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Cracking the GRE with 4 Practice Tests: 2017 Edition (College Test Preparation) Paperback – 19 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Review Publishing Corporation; Csm edition (19 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080412468X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804124683
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 2.9 x 27.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By anna on 28 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback
Great book, nicely written, really useful online tests with people to mark and comment on your essay questions which is invaluable. Great price for all that is included.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 133 reviews
179 of 186 people found the following review helpful
Not perfect, but a solid choice 3 Jun. 2014
By Vince Kotchian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I review a lot of GRE books since I'm a GRE tutor and have been for several years. This one is a good choice if you only buy one supplement to ETS's Official Guide to the GRE (which I hope you have). Several instances of bad advice occur, and the practice question/test quality is average, but overall, I like the book.

Good stuff:

- test taking advice and techniques are largely useful. In particular, I like the advice to "walk away" if you're stuck. (I picture a helpful friend trying to help you avoid a fight: "Just walk away, man! It's not worth it!")
- the book covers most of what you'll need for math concepts and all of the verbal concepts
- certain areas, like the coverage of critical reasoning, are better than the competition

Not-so-good stuff:

- like most Princeton Review books, this one implies that the GRE is a silly test and that it's your enemy. But purporting that the GRE "just measures your ability to take the GRE" is pandering. Don't believe it. The test measures a lot of different skills that are worthwhile: vocab, reading comprehension, critical thinking, logic, adaptability, prioritization, etc. But it probably sells more books to paint the test as a bogeyman.
- in that same vein, the book also says the test should be prepared for "for 4-12 weeks". That advice combined with my above complaint might dissuade you from achieving mastery of the concepts. If you want a score that reflects MASTERY as opposed to a decent score, you'll need more time and more than this book (unless you're already really good at this stuff)
- essay advice is on the light and fluffy side
- practice questions and tests are less complex and easier than the real GRE (this is a pervasive problem in the test-prep industry, though)

Remember that knowing a concept vs. mastering a concept are two different things. If you merely know a math concept, for example, you'll get the question that tests it right if you recognize the concept. But the GRE is good at disguising concepts. Overall, this book has a lot going for it, and if you consider the above disadvantages, it's a good buy.
48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
This is all you need 23 Aug. 2014
By Captain Jack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dont even think about getting anything else, this is the book you need to study for the GRE. Written very honestly and frankly, and even funny at times. (READ CHAPTER ONE--DO NOT JUST SKIP TO THE REVIEW QUESTIONS, IT WAS VERY HELPFUL!!!) The lessons are great, the tips are relevant, and there is plenty of material to prepare you for the exam. Instead of making flashcards, go to quizlet.com and search for online flash cards that have already been made by someone else. Their vocab section is VERY helpful, and the fact that other people have already made the entire list into online flashcards makes it even better. Buy this book!!
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Helpful, but some elements of execution were a bit confusing for me 3 Sept. 2014
By Garrett Zecker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a helpful and accessible book to help study for the revised GRE general exam.

There are four practice tests within its pages, and plenty of exercises and strategic study and test taking practice and skills that will help with many aspects of the test that are difficult. I found the strategies in the ENGLISH/VERBAL section to be very helpful. I found some of the strategies in the MATH/QUANTITATIVE section to be helpful. The things in the quantitative that I found to be not helpful has to do with the way the skills were being taught. What was most confusing was that I had been taught all of this material in grade school, and found the strategies to actually do the opposite of help me on my test.

I have some data to share about the preliminary scores I got when I took it. First, I will be applying to PhD programs in literature, and this book is only helpful to do well on the test and does not reflect my skills in anything but preparing for the test.

Preliminary results at the exam were
VERB 157/170
QUAN 144/170
WRITING 96th %ile

I thought both scores were better than if I had not done any preparation.

