Insights from the 2019 Official Guide Books

Every year, we analyze the latest editions of the GMAT Official Guide, GMAT Quantitative Review and GMAT Verbal Review. We look for new patterns and trends in the problems that have been added and removed. For 2019, key insights include:

  1. More Easy & Mid-Level Problems. Continuing a trend over the past few years, all three official books have primarily updated and enhanced the easy and mid-level problems. In fact this year, the problems above a certain number in each section of each book remained unchanged. If you are targeting a top score, however, I wouldn't underestimate the importance of mastering the problems in the official books.

  2. Revamped SC Intro. Previous editions of the OG had a 5-page introduction at the beginning of the Sentence Correction section. This section has been dramatically revised and expanded to more than 20 pages, giving us a much more detailed understanding of how the test writers think about SC. In particular, this section explains that SC problems are in part reading comprehension challenges, confirming a trend we've seen in recent years - that meaning issues are increasingly important.

  3. Quant Topics with More Emphasis. Receiving more attention are approximation, common equations, median, min/max, and word problems involving gross profit. Of note, there are no new combinatorics problems.

  4. Verbal Topics with More Emphasis. For SC, there are more problems involving conditional tense, ellipsis and parallelism with "not only/but also." Also, one more SC problem with "being" in the right answer was added. On the CR side, there are two new weaken questions masquerading as strengthen questions, and there is a greater emphasis on paradox and boldface. Finally, we also now have one official CR mimic question!

There are a few more key observations that we hold in reserve for Simply Brilliant's clients! Our approach to GMAT prep includes assigning targeted lists of official problems, and these lists include many great problems in older editions that have been removed in the newer editions. The older editions represent great resources for those looking for a larger supply of problems that were actually once on the real GMAT, and these books are generally available at