The Official Guide For GMAT 2018 — The Right Way To Use It - examPAL GMAT Blog
  1. So what is the Official Guide?

     

    The Official Guide (or as we call it, the OG) is a GMAT preparation book put out by the GMAC – the organization in charge of administering the exam. The fact that it’s written by the GMAC is important, since this is what gives the OG what other prep books don’t offer: real questions from GMAT exams, which other prep companies can’t use for copyright reasons. These questions themselves aren’t going to appear on your exam; they have been ‘retired’, but they are obviously the closest thing out there to the questions that will.

    In addition to the Official Guide, which has questions from all sections of the exam (Integrated Reasoning included), the GMAC puts out an Official Guide Verbal Review and Quantitative Review, which focus on one section only and provide 300 additional questions to the ones appearing in the basic OG. The GMAC puts out a new edition of each of these guides each year; the 2018 Official Guide has 900 questions, out of which 130 are new and do not appear in previous versions. The Verbal and Quant versions each have 45 new questions.

    How to prepare for the GMAT with the Official Guide

    The OG, then, is a great tool, but tools are only useful if we know how to use them. How, then, to best use the OG? The idea is this: when approaching a new question, read the question stem and pause before going over the answers or trying to solve it. Ask yourself: how should I solve this question? In examPAL terms, what PAL should I use?

    • Precise – can I quickly solve this question in a straightforward way, using the information in the question stem, figuring out the solution and then choosing the answer choice that fits?
    • Alternative – am I better off using some kind of shortcut to get to the answer quickly (such as using the answers, estimating, or plugging in numbers instead of variables) without even necessarily understanding exactly how I got there?
    • Logical – is there perhaps some kind prior knowledge or logical rule that doesn’t appear in the question (such as the logic of pricing or argument structure) but can allow me to cut through the question’s many details and figure out what the answer must be, before even going over the different options?
     

    Only after choosing one of the above do we solve, and after solving, we of course review.

    This means obviously checking in the OG whether the solution was right or wrong, but this is only the beginning:

    For correct answers, we must stop and think whether our chosen answer strategy was the most efficient available.

    For mistaken ones, we must ask ourselves what caused the mistake and how to do better next time.

    Next, we’ll use the OG to seek out similar questions and make sure we learned from our mistake. There’s no need to rush this process; rather, we should take our time to comprehensively research and review.  It’s not about the quantity of questions we solve, but about the quality of what we learn from solving those questions .

    The Official Guide is not enough

    Alright then, just buy the newest OG and it’s off to the races, right? Well, wrong.

    While the OG is a valuable tool that we recommend using in your studies, we very much do not recommend using this book alone. The reason is that, well, it’s a book. And while we love books in everyday life, in terms of GMAT prep, they have some very basic disadvantages.

    Most importantly, the GMAT is adaptive, which books will never be. While the test dynamically feeds you questions of varying degrees of difficulty, zeroing in on your precise proficiency level, books are a monotonous slog through predetermined questions, most of whose difficulty level is completely irrelevant to you.

    Books also provide us with one-size-fits-all explanations, whereas (as examPAL users know well) most questions have a few solutions, and efficient studying entails learning the one that’s right for you. Books can of course not give us any feedback either: the crucial task of reviewing our question-solving, and arriving at conclusions regarding the topics and tools our study must focus on going forward is left to us alone, with no tips or guidance.

    Lastly, studying with a book leaves us completely unfamiliar with the exam’s computer interface, which is no good either; we want as few surprises as possible on test day.

     

    All of this being said, the OG still has the basic advantage discussed earlier: it is the only source out there, book or otherwise, that provides us with real GMAT questions rather than mere approximations. For this reason, the OG does have value as a study tool, just not on its own.

    To recap:
    Books are not the tool to base our studies on, but the OG is the one book we should incorporate into our studies, alongside more adaptive, computer-based technology.

