### Author's posts

Jun 24 2017

## 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle – Detailed Analysis

GMAT Genius has thoroughly analyzed the 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle and we want to share our insights with you. Feel free to read our detailed analysis of the 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle or skip down to our conclusions. Wishing you tremendous success with the GMAT!

## Overview of 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle

**The Official Guides for GMAT Review** contain retired real GMAT questions, and **are an essential component of your GMAT preparations**. The GMAC places questions in order of increasing difficulty, based on its assessment of difficulty. The three books in this bundle have no overlap in practice questions.

Our objective below is to provide a **combined analysis of each question type** (e.g. combine data for all Problem Solving questions across all books). You will find a list of new questions and detailed question categorization in our prior posts on the individual books:

The 2018 Official Guide for GMAT Review

The 2018 Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review

The 2018 Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review

**The 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle contains 220 new questions** out of the 1,566 total questions (including Integrated Reasoning). Excluding the 100 questions in the Diagnostic Exam section of the main book, the new questions represent 15% new content. These are new questions that we have not encountered before; they are not questions recycled from older GMAC resources.

## Problem Solving

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle contains a total of **430 Problem Solving questions. The GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
185 | 43% | +18 |

Medium |
102 | 24% | (5) |

Hard |
143 | 33% | (13) |

There are **61 new Problem Solving questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 37 / 12 / 12**. This is in lieu of 61 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 19 / 17 / 25.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment of Problem Solving skews noticeably less difficult / more towards the center** and is only 72.1% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, demonstrating tremendous subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
44 | 10% | +2 |

Easy |
125 | 29% | +2 |

Medium |
166 | 39% | (6) |

Hard |
68 | 16% | (1) |

Very Hard |
27 | 6% | +3 |

Although math questions often entail multiple math concepts, GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary math concept**. We break down the 430 Problem Solving questions as follows:

Type |
Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
26 | 6% | +5 |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
7 | 1.6% | — |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
24 | 5.6% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
26 | 6% | (5) |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
50 | 11.6% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Percents |
32 | 7.4% | (3) |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
2 | 0.5% | (2) |

Arithmetic | Primes |
4 | 0.9% | — |

Algebra | Inequalities |
9 | 2.1% | +1 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
23 | 5.3% | +1 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
18 | 4.2% | +2 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
13 | 3% | — |

Algebra | Variables in Answers |
13 | 3% | +2 |

Geometry | Circles |
8 | 1.9% | (1) |

Geometry | Coordinate |
12 | 2.8% | (1) |

Geometry | Rectangles |
12 | 2.8% | — |

Geometry | Triangles |
12 | 2.8% | +2 |

Geometry | Other |
11 | 2.6% | — |

Statistics | Averages |
32 | 7.4% | — |

Statistics | Other |
10 | 2.3% | +1 |

Word Problems | Combinatorics |
11 | 2.6% | — |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
22 | 5.1% | (1) |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
10 | 2.3% | +1 |

Word Problems | Probability |
9 | 2.1% | (1) |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
14 | 3.3% | +2 |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
20 | 4.7% | (1) |

## Data Sufficiency

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle contains a total of **322 Data Sufficiency questions. The GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
85 | 26% | +9 |

Medium |
90 | 28% | +8 |

Hard |
147 | 46% | (17) |

There are **45 new Data Sufficiency questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 13 / 16 / 16**. This is in lieu of 45 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 4 / 8 / 33.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews significantly easier** and is only 61.0% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
21 | 7% | +3 |

Easy |
83 | 26% | +5 |

Medium |
144 | 45% | (2) |

Hard |
62 | 19% | (4) |

Very Hard |
12 | 4% | (2) |

Although many math questions entail multiple math concepts, GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary math concept**. We break down the 322 Data Sufficiency questions as follows:

Type |
Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
20 | 6.2% | +5 |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
1 | 0.3% | — |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
17 | 5.3% | +3 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
26 | 8.1% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
19 | 5.9% | (2) |

Arithmetic | Percents |
21 | 6.5% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
13 | 4% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Primes |
4 | 1.2% | +1 |

Algebra | Inequalities |
26 | 8.1% | +6 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
14 | 4.3% | +1 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
10 | 3.1% | +1 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
18 | 5.6% | (6) |

Geometry | Circles |
11 | 3.4% | +1 |

Geometry | Coordinate |
11 | 3.4% | — |

Geometry | Rectangles |
7 | 2.2% | — |

Geometry | Triangles |
13 | 4% | — |

Geometry | Other |
7 | 2.2% | (1) |

Statistics | Averages |
20 | 6.2% | — |

Statistics | Other |
15 | 4.7% | (1) |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
11 | 3.4% | (1) |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
15 | 4.7% | +1 |

Word Problems | Probability |
4 | 1.2% | (1) |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
8 | 2.5% | (2) |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
11 | 3.4% | (2) |

## Sentence Correction

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle contains a total of **158 Sentence Correction questions. The GMAC classifies question difficulty into three categories** as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
71 | 26% | +5 |

Medium |
75 | 28% | (26) |

Hard |
125 | 46% | +21 |

There are **38 new Sentence Correction questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 12 / 4 / 22**. This is in lieu of 38 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 13 / 18. The GMAC has assigned a different difficulty rating to a total of 17 Sentence Correction questions, upgrading these 17 from Medium to Hard difficulty.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews noticeably easier** and is only 59.9% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly demonstrating the subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
7 | 3% | (1) |

Easy |
77 | 28% | +3 |

Medium |
110 | 41% | (3) |

Hard |
65 | 24% | +3 |

Very Hard |
12 | 4% | (2) |

Although Sentence Correction questions typically entail multiple grammar concepts (as described on our website), GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary tested concept**. We classify the 271 Sentence Correction questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Verb Agreement | 26 | 9.6% | +1 |

Verb Tense | 35 | 12.9% | (1) |

Pronoun Ambiguity | 21 | 7.7% | +2 |

Pronoun Agreement | 15 | 5.5% | — |

Parallel Construction | 78 | 28.8% | (6) |

Misplaced Modifiers | 33 | 12.2% | +1 |

Idioms | 19 | 7% | +2 |

Comparison & Quantity | 18 | 6.6% | (1) |

Expression & Meaning | 26 | 9.6% | +2 |

## Critical Reasoning

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle contains a total of **224 Critical Reasoning questions. The GMAC classifies question difficulty into three categories** as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
72 | 32% | (3) |

Medium |
71 | 32% | — |

Hard |
81 | 36% | +3 |

There are **31 new Critical Reasoning questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 7 / 17**. This is in lieu of 31 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 10 / 8 / 13. The GMAC has assigned a different difficulty rating to one Critical Reasoning question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews slightly more towards the center**, yet is only 72.3% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly indicating subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
1 | 0% | — |

Easy |
61 | 27% | (8) |

Medium |
89 | 40% | +1 |

Hard |
52 | 23% | +5 |

Very Hard |
21 | 9% | +2 |

We have grouped the questions based on the **question type categorization** that GMAT Genius uses for Critical Reasoning (as described on our website). We break down the 224 Critical Reasoning questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Weaken | 49 | 21.9% | +3 |

Strengthen | 43 | 19.2% | (3) |

Assumption | 22 | 9.8% | +2 |

Reasoning | 7 | 3.1% | (1) |

Conclusion | 16 | 7.1% | — |

Explain | 23 | 10.3% | (1) |

Evaluate | 22 | 9.8% | — |

Boldface | 13 | 5.8% | — |

Complete the Passage | 29 | 12.9% | — |

## Reading Comprehension

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle contains a total of **261 Reading Comprehension questions across 52 passages. The GMAC classifies question difficulty into three categories** as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
89 | 34% | +10 |

Medium |
101 | 39% | (9) |

Hard |
71 | 27% | (1) |

There are **37 new Reading Comprehension questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 13 / 18 / 6**. This is in lieu of 37 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 3 / 23 / 11. The GMAC has assigned a different difficulty rating to a total of 4 Reading Comprehension questions.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. Whereas the GMAC assigns the same difficulty to all questions for a given passage (except in the Diagnostic Exam section), GMAT Genius assesses the difficulty of each question individually. **Our assessment skews very slightly harder**, but is only 58.8% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, in large part due to different difficulty assessment methodologies. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
13 | 5% | +1 |

Easy |
65 | 25% | +3 |

Medium |
103 | 39% | (3) |

Hard |
62 | 24% | — |

Very Hard |
18 | 7% | (1) |

We have grouped the questions based on the **question type categorization** that GMAT Genius uses for Reading Comprehension (as described on our website). We break down the 261 Reading Comprehension questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Primary Purpose | 36 | 13.8% | (2) |

Author’s Tone | 16 | 6.1% | — |

Organization | 8 | 3.1% | +1 |

Function | 35 | 13.4% | +2 |

Specific Reference | 62 | 23.8% | (1) |

Inference | 87 | 33.3% | (2) |

Critical Reasoning | 17 | 6.5% | +2 |

## Integrated Reasoning

The main Official Guide (part of this bundle) includes **online access to 58 Integrated Reasoning practice questions**. The IR set includes 8 new questions that we have not seen before, plus all 50 questions from the prior 2017 edition. The 58 questions consist of the following four types:

Multi-Source Reasoning – 21 (3 new)

Table Analysis – 7 (1 new)

Graphics Interpretation – 12 (2 new)

Two-Part Analysis – 18 (2 new)

The **GMAC classifies question difficulty into three categories** of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows:

Multi-Source Reasoning – 6 / 7 / 8

Table Analysis – 3 / 1 / 3

Graphics Interpretation – 4 / 3 / 5

Two-Part Analysis – 5 / 7 / 6

Total – 18 / 18 / 22

Out of the 50 questions that carry over from the 2017 edition, **the GMAC has reclassified the difficulty of 33 questions**. For IR, GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into the same three categories. **Except for Two-Part Analysis, our assessment skews significantly easier**, and contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is only 8.1% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly showing that there is tremendous subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown of Easy / Medium / Hard:

Multi-Source Reasoning – 9 / 11 / 1

Table Analysis – 3 / 4 / 0

Graphics Interpretation – 3 / 7 / 2

Two-Part Analysis – 2 / 10 / 6

Total – 17 / 32 / 9

## Online Interface

Each Official Guide book includes an access code (see inside front covers) that provides **12-month usage of an online version** of the book. The online practice interface is the same as it was previously, except that the onerous limit of 10 saved sessions has been increased to 25 saved sessions in Exam Mode plus 25 saved sessions in Practice Mode (which you should not use, as mentioned below). The 100 questions from the Diagnostic Test chapter of the main Official Guide are available in a separate tab that works with Exam Mode functionality.

