Are you applying for graduate school? Here are five of the best GRE test prep books to check out, as recommended by online tutor Marcus S.
As someone headed to grad school, you’ve likely been focusing on your major for the last couple of years or working in the real world for even longer. In either case, chances are you’ll need to freshen up your skills in one or more areas covered on the GRE.
The Graduate Records Exam, or GRE, is used by many graduate schools to help determine whether an applicant is ready for grad school. Some scholarship programs also consider GRE scores in determining awardees. This means testing not only the subject matter knowledge of aspiring grad students, but also asking them to demonstrate their analytical thinking skills. It’s natural for students to become interested in which GRE test prep books will allow them to master the tests as efficiently as possible.
No matter which GRE test book you pick, finding a quality tutor is the best way to prepare for test day. An experienced tutor will help you with questions from any GRE test prep book and will provide you with a personalized path to reaching your full score potential.
Before you invest your money, your time, and your future in a study guide, make sure you choose the book which suits your own unique learning style. Here are my recommendations for the best GRE test prep books around:
1. Official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test
The Official Guide to the GRE is published by ETS, the makers of the GRE, so it offers perks that no one else can match, including four real GRE practice tests. However, the creators of the GRE aren’t going to give you the best tips or tricks to hack their own test, so this book is ideally used in combination with one of the other test prep guides listed below. If you’re tight for cash, as many soon-to-be grad students are, you might consider using the free practice questions and study materials offered by ETS on their website, along with a top-notch tutor and another book.
2. Gruber’s Complete GRE Guide
Dr. Gary Gruber has spent his career tackling tests (when he wasn’t working on his Ph.D. in astrophysics — seriously!). In the Complete GRE Guide, he shows you how to apply his Gruber Method of test-taking, which is a way of looking at each question with critical-thinking skills. The Gruber Guide is meant to help you on the entire GRE, but is known for its wisdom on quantitative questions. If math is your weakness, this is one of the best GRE prep books for you.
3. GRE For Dummies
You’re no dummy, but sometimes the GRE can make you feel like one. Some test prep creators think boring you to death is the way to approach an exam, but this book uses the Dummies series’ signature light-heartedness to keep you relaxed, alert – and dare we say, entertained – as you work on your GRE skills. GRE for Dummies breaks down a complex test into bite-sized chunks of knowledge, which go down easy but add up to a healthy meal of test preparation.
4. Barron’s GRE
As one of the leaders in test prep, Barron’s offers practice questions as close as you can get to the real thing. Barron’s GRE also includes a CD with two full-length GRE practice tests, as well as access to tons of resources online, plus an iPad app for mobile studying. Don’t overlook this GRE test prep book when you need a multi-platform learning solution.
5. 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems
With 33 chapters, a vocabulary list appendix, and 1800 practice questions, you can see why this book weighs five pounds. You can also be sure there’s quality as well as quantity, because the 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems is authored by Manhattan Prep. Among those 1800 questions, which is the most in any GRE prep book, you’ll find 200 that focus on the most difficult level of GRE questions. If you’re looking for a great score and not just a decent one, your mental exercise program should start with 5 lb. curls of this book.
The Best Way to Ace the GREs
If you’re not sure of which GRE test book to start with, simply follow the suggestions of your teacher. They’ll help you determine which subjects you should focus on and point you toward the resources which are best for you. You can use a combination of physical and digital study books to work on your skills. The fewer barriers that come between you and your study materials, the faster your GRE skills will progress.
Remember that the GRE has its own unique “flavor,” so be sure to learn from a tutor who has experience with this particular test. Step by step, your teacher will guide you toward maximizing your score on the GRE and ensuring you have the best possible chances to make it into your dream school.
Do you have another favorite GRE test prep book? Let us know with a comment below!
Marcus S. tutors online in a variety of subjects. He has been trained and certified to teach classes and give individual tutoring to students in the SAT, GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for the Princeton Review. Learn more about Marcus here!
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