Book Review: The Manhattan GMAT Official Guide Companions

The centerpiece of Manhattan GMAT’s library of GMAT books is their 10-volume set. In addition to this overview, they also publish two “companion” volumes.

(See my reviews of the volumes covering math, Sentence Correction, Critical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension).

1) The Official Guide Companion


2) The Official Guide Companion for Sentence Correction


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Both of these currently are tied to the OG13, which is identical in content to the OG2015.  Presumably, at some point, they will release new editions of these, tied to the OG2017.


What these books contain

These books contain solutions to the problems in the GMAT Official Guide.  They do not replace the OG: these books only provide explanations, so you would have to buy the OG to get the full text of each question.

The first book, the MGMAT OG Companion, solves all the math in the OG: the math problems in the Diagnostic Test, then all the Problem Solving problems, then all the Data Sufficiency problems.  The second book, the MGMAT OG Companion for Sentence Correction, solves all the SC problems, both those in the Diagnostic Test and those in the SC section.  These books are quite similar to what Magoosh provides in video form: solutions to problems in the OG.


Are these books recommended?

Hmmm.  First of all, while the questions in the GMAT OG are some of the finest standardized test questions ever written, the explanations are a mixed bag: some are solid, some are tepid, and some are sadly lacking.  Clearly, the explanation-side of the OG needs a supplement.

Having said that, I would give a lukewarm recommendation of these two books.  The math explanations lean heavily on the “table” explanations that MGMAT loves: if that makes sense to you, then this is the book for you.  The SC book makes heavy use of the MGMAT-specific terminology: again, if you are already deeply familiar with their entire system, this book would make more sense.  More to the point, Magoosh already provides all these explanations for free.

Of course, it never hurts to hear something explained in more than one way, especially if it’s an area of difficulty for you.  If you really struggle with math or SC, and have the extra money to spend, then by all means, watch the free Magoosh video explanation for each question and read the MGMAT take on each problem as well.  That would be an extremely diligent way to shore up a weak performance in a region.


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Summary of the review

The MGMAT 10 volume series is one of the best sources in print for GMAT preparation.  A combination of the Magoosh resources and the MGMAT books can provide dynamite GMAT preparation.  Having said, for someone acquainted with Magoosh’s resources, the two books reviewed here may be redundant, unless you intend to do the hyper-diligent work of “double review” on each problem.  If you have had experiences with these books, please let us know in the comment section.


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  • Mike MᶜGarry

    Mike served as a GMAT Expert at Magoosh, helping create hundreds of lesson videos and practice questions to help guide GMAT students to success. He was also featured as "member of the month" for over two years at GMAT Club. Mike holds an A.B. in Physics (graduating magna cum laude) and an M.T.S. in Religions of the World, both from Harvard. Beyond standardized testing, Mike has over 20 years of both private and public high school teaching experience specializing in math and physics. In his free time, Mike likes smashing foosballs into orbit, and despite having no obvious cranial deficiency, he insists on rooting for the NY Mets. Learn more about the GMAT through Mike's Youtube video explanations and resources like What is a Good GMAT Score? and the GMAT Diagnostic Test.

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2 Responses to Book Review: The Manhattan GMAT Official Guide Companions

  1. Deepanshi June 1, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    Is there a way to find out which question in Magoosh are from OG?

    I find the OG explanation insufficient.


    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 2, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Deepanshi,

      Our Magoosh product doesn’t include any OG questions, but we do have a forum that provides explanation videos for most (though not all) of the questions from Official Materials. There is a lot of overlap between different versions of the OG, so the easiest way to find a specific question is to google “Magoosh + [first few words of question]”. If we have an explanation, then it will show up in the first few search results!

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

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