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94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2008
I got this GRE guide as well as "Cracking the GRE" by the Princeton Review... and preferred the latter.

Not that this isn't a good study book; you'd probably do fine on the GRE with either one. I found the PR book more easy to follow with print that's easy to read and even some tongue-in-cheek humor (studying doesn't have to be boring?). What it basically comes down to is that Kaplan is content based whereas PR is more techinique based, walking you through how to solve problems easily. The "Hit Parade" vocab lists in the PR was also super helpful--Kaplan has nothing near the number of need-to-know vocabulary words.

Bottom Line: at least check out the Princeton Review's "Cracking the GRE" before you buy this.
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52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2008
This book is all you need to prep for the Verbal exam. I made flashcards out of the top 200 GRE words listed and defined in the back of this book. Then I read the test-taking tips and - voila - my Verbal scores were right where I wanted them to be. If, like me, you haven't taken a math class in years, then you will need some additional materials. I used Basic Mathematics by Bittinger, then studied the Kaplan materials for the test-taking tips. That worked perfectly. My score yesterday was 90 points higher than my GRE score from 13 years ago. I definitely think these materials helped me to get my best possible score. I gave this book only 4 stars because the online site was difficult to use, and the book contained a lot of typos.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2008
I got this CD book in the expectation that the book would be similar to the actual computerized GRE. I use it primarily for its practice tests. Unfortunately, the CD is a HUGE disappointment. It does not appear to adjust the questions based on performance like the actual test. It does not scale to your monitor, so if you have a widescreen monitor, it is hard to read.

However, what is much more disappointing is that the questions, particularly the quantitative questions, are of poor quality and often incorrect. For example:

The drawings are horrendous. Some questions assume that things are drawn to scale without stating it, while others say that an answer must be "not enough information" because the drawing does not say it is drawn to scale. On Q Test 4, one diagram was a closed shape according to the answer explanation, but it was clearly open in the drawing so a number of degrees could be fit inside. One of the chart questions on test 5 has two charts but both are labeled "sales" - one is supposed to be net profits.

If you are getting this to teach you how to take the GRE or for the paper tests, it may be a fine buy, but the software it horrendous and riddled with errors.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2008
I have only had this product for a few weeks, but I have already discovered some criticisms.

One major criticism is the CD-ROM seems dated. The disc lists "version 1.0" and you can tell that the disc is 1.0. The copyright on the program is 2004! While the sample tests appear to simulate the test environment very well they don't contain the any of the fill in the blank questions that have been added to the GRE. While they aren't a big part of the exam you would figure that if this is the "2009" edition of this book that the CD would fully prepare you for the test that students taking the exam in 2008 might take.

Needless to say this disc doesn't seem to work properly under Windows Vista much like the feedback I read on last years' edition. I bought the 2009 edition figuring that they would have updated the CD for this years' book, but apparently not. Having neither a Mac version nor a Windows version that works in Vista seems pretty pathetic. I have been using the inside of a virtual machine(VMware) and it seems to run OK. I will give an update if I discover any means by which the software will run under Vista properly.

After you remove the background information on the GRE, and the chapter on applying to grad school, and the advertising for Kaplan's courses the number of pages of actual prep drops below 400 pages, albeit most competing books are approximately the same length. There are entire books written on applying to grad school if I really wanted a book for that, but nevertheless I will admit that the book seems incredibly informative.

As far as I can tell there is no compelling improvements in this book over the previous edition. The book could obviously have more problem sets, but so far I haven't seen any obvious mistakes in the book like I have seen in test prep books for the SAT or other exams. The book could be better, but I don't see any clear flaws in the book so far.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2008
I bought this edition primarily because I wanted the online options and the cd-rom extras. However, both of those have fallen short of my expectations. The internet site isn't as "personalized" as they make it out to be. The "guided study plan" is just a generic "syllabus" that isn't very helpful, and some of the links to study guides don't even work. I thought the diagnostic test would give me specific areas to work on but instead it's just the same as a practice test that gives you a score and reviews the answers but nothing more.
It's also not plainly stated the the cd rom DOES NOT WORK ON A MAC. In 2008 this seems like an unacceptable format for a book like this that makes you pay extra for the cd features.