     

    Official Guide overview

    So how should we best incorporate the OG into our studies? As stated above, we recommend not solving the questions in the book start to finish, but rather seeking out the questions that are relevant to you. For example, say you just solved the Circles section in the examPAL course but got a low Optimization score. Now is the time to seek out in the OG Circles questions of an appropriate level of difficulty.

    In order to find the OG question you are looking for, here’s a guide to the OG questions, and which section in the examPAL course they correspond to:

     

    Integers

     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    13 Easy
    20 Easy
    42 Easy
    46 Easy
    54 Easy
    65 Easy
    73 Easy
    74 Easy
    90 Easy
    100 Easy
    104 Easy
    115 Easy
    124 Easy
    131 Easy
    136 Easy
    141 Easy
    165 Easy
    173 Easy
    175 Easy
    186 Easy
    204 Easy
    213 Easy
    219 Easy
    225 Easy
    258 Easy
    278 Easy
    279 Easy
    309 Easy
    314 Easy
    317 Easy
    328 Easy
    334 Easy
    349 Easy
    354 Easy
    372 Easy
    395 Easy
    399 Easy
    121 Hard
    161 Hard
    176 Hard
    292 Hard
    356 Hard
    377 Hard
    44 Medium
    62 Medium
    79 Medium
    81 Medium
    92 Medium
    154 Medium
    181 Medium
    189 Medium
    195 Medium
    196 Medium
    271 Medium
    285 Medium
    288 Medium
    289 Medium
    293 Medium
    323 Medium
    327 Medium
    338 Medium
    357 Medium
    359 Medium
    403 Medium
    138 Very Hard
    197 Very Hard
    205 Very Hard
    337 Very Hard
    342 Very Hard
    364 Very Hard
    365 Very Hard
    388 Very Hard

     

    Critical Reasoning

     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    544 Easy
    545 Easy
    546 Easy
    547 Easy
    548 Easy
    550 Easy
    551 Easy
    552 Easy
    553 Easy
    556 Easy
    557 Easy
    559 Easy
    560 Easy
    561 Easy
    562 Easy
    563 Easy
    564 Easy
    565 Easy
    566 Easy
    567 Easy
    568 Easy
    570 Easy
    571 Easy
    573 Easy
    574 Easy
    575 Easy
    576 Easy
    577 Easy
    578 Easy
    585 Easy
    586 Easy
    590 Easy
    592 Easy
    596 Easy
    602 Easy
    605 Easy
    606 Easy
    609 Easy
    610 Easy
    617 Easy
    646 Easy
    665 Easy
    558 Hard
    579 Hard
    580 Hard
    589 Hard
    591 Hard
    595 Hard
    598 Hard
    611 Hard
    619 Hard
    620 Hard
    623 Hard
    624 Hard
    629 Hard
    634 Hard
    649 Hard
    651 Hard
    653 Hard
    654 Hard
    655 Hard
    657 Hard
    658 Hard
    661 Hard
    549 Medium
    554 Medium
    555 Medium
    569 Medium
    572 Medium
    581 Medium
    582 Medium
    583 Medium
    584 Medium
    587 Medium
    588 Medium
    593 Medium
    594 Medium
    597 Medium
    599 Medium
    600 Medium
    601 Medium
    603 Medium
    604 Medium
    607 Medium
    608 Medium
    612 Medium
    613 Medium
    614 Medium
    615 Medium
    616 Medium
    621 Medium
    622 Medium
    625 Medium
    626 Medium
    627 Medium
    628 Medium
    630 Medium
    631 Medium
    632 Medium
    633 Medium
    636 Medium
    637 Medium
    638 Medium
    640 Medium
    642 Medium
    660 Medium
    663 Medium
    645 N/A
    618 Very Hard
    635 Very Hard
    639 Very Hard
    641 Very Hard
    643 Very Hard
    644 Very Hard
    647 Very Hard
    648 Very Hard
    650 Very Hard
    652 Very Hard
    656 Very Hard
    659 Very Hard
    662 Very Hard
    664 Very Hard
    666 Very Hard
    667 Very Hard