Since the GMAT is a computer-based test, we believe that it is advisable to work though the questions online. We strongly suggest that you **use Exam Mode** rather than Practice Mode, since we recommend that students **practice using timed question sets that replicate test day conditions**. The functionality of the online platform is good overall. You can choose practice sets by question type and difficulty level. Every question lists the corresponding book question number for easy cross-referencing.

## Other Notes

The **Official Guides are for practicing with real GMAT questions, not for learning the underlying concepts**. The 40-page Math Review section provides a very high-level overview of the math concepts tested on the GMAT. This math review will be highly inadequate except perhaps for the most advanced math students. Similarly, the brief introductions to the concepts tested on the verbal section are highly inadequate. We recommend that you **use additional study materials to learn the math and verbal concepts**.

Although all questions include answer explanations, **many GMAT test takers are far from satisfied with these explanations**. Math explanations can be brief and hard-to-understand for non-advanced students, and are sometimes convoluted or inefficient. Most GMAT test takers consider the Sentence Correction explanations quite cryptic. The Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension explanations, however, are reasonably good overall.

CONCLUSIONS

The Official Guide Bundle has **three primary weaknesses**, in our opinion:

- An insufficient amount of difficult practice questions, particularly based on GMAT Genius’ assessment of difficulty.
**We are especially dismayed to see the net loss of 30 Hard-difficulty Quant questions**(13 Problem Solving and 17 Data Sufficiency) based on GMAC’s difficulty assessment compared to the 2017 edition. - Math answer explanations that are too often either brief or convoluted and Sentence Correction explanations that are too cryptic.
- Contrary to what the back covers of the books claim, questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty for Reading Comprehension in the main OG, for Data Sufficiency in the Quant OG, and for Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction in the Verbal OG.

**Despite these flaws, the 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle is an essential source of GMAT practice**. We believe that every GMAT aspirant must use all three Official Guide books (this or the prior edition). If you already have the 2017 editions of the Official Guides, however, the replacement of 106 math questions and 106 verbal questions is not sufficient to make this edition worth purchasing.

Jun 23 2017

## 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide – Detailed Analysis / Question Categorization

GMAT Genius has thoroughly analyzed the 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide and we want to share our insights with you. Feel free to read our detailed analysis of the 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide or skip down to our conclusions. Wishing you tremendous success with the GMAT!

## Overview of 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide

**The Official Guides for GMAT Review** contain retired real GMAT questions, and **are an essential component of your GMAT preparations**. The GMAC places questions in order of increasing difficulty, based on its assessment of difficulty. The 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide has no overlap with questions in the main Official Guide.

**The 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide contains 45 new questions** out of the 301 total questions, representing 15% new content. These are new questions that we have not encountered before; they are not questions recycled from older GMAC resources.

## Sentence Correction

The 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide contains **113 Sentence Correction questions**. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
35 | 31% | +4 |

Medium |
26 | 23% | (25) |

Hard |
52 | 46% | +21 |

In the Sentence Correction section, **questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty**, contrary to what the back cover of the book claims. Based on difficulty levels provided in the online version, Medium and Hard difficulty questions are interspersed. The following table shows the question numbers for each difficulty level:

Difficulty |
Question #s |
---|---|

Easy |
189-223 |

Medium |
224-247, 259, 261 |

Hard |
248-258, 260, 262-301 |

The Sentence Correction section contains **17 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 8 / 0 / 9**. This is in lieu of 17 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 4 / 8 / 5. The GMAC has also upgraded the difficulty of 17 Medium questions from the prior edition to Hard difficulty in this edition.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews towards the easier side**, but contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is only 63.8% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly showing that there is subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
4 | 4% | (1) |

Easy |
34 | 30% | +4 |

Medium |
43 | 38% | — |

Hard |
27 | 24% | (1) |

Very Hard |
5 | 4% | (2) |

Although Sentence Correction questions typically entail multiple grammar concepts (as described on our website), GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary tested concept**. We classify the 113 Sentence Correction questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Verb Agreement |
7 | 6.2% | — |

Verb Tense |
13 | 11.5% | (1) |

Pronoun Ambiguity |
9 | 8% | — |

Pronoun Agreement |
11 | 9.7% | — |

Parallel Construction |
28 | 24.8% | (4) |

Misplaced Modifiers |
17 | 15% | +2 |

Idioms |
11 | 9.7% | +1 |

Comparison & Quantity |
8 | 7.1% | — |

Expression & Meaning |
9 | 8% | +2 |

Here’s a **list of the 17 new Sentence Correction questions**:

198, 202, 204, 207, 209, 211, 212, 220, 267, 268, 270, 274, 284, 285, 286, 292, 293

Here’s a **list of the 113 Sentence Correction questions categorized by primary grammar concept**:

Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|

Verb Agreement |
202, 203, 229, 242, 269, 284, 287 |

Verb Tense |
200, 201, 204, 219, 221, 223, 228, 250, 262, 266, 276, 278, 289 |

Pronoun Ambiguity |
214, 241, 252, 255, 263, 271, 273, 277, 288 |

Pronoun Agreement |
190, 206, 208, 218, 233, 235, 253, 268, 281, 292, 298 |

Parallel Construction |
191, 193, 194, 196, 205, 210, 212, 213, 226, 227, 244, 245, 246, 248, 249, 251, 254, 256, 265, 270, 279, 280, 285, 293, 294, 296, 297, 301 |

Misplaced Modifiers |
189, 195, 197, 198, 209, 211, 224, 230, 231, 236, 238, 257, 258, 259, 282, 283, 290 |

Idioms |
192, 220, 222, 234, 237, 243, 260, 264, 272, 274, 295 |

Comparison & Quantity |
215, 225, 232, 239, 247, 286, 291, 299 |

Expression & Meaning |
199, 207, 216, 217, 240, 261, 267, 275, 300 |

## Critical Reasoning

The 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide contains **83 Critical Reasoning questions**. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
31 | 37% | (3) |

Medium |
27 | 33% | +1 |

Hard |
25 | 30% | +2 |

In the Critical Reasoning section, **questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty**, contrary to what the back cover of the book claims. Based on difficulty levels provided in the online version, Easy and Medium difficulty questions are interspersed. The following table shows the question numbers for each difficulty level:

Difficulty |
Question #s |
---|---|

Easy |
106-135, 139 |

Medium |
136-138, 140-163 |

Hard |
164-188 |

The Critical Reasoning section contains **12 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 1 / 5 / 6**. This is in lieu of 12 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 4 / 5 / 3. The GMAC has downgraded the difficulty of Hard questions from the prior edition to Medium difficulty in this edition.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews slightly more towards the middle**, but contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is 70.5% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly indicating subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
1 | 1% | — |

Easy |
18 | 22% | (6) |

Medium |
40 | 48% | +2 |

Hard |
16 | 19% | +2 |

Very Hard |
8 | 10% | +2 |

We have grouped the questions based on the **question type categorization** that GMAT Genius uses for Critical Reasoning (as described on our website). We break down the 83 Critical Reasoning questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Weaken |
20 | 24.1% | +1 |

Strengthen |
16 | 19.3% | (1) |

Assumption |
7 | 8.4% | +1 |

Reasoning |
3 | 3.6% | — |

Conclusion |
7 | 8.4% | — |

Explain |
5 | 6% | (2) |

Evaluate |
7 | 8.4% | +1 |

Boldface |
4 | 4.8% | — |

Complete the Passage |
14 | 16.9% | — |

Here’s a **list of the 12 new Critical Reasoning questions**: 112, 141, 144, 154, 161, 162, 166, 173, 175, 179, 182, 187

Here’s a **list of the 124 Critical Reasoning questions categorized by CR question type**:

Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|

Weaken |
122, 124, 125, 128, 131, 136, 141, 143, 159, 164, 168, 171, 173, 176, 177, 179, 182, 185, 186, 187 |

Strengthen |
106, 110, 112, 115, 121, 138, 139, 140, 142, 155, 158, 167, 170, 175, 181, 188 |

Assumption |
119, 144, 156, 166, 172, 180, 184 |

Reasoning |
123, 150, 157 |

Conclusion |
107, 113, 117, 118, 126, 147, 165 |

Explain |
114, 132, 135, 153, 154 |

Evaluate |
111, 120, 146, 149, 162, 163, 178 |

Boldface |
133, 160, 169, 183 |

Complete the Passage |
108, 109, 116, 127, 129, 130, 134, 137, 145, 148, 151, 152, 161, 174 |

## Reading Comprehension

The 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide contains **105 Reading Comprehension questions across 19 passages**. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
34 | 32% | +6 |

Medium |
27 | 26% | (10) |

Hard |
44 | 42% | +4 |

The Reading Comprehension section contains **16 new questions in 4 passages, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 6 / 4 / 6**. This is in lieu of 16 questions in 3 passages from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 0 / 10 / 6. The GMAC has upgraded four Medium questions to Hard.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. Whereas the GMAC assigns the same difficulty to all questions for a given passage (except in the Diagnostic Exam section), GMAT Genius assesses the difficulty of each question individually. **Our assessment skews easier**, but contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is only 67.0% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, in large part due to different difficulty assessment methodologies. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
6 | 6% | — |

Easy |
32 | 30% | +3 |

Medium |
38 | 36% | (1) |

Hard |
21 | 20% | (1) |

Very Hard |
8 | 8% | (1) |

We have grouped the questions based on the **question type categorization** that GMAT Genius uses for Reading Comprehension (as described on our website). We break down the 105 Reading Comprehension questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Primary Purpose |
14 | 13.3% | — |

Author’s Tone |
6 | 5.7% | — |

Organization |
3 | 2.9% | — |

Function |
15 | 14.3% | — |

Specific Reference |
24 | 22.9% | (1) |

Inference |
40 | 38.1% | +1 |

Critical Reasoning |
3 | 2.9% | — |

Here’s a **list of the 16 new Reading Comprehension questions**: 5 to 10, 54 to 57, 89 to 94

We have not provided a list of Reading Comprehension questions by category because it makes sense to practice on one passage at a time, rather than attempting all the Primary Purpose questions (for example) at one go.

## Online Interface

The 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide includes an access code (see inside front cover) that provides **12-month usage of an online version of this Official Guide**. The online practice interface is the same as it was previously, except that the onerous limit of 10 saved sessions has been increased to 25 saved sessions in Exam Mode plus 25 saved sessions in Practice Mode (which you should not use, as mentioned below). The 100 questions from the Diagnostic Test chapter of the main Official Guide, but that are not contained in this printed book, are available in a separate tab that works with Exam Mode functionality.

