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GRE literature subject test

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610 sounds like a great start. You should get the Princeton Review if you don't already have it. I found that to be the best study aide and the material it tests is representative of what's on the actual GRE. You might get 5-10 questions correct that you otherwise would have missed, just from reading the answers to the Princeton Review practice exam.

Other things that helped me were reading the Norton Anthology introduction chapters very carefully (much more than any single poem or book or play) and, cheesy as it sounds, renting movies from Netflix, just to get a good association with character names and basic plots for the classics.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey y'all: can some other people post suggestions? I've got the Princeton Review book, and I've pulled out the Nortons. I also just registered for the November test, and I'm severely freaking out. "Literature in English": can it possibly get more vague or broad? (Well, yes, it can, but if I even entertain the thought of how much more vague and broad a test can be, my brain will explode.) I haven't taken a practice test in one sitting yet, but I've been working on the sample from the ETS website in small chunks: I'm continually stumped on the (albeit few) questions that feature a sample passage and then five possible interpretations as answer choices. How's a gal supposed to pick the best one? Sure, one or two typically seem like they have no connection to the passage, and they're easy to eliminate. But then it's down to the final three, and one seems like it could be sort of Harold Bloom-esque, and another seems like it could be a little Susan Stewart-y, and a third seems a tad bit Marjorie Perloff-like, and I know which one I'd probably like and which ones would make me cringe, but I can hardly tell which one's "right" without a full-fledged argument behind it.

So what I'm essentially asking is: is the thing as brutal and bizarre as it seems from the very outset?

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I seem to recall someone posting a link to their blog, wherein they produced daily flash cards for the lit subject test. Let m see if I can... wait... yup! Here it is:


It looks like the blogger's enthusiasm petered out after a while, but what is there might be helpful. Many people use the Norton's intro material to study, but I would also suggest using those 100 greatest short stories and 100 greatest ideas books, etc., because they often divide themselves up by tradition/location (e.g. "100 Greatest Russian Short Stories").

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