     

    Fractions and percent
     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    239 Easy
    253 Easy
    259 Easy
    269 Easy
    319 Easy
    1 Easy
    2 Easy
    4 Easy
    6 Easy
    10 Easy
    12 Easy
    15 Easy
    24 Easy
    30 Easy
    33 Easy
    38 Easy
    40 Easy
    45 Easy
    53 Easy
    55 Easy
    57 Easy
    59 Easy
    61 Easy
    63 Easy
    70 Easy
    80 Easy
    82 Easy
    85 Easy
    88 Easy
    89 Easy
    94 Easy
    108 Easy
    122 Easy
    167 Easy
    172 Easy
    207 Easy
    216 Easy
    222 Easy
    223 Easy
    227 Easy
    286 Medium
    295 Medium
    324 Medium
    48 Medium
    72 Medium
    83 Medium
    86 Medium
    87 Medium
    106 Medium
    119 Medium
    125 Medium
    134 Medium
    139 Medium
    149 Medium
    180 Medium
    215 Medium
    313 Hard
    321 Hard
    333 Hard
    387 Hard
    109 Hard
    153 Hard
    169 Hard
    332 Very Hard
    340 Very Hard
    203 Very Hard
    210 Very Hard

     
     

    Interest

     
     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    60 Easy
    143 Easy
    232 Easy
    250 Easy
    268 Easy
    270 Easy
    97 Medium
    130 Medium
    191 Medium
    296 Medium
    393 Medium

     

    Reading Comprehension

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    405 N/A
    406 N/A
    407 N/A
    408 N/A
    409 N/A
    410 N/A
    411 N/A
    412 N/A
    413 N/A
    414 N/A
    415 N/A
    416 N/A
    417 N/A
    418 N/A
    419 N/A
    420 N/A
    421 N/A
    422 N/A
    423 N/A
    424 N/A
    425 N/A
    426 N/A
    427 N/A
    428 N/A
    429 N/A
    430 N/A
    431 N/A
    432 N/A
    433 N/A
    434 N/A
    435 N/A
    436 N/A
    437 N/A
    438 N/A
    439 N/A
    440 N/A
    441 N/A
    442 N/A
    443 N/A
    444 N/A
    445 N/A
    446 N/A
    447 N/A
    448 N/A
    449 N/A
    450 N/A
    451 N/A
    452 N/A
    453 N/A
    454 N/A
    455 N/A
    456 N/A
    457 N/A
    458 N/A
    459 N/A
    460 N/A
    461 N/A
    462 N/A
    463 N/A
    464 N/A
    465 N/A
    466 N/A
    467 N/A
    468 N/A
    469 N/A
    470 N/A
    471 N/A
    472 N/A
    473 N/A
    474 N/A
    475 N/A
    476 N/A
    477 N/A
    478 N/A
    479 N/A
    480 N/A
    481 N/A
    482 N/A
    483 N/A
    484 N/A
    485 N/A
    486 N/A
    487 N/A
    488 N/A
    489 N/A
    490 N/A
    491 N/A
    492 N/A
    493 N/A
    494 N/A
    495 N/A
    496 N/A
    497 N/A
    498 N/A
    499 N/A
    500 N/A
    501 N/A
    502 N/A
    503 N/A
    504 N/A
    505 N/A
    506 N/A
    507 N/A
    508 N/A
    509 N/A
    510 N/A
    511 N/A
    512 N/A
    513 N/A
    514 N/A
    515 N/A
    516 N/A
    517 N/A
    518 N/A
    519 N/A
    520 N/A
    521 N/A
    522 N/A
    523 N/A
    524 N/A
    525 N/A
    526 N/A
    527 N/A
    528 N/A
    529 N/A
    530 N/A
    531 N/A
    532 N/A
    533 N/A
    534 N/A
    535 N/A
    536 N/A
    537 N/A
    538 N/A
    539 N/A
    540 N/A
    541 N/A
    542 N/A
    543 N/A

