Customer Reviews: New GRE Verbal Workbook (Kaplan GRE)
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on July 8, 2011
This review is specifically for the verbal section of the New GRE

I had already purchased Kaplan's new GRE Premier and ETS The official Guide to the GRE Revised General Test. ETS gives the right picture about how the test will be like. I couldn't find questions of high difficulty level in any book, but ETS Guide. Since there are just two practice tests in the ETS, you obviously need to practice a lot of questions in order to be well prepared.

Kaplan's approach to the Verbal Section for the New GRE is the best. You should combine it with Kaplan New GRE Premier which gives you 10 practice sets in their CD and two practice tests inside the book for verbal section though New GRE Premier doesn't have a good Maths section)- This book- Kaplan Verbal Workbook, has many questions which are very much close to the ones that I found in ETS; that means Kaplan meets the standards of real exam. When I saw the sample question for the verbal part on the ETS website, I found that comprehension questions are a bit more difficult now. Kaplan Verbal Workbook has come with questions that one might expect in the real GRE Exam and it gives a good practice. Although there are not enough books in the market for the New GRE exam (Barron's, kaplan and ETS are the only reliable sources), I believe this book will be enough. The number of practice tests are quite a lot! And that's what I wanted. Usually GRE books are huge and are filled with too many general explanations with the overview of the exam. We obviously know what the exam is and Verbal section is more about practice. SO, I just wanted to practice questions and this books wil really help me. I recommend this book to anyone who is preparing for the New GRE exam with a focus on Verbal section.

One another great thing about this book is how they deal with the vocabulary part. We all know that it's not possible to mug up the entire world list. And I am not a BIG FAn of learning the vocab by the WORD ROOT! That never helped me. Here, Kaplan Verbal Workbook has grouped words of similar meaning together. For example: the word chicancery means deception by craft, so all those words which mean the same are grouped under chicancery. Even I tried this strategy when I began preparing for GRE and one has to spend a lot of time in doing that. So the book has made that job easy. This will really avoid any confusion between words which have similar meaning.

My exam is on AUgust 2, 2011. I will write more after I experience the real exam :)
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on November 24, 2011
This book is definitely helpful, and if you study long and hard it goes by quickly. I started the book with rather poor scores, around 153-154/170 on most practice sets. by the end I was up to around 168, and I have even received a perfect score on one of the sets. my actual GRE didn't reflect as high of a score (164/170), so I won't go out on a limb here and say that this is a perfectly accurate tool for gauging your final score. But it did indicate when I was improving. I would advise, however, that even when you begin to score extremely well in these kaplan practice sets that you do not consider yourself done with verbal study. Keep going with vocab and other practice sets in different prep books. My score wasn't as high as I had hoped for, and if I do end up having to retake the GRE, I will focus even harder on vocabulary.

If you are struggling with comprehension questions, it would greatly benefit you to begin studying far in advance of your test day by frequently reading quality publications in your free time. Read The New York Review of Books, Truthdig, The Economist, etc. and LOOK UP and LEARN every word you can't define immediately. If you have a Kindle, subscribe to the new york review of books, and when you read it, you can instantly look up the definition of words you don't know. That simple! You can tell I worked really hard to achieve a decent verbal score. This book is a decent tool to help gauge where you stand with the verbal section and I would highly recommend it in addition to other practice sets.
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on August 31, 2012
I just took the GRE and scored in the 85th percentile on the verbal section. Here is what I used:

I bought this Kaplan book later in my GRE studies as I was still struggling with the comprehensive reading, and some vocab. The book itself is mostly useful for having additional practice problems although it doesn't get too in depth regarding strategy (see my review of the Manhattan book below). Most of the practice problems seemed moderate to slightly challenging level of difficulty, so should suffice for the GRE.

Here are the other verbal workbooks that I used as well:

I did use the Barron's GRE Verbal Workbook Barron's GRE Verbal Workbook and while I found it useful for it's large amount of practice problems, I found some of the vocab words used as answers were less common that what I saw either on the GRE or on other practice problems and practice tests. With this noted, I still recommend using this book as some of these practice questions seem more difficult than other books.

I did use Manhattan's Reading Comprehension and Essay GRE Strategy Book as well. Reading Comprehension & Essays GRE Strategy Guide, 3rd Edition (Manhattan Prep Strategy Guides). The best thing I got from this book is learning how to take brief notes while reading over the reading passages on the GRE. Taking notes helps to reinforce what you are reading, a technique not talked about very often by other books. The practice problems in this book are decent, but nothing above that. I do wish they could have put more practice problems in this book (like the Kaplan Verbal Workbook), but there is still useful content here. If you are struggling with the analytical writing section, there are some good tips on this section as well.

One final note about both practicing your verbal, but also your math/quantitative: do as many practice tests as you can!!! When you purchase a book (any book I believe) from Manhattan, you get an access code to 6 full length online practice tests. I found these practice tests VERY VERY USEFUL for getting comfortable with the GRE format but also applying all of the verbal and math skills I was practicing. Most of the questions are very similar in difficulty to what you will see and you can review your questions as well. By the way, always review problems you get wrong, this is really important! For Kaplan, you have to purchase the Kaplan Premiere GRE review book to get the disc with access to 10 verbal practice tests and 10 quantitative practice tests. Like the Manhattan, I found these practice tests VERY VERY useful. Do yourself a favor, and get access to both the Manhattan and the Kaplan practice tests It will help immensely!

