Best GRE Prep Books (and courses)
(Updated August 2011: Read and post comments about the Revised GRE test taking experience.)
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Best GRE Prep Books – Suggestions From The Test Designer
The most important book for GRE preparation has been and always will be the books published by GRE. Whether you “beg, borrow or steal” these are the books that you must have. Whether the Revised GRE is harder or easier than the current GRE, you must begin with preparation materials from the test maker.
Somethings Old: GRE Books – The Official Guide From ETS
1. Practicing To Take The GRE – This book Was Designed For the GRE Prior To August 1, 2011 – But large parts of it remain relevant to your preparation
This book continues to be of value for the Revised GRE. You will still need to the updated Official Guide To The Revised GRE (see below). That said, the only part of “Practicing To Take The GRE” which is no longer relevant is the “analogies” question type. Please note that the old GRE Sentence Correction type is still valuable practice for both the “Text completion” and “Text Equivalence” section of the Revised GRE. Some of the old Sentence Completion questions have been rewritten as “Text Equivalence” questions. On the quantitative side, the Revised GRE still has “Quantitative Comparison” and “Problem Solving” questions. When you are practicing for the GRE it is important to have as many questions as possible from GRE. The third party books are never as good. Bottom Line: Keep using “Practicing To Take The GRE” along with the “Official Guide To The Revised GRE”.
2. GRE Big Book – The Best GRE Prep Book of All Time
Another old but fantastic source of GRE practice questions is a book called GRE Big book (which is no longer published). This book was designed for the GRE test format which ended on July 31, 2011. That said, it continues to be relevant in the same way that “Practicing To Take The GRE” is relevant (forget the analogies section). In its day “GRE Big Book” was by far the best source of GRE test practice questions. You might be able to find a copy in a used bookstore. But remember that once the GRE transitions to the Revised GRE format, you must also have the “The Official Guide to The Revised GRE” which is available in a variety of formats (see below).
Something New – The Official Guide To The Revised GRE
GRE has prepared materials to prepare for the Revised GRE which debuts in August 2011. The Official Guide To The Revised GRE is now available and is essential to your GRE prep. In fact the Official Guide to The Revised GRE is also available in digital format. Your options include:
– digital edition
– iPhone/iPad edition
– PDF edition
– Mobipocket reader
– Read online with Amigo reader
On May 19, 2011 Amazon announced that it is now selling more ebooks that paper books (of course that might be only because people who shop at Amazon are plugged into the digital world. That said, the trend is clear.
Okay, but how does one use the various GRE books to prepare? The most important prep principle is to begin with what GRE says about its own test! The following are the most important sources of GRE preparation:
FREE GRE Preparation Aids General Test – Direct from the test designer:
– Powerprep software – the best available software to reflect the format of the test
Priced GRE Preparation Aids – Direct from the test designer
– Book – Practicing to Take the GRE General Test, 10th Edition – for the current GRE
– Book – The Official Guide to the Revised GRE – Now available for the revised GRE
– Evaluation – Analytical Writing – ScoreItNow!™ Online Writing Practice
GRE Verbal Prep Blog
– a third party GRE blog to prepare for the current GRE verbal section.
GRE Subject Test Preparation – Direct from the test designer