     

    Triangles

     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    231 Easy
    237 Easy
    260 Easy
    26 Easy
    29 Easy
    43 Easy
    145 Easy
    353 Medium
    398 Medium
    123 Medium
    346 Hard
    384 Very Hard
    386 Very Hard

    Powers and Roots

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    66 Easy
    240 Easy
    112 Medium
    168 Hard
    68 Very Hard

     

    Ratio and Proportions

     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    233 Easy
    256 Easy
    3 Easy
    5 Easy
    28 Easy
    36 Easy
    75 Easy
    91 Easy
    103 Easy
    133 Easy
    310 Medium
    325 Medium
    355 Medium
    368 Medium
    335 Hard
    160 Hard

     

    Sentence Correction

     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    668 Easy
    669 Easy
    670 Easy
    671 Easy
    672 Easy
    673 Easy
    674 Easy
    675 Easy
    677 Easy
    678 Easy
    679 Easy
    680 Easy
    681 Easy
    682 Easy
    683 Easy
    685 Easy
    686 Easy
    687 Easy
    689 Easy
    690 Easy
    691 Easy
    694 Easy
    695 Easy
    696 Easy
    699 Easy
    701 Easy
    702 Easy
    703 Easy
    705 Easy
    706 Easy
    707 Easy
    710 Easy
    711 Easy
    712 Easy
    713 Easy
    715 Easy
    716 Easy
    717 Easy
    718 Easy
    719 Easy
    720 Easy
    723 Easy
    727 Easy
    730 Easy
    731 Easy
    734 Easy
    736 Easy
    745 Easy
    746 Easy
    747 Easy
    752 Easy
    755 Easy
    760 Easy
    761 Easy
    762 Easy
    764 Easy
    766 Easy
    767 Easy
    770 Easy
    771 Easy
    777 Easy
    780 Easy
    792 Easy
    795 Easy
    807 Easy
    676 Medium
    684 Medium
    688 Medium
    692 Medium
    693 Medium
    697 Medium
    700 Medium
    708 Medium
    709 Medium
    714 Medium
    721 Medium
    722 Medium
    725 Medium
    726 Medium
    728 Medium
    729 Medium
    732 Medium
    733 Medium
    735 Medium
    738 Medium
    740 Medium
    741 Medium
    742 Medium
    744 Medium
    748 Medium
    749 Medium
    750 Medium
    753 Medium
    754 Medium
    758 Medium
    759 Medium
    763 Medium
    769 Medium
    773 Medium
    776 Medium
    779 Medium
    783 Medium
    784 Medium
    785 Medium
    788 Medium
    791 Medium
    793 Medium
    797 Medium
    798 Medium
    698 Hard
    704 Hard
    724 Hard
    737 Hard
    739 Hard
    743 Hard
    757 Hard
    768 Hard
    772 Hard
    778 Hard
    786 Hard
    787 Hard
    789 Hard
    790 Hard
    796 Hard
    799 Hard
    801 Hard
    803 Hard
    804 Hard
    805 Hard
    751 Very Hard
    756 Very Hard
    765 Very Hard
    774 Very Hard
    775 Very Hard
    781 Very Hard
    782 Very Hard
    794 Very Hard
    800 Very Hard
    802 Very Hard
    806 Very Hard

     

    Quadrilaterals

     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    301 Easy
    17 Easy
    18 Easy
    32 Easy
    39 Easy
    58 Easy
    99 Easy
    174 Easy
    304 Medium
    311 Medium
    156 Hard
    202 Very Hard

     

    Expressions and Equations

     