Finally, as for vocab words, I used both the Manhattans 500 Essential Words Flash Cards 500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards as well as the Manhattan 500 Advanced Words Flash Cards 500 Advanced Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards. After making it through both of these sets of flash cards, I felt like I had a fairly good vocabulary for the GRE and did see many of these words on the test.

With this noted, if you do have additional time after finishing these two sets of flash cards, I **HIGHLY RECOMMEND** that you learn the 300 or so most common root words for the GRE as well. Root words are very helpful in deciphering words that you don't know that will come up on the GRE. I found Barron's Essential Words for the GRE book Essential Words for the GRE (Barron's GRE) to be a good source for this, although I'm sure you can find these same root words in the Kaplan or related books as well. And while 300 root words seems like a lot of words to learn, you will probably know some/many of these words already, so fear not! There doesn't seem to be a good set of root word flash cards out there, so I ended up making my own, which was fine. One last note about learning root words: they will also help to strengthen and reinforce the vocab words you already know or are learning from both sets of the Manhattan cards. Learn your root words!
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on September 12, 2011
When I first began studying for the GRE, I bought the Kaplan New GRE Premier w/CD, and after using this for a while, it was clear that I needed extra help on the verbal. So I ended up getting this book, which was a great decision. I feel like practice is what helped me most, and this book provides additional practice sets and strategies that are not in the Premier version. But it definitely helps to have the CD with additional practice sets which comes with the Premier. Overall if you need help with the Verbal section, this book is pretty good. Granted, it's not perfect- I still came across words that I was unfamiliar with on the actual GRE, but thanks to the word groups and word roots strategies, I was able to pull a much better score than I think I would have gotten without it. For those of you who also need help with the Math, I recommend CliffsNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests. I got that even though Math is my strong suit. So using all these study aids, I got a 680-780 on Verbal and 750-800 on Math (they just give you a range on the old scores since the new scoring system is not refined yet I believe).

All in all, this book is a great supplement to help with your studying.
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on August 23, 2012
I was debating between getting the Kaplan Verbal Workbook or Barron's Verbal Workbook because I felt I needed extra verbal practice. They were only around $10 each so I ended up getting both. I am glad I did; they did not end up being redundant and both provided me with the extra practice I needed.

Here are the salient features of each book:

Kaplan Verbal Workbook:
-More questions
-Better explanations of answers (in general)
-has a list of word groups (groups of words with similar meaning)
-has a list of word roots
-has a section about the essay part of the exam (somewhat helpful, but not as helpful as the Princeton Review's essay section in their General Review book, which provides a template for the essays)

Barron's Verbal Workbook:
-More difficult questions (these will really challenge you)
-Not as good explanations
-More difficult reading comprehension passages
-a huge "GRE dictionary" in the back which includes the definition of the word as well as an example sentence
-no extra essay section

For vocabulary, I bought Barron's Essential Words for the GRE, which included 800 words, and used it as my foundation (you can check out my Amazon review on that). The GRE dictionary section in Barron's Verbal Workbook contained waaaaaaaay more than those 800, so I just skimmed it for words I didn't know, extracted them, and studied them as a list for additional vocabulary.
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on October 9, 2011
I've recently purchased Kaplan's New GRE Verbal Workbook and I am very pleased with its format and the detail of the information it provides. It gives you basic strategies for successfully answering all the different types of questions that the New GRE has introduced in its Verbal Sections; and beleive me they are a lot. Then it provides you with a set of detailed examples followed by a group of questions from Basic to Advanced that are solved by using the strategies you've just learned. It also has 6 full length Verbal Practice Sets exactly in the same format as the true Verbal Sections of the New GRE with detailed solutions provided in the end of the book. Finally, it has extensive vocabulary with drills and exercises helping you understand it and a thorough analysis of the Issue and Argument Essay writing topics.

I fully endorse this product as the ideal one for the GRE Verbal Reasoning Preparation. The New GRE Verbal Workbook (Kaplan GRE Verbal Workbook) is indeed a student's dream come true. Kaplan has really done a good job this time.
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on December 21, 2013
This book is pretty decent as review for the verbal section of the new GRE. It has sections for each major part of the new GRE. This book isn't necessary as a good chunk of the stuff is on the GRE maker's website but the vocabulary part is useful.
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on September 21, 2012
I am about halfway through the workbook, and although the practice is helpful, I have been shocked to find a glaring spelling or grammar error (mostly in the instructions) on seemingly every other page! It worries me to think that the author meant to be coaching me for a verbal test cannot bother to hire a competent editor.

My second criticism is that the entire book centers on one strategy: predicting an answer, and then going through the multiple choice answers looking for the choice that is closest to your prediction. This may be an effective method, but it the book focuses on this strategy to the exclusion of what I assume are many other ways of approaching test questions. Everyone works differently- the book should offer a variety of tools to approach the GRE.

Bottom line: There are MANY better GRE prep books out there.
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on October 13, 2015
It was all written up! I was not able to concentrate and study with all the notes! Description of idem should have been used book with lots of notes and answers! I was able to work on vocabulary, but not on taking test. Because tests already had answers circled.
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on November 25, 2013
The book is perfect. Nothing happens to the cover or inside. I read this book before in Barnes & Noble. It covers lots of important points and provide quite a lot exercises and several necessary word lists.
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