Test Books for GRE

The Best GRE Prep Books

The GRE is an examination to assess the general prowess of an individual so that his/her candidature can be deemed fit for admissions to colleges mainly in the US and Canada. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) does not pertain to any fixed syllabus or course of study and therefore, there is no definite or best book or prep-materials for preparing for the test.

However, there is no doubt that there are a few good test books, which can be used to prepare for the test. Some of them are discussed here:

1. ETS Big Book

Among the many books, the ETS Big Book is the one that was published by the administrators of the test itself. ETS is the administrative body behind the GRE and the ETS Big Book contains all that a candidate may need to know about the questions of the test. Though the book is not published anymore but, even if a student can get his/her hand at the old version of the book, then he/she would benefit from its details.

A few features of the ETS Big Book are as follows:

  • Consists of around 27 test papers that are real tests of previous years.
  • The questions are followed by tips and keys to answer them.
  • A very useful book for practicing usage of English words and vocabulary because the tests contain very difficult passages and comprehensions that are generally not available in any other book.
  • Even if the book is not published currently, students can refer to it to know the real test expectations. This is because; there might be a repetition in the current test questions from the book.

2. Cracking the GRE (Princeton Review)

Princeton Review is a multifaceted test-prep company that specialises in many test prep courses and publishes a variety of books. For example, Cracking the GRE and Verbal Workout for the GRE are great test books by the company. Verbal Workout is exclusively for the Verbal Reasoning section of the test whereas; Cracking the GRE is an overall test prep book.

Let's discuss Cracking the GRE:

This book has a new edition for the year 2012 and is a good book for an updated review of the test. This is one of those books that can be used for reference as well as for overall preparation.

A few features of this book are:

  • The book consists of two practice tests that are followed by explanations, suggestions and tips for answering the questions.
  • The book caters to every section of the test and provides test-taking techniques for the tricky aspects of each section.
  • The book also provides basic information on the test and its structure. It can be used to know more about the test.

3.The GRE Test for Dummies by Suzee Vik

As its name suggests, the GRE Test for Dummies is a prep book that is easy, simple and can even be used by those candidates who are new to the test formats and traits.

A few features of this book are:

  • This is one of those  books that can easily be called the book of techniques. This is because the book is full of tricks and techniques that can help students learn mathematics, analytical thinking, score enhancement techniques etc. for the test.
  • The book caters to all sections and sub-sections of the test.
  • Students can use this book section-wise whereby they can strategise through the techniques mentioned in this book for the sections that they need extra work on.
  • The book helps students learn through examples and illustrations which is a very good skill to acquire if a student wants to ace the test.
  • The author of the book is a specialist in test-prep and writes books for many tests. She can be relied upon for her approach towards the test because, her techniques are not hit-and-trial methods but are tried and tested rules of taking competitive tests like the GRE.

As mentioned before, there is no such thing as the best GRE book and every test applicant should visit websites, local stores and libraries to procure the best books and materials for helping them prepare for the test. Through their selection process, students should keep in mind that the test books that they are selecting should contain matter that is useful, recent, and up to date. The test books should be concise and within the realm of understanding of the student. Too many big words and theories not only confuse an examinee but also instil fear which can lead to loss of confidence and that is a non-requirement for any student appearing for the test.