Since the GMAT is a computer-based test, we believe that it is advisable to work though the questions online. We strongly suggest that you **use Exam Mode** rather than Practice Mode, since we recommend that students **practice using timed question sets that replicate test day conditions**. The functionality of the online platform is good overall. You can choose practice sets by question type and difficulty level. Every question lists the corresponding book question number for easy cross-referencing.

## Other Notes

The **Official Guides are for practicing with real GMAT questions, not for learning the underlying concepts**. The brief introductions to the concepts tested on the verbal section are highly inadequate. We recommend that you **use additional study materials to learn the verbal concepts****. **

**Although all questions include answer explanations, ****many GMAT test takers are far from satisfied with these explanations**. Most GMAT test takers consider the Sentence Correction explanations quite cryptic. The Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension explanations, however, are reasonably good overall.

## Conclusions

The 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide has **three primary weaknesses**, in our opinion:

- An insufficient amount of difficult practice questions, particularly based on GMAT Genius’ assessment of difficulty.
- Sentence Correction explanations are too cryptic.
- In the Critical Reasoning and Sentence Correction sections, questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty, contrary to what the back cover of the book claims.

**Despite these flaws, the 2018 GMAT Verbal Official Guide is an essential source of GMAT practice**. We believe that every GMAT aspirant must use this book (or the prior edition). For the best value, we recommend purchasing this book as part of the 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle. If you already have the 2017 edition of this book, however, the replacement of 45 questions is not sufficient to make this edition worth purchasing.

Jun 22 2017

## 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide – Detailed Analysis / Question Categorization

GMAT Genius has thoroughly analyzed the 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide and we want to share our insights with you. Feel free to read our detailed analysis of the 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide or skip down to our conclusions. Wishing you tremendous success with the GMAT!

## Overview of 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide

**The Official Guides for GMAT Review** contain retired real GMAT questions, and **are an essential component of your GMAT preparations**. The GMAC places questions in order of increasing difficulty, based on its assessment of difficulty. The 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide has no overlap with questions in the main Official Guide.

**The 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide contains 45 new questions** out of the 300 total questions, representing 15% new content. These are new questions that we have not encountered before; they are not questions recycled from older GMAC resources.

## Problem Solving

The 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide contains **176 Problem Solving questions**. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
89 | 51% | +4 |

Medium |
43 | 24% | (9) |

Hard |
44 | 25% | +5 |

The Problem Solving section contains **26 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 15 / 5 / 6**. This is in lieu of 26 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 11 / 14 / 1. Unlike in prior years, the GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews slightly more towards the center**, but contains notable differences from the GMAC’s assessment. Our difficulty assessment is only 76.1% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, demonstrating tremendous subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
21 | 12% | (1) |

Easy |
55 | 31% | — |

Medium |
62 | 35% | (1) |

Hard |
30 | 17% | +1 |

Very Hard |
8 | 5% | +1 |

Although math questions often entail multiple math concepts, GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary math concept**. We break down the 176 Problem Solving questions as follows:

Type |
Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
16 | 9.1% | +2 |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
3 | 1.7% | — |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
7 | 4% | (3) |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
8 | 4.5% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
22 | 12.5% | +1 |

Arithmetic | Percents |
12 | 6.8% | (3) |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
1 | 0.6% | (2) |

Algebra | Inequalities |
4 | 2.3% | +1 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
9 | 5.1% | — |

Algebra | Quadratics |
10 | 5.7% | +2 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
6 | 3.4% | — |

Algebra | Variables in Answers |
5 | 2.8% | +1 |

Geometry | Circles |
4 | 2.3% | — |

Geometry | Coordinate |
5 | 2.8% | — |

Geometry | Rectangles |
5 | 2.8% | — |

Geometry | Triangles |
4 | 2.3% | — |

Geometry | Other |
4 | 2.3% | — |

Statistics | Averages |
14 | 8% | +1 |

Statistics | Other |
3 | 1.7% | — |

Word Problems | Combinatorics |
4 | 2.3% | — |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
12 | 6.8% | — |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
3 | 1.7% | +1 |

Word Problems | Probability |
2 | 1.1% | — |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
5 | 2.8% | +1 |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
8 | 4.5% | (1) |

Here’s a **list of the 26 new Problem Solving questions**:

13, 22, 29, 31, 52, 55, 65, 70, 71, 73, 74, 75, 78, 85, 89, 92, 99, 102, 104, 117, 135, 141, 144, 156, 165, 168

Here’s a **list of the 176 Problem Solving questions categorized by primary math concept**:

Type |
Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
2, 5, 21, 44, 45, 67, 75, 77, 85, 88, 89, 92, 94, 100, 162, 170 |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
95, 105, 150 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
52, 86, 103, 114, 122, 171, 173 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
34, 36, 38, 48, 90, 112, 143, 160 |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
8, 20, 24, 35, 40, 43, 46, 49, 54, 55, 60, 64, 73, 74, 78, 83, 84, 91, 108, 136, 144, 176 |

Arithmetic | Percents |
7, 17, 28, 30, 47, 59, 99, 111, 117, 118, 132, 168 |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
14 |

Algebra | Inequalities |
4, 29, 101, 163 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
3, 9, 13, 15, 18, 42, 50, 71, 98 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
1, 19, 22, 33, 63, 66, 110, 121, 128, 156 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
12, 25, 31, 32, 41, 133 |

Algebra | Variables in Answers |
16, 39, 102, 120, 125 |

Geometry | Circles |
37, 134, 151, 169 |

Geometry | Coordinate |
26, 87, 96, 109, 115 |

Geometry | Rectangles |
11, 27, 104, 129, 175 |

Geometry | Triangles |
62, 68, 140, 164 |

Geometry | Other |
23, 139, 146, 149 |

Statistics | Averages |
10, 58, 61, 82, 93, 107, 119, 126, 131, 135, 147, 148, 153, 161 |

Statistics | Other |
72, 79, 81 |

Word Problems | Combinatorics |
152, 154, 155, 157 |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
53, 56, 69, 76, 80, 116, 127, 137, 138, 145, 159, 166 |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
106, 141, 142 |

Word Problems | Probability |
158, 167 |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
6, 65, 124, 165, 172 |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
51, 57, 70, 97, 113, 123, 130, 174 |

## Data Sufficiency

The 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide contains **124 Data Sufficiency questions**. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
27 | 22% | +1 |

Medium |
33 | 27% | +2 |

Hard |
64 | 52% | (3) |

In the Data Sufficiency section, **questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty**, contrary to what the back cover of the book claims. Based on difficulty levels provided in the online version, Medium and Hard difficulty questions are interspersed. The following table shows the question numbers for each difficulty level:

Difficulty |
Question #s |
---|---|

Easy |
177-203 |

Medium |
204-235, 239 |

Hard |
236-238, 240-300 |

The Data Sufficiency section contains **19 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 2 / 6 / 11**. This is in lieu of 19 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 1 / 4 / 14. The GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews significantly easier**, and contains notable differences from the GMAC’s assessment. Our difficulty assessment is only 68.5% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, demonstrating tremendous subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
12 | 10% | +1 |

Easy |
25 | 20% | (3) |

Medium |
54 | 44% | — |

Hard |
27 | 22% | +2 |

Very Hard |
6 | 5% | — |

Although many math questions entail multiple math concepts, GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary math concept**. We break down the 124 Data Sufficiency questions as follows:

Type |
Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
3 | 2.4% | (2) |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
1 | 0.8% | — |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
8 | 6.5% | +2 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
12 | 9.7% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
8 | 6.5% | — |

Arithmetic | Percents |
6 | 4.8% | — |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
5 | 4% | — |

Arithmetic | Primes |
3 | 2.4% | +1 |

Algebra | Inequalities |
12 | 9.7% | +2 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
3 | 2.4% | — |

Algebra | Quadratics |
7 | 5.6% | +2 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
9 | 7.3% | (5) |

Geometry | Circles |
6 | 4.8% | +1 |

Geometry | Coordinate |
4 | 3.2% | — |

Geometry | Rectangles |
3 | 2.4% | — |

Geometry | Triangles |
3 | 2.4% | — |

Geometry | Other |
2 | 1.6% | — |

Statistics | Averages |
6 | 4.8% | — |

Statistics | Other |
5 | 4% | — |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
7 | 5.6% | — |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
4 | 3.2% | +1 |

Word Problems | Probability |
1 | 0.8% | (1) |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
2 | 1.6% | — |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
4 | 3.2% | — |

Here’s a **list of the 19 new Data Sufficiency questions**:

178, 193, 215, 216, 224, 226, 231, 239, 244, 246, 247, 257, 270, 281, 283, 285, 291, 295, 296

Here’s a **list of the 124 Data Sufficiency questions categorized by primary math concept**:

Type |
Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
177, 180, 234 |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
214 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
221, 224, 238, 247, 257, 272, 296, 297 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
184, 210, 226, 240, 251, 254, 267, 268, 271, 282, 285, 300 |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
182, 190, 201, 204, 233, 243, 255, 295 |

Arithmetic | Percents |
193, 199, 208, 222, 253, 266 |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
189, 196, 198, 213, 237 |

Arithmetic | Primes |
219, 270, 281 |

Algebra | Inequalities |
181, 188, 192, 200, 206, 215, 227, 231, 249, 252, 263, 276 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
195, 218, 250 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
232, 239, 259, 265, 273, 279, 283 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
178, 202, 203, 217, 223, 230, 242, 269, 284 |

Geometry | Circles |
209, 216, 236, 256, 258, 278 |

Geometry | Coordinate |
191, 260, 290, 299 |

Geometry | Rectangles |
179, 185, 248 |

Geometry | Triangles |
261, 275, 291 |

Geometry | Other |
205, 207 |

Statistics | Averages |
194, 211, 228, 241, 244, 245 |

Statistics | Other |
225, 229, 235, 262, 294 |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
197, 220, 264, 277, 280, 286, 287 |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
246, 274, 288, 293 |

Word Problems | Probability |
292 |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
183, 186 |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
187, 212, 289, 298 |

## Online Interface

The 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide includes an access code (see inside front cover) that provides **12-month usage of an online version of this Official Guide**. The online practice interface is the same as it was previously, except that the onerous limit of 10 saved sessions has been increased to 25 saved sessions in Exam Mode plus 25 saved sessions in Practice Mode (which you should not use, as mentioned below). The 100 questions from the Diagnostic Test chapter of the main Official Guide, but that are not contained in this printed book, are available in a separate tab that works with Exam Mode functionality.

Since the GMAT is a computer-based test, we believe that it is advisable to work though the questions online. We strongly suggest that you **use Exam Mode** rather than Practice Mode, since we recommend that students **practice using timed question sets that replicate test day conditions**. The functionality of the online platform is good overall. You can choose practice sets by question type and difficulty level. Every question lists the corresponding book question number for easy cross-referencing.

