IvyLynx

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Hey, what are the best GRE study books/methods? Should be taking it this summer :(
 

Falconidae

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I don't know about you, but I can't afford the test prep classes, so I decided to go the self-study route (an interesting move for a notorious procrastinator ;)).
I recently purchased the Princeton Review's "Cracking the GRE with bonus DVD and online access..." I too plan on taking the GRE this summer, and conveniently one of the online tools available to you upon purchase is a weekly study plan based on when you plan on taking the test. The DVD was rather informative, the online tools are thorough and helpful (with 4 full length CAT tests included), and the book itself is well organized. I purchased it at Barnes and Nobles, and felt like it was worth the $36. I particularly like their strategies for breaking down the math section, and their verbal practice section is nice too. Some of my friends prefer Kaplan for the vocab, and I may end up purchasing other supplemental study aides in the near future, but for now I feel like the Princeton Review book I bought is pretty all inclusive. I highly recommend it! Good luck on the GRE!
 

twelvetigers

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For cheaper options, I don't think you can go wrong with Kaplan.

I'd recommend going to a bookstore (Barnes & Noble, Borders, whatever) and taking some time to look through the different books. Try to choose one that matches your learning style and focuses on any weaknesses you may have (verbal, math, or just a specific approach) and then buy whatever you think suits you. Keep in mind that you don't have to buy where you look - you can find the best price online.

Good luck!
 

rachroo

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How long is the typical study period for those of you who have taken the GRE? I have heard some people say 1 month and some say 3 months....

I'm taking the GRE this summer and am going to start studying this Friday since I will be done w/school and finals! I'm just wondering when to schedule my test so that I have enough time to study but I will also have a summer full of working part time and then volunteering to get more experience hours in several fields.
 
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IvyLynx

IvyLynx

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Thanks everyone. I think I'll get that Princeton book and a Kaplan one. A friend used 3 for hers and aced it. I had planned on buying a few online, but there were too many to choose from! Barnes and Nobles sounds good.

As far as I can tell, if you've memorized the vocabulary...you're usually ready for the test. Unless you're one of those weirdos with a dictionary sized vocabulary already and totally suck at math.
 

guppy73

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How long is the typical study period for those of you who have taken the GRE? I have heard some people say 1 month and some say 3 months....

I'm taking the GRE this summer and am going to start studying this Friday since I will be done w/school and finals! I'm just wondering when to schedule my test so that I have enough time to study but I will also have a summer full of working part time and then volunteering to get more experience hours in several fields.
The Princeton Review book mentioned earlier in this post has 1-month and 2-month study schedules, week by week, at the beginning. It's really well organized & helped me tons last year. Hope that it helps you too--good luck!!! :luck:
 

tastrophe

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I bought a ton of books when I was preparing for the GRE, but really the only one I ended up using more than once/twice was "crash course for the GRE", can't remember who published it though. It's small (so inexpensive *and* portable) and was very helpful, and quickly became my sole study book.

Good luck!
 

PRunderdog

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I actually preferred the cd that they sent after registration. the best thing that you can do is take it once, without studying, just so you get a feel for the test, know what to expect, loose the fear. Afterwards, you study and take it again. for the math part I recommend using the cd because it brings a pdf that gives a review of all the algebra and geometry and whatever else comes, as well as a few practice test.
 
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IvyLynx

IvyLynx

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I actually preferred the cd that they sent after registration. the best thing that you can do is take it once, without studying, just so you get a feel for the test, know what to expect, loose the fear.
That's what I had wanted to do originally, but isn't the test on the expensive side? $140 or so? I would rather not have to shell that out more than once.
 

wi girl

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I got a study book and studied for three days (in the evenings) before the tests. One day for math review, one for verbal review, and one to do practice tests. It depends on how well you do on standardized tests to determine how much you need to study I think -- I took the SAT when I had mono and did fine (and fell asleep during one of the sections) so I know that I am okay on them.

Taking a practice test before you study to see what you remember/don't is a really great idea too.

good luck! and don't worry! you can always re-take it! :)
 

hoodle

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Unless you're one of those weirdos with a dictionary sized vocabulary already and totally suck at math.
Hahaha, this was me!

I got a few books (kaplan and princeton review) and worked through many of the math problems on a really scattered schedule (i just picked up whichever book was closer, did some problems, did something else, came back, did some more, etc). I also downloaded the "test prep" stuff that you get from the website, and did ALL of the math tests and practice problems (not the writing, and without time pressure. I did about half the verbal problems). This software was probably the most helpful. We also had a GRE prep vocab book (Kaplan, like flashcards) from the summer, and when we were driving across the country, we had drilled some vocab and marked hard words. I went back to that book and flipped through it a bit.

