- Series: Test Prep
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 2 edition (April 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1260026396
- ISBN-13: 978-1260026399
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 2.5 x 10.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Official GRE Super Power Pack 2/E (Test Prep) 2nd Edition
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Educational Testing Service (ETS) (Princeton, NJ) is a private, nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research, primarily through testing. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers, and scores more than 50 million tests annually―including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests, and The Praxis Series® assessments―in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.
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Official Guide to the GRE, 3rd Edition: The Official Guide to the GRE General Test, Third Edition
Official Verbal Practice Questions, 2nd Edition, Volume 1: Official GRE Verbal Reasoning Practice Questions, Second Edition, Volume 1 (Test Prep)
Official Quantitative Practice Questions, 2nd Edition, Volume 1: Official GRE Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions, Second Edition, Volume 1 (Test Prep)
Ultimately, you will need these 3 books for an optimal GRE preparation, because the included practice tests / questions are the real deal. The fact that Princeton and Kaplan GRE preparation books--full of fluff, filler, willful ignorance of the GRE official materials, and typos--sell better than the GRE Super Power Pack is an absolute shame. After many years of receiving scant practice material from ETS, I am relieved to say that ETS has now provided enough official materials for a nearly full preparation for the GRE, so the purchase of other learning and strategy guides can be kept to a minimum.
I say "nearly" full because 2 CATs (computer adaptive tests) is not enough. The physical books are a nice asset, as are the 2 (included) paper-based practice tests, but for a computer adaptive test, you have to spend lots of time preparing on a computer. For this purpose I prefer to spend an additional $39 to purchase 6 (synthetic) GRE Computer Adaptive Tests (CATs) from Manhattan Prep. No, they are not real GREs, but they are still helpful for practice with the computer-adaptive format, and are of higher quality than most other imitation GREs. You can also try one test for free before committing through the Manhattan website (google "GRE Practice Test & Free Score Analysis - Manhattan Prep").
It is worth noting that this is primarily a book for practice, not learning. The answer explanations in these books can sometimes be severely lacking, or in the case of the PowerPrep tests, nonexistent, which is part of why hiring a professional tutor can be helpful. However, for the disciplined and resourceful self-studier, these three books, the 2 (invaluable!) PowerPrep II CATs, a good vocab guide or two, a strategy guide (avoid Kaplan and Princeton--I prefer Manhattan, Magoosh, Barron’s and McGraw-Hill) and some third-party CATs should do the trick.
For those of you unfamiliar with the GRE, here is some basic information about the exam:
-The GRE is primarily a computer-based test. Only 2% of test-takers choose the paper option.
-You can take the test up to 5 times a year, and every 21 days. Scores are valid for 5 years.
-GRE has an option called “ScoreSelect” that allows you to select only your best score and send that score only to the graduate programs of your choice.
-The GRE offers a diagnostic service that allows you to view your performance on the test, including which questions you answered correctly/incorrectly, and how long they took you to answer. You cannot see the actual questions, however.
STRUCTURE OF THE COMPUTER-BASED GRE:
1) “Analyze an Issue” Writing Task - 30 mins
2) “Analyze an Argument” Writing Task - 30 mins
3) Verbal or Quantitative Section - 30 or 35 mins*
4) Verbal or Quantitative Section - 30 or 35 mins*
5) Verbal or Quantitative Section - 30 or 35 mins*
6) Verbal or Quantitative Section - 30 or 35 mins*
7) Verbal or Quantitative Section - 30 or 35 mins*
*The order of the Quant and Verbal sections varies. One of the Verbal or Quant sections will be unscored, or a research section.
The GRE is scored from 130 to 170 in both sections, for a total of 340 points. An average score is about 300/340, and you will receive your multiple-choice score immediately after the test is completed. Because there are 40 questions in both Quant and Verbal, you can essentially add the number 130 to your number of questions answered correctly to get an estimate of your final score in each section. Google “2016-2017 GRE Guide to the Use of Scores - Table 1A” for more information.
HOW TO USE THE FREE GRE POWERPREP SOFTWARE FROM ETS:
Test preview tool: This will allow you to try some practice questions as well as two essays.
Timed Practice Test #1: This is your first official GRE practice test, and should be taken at the beginning of your preparation to establish a baseline score.
Timed Practice Test #2: This is your only other real GRE practice test, so save it for the last few weeks of your preparation, as an unbiased, trustworthy measure of your progress.
Untimed Practice Test: This is exactly what it sounds like, but I don’t recommend taking it because it’s exactly the same as Practice Test #1. After you’ve taken Practice Test #1, however, feel free to use the Untimed Test for additional practice on the tricky ones.
The test preview tool is simply meant to help get you familiar with the test and software interface, not to mimic the actual timing of the test. The test preview tool provides 7 verbal questions in 30 minutes, which is 4.3 minutes per question, and 11 quantitative questions in 35 minutes, which is 3.1 minutes per question. By comparison, on the actual GRE, you only have 1.5 minutes per question on both the Quant and Verbal sections.
To take a diagnostic test, click “Timed Practice Test 1” or “Timed Practice Test 2.”
There is a row of buttons at the bottom of the software that says “Start Test / Resume Test / Review Answers:”
Start Test = resets any old tests (WARNING! Be very careful not to click this button by accident--many students have made this mistake) and starts a new test. Because pressing just one wrong button on this test can delete all of your previous results, I recommend taking frequent screenshots, especially of your review screen, which lists all of your correct and incorrect responses. For your screenshots, use either the "Print Screen" (Windows Key + PrtScn) button on a PC or (Shift + Command + 3) on a Mac.
Resume Test = pick up the last test from where you left off.
Review Answers = review your performance on the test, section by section (you cannot go back once you've completed a section without exiting and reviewing again).
In-between Timed Practice Tests #1 and #2 is the best time for students to work through the Official GRE Super Power Pack (these books), which consists of approximately 600 more real GRE questions for practice, along with (moderately helpful) answer explanations and learning sections.
Need more help with Math? Try Cliff’s Notes Math Review for Standardized Tests, 2nd Edition: CliffsNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests, 2nd Edition (CliffsTestPrep)
Need more help with Vocabulary? Try the GRE book that I co-authored with Vince Kotchian, GRE Vocab Capacity: GRE Vocab Capacity: 2016 Edition - Over 1,200 Powerful Memory Tricks and Mnemonics
Need more help with overall strategy and learning? Try Barron’s GRE, 21st Edition: Barron's GRE, 21st Edition GRE Prep by Magoosh GRE Prep by Magoosh, or The McGraw-Hill GRE Guide. McGraw-Hill Education Preparation for the GRE Test 2017 3rd Edition
Need more repetition with certain types of GRE practice questions? Try Manhattan Prep's 5-lb Guide of GRE Practice Problems, which is a great value and includes lots of synthetic practice questions, organized by topic and type. 5 lb. Book of GRE Practice Problems (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides)
Want to go down the rabbit hole and learn every tiny detail of the GRE? Then try the Manhattan Prep GRE Series: Manhattan Prep GRE Set of 8 Strategy Guides (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides) You can either buy the entire library, or one book at a time: GRE Fractions, Decimals, & Percents (Manhattan Prep GRE Strategy Guides).
For more information, you can also google "GRE Action Plan" to read my personalized, detailed and frequently updated recommendations for GRE prep.
That said, the most helpful aspect of this package is in the practice questions. The two smaller volumes have many practice questions and even answer guides in the back to show you how to reason through the question.
Overall I would say this is overpriced for what you get, and ETS needs to do a better job of making sure you're not paying for the same material in multiple volumes.