## Other Notes

The **Official Guides are for practicing with real GMAT questions, not for learning the underlying concepts**. The book contains a 40-page Math Review section that provides a very high-level overview of the math concepts tested on the GMAT. This math review will be highly inadequate except perhaps for the most advanced math students. We recommend that you **use additional study materials to learn the math concepts****. **

**Although all questions include answer explanations, ****many GMAT test takers are far from satisfied with these explanations**. The explanations can be brief and hard-to-understand for non-advanced students. Furthermore, certain explanations are convoluted and overlook more efficient approaches.

## Conclusions

The 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide has **three primary weaknesses**, in our opinion:

- An insufficient amount of difficult practice questions, particularly based on GMAT Genius’ assessment of difficulty.
- Math answer explanations that are too often either brief or convoluted.
- In the Data Sufficiency section, questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty, contrary to what the back cover of the book claims.

**Despite these flaws, the 2018 GMAT Quant Official Guide is an essential source of GMAT practice**. We believe that every GMAT aspirant must use this book (or the prior edition). For the best value, we recommend purchasing this book as part of the 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle. If you already have the 2017 edition of this book, however, the replacement of 45 questions is not sufficient to make this edition worth purchasing.

Jun 20 2017

## 2018 GMAT Official Guide – Detailed Analysis / Question Categorization

GMAT Genius has thoroughly analyzed the 2018 GMAT Official Guide and we want to share our insights with you. Feel free to read our detailed analysis of the 2018 GMAT Official Guide or skip down to our conclusions. Wishing you tremendous success with the GMAT!

## Overview of 2018 GMAT Official Guide

**The Official Guides for GMAT Review** contain retired real GMAT questions, and **are an essential component of your GMAT preparations**. The GMAC places questions in order of increasing difficulty, based on its assessment of difficulty. This book has no overlap in practice questions with the Quant and Verbal Official Guides.

**The 2018 GMAT Official Guide contains 130 new questions** out of the 957 total questions (including Integrated Reasoning). Excluding the 100 questions in the Diagnostic Exam section of the book, the new questions represent just over 15% new content. These are new questions that we have not encountered before; they are not questions recycled from older GMAC resources.

## Problem Solving

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide contains **254 Problem Solving questions**, including the 24 Problem Solving questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the book. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
96 | 38% | +14 |

Medium |
59 | 23% | +4 |

Hard |
99 | 39% | (18) |

The Problem Solving section contains **35 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 22 / 7 / 6**. This is in lieu of 35 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 8 / 3 / 24. Unlike in prior years, the GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment of this section skews significantly easier**, and contains notable differences from the GMAC’s assessment. Our difficulty assessment is only 69.9% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, demonstrating tremendous subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
23 | 9% | +3 |

Easy |
70 | 28% | +2 |

Medium |
104 | 41% | (5) |

Hard |
38 | 15% | (2) |

Very Hard |
19 | 7% | +2 |

Although math questions often entail multiple math concepts, GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary math concept**. We break down the 254 Problem Solving questions as follows:

Type |
Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
10 | 3.9% | +3 |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
4 | 1.6% | — |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
17 | 6.7% | +2 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
18 | 7.1% | (4) |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
28 | 11% | (2) |

Arithmetic | Percents |
20 | 7.9% | — |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
1 | 0.4% | — |

Arithmetic | Primes |
4 | 1.6% | — |

Algebra | Inequalities |
5 | 2% | — |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
14 | 5.5% | +1 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
8 | 3.1% | — |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
7 | 2.8% | — |

Algebra | Variables in Answers |
8 | 3.1% | +1 |

Geometry | Circles |
4 | 1.6% | (1) |

Geometry | Coordinate |
7 | 2.8% | (1) |

Geometry | Rectangles |
7 | 2.8% | — |

Geometry | Triangles |
8 | 3.1% | +2 |

Geometry | Other |
7 | 2.8% | — |

Statistics | Averages |
18 | 7.1% | (1) |

Statistics | Other |
7 | 2.8% | +1 |

Word Problems | Combinatorics |
7 | 2.8% | — |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
10 | 3.9% | (1) |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
7 | 2.8% | — |

Word Problems | Probability |
7 | 2.8% | (1) |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
9 | 3.5% | +1 |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
12 | 4.7% | — |

Here’s a **list of the 35 new Problem Solving questions**:

3, 5, 6, 16, 22, 23, 24, 26, 33, 34, 40, 42, 50, 53, 55, 60, 68, 69, 72, 79, 81, 85, 90, 96, 98, 104, 122, 125, 139, 140, 151, 173, 201, 224, 229

Here’s a **list of the 230 Problem Solving questions**, excluding those in the Diagnostic Exam, **categorized by primary math concept**:

Type |
Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
2, 19, 22, 37, 46, 79, 157, 173, 219 |

Arithmetic | Absolute Value |
25, 27, 65, 193 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
33, 44, 54, 73, 81, 98, 121, 126, 136, 141, 154, 175, 176, 178, 195 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
66, 68, 71, 74, 90, 92, 112, 147, 161, 180, 200, 209, 213, 216, 223, 230 |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
3, 4, 5, 28, 30, 36, 45, 59, 63, 72, 75, 82, 91, 97, 103, 124, 131, 133, 135, 139, 160, 163, 189, 192, 203, 220, 222 |

Arithmetic | Percents |
1, 6, 10, 15, 55, 70, 80, 86, 87, 89, 94, 106, 108, 119, 122, 125, 153, 169, 172, 207 |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
62 |

Arithmetic | Primes |
181, 205 |

Algebra | Inequalities |
49, 78, 117, 185, 228 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
7, 12, 31, 42, 53, 67, 83, 85, 109, 111, 128, 134, 179, 184 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
51, 93, 110, 127, 155, 168, 188, 226 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
13, 20, 35, 100, 150, 186 |

Algebra | Variables in Answers |
9, 16, 48, 57, 61, 144, 167, 190 |

Geometry | Circles |
95, 123, 146, 177 |

Geometry | Coordinate |
50, 56, 77, 101, 107, 183, 218 |

Geometry | Rectangles |
17, 18, 39, 58, 99, 156, 202 |

Geometry | Triangles |
26, 29, 43, 145, 174, 224 |

Geometry | Other |
32, 34, 114, 159 |

Statistics | Averages |
14, 21, 40, 41, 96, 116, 137, 138, 149, 158, 164, 171, 194, 211, 217, 227 |

Statistics | Other |
52, 84, 115, 151, 166, 197, 204 |

Word Problems | Combinatorics |
140, 148, 182, 187, 201, 214 |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
47, 88, 104, 165, 196, 198, 206, 212, 225 |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
118, 120, 152, 208, 229 |

Word Problems | Probability |
11, 142, 162, 170, 221 |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
24, 38, 60, 130, 143, 191, 210, 215 |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
8, 23, 64, 69, 76, 102, 105, 113, 129, 132, 199 |

## Data Sufficiency

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide contains **198 Data Sufficiency questions**, including the 24 Data Sufficiency questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the book. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
58 | 29% | +8 |

Medium |
57 | 29% | +6 |

Hard |
83 | 42% | (14) |

The Data Sufficiency section contains **26 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 11 / 10 / 5**. This is in lieu of 26 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 3 / 4 / 19. The GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews significantly easier**, and contains notable differences from the GMAC’s assessment. Our difficulty assessment is only 56.0% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, demonstrating tremendous subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
9 | 5% | +2 |

Easy |
58 | 29% | +8 |

Medium |
90 | 45% | (2) |

Hard |
35 | 18% | (6) |

Very Hard |
6 | 3% | (2) |

Although many math questions entail multiple math concepts, GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary math concept**. We break down the 198 Data Sufficiency questions as follows:

Type |
Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
17 | 8.6% | +7 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
9 | 4.5% | +1 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
14 | 7.1% | — |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
11 | 5.6% | (2) |

Arithmetic | Percents |
15 | 7.6% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
8 | 4% | (1) |

Arithmetic | Primes |
1 | 0.5% | — |

Algebra | Inequalities |
14 | 7.1% | +4 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
11 | 5.6% | +1 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
3 | 1.5% | (1) |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
9 | 4.5% | (1) |

Geometry | Circles |
5 | 2.5% | — |

Geometry | Coordinate |
7 | 3.5% | — |

Geometry | Rectangles |
4 | 2% | — |

Geometry | Triangles |
10 | 5.1% | — |

Geometry | Other |
5 | 2.5% | (1) |

Statistics | Averages |
14 | 7.1% | — |

Statistics | Other |
10 | 5.1% | (1) |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
4 | 2% | (1) |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
11 | 5.6% | — |

Word Problems | Probability |
3 | 1.5% | — |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
6 | 3% | (2) |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
7 | 3.5% | (2) |

Here’s a **list of the 26 new Data Sufficiency questions**:

233, 258, 260, 262, 266, 267, 273, 274, 276, 277, 278, 282, 284, 287, 288, 292, 293, 300, 306, 313, 326, 334, 339, 376, 382, 391

Here’s a **list of the 174 Data Sufficiency questions**, excluding those in the Diagnostic Exam, **categorized by primary math concept**:

Type |
Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
258, 262, 270, 273, 283, 284, 288, 292, 309, 326, 329, 333, 334, 349, 372, 388, 403 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
285, 293, 328, 337, 356, 390 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
240, 243, 249, 281, 289, 330, 342, 350, 365, 370, 399 |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
233, 256, 275, 312, 325, 335, 354, 368, 387, 402, 404 |

Arithmetic | Percents |
239, 253, 259, 269, 286, 313, 318, 319, 321, 324, 332, 340, 362, 397 |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
255, 271, 277, 278, 308, 314, 344 |

Arithmetic | Primes |
357 |

Algebra | Inequalities |
246, 274, 291, 306, 315, 320, 338, 355, 359, 361, 376, 391, 401 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
234, 247, 252, 280, 290, 310, 339, 351, 352 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
279, 323, 366 |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
232, 245, 303, 307, 322, 327, 345, 360 |

Geometry | Circles |
263, 287, 369, 379 |

Geometry | Coordinate |
235, 264, 331, 347, 382, 383 |

Geometry | Rectangles |
301, 311, 367 |

Geometry | Triangles |
231, 237, 260, 265, 346, 353, 384, 386, 398 |

Geometry | Other |
261, 304, 343, 371, 400 |

Statistics | Averages |
282, 295, 300, 348, 358, 363, 373, 375, 378, 381, 392, 396 |

Statistics | Other |
242, 244, 298, 317, 336, 385, 394, 395 |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
241, 257, 364, 377 |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
248, 254, 266, 267, 276, 294, 305, 316, 389 |

