Review Book for GRE

Pros and Cons of Studying from a Review Book

Every test preparation methodology brings with it a certain set of benefits and some disadvantages. For the preparation, students can utilize options like review books, online courses, live classroom courses, CDs and DVDs, personal tutoring etc. The preparation books may just be an option to prepare for the test, but students will observe that books come handy in one way or the other in every method that is used to prepare for it. Owing to this universal appeal of books for preparation, let's explore a few pros and cons of preparing for the test with the help of a book:

Point of Consideration

Pros /Cons


A good review book will have suitable content that takes students through all the aspects of the test. If students procure a comprehensive book for their test-preparation, from a popular and reliable source, then they can learn about all the nuances of the test from one book. This book ideally contains sample tests and practice materials. Practicing for the test will help a student gain confidence to answer the test efficiently. It can make life easier for many students while preparing for the test.


This can be called the flip-side of the above-mentioned benefit and is a very subjective aspect of a good review book. While some students may find a book very satisfying and informative, others may feel the need for another resource to add-on to their regular preparation materials. This is one disadvantage of a book that it need not be all-encompassing in terms of knowledge for every student. Some students may require many books and additional resources (videos, online practice papers, professional courses, etc.) to prepare for their test satisfactorily.


Pros: In this age of online availability, the cost of downloading or buying this book is not very high. With proper research and social networking a student can easily procure the best books at an affordable price.

Cons: Discounts and low-price options are mostly available but with certain conditions. Finding out about these details can be time-taking and thus, this is a negative aspect of procuring a good book at an affordable cost.


Books are no-doubt the most portable option that can be used for the test preparation. Not only can a student carry a book easily, but he/she can also borrow and return these from friends or libraries and thus prepare for the test through a variety of books. It can serve as companion for a student, wherever they go.

Though online preparation options also provide variety and portability but one has to remember that the Internet is dependent on electricity and connectivity which may not always be portable. Students have the option of using technologically advanced mediums for portability, but that option may not always be financially viable.

A Brief Analysis of a Few Popular GRE Review Books:

1. Kaplan's New GRE 2011-2012 Premier with CD

Kaplan is a multifaceted test-preparation company that specialises in many test preparation courses and publishes a variety of books. Few of its books like the GRE Verbal Workbook, Kaplan GRE Exam 2009 Comprehensive Program and the above-mentioned New GRE 2011-2012 Premier, are great resources to prepare for the test. Kaplan's New GRE 2011-2012 Premier with CD is a review book which, in particular, contains a lot of practice materials, score enhancement and calculation techniques, and other resources for overall preparation. The CD provided along with the book makes it a complete guide to prepare for the test successfully.

2. Cracking the GRE by Princeton Review:

Princeton Review is a very popular test-preparation company and many students swear by its books. Cracking this test is one review book by the company that can be used for reference as well as for the overall preparation of the test. The book consists of two practice tests (with answers) whereby catering to every section of the test. The book also contains explanations, suggestions and tips for answering the test questions, thus making it very comprehensive and informative. It won't be wrong to term it as a must have book to learn more about the exam.

3. New GRE 19th Edition by Barron

Barron's GRE practice as well as preparation books are very renowned and popular amongst students preparing for the test. This book by Barron, in particular, contains self-evaluation tests that can help students measure their standing against the requirements of the exam. There are practice tests in this book that are followed by tips and techniques to answer them. This is yet another great review book to understand the requirements of the GRE test and practice for it.

A Final Point:

The GRE is a test to ascertain the general proficiency of an individual, so that he/she can be deemed fit for admissions to graduate programs in the various educational institutions of the United States, and Canada. The test is a taken to measure an individual's knowledge and skills which are very subjective qualities. Therefore, there can be no 'best' or 'ideal' method to study for the test and there is nothing called the 'best' or 'ideal' review book for test preparation. A point to remember is that students should not restrict themselves to only one book, but should keep exploring their options. Every book has its advantages and disadvantages, the students should weigh those before they set out to prepare for the test with the help of these.