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Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 298 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0307944696
ISBN-10: 0307944697
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Product Details

  • Series: Graduate School Test Preparation
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Review; 1 edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307944697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307944696
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.1 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just finished studying for the GRE with Barron's, Kaplan, ETS, and Princeton Review, and Cracking the GRE is by far the best out of the four. Its math and verbal sections are incredibly user-friendly and helpful, and the analytical writing section is essential if you want a top-scoring essay on the test. Princeton Review not only tells you exactly what you need to do to get the highest scores on your essays, but its website also offers LiveGrader, a service which allows you to have your essays scored by actual graders (not computers!) for $6 per test. This is much cheaper than the grading service ETS offers ($13 per test)! The math section is excellent for someone (like me) who is not gifted in math, with the most simple, clear, and useful explanations of any GRE prep book I've found. As far as I'm concerned, Cracking the GRE is ESSENTIAL to do well on the GRE!! The only caveat I would add is that if you want a top score on the verbal section you'll also need to reference Barron's comprehensive vocabulary list, which is unmatched by any other book...
5 Comments 336 of 340 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, I am certain that someone is planting reviews on this book to get sales. Unethical. All of the reviewers thus far only have made one review (look at their history) and that review is on this book. Shady. With that being stated...

The book is pretty good, however; it is lacking. There was a question type on the math GRE that it does not cover. As far as Princeton Review is concerned, this certain type of question does not exist. Well, it does! Fine if you don't want to max out your score. Not fine for me. I figured out how to do it in real time the last time I took the GRE, but I missed it the first time around because I wasn't expecting it at all. I am paying for a book to tell me how to beat the system. I should beat it. You should beat it.

Also, the section on permutations was overly brief, skimming over juicy bits. I can see why they did that, though. Most people don't want to know all the permutation and combination formulas. I do! So I reviewed the material online. The issue is that if you don't know that stuff during the test, you have to guess with the letter of the day because you aren't prepared to answer it. I'd rather have a 100% chance of getting it right than a 20%. Maybe that is just me.

For $15 off Amazon, I would recommend the book, however; these planted reviews saying the book is perfect are just lies.
10 Comments 341 of 350 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should not be the only source you use to study for the GRE. While it does contain advice on helpful strategies to employ to answer the different question types, it has very, very little practice, which is precisely what you need most to adequately prepare for the GRE! The DVD that accompanies the book has very little material on it, and even less material that is useful. If you do want to buy this book, choose the non-DVD option and save yourself some money. I don't find the Hit Parade very useful because it just lists the word, part of speech (noun, adjective, verb) and the definition of the word, without giving the word in context. They encourage you to put the word in a sentence yourself, but this is difficult for words that you are totally unfamiliar with (you may be using it the wrong way). I like Kaplan's strategy better, which is to place a word in a sentence, because it helps with recall. Kaplan also creates sentences in which the meaning of the word is clear.

A positive: the PR book comes with a product key which you can plug in on the Princeton Review website and get access to four full-length practice tests and some practice lessons and drills. You can get a demo version of what I'm talking about for free on the website (even if you don't have the product key), but the product key unlocks some more options. Curiously, the study plan that PR provides you with (on the website) tells you to practice using ETS's "Practicing to Take the GRE: General Test, 10th Edition" -- so they expect you to buy yet another book.

Bottom line, PR is good for strategy, but bad for practice. My boyfriend used Kaplan and I'm using some of his material (flashcards, pocket reference, etc), and I'm finding Kaplan much better for verbal (I haven't gotten to the math section yet).
2 Comments 95 of 96 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
This book is overall pretty good; I definitely recommend it for the price.

On the other hand, I'm a math major, looking to go on to a Ph.D. in math, and have found the math section of this book in need of some serious editing. There are incorrect explanations and answers, though not many, but enough to cause concern. Some of the questions in the math part are written in a logically unsound manner; that is, they could logically be interpreted more than one way, and relatively often the correct answer is I can not tell (although this is not often a choice, thank goodness). For a subject based on the application of logic to certain assumptions/definitions/axioms, this seems strange to me.

The verbal section has been very helpful to me, especially in test-taking strategies (if it's not in the passage, it's not the answer!!). However, someone from the Princeton Review has got to rip the math section apart and start over.
4 Comments 80 of 83 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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