Book Review of McGraw-Hill’s Conquering the New GRE MathA few days back I reviewed McGraw Hill’s GRE book and gave it a strongly negative critique. For reasons yet unknown to me, McGraw Hill has completely misunderstood the difficulty level of the GRE test and written a very superficial book. The same is true for “Conquering the New GRE Math”. This book is not an accurate depiction of the real GRE math and should only be used to supplement your GRE prep from other better books available on the shelf.
Not even a single question in this book is a GRE math question. You will not see any of these on your test day. Moreover the book’s layout is not reader friendly at all. A lot of information is crammed in a single page – causing confusion for the students.
Some people argue that this book should be used to master basic math concepts and is a great resource for students who are very weak at Math. But then what I fail to understand is why does McGraw market it as a GRE book if it doesn’t have even a single GRE question?
I totally agree that this book is a great helper when it comes to understanding basic mathematical concepts that may have created problems all your life. But this mastery of basic concepts will never automatically transfer to the new GRE. And therefore this title is misleading and hence the reasons for my concern and dislike of this book.
Considering it to be a math refresher, this book gives a good overview of almost all categories of math questions on the GRE such as integer properties, algebra, stats etc. Geometry however is explained without any figures and diagrams. This is frustrating because it is hard to understand geometry without any visual representation.
Moreover the book does not have clear and lucid explanations. I would suggest not going through the topics of digits and notations from this book – it is very confusing for someone who does not know much of basic math. Another drawback is that it sometimes assumes that you know how to manipulate big numbers and equalities, which is certainly a brain drainer for the actual readers of this book who lack basic math understanding.
Either way, you must use this alongwith other supporting material such ETS official guide, Barron’s, Princeton Review and Kaplan. Many students complain that they easily get perfect scores under timed conditions on the practice tests given in this book. The reason is the same – these tests are not real GRE questions
As a math refresher, this is certainly a good book but since its title says GRE then I would rate it as 3/10.