Cracking the GRE with DVD (Princeton Review: Cracking the GRE (w/DVD)) Paperback – 3 Jul 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I suspect those who take the courses get their money's worth.
However, "Cracking the GRE" is a much cheaper, quicker solution. It cuts to the chase, tells you what you need to know, and shows you how to figure out those algebra problems better than your high school freshman year teacher.
They teach you how to be organized during the test. And you'll learn how to draw sensible charts for the logic portion. This will save you precious time as you realize you have no clue how to answer number 27. It teach you how to effectively guess.
With the DVD, you will endure (it is a tough exam, after all), test conditions, and receive video tutorials. The greatest benefit, however, and where you might find yourself studying the most is the book. Plow through word lists, key types of questions and testing suggestions.
I took the GRE. I used the Princeton Review. I crammed. Sure, sure--not the best approach for an important exam, but the fact remains, I'm not alone. Effective cramming involves knowing what to jettison, and what to keep on board. That is, knowing what is important to focus on. The Princeton Review folks know this.
I dreaded the math portion. If I told you how low my high school grades were for math, and then told you my GRE score, you'd likely believe neither. But it is true. My score rocked. Why? The easy teaching style of "Cracking the GRE.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is pretty good, however; it is lacking. There was a question type on the math GRE that it does not cover. As far as Princeton Review is concerned, this certain type of question does not exist. Well, it does! Fine if you don't want to max out your score. Not fine for me. I figured out how to do it in real time the last time I took the GRE, but I missed it the first time around because I wasn't expecting it at all. I am paying for a book to tell me how to beat the system. I should beat it. You should beat it.
Also, the section on permutations was overly brief, skimming over juicy bits. I can see why they did that, though. Most people don't want to know all the permutation and combination formulas. I do! So I reviewed the material online. The issue is that if you don't know that stuff during the test, you have to guess with the letter of the day because you aren't prepared to answer it. I'd rather have a 100% chance of getting it right than a 20%. Maybe that is just me.
For $15 off Amazon, I would recommend the book, however; these planted reviews saying the book is perfect are just lies.
A positive: the PR book comes with a product key which you can plug in on the Princeton Review website and get access to four full-length practice tests and some practice lessons and drills. You can get a demo version of what I'm talking about for free on the website (even if you don't have the product key), but the product key unlocks some more options. Curiously, the study plan that PR provides you with (on the website) tells you to practice using ETS's "Practicing to Take the GRE: General Test, 10th Edition" -- so they expect you to buy yet another book.
Bottom line, PR is good for strategy, but bad for practice. My boyfriend used Kaplan and I'm using some of his material (flashcards, pocket reference, etc), and I'm finding Kaplan much better for verbal (I haven't gotten to the math section yet).
This book provides excellent preparation for the GRE General Test as a whole. It is particularly strong on the verbal and analytical sections. However, its coverage of quantitative contents (math/algebra/geometry) is greatly underdeveloped and seriously troublesome.
The strengths of "The Princeton Review's Cracking the GRE" lie primarily with its techniques to, well, CRACK the GRE. It suggests very many tips that apply to test-taking in general and to the GRE in particular. For example, can you eliminate up to three possible answers (out of five) just with ballparking, or with a little bit of common sense? The book tells you how. Can you answer a question about a word that you have no idea what it means? Sure! How do you write an essay on a topic that you have never heard before? Again, the book tells you how.
Also, the verbal workout section is quite strong. Many words on my GRE exam I had learned from this book. I might have been lucky, but I don't think so: this book's word bank is impressive and thorough, yet easily accessible.
Where this book SERIOUSLY lacks is in the math/quantitative section prep. The questions on my exam were NOWHERE near the sort of questions, or even topics, that this book contains. Only after getting very many questions wrong did the test "adapt" to me and started giving me easier questions, as per standard procedure. I ended up with a score that I did NOT like.
Truth be told, my quantitative score was still higher than the national average, but let's face it: the national average is LOW. Like, amazingly low, retardedly low. You get 200 points just by writing your name. To score as high as I did (which would be a barely passing grade in college) is nothing to brag about.
I blame this primarily on this book, which gives A TOTALLY UNREALISTIC IDEA OF THE QUANTITATIVE/MATH QUESTIONS FOUND IN THE ACTUAL GRE. Once again, the verbal and analytical parts are just fine, great, fantastic. But this is a serious shortcoming, and if math isn't your forte you should definitely look elsewhere.
On the other hand, I'm a math major, looking to go on to a Ph.D. in math, and have found the math section of this book in need of some serious editing. There are incorrect explanations and answers, though not many, but enough to cause concern. Some of the questions in the math part are written in a logically unsound manner; that is, they could logically be interpreted more than one way, and relatively often the correct answer is I can not tell (although this is not often a choice, thank goodness). For a subject based on the application of logic to certain assumptions/definitions/axioms, this seems strange to me.
The verbal section has been very helpful to me, especially in test-taking strategies (if it's not in the passage, it's not the answer!!). However, someone from the Princeton Review has got to rip the math section apart and start over.