All in all, my studying was totally sporadic over the course of about a week. I had gone home for christmas break, and then around christmas decided I'd take the GRE, so made an appointment for early january, took it, did well, and breathed a huge sigh of relief!
 

SweeTeaPie

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This is just my own personal opinion, but I took one of those Kaplan courses last summer because I'd already been out of school for a while and needed all the help I could get. For me, however, I felt that it was a big fat waste of money. Other people I've talked to have said the same thing. The one benefit, however, is that it allows you to take a lot of practice exams (about 5 or so). But still, I don't really think it was worth it. Stick to the advice other people are giving you. The books and practice are your best bet.
 

SweeTeaPie

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That's what I had wanted to do originally, but isn't the test on the expensive side? $140 or so? I would rather not have to shell that out more than once.
I think what PRunderdog is trying to say is that they give you a practice test on a CD after you register for the class. S/he's not suggesting that you sign up for the test as a practice, but rather that you use the CD as a practice. Which is, of course, what it's there for.
 

david594

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Just remember when you take the GRE that there are 5 sections, not 4.

I did both writing sections, the verbal section, and as I got towards the end of the quantitative section I really had to go to the bathroom. Figured no big deal I was almost done. Finished the section and was ready to book it for the bathroom when I was taken totally by surprise to have another quantitative section!:scared: I was squirming in my seat for the entire half hour. I didn't know if it was the section that counted or the experimental so I couldn't just skip out on it.

Someone I missed the fact that there was that section.

I am planning to take it again in large part because I think sitting through 2 sections squirming trying to decide if it would be better for me to leave and run to the bathroom or just suffer through it had a negative impact on my thinking.
 

rachroo

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I think sitting through 2 sections squirming trying to decide if it would be better for me to leave and run to the bathroom or just suffer through it had a negative impact on my thinking.
I'm not making fun of you David, but that seriously just made me laugh out loud! :laugh:
 

david594

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I'm not making fun of you David, but that seriously just made me laugh out loud! :laugh:
Its cool. Just dont want anyone to make the stupid mistake I did. Take advantage of the 10 minutes break after the writing sections.

There were a couple times were I actually raised my hand to leave the test mid section to go to the bathroom, but there was 1 proctor who was also checking people in at the same time so it could have been quite a while before she ever even noticed. So I kept giving up after raising my hand for maybe 30 seconds. The whole experience just kinda sucked.
 

cinc0009

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I also didn't realize there were 5 sections. It completely threw me off! I thought the computer had screwed up or something, and I was freaking out. I did ok in the end, but I think I could do better. I might take it again this summer if I don't get off the waitlist.
 

alliecat44

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Another vote for the CD they send you post-registration (which is definitely free). I had been out of school for 5-6 years, and my only studying consisted of taking 1.5 of the tests on that CD the night before the test. I did very well (but I usually tend to on standardized tests). I remember thinking that the practice tests on the CD were almost EXACTLY like the real thing. Definitely comparable to one of the review books--and it comes directly from ETS--and even better, it's free.

Just my own experience. Good luck! :luck:
 

meadow36

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Check with your local university also - my school offers 24 hours of GRE prep classes over the summer for $400. They also have individual SAT verbal/math sections (very similiar to the GRE verbal/math) for about $200 each if you just want to brush up on one section. It also gives full access to a bunch of practice tests, and most importantly access to the tutors - so you can ask as many questions as you want.

I had trouble figuring out the solved problems in some of the books (I have Barron's and Kaplan). They just don't explain everything well enough (at least for me). So, this year I'm excited to have access to the tutors to pick their brains.
 

hoodle

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A reminder - you can DOWNLOAD the stuff on the CD from the website, so you can start studying earlier.
 

rachroo

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So...from what several of you have posted, I gather you studied for only about a week or two?!? Wow, you guys are smarty pants! :)

Natually, I'm not one who does so great on standardized tests. I did well on the ACT and SAT but it's because I studied and prepared beforehand.

Once finals are done (tomorrow, yay!!) I'll have more time to head to Borders to look at the new GRE prep books you all have been suggesting (I have several from 1-3 years ago from friends and that I bought myself when I thought I was going to take it last summer). I'm thinking the one with a one or two month study time table sounds like it suits me already!