Word Problems | Probability |
236, 297, 302 |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
250, 268, 272, 296, 393 |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
238, 251, 299, 341, 374, 380 |

## Sentence Correction

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide contains **158 Sentence Correction questions**, including the 18 Sentence Correction questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the book. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
36 | 23% | +1 |

Medium |
49 | 31% | (1) |

Hard |
73 | 46% | — |

The Sentence Correction section contains **21 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 4 / 4 / 13**. This is in lieu of 21 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 3 / 5 / 13. The GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews noticeably easier**, and contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is only 56.8% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly showing that there is subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
3 | 2% | — |

Easy |
43 | 27% | (1) |

Medium |
67 | 42% | (3) |

Hard |
38 | 24% | +4 |

Very Hard |
7 | 4% | — |

Although Sentence Correction questions typically entail multiple grammar concepts (as described on our website), GMAT Genius classifies questions based on **our assessment of the primary tested concept**. We classify the 158 Sentence Correction questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Verb Agreement |
19 | 12% | +1 |

Verb Tense |
22 | 13.9% | — |

Pronoun Ambiguity |
12 | 7.6% | +2 |

Pronoun Agreement |
4 | 2.5% | — |

Parallel Construction |
50 | 31.6% | (2) |

Misplaced Modifiers |
16 | 10.1% | (1) |

Idioms |
8 | 5.1% | +1 |

Comparison & Quantity |
10 | 6.3% | (1) |

Expression & Meaning |
17 | 10.8% | — |

Here’s a **list of the 21 new Sentence Correction questions**:

674, 680, 684, 685, 699, 702, 717, 735, 743, 745, 750, 751, 763, 770, 777, 780, 781, 782, 784, 796, 799

Here’s a **list of the 140 Sentence Correction questions**, excluding those in the Diagnostic Exam, **categorized by primary grammar concept**:

Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|

Verb Agreement |
670, 677, 685, 693, 707, 711, 721, 752, 753, 759, 771, 789, 792, 793, 799, 801, 807 |

Verb Tense |
668, 686, 694, 701, 702, 708, 712, 722, 724, 731, 735, 740, 749, 754, 756, 764, 773, 781, 803, 804 |

Pronoun Ambiguity |
671, 719, 743, 774, 775, 777, 778, 779 |

Pronoun Agreement |
688, 738, 762, 765 |

Parallel Construction |
669, 679, 680, 682, 687, 689, 692, 697, 699, 703, 710, 713, 714, 715, 725, 727, 728, 730, 732, 734, 736, 737, 741, 742, 744, 751, 755, 757, 760, 761, 763, 766, 767, 776, 780, 782, 783, 784, 794, 800, 802, 806 |

Misplaced Modifiers |
683, 705, 706, 709, 716, 718, 723, 729, 739, 746, 748, 770, 790, 797, 798 |

Idioms |
672, 695, 698, 717, 788, 795, 796 |

Comparison & Quantity |
676, 678, 691, 704, 745, 758, 769, 772, 791, 805 |

Expression & Meaning |
673, 674, 675, 681, 684, 690, 696, 700, 720, 726, 733, 747, 750, 768, 785, 786, 787 |

## Critical Reasoning

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide contains **141 Critical Reasoning questions**, including the 17 Critical Reasoning questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the book. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
41 | 29% | — |

Medium |
44 | 31% | (1) |

Hard |
56 | 40% | +1 |

The Critical Reasoning section contains **19 new questions, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 6 / 2 / 11**. This is in lieu of 19 questions from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 6 / 3 / 10. The GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. **Our assessment skews slightly easier**, but contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is 74.1% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly indicating subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
0 | 0% | — |

Easy |
43 | 30% | (2) |

Medium |
49 | 35% | (1) |

Hard |
36 | 26% | +3 |

Very Hard |
13 | 9% | — |

We have grouped the questions based on the **question type categorization** that GMAT Genius uses for Critical Reasoning (as described on our website). We break down the 141 Critical Reasoning questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Weaken |
29 | 20.6% | +2 |

Strengthen |
27 | 19.1% | (2) |

Assumption |
15 | 10.6% | +1 |

Reasoning |
4 | 2.8% | (1) |

Conclusion |
9 | 6.4% | — |

Explain |
18 | 12.8% | +1 |

Evaluate |
15 | 10.6% | (1) |

Boldface |
9 | 6.4% | — |

Complete the Passage |
15 | 10.6% | — |

Here’s a **list of the 19 new Critical Reasoning questions**:

546, 550, 554, 556, 561, 575, 589, 599, 626, 627, 631, 634, 635, 640, 643, 651, 656, 660, 661

Here’s a **list of the 124 Critical Reasoning questions**, excluding those in the Diagnostic Exam, **categorized by CR question type**:

Concept |
Question #s |
---|---|

Weaken |
546, 549, 574, 575, 583, 588, 600, 606, 615, 617, 619, 620, 622, 625, 627, 629, 642, 646, 654, 658, 664, 666, 667 |

Strengthen |
545, 547, 548, 552, 562, 566, 569, 570, 572, 576, 589, 592, 594, 595, 597, 598, 602, 604, 610, 611, 624, 631, 641, 648, 649 |

Assumption |
555, 580, 584, 590, 607, 608, 614, 628, 635, 637, 645, 650, 655, 657 |

Reasoning |
560, 567, 578, 633 |

Conclusion |
544, 581, 591, 618, 634, 653, 662 |

Explain |
551, 553, 556, 557, 558, 568, 586, 596, 613, 616, 621, 630, 640, 656, 660, 665 |

Evaluate |
554, 559, 571, 573, 579, 585, 632, 636, 638, 643, 644, 663 |

Boldface |
561, 565, 599, 623, 639, 647, 651, 652, 659 |

Complete the Passage |
550, 563, 564, 577, 582, 587, 593, 601, 603, 605, 609, 612, 626, 661 |

## Reading Comprehension

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide contains **156 Reading Comprehension questions across 33 passages**, including the 17 Reading Comprehension questions in 3 passages in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the book. The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories as follows:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
55 | 35% | +4 |

Medium |
74 | 47% | +1 |

Hard |
27 | 17% | (5) |

In the Reading Comprehension section, **questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty**, contrary to what the back cover of the book claims. Based on difficulty levels provided in the online version, Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulty questions are interspersed. The following table shows the question numbers for each difficulty level:

Difficulty |
Question #s |
---|---|

Easy |
405-438, 442-455 |

Medium |
439-441, 456-516, 537-540 |

Hard |
517-536, 541-543 |

The Reading Comprehension section contains **21 new questions in 6 passages, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 14 / 0**. This is in lieu of 21 questions in 4 passages from the 2017 edition that have been removed, with difficulty of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 3 / 13 / 5. The GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question.

GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into five categories. Whereas the GMAC assigns the same difficulty to all questions for a given passage (except in the Diagnostic Exam section), GMAT Genius assesses the difficulty of each question individually. **Our assessment skews slightly harder**, but contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is only 57.6% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, in large part due to different difficulty assessment methodologies. Here’s our breakdown:

Difficulty |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Super Easy |
7 | 4% | +1 |

Easy |
33 | 21% | — |

Medium |
65 | 42% | (2) |

Hard |
41 | 26% | +1 |

Very Hard |
10 | 6% | — |

We have grouped the questions based on the **question type categorization** that GMAT Genius uses for Reading Comprehension (as described on our website). We break down the 156 Reading Comprehension questions as follows:

Concept |
Number |
Percent |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Primary Purpose |
22 | 14.1% | (2) |

Author’s Tone |
10 | 6.4% | — |

Organization |
5 | 3.2% | +1 |

Function |
20 | 12.8% | +2 |

Specific Reference |
38 | 24.4% | — |

Inference |
47 | 30.1% | (3) |

Critical Reasoning |
14 | 9% | +2 |

Here’s a **list of the 21 new Reading Comprehension questions**: 412 to 418, 439 to 441, 467 to 470, 514 to 516, 537 to 540

We have not provided a list of Reading Comprehension questions by category because it makes sense to practice on one passage at a time, rather than attempting all the Primary Purpose questions (for example) at one go.

## Integrated Reasoning

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide includes **online access to 58 Integrated Reasoning practice questions**. The IR set includes 8 new questions that we have not seen before, plus all 50 questions from the prior 2017 edition. The 58 questions consist of the following four types:

Multi-Source Reasoning – 21 (3 new)

Table Analysis – 7 (1 new)

Graphics Interpretation – 12 (2 new)

Two-Part Analysis – 18 (2 new)

The **GMAC classifies question difficulty** into three categories of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows:

Multi-Source Reasoning – 6 / 7 / 8

Table Analysis – 3 / 1 / 3

Graphics Interpretation – 4 / 3 / 5

Two-Part Analysis – 5 / 7 / 6

Total – 18 / 18 / 22

Out of the 50 questions that carry over from the 2017 edition, **the GMAC has reclassified the difficulty of 33 questions**. For IR, GMAT Genius classifies question difficulty into the same three categories. **Except for Two-Part Analysis, our assessment skews significantly easier**, and contains notable differences from the GMAC. Our difficulty assessment is only 8.1% correlated with the GMAC’s assessment, clearly showing that there is tremendous subjectivity involved in assessing question difficulty. Here’s our breakdown of Easy / Medium / Hard:

Multi-Source Reasoning – 9 / 11 / 1

Table Analysis – 3 / 4 / 0

Graphics Interpretation – 3 / 7 / 2

Two-Part Analysis – 2 / 10 / 6

Total – 17 / 32 / 9

## Online Interface

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide includes an access code (see inside front cover) that provides **12-month usage of an online version of this Official Guide**. The online practice interface is the same as it was previously, except that the onerous limit of 10 saved sessions has been increased to 25 saved sessions in Exam Mode plus 25 saved sessions in Practice Mode (which you should not use, as mentioned below). The 100 questions from the Diagnostic Test chapter are available in a separate tab that works with Exam Mode functionality.

**use Exam Mode** rather than Practice Mode, since we recommend that students **practice using timed question sets that replicate test day conditions**. The functionality of the online platform is good overall. You can choose practice sets by question type and difficulty level. Every question lists the corresponding book question number for easy cross-referencing.

## Other Notes

The **use additional study materials to learn the math and verbal concepts****. **

**Although all questions include answer explanations, ****many GMAT test takers are far from satisfied with these explanations**. Math explanations can be brief and hard-to-understand for non-advanced students, and are sometimes convoluted or inefficient. Most GMAT test takers consider the Sentence Correction explanations quite cryptic. The Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension explanations, however, are reasonably good overall.

