MBA Admissions-Related Book Reviews

This section contains our reviews on some highly-recommended books that just didn’t fit under the other subject areas.

Better Grammar in 30 Minutes a Day by Constance Immel and Florence Sacks

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Please don’t be too turned off by the title. Although half an hour a day with this book would improve most people’s grammar (English Ph.D.s perhaps notwithstanding), one can still use this softcover guide to write much more grammatically-correct admissions essays. This is one of the easiest to use and best grammar guides we have ever seen. Our only complaint is that the book’s editor was not a disciple of the book. There is a grammatical mistake on the cover of the book and the index also contains a few errors.

Grammar for Smart People: Your User-Friendly Guide to Speaking and Writing Better English by Barry Tarshis

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This is another excellent grammar book. It is easy to understand and very well written.

Better Sentence Writing in 30 Minutes a Day by Dianna Campbell

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As you’ve probably guessed by now, we have a fondness for this “Better in 30 Minutes a Day” series. MBA writing skills are being more closely evaluated by recruiters now more than ever, so we strongly suggest you put some time and effort into your writing skills. If you have more than 30 minutes (particularly the summer before matriculation), you may want to seize the opportunity!

The Official Guide to the TOEFL with DVD-ROM, 5th Edition by Educational Testing Service

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Just as we recommend preparing for the GMAT by reviewing the old, previous questions, we also recommend preparing for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) the same way. This guide contains a DVD-ROM with 4 authentic past practice TOEFL tests. It will give you a good idea of what to expect to see on the exam but it will not give you good explanations to the questions and it will not teach you the grammar rules you will need to be successful. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you also use an “unofficial” TOEFL guide to help you prepare for this exam.

Official TOEFL iBT Tests Volume 2 by Educational Testing Service

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If you want to practice, you want official test material. The quality is generally noticeably different between official tests and those released by the commercial test prep companies and, obviously, the official tests are going to have a much better calibration when trying to predict your expected score.

Kaplan TOEFL iBT Premiere 2018-19 Edition by Kaplan

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Our running tally currently has Kaplan in the slight lead for the best TOEFL guide. Included are four practice test and two audio CDs as well as online material.