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    243 Easy
    245 Easy
    247 Easy
    249 Easy
    252 Easy
    273 Easy
    281 Easy
    291 Easy
    366 Easy
    404 Easy
    246 Easy
    373 Easy
    401 Easy
    16 Easy
    25 Easy
    27 Easy
    31 Easy
    35 Easy
    49 Easy
    67 Easy
    117 Easy
    135 Easy
    184 Easy
    185 Easy
    193 Easy
    220 Easy
    230 Easy
    274 Medium
    275 Medium
    290 Medium
    300 Medium
    303 Medium
    306 Medium
    307 Medium
    318 Medium
    351 Medium
    402 Medium
    19 Medium
    51 Medium
    78 Medium
    93 Medium
    110 Medium
    200 Medium
    226 Medium
    228 Medium
    320 Hard
    350 Hard
    361 Hard
    147 Hard
    198 Hard
    206 Hard
    315 Very Hard
    391 Very Hard
    376 Very Hard
    128 Very Hard
    155 Very Hard
    209 Very Hard

    Rate and Work

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    8 Easy
    22 Easy
    23 Easy
    76 Easy
    190 Easy
    238 Easy
    251 Easy
    322 Easy
    341 Easy
    64 Medium
    69 Medium
    98 Medium
    102 Medium
    113 Medium
    132 Medium
    188 Medium
    192 Medium
    199 Medium
    280 Medium
    299 Medium
    111 Hard
    129 Hard
    374 Very Hard
    380 Very Hard

    Circles

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    263 Easy
    265 Easy
    369 Easy
    95 Easy
    146 Easy
    177 Easy
    287 Medium
    379 Hard

    Sets

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    71 Easy
    120 Easy
    212 Easy
    214 Easy
    241 Easy
    242 Easy
    248 Easy
    257 Easy
    262 Easy
    266 Easy
    267 Easy
    272 Easy
    276 Easy
    277 Easy
    284 Easy
    360 Easy
    118 Medium
    148 Medium
    47 Medium
    182 Medium
    254 Medium
    283 Medium
    305 Medium
    326 Medium
    329 Medium
    352 Medium
    362 Medium
    390 Medium
    397 Medium
    294 Hard
    316 Hard
    331 Hard
    229 Very Hard
    389 Very Hard

    Positive and negative numbers

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    255 Easy
    126 Easy
    127 Medium
    344 Hard
    308 Hard
    370 Very Hard

    Polygons

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    224 Very Hard
    367 Very Hard

    Counting Methods and Probability

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    236 Easy
    297 Easy
    302 Easy
    234 Easy
    345 Easy
    178 Easy
    179 Easy
    221 Easy
    163 Easy
    336 Medium
    339 Medium
    11 Medium
    162 Medium
    170 Medium
    312 Hard
    150 Hard
    152 Hard
    140 Very Hard
    142 Very Hard
    157 Very Hard
    201 Very Hard
    208 Very Hard

    Coordinate Geometry

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    50 Easy
    56 Easy
    101 Easy
    107 Easy
    183 Easy
    235 Easy
    264 Easy
    77 Medium
    400 Medium
    347 Hard
    382 Very Hard
    383 Very Hard

    Descriptive Statistics

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    244 Easy
    298 Easy
    348 Easy
    375 Easy
    394 Easy
    396 Easy
    14 Easy
    21 Easy
    41 Easy
    52 Easy
    84 Easy
    96 Easy
    137 Easy
    144 Easy
    187 Easy
    194 Easy
    37 Easy
    381 Medium
    105 Medium
    158 Medium
    164 Medium
    166 Medium
    171 Medium
    217 Medium
    363 Hard
    151 Hard
    282 Very Hard
    358 Very Hard
    378 Very Hard
    385 Very Hard
    392 Very Hard
    116 Very Hard
    211 Very Hard

    Solids

    OG question number Difficulty Level
    34 Easy
    114 Medium
    343 Medium
    159 Hard
    371 Very Hard

     

     

    mm
    Jack Oren Jackman
    CEO & Founder of examPAL. 21 years' experience in the field of test prep. Has written dozens of books and courseware, and personally taught over 4,000 students.

No Comments. Be the first to post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2017 examPAL GMAT Blog

Loading...
Menu Title