## Conclusions

The 2018 GMAT Official Guide has **three primary weaknesses**, in our opinion:

- An insufficient amount of difficult practice questions, particularly based on GMAT Genius’ assessment of difficulty.
**We are especially dismayed to see the net loss of 32 Hard-difficulty Quant questions**(18 Problem Solving and 14 Data Sufficiency) based on GMAC’s difficulty assessment compared to the 2017 edition. - Math answer explanations that are too often either brief or convoluted and Sentence Correction explanations that are too cryptic.
- In the Reading Comprehension section, questions are not fully presented in order of progressive difficulty, contrary to what the back cover of the book claims.

**Despite these flaws, the 2018 GMAT Official Guide is an essential source of GMAT practice**. We believe that every GMAT aspirant must use this book (or the prior edition). For the best value, we recommend purchasing this book as part of 2018 GMAT Official Guide Bundle. If you already have the 2017 edition of this book, however, the replacement of 61 math questions and 61 verbal questions is not sufficient to make this edition worth purchasing.

Jun 15 2017

## Select Section Order on the GMAT

The GMAC announced today a new Select Section Order feature for the GMAT. Beginning July 11, 2017, test takers worldwide can **select the order of the sections on their GMAT** administrations. The GMAC claims that this will not affect the statistical validity of GMAT scores, but we believe that many **GMAT takers will benefit substantially because of this change**.

We often find that students score 20 to 30 points higher when they skip the AWA and IR sections on practice exams. We expect many students to achieve similar results by relegating IR and AWA to the end. **Score reports will not indicate which section order** you selected.

## How Select Section Order Works

You will see the Select Section Order screen during your exam at the Pearson VUE test center on the computer immediately prior to the start of your exam, after choosing the schools for score reports and the navigation tutorial. You have **two minutes to make a selection**. If you do not pick an option in this timeframe, the original order will be chosen be default. You will have the opportunity to select from one of **three possible section orders**:

- AWA, IR, Quant, Verbal (original order)
- Verbal, Quant, IR, AWA
- Quant, Verbal, IR, AWA

No matter which order you select, **you still get two 8-minute breaks**. Each break will be between two of the three parts of the exam: Quant, Verbal, and AWA/IR (combined). Breaks remain optional, but we highly recommend that you take the breaks. Just be sure that you are checked-in and back in your seat before a break ends, or the test will resume without you and you lose valuable time.

## What Order to Choose

We highly recommend selecting option 2 (Verbal, Quant, IR, AWA) or option 3 (Quant, Verbal, IR, AWA). Since it is by far the easiest section of the GMAT, **save AWA for last**, at which point mental fatigue is likely to set in.

Start with either Quant or Verbal, depending on which section mental fatigue is most likely to be a factor for you. **Start with the section on which you are most likely to make careless errors**. This will typically, but not necessarily, be the section you are weaker on. By tackling this section first while you are still fresh, the number of careless mistakes is likely to decline.

Some test takers claim that the original order will work best, because they need a warm-up period. We believe, however, that **one hour spent on AWA and Integrated Reasoning hardly qualifies as a “warm-up” period**. Why expend valuable energy and focus for one hour on the two sections of the exam that do not count towards your overall 200 to 800 score? If you really want a “warm up” period, before entering the test center, practice with a very small handful of Official Guide questions that you have previously done. Just be sure not to bring any practice materials into the test center.

## Updated Test Materials

The official **GMATPrep diagnostic test software and the Exam Pack 1 and 2 add-ons will be updated by July 31** to reflect the Select Section Order feature. When the software is updated, you can receive a **free upgrade** of GMATPrep and the Exam Packs.

The GMAC is working on **shifting GMATPrep to a web-based interface** from its current software-download format. We’re not sure whether this much-needed update will occur by the July 31 date given by the GMAC.

## Other GMAT Changes

Effective July 11, the GMAC will also **eliminate the profile update screens** during the GMAT. These are largely unnecessary, since you can update your profile anytime at MBA.com. Removing these screens from the test experience will reduce the overall time you must spend at the test center.

## Why Was Select Section Order Implemented

The GMAC ran a pilot program for Select Section Order in February-March 2016. The pilot program allowed the GMAC to collect valuable data from real test takers, including several GMAT Genius clients, in order to evaluate this feature. The GMAC concluded that GMAT takers appreciated the flexibility in choosing section order and that **select section order did not affect the statistical validity of GMAT scores**.

“The idea of being allowed to choose the section order had been commonly requested by test takers,” noted Ashok Sarathy, the Vice President of Product Management for the GMAC. “We conducted a pilot in 2016 to test this feature and received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with **85 percent of participants surveyed expressing that this new feature boosted their confidence** prior to even taking the exam. Our pilot findings also concluded that taking the exam in different section orders continues to maintain the quality and integrity of the GMAT scores.”

Over the past several years, **the GMAC has implemented several changes to enhance test takers’ GMAT experience**. This is partly driven by increased competition from the GRE. GMAT changes over the past three years include:

- allowing GMAT takers to cancel scores online within three days after the GMAT and to reinstate cancelled scores for five years (March 2016)
- removing cancelled scores from school score reports and shortening the GMAT retake window to 16 days (July 2015)
- introducing the GMAT Enhanced Score Report to provide test takers a more detailed analysis of their overall GMAT performance (January 2015)
- showing test takers their unofficial GMAT scores before having to decide whether to report or cancel their scores (July 2014)

You can read more about the new Select Section Order feature of the GMAT on the official MBA.com website.

Jun 06 2016

## Preview of 2017 GMAT Official Guide Verbal

**GMAT Genius has been working closely with the publisher of the Official Guides for GMAT Review** over the past few weeks, in advance of tomorrow’s official release of the 2017 editions, to help improve the online version of the Official Guides. In this fourth post of this series of exclusive previews of the 2017 GMAT Official Guides, we now turn to the verbal section of the main Official Guide. We will focus on **how the 2017 GMAT Official Guide differs from the 2016 edition in terms of verbal question difficulty and math concepts**.

## Sentence Correction – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Official Guide contain 158 Sentence Correction questions, including the identical 18 Sentence Correction questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the guides. The **allocation of question difficulty**, as assigned by the GMAC, **has slightly shifted away from Hard**.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
35 | 35 | — |

Medium |
50 | 45 | +5 |

Hard |
73 | 78 | (5) |

Total |
158 | 158 | — |

A total of **21 new Sentence Correction questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 9 / 5**. This is in lieu of 21 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 4 / 10. The **GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question**, so these new and removed questions alone account for the differences in the number of questions per difficulty level.

## Sentence Correction – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 21 new (in 2017) and the 21 removed (from 2016) Sentence Correction questions. We have categorized these questions based on the primary grammar concepts that are tested on Sentence Correction.

Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Verb Agreement |
3 | 3 | — |

Verb Tense |
4 | 4 | — |

Pronoun Ambiguity |
0 | 1 | (1) |

Pronoun Agreement |
2 | 0 | +2 |

Parallel Construction |
6 | 2 | +4 |

Misplaced Modifiers |
3 | 1 | +2 |

Idioms |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Comparison & Quantity |
0 | 3 | (3) |

Expression & Meaning |
2 | 5 | (3) |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out is the decrease in the Comparison & Quantity and the Expression & Meaning categories, offset by the increase in Parallel Construction related questions **. The increase in the Parallel Construction category exactly offsets the decrease in these types of questions in the 2017 Verbal Official Guide.

## Critical Reasoning – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Official Guide contain 141 Critical Reasoning questions, including the identical 17 Critical Reasoning questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the guides. The **allocation of question difficulty has very slightly shifted away from Hard**.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
41 | 40 | +1 |

Medium |
45 | 45 | — |

Hard |
55 | 56 | (1) |

Total |
141 | 141 | — |

A total of **19 new Critical Reasoning questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 4 / 11 / 4**. This is in lieu of 19 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 3 / 11 / 5. The **GMAC has not reclassified the difficulty of any question**, so these new and removed questions alone account for the differences in the number of questions per difficulty level.

## Critical Reasoning – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 19 new (in 2017) and the 19 removed (from 2016) Critical Reasoning questions. We have grouped these questions based on the question type categorization that GMAT Genius uses for Critical Reasoning.

Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Weaken |
5 | 3 | +2 |

Strengthen |
6 | 3 | +3 |

Assumption |
2 | 4 | (2) |

Reasoning |
0 | 3 | (3) |

Conclusion |
3 | 1 | +2 |

Explain |
2 | 1 | +1 |

Evaluate |
0 | 2 | (2) |

Boldface |
0 | 0 | — |

Complete the Passage |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out most is an increase in the Strengthen category offset by a decrease in the Reasoning** category.

## Reading Comprehension – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Official Guide contain 156 Reading Comprehension questions, including the identical 17 Reading Comprehension questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the guides. The **allocation of question difficulty has noticeably shifted towards Medium**. This is a bit misleading, however, because the GMAC has upgraded two passages with 11 questions from Easy to Medium, and downgraded two passages with 10 questions form Hard to Medium.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
51 | 54 | (3) |

Medium |
73 | 65 | +8 |

Hard |
32 | 37 | (5) |

Total |
156 | 156 | — |

A total of **21 new Reading Comprehension questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 13 / 3 / 5**. These 21 questions are in five new passages with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 3 / 1 / 1.

A total of 21 questions have been removed from the 2016 edition, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 5 / 16 / 0. This represents three passages with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 1 / 2 / 0. Let’s further break down how each of these difficulty categories has changed.

### Easy Reading Comprehension

*Additions:*

13 new questions

*Subtractions:*

5 question removed

11 upgraded to Medium

*Net change:* -3 questions

### Medium Reading Comprehension

*Additions:*

3 new questions

11 upgraded from Easy

10 downgraded from Hard

*Subtractions:*

16 questions removed

*Net change:* +8 questions

### Hard Reading Comprehension

*Additions:*

5 new questions

*Subtractions:*

10 downgraded to Medium

*Net change:* -5 questions

## Reading Comprehension – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 21 new (in 2017) and the 21 removed (from 2016) Reading Comprehension questions. We have grouped these questions based on the question type categorization that GMAT Genius uses for Reading Comprehension.

Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Primary Purpose |
3 | 3 | — |

Author’s Tone |
0 | 0 | — |

Organization |
0 | 0 | — |

Function |
1 | 3 | (2) |

Specific Reference |
5 | 8 | (3) |

Inference |
9 | 7 | +2 |

Critical Reasoning |
3 | 0 | +3 |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out most is the decrease in the Specific Reference category and the increase in the Critical Reasoning** category.

## Removed Questions

Here is the **list of the verbal questions in the 2016 edition of the GMAT Official Guide that have been removed **. We’ll soon publish a list of the new verbal questions in the 2017 GMAT Official Guides.

