 2016 update. Most of the new Sentence Correction questions live in the easy/medium territory. Those scoring 40+ on verbal will see some whacky sentence structures on the real GMAT, structures that are rare in the Official Guides. Not that you need to base your prep around these one or two outlier SC questions but it's nice to be prepared for them. Oh well. The content seems balanced with parallelism questions remaining the most numerous. 

Conclusion

The GMAT Verbal Review 2016 is an improvement over it's predecessor with a notable rebalancing of content in the critical reasoning section. Lightyears ahead? Nope. Worth having? That depends. If you are at the beginning of your GMAT preparation and haven't bought the Verbal Review 2nd edition then I would skip the old guy and by the 2016 edition. If you already have the Verbal Review 2nd Edition then you've probably got your bases covered and could skip the Verbal Review 2016. In that case the money would be better spent on the GMAT Question Pack, the GMAT Paper Tests, or some LSAT material.

GMAT Verbal Review 2016 New Question Breakdown

Reading Comprehension - 26 new questions / 24.7%

Page 22/23 (short)

Questions 1-4

Page 26/27 (medium)

Questions 11-17

Page 30/31 (short)

Questions 23-26

Page 38/39 (long)

Questions 39-42

Page 58/59 (medium)

Questions 99-105

Critical Reasoning - 25 new questions / 30.1%

3, 7, 16, 21, 25, 28, 33, 35, 38, 43, 46, 50, 52, 53, 55, 60, 62, 64, 67, 68, 71, 72, 75, 78, 83

Sentence Correction - 25 new questions / 22.1%

2, 3, 8, 11, 14, 19, 23, 26, 30, 33, 37, 38, 42, 43, 47, 48, 50, 55, 63, 65, 73, 80, 92, 99, 103

 

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