There was another student I spoke with that prepared using MAGOOSH, and he was applying to medical schools. This is what he got:
VERB 152/170
QUAN 157/170

I think depending on your skill level and the time that you put into preparing for the exam really depends on what you get out of it and how you do. It really just measures how you do on the test, and the test has a lot of tricks on it that this book helped to steer me in the right direction for. I am happy that I used it, and I plan on donating it to my public library now that I am done.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The tricks in this book are highly worth it 2 Dec. 2014
By Bio Student - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I would have given this book 5 stars if it would have explained some of the math problems with a little more detail. I felt that, as someone who is not particularly gifted at math, some of the explanations were a little simplistic and assumed that you know a lot about what they're talking about already. However, in general the book was super well explained, it is full of easy tricks and shortcuts that are extremely useful, and over all I am so glad I used it to study for the GRE. Some of the verbal questions may have had me stumped in the past, thinking that there could be 2-3 possible good answers, but thanks to the tricks in this book I kept them in mind and suddenly those problems were crystal clear.

I just took it this morning and thanks to the concepts in this book I got an average-good score in the quantitative section (which for me is great!), a nearly perfect score on the verbal, and probably an almost perfect score on the essays as well.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Best choice for Beginners 25 April 2015
By Greprep Club - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you are new to the GRE, Cracking the GRE is a good book to start with, it provides a good introduction to the test such as; explaining the mechanics, basic principles and gets you familiar with the test structure. The book also provides solid strategies that you can use regardless of your level. Finally ,it also includes six full length tests.
This book will last you for 3-4 weeks and, most likely, will boost your score by 10-15 points. If you want a greater increase in your score and have 3 months to study you want to skip this book totally in favour of some exhaustive prep packages from ETS or Manhattan.

~~~ THE GOOD: ~~~
* Step by step problem solution is quite a nifty tool in case your Quant sections are prone to silly mistakes.
* Fairly Exhaustive coverage of the subjects and individual section has received detailed attention.
* Chapter reviews are concise and very informative at the same time.
*Video tutorials that break down strategies for each section of the GRE.
* 6 Full GRE Tests 2 in paper format and 4 online. The online tests have a very immaculate reporting tool for performing SWOT analysis on you test prep.
* The book places importance on vocabulary building for verbal sections.

~~~ COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER: ~~~
* 550 odd pages, however there are not enough questions and you will need to invest in another book to supplement your preparation.
*The Quant questions of this book are much easier than actual GRE Questions.
* AWA Section is not as exhaustively covered as it is in the ETS Official GRE Guide book.

~~~ OTHER STUDY OPTIONS & BOOKS ~~~
It’s a good book to start with but you need other books to bolster your preparation. One possible alternative could be, Manhattan GRE Set of eight strategy guides which come with 8 books that target specific math and verbal areas. You would have a much better shot at scoring 315+ using this (not guaranteed), however they require 2-3 months to complete. ETS has a similar collection of 3 books (general + quantitative + verbal). They also have four tests on CD rom enclosed along with the package.

~~~ What is a good study plan using Cracking the New GRE?~~~
My recommendation would be to start with this book, finish it in about a month or so (by this time you will learn all the basics about the test, how it works, what is tested, and general strategies for answering questions).After completing it you can take a test and do SWOT analysis and target your weaknesses.

~~~ Will this book give me 320+ score?~~~
For majority of the applicants, probably not. It is not deep enough for most people who are out of college to refresh their math and verbal fundamentals. You will most likely need other books to help you get there. You should seriously consider investing in ETS as they provide you with questions that have appeared in GRE before.

~~~How do I get 320 then?~~~
* You can review your concepts using this book and take a Mock test to perform SWOT analysis.
* Based on your SWOT you can invest in a book that targets your weakness. (see the other books I should know about Section below)
* Retake a Mock test and see the changes in your results.
If you have a bit more time you can consider investing it in a Book series like the ETS or Manhattan. This will, most likely, take your score to a higher level but it would also cost more in terms of time and money.

Best of luck with your test prep.
Sandy, GRE: 323
PS: I reply to comments on Amazon.
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