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Best GRE math review?


Best overall GRE math resource  

15 members have voted

  1. 1. Which GRE book is best for overall math review?

    • Kaplans
    • Barrons
    • Nova
    • ETS
    • Princeton Review
    • Other (please not specifically below)

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Kaplans, Barrons, ETS, Princeton Review, etc.... We know all the "names" of the business, but which would you recommend for someone basically "starting out" again in math? I haven't had comprehensive math or a review in years, and am needing basic review.

I have allotted 2 months for review, with 6-7 hours a day for study. Two months might not seem like a long time, but I have nothing else going on this summer and can give total attention to studying.

So, what book have you found useful? What are the major things that should be remembered?

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The last time I took any kind of math class was in high school ten years ago. That was calculus, so the last time I took anything that's tested on the GRE was 11 or 12 years ago.

I took the GRE 2 years ago and got a 600 on quant - ouch! I was a "mathlete" back in the day, so this was a mess. I took it again last weekend after working carefully through the Barron's math workbook and only supplementing with a few more books (Princeton Review 1014 questions and the stuff on ETS' website) and got a 730 on quant. It's not STELLAR or anything, but it's damn good considering the circumstances and should be fine in my field. I credit the improvement mostly to getting a better understanding of the basics using the Barron's book. The other books were more for refinement of the basics.

The Barron's does have a lot of typos and little mistakes, however. It can be annoying/distracting. But that seemed to be the case with every review book I used!

Edited by profwannabemcb
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How long did you give yourself to study?

I have a full-time job, so I studied off-and-on for about 3.5 months. Two months with 6-7 hours a day seems sufficient to me. People study for the bar in that amount time and that's a lot harder than the GRE quant section.

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If you're focusing on just math, then 2 months should be more enough for studying just that section, especially with the huge amount of time you plan to devote to the exam in that 2 month period. This is true even if you throw in some verbal study as well.

If you're rusty on math I think it's best to do a 1-2 week review from a guide that emphasizes what you may have forgotten or perhaps never learned (with some advanced content review as well).

Then I think go on to a guide like Barron's or Kaplan or Nova if you want to go for 700+. I've just switched now primarily to Nova "Math Bible" and it seems the most comprehensive of all the books and best to prepare for the "what the hell?" type questions.

What guide you choose really depends on your ambition. If you want to get close to an 800, go for Barron's or Nova (or both), closer to a 700, Kaplan; closer to a 600, Princeton Review. There are people who score 800 by studying Princeton Review, but my guess is all they needed were tricks and that they had a very stong background in math (at some point in their lives). So, Barrons and Nova are my picks...but Barron's has nothing on higher level concepts; nothing on mean, median, mode, frequency distributions, permutations, (which are apparently now becoming more common on the GRE even for those who are not reaching the hardest questions). Kaplan has good tricks, but if you don't know how to solve the problem the traditional way, then they're not much help if you freeze up on remembering how to apply their plug and chug stuff or if strategies do not seem to work under time pressure. In other words, even though there's no getting around knowing the math, ideally you want to have those strategies available -- but only to save time, not because of cluelessness.

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I did Barron's twice, Kaplan's once and the GRE test prep CD multiple times because they have a big stock of questions in that mock exam that we sometimes ignore and got a 770.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Math Review for Standardized Test is a good one. I used that on top of the Barron's Math

I also used this method. Another thing I recommend is taking a look at these "Advanced" GRE Math questions: http://readyforgre.c...Version%203.pdf

While these questions, i felt, were a lot more difficult than the actual test, it forces you to think about math in terms of standardized testing.

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