Okay, so now the Problem Solving chapter at Kaplan's wastebook. Once again, not impressed.
Picking Numbers -- while there is no doubt substituting numbers is a useful technique on GMAT exam, why does every single book published get its own name for it? This drives me mad.
In four examples on using Picking Numbers, I found only two of them (50% if you wish :) appropriate for that technique. I was able to quickly solve the other two with tricking and substituting numbers, but with plain old math.
Backsolving -- I don't know how trustful is that, but sounds intriguing. If it works, I guess this is the first valuable tip so far from this book. Unfortunately, out of 2 examples, I should say only one was appropriate choice. (Still 50% :) The other one could be easily be solved with just "thinking in numbers". Very easy. I'll try Backsolving on some real questions though -- interesting to see how good is that in real life.
Guessing. Damn, while I will guess if I'm stuck -- and this is pretty intuitive -- I would prefer to see some really hardcore question as an example for that, instead of simple proportion of alcohol & water question. What can stuck you there?? The only thing is well stated was Don't guess blindly. I second that.
Basically, that's all you can get from this chapter. Nothing more. You need a separate book to "wake up" your math knowledge. This is one does not give you anything.
I've run the sample 50 questions quiz, scored about 86% correct, I think I will do better with a few tries more and reading the correct answers (which suck by the way! in Kaplan's book). Had a few guesses though (wrong ones :), so need some more concepts to work one.
Next one is Data Sufficiency and I already waiting for the clueless theory part with moderate level of questions coming after it. Good practice anyway, but don't buy, if you ask.
On the other note, I won one of the free tickets to TechCrunch50 2009 that will take place on September 14-15th 2009. I mean, I didn't really get it in my hands, yet, but I don't think that there are any doubts after the confirmation. :)
I don't think I will be make it on Tuesday (and if so, I'll have to leave early, and maybe back afternoon), but I'll be there for Monday. And I would be happy to meet all of you, who're also coming, have some beer or whatever they serve. (Yes, I'm a beer-man.)