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341 of 350 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the comments are by people who have only left one review!
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...
Published on August 1, 2012 by Xavier A. Waller

versus
79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Need to review the math section
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...
Published on August 7, 2012 by GreenLightLife


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341 of 350 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the comments are by people who have only left one review!, August 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (Paperback)
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.
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Need to review the math section, August 7, 2012
This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (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.
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94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, helped a lot., August 19, 2012
This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (Paperback)
One of the earlier posters complained of all the reviewers having only one review. Well, I'm one of those "one-reviewers," simply because I've been too lazy in the past to post a review about... well, anything. Anyway, just wanted to let you know - this isn't a shill review or anything of the sort. I just felt compelled to report on my experience with the GRE and the Princeton Review book.

So, I decided to enroll in film school and many of them require taking the GRE for admittance. Before purchasing ANY books or looking at any notes, I downloaded the official PowerPrep software available at the ETS website. The free software comes with 4 or so tests - 1 unscored practice test (although you get the answers at the end), 2 scored tests (that you can take timed or untimed - I recommend times) and I think another weird practice test. Anyway, I took the untimed practice test and got a perfect score. Unfortunately, the difficulty of the untimed practice test is misleading. I ended earning a 154/170 verbal and 130/170 quantitative on my first timed PowerPrep test. Needless to say, I was rather disappointed with both my scores.

Now that I had a baseline, it was time to seek out a good GRE training book so I could accurately gauge my improvement after taking the second timed test. I actually went to Barnes and Nobles and analyzed all the other books (Barron's, Kaplans, non-brands) until deciding on this book. The other books didn't seem BAD, but the test questions in both the Barron's and Kaplan books didn't read like the ones in from the PowerPrep test. Make no mistake, neither does the Princeton Review book. However, this book did an amazing job at deconstructing the questions and illustrating a few universal strategies to attack them.

Now, here's the two faults of the book -
1. You can tell that the Princeton Review did NOT have access to actual ETS written questions, so they wrote their own. Unfortunately, the example questions provided tended to cater to the Princeton Review's strategies. In other words - the strategies worked VERY WELL for the book's example questions (where I was hitting 100% accuracy), but not so much on the actual ETS questions. However, I could apply the strategies to get the correct answer. Just took a bit more thinking.

2. As the other reviewers have mentioned, the math section is a bit lacking. What I did to compensate was writing down everything I had a problem with while taking the PowerPrep test, studying those sections in the book and seeking outside online help. There was one GREAT tidbit of knowledge found in this book that rang true on the actual GRE. Many of the math questions are INSANELY easy, but the question is worded in such a way that you'll waste precious minutes on advanced calculations that are unnecessary. This book has a small section devoted to seeing through that crap.

So, after 2 weeks of studying, I took the second PowerPrep timed test and landed a 163/verbal and 155/quantitative. Not bad, in my opinion. I took the actual GRE yesterday and earned 160/verbal and 150/quantitative. I was a bit disappointed in the drop, but - there was definitely improvement from studying this book. Personally, I underestimated how daunting it was to sit in a cold metal chair for 4 hours taking a test. Midway through, I experienced heavy brain fatigue.

In the end, I do believe this book helped a lot. I'd advise beginning your study 3 months out (not a few weeks, as I ridiculously tried) and getting some supplemental test questions.

Oh, I kinda glossed over the training for the essay questions, so I don't know how accurate that section in the book is. Once I get my essays graded, I'll read what the book has to say about that, compare it to my essay and give an assessment.

