Need recommendation for best book to use for GRE
June 2, 2014 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Daughter planning to go to grad school to further study psychology and industrial management (sort of human resources) and needs a book for GRE others who have gone on to grad school have found very useful.
posted by Postroad to Education (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I purchased (and never used) the Kaplan GRE prep book and flashcard set. Memail me if you are interested, because they are collecting dust around my house and they could be yours for a very reasonable price.
posted by royals at 8:01 AM on June 2, 2014

Check your local library. Some carry this kind of thing and then she can try a couple different books and buy one that works for her if she wants to write in it or there are other bits the library doesn't carry.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 8:07 AM on June 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

IMO the most important thing is to take as many practice tests as possible; ideally these should be computerized. There are very good free materials on the GRE website, including practice exam software. Other than that, I would buy any book that offers a practice test with it, either on a CD or online.

There's also Manhattan Prep, which offers a free test as a promotion.

The curriculum you need for the GRE is only a little bit more advanced than for the SAT. What makes it more difficult is that the questions are even trickier, so it's important to get acclimated to them.
posted by vogon_poet at 8:07 AM on June 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

This book isn't as popular as some other big names (Kaplan, Princeton Review), but look into this and see if your daughter finds it helpful. It's good for targeting weaknesses in test-taking.

I recommend doing practice tests and, most importantly, thoroughly reviewing every single question she was unsure of (regardless of whether she ended up picking the right answer) or got wrong.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 8:11 AM on June 2, 2014

I've always been a fan of the Princeton Review books for both SAT and GRE. They do a great job of emphasizing useful test-taking strategies, which is important because the GRE is as much, if not more, a test of how well you take standardized tests as it is a test of knowledge.
posted by Behemoth at 8:11 AM on June 2, 2014

I don't remember what I used for the multiple choice sections (some combination of Barron's and Kaplan), but I remember that Answers to the Real Essay Questions was unbelievably helpful for me in getting a grasp of the essay section (on which I scored a 6).
posted by littlegreen at 8:14 AM on June 2, 2014

I took the GRE a couple of years ago, and my biggest point of anxiety was having to write a timed five paragraph essay after being out of school for years. The GRE website actually lists all of the possible essay topics, so I would pick one at random and set a timer until I had the knack of it again. They tend to be variations on similar themes as well, which means that whatever topic you actually get for the essays will be familiar if you've done a few practice ones.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:39 AM on June 2, 2014

Manhattan prep is the best.

Also use Magoo to practice taking questions. The best route, IMO, is to skip with all the silly strategies and take as many questions as possible, like a thousand.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:51 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I got a perfect score on the GRE.

I sincerely recommend pretending that anything that's not a practice test or the answers, with explanations, to a practice test, does not exist. The practice tests should include practice essays, hopefully with someone to grade the things. Quantity over quality, although you can't have terrible quality.
posted by curuinor at 9:42 AM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

One possible exception: vocabulary lists. Quiz yourself on them, pretend reading doesn't exist
posted by curuinor at 9:44 AM on June 2, 2014

I used the ETS book and scored in the 90+ percentiles for both Q and V.
posted by naturalog at 9:59 AM on June 2, 2014

I took the GRE (and GRE Computer Science Subject Test) over ten years ago, so the test has probably changed A LOT since then. (For example: there was no essay, though I see other commenters had to write an essay.)

I used the Kaplan book, which I still have (available from me on Paperback Swap). Fair warning: It's the 2002-03 edition. I don't remember how much I used it; I remember using the software more extensively than the book.

I was disappointed in my GRE scores, particularly on the QR section where I just plain ran out of time. Apparently my scores were good enough to get into 3 out of the 4 grad schools I applied to, however.

Check if the ETS has any guides; they're the company that makes the test, and I trusted their stuff over others on the SAT. ETS didn't have any guides available when I took the GRE, just practice questions (not even full exams) on their website.
posted by tckma at 10:11 AM on June 2, 2014

IMO the Kaplan math book for the GRE is the best prep for the quantitative section if you're shooting for a really high score. The other prep books I used didn't cover the end-game stuff, probably under the assumption that most people taking an adapative GRE would never see it.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:00 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

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