- Series: Barron's Gre
- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; 21 edition (June 1, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1438005687
- ISBN-13: 978-1438005683
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Barron's GRE, 21st Edition 21st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
Table of Contents:
Timetable for a Typical Computer-Based Graduate Record Examination
PART 1: Introduction/Diagnostic Test
1 What You Need to Know About the GRE
2 Test-Taking Tactics for the Computer-Based GRE
3 A Diagnostic Test
PART 2: Verbal Ability: Tactics, Review, and Practice
4 Sentence Equivalence and Text Completion Questions
5 Reading Comprehension Questions
6 Reviewing Vocabulary
PART 3: Analytical Writing: Tactics, Strategies, and Practice
7 Analytical Writing
PART 4: Quantitative Ability: Tactics, Strategies, Practice, and Review
8 General Math Strategies
9 Discrete Quantitative Questions
10 Quantitative Comparison Questions
11 Data Interpretation Questions
12 Mathematics Review
PART 5: Model Tests
13 Model Tests
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Top customer reviews
The mathematics sections are helpful; the book explains the importance of moving through problems in the quickest possible way even without fulling solving. It then goes on to dissect individual problems and how to use various methods to move through them quickly. Even with the step by step directions on each problem, I couldn't understand the math. I hired a tutor to assist me in studying, which could be my math ability or it could be the book's explanations. She found the book generally helpful as we worked through problems and their easiest solutions. I studied math the day of the test and 4 of the 10 problems I studied that morning showed up on the test.
The English master list was what it was. I made flashcards of the words I didn't know and really studied hard. None of those words were on the GRE. There was challenging vocab, but I was familiar with it from being a reader and not because of the book.
All in all, this book was helpful and I don't know if I would have had as much structure or guidance in how to study without it.
I knew that the bulk of my test prep was going to be focused on reviewing relevant math topics, so I scoured Amazon reviews for the most popular test prep books in order to find one that would suit my needs, and I settled on Barron's, because people seemed generally to agree that it was at the very least a suitable starting point for review of the quantitative section.
So here's what I did: I read the mathematics review section from beginning to end, and I worked on the problem sets. I also signed up for the free portion of Barron's online complement to the book review and completed all of the quantitative questions available for free (which was not many; I think it was three or four sets of 20); then I took two free official GRE practice tests (via the Powerprep II software available from ETS); then I did the two Barron's practice tests included in this book, except I did not complete the verbal or writing sections, but only the math sections; and I did one or two a day; and after completing the sections, I found which questions I got wrong, reviewed the answers to see what I did wrong and why, and then I went to those sections of the book, if necessary, to review the mathematical principles implicated.
I then, toward the end of my review, skimmed the verbal reasoning and analytical writing sections, and that was it for my prep.
My scores improved as follows: verbal reasoning: from 92nd to 97th percentile; quantitative reasoning: from 51st to 82nd percentile; and analytical writing: from 98th to 99th percentile. As I mentioned, I work with words and arguments for a living (having graduated from law school and being currently employed as an attorney), so I did not do any substantial preparation for the verbal or analytical reasoning sections. So I do not think it is fair to attribute my increases in those sections to Barron's. However, Barron's was the only source I used to refresh my math knowledge, and I think it is exceedingly fair to say that I went from 51st to 82nd percentile using just Barron's in the way described above. I should also add that I studied for two months, an hour or so a day, with a few hours on a weekend day whenever I did a practice test, since I my time is limited because I work full time.
The only thing I'll add is that I was a good math student in high school, and I reached basic calculus in senior year. So I, at one time, had learned all of the math that the GRE tests (and then some), and I was quite good at it. So time was my main obstacle, as I've had ample time to forget everything I'd learned.
So if you're reasonably smart, have prior proficiency with the math topics tested, but need a concise review to refresh your recollection of what you'd learned years before, and have enough motivation to stick with the book, I can recommend it.
I'll leave you with one testing tip: when you take the sample tests, be aware of what type of problems give you trouble, so you can work on mastering those concepts. And note that Barron's gives you guidance as to what type of questions show up with what frequency--so, for example, because standard deviation comes up so infrequently, I didn't spend any time mastering it, since I knew my study time would be more fruitfully spent working on topics that come up more frequently. I also became aware that one of my main problems is spending too much time solving one question when I could be solving multiple other questions first, meaning I needed to be on the lookout for time-sinks, and skip those, and answer all of the questions I could in a reasonable time, before coming back to the "problem" questions later.
Your mileage may vary, but, regardless, good luck!
Most recent customer reviews
I found the practice tests and sample questions to be very different than the exam.Read more