Good luck!
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good GRE prep material, August 26, 2012
By 
Susanne Vergara (Hillsborough, NC United States) - See all my reviews
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I first purchased GRE for Dummies as a review for the GREs. I was not sure if that would be good enough so I purchased the Princeton Review and Kaplan prep books. Kaplan and Princeton Review were much better than GRE for Dummies. I will explain in detail in a moment, but first I need to say that none of the three prep books I purchased covered all of the math in sufficient detail. If you were good in math in high school or college you will not have a problem with the lack of comprehensive math coverage. However, if you are like me, who took their last math course in the 11th grade, because you are not inclined towards math, or you have been out of college for more than 10 years, you might want to purchase the CliffNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests, latest edition. It is by far the best and most comprehensive math review and it has lots of great practice exercises and tests. It explains concepts well. The math in the GRE prep guides can supplement CliffNotes and you should definitely study the techniques in the GRE prep books, because they are specifically geared to the GRE test, but they assume a certain amount of pre-knowledge. Now back to Princeton. Princeton and Kaplan complemented one another as far as the verbal and essay writing sections were concerned. Princeton excelled at vocabulary drills and explaining how to handle the abstruse reading comprehension passages. They give you lots of good practice drills. They also do a good job of teaching you how to analyze a reading passage. They teach you step by step. They were the best for teaching the reading comprehension. I found Kaplan to be extremely helpful for writing the issue and argument essays. They do the best job of explaining the parts of the argument essay, like premise, conclusion, hidden assumptions, evidence etc. I really got these concepts after I read Kaplan, which was the last book I studied. Both Princeton and Kaplan have different lists of vocab with some of it overlapping and you need to know all of those words. Princeton and Kaplan have full length practice tests in the back of their books and access to online tests as well. The Kaplan online test came closest to the ETS practice tests that you can download from the ETS website, in fact they were even better, because they gave you that extra experimental section that ETS will give you on exam day, which increases the length of the exam. Take as many practice tests as you can and learn from your mistakes. You are given a chance to review all of your answers, right and wrong and see explanations of the correct answers and why they are correct. That is tremendously helpful. My final advice is do not buy GRE for Dummies, but do use both the Princeton Review and the Kaplan Prep books. Those two are well worth the investment. All of the prep books recommend studying for several hours a day, five days a week, for three months prior to the exam. That is advice well worth taking unless you are exceptionally bright. I took the exam and my scores on exam day were consistent with the scores I got during the last week that I was taking the practice tests. (I took practice tests for several weeks). Therefore, I knew that I had done the best I could have possibly done for me.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Princeton, stop planting amazon reviews!, October 28, 2012
This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (Paperback)
First off, I'd just like to say that I normally don't make make reviews because I'm too lazy, but it was just so blatantly obvious that a huge chunk of these reviews are planted/fake. Mine isn't (it won't say "amazon verified purchase" on my review because I'm from Canada and bought this book at our Indigo store instead). Let's review the book by section (keep in mind that when I was studying for the GRE, my goal was to pass the 80th percentile in all areas)...

MATH
The math portion in this book is not useful if you're aiming to get a good score, not for beginners nor experts. Why? Because if you're a beginner, you should want a book that goes over things step-by-step, in detail, so you understand WHY things are being done. The math section here is too brief for beginners to be equipped with a thorough understanding where they will be able to apply the LOGIC learned in all situations. If you're an expert (or somewhere in between), the difficulty of questions will not be difficult enough, and also, it is not a comprehensive review of all the math topics i.e. there are many things that YOU NEED TO KNOW on the GRE that are NOT mentioned in this book. It may seem like you are learning a lot if you haven't touched math in years, but you will probably get that same feeling with ANY book, so trust me when I say you're better off learning math elsewhere.

My recommendations: I thought the Barrons math review was pretty good, but note that this book also DOES NOT cover every topic needed (I was really shocked on exam day because I got much more difficult questions on concepts I never learned in this book). So use that if you're starting out, but look elsewhere for more difficult stuff. I've also heard good things about Manhattan GRE and Nova. Never had experience with Nova, but I bought some products from Manhattan (although not for math) and the quality of their stuff is EXCELLENT.

VERBAL
Word list: The book has a GRE vocabulary list which is pretty useful if you want to supplement your flashcards etc. I think it has ~500 words, more or less, and a lot of the words will contain overlap with other word lists. It only contains a one sentence definition and no example sentences (but I can't blame them since any more would take up too much space). But because of this, their word list is probably best used as a supplement rather than your primary source of words, because you will likely only have a cursory understanding of definitions.

Text completion: Once you memorize the majority of GRE words, you will realize that their text completion questions are too easy. So easy, they are practically useless to study from. The gist of their tips and strategies basically tells you to "find the clue" in order to figure out the missing word... All prep guides say this. On the GRE, sometimes that clue is VERY difficult to find, because of the complexity of both the sentence and because the sentence may be talking about an unfamiliar area in the humanities, etc. Princeton's text completion pretty much just tests you on whether you know a particular vocabulary word, but they will not have the same level of complexity that you will find on the GRE.

Reading comprehension: Again, actual practice questions and passages are too easy (relative to the GRE), but I suppose it will just get you in the habit of, well, reading. A lot of their strategies and tips they offer are also just plain wrong, like when they say all reading comprehension questions will either be about a "problem or a change." This is not true, a lot of the GRE passages are also informative-based etc.

My recommendations: A lot of people will like Princeton's verbal section, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Princeton will tell you a lot of things that are pretty much common sense, so it will SEEM like this book really knows what it's talking about. However, practice problems are too easy. Their verbal section is better than Barrons though. Barrons doesn't have a word list in their book AND their practice problems are even EASIER. Barrons also just gives you the right answer, whereas Princeton at least explains each answer in depth. I bought Manhattan reading comprehension/essay book and both their flashcards, which I would DEFINITELY recommend.

ESSAYS
I thought their essay section was pretty good. Better than Barrons, but not better than Manhattan's. However, nothing beats just looking at the pool of topics ETS gives you.

