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GRE, 18th Ed. Book (Barron's GRE) [Paperback]

Sharon Weiner Green , Ira K. Wolf

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Paperback, 1 Sep 2009 --  
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GRE (Barron's GRE) GRE (Barron's GRE) 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series Inc.,U.S.; 18th Revised edition edition (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764142003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764142000
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 20.6 x 27.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 622,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Offers prospective graduate students intensive preparation for the GRE Graduate Record Exam. This title includes chapters that provide a perspective on the exam with a GRE overview, advice on effective test-taking tactics, and a diagnostic test to help students pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
108 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My personal favorite out of the popular GRE books 28 Nov 2009
By K. Callender - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I studied every day for one month and scored 720 on verbal and 760 on quant. I used the Kaplan GRE Exam 2010 Premier Live Online Book, Kaplan's 500 vocab flashcards, Princeton's latest prep book, and Barron's guide with the CD (did not attend any of those exorbitantly priced classes). IMO, Barron's provided the best prep-- it had the most in-depth coverage. I especially liked that the book included plenty of practice problems and a comprehensive word bank. The guide's main weakness was its practice tests. Kaplan/Princeton provided more realistic Computer Adaptive Tests. FYI: For practice exams that best mimic the real thing, check out the powerprep software (offered for FREE by ETS, the diabolical company that generates GREs). Good luck!!
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are only going to buy one GRE prep book, buy this one 25 Aug 2009
By S. Toppy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a college graduate.... who graduated from college more than 15 years ago, so I was a bit daunted when I decided to go to grad school and realized I had to take the GREs. I almost considered not going back to school because the test scared me so much. I haven't done any math past basic arithmetic since college--I haven't needed to. But, I decided to give myself six weeks to prepare for the test and see what happened. After reading several reviews on Amazon, I decided on this book (the one that comes with the CD-ROM), and devised a study plan that would take me through the entire book over a six-week period. The six-week plan I created for myself is not for the faint of heart. This is a book that covers A LOT of information, and if you are going to do the whole thing, I would recommend doing it in 8 to 10 weeks, but I didn't have that kind of time. So I crammed, between work and taking care of kids, I ate, breathed, and slept this book. I started out by taking the diagnostic tests to see where my weaknesses were. I got only 7 math questions correct out of 28 and 15 correct out of 30 verbal questions. I had a lot of work ahead of me.

I began with the math review in the middle of the book, since that was my greatest weakness, and did about 10 pages a day, relearning all the math I had forgotten since high school. I created flashcards for myself with all of the formulas provided so I could keep them fresh in my mind when I moved on to a different math topic. The practice questions at the end of each review are excellent, and the book really teaches you how to think about these problems in a different way. After the math review, I reviewed the test taking tactics provided, which really help when you just don't know how to answer a question. I took every practice test offered in the book, including the one on the CD-ROM, and by the end of my six-week study session, I was getting 18-20 problems correct in the math section.

While I was reviewing math, I also reviewed 2 glossaries a day in the vocabulary review. There are over 3,000 words in the 50-section glossary, so it was important to get started on that right away. I found the verbal section to be a very good review, and I improved my score immensely by the end of my study session.

The essay section of the book provided very good information on what to expect on the test, but I would like to have seen a couple good sample essays in the answer key. Otherwise I would have given this book a 5--really my rating is a 4.5. I'm a pretty strong writer, so for me it didn't matter, but for folks who need help with essay writing, I recommend picking up a book that focuses on writing good essays. ETS's Power Prep does provide good sample essays, though, and I encourage everyone taking the test to download that software AFTER you review this book, and work through the sample tests that ETS provides.

All in all, I am very pleased with this purchase. After taking the test one time, I scored at 650 on the verbal and a 700 on the math, and scored a 5 (out of 6) on the essays. Can't ask for much better than that!
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not computer adaptive 13 Dec 2009
By Jim C. - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The actual book is useful - although I would recommend picking up a second book and comparing them when studying. But I bought this because it was supposed to come with a CD that had two Computer-Adaptive tests on it. Well, there ARE two tests, but they do not adapt to your answers. The tests simply have 28 verbal questions, 30 math questions, and the two essays. At the end it tells you your raw score (how many you got wrong w/ explanations for why they're wrong), then you check your raw score against a table for your actual score.

