Nova’s GMAT Math Prep Course Book Review

So how is Nova’s GMAT Math Prep Course Book? Well, I might recommend this book in a specific context to a certain kind of student.  Yet, I do not recommend it in general.  Why is this?  Well read further in the Nova’s GMAT Math Prep Course book review to find out.


What Nova’s GMAT Math Prep Course is and what it isn’t

First of all, this book only has math in it, so it doesn’t prepare you for Verbal or Integrated Reasoning at all.  As far as the math goes, this book is a collection of problems, nothing more.  It contains essentially no formal instruction and relatively terse explanations.   We would not recommend this book for someone struggling with math, for someone who hasn’t done any math in several years and who feels very rusty with math.  This book will not help at all with math anxiety. This book will not contribute a great deal to your understanding of important GMAT Math strategies, such as estimation.


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A nerd utopia

Given all that, to whom would we recommend this book?  Well, this book is an incredibly large and thorough collection of math questions, some of them very hard.  Suppose you are already a math nerd, perhaps someone who majored in, say, something like physics or mechanical engineering.  Suppose you have a large amount of time until you take the GMAT, say 6 months, and you have already worked exhausted the math in the OG and other sources, and you just want a giant bucket of math problems against which to sharpen your teeth — then, this is precisely the book for you!  If you already are very confident in math, very talented in math, and you just want a plethora of practice GMAT math problems, this would be a wonderful resource.  For this type of student only, and for this purpose only, we would highly recommend this book.


Nova’s GMAT Math Review Summary

For math nerds who have no doubt about their mathematical abilities, and just want more problems to practice, this book is a wonderful resource.  For the much larger portion of the population, who does not feel quite as confident with math and actually needs to learn some of the fundamental math, I would not call this book the go-to source.  These folks can find much more support in the articles on this free blog.

Do you own this book?  Please tell us about your experience in the comments section.  Do you have questions about this book vs. other GMAT math prep sources?  Ask in the comments below.


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8 Responses to Nova’s GMAT Math Prep Course Book Review

  1. ryan July 19, 2016 at 7:33 am #

    Mike, I am big supporter of your blog and think you do an excellent job. However, I do not agree with your recommendation in this case. I purchased the Nova GMAT Math Prep for Kindle and am extremely disappointed. The book is RIDDLED with typos, making the learning experience dreadful. I have also found errors in content. In the geometry section, the first practice problem has an incorrect solution and incorrect explanation. The kindle edition’s copy write date is 2009 so that could be the explanation and perhaps the print version does not have these errors. If that is the case please edit this review to advise people NOT to buy the Kindle edition. It is a complete waste of time and money. Thank you

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

      I haven’t read the Kindle edition myself, but I just checked’s previews for both the Kindle Edition of Nova’S GMAT Math Prep, and the print edition. And yikes! You’re right! The Kindle edition is (c) 2009, while the print edition is updated to 2014. This makes the Kindle edition very problematic indeed. Thanks for the warning. Your comment can help a lot of students who are considering buying Nova, I’m sure.

  2. Ivan July 12, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

    Hello Mike,

    I am following one of your 3 month guides and it recommends the use of this book and I got the kindle ebook version. I am starting to use it but so far (first chapter) I have found some printing mistakes that confuse me. For instance in the chapter on substitution in the section of Plugging in, the hard question says:

    The number m yields a remainder p when divided by 14 and a remainder q when divided by 7. If p = q + 1, then which one of the following could be the value of m ?

    (A) 45
    (B) 53
    (C) 72
    (D) 85
    (E) 100

    I’ve checked it online and it seems that the correct version of the question is “if p = q + 7”, that way it could be solved easily.

    Have you received similar feedback on this book? I wish I could send you a screenshot but trust that I triple checked this information before posting.

    NOVA’s Gmat math prep course (english) Jeff Kolby.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert July 21, 2016 at 7:25 am #

      Hi Ivan,

      I’m sorry to hear that printing mistakes are causing you grief. Yes, some students have brought the amount of errors and typos in the Kindle edition to our attention. The errors can definitely be frustrating at times, but according to a review on Amazon, it’s possible to determine what the typos are using the explanations. Also, per the same review, the errors are a publisher issue. So, if/when NOVA publishes a new edition of the prep book, hopefully these errors will be corrected. That said, despite these errors, the book is a really good source for review, and that’s why we recommend it.

      I hope this helps, at least a little 🙂

  3. oishik December 15, 2015 at 10:52 am #

    Well the book is good but I m finding a bit easy upto page 261 till now and I am still on a search for where I get every math question pool that can be made so that I don’t panic in timed conditions

  4. Vivian August 24, 2015 at 4:43 am #

    Hi Mike, is Nova’s math prep course the same Nova’s math bible? If not, could you please advise me which one should be bought? Thanks.

  5. Velu February 23, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

    I have been using the Nova – Gmat Math BIble and I have to admit, this book is one of the best resources available for Math Prep. It not only hones your skills to perfection, but also provides you with a plethora of questions which will ensure a thorough understanding of all concepts. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

    • Mike MᶜGarry
      Mike February 24, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      Thank you for your positive review of it. I’m very glad you are finding it helpful.. Best of luck to you.
      Mike 🙂

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