My recommendation: I'd suggest Manhattan's prep for essays, and also to look at the pool of topics. With any other prep, you will think you know all there is you should know for the essays... until you read Manhattan's book (seriously, their stuff is VERY thorough).

PRACTICE TESTS
I can't give a fair review of this because I didn't really use their practice tests (I ran out of time to study). One thing to note is that they actually GRADE your essays in their online practice tests, but I can't comment on its accuracy since I never actually used it.

OVERALL COMMENTS
All in all, I'd say look elsewhere for your study prep. I docked stars because of their lack of a comprehensive math review and easy verbal questions. I gave it more than 1 star though, because it has some redeeming qualities e.g. it explains each answer to a question, it has a vocab list, and graded essays in their practice tests. I just think there are better products out there that are more useful for getting a good score. I know this was a harsh review, but I was peeved by Princeton's unethical fake reviews (I'm sure other companies are guilty of this as well, but Princeton's is particularly obvious). Instead of planting reviews perhaps they should just IMPROVE THE PRODUCT! :)
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Overall Book, September 17, 2012
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This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (Paperback)
I took the GRE less than 2 weeks ago, so I have been able to reflect a little before writing this review. This is my first one, but this book was definitely the most complete. I studied for about 3 months, studying about an average of 4 and a half per day. I thought that the math in this book was decent, but I thought that the verbal and writing sections were exceedingly high quality. The passages and words in the Barron's book were too easy and the Kaplan's book is a tad deficient because it doesn't include many passages that are over a paragraph is one of the most important ones. I bought 6 books to study for this test but this one was really good. The Princeton Review writing section was really good beause it stressed having lengthier paragraphs as opposed to the Kaplan writing section which recommends 3-4 sentence paragraphs. Also, the included online tests were really helpful for improving my writing score because actual (I assume) people read the essays and give tips. Their comments is what encouraged me to have strong transition statements, and strong introduction and conclusion paragraphs. I'm being a bit verbose, but this book is definitely high quality.

I got my scores today, I got: Verbal:164, Quantitative: 170, Writing: 6.0

Thanks!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Verbal & Analytical - OK on Quantitative, September 13, 2012
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This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (Paperback)
I studied with this book for about two months. I started out discouraged because I couldn't figure out the verbal questions to save my life. I ended up scoring a 160/83% on verbal which is pretty darn good. The tips in this book are great and the explanations helped quite a bit in recognizing certain question types. The vocabulary lists are a must! The tips for analytical writing were good but I recommend practicing writing with the prompts provided on the ETS website. I didn't practice as much as I should have and nerves got the better of me during the exam. I haven't received my analytical score yet.

I don't recommend relying on just this book for the quantitative section! I recommend spending the money and getting the $35 ETS official guide. The questions more accurately portray what the test will offer. I was scoring very high on the practice tests in the Princeton Review but only managed a 155/64% on the actual test mostly due to the fact that the practice questions are WAY easier than what's on the actual test. The tips, drills, and review DO help quite a bit but don't rely on the practice questions to prepare you. I also recommend timing yourself. I found that due to the increased difficulty of the actual test, I was taking way too much time to solve problems and ran out of time for both sections resulting in unanswered questions.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay..., September 6, 2012
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This product did a fairly good job preparing me for the analytical writing and verbal sections of the GRE, but the quantitative section in the book did not match up well with what actually appeared on the GRE. But let's face it: the only thing the GRE accurately assesses is how well you take the GRE. It's not worth much beyond that...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for dedicated self-study, especially for math, November 23, 2013
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This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (Paperback)
Very good book. It has tons of practice problems, organized by problem type. It teaches you how to solve a problem type then gives you 50 or 60 practice problems of that type. There are a ton of math problems. This is the only book I used to prepare for the GRE, and I was very happy with my score. Note that there are only a few complete practice test sections with mixed problem types in this book. I timed myself for 20 or 30 problems and tried to keep my average time under 90 seconds per problem so I would be able to pace myself on the exam. That worked great, so I could pace myself well. But on the real test, if you do really well on the first couple math sections you'll see the later sections get much harder and you will not be able to pace yourself. This book does not prepare you for the dynamically changing difficulty level of the real test. It does give you a good tutorial on how to solve each major type of math problem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite GRE Study Material, November 17, 2013
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This review is from: Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) (Paperback)
After using Kaplan, ETS, and then Princeton Review materials, "Cracking the GRE" was my favorite and I believe the most helpful of them all. What differentiates this book from others is its helpful techniques and tactics to maximize your score. The book also had some pretty good insight on the common traps and tricks used by the test designers. There are two practice tests and a lots of exercises throughout.
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Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation)
Cracking the GRE, 2013 Edition (Graduate School Test Preparation) by Princeton Review (Paperback - May 22, 2012)
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