Cracking the New GRE with DVD, 2012 Edition has been completely revised and updated for the changes coming to the GRE in August 2011. It includes:
• Access to 4 full-length practice tests (2 online and 2 in the book)
• Practice questions with detailed explanations for every question
• Key strategies for solving Text Completions, Sentence Equivalents, Numeric Entry, Quantitative Comparisons, and more
• Thorough review of all GRE topics, including everything on the new GRE
• DVD supplement (completely overhauled in 2011!) with tutorials and helpful information from The Princeton Review’s top GRE course instructor
If you need to know it, it’s in this book.
REVIEW Cracking the New GRE Ebook
First off, this was the only book I used to study. That means that I can’t really compare it to other materials, but it also means that my GRE score is a result of studying from this book alone, and not any other material.
I want to also mention that I’ve always been better in math/quantitative reasoning than English/verbal reasoning. The math in the GRE doesn’t go beyond geometry and advanced algebra (that means there is NO trig and NO calculus on the GRE), so it’s arguably an easier section than the verbal.
My Scores (UPDATED):
I now have my official scores! I received a 159 on the verbal and 160 on the quantitative sections. Both of those scores are in the 84th percentile. For the writing part, I scored a 4.5 out of 6, which was in the 72nd percentile.
The book has different sections for each portion of the test you’ll be seeing (i.e. math, writing, verbal). I’ll go into detail about each, but overall it’s very thorough. There’s a lot of information that seems a bit silly, even elementary. For example, they go over the process of elimination. Hopefully you already know stuff like that and can just skip it, but I’m not one to judge as I had forgotten that an integer does not include decimals. Basically, this seems like a good book no matter what skill level you think you are, as it includes everything down to the very basics.
The math section in particular seemed good at preparing me for the GRE, but as I mentioned earlier I’m better at math and it doesn’t get too advanced. There are plenty of practice problems for the math, and the explanations are pretty clear, although there are sometimes multiple ways to solve a problem, and they don’t always explain both. The authors tend to avoid solving things algebraically when they can, and instead like to plug in numbers. Sometimes this is faster, sometimes it’s not.
For the verbal sections, I felt a little confused as to some of the explanations for why a certain answer was right. There are some questions which relate to a passage you need to read, and they are often designed to simply trick you and felt a bit vague, even after reading this book’s explanation. It seems the only way to get better at these types of questions is to practice a lot, and so I wish there were more practice sections for the verbal portion of the test.
In addition to the verbal practice section, there is also a section with lists of vocabulary words which is very helpful. A lot of the words in this book showed up on the GRE, so study up. I made flash cards, and would recommend the same strategy, however, vocabulary alone is not everything you’ll need to do well, so work through the practice sections too.
The book has some tips and guidelines on the writing section, as well as practice prompts for you to practice writing the essays. There’s also some examples of good prompts, but quite honestly I felt they were a bit unrealistic. They seemed more thought out and well planned than anyone could realistically accomplish in 30 minutes, but they do provide something to aim for. Also, some of the prompts are very abstract (and difficult in my opinion) while others are more concrete. What you see on the actual exam is just a matter of luck. I would recommend checking ETS’s website for more example prompts.
The book also contains two full length tests, which I would strongly recommend running through while timing yourself (it’s crucial to know your pacing. If you rush through the exam you’ll make more mistakes, and if you go too slow you won’t finish). On a side note, you can also take a free practice test on ETS’s website. (ETS is the company that makes the GRE)
I want to note that there are also a few mistakes in the book. Sometimes a certain answer is given as “correct”, but the explanation arrives at a different correct answer. It’s not a big deal really, as I didn’t come across many errors and the main goal is to learn strategy and technique, so a single question isn’t really important as long as you understand what’s going on.
I haven’t used other study materials so I can’t compare (well, I guess I used ETS’s website a bit, but it’s free so you should too!), but this book seems to get the job done pretty well. I went through most of the practice sections, most of the vocabulary (There’s over 300 words, I didn’t get to them all in time) and both full-length practice exams. It’s very thorough, and should have an answer to almost any question you have regarding the GRE. I feel pretty good about how I did on the GRE, and I think this book helped a lot.
Best of luck to anyone taking the GRE 🙂
Now you can Download Cracking the New GRE here:
File Type: PDF
File Size: 34 MB