AdmitMBA360 Blog formerly Journey to my MBA

Journey to my MBA

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Terrible Book - Ace the GMAT

Here's a book that I absolutely want to highlight as one big waste of money. "Ace the GMAT" should be renamed, "Anything but, Ace the GMAT". For anyone that found this posting via Google or Yahoo because you were searching for information on this book.... read on!

Today, I received an e-mail from regarding MBA news and upcoming conferences. By the way, anyone planning on applying to Business School should be paying attention to their upcoming events. I've attached a schedule of when they'll be in your area at the bottom of this posting.

Anyway, at the end of the e-mail, there is a column called "Expert Advice". In it, a book called Ace the GMAT written by Brandon Royal is highlighted. It sounds good when you read about it. There's even a quote from a former McKinsey employee, which adds credibility to the whole ad.

So now I'm thinking, if Word MBA Tour can endorse this.... then it might be an ok book right? Although, I've done a lot of research over the last year on GMAT material, I found it odd that I'd never heard of this thing. I thought perhaps that I was missing the boat. So yours truly did some sleuthing. Look, if the book sucks, I'll say so. I'll stick to my guns and say that anyone that doesn't pick up the Official Guide and the Manhattan GMAT books is just spinning their wheels. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble by starting with these books. Brandon, Brandon, Brandon... nice try on the 1st edition. It's a shame too because your 88 Great MBA Application Tips and Strategies to Get You Into a Top Business School 2nd Edition was an ok book. Not great, but ok.

You know.... being able to sift through the nuggets from the chaff in trying to find helpful MBA application and GMAT prep resources was one the key reasons I started this Blog and my other web resource, "Future MBA Resources" . It's nearly impossible to know who's selling you a bridge unless you do a load of research. The application process is amazingly difficult as it is. There are numerous individuals & companies that hover around the MBA application race who prey on the insecure, the naive, and the fearful. At the same time, I also know that there are honest companies out there as well.

Here's an example of some people preying on MBA applicants that I've noticed begin to creep into forums this last year. When I got married, my wife seriously considered changing her career to become a wedding planner. She did one wedding with me and suddenly she's an expert? If you're reading this... you can yell at me later ok! Anyway, I've seen 1/2 a dozen admission consultant pop-up in the past year. These are former MBA students or the like. Maybe some of them are good. So, let me ask you.... "You would seriously put down $3-$5,000 grand with these newbies when you have guys from other admission consulting firms that have been doing this for years who charge a bit more, but are probably worth more?" Why?

Moreover, I hear the same thing from newly accepted MBA students all over saying the same thing.. "that they can do the same thing that a 10 year MBA Admission consultant can". I'm not saying that everyone should use them. I'm just saying that a few people have learned to prey on the weak and have really taken advantage of them. It gives really good MBA Admission Consultants a bad name and indirectly hurts other MBA application process vendors as well. That's why I've done my best to filter them and post them on this blog and my resource web page. Best wishes to all and don't let crappy resources like this GMAT prep book rob you of your hard earned money.

Whew... that was an interesting tangent. Now back to the book.....

What I found written about this GMAT book had me absolutely giddy. I've run across some seriously messed up GMAT resources, but this one definitely earns my GMAT resource crappy award for the year. Yes, the year! I have to also give a GMAT expert advice screw up award to Somebody reprimand the person at who signed off on accepting money from Scoretop advertise with you. Stupid move! Why even associate with this book guys! Watch out from whom you get money from guys!

The first 3-4 reviews call this the best book they'd ever seen. This is typical new book behavior from the publisher, author or author's friends. Throw those comments away and then read the reviews that come later. I've taken the liberty of putting some excerpts of a few of those reviews from Amazon here:

"within the first fifteen minutes had realized that I had made a mistake. Not that the content is horrible, but within the first chapter there were so many misspellings, miswritten formulas, questions with the wrong answer choices ........Do not waste your money or time."

"the book has a substantial number of errors: typos, mismatched answer keys, missing questions in the answer key and mislabelled diagrams. In addition to the obvious errors, there are publishing and layout concerns. Compressed text and headers making it difficult to identify different sections of the chapter. Quizzes with answer choices printed across two pages. Questions that are labelled with titles rather than numbers making it tricky to use the answer key. Answers that don't highlight the correct answer choice. All of these errors while minor and not too frequent, provide for a frustrating study experience...."

"This book is so bad that it is not even worth this review that I am writing. I want customers to know that by buying this book, I have made such a mistake that I would just throw it away, because If I were to try to return it it wouldn't be worth the trip. I have seen books that would actually lower your score if you used them because they are based on the old paper and pencil GMAT format instead of the CAT format. For example, the REA Testbuster's GMAT kit includes verbal vocabulary games, despite the fact that vocabulary is not tested on the GMAT as it is on the GRE or the SAT. This book, however, is even worse than those: you cannot possibly lower your score by studying from this book, because you will figure out immediately that something is wrong and you will have enough sense to throw it away. "

Body Blow! Blody Blow! Upper Cut! ..... thmmmmp! and the book is down for the count! 1! ... 2!.... 3!........

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The World MBA Tour is the largest series of business school fairs in the world and is now in its twelfth year of operation. 19 of the top 20 US and all of the top 20 European business schools travel with the Tour and in all over 300 key international business schools participate.


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