The scores seem a little off too. For example, 28 correct math questions gets you an 800, but 27 correct questions get you only a 720? So if you miss more than one you are doomed to <700 score, seems too harsh. I have seen others where you can miss 4 on the quantitative and still get a 700. So are the questions too easy on this test, are they using a harder grading scale, what's going on?

I will admit though that it was useful to try the test digitally first, at least to get a feel for using scrap paper instead of writing on a paper test. Just was expecting a lot more, I mean, I don't understand- It wouldn't have been hard to make the CD a lot more useful.

In short:
- Book is ok, but would use with other study-guides
- Only contains 2 computer tests
- Computer tests do NOT adapt to right/wrong answers or get harder like the real GRE
- Scoring might be off
- CD tests can be useful for learning format of digital test

Later Edit: The more that I use both Barron's and Princeton Review, I have to say that Princeton Review is better - particularly on the practice tests. As I mentioned, Barron's has the CD with two questionable tests on it, Princeton Review has a set of online tests you can take with more accurate scoring, the option to have your writing samples graded ($6/each), and the test looks/feels closer to the actual GRE than the other one. Doing it over again, I would have probably avoided Barron's.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 18 Feb 2010
By N. J. Farney - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had 3 1/2 weeks to get ready for the GRE. I went online and purchased this book and received it within 5 days. Right off the bat I took the diagnostic test inside, and got a 790. Pretty bad. Over the next three weeks I went through all of the reviews, trips and tricks, and I worked every problem. Then I did the sample exams in the book and the two GRE Powerprep online tests.

End result: 560 Verbal, 700 Quantitative, and 4.5 Analytical Writing. I went from a 790 to a 1260 in three weeks using just this book and the free GRE Powerprep software.

In short, this book was a great help, helped me increase my score 470 points in just three weeks. I highly recommend to anyone who needs to get ready for the big test.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The desert island GRE book... with a few caveats 22 Sep 2010
By Chris Lele - Published on
Well, I suppose if someone was on a desert island with a looming GRE appointment, he or she might just decide to stay on the island. Jesting aside, Barron's has compiled an impressive collection of practice problems, as well as the single best source on vocabulary words, the Barron's 3500 word list. (I don't consider Nova's 4500 a contender as there are too many words that are poorly defined.)

The strategies Barron's gives you on anything from analogies to complex geometry are helpful and clearly explained. And Barron's (unlike Princeton Review) isn't parsimonious with the number of questions it gives you. Math especially is filled with dozens of questions that are very similar in concept and tone to those from the ETS PowerPrep test. Indeed, the problems in the Barron's Math are even more challenging, and cutting your teeth on them will make the real test that much easier. The accompanying CD (as long as it works) is consistent with the hardcopy. That is, the quality of math questions is of a high caliber. The verbal, on the other hand, is a little too easy. In the end, you may score about 50 points lower in math than on the real test and about 50 points higher on the verbal.

Where Barron's is similar to Princeton Review is on the verbal section. Here you will find sentence completions that are about the level of those found on the SAT. The reading comprehension passages too are dumbed down. Anyone looking to break 600 in Verbal will be in for a bit of a shock. (Analogies and antonyms while not exactly 700+ are a little more up to snuff.) Still, there are plenty of verbal practice problems and learning new words can't hurt.

In the end, the best paper-based verbal practice out there is the ETS guide. While dated, this guide was written by the same company that concocts the very questions you will see test day. Even then, the verbal has changed a little bit so that the best overall practice is the powerprep software, downloadable from the ETS site.

Still, Barron's gives you a solid math grounding together with more advanced problems. Throw in the most comprehensive vocabulary list around and you have one of the best overall prep sources (outside of ETS) on the market.

Chris Lele of
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