### Sentence Correction – 21 questions removed:

5, 6, 15, 16, 20, 24, 26, 34, 44, 45, 65, 76, 82, 83, 88, 89, 92, 93, 108, 109, 122

### Critical Reasoning – 19 questions removed:

6, 13, 19, 40, 44, 45, 46, 47, 50, 51, 52, 56, 61, 62, 80, 95, 96, 98, 99

### Reading Comprehension – 21 questions removed:

26 to 30, 48 to 54, 78 to 86

## Summary

In the 2017 GMAT Official Guide, the GMAC has replaced a total of 61 Verbal questions, representing just over 15% of the questions (excluding the Diagnostic Exam section). The **changes in this edition are far less significant than the changes we saw between the 2015 to the 2016 editions** of this book. Next up from GMAT Genius — look for detailed reviews and analysis of the 2017 GMAT Official Guides.

Jun 04 2016

## Preview of 2017 GMAT Official Guide Math

In this third post of this series of exclusive previews of the 2017 GMAT Official Guides, we now turn to the math section of the main Official Guide. We will focus on **how the 2017 GMAT Official Guide differs from the 2016 edition in terms of math question difficulty and math concepts**.

## Problem Solving – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Official Guide contain 254 Problem Solving questions, including the identical 24 Problem Solving questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the guides. But the **allocation of question difficulty**, as assigned by the GMAC, **has noticeably shifted towards Easy difficulty**. Part of this change resulted from **the GMAC downgrading 8 questions from Medium difficulty** (in 2016) to Easy (in 2017).

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
82 | 63 | +19 |

Medium |
55 | 60 | (5) |

Hard |
117 | 131 | (14) |

Total |
254 | 254 | — |

A total of **36 new Problem Solving questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 18 / 8 / 10**. This is in lieu of 36 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 5 / 24. We are disappointed to see that **Hard difficulty has a net loss of 14 questions**, although we would rate most of the 24 removed Hard questions as actually Medium difficulty. Let’s further break down how each of these difficulty categories has changed.

### Easy Problem Solving

*Additions:*

18 new questions

8 downgraded from Medium

*Subtractions:*

7 questions removed

*Net change:* +19 questions

### Medium Problem Solving

*Additions:*

8 new questions

*Subtractions:*

5 questions removed

8 downgraded to Easy

*Net change:* -5 questions

### Hard Problem Solving

*Additions:*

10 new questions

*Subtractions:*

24 questions removed

*Net change:* -14 questions

## Problem Solving – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 36 new (in 2017) and the 36 removed (from 2016) Problem Solving questions. GMAT Genius classifies questions based on their primary and secondary concepts. In order to observe trends, we have condensed our categorization as follows:

Type |
Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
2 | 0 | +2 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
1 | 1 | — |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
3 | 6 | (3) |

Arithmetic | Percents |
5 | 6 | (1) |

Algebra | Inequalities |
2 | 0 | +2 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
2 | 3 | (1) |

Algebra | Quadratics |
2 | 2 | — |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
2 | 2 | — |

Algebra | Variables in Answers |
3 | 1 | +2 |

Geometry | Circles |
1 | 1 | — |

Geometry | Coordinate |
0 | 1 | (1) |

Statistics | Averages |
2 | 3 | (1) |

Statistics | Other |
3 | 1 | +2 |

Word Problems | Combinatorics |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
1 | 1 | — |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Word Problems | Probability |
2 | 2 | — |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
2 | 2 | — |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out most is the decrease in fractions & ratios questions**.

## Data Sufficiency – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Official Guide contain 198 Data Sufficiency questions, including the identical 24 Data Sufficiency questions in the Diagnostic Exam portion of the guides. As with Problem Solving, the **allocation of question difficulty has noticeably shifted away from Hard**. No questions have been reclassified in terms of difficulty.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
50 | 46 | +4 |

Medium |
51 | 41 | +10 |

Hard |
97 | 111 | (14) |

Total |
198 | 198 | — |

A total of **26 new Data Sufficiency questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 9 / 12 / 5**. This is in lieu of 26 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 5 / 2 / 19. We are disappointed to see that **Hard difficulty has a net loss of 14 questions**, although we would rate most of the 19 removed Hard questions as actually Medium difficulty. Let’s further break down how each of these difficulty categories has changed.

### Easy Data Sufficiency

*Additions:*

9 new questions

*Subtractions:*

5 questions removed

*Net change:* +4 questions

### Medium Data Sufficiency

*Additions:*

12 new questions

*Subtractions:*

2 questions removed

*Net change:* +10 questions

### Hard Data Sufficiency

*Additions:*

5 new questions

*Subtractions:*

19 questions removed

*Net change:* -14 questions

## Data Sufficiency – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 26 new (in 2017) and the 26 removed (from 2016) Data Sufficiency questions. GMAT Genius classifies questions based on their primary and secondary concepts. In order to observe trends, we have condensed our categorization as follows:

Type |
Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
5 | 2 | +3 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
3 | 2 | +1 |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
1 | 1 | — |

Arithmetic | Percents |
3 | 2 | +1 |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
1 | 4 | (3) |

Arithmetic | Primes |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Algebra | Quadratics |
1 | 3 | (2) |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Geometry | Circles |
0 | 2 | (2) |

Geometry | Triangles |
3 | 1 | +2 |

Geometry | Other |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Statistics | All |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
2 | 3 | (1) |

Word Problems | Probability |
1 | 1 | — |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit/Interest |
0 | 3 | (3) |

Although we again cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out most is the decrease in odd/even and revenue/profit concepts **.

## Removed Questions

Here is the **list of the math questions that have been removed from the 2016 edition** of the GMAT Official Guide. We’ll publish a list of the new math questions in the 2017 GMAT Official Guide after it publicly releases.

### Problem Solving – 36 questions removed:

26, 34, 37, 40, 41, 47, 54, 65, 72, 79, 80, 103, 110, 111, 150, 157, 161, 169, 176, 179, 180, 184, 186, 187, 194, 197, 198, 199, 200, 202, 203, 207, 208, 209, 227, 228

### Data Sufficiency – 26 questions removed:

1, 3, 9, 17, 33, 44, 65, 74, 78, 81, 109, 113, 131, 139, 140, 141, 150, 151, 154, 158, 159, 165, 166, 170, 173, 174

## Summary

In the 2017 GMAT Official Guide, the GMAC has replaced a total of 62 Quant questions, representing just over 15% of the questions (excluding the Diagnostic Exam section). The **changes in this edition are far less significant than the changes we saw between the 2015 to the 2016 editions** of this book. Nonetheless, what stands out is the **net loss of 28 Hard Quant questions**, as rated by the GMAC. GMAT Genius will continue to offer detailed analysis of the 2017 GMAT Official Guides in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Jun 03 2016

## Preview of 2017 GMAT Verbal Official Guide

**GMAT Genius has been working closely with the publisher of the Official Guides for GMAT Review** over the past few weeks, in advance of the June 7 release of the 2017 editions, to help improve the online version of the Official Guides. In doing so, we have thoroughly analyzed the 2017 versions of the GMAT Official Guides, and want to give you an overview of what to expect. In this post, we will focus specifically on **how the 2017 GMAT Verbal Official Guide differs from the 2016 edition in terms of question difficulty and math concepts**.

## Sentence Correction – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Verbal Official Guide contain 113 Sentence Correction questions. The **allocation of GMAC question difficulty remains unchanged**.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
31 | 31 | — |

Medium |
51 | 51 | — |

Hard |
31 | 31 | — |

Total |
113 | 113 | — |

A total of **17 new Sentence Correction questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Verbal Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 6 / 7 / 4**. This is in lieu of 17 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 5 / 6 / 6. The GMAC has also upgraded the difficulty of three questions (#31, #81, and #82 in the 2016 edition).

**Among the six Hard questions removed, we consider four Very Hard** (a difficulty rating that we assign to less than 10% of the questions). These are questions #87, #90, #107, and #113 (in the 2016 edition). Unfortunately none of the newly-added questions qualify as Very Hard. Let’s further break down how each of the GMAC difficulty categories has changed.

### Easy Sentence Correction

*Additions:*

6 new questions

*Subtractions:*

5 questions removed

1 upgraded to Medium

*Net change:* —

### Medium Sentence Correction

*Additions:*

7 new questions

1 upgraded from Easy

*Subtractions:*

6 questions removed

2 upgraded to Hard

*Net change:* —

### Hard Sentence Correction

*Additions:*

4 new questions

2 upgraded from Medium

*Subtractions:*

6 questions removed

*Net change:* —

## Sentence Correction – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 17 new (in 2017) and the 17 removed (from 2016) Sentence Correction questions. We have categorized these questions based on the primary grammar concepts that are tested on Sentence Correction.

Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Verb Agreement |
0 | 1 | (1) |

Verb Tense |
3 | 1 | +2 |

Pronoun Ambiguity |
1 | 3 | (2) |

Pronoun Agreement |
3 | 3 | — |

Parallel Construction |
2 | 6 | (4) |

Misplaced Modifiers |
3 | 0 | +3 |

Idioms |
3 | 1 | +2 |

Comparison & Quantity |
1 | 1 | — |

Expression & Meaning |
1 | 1 | — |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **we clearly see a decrease in parallelism-related questions**. This isn’t overly surprising, however, because Parallel Construction was and remains the biggest grammar category.

## Critical Reasoning – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Verbal Official Guide contain 83 Critical Reasoning questions. The **allocation of question difficulty**, as assigned by the GMAC, **remains unchanged**.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
34 | 34 | — |

Medium |
26 | 26 | — |

Hard |
23 | 23 | — |

Total |
83 | 83 | — |

A total of **13 new Critical Reasoning questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Verbal Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 6 / 3 / 4**. This is in lieu of 13 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 3 / 3. In our assessment, the overall difficulty of the newly-added questions is harder than that of the removed questions. The GMAC has also downgraded the difficulty of two questions (#35 and #61in the 2016 edition). Let’s further break down how each of these difficulty categories has changed.

### Easy Critical Reasoning

*Additions:*

6 new questions

1 downgraded from Medium

*Subtractions:*

7 question removed

*Net change:* —

### Medium Critical Reasoning

*Additions:*

3 new questions

1 downgraded from Hard

*Subtractions:*

3 questions removed

1 downgraded to Easy

*Net change:* —

### Hard Critical Reasoning

*Additions:*

4 new questions

*Subtractions:*

3 questions removed

1 downgraded to Easy

*Net change:* —

## Critical Reasoning – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 13 new (in 2017) and the 13 removed (from 2016) Critical Reasoning questions. We have grouped these questions based on the question type categorization that GMAT Genius uses for Critical Reasoning.

Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Weaken |
2 | 4 | (2) |

Strengthen |
3 | 4 | (1) |

Assumption |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Reasoning |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Conclusion |
1 | 1 | — |

Explain |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Evaluate |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Boldface |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Complete the Passage |
2 | 0 | +2 |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out most is the increase in the Complete the Passage** category.

## Reading Comprehension – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Verbal Official Guide contain 105 Reading Comprehension questions. The **allocation of question difficulty**, as assigned by the GMAC, **has noticeably shifted towards Hard**. This is a bit misleading, however, because the GMAC has upgraded one passage with eight questions from Medium to Hard.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
28 | 26 | +2 |

Medium |
37 | 47 | (10) |

Hard |
40 | 32 | +8 |

Total |
105 | 105 | — |

A total of **15 new Reading Comprehension questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Verbal Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 6 / 9 / 0**. These 15 questions are in two new passages, one rated Easy difficulty and one rated Medium. A total of 15 questions from the 2016 edition have been removed, all with Medium difficulty rating. This represents three passages. Let’s further break down how each of these difficulty categories has changed.

### Easy Reading Comprehension

*Additions:*

6 new questions

*Subtractions:*

4 upgraded to Medium

*Net change:* +2 questions

### Medium Reading Comprehension

*Additions:*

9 new questions

4 upgraded from Easy

*Subtractions:*

15 questions removed

8 upgraded to Hard

*Net change:* -10 questions

### Hard Reading Comprehension

*Additions:*

8 upgraded from Medium

*Subtractions:*

none

*Net change:* +8 questions

## Reading Comprehension – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 15 new (in 2017) and the 15 removed (from 2016) Reading Comprehension questions. We have grouped these questions based on the question type categorization that GMAT Genius uses for Reading Comprehension.

Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Primary Purpose |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Author’s Tone |
1 | 1 | — |

Organization |
0 | 0 | — |

Function |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Specific Reference |
4 | 6 | (2) |

Inference |
7 | 4 | +3 |

Critical Reasoning |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out most is the increase in the Inference** category.

## Removed Questions

Here is the **list of the questions that have been removed from the 2016 edition** of the GMAT Verbal Official Guide. We’ll publish a list of the new questions in the 2017 GMAT Verbal Official Guide after it publicly releases.

### Sentence Correction – 17 questions removed:

4, 10, 17, 22, 29, 36, 41, 54, 58, 75, 78, 87, 90, 102, 107, 110, 113

### Critical Reasoning – 13 questions removed:

4, 5, 8, 12, 26, 31, 32, 45, 49, 51, 65, 76, 77

### Reading Comprehension – 15 questions removed:

36 to 38, 43 to 48, 49 to 54

## Summary

In the 2017 GMAT Verbal Official Guide, the GMAC has replaced a total of 45 questions, representing 15% of the questions. The **changes in this edition are far less significant than the changes we saw between the 2015 to the 2016 editions** of this book. GMAT Genius will offer much more detailed analysis and critique of the 2017 GMAT Official Guides in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Jun 01 2016

## Preview of 2017 GMAT Quantitative Official Guide

**GMAT Genius has been working closely with the publisher of the Official Guides for GMAT Review** over the past few weeks, in advance of the June 7 release of the 2017 editions, to help improve the online version of the Official Guides. In doing so, we have thoroughly analyzed the 2017 versions of the GMAT Official Guides, and want to give you an overview of what to expect. In this post, we will focus specifically on **how the 2017 GMAT Quantitative Official Guide differs from the 2016 edition in terms of question difficulty and math concepts**.

## Problem Solving – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Quantitative Official Guide contain 176 Problem Solving questions. The **allocation of question difficulty**, as assigned by the GMAC, **has slightly shifted away from Medium**. Part of this change resulted from **the GMAC downgrading two questions from Medium difficulty** (in the 2016 edition) **to Easy** (in the 2017 edition).

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
85 | 82 | +3 |

Medium |
52 | 57 | (5) |

Hard |
39 | 37 | +2 |

Total |
176 | 176 | — |

A total of **26 new Problem Solving questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Quantitative Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 17 / 5 / 4**. Of the four new Hard questions, we actually consider one Easy and one Medium. These new questions are in lieu of 26 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 16 / 8 / 2. Let’s further break down how each of these difficulty categories has changed.

### Easy Problem Solving

*Additions:*

17 new questions

2 downgraded from Medium

*Subtractions:*

16 questions removed

*Net change:* +3 questions

### Medium Problem Solving

*Additions:*

5 new questions

*Subtractions:*

8 questions removed

2 downgraded to Easy

*Net change:* -5 questions

### Hard Problem Solving

*Additions:*

4 new questions

*Subtractions:*

2 questions removed

*Net change:* +2 questions

## Problem Solving – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 26 new (in 2017) and the 26 removed (from 2016) Problem Solving questions. GMAT Genius classifies questions based on their primary and secondary concepts. In order to observe trends, we have condensed our categorization as follows:

Type |
Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Basic |
5 | 1 | +4 |

Arithmetic | Divisibility & Factors |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
1 | 3 | (2) |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
3 | 2 | +1 |

Arithmetic | Percents |
3 | 4 | (1) |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
0 | 3 | (3) |

Algebra | Quadratics |
2 | 2 | — |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Algebra | Variables in Answers |
1 | 1 | — |

Geometry | All Geometry |
3 | 3 | — |

Statistics | Averages |
2 | 1 | +1 |

Statistics | Other Statistics |
2 | 1 | +1 |

Word Problems | Combinatorics |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
0 | 1 | (1) |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Although we cannot draw definite conclusions from this data about question composition on the GMAT, **what stands out is the decrease in algebraic linear equations and the increase in basic arithmetic**.

## Data Sufficiency – Difficulty

Both the 2017 and 2016 editions of the GMAT Quantitative Official Guide contain 124 Data Sufficiency questions. The **allocation of question difficulty**, as assigned by the GMAC, **has noticeably shifted away from Hard**. This is a bit misleading, however, because we would rate all five of the new Hard questions as Hard, whereas **we would rate only three of the 15 removed Hard questions as actually Hard**.

Difficulty |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|

Easy |
26 | 22 | +4 |

Medium |
31 | 25 | +6 |

Hard |
67 | 77 | (10) |

Total |
124 | 124 | — |

A total of **19 new Data Sufficiency questions**, which we have never seen before, appear in the 2017 GMAT Quantitative Official Guide, **with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 7 / 7 / 5**. This is in lieu of 19 questions from the 2016 edition that have been removed, with difficulty ratings of Easy / Medium / Hard as follows: 3 / 1 / 15. Since **no questions have been assigned a different difficulty**, these new and removed questions alone account for the differences in the number of questions per difficulty level.

## Data Sufficiency – Concepts

Let’s now consider changes in the concepts of the 19 new (in 2017) and the 19 removed (from 2016) Data Sufficiency questions. GMAT Genius classifies questions based on their primary and secondary concepts. In order to observe trends, we have condensed our categorization as follows:

Type |
Concept |
2017 |
2016 |
Change |
---|---|---|---|---|

Arithmetic | Divisibility/Factors/Mult. |
2 | 1 | +1 |

Arithmetic | Exponents & Roots |
1 | 1 | — |

Arithmetic | Fractions & Ratios |
1 | 1 | — |

Arithmetic | Pos/Neg & Odd/Even |
1 | 1 | — |

Arithmetic | Primes |
1 | 1 | — |

Algebra | Inequalities |
2 | 2 | — |

Algebra | Linear Equations |
0 | 1 | (1) |

Algebra | Quadratics |
1 | 1 | — |

Algebra | Simultaneous Equations |
2 | 1 | +1 |

Geometry | All Geometry |
3 | 3 | — |

Statistics | All Statistics |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Word Problems | Functions & Sequences |
1 | 0 | +1 |

Word Problems | Groups/Sets |
1 | 2 | (1) |

Word Problems | Revenue/Profit |
1 | 1 | — |

Word Problems | Rate & Work |
1 | 1 | — |

No specific trends stand out from this data about question composition.

## Removed Questions

Here is the **list of the questions that have been removed from the 2016 edition** of the GMAT Quantitative Official Guide. We’ll publish a list of the new questions in the 2017 GMAT Quantitative Official Guide after it publicly releases.

### Problem Solving – 26 questions removed:

14, 23, 27, 30, 32, 36, 37, 41, 43, 44, 46, 53, 54, 56, 57, 66, 91, 92, 103, 112, 123, 130, 137, 138, 168, 170

### Data Sufficiency – 19 questions removed:

14, 19, 22, 33, 51, 54, 59, 61, 67, 80, 83, 87, 90, 97, 100, 101, 103, 107, 114

## Summary

In the 2017 GMAT Quantitative Official Guide, the GMAC has replaced a total of 45 questions, representing 15% of the questions. The

Mar 16 2016

## GMAT Score Cancellation and Reinstatement Periods

The Graduate Management Admission Council recently announced **longer GMAT score cancellation and score reinstatement time periods**. These changes are beneficial to GMAT test takers, and expand upon the enhanced score cancellation features that the GMAC introduced in July 2015.

## GMAT Score Cancellation Options

You can continue to cancel your scores immediately upon completion of the GMAT. After you see your scores, you have two minutes in which to either cancel or report your test scores. **This option remains free**, and removes any indication of a test attempt from your score reports.

A **new option** allows you to **cancel your GMAT scores within 72 hours** of your test administration, **for a $25 fee**. You take advantage of this option online, by logging in to your MBA.com account. As with the immediate cancellation option, your score reports will have no record of the GMAT administration.

## Enhanced Score Reinstatement Period

You previously had 60 days to reinstate cancelled scores, for a $100 fee. You can **now reinstate cancelled scores up to 4 years 11 months** after your exam date. Furthermore, the GMAC has **lowered the score reinstatement fee to $50** and will now automatically send score reports to the schools that you selected during your exam. You also take advantage of this option online at your MBA.com account.

## GMAT Genius’ Interpretation

As the GMAT faces greater competition from the GRE, the GMAC has been striving to introduce greater flexibility and control to GMAT takers. Rather than deciding immediately, you can now more carefully consider over the subsequent three days whether to cancel your GMAT scores. You can also **seek the advice of others, such as your GMAT tutor, before deciding whether to cancel**. The longer timeframe should reduce the pressure you face over this decision after completing a grueling exam.

The enhanced score reinstatement period also provides greater flexibility, now at a much more reasonable cost. You can cancel your GMAT scores knowing that you are able to reinstate the scores at any time during their 5-year validity. As a result, we expect that many **more MBA aspirants will cancel their scores** when they don’t meet their score objectives, **and then ultimately reinstate their highest scores after further GMAT attempts**. You can read more about the changes on mba.com.