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In your opinion does a specific GRE prep book have advantage over another (i.e. kaplan, barron's, princeton review)?


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I have already started studying for the GRE, but right now I am using Kaplan prep materials. Is there an advantage to using more than one prep book? Or are all the books pretty similar? I briefly browsed them in the bookstore but I didn't have lots of time to choose one when I did. I'm wondering if Barron's might be best? It seems to be the book used in most prep courses my campus offers.

 

I've also been researching manhattan and that seems to get good reviews as well. I am looking for something that doesn't just focus on the basics as I have taken Algebra, Trig, Stats I, Calc I and Calc II

Edited by gnomechomsky22
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I felt Barron and the ETS practice materials were closest to the real deal. Kaplan math was way easier, and I also had the "GRE for Dummies" book, which was pretty much useless for quant preparation. 

 

Also just as a tip, what you need to learn is more how to quickly assess a problem and find the quickest way to solve it. In that way, your calculus experience could trip you up. GRE math is mainly algebra, geometry, and some trig and stats. I felt Barron was the best at helping me learn the tricks to solving problems quickly.

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I particularly liked Princeton Review for Verbal and AW, (Barron's for Verbal was also really good), and I used Cliff Notes Math Review for the quant. (But I'm terrible at math, so that's probably not the path for you, since it gives a really thorough review of every single math concept from about elementary school on.)

 

I bought Kaplan's, Barron's, Princeton Review, and GRE for Dummies (I spent quite a bit) and found that having so many books was problematic for me because I got so overwhelmed. However, that could just be me. Also, sometimes they contradicted one another and so that was confusing. 

 

I found the information on the ETS's website was really helpful. Just make sure you go there and not buy the actual book; I almost bought it and then found out it's on the website for free (at least, it used to be). 

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I found the princeton book useful and its tone was very casual, making for an easy read.

 

the math section however was not uber, and you might be better elsewhere

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  • 2 months later...

My advice:  DON'T USE PRINCETON REVIEW for practice tests - they are MUCH easier than the real thing.  I consistently scored in the mid 160's on both Verbal and Math on TPR's tests, so imagine my surprise when my real GRE scores were 162 Verbal and 150 Quant!!!  

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My advice:  DON'T USE PRINCETON REVIEW for practice tests - they are MUCH easier than the real thing.  I consistently scored in the mid 160's on both Verbal and Math on TPR's tests, so imagine my surprise when my real GRE scores were 162 Verbal and 150 Quant!!!  

 

I found the scores to be pretty on spot on, compared to what I ended up getting

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I like the Manhattan 5lb book of practice problems. I know all of the basic math, and I'm building vocabulary with flash cards. My biggest problem is identifying the question and how the test wants it answered. You can get so used to answering problems in a specific way that you completely overlook what the GRE is actually asking. The Manhattan book helps by giving a lot of problems so that you can identify them quickly and answer them efficiently on test day.

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I like the Manhattan 5lb book of practice problems. I know all of the basic math, and I'm building vocabulary with flash cards. My biggest problem is identifying the question and how the test wants it answered. You can get so used to answering problems in a specific way that you completely overlook what the GRE is actually asking. The Manhattan book helps by giving a lot of problems so that you can identify them quickly and answer them efficiently on test day.

 

The only thing about the 5lb book is the difficulty of the questions. When I encounter difficult questions I become disheartened.

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The only thing about the 5lb book is the difficulty of the questions. When I encounter difficult questions I become disheartened.

 

The way I see it is: I'd rather be disheartened during practice and grow from it, rather than be disheartened during the exam. :)

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