The study guide itself is pretty good, with good tips and techniques for getting through the test, and the verbal and math workbooks have also been useful for more specific areas of review, but you can get the same thing from the non-premier edition.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2008
I have used Kaplan study products for many different exams, and I like their approach and the fact that they have a CD-ROM with extra features. But it doesn't work with either my PC (which has Vista) or my Mac laptop!! This seems ridiculous for a 2009 version. I am very sorry I paid the extra money for the CD-ROM.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2008
I initially used the Barron's GRE prep book and got a 540 on the verbal section and 640 on quantitative. My math score was low relative to those of accepted students for the programs I am applying to, and the Barron's book didn't have enough examples. I know all the concepts behind the math questions so the concept explanations in the Barron's book didn't help me...I was having trouble seeing through the "tricks." I bought this book along with the Kaplan vocabulary flash cards and was able to raise my scores to 710 in verbal and 720 in quantitative.

I really liked the Kaplan book because it is very explicit in all of its explanations. The most useful part of the book was the section listing the dozens of math question types one will encounter and the steps to solve them. There were fewer practice questions than in the Barron's book, but those explanations more than made up for it. The tips on answering verbal questions were also very helpful, though the exercises were kind of silly. The tests on the CD had a similar setup to the actual GRE and were accurate in terms of question types and difficulty.

I do have to dock a star for the numerous typos and errors in the book as well as the fact that I couldn't get the online tests to work and Kaplan never answered my email requesting help.

All in all, I am very happy with this review book. It is WAY cheaper than those courses Kaplan offers. Between this book, the vocabulary flash cards, and doing as many practice tests as possible, you almost certainly raise your score.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2008
My biggest worry about this product was that perhaps the practice tests would be contrived and undiagnostic of actual GRE performance. However, I took the actual GRE this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find that my scores were roughly the same as the scores that I had achieved on the practice tests provided with this guide--I'm impressed!

I would recommend this product as the foundation for any GRE test prep. Not all of the tips they provide are brilliant; you'll be able to pick and choose which ones you find helpful and which ones you find needlessly cumbersome. However, it provides a good overview of the typical GRE vocab and math problems and, if you're like me, you'll be grateful (and a little embarrassed) when they point out blatantly obvious tips that you hadn't previously thought of (e.g., creating a verbal bridge to join analogy terms).

Of course, I recommend using other products to supplement the material in this guide. The free GRE Powerprep math review is a good reinroduction to basic math concepts if you're rusty (I went through it prior to starting on this book). I also used Kaplan's "GRE Exam Vocabulary in a Box", as well as the vocabulary hit list from The Princeton Review's "Cracking the GRE". Using these products, I was able to obtain an extremely high verbal score and a decent quantitative score. If you want a perfect quantitative score, you may want to go a bit deeper than I did. However, the products that I've mentioned should be enough to get you a verbal score in the high 90s.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2009
I'm on the fence with this one. One thing that annoyed me was that I read that I should get this book to replace the previous 2008 edition because of new types of questions, but really, I could have done fine keeping the 2008. A lot of the practice sections and full tests were repeats from the previous edition, so it was a little redundant.

There were also a fair number of typos, although less than the 2008 edition.

One thing I also would have liked would have been options for accomodations, such as extended time which is how I am taking the real test.

Kaplan was ok, but in retrospect, I wish I had investigated other guides such as Princeton Review. I still may have ended up going with Kaplan but I should have checked out what else is out there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2008
The strategies and practice are good. The CD-ROM is a disaster. I was doing one of the 3 CAT included in the CD-ROM and my time expired after 10 minutes of the issue essay. The same thing happened with the quantitative section. It's worthless. Also, I found more productive and interesting the analytical writing tips in Princeton review.
I don't recommend it.
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