- Series: Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides
- Cards: 1000 pages
- Publisher: Manhattan Prep Publishing; Second edition (July 3, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1935707892
- ISBN-13: 978-1935707899
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.2 x 5.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 306 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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500 Essential Words: GRE Vocabulary Flash Cards (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides) Second Edition
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About the Author
In 2000, Teach for America alumnus and Yale graduate Zeke Vanderhoek had a radical idea: students learn better from better teachers. His vision of what test prep could be if written and taught by great educators led him to start Manhattan Prep. Since we began, Manhattan Prep has grown from a boutique tutoring company to one of the world’s leading test prep providers, offering GMAT, GRE, LSAT, ACT, and SAT courses and tutoring worldwide.
We believe test prep should be real education. From our instructors to our materials, we work to teach you the skills you’ll need to succeed on the test, in school, and beyond.
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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!
If you need help with reading comprehension and verbal practice problems, I used several different books. Here is my preferred list of books, in order:
Kaplan New GRE Verbal Workbook
New GRE Verbal Workbook (Kaplan GRE)
While I usually don't like Kaplan as a company (and I have not used any of their other books), I *would* highly recommend using their verbal workbook as there seems to be a good amount of practice problems and they seem similar to what you might see on the GRE.
Secondly, 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.
Finally, 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!
Once I got over my fear of the size of the Study pile, I started pulling them out of the pile in groups, reviewing them from the front and the back, and taking advantage of their reminders, helpful hints, synonyms, and root words (all listed conveniently on the back). When I hit a rut in my focus, I began turning the cards into crossword puzzles using online crossword puzzle generators. And once I started being able to see my progress, which the cards make uniquely possible (i.e., my new fourth pile, "Learned" was getting bigger and bigger and eventually was bigger than the "Study" pile), I felt even more encouraged to tackle more of them.
Someone told me before I started that you can't really learn vocabulary for the GRE. You either know it or you don't. Yeah, I'm here to tell you that's 100% incorrect. I can't believe how many new words I've learned! And I've got these cards to thank for it. I definitely recommend making the piles I talked about if you tend to get discouraged or anxious...it's a constant visual reminder of exactly where you are and how far you've come. (It does take a while to separate them, but it's worth it.)
In short, I highly recommend getting these and the 500 Advanced Words sets in printed (vs. digital) format so that you can sort them. The cards are high quality with great example sentences, comparisons, synonyms, roots, and even silly hints that can help you remember complicated words. Separate out the words you know (go you!), then learn the ones you don't!
Study on! We can do it!
A MAJOR complaint is the fact that cards #1-50 were duplicated! (Someone else mentioned this issue!) So you are not really getting 500 cards, more like 450. #1-50 are A-letter words. Then there is another set of these cards labeled #1-50 again. Then it jumps to #101 for C-letter words. There are NO B-letter cards which is honestly annoying. Luckily the cards are supposed to be correctly numbered so I noticed this immediately. If this is the case contact for a refund and get a new deck because it does not seem to be something everyone is complaining about.... just the lucky few.
I took the GRE in late 2016, so I'm not sure if things have changed since then.